When in El Nido it is obligatory to do an island hopping tour. I did tour A and loved it, it was unbelievable. However, with organized tours come crowds and time restrictions. So several days after the tour, Jorden and I rented a double kayak at midday for 400 pesos or $8 USD.
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THE EL NIDO KAYAK ADVENTURE BEGINS
We took some water and a GoPro and headed off towards Paradise Beach. Paddling out of El Nido Proper is really cool. We weaved in and out of all of the tour boats and continually looked back towards the small town behind us.
PARADISE BEACH EL NIDO
The paddle to Paradise Beach took us less than 40 minutes at a leisurely pace. Only one other kayaker was resting on the shore and he left soon after we arrived. For the first time in El Nido, we had an entire beach to ourselves. We both took off exploring, climbing trees and discovering small caves and coves. There were huge amounts of rubbish on the beach that had been swept in from elsewhere. Aside from the rubbish, it was a beautiful little spot to castaway for an hour or so.
We jumped back into our kayak and continued to head towards Dilumacad/Helicopter Island without actually trying to reach it. All we planned on doing was exploring several of the beaches that Tour A didn’t visit.
We pulled into a little bay close to Pasandingan Cove that had a great rock for jumping from. Unfortunately, all the rocks in El Nido are incredibly sharp, which makes cliff jumping almost impossible in some locations. The cliffs always look amazing but they are not climber friendly whatsoever.
After a few jumps I climbed back into the kayak and we hit the next beach. It was a private island but no-one seemed to mind that we had parked our kayak on the beach. A few kids played in front of their hut with their pet dogs. We met the security guard of the island. He only visits El Nido once a week for supplies and lives in his small open-air hut on the island. After our quick chat, he told us that we should head around the corner to visit an even nicer cove.
He wasn’t wrong. It felt like a scene from a movie as we could see straight through the crystal clear water before looking up towards epic cliffs covered with palms and other trees. Jorden bodysurfed here while I laid back in the Kayak enjoying the views.
THE BEST SUNSET SPOT IN EL NIDO
As the sun began to lower we quickly paddled back to prime position just outside of the harbor. From the town you cannot see the sunset unless you walk for 30 minutes. We positioned ourselves looking straight into the sun as it slowly lit up the sky. We ended up being late returning our kayak but enjoying the sunset from the kayak with our feet dangling in the warm water is one of the moments I won’t forget from our one month trip in the Philippines.
MAP OF EL NIDO PALAWAN
Here on the map you can see Paradise Beach and Pasadingan Cove.
WHERE TO STAY IN EL NIDO
(Value) Spin Designer Hostel: Let’s go for Spin! This rad hostel is located at the bustling town of El Nido. This property is highly recommended by many travelers as the service is superb. Spin Designer Hostel also provides a shared kitchen with a barbecue facility. It is value for money and very close to shops and beach. If you stay here you will make friends with like-minded strangers and be in the prime location for the nightlife, island hopping and hiking Taraw Peak. The beach literally steps away.
(Most Insta-worthy) Panorama Resort: Panorama Resort is an exotic boutique resort tucked between Corong-Corong Beach and Maremigmeg Beach, is a 3-star property that features a panoramic view of the mountains in El Nido. The resort is very insta-worthy and has a lot of amenities including a private beach, outdoor and indoor swimming pool, and free WiFi. It offers an amazing sunset view and chill vibe to guests.
(Luxury Resort) Las Cabanas Beach Resort: This incredible beach resort is situated perfectly on the shore of Las Cabanas beach in El Nido. It offers a peaceful sanctuary from the harsh realities of the outside world. The resort is picturesque and provides easy access to island hopping and other activities. It has rooms with sea and garden views, and the beachfront cottages are single standalone units.
ARE YOU KEEPING UP WITH MY EL NIDO SERIES?
You want to go island-hopping in El Nido but aren’t sure whether TOUR A,B,C or D will be better? Take a look at my El Nido Island Hopping Guide that compares all of the four tours to help you pick the best one for you.
Wondering what there is to do in El Nido? I’ve been twice and spent almost 30 days in El Nido so I’ve got some great recommendations for you in my Travel Guide to El Nido: 20 Awesome Things To Do
Which region will you choose for your accommodation in El Nido? I’ve broken each region down and given you suggestions for budget, value and luxury in El Nido Town, Lio Beach and Las Cabanas Beach in this guide: Where to stay in El Nido
My Review and photos of: Tour A
My Review and photos of: Tour B
My Review and photos of: Tour C
The most epic activity you can do in El Nido on the land is to hike up Taraw Peak and I share the photos and tell you how you can use the same local guide as me in this blog post: Hiking up Taraw Peak – What You Need to Know