MUST READ: Where to Stay in El Nido (October 2019)

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Endless beaches, stunning landscape, crystal clear waters and a laid-back way of life, El Nido is a dream travel destination for backpackers, travellers and outdoor adventurers.

But El Nido has a ton of accommodation options and not all of them will appeal to all types of travellers. That’s why we put together this guide for where to stay in El Nido.

Our article breaks down El Nido’s best neighbourhoods into easy to digest bites so you can quickly find the neighbourhood that is the best fit for your needs.

So, whether you’re looking to lounge on the beach, island hop, explore the lush landscapes, or party all night long, we’ve got you covered.

Here are our recommendations for where to stay in El Nido, Philippines.

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in El Nido

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

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Caalan Beach
Nestled on the eastern edge of El Nido is the resort town of Caalan Beach. Our pick for where to stay in El Nido if you’re visiting for the first time, Caalan Beach is where you can enjoy all the best of El Nido without the crowds of tourists.
Places to Visit:
  • Get PADI certified and explore a world beneath the waves
  • Drink, float and take in the scenery at Harmony Floating Bar
  • Enjoy great cocktails and a relaxed atmosphere at Bacuit Grill

 

Where to Stay in El Nido

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in El Nido.

 

Best Hostel in El Nido: Spin Designer Hostel

Located at the heart of El Nido, this hostel is within walking distance of restaurants, the beach and bars. It has spacious and comfortable accommodations with hot showers, private lockers, and laundry services. There’s also a 24-hour power standby and you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast each morning.

If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in El Nido!

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Best Hotel in El Nido: The Cavern Pod Hotel & Specialty Cafe

This great three-star hotel gets our vote for the best hotel in El Nido. Situated in beautiful Corong Corong, this hotel is within walking distance of the beach, bars and great restaurants. It has comfortable and well-outfitted room, a coffee bar, and an on-site eatery.

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El Nido Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in El Nido

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Caalan Beach

  • Nestled on the eastern edge of El Nido is the resort town of Caalan Beach. Our pick for where to stay in El Nido if you’re visiting for the first time, Caalan Beach is where you can enjoy all the best of El Nido without the crowds of tourists.
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El Nido Town

  • El Nido town is the largest settlement in the municipality. It sits on the island’s eastern coast and offers incredible views of El Nido Bay and lush Cadlao Island. Packed with eateries, cafes, bars and bistros, El Nido town is where you can enjoy a few drinks and watch the stunning sun go down.
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El Nido Town

  • Not only is El Nido the cultural and culinary capital of the region, but it also gets our vote as the best place to stay if you’re looking for a night out. Dotted throughout El Nido and bordering the beach, are a good selection of bars and pubs, perfect for unwinding after a long day in the sun.
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Marimegmeg

  • Marimegmeg Beach is one of the most popular and beautiful destinations in El Nido. Set south of El Nido, Marimegmeg Beach looks out at stunning Bacuit Bay. From the pristine sands of this stunning beach, marvel at the sights of this one-of-a-kind natural attraction.
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Corong Corong Beach

  • Set just a ten-minute trek south of El Nido’s main town, you won’t find a better base for families than Corong Corong. Home to a long and large beach, this former fisher fold boasts incredible views of Bacuit Bay and a plethora of activities the whole family will love.
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El Nido is a spectacular tropical paradise. It is a coastal settlement comprised of 45 islands and inlets. For tourists and locals alike, El Nido is a popular holiday spot thanks to its crystal clear turquoise waters, lush landscapes and its brilliant limestone cliffs.

The municipality of El Nido is divided into 18 barangays, which are further divided into towns and beaches. To help you plan your time in El Nido, this guide will break down the five best neighbourhoods in El Nido.

Starting with the town itself. El Nido town is the main hub of the region. Here’ you’ll find a good selection of shops and restaurants, as well as beaches, tour guides and laid-back nightlife.

North of El Nido is Caalan Beach. The perfect base for first-time visitors, Caalan is where you can enjoy all the perks of El Nido without the throngs of tourists. This small seaside resort area is home to a handful of eateries and cafes, as well as stunning natural attractions.

Travel south from here to Corong Corong. A great destination for families visiting El Nido, Corong Corong is home to a stunning beach and calm, clear waters. If you’re looking for an idyllic Filipino getaway, Corong Corong is for you.

And finally, to the south is Marimegmeg. Boasting incredible views and great access to El Nido’s most famous landscapes, this beach bay is where you can relax on the beach, swim in the surf, enjoy a few cocktails, or even fly through the air of a cool zip line.

Still not sure where to stay in El Nido? Don’t worry, in the next section, we’ll unpack each in more detail.

 

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El Nido’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

No, let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in El Nido. Each is a little different from the last so be sure to pick the one that’s right for you.

 

1. Caalan Beach – Where to stay in El Nido first time

Nestled on the eastern edge of El Nido is the resort town of Caalan Beach. Our pick for where to stay in El Nido if you’re visiting for the first time, Caalan Beach is where you can enjoy all the best of El Nido without the crowds of tourists.

Caalan Beach’s most popular attraction is without a doubt its beach. This long stretch of pristine sand is perfect for lounging in the sun and catching some rays. The beach is also a great place to embark on an epic adventure. Hop aboard a boat and head out into El Nido Bay to explore the many islands and inlets that make up this stunning region.

Caalan Beach, El Nido

source: glwx (Wikicommons)

 

Things to See and Do in Caalan Beach

– Get PADI certified and explore a world beneath the waves.

– End your day with a few drinks at La Plage Sunset Bar & Restaurant.

– Drink, float and take in the scenery at Harmony Floating Bar.

– Hop on a scooter and head north to Nacpan Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

– Rent a kayak and venture out onto the crystal clear turquoise waters.

