One of my all time favorite destinations in the Philippines (in terms of great and wonderful views!) that took my breath away and visiting this lovely paradise at least once in your life will be worth remembering. The awesome rock formations, jaw dropping powdery white sand beaches, magnificent secret lagoons, scattered beautiful islands – what else did I forgot? Package of scenery, nature and hospitable locals, here is a complete guide to where to visit in El Nido to help your adventure plan smoothly.
Población (Town Proper)
Población is where your El Nido adventure starts – famously known for its local seafood restaurants, fancy souvenir shops, lively night bars. That’s just only for a quick taste, be sure to explore the streets to unveil the alluring aspects of the town. On mornings, head your way to the Aplaya for a foggy wonderful view of Taraw Peak (climbing at the peak can be book in advance) and Cadlao Island and secure yourself a Red Horse or San Miguel beer or just a fruit juice while sitting on the beach sand with new friends at night.
From Población make your way to neighboring Pasadeña, a charming barangay (town) with a lot to see and do. At least half a day is needed here exploring the sites send you deep into the woods chasing beautiful waterfalls (there are two waterfalls) or even climb a mountain. If you are looking for the best view of the town, get to the peak of Mount Mansilawit, holding the great 360˚ staggering scenery offering panoramic views of vast greeny mountains and plains, coastline and the Emmit Island.
Instead of beaches you see rice fields, that’s the small town of Barotuan speaks. Although this barangay is eventually locked-up by border of Bucana and Pasadeña and roads are quite dusty, it’s never behind along the way when it comes to the place’s beautiful setting. The main course which I found more attractively simple in here is the Barotuan River! You can stop right away on the middle of the concrete bridge to have a better closer look.
It could be the mountainous place in El Nido, your vehicle might struggle just a little bit for the ups and downs and many curves (not knowing you’re on a cliff too) but don’t worry, it’s manageable. San Fernando town is in the northern most tip of El Nido where you can see valleys and the ocean on both sides. A stop to the well-known Deck View is a must, looking at the astounding view of scant houses and plains and trees below and so does the Darocotan Point, Darocotan , Brother and Nalbut islands.
The Far East! A small town in the east coast and also a beach paradise (expect to see sandbars when low tides); one of my favorite town in El Nido that I only discovered by mistakenly searching to see a peak but funnily ended up on a hidden beach. The town contains the ambiance of both nature and water where life is very ordinary to people lives here. You could stay for a couple of hours or an overnight to see yourself lying on the white sand of Sibaltan’s peaceful and calm environment (it’s really silent in here, very relaxing).
It just wouldn’t be a trip to El Nido without visiting Bucana! As one of the perfect place for beach lovers in the Philippines, you absolutely must make a visit to Bucana for a few days. Get tanned and play with the big crashing waves of Twin beach, the only popular spot in the town and one of the most visited sites in El Nido. A lot of visitors are coming anytime so expect some days are crowded but don’t panic! You can find your own place there despite of flooding tourists.
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Before I reached El Nido, I flew to Puerto Princesa on a direct route from Manila. El Nido has an airport but so far the services are still limited and if there’s a chance, it’ll be more expensive. I would highly recommend the Manila – Puerto Princesa route for travelers interested in starting their trip in Palawan, an island province that will charm you of its natural beauty.