El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

by - November 30, 2018

So my story with El Nido is a little complicated - hopefully yours will be plain sailing. We got stuck on Coron because of a typhoon so my time in El Nido was cut shorter than I wanted, but I’ll let you know what I did manage.


We had two full days and so filled them with Tour A & C. Similarly to Coron, you just get a boat around 9, stay on it all day and island hop.

There are tours A-D in El Nido but everyone recommended A&C so we went for those since we had limited time. They were both great (especially C) so I would recommend them. Again though, my experience was different - two places on tour A (big and small lagoon) weren’t available for me because of the typhoon, which meant people who had bought tours for the days no boats were allowed out were given priority and only 70 people are allowed in the lagoons per day. We swapped them for two gorgeous island beaches though so I was fine with it!

In terms of cost, the tours vary slightly:

  • Tour A - P1200
  • Tour B - P1300
  • Tour C - P1400
  • Not exactly sure what tour D is! 
There are hidden costs in El Nido!!! You have to pay a P200 environmental fee (but it is valid for 10 days so make sure you get you receipt and only pay once!) I'll let you in on a secret: we weren’t told about the environmental fee until after we had paid for the tour. I commented that they should have told us that before we had paid, and they were extremely kind about it and waived the fee so we only paid P1200 with the fee included (so if that happens to you, try your luck and see if you can get a discount!) For Tour C they also make you hire water shoes as some stops are rocky so that’s another P100. I said I would be fine without but they don’t let you on the boat without. If you book through certain shops, snorkel is included so find them!
The prices can vary for different agency’s, as in Coron, so scout about a bit and find the best deal for you!

The thing with Coron and El Nido is - it’s boat trips. That’s what you do in the day. So it’s early starts (8am-9am) and out all day and it’s all boats. It’s beautiful, but I’m just warning you. If you don’t like boats and just want to lay on a beach, these might not be the places for you!

Where to eat:

The food is slightly more expensive here than Coron. You’re looking at more like P400-500 for dinner with a drink. I recommended Big Bad Thai restaurant for their curries, and is also a bar so has a nice atmosphere! I didn’t really try many restaurants as didn’t have the opportunity! However I’m sure there are loads - trip advisor comes into its own in these places if you’re ever stuck!

Where to stay:

There’s a lot of choice. It depends what you want. Mad Monkey is a party hostel; Outpost is also party-ish and has its own beach and runs its own tours. Or there are loads closer to town. I stayed in a hotel (I’m so fancy) called Just Inn. It was pretty nice and wasn’t actually me being fancy - it was just very close to town and just as cheap as some hostels!

El Nido: the Green Bay with the Crystal Clear Blue Water

I just want to share something I loved about El Nido before finishing this post. No (single-use) plastic water bottles or bags are allowed on the boats going into the bay. This is to prevent any bottles or bags ending up falling (or being thrown.. *eye roll*) off boats and ending up in the bay that is the home of so much marine life. Drinking water is of course provided on all the boats so you don’t need to worry! I just thought this was a great idea and such a simple way to have a positive impact!

Final thoughts:

El Nido is beautiful. It’s picturesque. It is definitely worth a visit. See my getting around post (click here) to see how to get there from Coron/Puerto Princesa).

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