El Nido is such a wonderful place in Palawan that offers almost everything. From the mountains situated on every island to beautiful ocean sceneries, one day is not enough to discover every hidden treasure that it has. Actually, 3 days may be sufficient to explore and discover El Nido. To help you plan your trip, here is the El Nido 3 days itinerary that you might consider for your El Nido expedition.
Ways to Get to El Nido
When you get to explore the northwest part of Palawan, you will see a small beach directly located at the bottom of the karst cliff. That little beach is none other than the paradise of El Nido. Due to its splendid sceneries, captivating beaches, and abundant biodiversity, El Nido is generally a popular backpacker hub. Actually, there are various ways on how to get to El Nido based on your location point.
- OPTION A:
- Initially, book a flight from Manila going to Puerto Princesa.
- From Puerto Princesa, ride a bus going to El Nido.
- OPTION B:
- Initially, book a flight from Manila going to Coron.
- From Coron, you can basically get a ferry which you can ride towards El Nido.
FROM PUERTO PRINCESA
Actually, there is a daily trip of buses and vans from Puerto Princesa. This daily departure contributes to the convenience of getting to El Nido for 3 days itinerary. The fare fee for the buses usually starts at Php 380 and the van offers fare price of around Php 500 to Php 700.
Basically, the trip to El Nido from Coron utilizes a ferry boat. There are actually various Coron ferries tripping toward El Nido.
- SLOW FERRY – this is actually the cheapest option that cost around Php 1,400. Yet, the travel time may take about 5 to 9 hours.
- FASTCRAFT – this is the faster Coron ferry with a fare fee of Php 1,760 and the travel time only takes 3.5 hours.
- CARGO SHIP – this is an alternative cheaper option for Coron ferry. Non-aircon seat generally costs Php 1,000 while the air-conditioned one is about Php 1,150. The travel time using this trip takes about 8 hours. However, the cargo ships only leave on a once a week schedule.
What to do in El Nido during the 3 days itinerary?
Due to white sand beaches that are basically fine, sea waters that are crystal clear, and amazing marine life, everyone wants to explore the hidden treasures of El Nido. Aside from that, there are plenty of things that you must do when you visit this town in Palawan.
Once you get into El Nido, it is recommendable to try the zipline from the Las Cabanas Resort. This is pretty much perfect for those who are adventure-lover. The line basically crosses the coast to the closest island. Moreover, doing this activity during the full moon, you may eventually notice the full moon party within the beach.
Another adventure-tripping activity that you can do during our El Nido 3 days itinerary is the kayaking. It can be physically toxic but you won’t have to notice it due to the breathtaking beauty of the surroundings. Additionally, kayaking in El Nido is such a memorable activity. However, take note of the weather and the tides.
3. SWIMMING WITH THE FISHES
Dilumacad Tunnel is another great spot in El Nido. Riding a boat is the way for you to get there. Basically, you can dive over the 12 meters water and swim on the underwater tunnel with a length of forty-meter. As you swim under the tunnel, it is advisable to look up to notice some tunnel openings that tend to introduce the land.
Not only that you can swim, snorkel, and kayak in El Nido because of its abundant water resources. You can also hike at the side mountain of the Taraw Peak which is typically 750 feet above the sea level. Doing this activity may generally allow you to have an excellent lookout over the Bacuit Bay.
5. ISLAND HOPPING
This is what El Nido famous for – the very popular island hopping that shouldn’t be missed during your El Nido 3 days itinerary. Basically, it has 4 different tours to choose from that all entails distinct island adventures. Moreover, all the tours have their unique versions of excitement, beach exploration, and snorkelling.
Generally, the boat tours will bring you to around ten islands situated here. Aside from that, you can also lounge along with those islands, sip on some coconuts, and discover caves and many more.
3 Days Itinerary in El Nido
Highlighted below are the beautiful beaches and amazing places that must be included in your El Nido 3 days itinerary.
DAY 1: BE CAPTIVATED WITH THE BEAUTIFUL SUNSET
Ideally, on the first day of the El Nido 3 days itinerary, it is highly recommendable to explore the beauty of the town. You can also take a walk going to Corong-Corong which is only about 20 minutes walking from the town proper. Generally, there is lots of garbage scattered at the entrance of the beach. However, as you go along towards the resorts, you will discover the full coverage of cleaner sands.
