El Nido is a small touristy town in the Philippines. We were staying at the heart of El Nido. We took a tricycle to the Las Cabanas beach which costs roughly around 50 PHP (70 Rs). However, we had to take a short steep trek from the roadside to get to the starting point of the Zip Line. We had a choice of flying ‘the Superman position’ or the ‘sitting position’ in addition to our choice of one-way/two-way routes. We zip-lined from one island to another with a Panoramic view of gorgeous turquoise-blue Las Cabanas beach right below. The experience was exhilarating! Once at the other side, we climbed down the bamboo staircase and walked along the shallow beach with knee deep water to get back to the Las Cabanas beach.
Brother Island, El Nido, Philippines – “A little paradise on Earth,” says one of the reviews on Airbnb. Located in the Sulu Sea, most of the 2,000 square metres of this island is covered in white sand. The island boasts of a rainforest, and a hilltop banyan house for some private time. The island guarantees no other tourists while you are there so basically, you can book the entire island for yourself and experience activities like snorkeling, hiking and island hopping. There is even a wreck site nearby to explore!
El Nido was originally a small town, established as a getaway to the famous Bacuit Archipelago. Populated by various businesses catering to tourists and restaurants and hotels every 100 meters, El Nido in itself is not a quiet island anymore. But there are around 45 islands around El Nido where you can go for a day trip and enjoy the surreal beauty and absolute solitude. You can also camp on these deserted islands but you will have to carry all camping gear and your food with you.Best Time To Visit: November to AprilHow To Reach: Fly from Delhi to Manila (Rs. 19,000) and take a domestic flight to El Nido from Manila (Rs. 12,000). Once in El Nido, you can connect with fishermen or even the concierge of your hostel or hotel and get transportation arranged if you wish to camp in one of the adjoining islands.Things To Do: Diving and snorkelling are the most popular activities to do while at El Nido; you can explore some of the deserted islands nearby; you can also trek to the Taraw Peak and the Makinit Hot Springs. For those who are looking for some mischievous fun, a trip to the Nagkalit-kalit Falls is highly recommended. And for those who want to just relax, there are plenty of masseuse available all over the island!
Where: PhillipinesEl Nido, Spanish for 'the nest', is a tropical retreat with endless white-sand beaches, pristine coral reefs and blue lagoons. The town is a beautiful gateway to the Bacuit Archipelago, a group of islands identified by their steep karst cliffs. The town is situated on the Palawan Island and is a short ferry ride away from the clear waters of Miniloc Island and the fishing heaven of Shimizu Island.
El Nido doesn’t have that beach-town vibe, feeling of idyll which accompanies the best beach towns. But, El Nido is chock full of luxuries many tourists appreciate on their vacations: cafes and restaurants, a wide range of hotels for every wallet, beach bars with happy hours and reggae music, fiery sunsets, stuff like that. Stores offer plenty of souvenirs, and even designer clothing stores for those looking to spend serious amounts.
And that doesn’t include what is waiting just a boat’s ride away offshore… Sure, the island-hopping tours are on the pricey side—1200 to 1500 pesos per person (around 30 USD)—but there is no disputing the beauty of the Bacuit archipelago.
The karst formations, the white-sand island beaches, the glowing blue-green lagoons, the colorful fields of coral, and the clear waters that turn into every shade of blue. Each and every destination is exactly what we all gape at on TV and in magazines. Pa-ra-dise. If the weather is just right, the tour fees will seem paltry in comparison to the natural phenomenons that abound.
Furthermore, there’s a handful of other things to do around El Nido, besides the island-hopping. Neighboring beaches, blissfully free of bangkas, are there for our perusal. Plenty of places offer kayaks for rent (bring snorkel gear) and I’ve read that hiking can also be undertaken at a few of the islands. Renting a motorcycle and exploring the surrounding areas can be nice.
It’s hard to appreciate an overcrowded fishing town, and even harder not to feel guilty about being a tourist when we see firsthand the damage we are doing by following the masses to every popular destination. But the archipelago is jaw-dropping gorgeous. We have no regrets having visited Bacuit Bay.
The place is full of tourists. Many people we met loved this place but it was definitely not our favourite. We did a couple of dives. The diving usually is supposed to be quite spectacular but we got unlucky with choppy seas and not that great visibility.