Palawan El Nido vacation and cruise

 

I wasn’t expecting this for my first foray to cruising this spectacular area. The guide tells us that all the boats lining the coastal harbor in El Nido is only accessible by wading a few hundred feet until you are almost check deep in ocean water before you can climb on the bankas or Filipino styled cruising boats. The harbor is lined with colorful boats with catchy titles like Aquaholic and Lovely Gal and the stunning landscape surrounding the harbor already is drop dead gorgeous and I can’t wait to actually start the cruise to see more amazing vistas and islands on this tour.  Following are highlights to visiting Palawan, El Nido and inspiration so you can visit this beautiful region of Palawan very soon.

 

 

 

Palawan El Nido vacation and cruise

Palawan, El Nido tour highlights

El Nido is located in the northern most tip of Palawan island – the western most island chain located in Central Philippines. Accessible mostly by planes in Manila and Cebu, El Nido is easy to get to in a short flight. You can also fly inexpensively to the regional capital at Puerto Princessa and take a bus or small shuttle type vans direct to the central El Nido bus station. The main attraction here is to take boat tours through the many tropical islands that dot the ocean with amazing scenic visuals, colorful tropical fish and corals and really magnificent islands that you’ll be passing through or visiting on your tour.

 

ElNido island,cruising

 

Gorgeous islands of El Nido

The boat tours visiting the beautiful islands surrounding El Nido is a one of a kind experience. There are four main tours you can choose from or a private personal tour and any of these options are fantastic. Each visit a unique landscape, island or quirky discovery that highlights each individual tour and you can book any of these tours immediately when you arrive and all the prices are fixed for each tour. You can easily book a tour with your hotel or check online for the various outfits that market these boat cruises.

 

 

 

ElNido island.landscapes

 

 

Lunch is being prepared while the captain takes us to the first stop

 

 

ElNido captain,banka

 

 

Gorgeous islands and landscapes of El Nido

These colorful bankas take us immediately from aqua bays into deep blues of the ocean while we skirt distant islands that we will eventually get closer to and eventually dock off the island. Each island spot is unique offering a myriad of jeweled and clear waters, stunning tropical fish and so surreal corals that are healthy and vibrant.  There are hidden beaches, secret caves and craggy caverns to explore in each stop along the way. It is an amazing experience and so unworldly that nature is still intact and pristine here to the fact that bottled water is not allowed on the tours and each boat crew is responsible for sustainable eco tourism in the area which fantastic to witness.

 

ElNido hidden,beach

 

 

 

oElNido island,hopping

 

 

ElNido perfect.beaches

 

Craggy formations and landscapes of El Nido

The landscape is truly surreal and so much fun to explore, crystal clear water – its all so inviting and mysterious walking through this unique place with bizarre rock formations amid tropical green landscapes. Hidden coves, freshly opened coconuts to thirst your quench and even a local boatman offering you icy cold local San Miguel beers for a small indulgence. It’s really special and sensory overload exploring the El Nido beach scene here and wait until you see lunch being prepared!

 

 

 

ElNido rocky.landscapes

 

 

 

 

 

ElNido dramatic.beaches

 

 

 

 

 

ElNido incredible.landscapes

 

 

 

A  feast while cruising El Nido

While the visitors are enjoying snorkeling and padding around the first stops on our discovery tour, the crew is already busy making lunch on board and preparing a feast. Each boat is decked with simple grilling kitchens and prepare the food while everyone else is enjoying the water and beautiful beaches of El Nido. The captain finds a perfect white sandy beach to land on and they bring everything including the wooden table to set and incredible outdoor buffet for their guests to enjoy fresh fish, grilled shrimp and local meats, delicious tropical fruits and yes even local vegetables prepared in simple and tasty dishes for those who only eat vegetarian or vegan food. The food is simply prepared and presented and all are famished and ready to dig in to this feast!

 

 

ElNido cruise.prepping.lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

ElNido cruise.prepping.lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ElNido boat.tour.lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

ElNido beach.time

 

 

 

 

 

 

ElNido amazing.formations

 

 

 

 

 

 

ElNido.kayaking

 

 

More outdoor adventure in El Nido

After lunch we can opt to take it easy and do some beach combing or just relaxing at the beach and then later more adventurous tours, snorkeling fun, sailing, kayaking and even diving if you opt for specialized adventure touring. The afternoon is filled with more discovery and exploring other fun island spots and sailing through clusters of green, green landscapes.

 

 

 

ElNido incredible.islands

 

 

 

 

 

 

ElNido chill.beach

 

 

A chill beach in El Nido

Of course, its fun to just chill in El Nido and there’s also a fun chill beach here with bars blasting hot sexy tunes, swinging high on a rope swing or just wading in the warm aqua colored waters. It’s a perfect way to end the day with just some easy and relaxing time to explore on your own or enjoy some of the tasty tropical concoctions that many bars offering a plethora of exotic drinks.

 

 

 

ElNido.chill&swing

 

 

Chill time on a beach in El Nido

 

 

ElNido chill&beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

ElNido green.landscapes

 

 

 

Afternoon light and splendor cruising El Nido

On the way back to El Nido harbor, the late afternoon light creates these amazing light on the islands and landscape – everything seems to just glow and look magical. The dazzling ships combined with green and shiny landscapes is something special to witness on the way back, an easy thing to miss when everyone is bone tired from all the days fun activities.

 

ElNido afternoon.cruise

 

 

 

 

ElNido cruising.back.to.town

 

Jeweled toned magnificent landscapes

 

ElNido afternoon.cruise

 

 

 

 

 

 

ElNido rocky.karsts

 

Arriving back in El Nido Harbor

Sailing back into El Nido is almost anti climactic but the town is also lit up brilliantly and the boat slowly enters to find a safe spot to land and we have to wade back slowly from the shallow waters to the beach. The crew is glad that the tour is successful and they work hard, so do tip them very well because it really is hard work to please everyone on the days journey. Now the next challenge is to find a perfect spot for that sunset view and a delicious local drink to imbibe.

 

ElNido harbor.town

 

 

 

 

 

 

ElNido harbor.town

 

 

 

 

 

ElNido accommodations

El Nido Accommodations

There are a variety of fantastic hotel accommodations to choose from in El Nido from budget to ultra lux resorts in town and just outside the busy center. This all depends on your personal needs and budgets and one of the nice hotels on a hill overlooking the town with easy access to the center is the Lagun Hotel in El Nido. If you’re looking for other El Nido or Palawan hotels click here for more information and guides to staying in Palawan.

 

ElNido hotel.accommodations

 

 

ElNido hotel.accommodations

 

The Lagun Hotel is close to the center of town but at a nice distance away from the noise and busy from the busy city center. Check out more details and current prices to this hotel here for more updated prices.

 

 

ElNido how.to.get.here

How to get to El Nido

You can fly direct to El Nido to the main airport just outside of town with only one air carrier called Air Swift. Or you can fly into the main central city at Puerto Princessa and take a bus or local van into El Nido which takes about 5 to 6 hours depending on the stops for breaks along the way. It’s a longer trip but more budget friendly to fly into Puerto Princessa and see the green landscapes and vistas of the interior areas of Palawan.

 

 

ElNido from.Puerto.Princessa

 

A fantastic eating spot for lunch on a bus ride to El Nido

 

ElNido eating.spot

 

 

 

 

ElNido eating.spot

 

 

 

 

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El Nido, Palawan vacation and cruise

 

 

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