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The Best 4-Day El Nido Palawan Itinerary


by Siusan Volk



Welcome to the breathtaking paradise of El Nido, located in the province of Palawan in the Philippines. This tropical gem is renowned for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, majestic limestone cliffs, and stunning marine biodiversity. With its pristine beaches and awe-inspiring landscapes, El Nido has become a favorite destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.


El Nido offers a variety of exhilarating activities, from island hopping tours to snorkeling, diving, and kayaking adventures. Whether you’re a beach bum looking to relax on powdery white sands or an outdoor enthusiast eager to explore hidden lagoons and caves, El Nido has something for everyone.


Located just a short flight from Manila, El Nido is easily accessible and provides a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its tropical climate and year-round warm temperatures, you can visit El Nido at any time of the year and expect an unforgettable experience.


In this 4-day itinerary, we will guide you through the must-see attractions and activities that El Nido has to offer. From the moment you arrive, you will be greeted by the stunning scenery and the warm hospitality of the locals. So grab your sunscreen, put on your adventure hat, and get ready to explore the wonders of El Nido!


Day 1: Arriving in El Nido

Welcome to El Nido! Upon arrival at Lio Airport, the gateway to El Nido, you will immediately feel the tropical charm and laid-back atmosphere of this paradise. After settling into your accommodation, take some time to explore the town and get familiar with the local surroundings.


Start your day by strolling along the bustling streets of El Nido town. You will find a wide array of restaurants, cafes, and shops offering a mix of local delicacies and international cuisine. Grab a hearty breakfast and fuel up for the exciting adventures that await!


Next, head to Las Cabanas Beach, which is just a short tricycle ride away from the town. This stunning beach offers pristine sands and breathtaking views of the surrounding limestone cliffs. Unwind on the beach, take a dip in the turquoise waters, or even try your hand at some beach activities like paddleboarding or jet skiing.


In the afternoon, make your way to the Taraw Cliff viewpoint. This challenging hike offers panoramic views of El Nido and its majestic surroundings. As you ascend the steep trail, you will be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the town, Bacuit Bay, and the surrounding islands. Make sure to bring plenty of water and wear appropriate footwear, as the climb can be quite demanding.


After enjoying the stunning views from Taraw Cliff, head back to El Nido town to catch the beautiful sunset. Walk along the beachfront promenade, grab a refreshing drink, and find a spot to watch the sun sink below the horizon. The sunset in El Nido is truly a magical experience that shouldn’t be missed.


In the evening, indulge in a delicious seafood dinner at one of the local restaurants. El Nido is known for its fresh seafood, and you can feast on mouthwatering dishes like grilled fish, squid adobo, or shrimp sinigang. After dinner, take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife of El Nido. Enjoy live music, have a few drinks, and mingle with fellow travelers and locals.


After a full day of exploring, head back to your accommodation and get some rest, as there are many more adventures to come in the following days of your El Nido itinerary.


Day 2: Island Hopping Tour A

Get ready for an unforgettable day of island hopping as you embark on Tour A, one of the most popular and scenic tours in El Nido. This tour will take you to some of the most iconic destinations within the Bacuit Bay, where you’ll encounter pristine lagoons, hidden beaches, and breathtaking limestone formations.


Start your day early with a hearty breakfast to fuel up for the adventure ahead. A boat will pick you up from your accommodation and take you to the first stop of Tour A, the Secret Lagoon. As the name suggests, this hidden gem is tucked away behind towering limestone cliffs. Swim through a small crevice to enter the lagoon and be amazed by its tranquil turquoise waters and stunning rock formations.


Next, head to Shimizu Island for a delicious beachside buffet lunch. Feast on freshly grilled seafood, tropical fruits, and local dishes while enjoying the picturesque views of the island.


After lunch, prepare to be mesmerized by the Big Lagoon. This natural wonder is a true paradise, with its emerald waters surrounded by towering limestone karsts. Hop on a kayak or a paddleboard and explore the lagoon’s calm waters, where you might even spot some colorful marine life.


Continue the island-hopping adventure to Small Lagoon, a hidden gem that can only be accessed by swimming through a small opening. Once inside, you’ll find yourself in a serene world of turquoise waters, towering cliffs, and lush vegetation. Take your time to swim, snorkel, or just relax and soak in the breathtaking beauty.


The last stop of Tour A is Seven Commandos Beach. This picturesque beach is named after the seven Japanese commandos who reportedly lived here after World War II. Kick back and relax on the soft white sand, take a swim in the crystal-clear waters, or play beach volleyball with your fellow travelers.


After a day filled with adventure and natural wonders, the boat will take you back to El Nido town. Take the evening to explore the vibrant streets, indulge in delicious local cuisine, or simply relax and unwind at your accommodation.


Remember to wear sunscreen, bring a hat, and pack your swimwear and snorkeling gear for this incredible day of island hopping. Don’t forget to bring a waterproof bag to protect your valuables and a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day.


Day 2 will leave you in awe of El Nido’s natural beauty and leave you eager for more adventures in the days to come.


Day 3: Island Hopping Tour C

Prepare to be amazed as you embark on the adventure-packed Island Hopping Tour C in El Nido. This tour will take you to some of the most stunning destinations in Bacuit Bay, where you’ll encounter turquoise waters, hidden beaches, and mesmerizing coral reefs.


Start your day by fueling up with a hearty breakfast. A boat will pick you up from your accommodation and take you to the first stop of Tour C, Helicopter Island. Named after its unique shape resembling a helicopter, this island is known for its pristine white sand beach and vibrant marine life. Take a leisurely swim, go snorkeling, or simply bask in the sun and enjoy the beauty of this picturesque paradise.


