Where to stay in El Nido


Nestled in the northern tip of Palawan in the Philippines, El Nido is a tropical paradise that draws travelers with its powdery white sands, crystal clear waters, and stunning limestone cliffs. Known for its breathtaking islands and vibrant coral reefs, El Nido has a variety of neighborhoods, each offering a unique experience for visitors. Deciding where to stay is crucial for the perfect getaway, as each area presents its distinct vibe, advantages, and drawbacks. This guide will provide you with an honest overview of what to expect in some of the most popular areas of El Nido. Whether you're seeking nightlife, serenity, convenience, or a spectacular view, understanding the character of each place will help you find the perfect spot for your stay.

  • Marimegmeg Beach

    • 💅 trendy
    • hip
    • 🕺 lively
    • social
    • beach bars

    Marimegmeg Beach, also known as Las Cabanas, is becoming increasingly popular due to its wide stretch of golden sand and the variety of water sports available. It's a fantastic place for those who want to enjoy the sunsets and participate in a vibrant beach scene with a mix of tourists and ex-pats. The area offers several accommodations, including upscale establishments. The beach clubs here provide a lively atmosphere well into the evening, but it's not as hectic as El Nido town. However, it's worth noting that the area is a short tricycle ride away from the central town, so frequent trips in and out can add up in cost and travel time.

  • Caalan Beach

    • 🌳 serene
    • private
    • 💕 romantic
    • scenic views
    • 🦭 laid-back

    Tucked away from the main bustle of El Nido town, Caalan Beach offers a more serene and less crowded environment. It's a great choice for travelers who prioritize tranquility and want to enjoy the sound of waves without much disturbance. The area boasts smaller and more intimate resorts, often with beautiful beachfront views. However, due to its location, dining and nightlife options are limited, and it's a bit of a walk from the central attractions of El Nido. Remember that the beachfront can become narrow during high tide, restricting beach activities.

  • Barangay Buena Suerte

    • 🏙️ central
    • 💃 vibrant
    • convenient
    • 👫 busy
    • noisy

    Barangay Buena Suerte, often considered the town center, is a bustling area with easy access to shops, restaurants, and tour booking offices. This vicinity is perfect for first-timers who want to be in the heart of the action and close to El Nido's main jetty for island tours. The accommodations here range from budget-friendly hostels to mid-range hotels. However, the beach here isn't El Nido's best for swimming due to boat traffic, and it isn't as pristine as outlying areas. The convenience comes with the caveat of noise and crowds, especially during peak tourist seasons.