Notes from El Nido, Philippines
I spent about 5 days in El Nido, on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. It’s a bit hard to get to. I first flew to Manila, and then took a flight from Manila to El Nido. It’s just Air Swift that flies there. The Manila airport is… bad. Maybe it makes sense to people who live in the Philippines but it didn’t really make any sense to me. To get between terminals it was a 15 minute cab ride, so I had a very, very tight connecting flight.
As the plane landed in El Nido you could see many of the small islands as we passed, which was a really nice view. El Nido, for being relatively hard to get to, is a very nice spot. It’s an island town, with nice beaches, and near many other islands as well.
When you land in the very tiny airport, there is only one way to get to the town, and that is with a tricycle. It’s not what I imagine when you say tricycle, it’s a motorcycle, with a sidecar that is covered. That was the main way to get around.
El Nido was a nice small town, it seems the whole town was really dedicated around tourism. There are small little convenience shops selling some drinks and a few snacks, lots of travel agencies that will book boat tours, shuttles or flights, and restaurants.
There’s a wide range of restaurants, while I was there I had Greek and pizza and Thai and Filipino, and they were all right. I was a bit paranoid about the water there, so it was just bottled water for me. Many of the places offer service water, and I do understand that it is important for the environment to minimize the impact, however after seeing what comes out of the tap water… nope, not really going to drink it.
But in terms of what did we do while we were there. Mostly it was beaches and islands, which was quite nice. One day we took an island tour, Tour C — the main ones are labeled Tour A, B, C, and D. This was a tour of many of the beaches, including Hidden Beach and Secret Beach. These are maybe some of the nicest beaches I have ever seen. Clean sand, very clear water, and water that has a light turquoise blue/green color. And the water is very warm.
I also went to a few other of the beaches — a nice one was the Las Cabanas/Marimegmeg Beach, which was just a nice beach to hang out on. At night it got much busier, it was a destination spot for sunsets.
One day we kayaked around a few other islands, and there was almost no one else on the island. One was called Seven Commandos Beach.
It’s really one of the most picturesque places I have been to for beaches and islands.