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Our Top Picks: The Best El Nido Palawan Resorts

/ 12:39 AM February 06, 2019

The pristine beauty of El Nido in Palawan, Philippines has pulled people around the world to its shores.  With beaches, limestone cliffs, mountains, caves, wildlife, lagoons and coral gardens flowing in one staggeringly beautiful landscape, El Nido’s tourism has swelled along with the waves.  The tourism boom has seen more El Nido Palawan hotels and international visitors than ever. In El Nido Palawan, things to do stretch far and wide as its 45 islands. In this guide, we tell you what the most beautiful El Nido Palawan hotels are and what to do in Palawan for 3 days.

El Nido Palawan Hotels

1. El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island

El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island

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Pangulasian Island is the “Island of the Sun”, and staying at El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island gives you a lovely sunrise and sunset setting of pristine beach with a tropical forest as its backdrop — all in the comfort of one of the luxurious El Nido Palawan hotels.  El Nido Resorts in Pangulasian Island also gives you the view of contemporary Filipino architecture with canopy villas perched above the forest and other beach and pool villas close to the water.

Accommodations

  • Beach Villa
  • Canopy Villa
  • Kalaw Villa
  • Pool Villa

El Nido Palawan: Things To Do in Pangulasian Island for 3 Days

El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island is for the romantic traveler.  This guide of what to do in Palawan for 3 days is more for the traveler looking for a luxurious and sensual experience.

Day 1 (Getting There)

Airlines offer flights from Manila to El Nido, Palawan, with a travel time of approximately 55 minutes.  There is an El Nido Resorts Jetty Lounge which is 10 to 15 minutes away from Lio Airport, where a 30-45 minute boat ride to the luxurious Pangulasian Island awaits you.

Catch the sunset through a private cruise.  Seeing the sunset break while on a cruise is a romantic start to the vacation ahead.  After the beautiful sunset cruise, have a romantic dinner at a private island and toast in their mini bar.

Day 2 (Island Hopping)

The option is yours to go island hopping — charter a private boat for half a day for that.  You get a private tour of the lagoons and surrounding islands.

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Go kayaking and snorkeling in the blue-green waters.  You may also stay in familiar waters, as the El Nido Resort in Pangulasian Island has its own Scuba Shack and marine sports center as your playground.

But don’t forget to relax at the spa after a tiring day of exploring around.

Day 3

Make the most out of your last day by having a hearty breakfast buffet and simply walking 10 meters from your front deck to the sea where you could take a dip.  The resort also has a boutique, library, restaurant and infinity pool where you could spend your last hours.

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You may also have your spa experience one last time — it is too good to have it just one time!

2. El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island

El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island

Known as the “Eco-Discovery” resort, El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island gives visitors a chance to dive into a variety of marine species in its house reef — in the comfort of one of the El Nido Palawan hotels welcoming guests with Filipino coastal village feels.  The rooms, which are furnished with indigenous Filipino materials, give you a local experience like no other.

Accommodations

  • Beachside Cottage
  • Cliff Cottage
  • Garden Cottage
  • Seaweed Room
  • Deluxe Seaweed Room
  • Waterfront Cottage

El Nido Palawan: Things To Do in Miniloc Island

There are not enough days to see the fascinating marine life creatures that make up the Miniloc Island experience — but we break down the list of what to do in Palawan for 3 days anyway.

Day 1 (Getting There)

Airlines offer flights from Manila to El Nido, Palawan, with a travel time of approximately 55 minutes. There is an El Nido Resorts Jetty Lounge which is 10 to 15 minutes away from the Lio Airport, where a 30-45 minute boat ride to the rustic Miniloc Island awaits you.

Have dinner under the stars, with the sand between your toes.

Day 2 (Island Hopping)

Miniloc Island offers a lot of adventures to seize.  Go kayaking around Big and Small Lagoons for half a day before heading out to the Snake Island.  You have the water around you as your playground with the S-shaped island. Make sure to catch the sunset there for an experience like no other.

Most importantly, go snorkeling and swimming along fascinating sea creatures.  

Day 3

Explore the town of El Nido or swim with the marine life for one last time.  The best part about El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island is stepping out of the hotel and into the sea, knowing there are exotic marine life creatures beneath the surface of your sea view.  The creatures will take your breath away under the water. Swim alongside the 1.5-meter jackfish just within the house reef.

