The best areas and accommodations in El Nido Palawan
The base for all the activities to explore El Nido is the two small peninsulas that jut out into Bacuit Bay on the west side of the municipality. This area is divided into 4 villages (called barangay in Philippino): Buena Suerte, Maligaya, Corong-Corong, and Masagana. Not far from Buena Suerte, in a quiet and peaceful location, you’ll also find the beaches of Lio and Nacpan.
Brief description of the different areas in El Nido Palawa
- Buena Suerte
Buena Suerte is referred to be the “town proper” and where you’ll find a wide range of accommodations, restaurants, bars, small travel agencies, shops and a bit of nightlife. From 6.30 pm onwards, Serena street is closed to traffic and turns into a crowded “walking street”. On the west side of Buena Suerte beach, there is the ferry terminal for Coron, another popular tourist destination in Palawan and the pier where Bacuit Bay boat tours depart. We slept in Buena Suerte at the Aqua Travel Lodge Hotel, an excellent accommodation located along the “walking street” and close to the pier. Other good accommodations are the Happiness Hostel, Sea Cocoon Hotel, Bunakidz Lodge, Mountain Side Inn, David’s Guest House, El Nido Sea Shell Hotel.
Maligaya is right next to Buena Suerte towards Corong-Corong, a few minutes from the bus terminal, and it’s basically like staying in Buena Suerte. With a very short ride by tuk-tuk (or by scooter), you’ll reach the “walking street” in Buena Suerte and the beach where the tours depart. Good accommodations in this area are the Lagun Hotel, Full House, Virginia Suites, Amakan Bed, Chariz Inn, Stella Maris Pension House, Swiftlets Inn, El Nido Viewdeck Cottages.
Less crowded than Buena Suerte, the barangay of Corong-Corong lies on the southern cape lining the coast with many nooks where to enjoy the white sand and clear water. Here, you’ll find a good range of accommodations, restaurants and small travel agencies too. Corong-Corong is also the most beautiful place to enjoy the sunset over Bacuit Bay. We strongly recommend that you go to the Republica Sunset Beach Bar to sip a beer to enjoy this enchanting moment. In Corong Corong, in front of the public market, there is the dusty bus terminal of El Nido. From here, take a tuk-tuk to get to your accommodation. among the several accommodations, you can have a look to El Nido Moringa Resort, Villa Dali Resort, Panorama Resort, Country Inn El Nido, Neela Tourist Lodge, Frangipani El Nido, Desert Rose Hotel.
Masangana is a quiet small village that lies on the east side of Buena Suerte. Known for the lovely Calaan beach, it offers a few Resorts “out of the crowd”. It’s the right place if you are in El Nido looking for peace and relaxation. Here, you’ll find the Camp Talusi Hills, Sampaguita Villa, Budget Room Inn, Hadefe Resort, El Nido Dragonfly.
- Lio Beach
Lio Beach is a long beach very close to the airport where you’ll find some resort, bars and restaurants. Lio beach is only 15 minutes from El Nido town, and it’s a perfect place if you want to escape the crowd and relaxing. In Lio beach, there are 2 good accommodations: Seda Lio and Hotel Covo.
- Nacpan Beach
Nacpan Beach is our favourite beach and by far the most beautiful in the whole area of El Nido. It is located 45/50 minutes from Buena Suerte entirely in the middle of nature. There are some resorts and homestays and a couple of restaurants. The beach is kilometre-long with white sand lined by palm trees, but the best thing is that there are very few tourists. You can conveniently organize your excursions from here through your accommodation or with the small agency located at the entrance of the road to the beach where you will have to pay the entrance ticket. Here, you’ll find the Catian Beach Resort, Mad Monkey Hostel, Jack’s Place Cottages, Nacpan Beach Glamping, Angela’s Inn, MG Chateau Hotel, Where2Next Nacpan. The cheapest option is the Hammock Homestay. It’s possible to reach Nacpan Beach by tuk-tuk or catching the shuttle bus service offered by some operators in Buena Suerte (single trip 350 PHP – round trip 600 PHP).
- Islands of Bacuit Bay
Indeed you can also sleep in one of the many islands of Bacuit bay, but you’ll only find very expensive exclusive resorts. For example, on Miniloc Island you’ll find the El Nido Miniloc Resort; on Matinloc Island there are the Shante Island Resort and the Matinloc Resort; on Pangulasian Island is El Nido Pangulasian Resort.
There is also a resort on Seven Commandos beach, the Vellago Resort, and on Ipil Ipil beach, the Ipil Waterfront. These two beaches are part of the mainland, but they can only be reached by boat as there is no road to get to the resorts.