El Nido really is a magical place. From its ageless towering marble cliffs to its white sandy beaches with crystal clear water, many refer to it as paradise. There are over 50 beaches to discover, so many in fact that sometimes you feel as if you are on your own secluded private beach. You will also find enchanting lagoons with tranquil turquoise-green water, caves that can take you to hidden beaches, and a very diverse variety of wildlife.
El Nido is a top destination for island hopping, book your boat, take some food, some drinks in a cool box and disappear into the heavenly marine reserve that is Bacuit Bay. It is a truly relaxing and inspiring place; Alex Garland wrote "The Beach" while living here. Scuba diving is also a popular activity here with over 30 dive sites for varying levels and skills; from taking the plunge and learning to dive for the first time, to perfecting your expertise and advancing your qualifications.
Yet El Nido has so many different treasures to offer beyond the obvious. Further activities available include cliff climbing, waterfalls, kayaking, cave exploration, windsurfing, plus you can also hire a motorbike and discover the surrounding north of Palawan.
The dry season is from around November to May with temperatures above 30 degrees centigrade and rain is rare. The most popular tourist times in El Nido are Christmas and Easter. With the Philippines being 95% Catholic the celebration of these two events in the Catholic calendar bring out another side to El Nido. Especially in Easter where there is a week long festival including town parades and markets.
Seafood is a local speciality, in fact many fish are exported to Manila, and on to other South East Asian countries. There are restaurants scattered around the town offering various foods to suit most palates. From seafoods to meat dishes, salads, pastas, stews there is something for everyone. Particular restuarants also have foreign influence including French, German, Swiss and Australian.
A number of bars offer different entertainment including billiard, dancing, live music, karaoke, and of course along the beach front the chance to unwind and watch the beautiful view as the day comes to a close.
There are many eccentricities to El Nido, for example the electric power is 12 noon to 4pm and then 6pm to 6am. Also you will not find any banks here, although you can change foreign currency and travellers cheques at a couple of places albeit at an increased rate. There are also no telephone lines so communication is mostly via mobile phones plus there are many internet cafe's scattered around the town.
Two airlines offer direct flights to El Nido; there are at least 2 flights every day. The only road out of the town is a long dust track which is serviced by 4 buses a day going to the capital of the Palawan, Puerto Princesa City. There are also jeepneys catering for shorter trips. One can also travel by boat direct to Manila from the Port situated in the bay.
Palawan is frequently referred to as "The Final Frontier". Once you have been here you realise why. Enchanting El Nido is truly breathtaking; many leave, their lives changed by this magical place.