3. El Nido Resorts Apulit Island

El Nido Resorts Apulit Island

El Nido Resorts Apulit Island is the eco-adventure island resort.  It is one of the El Nido Palawan hotels for the more adventurous, thrill-seeking visitors.  The resort itself is already perched above the sea (the urge to plunge in is just too strong!) overlooking the Taytay Bay, other surrounding islands and limestone cliffs.  Each Water Cottage has direct access to the blue-green waters.

Accommodations

  • Water Cottage
  • Loft Water Cottage

El Nido Palawan: Things To Do in Apulit Island

Day 1 (Getting There)

While there are flights from Manila to El Nido, you could take the Puerto Princesa route for less the budget.  El Nido is 90 minutes away from Taytay Bay, where a boat takes you to Apulit Island. Puerto Princesa is four hours away.  Take a van bound to El Nido and drop off in the Bay.

Either way, make sure to take the morning flight because of the long trip ahead.  Guests are even recommended to have light snacks at Sala de Apulit before boarding a boat to the thrilling Apulit Island.

Rest up for the adventurous days ahead, but sneak in a dip right outside your door.  The water is within reach, you only have to dive in.

Day 2 (Rappelling and Entering Caves)

Start your adventure by rappelling down a 60m limestone cliff with a birds’ eye view of the island — waters chopping underneath you and all.  The view up there will take your breath away, as you draw nearer to the sky.

The next activity to do is cave visiting.  Strategically plan your cave itinerary to make sure you witness each attraction inside.  For instance, the Bat Cave is better at dusk or night because bats are asleep in the morning.  Seeing bats in a cathedral-like setting will put you in awe.

A few steps away from the Bat Cave is the Secret Cave, which is a small opening a few meters from the water.  You may also be able to see Black Nip birds gliding in the water for food, from your boat.

Another cathedral-like setting is the Saint Joseph’s Cave, shaped like a giant statue of a saint.  The cave is big inside. You need to climb a narrow bamboo stair leading to the seven chambers, with many interesting formations of stalagmites and stalactites worth seeing.

Another attraction better at night is the Lobster Cave, where lobsters come out at night.

Lastly, have dinner at the North Cave.  The resort management could arrange a private, romantic dinner for two.  The setting inside the cave is secluded, with an inviting small pool of clear water.  After such a long day of adventure, you deserve a sensual night.

Day 3 (Diving)

Dive into the past and see Japanese shipwreck under the sea.  It will have you wondering about all the kinds of historical stories that unfolded in the caves and island.

4. El Nido Resorts Lagen Island

El Nido Resorts Lagen Island

For those seeking to be one with nature, El Nido Resorts Lagen Island is El Nido Palawan’s Eco-Sanctuary island resort.  It is not everyday typical that El Nido Palawan hotels puts you near a sanctuary for a variety of birds and mammals. You not only have a beach lagoon and lush forests in your view, but you could plunge in too: hiking through the forest trail takes you to one of the coves on the other side of the island.

Accommodations

  • Beachfront Cottage
  • Forest Room
  • Forest Suite
  • Water Cottage

El Nido Palawan: Things To Do in Lagen Island

Day 1 (Getting There)

Airlines offer flights from Manila to El Nido, Palawan, with a travel time of approximately 55 minutes.  There is an El Nido Resorts Jetty Lounge which is 10 to 15 minutes away from the Lio Airport, where a 40-50 minute boat ride to the magical Lagen Island awaits you.

Try to spot a monkey eating fruits in the trees outside your villa!  You could also watch tropical fish coloring the blue-green waters of the lagoon.

Day 2 (Hiking through the Lagen forest trail and Bird Watching)

Lagen Island is the perfect place to put on your binoculars for bird watching.  Olive-Backed Sunbird, Palawan Hornbill, White-vented shama, Yellow Throated Leafbird and many butterflies are only some of the beautiful flying creatures.  Do so while hiking the Lagen forest trail and hear them sing and fill the forest in their choir-like voices. While you don’t have to hike to see the Long-Tailed Macaque monkeys, Palawan Squirrels and Water Monitor Lizards, trekking to spot them is still an adventure.  If you like flowers, the island is abloom with them too.

Day 3 (Snorkeling)

Of course, there are beautiful and colorful animals underwater too.  The Giant Clam, Giant Trevally, Moorish Idol, Nemo, Regal Angelfish and Titan Triggerfish are just some of them.  Most importantly, the ethereal Green Sea Turtle.

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