– Enjoy great cocktails and a relaxed atmosphere at Bacuit Grill.

– Spend a day relaxing on Caalan Beach.

– Dine on a delicious meal at Havana Beach Bar & Restaurant.

– Go for a seaside stroll along the Caalan Beach Walking Path.

 

Best Budget Hotel in Caalan Beach: Kalinga Beach Resort

This charming hotel is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a relaxing retreat in El Nido. Set near Caalan Beach, this hotel has its own private beach access. It also offers luggage storage, a tour desk and a garden. It has private rooms with en-suites and ceiling fans.

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Best Hotel in Caalan Beach: Golden Monkey Cottages

The Golden Monkey Cottages is our pick for where to stay in Caalan Beach. It has 15 comfortable cottages with private bathrooms, bottled water and wifi access. This hotel offers bicycle rental, luggage storage and has incredible views. There’s also a delicious on-site restaurant.

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Best Hotel in Caalan Beach: El Nido Reef Strand Resort

Stunning views, clean rooms and a wonderful pool, this is definitely one of the best hotels in El Nido. This guesthouse has four refurbished rooms with A/C and coffee/tea facilities. You’ll also be able to unwind at the stylish lounge bar or enjoy a meal at the restaurant.

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2. El Nido Town – Where to stay in El Nido on a budget

El Nido town is the largest settlement in the municipality. It sits on the island’s eastern coast and offers incredible views of El Nido Bay and lush Cadlao Island. Packed with eateries, cafes, bars and bistros, El Nido town is where you can enjoy a few drinks and watch the stunning sun go down.

This is also where you’ll find the best selection of cost-conscious accommodations in the region. Offering everything from budget hostels and boutique hotels to vacation apartments and high-end resorts, El Nido is a town with something for every type of traveller.

Love to eat? El Nido is a great place to satisfy your appetite. While exploring the town, make sure you sample one of El Nido’s world-famous falafels.

El Nido Town, El Nido

source: Jack Versloot (Flickr)

 

Things to See and Do in El Nido Town

– Hop on board and spend a day island hopping around El Nido.

– Feast on fresh and delicious falafels.

– Rest and relax with a good (and cheap) massage.

– Explore the beautiful Big Lagoon.

– Try to find El Nido’s stunning Hidden Beach.

– Enjoy amazing views from Taraw Cliff.

– Relax and cool off at Seven Commando Beach.

– Wander around Entalula Island.

– Dine on delicious food at Tambok’s El Nido.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth at Midtown Bakery.

– Sample a few drinks at Rooftop.

– Eat an incredible meal right on the beach at Pinche’s Mexican Bar and Grill.

 

Best Hostel in El Nido Town: Spin Designer Hostel

Located at the heart of El Nido, this hostel is within walking distance of restaurants, the beach and bars. It has spacious and comfortable accommodations with hot showers, private lockers, and laundry services. There’s also a 24-hour power standby and you can enjoy a delicious breakfast each morning.

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Best Hotel in El Nido Town: Bill Tourist Inn

Bill Tourist Inn is the best place to stay in El Nido thanks to its central location, large rooms and comfortable beds. This hotel has 14 rooms with air conditioning, satellite channels and en-suite showers. It is situated close to tourist attractions, restaurants and bars.

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Best Hotel in El Nido Town: Ipil Suites El Nido

This hotel is in a fantastic location just a short stroll from Balay Tubay Bistro, the beach and plenty of bars. It has comfortable and clean rooms equipped with private bathrooms and air conditioning. This three-star hotel is home to a stylish bar and a delicious restaurant.

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3. El Nido Town – Best area to stay in El Nido for nightlife

Not only is El Nido the cultural and culinary capital of the region, but it also gets our vote as the best place to stay if you’re looking for a night out. Dotted throughout El Nido and bordering the beach, are a good selection of bars and pubs, perfect for unwinding after a long day in the sun. While you won’t find any wild clubs and all-night dancehalls here, El Nido is where you can enjoy a laid-back party any night of the week.

For a fun night out, head to Balay Tubay, a favourite haunt of El Nido’s expats and enjoy a social night of drinks, laughs and bonding with fellow travellers.

El Nido Town, El Nido

 

Things to See and Do in El Nido Town

– Spend a day swimming, singing, and partying on the El Nido Party Boat.

– Enjoy good music at The Playground.

– Dance the night away at New Zone.

– Listen to the best reggae in town at Rasta Bar.

– Hear live music every night of the week at Pukka Bar.

– Eat incredible food at The Cadlao Resort and Restaurant.

– Dig into fresh seafood at Doy’s Grill.

– Catch the game at Art Café.

– Try the best cocktail in El Nido at Sava Beach Bar.

– Bask in a welcoming atmosphere at Balay Tubay.

 

Best Hostel in El Nido Town: Our Melting Pot – El Nido

Located in the heart of the city is Our Melting Pot – one of our favourite hostels in El Nido. It is close to the beach, the town centre, nightlife options and pristine beaches. This social hostel comes complete with a tour desk, motorbike rental, and a comfortable outdoor seating area.

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Best Hotel in El Nido Town: El Nido Beach Hotel

The El Nido Beach Hotel is in a fantastic location for walking to the best beaches, bars, shops and attractions. The recently refurbished rooms have comfortable beds, refrigerators, and wireless internet access. Also on-site you’ll enjoy a great restaurant and an attentive staff.

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Best Hotel in El Nido Town: El Nido Garden Beach Resort

This stunning three-star hotel is our pick for where to stay in El Nido. It has clean rooms with minibars and spacious showers. There’s also wireless internet, bottled water and secure in-room safes. This hotel is within walking distance of the beach, restaurants and bars.

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4. Marimegmeg – