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Pinagbuyutan Island In El Nido, Palawan: Complete Guide


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Becka Rehm



Pinagbuyutan Island is a hidden gem nestled in the stunning archipelago of El Nido, Palawan. Located in the western part of the Philippines, Palawan is renowned for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking landscapes. Pinagbuyutan Island is no exception, offering visitors a tropical paradise to explore and unwind.


With its powdery white sand, vibrant coral reefs, and lush vegetation, Pinagbuyutan Island attracts both local and international travelers seeking a serene and idyllic destination. The island is relatively secluded, making it the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.


One of the highlights of Pinagbuyutan Island is its untouched and unspoiled beauty. As you step foot on the island, you’ll be greeted by azure waters teeming with colorful marine life. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply in need of relaxation, Pinagbuyutan Island offers an array of activities and experiences to satisfy every traveler’s desires.


From snorkeling and diving in its pristine waters to beach camping under the starlit sky, Pinagbuyutan Island promises an unforgettable retreat for those looking to immerse themselves in nature’s wonders. The island’s serene ambiance, coupled with its breathtaking natural landscapes, will truly transport you to a world of tranquility and beauty.


Whether you’re looking to explore the vibrant marine ecosystem, bask in the sun on its pristine beaches, or simply take in the breathtaking views, Pinagbuyutan Island is a tropical paradise that will captivate your heart and soul. Get ready to embark on a journey of adventure, relaxation, and discovery as you explore the wonders of Pinagbuyutan Island in El Nido, Palawan.


Location of Pinagbuyutan Island

Pinagbuyutan Island is located in the province of Palawan in the western part of the Philippines. Specifically, it is situated in the municipality of El Nido, which is renowned for its stunning island formations, clear waters, and vibrant marine life.


El Nido is located about 238 kilometers northeast of Puerto Princesa, the capital city of Palawan. Pinagbuyutan Island is part of the Bacuit Archipelago, a cluster of islands and islets that make up the stunning scenery of El Nido.


To reach Pinagbuyutan Island, travelers typically fly into Puerto Princesa International Airport, which is well-connected with domestic and international flights. From the airport, you can hire a private van or take a public bus to El Nido. The journey takes approximately five to six hours, with breathtaking views of the countryside along the way.


Once you arrive in El Nido, you have several options to reach Pinagbuyutan Island. The most common way is to take a boat or join an island-hopping tour from El Nido town. The boat ride takes around 30 minutes to reach Pinagbuyutan Island, depending on the sea conditions.


Pinagbuyutan Island is surrounded by other captivating islands and islets, including Matinloc Island, Cadlao Island, and Tapiutan Island. Its strategic location in the Bacuit Archipelago makes it an ideal starting point for exploring the other breathtaking attractions that El Nido has to offer.


With its tranquil atmosphere and stunning natural beauty, Pinagbuyutan Island is truly a slice of paradise in El Nido, Palawan. Its remote location and unspoiled surroundings make for a peaceful and immersive experience, allowing visitors to fully embrace the beauty of nature.


How to Get to Pinagbuyutan Island

Getting to Pinagbuyutan Island in El Nido, Palawan is fairly straightforward, with a few transportation options available for visitors. Here are the main ways to reach this beautiful island:

  1. By Air: The nearest airport to Pinagbuyutan Island is Puerto Princesa International Airport. Several airlines operate daily flights from Manila and other major cities in the Philippines to Puerto Princesa. From the airport, you can hire a private van or take a public bus to El Nido, which takes approximately five to six hours.
  2. By Land and Sea: If you prefer a scenic journey, you can take a bus or van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. Buses leave regularly from the San Jose Terminal, while vans can be arranged through tour operators or transportation services. The journey takes approximately five to six hours, with breathtaking views of the countryside along the way. Once you reach El Nido, you can proceed to the beach where boats are available for hire or join an island-hopping tour to reach Pinagbuyutan Island.
  3. By Island-Hopping Tour: One of the most popular ways to visit Pinagbuyutan Island is by joining an island-hopping tour from El Nido. These tours offer a convenient and hassle-free way to explore the stunning islands and attractions in the area. There are several tour operators in El Nido town that offer different packages, including stops at Pinagbuyutan Island. The tours usually last for a full day and include visits to other nearby islands and snorkeling spots.

