Our comprehensive El Nido Travel guide featuring the island’s tourist spots, hotels and more.

Preserved for its natural beauty, El Nido remains as one of the best places to visit in the Philippines. For an island whose surrounding areas are composed of crystal-clear seawater, El Nido makes for the perfect location for beaches and anything else noteworthy on land. Here’s our El Nido travel guide to help you plan your future visit to one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

El Nido Travel Guide
El Nido Lagoon | Big Stock Photo


El Nido is an all-year-round travel destination so you can pretty much visit the town any time of the year. But, if you want to enjoy more, the best time to go is during the summer season which usually starts in March and ends in May. 


There are a number of ways to get to El Nido from different parts of the Philippines. This El Nido travel guide lists down common ways to get to El Nido from Manila, Cebu, Davao, and Coron.

How to get to El Nido from Manila:

There is now a direct flight between Manila and El Nido via Airswift. Flights are limited so flying to Puerto Princesa is still the most common way of going to El Nido.

From Puerto Princesa, you can take a bus or van to El Nido. The travel time is around 5-6 hours. Vans take a shorter time to reach El Nido. You can book a seat here by bus or van.

How to get to El Nido from Cebu:

There is also a direct flight from Cebu Mactan International Airport to El Nido via AirSwift. Again, flight frequency is limited so flying via Puerto Princesa from Cebu is still the most common way.

How to get to El Nido from Coron: 

There are boats that operate from Coron to El Nido and vice-versa. You can opt to take a fast craft, passenger ship, and outrigger. Here’s the boat schedule from Coron to El Nido.


The most common mode of transportation in El Nido is a tricycle. You can either share a ride with strangers or charter a trip if you are going to get out of the town proper. If you are more than five people, I highly suggest you rent a van for a more convenient journey.


Budget Hotels and Cheap Hostels in El Nido

El Nido View Deck Cottages

El Nido View Deck Cottages is located about 5 minutes walk from the center. It offers a great view of both the city and the sea and it’s an ideal place for visitors who are looking for a private room at a cheap rate.
Room rates: Php800 for a fan room
Check availability and book

Dakila Cabins
If you are looking for a cheap place to stay away from the town center of El Nido, you might want to consider staying at Dakila Cabins. It’s located in Sibaltan, about 34 kilometers away from El Nido. 
Room rates: Php950 for a budget double room
Check availability and book 

Mid-range Hotels in El Nido

The Birdhouse El Nido
The Birdhouse El Nido is one of the hottest mid-range hotel/accommodation in El Nido. It easily gets booked so if you see a vacancy, book it immediately. The place is situated on top of a mountain. It features a yoga pavilion, a restaurant and a common area where guests can enjoy El Nido’s landscapes and seascapes.
Room rates: Php7,000++ for a quadruple room
Check availability and book 

Luxury Hotels in El Nido

El Nido Resort’s Pangulasian Island
El Nido Resort’s Pangulasian Island is an eco-luxury island resort in Bacuit Bay, El Nido featuring breathtaking views of the sunrise and the sunset. It offers a total of 42 deluxe rooms built in contemporary Filipino architecture. Check out our list of Luxury Resorts in Palawan.
Room rates: Php28,000 per night
Check availability and book


El Nido Tour A

Discover the islands, lagoons, and beaches of El Nido through a whole day. Explore the clear waters of Miniloc Island and enjoy the beaches of Shimizu Island and Seven Commando. This tour includes a lunch on the beach.
Tour cost: Php900, Book now.

El Nido Small Lagoon | Fabio Achilli under creative commons

El Nido Tour B

El Nido Tour B allows you to explore the Snake Island, Pinagbuyatan Island, Cudugnon Cave, Cathedral Cave, and Papaya Beach. This tour starts at around 9:30am and will usually end at 3pm.
Tour cost: Php,1,100 – Book this tour now.

El Nido Snake Island | Photo by Randomix under creative commons

El Nido Tour C

El Nido Tour C allows you to explore the islands of Dilumacad and Matinloc, known as one of the shooting locations of the movie Bourne Legacy. You will also have a chance to visit Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, and Talisay Beach. This tour starts at 9am and ends at 3pm.
Tour cost: Php1,250 – book online now.

Helicopter Island | Photo by jpl.me under creative commons


Nacpan Beach

Essentially a part that makes one of two intertwined—so-called twin—beaches, the Nacpan Beach makes for the better of the two for being bigger and encompassing a long stretch of land, dotted and lined with tall palm trees.