Moreover, lining out into the beaches are numbers of coconut trees and colorful ‘bangkas’ or boats. The beach within the town of El Nido serves as the departure area of boats touring around the island. Yet, the town management prohibits visitors from swimming on this beach due to the reason that the water in it makes people sick.
If you want to see the breathtaking sunset, you must have to ride a tricycle or a three-wheeled vehicle going to Las Cabanas or Marimegmeg Beach. This is just a few kilometers away from the town proper of El Nido. However, in case you do not want to get out of Corong-Corong, the beaches there also offer amazing sunsets. There are bars along Corong-Corong beaches and they are perfect for viewing the beautiful sunset by sitting on their plastic tables and chairs at the deck.
DAY 2: DRIVE SOMEWHERE OUT OF THE TOWN
Moving out of the town proper, you will see the Nacpan Beach which is just a 40 minutes ride. Nacpan Beach is generally an undeveloped beach but it will generally offer a gorgeous beach look. Because of this, it must be included on your El Nido 3 days itinerary on the second day.
Basically, Nacpan Beach has a twin beach which is Caitang Beach. Yet, Caitang Beach is not as beautiful as its half twin. Another beach that is also interesting is the Duli Beach that only takes 40 minutes from Nacpan Beach. Again, this is also less captivating than Nacpan.
Aside from the Nacpan Beach exploration, you can also go for the other stop on the second day of the El Nido 3 days itinerary. This is the Nagkali-Kalit Waterfalls which is also accessible through taking a tricycle ride. Hiking up to the waterfalls will also take another 40 minutes.
DAY 3: EXPERIENCE THE EL NIDO BOAT TOURS
Generally, on the third day of the El Nido 3 days itinerary, try to feel the El Nido boat tours experience which will take up most of your entire day. The boat tours usually depart from the beach of the El Nido town proper and are strictly regulated. Actually, all agencies offering the boat tours follow the same itineraries.
The categories of boat tours under the El Nido 3 days itinerary are the Tours A, B, C, and D. Booking for the boat tours can be basically done through any agency or hostel around the town of El Nido. Basically, they also have the same price offer as they follow a standardized rate so there’s no need to look around for the cheapest rate available. Actually, your El Nido 3 days itinerary would never be complete if you do not take at least one of the El Nido boat tours.
Most tourists generally take the El Nido boat Tours A and C being the most popular among the 4 categories of boat tours. Below is a sneak peek for the Tours A and C destinations.
✔ TOUR A:
This is generally the best island hopping tours to be experienced during the El Nido 3 days itinerary. On the day trip, you will actually explore the hidden treasures of beautiful lagoons, amazing beaches, and perfect snorkelling spots. Within this destination, the activities allowed are swimming and meeting the wonderful coral reefs, faunas and various fish species. For only Php 1,200 or $24, you can already ride into this great boat tour island discovery.
The Tour A boat tour will generally take you to the two beautiful lagoons within the Miniloc Island which is the Small or Big Lagoon and the Secret Lagoon. You may see the crystal clear waters and numbers of fishes where swimming and snorkelling offer an amazing experience.
Aside from that, the boat Tour A will also let you discover the Shimizu Island during your El Nido 3 days itinerary. It is where they allow snorkelling and seeing the coral reefs in addition to the relaxation within the white sand of the beach. You can also explore the astounding limestone cliffs with rich vegetation. Moreover, it is also on this island where the boat usually stops for lunch.
The last stop of the Tour A boat tour is the 7 Commando Beach that has long white sand at the shore. There are small bars present along the beach that offer some refreshing drinks. Snorkelling at this last stop during your El Nido 3 days itinerary will let you meet some sea turtles, so don’t miss it!
- Tour A Destinations: Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, and 7 Commando Beach
- Tour A Package Inclusion: Mask, snorkel, lunch and bottled water
✔ TOUR C:
Another popular destination along the El Nido 3 days itinerary is the Tour C boat tours. Taking this boat tour package will bring you to amazing islands, breathtaking beaches, and snorkelling areas plus the inclusion of the Matinloc Shrine. Tour C is generally affordable at around Php 1,400 or $28.