It’s important to note that the availability of tours and boats may vary depending on the weather conditions, which can be unpredictable. It’s recommended to check with local tour operators or accommodations in El Nido for the most up-to-date information on schedules and availability.


Once you reach Pinagbuyutan Island, you’ll be greeted by its serene beauty, offering you a glimpse of paradise amidst the crystal-clear waters and captivating landscapes. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience as you explore the wonders of this hidden gem in El Nido, Palawan.


Best Time to Visit Pinagbuyutan Island

The best time to visit Pinagbuyutan Island in El Nido, Palawan is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to May. This period offers the most favorable weather conditions, with sunny skies, calm seas, and lower chances of rainfall.


From November to February, the weather is generally cooler and more pleasant, making it an ideal time for exploring the island and engaging in outdoor activities. The water visibility is also excellent during this time, making it perfect for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.


March to May marks the start of the summer season in the Philippines, with temperatures gradually rising. If you enjoy basking in the sun and soaking up some vitamin D on the pristine beaches of Pinagbuyutan Island, this is the perfect time to visit. Just make sure to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen.


While the dry season offers the best weather conditions, it’s important to note that El Nido, including Pinagbuyutan Island, can still get quite busy during peak tourist months. If you prefer to avoid the crowds and have a more peaceful experience, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of November to early December or late April to May.


The rainy season in El Nido occurs from June to October, with the possibility of typhoons and occasional heavy rainfall. During this time, boat tours and water activities may be limited or canceled due to safety concerns. However, if you don’t mind the occasional rain and are seeking a more budget-friendly option with fewer tourists, visiting during the low season can still be enjoyable. Just be prepared for possible weather disruptions and check the weather forecasts before planning your trip.


Overall, the best time to visit Pinagbuyutan Island is during the dry season from November to May, when you can enjoy the optimal weather conditions and make the most of your island getaway. Remember to plan ahead, book your accommodations and tours in advance, and check local weather updates for a smooth and memorable experience.


Things to Do on Pinagbuyutan Island

Pinagbuyutan Island is a tropical paradise in El Nido, Palawan that offers a variety of activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply looking to relax and unwind, here are some of the top things to do on Pinagbuyutan Island:

  1. Beach Hopping: Explore the pristine beaches of Pinagbuyutan Island and relax on its powdery white sands. Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, soak up the sun, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the crystal-clear waters.
  2. Snorkeling: Dive into the turquoise waters surrounding Pinagbuyutan Island and discover the vibrant underwater world beneath the surface. Grab your snorkeling gear and marvel at the colorful coral formations, tropical fish, and other marine species that call this area home.
  3. Kayaking and Paddleboarding: Rent a kayak or paddleboard and venture out into the calm waters of Pinagbuyutan Island. Paddle along the coastline, explore hidden coves, and discover secluded spots that are inaccessible by foot. It’s a fantastic way to explore the island at your own pace and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.
  4. Beach Picnicking: Pack a delicious picnic and find a cozy spot on the beach to enjoy a meal amidst the stunning backdrop of Pinagbuyutan Island. Bask in the beauty of nature while savoring your favorite snacks or a freshly prepared local meal.
  5. Hiking and Nature Walks: Embark on a short hike or nature walk around Pinagbuyutan Island to appreciate its lush vegetation and captivating landscapes. Follow the trails that meander through the island, and keep your eyes peeled for unique plant species and interesting wildlife along the way.
  6. Photography: Pinagbuyutan Island offers countless picture-perfect moments. With its pristine beaches, clear waters, and stunning vistas, it’s a paradise for photographers. Capture the beauty of the island, create lasting memories, and share your stunning shots with friends and family.

Remember to respect the natural environment during your visit. Do not leave any waste behind and be mindful of the delicate ecosystem on the island. With these activities and experiences, your time on Pinagbuyutan Island is sure to be filled with adventure, relaxation, and unforgettable moments.


