Towering limestone cliffs, unspoiled lagoons, and sustainable preservation shelter El Nido. The pristine island offers secluded beachfronts with cottages perched on stilts, and a lot of nature-friendly activities that do not require mass gatherings like snorkeling, kayaking, and diving. El Nido is also a boat ride away from Bacuit Bay, an archipelago dotted with jagged karst cliffs, coves, and islets standing still over crystal clear waters.
Accounting to P3.1-billion losses and unemployment of 14,000 tourism workers, Palawan is really determined to get back on its feet. During the early half of the pandemic, the Department of Tourism and the Palawan local government unit (LGUs) hosted the country’s first ever dry run in El Nido before gradually reopening interprovincial borders. Now on its second phase, which commenced last Nov. 11, El Nido officially welcomes tourists from Manila through a travel bubble—direct point-to-point travel between NCR and Palawan. But before booking that flight, here are a few FAQs you should know about.
Who are allowed entry to El Nido:
Tourists of all ages from Manila and the region can visit El Nido provided that they have a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 48 hours prior arrival, valid IDs, QR code from El Nido tourism website, direct roundtrip flight tickets, confirmed accommodation booking at a Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited hotel or resort or confirmed tour booking with a DOT-accredited tour operator.
How to go to El Nido from Manila:
As the main jump-off point, you can only visit the island from Manila through a direct flight. As of now, only domestic carrier Airswift flies to Lio Airport in El Nido as both Puerto Princesa and San Vicente airports have yet to accept travelers. You can get there in one hour and 20 minutes with four flights per day. If you’re a resident of Palawan, different modes of land transportation are allowed, including buses, vans, tricycle within the municipality, or motorboats for island municipalities.
What locations and activities are open in Phase 2:
Aside from scuba diving and kayaking, you can now go island-hopping on select lagoons and beaches such as Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Snake Island, Cathedral Cave, and Cudugnon Cave, among others. It’s not advisable, however, to visit the mainland beach yet.
Where can I stay?
You can only book a stay at a DOT-accredited hotel or resort with a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO). The list includes:
MINILOC ISLAND RESORT
PANGULASIAN ISLAND RESORT AND SPA
HUNI LIO RESORT
MAREMEGMEG BEACH CLUB
LAGEN ISLAND RESORT
CHARLIE’S EL NIDO
STUNNING REPUBLIC BEACH RESORT
LAYANG LAYANG HOME INN
MORINGA EL NIDO PHILIPPINES INC.
(EL NIDO COCO RESORT)
APT THE APARTMENTS AT EL NIDO
A PLACE TO REMEMBER
CADLAO RESORT & RESTAURANT
TELESFORA BEACH COTTAGE
LA CASA TERESA TOURIST INN
JURIAS GARDEN HOTEL