My first stop on my Philippines adventure was the paradise island El Nido, Palawan.
Think I can say without any doubt this is the most beautiful beach island I have ever visited in South-East Asia. From the most amazing sunsets, blue crystal waters, tides that go as far out that the shore becomes home to hundreds of starfish. This is a place of true beauty and tranquillity.
One thing I loved most about the island is how clean and kept it was. There is not a spec of rubbish on the beaches and they are very eco-aware. A lot of places won’t even sell plastic straw. El Nido you are winning!
I flew from Cebu to El Nido AirPort via AirSwift which cost around £195 per person for the return flight.
If you are on a budget then you can fly from Cebu to Porto Princess which is a lot cheaper but you will then have around 6-8 bus ride from the Airport to El Nido.
I stayed in a lovely beach hut at the Las Cabanas Beach Resort.
I cannot rate this resort enough, it is in such a beautiful location being right on the beach front, the staff are so friendly and the sunsets are out of this world.
We paid around £305 for 5 nights so it’s such a great value for money.
If your visiting El Nido then Island Hopping is a MUST!
Booking a tour is quite easy as everywhere you go you will find displays advertising the tours and they all mostly offer the same routes. So just ask about for any recommendations from fellow travellers or holiday goers.
The main four tours are classed as tours A, B, C & D. A & C being the most popular tours from my research and they are the two tours I decided to go with.
Stops – Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island and 7 Commando Beach
Myself and Adam decided to do tour A as private tour costing us 7400php/ £105*. There was just us two and a 3-man boat crew.
The pros of doing a private tour are that you explore and enjoy the stops more to your leisure and obviously, you get a little bit more VIP treatment and a hell of a lot more food to eat.
The stops on the tours were just……..Nope, I really have no words to described how beautiful it was. Everywhere in El Nido just looks so pristine and untouched, like you have landed on a desert island untouched by man.
Stops – Helicopter Island, Matinloc Shrine, Secret Beach, Star Beach, Hidden Beach
We did this as a group tour coating 1200php/£17 each. Again, the stops were beautiful, though I did prefer the stops on tour A a little more. The group tour was not overcrowded in the slightest but I did find the stop were more so than tour A. Maybe we just hit a peak time.
With may tours like these you will also have to pay additional park fees which cost around cost 300php. This will last you for 7 days so you won’t have to pay it again if you do any additional tours within the time frame.
So let me know. Where has been the best paradise island you have visited?