How to get there: The cheapest way to go there is by renting a motorcycle and drive your way to Nacpan Beach. The rental cost is around Php600 for a day. If you don’t want to drive, you can charter a tricycle for around Php1,000 for two people. Travel time is around an hour.

Nacpan Beach | Photo by jpl.me under creative commons

Taraw Cliff

No adventure in El Nido is ever complete without one braving the area’s highest peak, the Taraw Cliff. With a height which overlooks the overall town of El Nido and a fortress-like image from below, Taraw Cliff never ceases to amaze regardless of which angle you are from it. If you want a perfect view, try to start hiking as early as 5AM.

Taraw Cliff | Photo by Klaus Stiefel under creative commons

Big Lagoon

When we speak of the ocean, it always gets deeper the farther you go from the coast. But for a long stretch of shallow seawater that seems to outsize its smaller counterpart, the Big Lagoon makes for a very interesting visit to the shallow areas of El Nido.
How to get there: Join El Nido Tour A.

El Nido Big Lagoon | GreenArcher04 under creative commons

 Small Lagoon

Basically the smaller of the two prominent lagoons in El Nido. Although the Small Lagoon may little in size, it more than makes up for its unique structure that makes visiting it an equally impressive experience.
How to get there: Join El Nido Tour A.

El Nido Small Lagoon | Fabio Achilli under creative commons

Seven Commando Beach

As intriguing as its name may sound like, there are no military operations taking place on this coast. The name actually harkens back to a tale which speaks of seven soldiers who were stranded in the island which some might openly dispute. Regardless of the island’s name, however, the main highlight of being in this shore is its unique scenery as highlighted by the perfect mixture of verdant trees on land and clear seawaters.
How to get there: Join El Nido Tour A.

Seven Commando Beach | Fabio Achilli under creative commons

 Pinagbuyutan Island

Made of mostly rocky formations as carpeted with greeneries on most of its surface, the Pinagbuyutan Island has an imposing presence from a relative distance. But take the bold steps to get close and you shall see the ground of powdery whites that is a hallmark on almost every beautiful islands in the area.
How to get there: Join El Nido Tour B.

Pinagbuyutan Island | Fabio Achilli under creative commons

 Secret Beach

Not many people who are not native to El Nido knew of the Secret Beach, hence its name. Although the shore itself is not entirely hidden when seen from the sky, its rather unusual entrance—which requires a bit of swimming—makes it relatively obscure, particularly to any unsuspecting person.
How to get there: Join El Nido Tour C.
Secret Beach | Photo by denAsuncioner under creative commons

Corong Corong Beach

El Nido is booming in the tourism business. Nowhere is this more evident than in an area where hospitality business establishments thrive such as around Corong Corong Beach. Yet, for an island where solitude makes for a prevailing theme, the Corong Corong Beach’s rather wide expanse is never too crowded.


How to get there: Corong Corong Beach is close to El Nido town proper. You can hail a tricycle from the town proper and alight at the drop-off point or you can charter a tricycle for around Php150-200.

Corong Corong Beach | Photo by Syromaniac under creative commons

 Cathedral Cave

Having an inner view which mimics a cathedral, the Cathedral Cave makes for a picturesque place on an island. But, as a home to known venomous sea snakes, it is a place where swimming is strictly forbidden.
How to get there: Join El Nido Tour B.

Cadlao Island

Embodying a beauty that is akin to Tahiti, only smaller, the Cadlao Island can be quite easily mistaken as a place in French Polynesia. Apart from the sea, the main highlight of Cadlao Island is the snorkeling paradise of Ubungun Cove.
How to get there: Join El Nido Tour D.


Day 1 El Nido Travel Guide Itinerary: Off to El Nido
3PM – Arrival in El Nido
4PM – Check in at the hotel
4:30PM – Explore El Nido town proper
7PM – Dinner
9PM – Sleep

Day 2 El Nido Travel Guide Itinerary: El Nido Tour C
9:00am hotel pick up
9:30am depart El Nido Pier Harbor and explore Helicopter Island and Matinloc Shrine
12:00pm lunch then proceed to Secret Beach, Talisay Beach and Hidden Beach
3:00pm end of tour

3:30pm hotel drop off

Day 3 El Nido Travel Guide Itinerary: El Nido Tour A
9:00am hotel pick up then proceed to Small lagoon, Big lagoon, Hidden lagoon
12:00pm lunch then proceed to Shimizu Island, 7 Commando Beach
3:00pm end of tour
3:30pm hotel drop of


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