Snorkeling and Diving Opportunities near Pinagbuyutan Island

Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts will find themselves in underwater paradise near Pinagbuyutan Island in El Nido, Palawan. With its crystal-clear waters and diverse marine ecosystem, the island and its surrounding areas offer incredible opportunities to explore the underwater world. Here are some of the snorkeling and diving spots near Pinagbuyutan Island:

  1. Matinloc Island: Located near Pinagbuyutan Island, Matinloc Island is home to several snorkeling and diving sites. One popular spot is the Secret Beach, known for its stunning limestone cliffs and vibrant coral reefs. Here, you can plunge into the clear waters and witness a kaleidoscope of colorful fish and stunning coral formations.
  2. Tapiutan Island: Another nearby island that offers excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities is Tapiutan Island. Its rich underwater biodiversity includes various coral species, sea turtles, and schools of tropical fish. Don your snorkeling gear and explore the underwater world or go scuba diving to discover the depths of this magnificent island.
  3. South Miniloc Island: South Miniloc Island is famous for its “Big and Small Lagoons,” but it is also a fantastic spot for snorkeling and diving. The area boasts captivating cliffs and coral gardens teeming with marine life. Dive beneath the surface to witness a vibrant ecosystem, including soft and hard corals, reef fish, and even sea turtles.
  4. Cadlao Island: Considered the largest island in the Bacuit Archipelago, Cadlao Island also offers exceptional snorkeling and diving opportunities. Explore the coral reefs surrounding the island and encounter various marine species, such as clownfish, parrotfish, and triggerfish. You might even be lucky enough to spot a reef shark or a manta ray.
  5. Entalula Island: Just a short boat ride away from Pinagbuyutan Island, Entalula Island boasts pristine white sand beaches and fantastic snorkeling spots. Swim among vibrant coral gardens, schools of fish, and other mesmerizing underwater creatures.

Whether you’re a snorkeling enthusiast looking to explore the shallow reefs or a certified diver seeking an unforgettable underwater adventure, the snorkeling and diving opportunities near Pinagbuyutan Island will not disappoint. Remember to respect the marine environment and follow responsible snorkeling and diving practices to help preserve the beauty of these underwater ecosystems.


Beach Camping on Pinagbuyutan Island

For those seeking a unique and immersive experience, beach camping on Pinagbuyutan Island in El Nido, Palawan is an unforgettable adventure. The island’s tranquil atmosphere and picturesque setting make it the perfect place to spend a night under the starlit sky. Here’s what you need to know about beach camping on Pinagbuyutan Island:


Beach camping is an excellent way to fully appreciate the natural beauty of Pinagbuyutan Island. With its powdery white sand, swaying palm trees, and crystal-clear waters, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into your own private paradise. The peaceful ambiance and serene surroundings offer a chance to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with nature.


There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning to camp on Pinagbuyutan Island. First, it’s essential to obtain the necessary permits or seek the assistance of tour operators or responsible local guides who can arrange the camping experience for you. They can ensure that you have a designated camping area and comply with any regulations set in place to protect the island’s ecosystem.


When preparing for your beach camping adventure, make sure to bring essential camping gear such as a tent, sleeping bags, camping stove, and cooking utensils. It’s also crucial to bring enough food, water, and other supplies since there are limited facilities on the island. Don’t forget to bring insect repellent, sun protection, and appropriate clothing for the weather conditions.


As you set up your campsite, take the time to appreciate the beauty around you. Enjoy the sunset on the beach, listen to the gentle sound of the waves, and take in the breathtaking view of the starry night sky. You can also engage in activities like beach games, stargazing, and storytelling around a bonfire if allowed and under proper supervision.


It’s important to practice responsible camping while on Pinagbuyutan Island. Leave no trace by cleaning up after yourself and properly disposing of any waste. Respect the environment and wildlife, refraining from damaging or disturbing the natural habitat.


Beach camping on Pinagbuyutan Island offers a unique opportunity to be immersed in the beauty of nature and experience the tranquility of an untouched paradise. It’s an adventure that allows you to create lasting memories of waking up to the sound of the waves and being surrounded by the stunning landscapes of El Nido, Palawan.


