El Nido is a small town in Northern Palawan, which is surrounded by limestone karst cliffs and unspoiled islands that have stunning blue lagoons and white sand beaches. It used to be a fishing village, but because of its natural beauty, it became a tourist hub.
From Puerto Princesa, it was an uncomfortable 5 hour ride, zig-zagging through the mountains in a 12-passenger minivan packed full with 14 people… but we finally made it. Maybe we were tired from the journey, but our first impression of El Nido was not the greatest - it was noisy, crowded, and lacking charm. We quickly learned that Palawan was suffering from energy and gas shortages, so El Nido only had power 12 hours per day while we were here (from 8am to 2pm and 8pm to 2am). The result was that each establishment ran huge noisy generators during the other 12 hours of brown-out time, filling the small town with inescapable noise and exhaust fumes.
We came here to do some island hopping and were surprised that many of the island hopping tours were cancelled by the coast-guard due to rough conditions.
Fortunately we had several buffer days here, so we spent the time walking around town and nearby beaches to take in the scenery.
After a good meal and some sleep, we re-framed our minds and started to appreciate the small, scenic El Nido for what it was.
On Corong Corong Beach (a 15 minute walk, South of El Nido), we frequented a really nice bar called Sip Sunset Lounge, where we enjoyed happy hour drinks while watching the sunset.