El Nido – or The Nest in Spanish – is a wonderful, relaxing destination on the northernmost peninsula of Palawan. The name El Nido comes from one of the indigenous birds in the region. Some of the many reasons that tourists flock to this place is the amazing scenery, gorgeous rock formations, and excellent beaches with some of the best waters in the entirety of the Philippines.
The best and easiest way to reach El Nido is by air, as there are regular daily flights coming in from Cebu and Manila, but it’s also accessible on land from the other regions on Palawan like Puerto Princesa. It’s possible to get there by boat from Coron, but that’s very weather-dependent.
El Nido offers some amazing, world-class scuba diving offshore, with countless dive sites within a day-trip from the main beach area. If you want to plan some diving on your trip, check out our comprehensive guide to scuba diving El Nido.
El Nido also offers some of the most pristine beaches in the country, many of which we mentioned in our list of 101 Best Beaches in Philippines. As promised on that beach list, here are those beaches on the map, so that you know how to find them!
Araceli on the map
Matinloc on the map
Twin beach on the map (Nacpan & Calitang)
Duli beach on the map
Marimegmeg beach on the map
Snake Island on the map
Corong-Corong Beach on the map
Port Barton on the map
Long Beach on the map (Near San Vincent)
There are a few flights directly to the small airport in El Nido from Manila and Cebu, but it is cheaper and more popular with backpackers to fly to Puerto Princesa instead, and take minibuses or shared transport the rest of the way. The flight to either city should take about 50 minutes, and the drive from Puerto Princesa can take up to 5 hours depending on road construction.
If you are coming from Coron, there is an option to take a ferry to El Nido, but I did it and would never recommend it. It ended up taking 12 hours and everyone was very seasick from the waves and exhaust.