Nearby Attractions and Excursions from Pinagbuyutan Island

While the pristine beauty of Pinagbuyutan Island in El Nido, Palawan is enough to captivate any visitor, there are also several nearby attractions and excursions that you can explore to enhance your experience. Here are some of the top attractions and excursions to consider:

  1. Matinloc Island: Just a short boat ride from Pinagbuyutan Island, Matinloc Island is a must-visit destination. Explore the beautiful Matinloc Shrine, stroll along the Secret Beach, and marvel at the stunning views from the top of the island’s cliffs. Matinloc Island offers a combination of natural wonders and cultural landmarks.
  2. Big and Small Lagoons: Located in Miniloc Island, the Big and Small Lagoons are popular attractions that can be accessed through guided tours. Hop on a kayak or paddleboard and navigate through the clear waters, surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and impressive rock formations. The calm and picturesque lagoons are ideal for tranquility and photo opportunities.
  3. Cadlao Island: Cadlao Island, the largest island in the Bacuit Archipelago, offers stunning beaches, hiking opportunities, and beautiful viewpoints. Take a hike to the summit of Cadlao Peak for a breathtaking panoramic view of El Nido’s islands, or relax on the pristine beaches of Sabang or Pasandigan Cove.
  4. Secret Beach: Embark on an adventure to discover the secluded Secret Beach on Matinloc Island. This hidden gem can only be accessed by swimming through a small passageway in the rocks, adding an element of excitement and exclusivity. Inside, you will be rewarded with a beautiful cove surrounded by towering cliffs.
  5. Snake Island: Snake Island, named after its unique sandbar that curves like a snake, is another stunning attraction worth visiting. Take a leisurely walk along the sandbar and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding islands. You can also explore the island’s mangrove forest and discover its diverse flora and fauna.

These are just a few of the many attractions and excursions available near Pinagbuyutan Island. Tour operators in El Nido offer various island-hopping packages that allow you to visit multiple destinations in a single day. Each location offers its own unique beauty and charms, showcasing the natural wonders that make El Nido a renowned destination.


With the abundance of nearby attractions and excursions, your visit to Pinagbuyutan Island can be enhanced by exploring the surrounding islands and landmarks. Immerse yourself in the wonders of El Nido and create lasting memories of this tropical paradise.


Where to Stay near Pinagbuyutan Island

When visiting Pinagbuyutan Island in El Nido, Palawan, there are several accommodation options available that will provide you with a comfortable and convenient stay. Here are some of the places to consider when looking for accommodations near Pinagbuyutan Island:

  1. Beach Resorts: There are several beachfront resorts located near Pinagbuyutan Island that offer stunning views and easy access to the island. These resorts typically provide comfortable rooms, fantastic amenities, and on-site dining options. Some resorts also organize island-hopping tours, water activities, and spa services to enhance your vacation experience.
  2. Guesthouses and Homestays: For a more budget-friendly option, you can find guesthouses and homestays in the vicinity of Pinagbuyutan Island. These accommodations offer cozy rooms and a friendly, welcoming environment. Staying in a guesthouse or homestay allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and interact with the friendly locals.
  3. Budget Hotels and Inns: El Nido town, the jump-off point to Pinagbuyutan Island, has numerous budget hotels and inns that cater to various preferences and budgets. These accommodations provide comfortable rooms, basic facilities, and convenient access to restaurants, bars, and shops in the town center.
  4. Eco-Lodges: If you prefer an eco-friendly and sustainable accommodation option, there are eco-lodges available in the area surrounding Pinagbuyutan Island. These lodges prioritize environmental conservation and offer a unique experience, often blending in with the natural surroundings. You can enjoy comfortable accommodations while minimizing your impact on the environment.
  5. Camping: For those seeking a more adventurous experience, camping is also an option near Pinagbuyutan Island. Some accommodations offer camping facilities and equipment rentals, allowing you to spend the night in the great outdoors. Just make sure to follow local guidelines and leave no trace to help preserve the natural beauty of the area.

It’s recommended to book your accommodations in advance, especially during the peak tourist season, to secure your preferred option. Consider your budget, preferred amenities, and proximity to Pinagbuyutan Island when choosing your accommodation.


