El Nido, Palawan

Travel Article

I have just returned from a trip to the Philippines where I visited Manila, Puerto Princesa, and my favorite, El Nido.

Being in the Philippines was an amazing experience. Learning more about Filipino culture and more of their language was incredible for me, especially since many people where I live in Hawaii are Filipino. Some kids from Kohala High School get to visit the Philippines sometimes. I hope they get the chance to visit Palawan sometime. The ticket from Manila to Puerto Princesa and the rest of the transit cost to get to El Nido is fairly inexpensive, and EL Nido is well worth it!

El Nido is a fun town in the northwest part of Palawan, an island of the Philippines. It draws tourism from around the world, but I would say the majority of the people I encountered were visiting from Manila.

There is a lot to do in El Nido. You can go on one (or more) of 4 of their island hopping boat tours, go to some of their amazing beaches, ride a zipline from one island to another, eat at some of many exciting restaurants, or go check out the shops.

We chose to go on boat tour “C”. This tour lasted about 6 hours. We went to 5 different locations: Helicopter island (which got its name from being shaped like a giant helicopter), an old Christian Island Temple, Hidden Beach, Secret Beach, and another nice beach I’m not sure of the name of. My favorite was Secret Beach.

When our boat pulled up to a monstrously tall rock wall and one of our guides said “This is our next beach”, most of the people on the boat thought they were joking. Then they revealed that there was a small opening in the rock that we would be swimming through. So, we jumped off the boat and swam through the opening with the help of a couple of our guides. The tide was moving up and down pretty wildly but we each swam through the small space. I was luckily wearing goggles and a snorkel so I could see the underwater world below. The crevice then opened up to a large cove with the beautiful promised “Secret Beach”.

The first day I was there, we went to a beach called Las Cabanas. When you walk to the end of this beach you find what I think is the best restaurant on it. Not only was it posted up right in front of the best part of the beach, it also had hammocks!

View from Las Cabanas Restaurant


On that same beach was where you could find the zipline. It only cost 500 filipino pesos, which is about 10 american dollars. Thats very cheap for ziplining, and the view must be absolutely awesome from up there because it was already beautiful from below. My sister and I were going to go but we ran out of time.

One of my favorite parts about the town was a restaurant/bar called “Happiness”. This was a place that had a bar where the seats were swings! They also had really cool murals on their wall, including one of John Lennon. They had generous happy hour prices, and the staff was very fun and accommodating as well.

I highly recommend going to El Nido, and if you do have the fortune of finding yourself there some day, go on a boat tour, check out Las Cabanas, ride the zipline, and find Happiness!

Beach Panorama