Thursday , 18 April 2024

10 things to do in El Nido, Palawan

Vacations, while enjoyable, can hardly be considered purely relaxing. It may seem like a much-needed break, but out-of-town trips can take you away from the creature comforts of your daily routine.

Going around an unfamiliar city can make for a good time, but it can be draining. Riding in a boat is exhilarating, but losing your valuables to the ocean remains a grim possibility. In short, a vacation is not always all fun. 

We embark on such adventures not necessarily to have it easy, but to enjoy life beyond the confines of our rooms and our cities. After all, these trips make memories we can laugh about years after—we don’t sweat the details, we smile because it happened.

Here are 10 must-try activities when visiting El Nido, Palawan.

How Seven Commandos Beach got its name is based on two different narratives: during World War II, seven soldiers got stranded here; the other, “Seven Commando” was the name of a fishing vessel that was once marooned on the beach. 

Under the coconut trees and on fine white sand, unwind, get that tan, grab a drink and relish that wonderful atmosphere. If you’re feeling a little energetic and sporty, you can indulge in a couple of games of football and volleyball together with the locals and other tourists.

Be sure to keep an eye out for any boat-riding vendors that may be coming ashore. From ice cream to soft drinks and juices, they have everything you need to help you recover from the heat. If you don’t have cash, you can pay via GCash.

While the marvelous rock formations around El Nido can be wonderful to look at from afar, nothing compares to the sight up close. Leave behind the massive boats and put your kayaking skills to the test in the popular Small Lagoon. Located around Shimizu Island, a narrow 2-3 feet entrance opens up to a wonderful ocean oasis perfect for swims and IG-worthy content.

Warning: do leave your electronic devices and valuables aboard the boat. While you will be safe and dry on the kayak, accidents can happen—you wouldn’t want to replace your phone mid-trip. But if you want to take pictures, bring an underwater camera or place your phone in a ziplock or waterproof bag.

Nothing beats the wonderful combination of heart-warming pastries and delicious coffee to pick you right back up. And from our experience, those from Lamoro Hill Bakery and LICK (Lost Islands Center for Kape) are the absolute best.

Naturally leavened bread and laminated pastries are at favorites at Lamoro Hill Bakery, located at Lio Beach. Their chocolatines and sourdough are absolutely divine, but don’t overlook their pandesal and Spanish bread too.

While occasionally collaborating with the bakery, Lick (which can be found at Unit 12B Sitio Uno, inside Lio Estate at Barangay Villa Libertad) offers the perfect cup of coffee made from the finest, locally-sourced single-origin beans.

Out of the water and into the forest, hiking enthusiasts are in for a treat at the Lio Beach Eco-Forest Trail. It is a 3.8-kilometer trail loop (1.9-kilometer ascent and descent) and the journey could last anywhere between 30 to 40 minutes (maybe an hour or more for the first-timers). Atop the trail is a viewing deck 82 meters above sea level that is perfect for both catching your breath and taking in the wonderful view of the surrounding islands. 

Do be careful, watch your step, and make sure you’re with friends and a guide, as the path on the trail has become overgrown. Portions of the trail are also very steep and slippery due to the rain, added caution is advised.

Paloma Urquijo Zobel is a public space located inside the Lio Tourism Estate that showcases everything from mouth-watering bites and luscious drinks to artisanal retail shops. The island living experience on full blast, a stroll through Kalye Artisano is a demonstration of a life well lived and made worthwhile despite being removed from the comforts and the extravagance of the city.

Name a better combination than fine white sand, calm waters, and wonderful weather. Lio Beach has it all and more. It is the perfect place to relax when you don’t want to do anything. Nearby, there are also several shops and restaurants to choose from—have a filling bite at Ay Papito! food truck or grab a cold one at L’Assiette Bar and Restaurant.

If you’re a little charged with energy, you can take part in a number of exciting and adrenaline-pumping activities. Take your pick from ​​Bamboo Biking and Skim Boarding to Kayaking and even Surfing.

We often go on vacations for relaxation. These fleeting moments of respite serves to refocus us when the hustle and bustle of daily life becomes too much. At times, we need more than a fun time. 

Meditation and breathwork involve a number of different movements that place stress and pressure on the body. Throughout the entire process, you are asked to carefully monitor and mindfully control your breathing. And in the same way athletes enter a state of pure focus, the exercises leave you in a similar situation.  It’s situational meditation—an enforced quieting of the mind to combat the surrounding chaos.

An island-themed bar awaits you in The Pangolin El Nido. Craft cocktails, delicious bites, and energy-driving music lie in store as you dance the night away to end your day on a high note. Beyond serving a good time, the bar also donates to the preservation of pangolins (the world’s most illegally trafficked mammal). 

The Pangolin El Nido is located at Hama Street, Barangay Masagana.

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