Whichever type of accommodation you choose, staying near Pinagbuyutan Island will ensure you have a convenient base to explore the breathtaking natural wonders of El Nido, Palawan. Relish in the comfort and hospitality of your chosen accommodation, knowing that you’re just a boat ride away from the stunning beauty of Pinagbuyutan Island.


Essential Tips for Visiting Pinagbuyutan Island

Visiting Pinagbuyutan Island in El Nido, Palawan is a dream come true for many travelers. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  1. Plan and Book in Advance: Pinagbuyutan Island is a popular destination, so it’s advisable to plan your trip and book your accommodations and island-hopping tours in advance, especially during peak seasons. This will help ensure availability and allow you to secure the best deals.
  2. Bring Cash and Small Bills: While some establishments in El Nido may accept credit cards, it’s always a good idea to carry cash, especially small bills, for transactions such as boat rentals, food, and local transportation. ATMs are available in El Nido town, but it’s recommended to have enough cash on hand, as some remote areas may have limited access to banking facilities.
  3. Protect Yourself from the Sun: El Nido is known for its tropical climate, so it’s important to protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from harmful UV rays. Reapply sunscreen regularly, especially after swimming or sweating.
  4. Stay Hydrated: During your island exploration, it’s essential to stay hydrated, especially in the hot and humid weather of El Nido. Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it as needed. You can also purchase bottled water from local shops or ask your accommodations to provide safe drinking water.
  5. Respect the Environment: Pinagbuyutan Island is a pristine and fragile ecosystem, so it’s crucial to respect and protect the environment. Avoid littering, dispose of waste properly, and refrain from damaging coral reefs or disturbing marine life. Follow responsible snorkeling and diving practices, and be mindful of your impact on the surroundings.
  6. Follow Safety Guidelines: When engaging in water activities, it’s important to prioritize safety. Wear a life jacket when snorkeling or participating in water sports, listen to instructions from tour guides, and be aware of your surroundings. Be cautious of strong currents or changing weather conditions, and never swim alone if possible.
  7. Be Mindful of Local Customs: The Philippines has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting local communities or religious sites, and ask for permission before taking photos of individuals or sacred places.
  8. Pack Essentials: Before setting off to Pinagbuyutan Island, pack essentials such as insect repellent, a first aid kit, comfortable footwear, and appropriate swimwear. It’s also advisable to bring a waterproof bag or case to protect your belongings from water and sand.
  9. Enjoy the Moment: Last but not least, remember to pause, appreciate, and enjoy the moment. Pinagbuyutan Island offers a breathtaking natural environment and a serene atmosphere. Take the time to immerse yourself in its beauty, relax on the beach, and create lasting memories of your time in this tropical paradise.

By keeping these essential tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your visit to Pinagbuyutan Island and have an unforgettable experience in El Nido, Palawan.



Pinagbuyutan Island in El Nido, Palawan offers a slice of paradise that captivates the hearts of travelers from around the world. With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking landscapes, this hidden gem is a haven for those seeking serenity and natural beauty.


Whether you’re snorkeling in vibrant coral reefs, diving into the depths of the sea, or simply basking in the sun on the powdery white sands, Pinagbuyutan Island promises an immersive and unforgettable experience. The surrounding attractions, such as Matinloc Island, Tapiutan Island, and the Big and Small Lagoons, provide additional opportunities to explore the wonders of El Nido’s archipelago.


As you plan your visit to Pinagbuyutan Island, remember to book accommodations and tours in advance, protect yourself from the sun, and be mindful of the environment and local customs. Stay hydrated, pack essentials, and prioritize safety during water activities. These tips will ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey to this tropical paradise.


Pinagbuyutan Island is not only a destination for relaxation and adventure but also a place of unparalleled natural beauty that will leave a lasting impression. Immerse yourself in the tranquility, marvel at the vibrant marine life, and create memories that will stay with you long after your visit.


Set foot on Pinagbuyutan Island and allow yourself to be embraced by its scenic landscapes, the warm hospitality of its people, and the spectacular wonders of the Palawan region. Discover the true essence of paradise and experience the magic of Pinagbuyutan Island in El Nido, Palawan.