El Nido is a little town, north of the Island of Palawan, in the Philippines. The heart of the town is Poblacion, with its small beach and all kind of little shops and hotels around. This is a very small and laid back place, which makes it so special.
Despite the fact every travel guide talks about this beautiful piece of land, I thought it looked pretty untouched. First, it is very difficult to access the place by car, the road is really bumpy and on the way, you are questioning all the wonderful things people told you about the place. Secondly, we arrived on January 15th, and the beach was almost ours. Not to mention the fact that it was really easy to find a cheap place to stay, right on the beach, right next to the little bars and restaurants, for something like 10 Dollars (don’t expect hot water for this price).
To sum up: we arrive in what people and travel guides told us as the most beautiful place in the Philippines, we are not in the middle of hundreds of tourists and we don’t even have to pay an expensive hotel to stay in the central area of Poblacion. Nice.
El Nido is also a very lively place, where tourists and locals blend pretty well. It was really easy to chat and party with young locals in the three or four bars on the beach.
But of course, the main reason why we came to this place was to experience Island hopping. The islands are beautiful (it reminded me of the most touristic places in Thailand) and easy to access. Again, renting a traditional boat with a guide was CHEAP. I was a student at that time and I thought it was the best bargain ever. The guide was really friendly and did some rock climbing with us during the Island hoping tour. Oh yes I forgot: the tour included a lunch on a white sand beach with Fresh fish and fruits. Tasty.
If you want to experience THIS El Nido, you’d better hurry up before it gets crowded. But the Philippines has so much to offer anyway: if you don’t go to El Nido, I am sure you can find your own paradise among the 7 107 Islands of this beautiful Archipelago.