Most people know El Nido as the main gateway to the Bacuit Archipelago, i.e. the famous islands, lagoons and secret cave excursions known famously as Tour A,B,C and D. This was what attracted us to come spend 9 nights here and wow, we were absolutely blown away!!!
Then a typhoon hit, closing access to the archipelago for 3 full days! Noooo?! But this actually ended up being a blessing in disguise as we were forced to go and explore everything El Nido had to offer, on land!
Here are the top 4 places to explore on El Nido’s mainland:
1. Nacpan Beach
We hired scooters and set off to Nacpan Beach, 40 kms away. Such an incredibly lush and scenic ride with rice feilds stretching out in every direction. Some sections were quite muddy (thanks to the typhoon), so a scooter was definitely a much more fun and comfortable option compared to a tuk-tuk or shuttle bus.
Nacpan Beach itself is a very long and wide beach with some small fun waves to play in.
Walking to the end of the beach to discover this view point was the highlight of our day!
2. El Nido town
El Nido is one of the most popular tourist towns in the Philippines. In most countries, the most popular town is normally completely developed for tourists (like Patong in Thailand). But what was quite interesting and great to see here, was that there were as many local stores and apartments as there were touristy shops and guesthouses. We’re sure this won’t last, but still really happy we got to see it!
Most people stay here in El Nido town. We would recommend rather staying 2kms away in Corong Corong as it’s much more relaxing and less crowded. We definitely recommend coming to explore the shops and numerous bars and restaurants! The Art Cafe was one of our favourite spots with good food, views and wifi.
3. Las Cabanas
Las Cabanas Beach
In our opinion, this is the best place to swim on the mainland! We floated around for hours enjoying the palm tree views and warm salty waves. It’s also a great place to set up on the beach for the day with an umbrella and a good read! There are a few beach restaurants with great views and cold beers!
Las Cabanas Zipline:
We literally FLEW for 750 metres from El Nido Island to Depeldet Island!
It was such an overwhelmingly freeing experience, everyone should do it!!!
Where: The zipline is at the top of the hill above Last Cabanas beach. Off the main road, it is a 5 minute scooter ride to the path and then about a 100 metre walk up the steep hill path.
How: You can either choose to go in a superman position (like we did) or in a sitting position. It is roughly between 500 and 1100 PHP. You can choose to either go one way (ending in Las Cabanas beach) or on a return trip. The zipline runs between 9am and 5:30pm.
4. Corong Corong
This area has by far the best sunset views! Drinks at the beautiful Greenviews Resort is a must! They often have live music playing and a very large menu to choose from! So scenic!
Just next door to Greenviews, you can hire kayaks and go paddlling across to the nearby beaches. Or, if you are feeling lazy like we were after too much time in the sun, then go treat yourself to a seaview massage or treatment at the local spa.
We also fell in love with this restaurant right up the road, the Boodle Fight.