Beaches, El Nido, Luzon

El Nido, Palawan: DIY Travel Guide to the Philippines’ Best Islands

I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging but it’s not me, it’s the biggest media and travel sites who declared El Nido as one of the best island and beach destinations in the world.  And there are still a lot of raves and accolades, but the list might not be enough.

What I am trying to say is, if you’re planning to visit the Philippines, don’t forget about El Nido. For Filipino travelers, El Nido should be the ultimate destination in your bucket list!

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Beaches, El Nido, Luzon

Talisay Beach, Tapiutan Island in El Nido


A beautiful second option.

That was something that crossed my mind when I first saw Talisay Beach in El Nido. How could this beauty be just a second option? El Nido Tour C originally includes Star Beach as one of the destinations to explore, but during that time Star Beach was closed.

Our guides said, it was being used as a location for a reality television program from other country. That’s something to be proud of right? And honestly, I don’t have issues for deciding to go to Talisay Beach instead of Star Beach, because it’s gorgeous.

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Beaches, El Nido, Luzon

El Nido Tour A: Breathtaking Lagoons

Our second day was also the start of exploring the islands, beaches and limestones of El Nido.

Tour A is one of the most popular in El Nido. If Tour C has hidden and secret beaches, Tour A is all about lagoons!

We were early on our rendezvous at the port. Smiled and chatted with fellow tourists, a chance to talk and connect with fellow travelers. There, we met Michael and Sarah, the Swiss couple who shared to us their travel stories and also how they enjoyed the Philippines. This is one of the best things about travel, it’s the people you meet along the way.

By 8 AM we hopped on the boat and the tour began.

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Beaches, El Nido, Luzon

El Nido Tour C : Secret and Hidden Beaches

If you’ll have an ultimate destination in your bucket list in the Philippines, it should be El Nido!

Dubbed as one of the best islands in the world , this archipelago will surely captivate you with its white beaches, stunning rock formations and limestone cliffs. The question is, if you will spend like a few days in El Nido, what would you do? I recommend that you avail the island hopping tours.  

And definitely one of the best is El Nido Tour C. This tour covers the best and most adventurous beaches. It will entail a lot of swimming yet every destination is truly worth it. So let’s start exploring this islands in Palawan.

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Beaches, El Nido, Luzon

El Nido’s Underwater Madness at Matinloc Island

We were stuck in the middle of the sea.

It took about 30 minutes before our boatmen were able to fix the anchor jammed in between rocks underwater. Then we were off to go to our last destination.

Based on what we know Tour C includes a trip to Matinloc Shrine, but for some reasons our guides said that we will do the snorkeling instead. And we had no complains about it, because snorkeling with fishes and corals was actually better than going to a man-made structure on the island.

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El Nido, Hotels, Sponsored Post

El Nido Hotel: Ocean Vista Inn and its breathtaking view

It was already dark, but I could still feel the different vibe of El Nido.

Some roads at the town are closed at night to make way for tourists to roam around and explore. That’s a two thumbs up for the local government. From the tricycle’s drop off point we walked a little to look for Serena street.

It was our first time in El Nido, a trip that Eloi and I planned for about a year. The first thing that you’d notice in El Nido is there are more foreign tourists than locals, which is a good thing in terms of tourism. The local shops and restos are a mixture of Pinoy and Western themes. We were starting to like El Nido and it was just the town, we haven’t explored its islands yet.

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Beaches, El Nido, Luzon

Helicopter Island of El Nido, Palawan

This island has a strange shape.

We were slowly realizing it as we got closer to it. Some said it looks like a whale while others have their guesses. But for me, it looked like a helicopter without a propeller, I knew it because the boatmen told me it’s called Helicopter Island. Haha!

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Beaches, El Nido, Luzon

The Secret Beach of Matinloc Island, El Nido

Our boat stopped at the end of huge rocks and limestones. I heard we were going to a Secret beach.

Well, it looks like it’s really a secret. Where’s the beach? Haha I could only see rocks and that’s it.

And we need to swim again. But where? I asked our guide. He said just follow around. Oh oh! It was only a matter of seconds when I realized people were swimming under those huge rocks!

I couldn’t quite see it, but I first thought, “maybe there’s a hole there”

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El Nido, Luzon, Nature

Kayaking at Small Lagoon, El Nido

It was the last spot to explore in the whole day of touring El Nido islands.

Though excited for the Small Lagoon, then finally go back to town and rest, I was worried that I might not be able to take pictures on this last destination.

My action camera was slowly losing its battery charge.  Oh no! So I turned it off for a while.

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Beaches, El Nido, Luzon

Exploring the Secret Lagoon of El Nido

The moment I jumped into the sea, I already felt those sharp rocks on my feet. If there’s one tip for you who plans to do the tours in El Nido, put your aqua shoes on.

Because aside from the breathtaking views and beaches, there are gems in El Nido that you have to discover, and going there is never easy.

Ouch! Those rocks hurt. So I walked, glided to the water slowly.

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Beaches, El Nido, Luzon

Shimizu Island, El Nido : Our Boatmen’s Favorite Island

Our next island to explore has a strange name. It sounds Japanese.

It’s called Shimizu Island. And being the nosy me, who always wants to know the story behind the destinations I traveled, I asked our guides. Jojo was accommodating enough to tell me the story.

It was decades ago when a group of scuba divers explored the underwater beauty of El Nido. They went into a deep underwater tunnel, but unfortunately one of them wasn’t able to come back.

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