El Nido, Palawan, Philippines – When Things Don’t Go As Planned

A perfect trip is not exactly easy to achieve, it is not as simple as choosing a travel destination, booking your plane ticket and accommodations. Usually, you take into account reading blogs, planning the itinerary and budgeting to bring you to your ultimate dream travel. But what if things just don’t go as planned?

As early as June, I have booked a flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan for 4 days and 3 nights. As usual, I always make sure to put an effort to plan our trip to turn our whole travel experience a rewarding one. Originally, I booked for 6 persons, it was intended for a short break since my eldest sister who works overseas will be visiting us for a few weeks. 2 weeks before the flight, my eldest sister had undergone few circumstances and wasn’t able to go home here in the Philippines. But still, the three of us (my elder sister and her friend) still decided to push through with it, since vacation leaves are issued and we all want to relax and have fun.

I found a local operator, Kuya Ryan, who is recommended by almost everyone in social media, I contacted him and asked our preferred itinerary that exactly fits with our flight schedule. After few details and inquiries, I have availed the package tour for us. We are now set and ready to go.

The sun shined the brightest upon our arrival at Puerto Princesa International Airport, we had our breakfast and waited for the driver who will fetch us going to El Nido. It will be a 5 to 6 hours land transfer. It was all good and exactly the way we planned it, but upon arrival at El Nido, we have heard a news that all tours are cancelled for the day since a tropical depression will be arriving in Northern Palawan. And the funny thing is, it was named as typhoon “Hanna”.

But, we can’t change the weather, if it’s going to rain then it’ll rain. So another planning is needed, rather than whining and complaining about it or putting ourselves in a bad mood, we have figured out a way to get out and decided just to make the best of it. We were actually hopeful everyday that the sun will rise, it did! But still, island hopping tours which are El Nido’s main attraction are still cancelled for safety.

So here’s a few list of things to do in El Nido when things don’t go as planned:

  • Rent habal-habal and explore inland El Nido 

Habal-habal or motorcycle is a popular mode of transportation in El Nido. We rented a motorbike, which costed 350 PHP only for the whole day. But please note that price range varies, depending on negotiations made.

  • Catch the sunrise or sunset at Las Cabanas

Walking over this beach is a real pleasure. I recommend you to catch the sunrise or sunset here since this a nice beach and absolutely not overcrowded with tourists. There are lots of restaurants and places to get drinks too. They are also finishing a shopping complex called Vanilla Beach with a retail strip of beachfront shops and restaurants and a place to shop and dine at El Nido.

The tricycle fare going to Las Cabanas is 150 PHP from town.

In Photo: Monica and Harold
  • Take a stroll along Bacuit Bay

You can walk along the beach but swimming is not allowed.

As of August 2019, according to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, swimming will not be allowed in 2 areas in Bacuit Bay and an area in the Corong-Corong Bay because of high levels of fecal coliform there. But there are many good restaurants to choose from in here that all have views of the ocean.

  • Canopy Walk and Dream Catcher

We paid 700 PHP per person to do the canopy walk and dream catcher, in my own idea it is quite expensive but is definitely worth doing. Helmets, gears and harness are provided, and there is a guide that will take you up and down. Our guide is really good and took amazing photos. The entire climb is about 20 minutes and ascending about 10 minutes. Once at the top you will have an incredible view over the entire area.

You can also hike Mt. Taraw, the highest point of El Nido, about 230 meters above sea level.

  • Beaches of El Nido
    • Lio Beach is located within Bacuit bay on the west coast of Palawan, it is a beach 4km long stretch and just opened a few years ago. The beach is clean and well maintained, just like the Sentosa Island in Singapore. There are a variety of specialty restaurants, souvenir shops, spa services and of course, a stunning beach. This resort is open for public and you are permitted to use their lounge chairs. This is also where the El Nido Airport, also known as Lio Airport, is located.

    • Marimegmeg Beach can be reached on a quick tricycle ride from the town proper, 150 PHP tricycle ride. There are great spots to have a swim. There are also a number of bars selling drinks and various food items. However, there is a construction ongoing on the beach.

    • Corong-Corong Beach is ideal for anyone wanting a quiet day to relax.
    • Nacpan Beach is a 45-minute motorbike ride from town. Note that the road going to this beach is quite rough, it was stormy and we struggled a lot going here, there are pot holes, dirt and massive rocks along the way. It was worth the crazy ride in though, since the beach was beautiful and idyllic. Since it was raining hard and tours are cancelled, there are lots of tourists and people around. We had tried here a carinderia which prepared us a very wonderful meal.

    • Others: Calitang Beach, Duli Beach

Honestly, what to do in El Nido when things don’t go as planned? Not much. But like what I said, we can’t change the weather, so it’s pointless fretting about it. Palawan’s dry season starts in October until May, I highly recommend to visit Palawan during these months.

Tour Provider: 

El Nido based Legit Local Tour Operator: ELByahe’s Travel and Tour

Contact Number:  +639260387378/ +639476173708

Kuya Ryan will be providing everything you need, he actually asked me to go back and offered me a FREE Island Hopping Tours  (Tour A and C)! I’ll definitely go back, I couldn’t help but feel incomplete, I missed out on a few things I’d really want to do in this paradise.

More Photos: (Some are processed in Adobe Lightroom)


When we visit a place, let us all adhere to the motto:
“Take nothing but pictures. Kill nothing but time. Leave nothing but footprints.”
If you have questions, ask me and feel free to leave comment in the comment box.
Thank you for reading, please check my other blog entries too!

About the author

Aspiring to travel as much as she aspires to pursue her dreams, Hannah is fascinated with planned adventures and shares tidbits of her travel experiences and photographs on this website. Outside of travel, she mastered finishing an entire season of a TV series in one go or replenishes her soul by indulging herself in reading well-written novels and substantial non-fiction books.

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