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The stunning sheer limestone cliffs and islands that rise out of the sea in cathedral like structures make the El Nido area one of the most picturesque and iconic places in the Philippines.

The area was named after the edible swiftlet's birds nests so sought after to make birds nest soup which are still harvested in the area by the local population.

Preserving swiftlet bird numbers

El Nido became famous for its swiftlet birds nests which are a delicacy in chinese soup. The number of birds sadly dwindled for many years as the collecting of their nests could not be stopped.

The marine reserve has now been able to help the government stop this practice allowing nest collections only when the birds have reached maturity, although it still hard to enforce in the remote areas. As a result in recent years the birds have been allowed to increase numbers and can still call El Nido their home today.

Bacuit Bay

Bacuit Bay in which many of these limestone structures and islands are found, hides pristine forests and wildlife, lagoons, secret beaches, crystal clear coves, amazing reefs and marine life and the two El Nido Resorts of Miniloc Island and Lagen Island.

El Nido's wildlife 

The El Nido area is now a marine reserve and boasts a huge variety of habitats, marine life and animals. The reserve is home to some rare animals such as the dugong (seacow) and turtles as well as the swiftlet birds.

El Nido has some of the most spectacular underwater life with reef and limestone corals, thousands of fish, turtles, black tip sharks and more. Diving can be organized at many sights through El Nido to explore the amazing underwater realms that the area has to offer.

Exploring El Nido

El Nido is made up of hundreds of limestone islands said to have formed millions of years ago and creates a stunning backdrop to admire. Only a few of the islands in the marine reserve are inhabited, El Nido town being the largest community in the area.

It is a small relaxed place set against the Marble Cliffs. You can take walks around the town and to the nearby villages, talk to the locals and visit the hand full of boutique and art shops.

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who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Alex

Start planning your tailor-made trip to El Nido by contacting one of our Philippines specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring El Nido

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in El Nido, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of El Nido

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near El Nido

    Accommodation choices for El Nido

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit El Nido. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Pool Villa,El Nido Pangulasian Island Resort

      El Nido Pangulasian Island Resort

      Deluxe

      El Nido Pangulasian Island Resort is a beautiful property with fantastic modern facilities to enrich the desert island experience.

    • Water cottages at El Nido Lagen resort

      El Nido Lagen Island Resort

      First Class

      The standard of service at El Nido Lagen is second to none and your every need will be catered for. The hotel is a perfect escape for those who would like to enjoy nature and tranquillity in style.

    • El Nido Apulit Island Resort,El Nido

      El Nido Apulit Island Resort

      First Class

      Apulit Island Resort is located in Taytay on the eastern coast of Northern Palawan. The resort is set within a pristine cove of a white-sand beach lined with coconut trees. It boasts an unspoilt location and showcases a wealth of wildlife, colourful tropical fish and scenic landscapes.

    • El Nido Miniloc Island Resort, El Nido

      El Nido Miniloc Island Resort

      Medium

      The El Nido Miniloc Resort is worth staying here for a few days at the end of a long trip to enjoy the amenities and relax before going home.