THINGS TO DO IN EL NIDO
We have visited the island of El Nido recently and I’m still over the moon thinking about it. Oh yes take me back there please! Each day, I caught myself looking in my gallery collection, always in full admiration on how beautiful this place is. From the towering marble cliffs and extraordinary lagoon to white sandy beaches, El Nido is Paradise. I’m not surprised why it’s getting attention from all over the world. In November–December 2007 issue of the National Geographic Traveler's magazine and http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/islands 2018 declared El Nido as the Philippines’ Best Beach and Island destination in the world. I’m really hoping that it will preserve it’s grandeur and serenity as time goes by.
EL NIDO is one of Palawan’s Municipality. This is an island defined by its spectacular coastline. The dramatic marble cliffs of land's end, picture postcard harbours, the wide sandy beaches of the coast have all made EL NIDO a holiday favourite. The town is politically subdivided into 18 barangays. The main language is Filipino, which is largely based on Tagalog. In addition, many people are very proficient in English, Hiligaynon, and other Visayan dialects. Filipinos are generally very hospitable, they will say Hi in every occasion with the largest smile. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to ask the locals around you, they will surely drop everything to give a hand and won’t let you down.
El Nido was quite remote from most of the inhabited islands in the Philippines. Immense limestone cliffs surrounds the ramshackle town proper. The lifestyle is so laid back and slow compared to most popular islands like Boracay, hence, if your looking for a non-crowded holiday beach destination then this is for you. On the other hand it’s a home to emerging restaurants and businesses. If you’re craving for an Asian specialities to European cuisine, don't worry, there’s a lot of restaurant to choose from. Though I was surprised with the cost of each meal, as not much difference compared to London rates. So if you are in a budget and wanted a little cheaper buffet, I suggest to have your meal in a local canteen—they serve local food very cheaply but equally delicious.
When is the best time to go? December to February are the nicest time to visit the area. You will love the refreshing temperature ranges from 27 °C to a high of 30 °C. March to May are typically the driest months, but I always struggle with the unbearable heat, I say no to 36 °C. The heaviest rainfall occurs from July to October.
Activities. There's alot of things to do in Elnido. However, never skip island hopping, it's the best way to spend the day. I booked ours at https://www.elnidoparadise.com/island-hopping/. You can go either for public or private tour depending on your budget. Public tour offers affordability of PHP1200 per person for a day tour. Tough, you will be spending all day with strangers, I guess that's the best way to meet new friends. This Elnido island hopping private tour is way more pricey, we spent PHP11400 for 4 people to get our own boat. However, private tour offers flexibility and freedom and it has been the highlight of our holiday. Check this website if you fancy hiring your own boat https://www.elnidoparadise.com/island-hopping/private-tour/. I know it’s a little more expensive than the public tour, however, take my word—it’s worth it. We hired our boat exclusively for our group. The island hopping agency provided us four tour guides, apparently they are the best divers in town. Also, they served us freshly delicious food cooked and prepared right on our boat. Jose, the captain of the boat, made our tour super entertaining. He was super helpful, smiling all day and interesting. Here are some photos from our private island hopping tour; Remember to wear sunscreens protection all day, you may not think as important but it is. We almost burned to death. Being under the scorching sun all day can really damage your skin, get SPF 50 or the highest the better, this one is really good Ambre Solaire Clear Protect Sun Cream Spray SPF50 200ml. If your planning to take your phone, camera, or any gadgets make sure you keep them in a waterproof casing, it's good to be prepared to any unforeseen incidents right? You can also get them in town incase you forgot to bring one with you. Tips. protect yourself from mosquitos, Filipinos usually use this cream.
If you have decided to visit this place, the first thing you’ll need to know is find out how to get there. So how do you get to El Nido? If your coming from a different country, chances are that you’ll arrive in the Philippines by a plane landing in Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport. If you are in a tight budget, I suggest to get your ticket in advance to get it cheaper. It can be really expensive on high season especially in summer time. I prefer going to the Philippines in low season where tourist are rarely seen around and possibly get a cheaper flight too. For that, I suggest to compare deals on this Website https://www.skyscanner.net . This website compares thousands of flights to allow you to find the cheapest. However if you want a direct flight, Philippine Airlines will make your journey easier and more relaxed. Let me tell you my experienced flying with them.
Travelling from London (or from anywhere) to Manila directly, PAL Airlines is your best choice. I remember my friend being in awe on how huge this plane is. So don't worry on going through a long flight, you will get enough leg room to feel comfortable all throughout your journey. If your feeling chilly, blankets and pillows are also provided. New films to watch and the latest music are also available to spend your time with. Food, well, you will be fed properly. I enjoyed the meals that has been provided, way better than those other airlines I’ve tried. I personally don't like plane food, but this time was an exception. Also, staffs were so friendly. Skyscanner is the best place to look for discounted air tickets, they compares millions of flights to find you the cheapest deal. Here is a friendly advice, when you get to Manila: get out of it as soon as possible. In my opinion, it’s not the best place to start your journey in the Philippines. When you get there, you’ll see what I meant. I may sound so harsh but this massive city is over populated and polluted. We were driving like Mad Max, fighting for our lives. If you can make the connection to your destination at the same day you land in Manila, just do it
YOUR CHOICE OF GETTING TO EL NIDO
1. From Manila to Puerto Princesa
2. Puerto Princesa to El Nido via Van.
VAN, this is how Filipino call a big car, usually accommodates 15 people on each journey. From Puerto Princesa Airport, continue your journey by taking a van from the airport up to El Nido bus terminal. To get to El Nido bus terminal, it usually take around 4 hours drive so make sure you are ready for that long exhausting travel especially when the van seats are all occupied. I suggest to rent the van for yourself, you can usually negotiate with the cost and most of the times drivers are willing to compromise. You can Book your van transfer online on this website https://www.elnidoparadise.com/how-to-go-from-puerto-princesa-to-el-nido/
3. Get a tricycle to El Nido town
From Corong-Corong bus terminal, you will see a lot of tricycles. You can hire them to take you in El Nido town in just a few minutes. We were so blessed to met Jun as our tricycle driver for the day. The rates goes up from 20 to 50 pesos per person.
The above suggested way to El Nido is not the easiest. Coming from Pangasinan, we booked our flight with Airswift Airlines from Clark International Airport to El Nido Airport, I'm sure you can get on board in Manila too. El Nido Airport is a private airport owned and operated by Airswift. They generally charge around Php7000 pesos in low season up to Php10,000 pesos in high season, which is substantially more expensive than the best fares found in the other Airlines landing at the provincial main airport Puerto Princesa. However, direct flying to your destination is worth the penny. You can start enjoying your holiday immediately. AirSwift provides free refreshment the minute you checked in, you will also get free snack bags. The staffs were so friendly and also accommodating. Arriving at Lio Airport is like arriving in a private resort. The airport itself is so posh and well looked after, it is literally small but the surrounding greens of nature makes it beautiful. The airport staffs will book the tricycle taxis for you to town and the 4km distance will cost you about Php600 pesos. It’s customary to give a tip in the Philippines, so don’t forget to show your generosity.
If you managed to book your adventure in Elnido, give us a shout as we would love to hear your stories when you get there. Adventure and love awaits!
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