By Flipnomad for Yahoo! Travel
The Philippines is often skipped by tourists travelling around Southeast Asia due to its awkward geographic location. One has to take a flight to enter the country in comparison to an overland option that you have when you go from one country to another in mainland Southeast Asia. And because the country is receiving lesser tourists than its neighbours, the islands remained pristine, almost untouched and almost paradise-like.
One of those paradises that I was lucky to have had visited in the past is El Nido.
El Nido is one of the country's most gorgeous beach paradises that can be found in Palawan, which is often referred to as the last frontier of the Philippines.
There's a variety of options when it comes to travelling to El Nido. The most popular and cost effective option would be to fly to Puerto Princesa and take a five to six- hour bus trip up to El Nido. Check out my blog post on How to Go to El Nido for a more detailed information.
Once you get to El Nido town, you'll be rewarded with a picturesque view of Bacuit Bay. And to see more of paradise-like beaches, you have to take a boat to these islands which I think are probably some of the best beaches in the whole world.
Here's a list of El Nido's Top Ten Beaches:
You could either rent a tricycle and drive to Sitio Pacalsada or take a boat that could take you directly to Marimegmeg Beach. You'll find a long stretch of white sand with clear water and only a handful of tourists. There're only a couple of resorts on the beach and you'll definitely find a small spot to call your own (at least for the time being). Most tourists go here in the morning and spend the whole day lounging under the shade of palm trees.
El Nido Airport Beach
Fronting the El Nido airport is a long beach with wide shore. You could take a boat or a tricycle going to this beach. There's not even a single resort nor a store on this beach so you better pack some food and drinks prior going here. There's a small river that drains to the sea and you'll sometimes see fishermen digging the shore for some clams and crabs.
Seven Commando, Secret Lagoon Beach and Shimizu Islands
These beaches are only accessible by boat and they're all part of Tour A being offered by various travel agencies.
Shimizu Island is the best place to snorkel and see a variety of fished and corals.
Seven Commando is what I would personally consider as a perfect beach. Picturesque views, blinding white, soft sand and very clear water awaits its visitors.
Secret Lagoon Beach is also not to be missed. On the right side of the beach you'll find a small crevice which opens up to a shallow saltwater lagoon.
Ipil Beach, Pinagbuyutan Island and Snake Island
These islands are all part of Tour B being offered in travel agencies that you'll find in El Nido town.
According to our guide, Ipil Beach is one of the best places to spot sea turtles. And he's right! We saw one swimming towards our boat on our way to Ipil Beach.
Pinagbuyutan Island and Snake Island also offer scenic views and clear water perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
Nacpan and Calitang Beach
Of all the islands and beaches that I've seen in El Nido, the two adjoining beaches known as Nacpan and Calitang beach is my favourite. There're no resorts (yet) and it probably has the widest white sand shore and clearest water that I've seen among the beaches that I've seen in the Philippines. There's also a small fishing village on the left side of the beach where the main source of income is making dried fish and squids.
There are more remote beaches as you go up north but it's not as accessible as the ones I've mentioned here. You could ask around and probably hire a guide and a vehicle to explore the other parts of El Nido.
El Nido is just one of the most beautiful places and a not-to-be missed destination in the country. Visit the Philippines and discover more.