Next, you’ll head to Matinloc Shrine, an abandoned religious site nestled on a cliff overlooking the sea. Explore the remnants of the shrine and enjoy the panoramic views of the bay. Don’t forget to take some time to relax on the adjacent beach, known for its powdery white sand and crystalline waters.


From there, you’ll visit Secret Beach, a hidden gem accessible through a narrow passageway between towering limestone cliffs. Inside, you’ll discover a secluded beach surrounded by impressive rock formations. Spend some time snorkeling and marvel at the vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful corals and tropical fish.


Afterward, your boat will take you to the Hidden Beach, a secluded paradise tucked away behind towering cliffs. With its pristine waters and untouched beauty, this beach is like a secret oasis. Swim, sunbathe, or simply take in the tranquility of the surroundings.


The final stop on Tour C is Tapiutan Island, where you can relax on the beach or snorkel around its vibrant coral reefs. The island offers a picturesque setting for a beach picnic lunch, allowing you to savor the flavors of local cuisine while enjoying the breathtaking views.


As the day comes to an end, you’ll be taken back to El Nido town. Take the evening to unwind and reflect on the incredible experiences of the day. Explore the town’s vibrant nightlife, try out some local delicacies, or simply relax and prepare for the adventures that await you on the following day.


Make sure to pack your swimsuit, snorkeling gear, and a waterproof bag to protect your belongings. Bring sunscreen, a hat, and a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day. Be prepared to immerse yourself in the beauty of El Nido’s natural wonders and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Day 3 of your El Nido itinerary will leave you in awe of the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant marine life that this stunning destination has to offer.


Day 4: Exploring Nacpan Beach and Las Cabanas Beach

On the final day of your El Nido itinerary, get ready to relax and unwind at two of the most beautiful beaches in the area – Nacpan Beach and Las Cabanas Beach.


Start your day with a delicious breakfast to fuel up for the day’s activities. Hire a tricycle or rent a motorcycle and make your way to Nacpan Beach, which is located about 30 minutes north of El Nido town. Known for its long stretch of powdery white sand and clear waters, Nacpan Beach offers a serene and idyllic setting for you to soak up the sun.


Once you arrive at Nacpan Beach, find a comfortable spot on the sand and relax under the shade of a palm tree. Take a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters, go for a leisurely walk along the beach, or simply lounge and enjoy the peaceful ambiance. Nacpan Beach is also a great spot for beach activities like frisbee, beach volleyball, or building sandcastles.


When hunger strikes, there are a few beachfront eateries where you can grab a bite to eat. Indulge in fresh seafood, grilled meats, and refreshing tropical fruits while enjoying the stunning views of the beach.


In the afternoon, make your way to Las Cabanas Beach, which is just a short distance from El Nido town. This beach offers panoramic views of Bacuit Bay, with its towering limestone cliffs and vibrant turquoise waters. Relax on the powdery sands, take a leisurely swim, or try out some water activities like paddleboarding or kayaking.


Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the viewing deck at Las Cabanas Beach, which offers the perfect vantage point to watch the sunset. As the vibrant colors of the sky blend with the tranquil sea, you’ll be mesmerized by the beauty of nature.


After enjoying the sunset, head back to El Nido town for a leisurely dinner. Sample the local specialties, such as Kinilaw (a Filipino ceviche) or Chicken Inasal (grilled chicken marinated in a flavorful combination of spices). Reflect on the incredible experiences and memories you’ve made during your time in El Nido.


As the night falls, you can choose to explore the town’s nightlife or simply relax and unwind at your accommodation. Take this opportunity to reminisce about the stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and the warm hospitality of El Nido.


With your last day spent on Nacpan Beach and Las Cabanas Beach, your El Nido adventure comes to a close. Cherish the memories and the beauty of this tropical paradise before bidding farewell to one of the most remarkable destinations in the Philippines.



El Nido, located in the picturesque province of Palawan in the Philippines, is truly a tropical paradise that offers a myriad of experiences for travelers. From its stunning limestone cliffs to its crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches, El Nido is a destination that captivates the hearts of all who visit.


During your 4-day itinerary in El Nido, you had the opportunity to explore the beauty of the Bacuit Bay through island hopping tours. Tour A took you to iconic destinations like the Secret Lagoon, Big Lagoon, and Seven Commandos Beach, while Tour C allowed you to discover hidden gems such as Secret Beach and Hidden Beach. These tours showcased the extraordinary natural wonders of El Nido, leaving you in awe of the turquoise waters, towering cliffs, and vibrant marine life.


On Day 1, you arrived in El Nido and had a chance to explore the town, visit Las Cabanas Beach, and witness the breathtaking sunset from Taraw Cliff viewpoint. Day 2 was filled with adventure as you embarked on Tour A, visiting the Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, and more. Day 3 brought you to the stunning attractions of Tour C, including Helicopter Island and Matinloc Shrine.


On your final day, you enjoyed the tranquility of Nacpan Beach and marveled at the panoramic views from Las Cabanas Beach. These beaches provided the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind, and soak in the beauty of El Nido’s natural surroundings.


Throughout your journey, you experienced not only the incredible landscapes and beaches but also the warm hospitality and delicious cuisine of the Philippines. The fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and local delicacies added a flavorful touch to your El Nido adventure.


As you conclude your 4-day itinerary in El Nido, you leave with a deep appreciation for the natural beauty, vibrant marine life, and serenity that this tropical paradise offers. The memories of your adventures, the stunning sunsets, and the warm smiles of the locals will stay with you forever.


Whether you are seeking a blissful beach vacation, thrilling water activities, or simply a peaceful escape from the bustling city, El Nido has it all. With its pristine beaches, breathtaking landscapes, and a sense of tranquility, El Nido is a destination that will leave you longing to return.


So, pack your bags, plan your itinerary, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to El Nido, where you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime.