11 Things to Do in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

El Nido is a municipality in Palawan, Philippines. Aptly nicknamed ‘Heaven on Earth,’ it is regarded as one of the best beach and island destinations in the Philippines. Along with Coron, it is one of the top destinations in Palawan, Philippines. 

With its powdery- sand beaches, limestone cliffs and coral reefs, one will never run of out things to do in El Nido.

But here are the 12 best things to do in El Nido, Palawan. 

11 Things to Do in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

1. El Nido Canopy Walk

view from canopy walk
view from canopy walk

Located in Brgy. Maligaya, this is definitely a must when you are in El Nido. Fully geared and with a guide, it is perfectly safe to climb and ascent. Some parts are steep and there are sharp rocks that can cut you so take extra precautions.

The climb can be challenging, but you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views. Totally worth it! Note the 700 PHP fee for Canopy Walk and Dream Catcher or Spider Web. Inclusions: harness, helmet, and guide.

The activity takes about an hour, depending on how fast you climb. Wear comfortable shoes or hiking shoes, preferably.

2. Rock Climbing in Taraw Cliffs

view from taraw cliff

Climbing up the Taraw Peak which rises about 230 meters above sea level takes 1.5 hours to climb up and 1 hour to come down. Enjoy the sweeping bird’s-eye views of El Nido town and Bacuit Bay!

Be warned, though, that the terrain is steep with sharp limestone rocks so good trainers or proper trekking shoes are advised to protect your feet from the sharp edges of the cliffs. Wearing gloves will also help make the climb more comfortable. Taraw Peak Climb rates range from 300 to 500 PHP, a minimum of 2 pax.

3. Get Away from it all at Nacpan Beach

Nacpan Beach el nido

Nacpan Beach is one of the largest and most beautiful beaches around El Nido. The water is warm and crystal clear, with a splendid view of the surrounding hills.

The pristine beach is almost 3-km long, has a very wide frontage and is lined with palm trees. To get there, rent a tricycle from El Nido proper at around 1,500 PHP.

The trip takes an hour, or 30 minutes if you take a shuttle service for around 600 PHP per pax round-trip (or ask your hotel about it).

4. Surf and Chill at Duli Beach

 
 
 
 
 
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Located at Sitio Duli, Brgy. Bucana, this unspoiled beach can be accessed by motorbike, van or tricycle. Jungle backed, wide-open beach, powdery golden sands, and beautiful azure waters… this beach is heaven for photographers! Compared to the more popular Nacpan Beach, surfing at Duli Beach is better and even better still is the fewer tourists.

This is a perfect ‘chill’ place, where you can splash while you enjoy the tranquility of the place. And if you’re into huge waves that come very frequently, then this beach is for you. Note the limited accommodation available, but beach camping is possible.

There are also bars and restaurants and massage huts. You can rent a surfboard at the bar on the southern point of the beach if you want to tackle the waves. Massage costs from 300 PHP.

Surfboard rental prices are 299 PHP per hour or 999 PHP for the whole day. SeaDoo jet skis are also available for rental at 1,299 PHP for 15 minutes or 1,999 PHP for 30 minutes.

5. Find the Hidden Beach!

Matinloc Island

Your trip to El Nido is not complete without seeing the Hidden Beach on Matinloc Island. The beach, as its name implies, is quietly ‘hidden’ behind a prominent limestone cove.

To get to the beach, you must wade through a small cave so it’s important to note that you MUST know how to swim. The place is tranquil, the sandy beach is delightful, the water is crystal clear… a truly enchanting ‘find’ in El Nido!

6. Experience Cathedral Cave

 
 
 
 
 
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This really amazing cave can only be accessed on a boat, so make sure to hire a local boat. The place is called ‘Cathedral’ because of a natural copula.

The cave is ‘lit,’ thanks to an opening in the ceiling. Note that you cannot swim inside the cave due to sea snakes.

7. SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding)

 
 
 
 
 
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The lagoon hopping SUP experience can easily be considered as the highlight of one’s El Nido trip. Here guests on their Stand Up Paddleboards can enjoy paddling and gliding around various fabulous lagoons and coves.

You will find this activity easy and enjoyable, even if you’ve never done this before. Cost: 2,200 PHP (full day). Grilled lunch, fruits and plenty of filtered water included, plus the following:

  • boat ride to lagoons and islands
  • Stand Up Paddleboard, adjustable paddle and leg leash
  • mask and snorkel

8. Nagkalit-kalit Waterfalls

 
 
 
 
 
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If you’re into waterfalls or interested in walking through a forest going through rivers, this is a good place to go.

Located between Nacpan Beach and El Nido town proper, this is also a nice place for a break from the sea and the saltwater.

The trek takes 20-30 minutes. Enjoy the view or the freshwater pool. There is a 20-PHP entrance fee and local guides charge 250 PHP per pax for the tour of the falls.

9. Dive the Dilumacad Underwater Tunnel

 
 
 
 
 
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Of course, what is your El Nido trip without diving any (or all!) of its 30 dive sites? Here we recommend one of the best. The Dilumacad Underwater Tunnel is located about 2.5 kilometers from the shores of Helicopter Island (official name: Dilumacad Island).

10. El Nido Party Boat

 
 
 
 
 
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Party aboard as you explore El Nido’s unchartered islands, lagoons, and crystal clear waters. Snorkel, swim, or simply relax with food and music.

But do note that alcohol can’t be served on boats due to government regulations. However, you can purchase beer or cocktail on some certain beaches and islands like the Seven Commandos Beach and Snake Island.

11. El Nido Full Moon Party

 
 
 
 
 
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Traveling to El Nido on a full moon is a totally different experience! Swing by and guzzle up at full moon parties in Corong-Corong, along Marimegmeg Beach.

Spice up your El Nido experience with local and international DJs who know the beat! Wild fun lasts the whole night. Entrance is free, but booze is not. Drink moderately! Needless to say, this happens monthly so what are you waiting for? Oh, a full moon, right!

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