11 Places You Need to Visit in El Nido - Philippines

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That rush of excitement and the pleasure you get when you’re in an entirely different place is without equal. There is nothing more gratifying than exploring the wonders of a place you’ve never been before.

Palawan would have to be one of those few places in the world you’ll never get tired of visiting. One visit is not enough to unravel the beauty that this island holds, and every time you set foot on this island paradise, it will always leave you in awe like the first time.

Pristine beaches, vast sand expanses, glistening turquoise waters, and a long list of unspoiled natural wonders are reasons why this island in the Philippines bears international recognition. The allure of Palawan is not only for local tourists but foreign travelers as well.

Though the number of attractions in Palawan is staggering, we’ve rounded up the 11 best spots in – El Nido, Palawan.

1. Big Lagoon

Big Lagoon
Big Lagoon

It’s quite relaxing, having a place all to yourself. Palawan is blessed with so many bodies of water, and the Big Lagoon would have to be one of the most stunning attractions on the island. The location is simply magical with its blue-green waters and towering limestone walls that stand as barriers to a more private experience. With its unique location, Big Lagoon is a must-visit destination in Palawan.

2. Nacpan Beach

Nacpan Beach
Nacpan Beach

With the multitude of pristine beaches on the island, Nacpan Beach is one of the well-loved beaches on the entire island. This beach has long, wide shorelines perfect for you can enjoy walking barefoot on. The place is perfect for surfing, and snorkeling; almost every water activity is noted down on your list. The serene atmosphere makes relaxing by the seaside an effortless undertaking.

3. Corong Corong Beach

Corong Corong Beach
Corong Corong Beach

Serenity – the word that best describes the charm that wraps up Corong Corong Beach. Tropical vacations usually call for lively beach settings and never-ending beach fun. At some point during the day, though, we all want to wind down in the quiet, and Corong Corong Beach can offer just that. The peaceful atmosphere of the shoreline makes it the perfect place to witness the blazing sun in the far distance. Sunset watching in Corong Corong Beach is one of the most stirring experiences you’ll get on the island of Palawan.

4. Secret Beach on Matinloc Island

Secret Beach - Mantiloc Island
Secret Beach - Mantiloc Island

Another secluded attraction on this island is the Secret Beach on Matinloc Island, also a part of El Nido, Palawan. This piece of Paradise is concealed by massive cliffs encircling the area. The only way into the secluded beach is a narrow fissure in the cliffs. Accessing this natural wonder might be quite a challenge, but this piece of heaven behind limestone walls is worth all the effort.

5. Cathedral Cave

Cathedral Cave in El Nido
Cathedral Cave in El Nido

Just when you thought you’ve seen enough mystical sites for the day, wait until you get a glimpse of the captivating Cathedral Cave. With its unique formation, this cave in Palawan makes you feel like you’re in a totally different world. The cave forms part of a limestone island that can only be accessed by boat. Cathedral cave has been dubbed so because its high ceiling resembles that of the stunning upper interiors of a cathedral.

6. Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach - El Nido
Paradise Beach - El Nido

Paradise beach is like a beach setting cut out from a postcard. This picture-perfect destination in Palawan is a dreamy setting of white sand, shade-giving palm trees, and the soothing blues and greens of the sparkling waters. Another staple in an El Nido, Palawan vacation, Paradise Beach is an ideal place to enjoy the underwater sceneries. The peaceful atmosphere will make you feel like spending time on your very own private beach.

7. Cadlao Island

Cadlao Island view
Cadlao Island view

A scene cut right out of the movies, Cadlao Island is a piece of paradise within a paradise. The jagged mountain walls and limestone karsts surrounding the island adds to the feeling of a faraway tropical haven. The white sands and clear turquoise waters add up to the captivating beauty that the island already holds. Being the largest island in El Nido, Cadlao provides one of the best seaside views in Palawan.

8. Las Cabanas Beach

Walking alone on Las Cabanas Beach
Walking alone on Las Cabanas Beach

If there’s one thing seasides are known for, it’s the soothing sunset-watching sessions. Nothing beats the experience of witnessing the glow of the high heavens while basking in the wide-open shores in the cool salty breeze. In Las Cabanas Beach, you can have an outstanding view of the blazing star by the coast. The stillness of the place provides an even more relaxing experience in this natural art show.

9. Papaya Beach

Papaya Beach
Hammock life at Papaya Beach

Papaya Beach is a gem on the beachfront. It is one of El Nido, Palawan’s best beach spots where it bestows the grandest views of the island. Not only is it the perfect location to enjoy the island’s natural vistas, but it is also the ideal spot to have some fun in its vast sandy expanse. The fine powdery white sand and the lush greens of the rainforest give you a faultless beachside experience.

10. Seven Commandos Beach

Seven Commandos Beach
Seven Commandos Beach

What’s not to like about this socially magnificent beach escape? Not only does it hold the luxury trappings of a relaxing beach setting, but it is also an ideal place for basking in the sun. The long and wide bed of fine white sands hemmed in by blue-green waters sets a perfect venue for beachside gatherings and feasts. The place not only accords a sensational view but an engaging coastline experience as well.

11. Taraw Peak

Sunrise over El Nido as seen from Taraw Peak
Sunrise over El Nido as seen from Taraw Peak

El Nido’s highest peak is a fortress of natural elegance. The quest of successfully scaling the ragged summit offers one of the most exhilarating island experiences. Taraw Peak also hands over one of the most breathtaking seaside views there is. Aerial shots are heavenly on their own but it gets even more enchanting when it grants you an exceptional panorama. Being on top of the highest peak in El Nido is nothing short of capturing a flawless seaside view of this active town.

How To Get There

While flights do go from Manila to El Nido, few airlines fly the route. An easier option is probably to fly to Puerto Princesa International Airport and take a shuttle or bus to El Nido. Ferries from Coron are also an option for those uninterested in flying.

What to Pack

1. A sarong – While El Nido is known for its beaches, the district is actually quite conservative so you should bring something else to cover up your swimwear.

2. First aid kit and medicine – Medical facilities on El Nido are rare with essentially only one center serving the entire township. You should bring some medical supplies in case of emergencies.

3. Pesos – Withdrawal and non-cash options in El Nido are quite limited. Currency exchange shops may also charge a premium. You should get your Pesos ahead of time.

How to Get Around

While there are long-distance buses carrying passengers into the El Nido township from nearby cities, tricycles are more commonly used within the township itself. There are piers and seaports available as well making boat trips another option.


El Nido has little phone coverage meaning visitors will have to rely on the internet and satellite phones. However, Palawan and the Philippines as a whole have issues with an insecure and unreliable WiFi connections. Visitors should either bring their own portable WiFi devices or pick up a VPN for the Philippines to encrypt and speed up existing WiFi speed.

El Nido is definitely a place full of pleasure and excitement. Your journey to this island paradise will be peppered with vistas of the natural wonders exhibited before your very eyes. With the multitude of natural attractions enclosed in this beautiful island destination, you will never run out of places to capture awesome sites.

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Carmela Kim Alvarez

Carmela Alvarez is an editor/customer service representative of Let's Palawan. She's a 20-something bubbly and adventurous female who loves to take selfies. Her aim is to share her travel experience and inspire fellow travelers.

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