El Nido, Palawan has been on my bucket list of beaches to visit in like forever. So finally, my friend and I decided to hop on a plane and fly there. It is one of the best decisions I made in my entire life (or maybe I am exaggerating?). But needless to say, El Nido is one of the cleanest and most beautiful places I have ever seen. Clear waters, blue sky, friendly people...our vacation was worth every penny spent.
If you are planning a vacation there, here are some tips I would like to share with you:
- Money is always a big issue when going on vacation. I know a lot of people who experienced some financial difficulties during their vacation. In El Nido, there is only one ATM machine that is very unreliable. It only accepts a few cards and is most of the time offline. I suggest bringing with you more than enough cash. Go beyond your budget as you may spend more than what you intend to (especially with the tours and food). But, if you find it uncomfortable to bring so much cash, a debit card/ credit card will do. There are a few restaurants there like Art Cafe and El Nido Grill and Restaurant found in the town proper that accepts that. You have to take note though that there is an additional charge - 10% if I remember correctly - for payment in such forms. Or, if you suddenly find yourself short on cash, you can contact someone who can send you money through Western Union or Cebuana Lhuiller.
- I suggest booking a room in Corong Corong rather than in the town proper of El Nido. Why? Simply because of the view. Room rates I believe are also cheaper in Corong Corong than in the town proper. You not only get to swim in the beach whenever you want but you also get to relax inside your own room, open your window and savor the breathtaking view. The best way to relax in a beach, in my opinion. Take note though, that you will have to ride a tricycle if you want more food options to get to the town proper. Otherwise, there are many resorts there that have restaurants as well.
- Food is not that cheap. There are many restaurants there offering a variety of dishes and cuisines but they are Manila price (definitely not what I would expect for a small town/province like El Nido. This is probably because of the many foreign visitors they have. And you know how it is in popular tourist destinations - everything is expensive.
- To enjoy El Nido better, I suggest spending more than a couple of days there. My friend and I spent only about 2 days and a half and it really wasn't enough. There are so many places/islands to visit that we weren't able to enjoy because of time constraints. If you want to really enjoy your vacation here and be able to say that you were in El Nido, spend about 3-4 days (but you will probably get really burnt spending so much time in the beach).
- Swimming is necessary. There are some beaches I find that swimming isn't really mandatory. I mean, you will enjoy the place even if you just lounge around the shore or party in the bars near the shore (just like in Boracay) but in El Nido, you have to swim! You won't be able to fully enjoy the island hopping tour if you don't swim. Don't be afraid though as the tour guides will help you if you don't know how to swim.
- Don't be surprised if you see topless women sunbathing and couples doing something naughty on the beach. Surprisingly, it has become commonplace there (yes, I was really shocked to see so many topless women and naughty couples on the beach. I though this only happens in Boracay? Well at least here in the Philippines).
- Bring medications for dizziness and nausea as the roads from Puerto Princesa have very sharp curves. I don't remember traversing a straight road. For 6 hours, we were only traveling on curves.
- There are two options for you to get to El Nido: via Coron (Busuanga) or via Puerto Princesa. If you have very limited time and you only want to go to El Nido, I suggest going via Puerto Princesa. It is cheaper and travel time from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is shorter than from Coron. But if you have more time (and more money) to spend, going via Coron is a better option. Coron is also a very popular summer destination so going to El Nido via Coron is like killing two birds with one stone.
Enjoy the pictures! :)
Bikini top and Sunglasses" Forever 21 | Skirt: Bubbles
Have a lovely week ahead! :)