El Nido of Palawan, Philippines is hands down one of the most beautiful and serene places I have ever been to.
If you are considering travel in Asia, perhaps to Thailand or somewhere similar, I would shift your attention towards the Philippines immediately for a few reasons: #1 It’s SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive. #2 It hasn’t been completely ruined by tourists yet.
Let’s get into the details!
Where we stayed…
Hadefe Cottages & Tours
After some research, we came across one of the best deals we’ve ever found while traveling: Hadefe Cottages. For only 7,000 Php ($130USD), you will get the following:
- 4 days, 3 nights at a beach front hotel in El Nido
- a round trip transfer from Puerto Princesa Airport (the closest airport & it’s a 5 hour van ride…)
- 2 days of El Nido Island hopping
- 1 day of the Underground River Tour
The company was phenomenal and we only had enough time for one day island hopping, but they adjusted prices and arranged accommodations for us in Puerto Princesa. You cannot get a more convenient, better deal anywhere else unless you plan everything yourself. And if this plan doesn’t tickle your fancy, they offer many other tours and options!
You can find the website at http://www.hadefetravel.com/index.html with all the contact information. You can call, email, or use the reservation form on their page. $130 for all of that… We were all so shocked.
Where we ate…
El Nido Boutique & Artcafé
It’s definitely a must-do dinner at Art Cafe. This restaurant gave us immediate great vibes from overhearing the live music from the street. The menu was extensive with something for everyone and the ambiance and service was exactly what you would want for an Asian tropical getaway. There’s live music from 19:00-22:00 every night & art on the walls available for purchase. Just a quick ride or walk from the hotels.
Sirena St., Buena Suerte El Nido, 5313 Palawan Philippines
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Office hours: 07:00-19:00
Restaurant hours: 06:30-23:00
Where we drank…
Happiness Beach Bar
I would be lying if I said we didn’t visit this cool little place every evening we were in El Nido. There are swings for seats at the bar, healthy hummus plates, John Lennon murals on the wall, stray kitties to play with and a super friendly staff. The swing seats are about 5000 times more fun than they look. All I could find was their facebook page, but this place was fun & you should go.
What we did…
Underground River Tour
Our hotel included transportation about 4.5 hours to Sabang for the Underground River Tour. Along Came A Fact: In 2011, this was proclaimed one of the 7 New Wonders of Nature. Although it sounds legit made up, the caves in this tour are estimated to be between 16 – 20 million years old. On the tour, you have to take a motor boat about a kilometer to the actual National Park beginning, where you’re given a hard hat and a pocket-sized handheld radio that plays the tour guide through headphones so that they bats and other wildlife inside the cave are not disturbed. The tour is very well organized and it was almost surreal.
If anyone is ever considering visiting the Philippines, you should make a trip out to El Nido. At this point, I’ll have to let photos do the talking.
Thank you for reading! This was one of my most unique trips thus far and I’m extremely glad I went. Put El Nido on your bucket list & happy traveling!