One of the stops of the Tour C boat tour is the famous island of the Bacuit archipelago. It was previously called Dilumacad Island. But now, the common name for this is the Helicopter Island due to its shape. Actually, looking closer at this island will let you see that it closely resembles the look of the dolphin, camel, or dinosaur.
After discovering the beauty of the Helicopter Island, you will then hop to the Masinloc Shrine as part of the El Nido 3 days itinerary. Despite being a charming spot, this place is also considered as uncanny because of urban legends and ghost stories. If lunch is over, you will be going next to Star Beach, Secret Beach, and Hidden Beach.
- Tour C Destinations: Helicopter Island, Matinloc Shrine, Secret Beach, Star Beach, Hidden Beach
- Tour C Package Inclusion: Mask, snorkel, lunch and bottled water
Helpful Tips During the El Nido 3 Days Itinerary
Once you plan to travel to El Nido, consider these tips in mind to totally enjoy your El Nido 3 days itinerary:
✔ Bring a torch with you during your travel
Usually, power outages are very often within El Nido, so once you decide to have a walk especially during the night. Most likely, during this kind of situation, you want to catch the attention of tricycle driver, so, it really better to carry out a torch with you.
✔ Dry bag for the boat trip
Actually, the boat will able to get water during the boat tours of the El Nido 3 days itinerary. Once you are in front of the boat, you will totally get wet. The dry bag is really a must to have a safe wet clothe storage. Additionally, dry bags are widely available within El Nido shops and basically cheaper.
✔ Wear water shoes during the boat tour
Most of the instances during the El Nido 3 days itinerary might need wearing of water shoes. Numbers of beaches have slippery and rocky portions which really necessitates the use of water shoes.
✔ Prevent water from getting into your nose or mouth
When you take a shower in El Nido, see to it that no amount of water will get into your nose or mouth. Keep in mind that water in El Nido will more likely to cause sickness.
Where to Stay in El Nido during the 3 Days Itinerary?
In terms of development, El Nido’s innovation is lesser compared with other backpackers Southeast Asian towns. The good thing about this is that budget accommodation is easily accessible within El Nido. Basically, this accommodation within the town can serve as your nesting place for El Nido 3 days itinerary.
Actually, staying in El Nido during your 3 days itinerary could never be that hard. In fact, you may find budget accommodation in Corong-Corong which is just a nearby place from the El Nido town proper. The hotels located here have better quality compared to budget accommodations available within the town of El Nido. Another good thing about staying in Corong-Corong is that it is quieter and there are lesser tourists in this area.
Aside from that, here are some of the best places in town where you can stay in and relax during your El Nido 3 days itinerary:
Our Melting Pot
This place is actually a small area and is typically cheaper. At around Php 500 ($10) per night, you can have some rest and relax after your adventure within El Nido. With this rate, breakfast is also included. Yet, the nice thing about this place is that the staffs are very accommodating.
Orange Beach Resort
With only Php 1,000 ($20), you can stay on a resort packed with full equipment. At the Orange Beach Resort, you can relax and sleep in a private room and bathroom with an internet connection. Additionally, you can view the ocean within the room for just an affordable price.
Cabanas de Nacpan
In case you are craving for a soft bed and an appropriately sized room with the inclusion of a very palatable breakfast meal, stay here at the Cabanas de Nacpan. The place can actually blow your mind with only Php 2,500 or $50.
El Nido Viewdeck Cottages
If you are looking for the best place, then El Nido Viewdeck Cottages is the perfectly worth-staying. The rooms here are big enough and the staffs are very hospitable. Aside from that, the view from this place is outrageously amazing. Yet, one concern in going here is the climb that may not be good for those who are out of shape.
Where2Next is actually a hostel which really gives value for money. The price range here is actually affordable. And you can actually relax during the night over comfortable beds and clean toilets. To add up with your great experience here, the staffs are friendly and you may also get a coconut oil hair treatment.
Actually, with the beauty of El Nido and the abundance of hidden treasures that it embraces, there are much more to do once you get there. The El Nido 3 days itinerary is actually the recommended length of stay here in this beautiful town to discover everything that it offers. However, for some, this period may not be enough to totally experience El Nido. But, with the right budget and appropriate planning ahead of time, your 3 days itinerary will give an excellent El Nido trip.