Skip to Content

6 Best Things To Do In El Nido

El Nido, covering an area of about 400 sq km, is at the northern tip of Palawan Island and is one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines right now.

Renowned for its natural beauty of white-sand beaches, turquoise waters with beautiful coral reefs and spectacular limestone cliffs, it’s also the gateway to the Bacuit archipelago.

There are a large variety of water activities available in El Nido including, thanks to the crystal clear waters and abundant marine life, some great snorkelling and scuba diving.

Away from the coast, you’ll find a range of geological formations and rainforests that offer up some amazing treks, waterfalls and viewpoints.

So here are all the best things to do in El Nido aside from just island hopping.

1. Island Hopping Tours

An El Nido island hopping tour should easily be at the top of your things to do in El Nido list!

As soon as you arrive in town, nearly every accommodation, restaurant or pop up shop will be jumping at the opportunity of selling you an El Nido tour package.

There are 4 options: tours A, B, C, and D.

My favourite tour is A and I recommend booking the El Nido: Island Hopping Tour A Lagoons and Beaches in advance.

The majority of the shops will have signs up on the walls with prices, and the prices are pretty fixed.

However if you’re travelling with a large group, then the price can be negotiable.

We can only speak from experience but we took tours A & C and were not disappointed! 

You can book tour C at El Nido Island Hopping Tour C: Hidden Beaches & Shrine.

Since our visit to El Nido, tours may have changed around a little. Each are similar in trip length and inclusions, but they visit different locations.

All of the places listed in the each category are complete paradise so you’re guaranteed to get a real feel of the serenity of El Nido, whichever tour you choose.

Island hopping is definitely one of the best things to do in the Philippines.

El Nido Tour A & C El Nido Tour Packages In El Nido Things To Do In El Nido
Of course island hopping is the number 1 thing to do!

2. Explore The Beaches

Aside from island hopping, one of the top things to do in El Nido is to take some time out at the El Nido beaches.

From the wild sunsets, to the chilled out vibes, we definitely recommend you put aside at least a day, or an evening, for chilling at one of the magical spots around town.

El Nido is the most popular tourist spot in Palawan and maybe even the Philippines, so you’ve got to experience the beach life it has to offer.

Three of our favourites were Las Cabanas Beach, Lio Beach and Nacpan Beach. They’re all unique for different reasons.

Las Cabanas Beach is undoubtedly the best place to catch a sunset.

This place is commonly known for its end of day magic. The chances of you catching an incredibly fiery sky is pretty high.

Lio Beach was one of those spots we didn’t plan on visiting, and we were so happy we did.

This made it to our best things to do in El Nido list because of its unique vibe and huge stretch of clean coastline. 

The area around Lio Beach is packed with cool, quirky shops where you can buy souvenirs and hip, stylish clothing.

Nacpan Beach was one of our favourite spots on the island because of how secluded it felt.

It was a huge 4km stretch of powdery white sand that backed on to the most beautiful forest of coconut palm trees. A real picturesque location, with super chilled vibes.

For a beach tour El Nido: Hidden Beaches and Lagoons Boat Hopping Tour D takes you to three stunning beaches and two beautiful lagoons.

Las Cabanas Beach El Nido Beaches In El Nido Things To In El Nido Sunset
Sunset at Las Cabanas – definitely add it to your things to do in El Nido list!

3. Taraw Cliff Canopy Walk

An easy climb with a spectacular view!

Level up your trip to El Nido and join the exciting canopy walk at Taraw Cliff.

Taraw Cliff is the highest peak in town and one of the best viewpoints in Palawan, according to locals.

A few sharp rocks were overcome, and also the 75 metre long suspension bridge that may be a challenge for anyone afraid of heights. Apart from that, it’s not a bad climb at all and well worth it for an incredible view over El Nido.

If you’re up for a climb with a view, add this to your things to do in El Nido list.

The company used for the Canopy Walk is called ‘El Nido Taraw Via Ferrata’.

Their office is located within walking distance of El Nido town and bookings may be made in advance or you can just turn up on the day.

The ‘climb’ is not tough at all and is more of a short walk up safe stairs and secure scaffolding.

Entrance Fee: 400 Pesos per person (includes helmet, harness and a guide)

Opening Hours: Daily: 8am – 5pm

Taraw Cliff El Nido Canopy Walk Things To Do In El Nido
The view from the summit of Taraw Cliff

4. Las Cabanas Beach For Sunset

Out of all the El Nido beaches, we’d say Las Cabanas was definitely the best spot for sunset. It seems to be the hotspot at golden hour for tourists as well as locals.

The atmosphere is thriving, drinks are flowing and the energy is high. Making it a must see on your Philippines itinerary.

Every tricycle driver will be offering to take you there and you should definitely take up the offer at least once to experience the evening beach bar vibes.

So after a long, hard decision of which of the tour packages to choose, head down to Las Cabanas, grab a drink and soak up the realisation of where you are.

