If you've had enough of island hopping and want to see a different side of El Nido, there are many other things to do... but most people do not know of them.
Stop by the Municipal Tourist Office (located across from the Catholic Church on Calle Real). They have good city maps and regional maps that offer locations of caves, waterfalls, hikes, hot springs, etc.
The staff can also help tell you reasonable prices for any of those activities so you know if the tricycle drivers or guides are trying to cheat you.
I DO NOT GO FOR A TOUR AGENTS/COMPANY, but I did it just take a trip to El Nido last February 12-16, 2010 and had the experience of a LIFETIME.
If you go to El Nido, you will undoubtedly do some island hopping, but its how we did it that really made our trip.
HADEFE Travel and Tours with Kuya Hanny a 5 days tour, it includes trip to EL Nido and Puerto Prinsesa. (and im not sure if this tip will permit by Mr G and Tillman to post this)
but after the trip we are truly enjoy in their service.... it was superb promise...
here are their website.
09209523280 - Hanny Enor
If you spend any time at all in El Nido, you’ll probably end up at the Art Café. This place is a great traveler’s resource. They arrange island hopping, ‘cliff climbing’ and boat rentals as well as close to a full service travel agency as El Nido has. They’ve got a decent restaurant where you can pick up little luxuries like imported wine. And although there’s nothing special about the food, it’s fine and the staff is friendly and competent. One nice bonus is the free wi-fi internet connection you can enjoy if you bring your laptop while eating there.
Swiss co-owner (and VTer) Judith is particularly well-informed about El Nido and has a lot of info about Palawan generally. As full service as they are, they are also a bit on the expensive side for just about everything, but only a bit. For my peace of mind, an extra 50 pesos for an all-day tour was worth it. And the free internet was definitely worth an extra 20 pesos on the meal.
Fondest memory: Judith VT ID
Art Cafe website
Favorite thing: There are many, many places to stay in El Nido. Depending on what quality you want, you can pay anything from $15 (USD) up to several hundred. Many of these do not have web pages to advertise and the telephone numbers are sometimes changed because cellular numbers might be printed (and cell number contracts may expire). Therefore sometimes it is best that you just arrive and walk around to find a suitable place.
Favorite thing: Maybe this could help others who are comming from Puerto Princessa going to Elnido or to other places. I have a Van that you can rent if you want to go anywhere in Palawan. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or just drop me a call/Text at +639186779661. Plan ahead of time and let me help you make your Itinerary if needed.
the country gets an average of 20-23 hurricanes every year and about 90% of them arrive between the months of june - october. it's called rainy season for a reason :D but it doesn't mean that it rains everyday, nor does it mean that every hurricane is sure to hit the province of palawan. it's a big gamble though. my advice to you is to not book a tour package, just rooms, coz the odds are against you. hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Visit El NIdo during April and May .Timing of August might prevent you from entering the secret beach. We visited it last April 7.At around 11am. The water level was just enough for the hole that we were able to come in without much problem..
Fondest memory: Clean,white sand beach and beautiful corals
If you are a diver or not, try and enjoy the under water world. You can enjoy snorkelling if that suits you better.
Fondest memory: Nice confortable atomosphere. You feel so at ease just looking the ocean.