My first few days in The Philippines were spent in and around the small town of El Nido. And what a lovely welcome it was too. Spectacular scenery, gorgeous people and beautiful weather (apparently I missed a lot of rain back in Sydney). It could not have been any better.
El Nido is a small town, but is rapidly developing as a result of tourist flocking to the area. A few people I bumped into said that they were in El Nido a few years earlier. They mentioned that the town as grown significantly and the roads into town have been greatly improved to facilitate traffic in and out.
There isn’t much to do in El Nido itself, but there are plenty of day tours around the surrounding islands, lagoons and beaches. Named tour A, B, C and D, they will keep you occupied for at least a few days. If you want to spend a day relaxing by the beach, asked a tricycle driver to drive you to Las Cabanas beach. The trip is 150 pesos each way (approximately AU$4). Or you can make a return deal with your driver for 200 pesos. There are plenty of places to eat, with most restaurants being full in the evenings. Just remember, the entire town runs on a generator, so during daylight hours, there is no electricity, unless your accommodation runs on its own generator (we did experience an evening of pitch blackness when the town generator failed).
The reason I chose to begin my travels in El Nido, in the northern part of the island of Palawan, was to join one of the Tao Philippines expeditions, which run between El Nido and Coron. The following posts will offer more information about this amazing company.
I took a flight with the private airline Island Transvoyager from Manila. A little more expensive than the commercial airlines which fly to Puerto Princesa, but it saves you a 6-8 hour bus trip. The service before, during and after the flight is something to write home about. Also remember, they do strictly charge you excess baggage for each kilo over 10kg
I stayed at El Gordo’s Guesthouse in El Nido, which is located slightly out of the centre of town, in the village of Tandul. Run by a lovely American/Filipino couple, Gordo and Cristina, the place feels like a home away from home. And it has a lovely view out onto the bay too.
Fish and Seafood! El Nido is a fishing town, so you’re almost guaranteed to have plenty of fresh fish on offer wherever you go.