When you arrive at the beach, head as far left as possible so you’ll be facing towards the sun going down. You’ll be able to spot the crowds of people gathering around Las Cabanas Beach Resort Restaurant.

Las Cabanas Beach El Nido Beaches In El Nido Things To In El Nido Sunset
Catching a sunset at Las Cabanas is definitely one of the best things to do in El Nido!

5. Rent Scooters And Visit Nacpan

Nacpan Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines. This one you must add to your list of things to do in El Nido.

Nacpan Beach is a dream destination and after hearing so many recommendations we took the trip up for a couple of days to hang out on the pristine, white sand.

It was one of our favourite spots on the island because of how secluded it felt. It was a huge 4km stretch of clean shoreline that backed on to the most beautiful forest of coconut palm trees.

There are a great range of restaurants along the coast from cheap to pricey! The place has a real good vibe so it’s definitely worth going the extra mile out of El Nido town for the day!

Nacpan Beach is a 45 minute drive away from the main town of El Nido.

The best way to organise a round trip to Nacpan Beach El Nido would be to take the shuttle service for 600 pesos per person.

It’s an air con van with free pick up and drop off to your hotel in El Nido. It’s super convenient and bookable here.

If you want to make your own way there and you’re confident riding a scooter, you can rent one from El Nido town from around 500 pesos per day.

The road is in quite a bad state in some areas, with huge pot holes so be super careful.

Nacpan Beach Scooter Ride Tour Packages In El Nido & Things To Do In El Nido
Aside from the tour packages in El Nido, you must rent scooters and explore

6. Eat Local

With so many hipster spots popping up in and around El Nido, a foodie would be in Filipino heaven.

Holy Smoke

One of our go to spots though was Falafel Restaurant, a Mediterranean Hummus & Grill. The name says it all and it really was one of the best falafel wraps we’ve ever tasted!

If you’re hunting for a lunchtime snack as you’re heading to or from the beach, this falafel restaurant is the ideal spot to pick up something quick.

We even stopped there one evening when we didn’t want to eat out for an evening meal.

It’s open all day so you can get your falafel kick anytime. 

It also has chicken and kofta options with all the fresh veggies and sauces you can wish for!

Art Cafe

A vegan friendly restaurant famous for it’s ocean view location.

It’s also popular for it’s comfortable vibe during the day. You’ll spot people set up with their laptops or drinking smoothies with their friends throughout the day and it’s a great communal atmosphere in the night time too, with live bands playing and it’s own private party going on upstairs.

The Nesting Table

This awesome bar and restaurant is accessible via Las Cabanas Beach.

It’s located just outside of El Nido’s main town but if you’ve got Las Cabanas Beach on your list of things to do in El Nido, then this restaurant is a must.

A cute meal out here was one of the highlights of our trip. After climbing up the many steps the access ‘the nest’, you are rewarded with the most beautiful views.

Once you’re up there, the peace and tranquility of the atmosphere is hard to describe, therefore it’s something you must experience whilst you’re in El Nido.

An unforgettable sunset spot to say the least!

Falafel Food El Nido El Nido Tour Packages In El Nido & Things To Do In El Nido
One of our favourite things to do in El Nido was eat at Falafel Snack Foods EVERYDAY!

Where To Stay In El Nido

Luxury

Lagùn Hotel

Lagùn Hotel features an outdoor swimming pool and a terrace. Located around 5 miles from Big Lagoon, the hotel is also 5 miles away from Small Lagoon.

Guests can enjoy a drink at the bar or a meal in the restaurant. The rooms come with a flat-screen TV with cable channels, fridge, a kettle, a shower, free toiletries and a desk.

Featuring a private bathroom, certain units at Lagùn Hotel also feature a balcony.

Breakfast is available daily, and includes continental and buffet options.

Mid-Budget

Ipil Suites

Set amidst lush greenery, Ipil Suites features a restaurant and comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi access.

It has a common lounge area with a TV, while parking space is provided on site at no charge. 

The property is conveniently located within a 15-minute drive from El Nido Airport.

Fitted with tiled flooring, rooms come with air conditioning, a personal safe, clothes rack and freshly-laundered bedding. The en suite bathroom includes hot/cold shower facility, towels and free toiletries.

Budget

Elternative Hostel

Featuring a rooftop sun terrace and views of the surrounding mountains, Elternative Hostel offers solar-powered accommodations 6 minutes’ walk from Corong Corong Beach.

The local market is just 3 minutes’ walk away, while the bus/van terminal are 4 minutes’ walk away. 

Every room has a private bathroom and mini garden. Several rooms have air conditioning and an attached mini-kitchen. 

During good weather, guests can relax and enjoy a barbecue on the rooftop.

For more places to stay in El Nido, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. 

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile. 

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


Pin It For Later

6 Best Things To Do In El Nido