I highlighted important facts and things to consider when traveling to El Nido. I hope this list will help you plan and serve as your guide when traveling to this beautiful paradise.
1. El Nido town proper (San Poblacion) is just small. You will see each other again and again. In my case, I’ve bumped with all the people whom I shared the van the following day and the other. Locals know each other very well too.
Locals waving while lifting this new boat going to the Bacuit Bay
2. El Nido is a Spanish word for “The Nest.” Collecting and selling balinsasayaw’s nest (swiftlet bird’s nest) was the main livelihood of locals for hundreds of years. But according to some locals, due to a typhoon occurred last 1999, a lot of birds died and some caves situated in islands which were home to swiflets are now private property of some unknown people.
Balisasayaw’s solidified saliva which can be found on its nest is said to be rich in protein, calcium, iron, and riboflavin and very good for pregnant mother’s baby to have a smooth skin complexion.
Secret Lagoon: One of the protected islands from unauthorized or illegal collection of balinsasayaw’s nest
3. Traveling to El Nido is actually very cheap. Some people think that traveling to El Nido is really expensive maybe because of the mishap tourism marketed by Ayala showcasing their luxurious resorts.
4. There is no hospital in El Nido. They only have a Rural Health Center. No ECGs, no X-Rays, no special medical equipment. If someone had a heart attack or in case of emergency, you will have to ride him back to Puerto Princesa City for 5 to 6 hours, unless they can afford a helicopter.
5. There is no ATM in El Nido.
6. Tricycle going around the town of El Nido is only Php 8.00.
7. Remote houses often have poultry and piggery as their food access.
8. You will randomly see flying squirrels and giant geckos!
9. In Island Hopping, your tour guides also serve as your boatmen, cook, and life saver (4-in-1).
10. Hotel, restaurant, or travel tours owners are typically down to earth and dress up like an ordinary people. You’ll never know that the person you bumped with is actually the owner of a hotel or an inn.
11. You can already apply as a tour guide in El Nido given that you have lived there for 6 months or more and know how to swim.
12. Manny Pacquiao bought Lalutaya Island, an island near Nacpan and Calitang Beach.
That long island behind is the Lalutaya Island
13. There’s 0% crime rate in El Nido. Although, there has been reported cases of robbery between tourists and tourists.
14. You can eat for Php 35.00 to Php 50.00 per meal in some eateries.
15. There’s a Php 200.00 environmental fee that is valid for 10 days when you availed Island Hopping Tours for the first time which for me, was very difficult to give. Usually, environmental fee is only Php 5.00 to 75.00 and you can already see the difference.
But here in El Nido, I wonder where it goes. There are still lots of unwanted floating objects at the sea and some islands aren’t properly maintained which is really saddening. Boatmen or tour guides do not pick them up even if that dirt passes along their way. I just hope they are more environmental conscious enough to pick them up when island hopping.
16. The only network available in El Nido are Globe and Smart. If you’re a Sun Cellular subscriber, your phone must have automatic Data Services (Roaming service) to obtain signal from Smart . For BlackBerry users, just turn on the Data Services, then set the Network Selection Mode to Manual.
17. Electricity is only available from 2 p.m. to 6 a.m. (Napocor). So, if you need a 24-hr electricity, don’t worry as some hotels or resorts do have backup generator power for 24-hr.
After reading this post, are you now ready to explore El Nido, Palawan? Book cheap tickets to Palawan now.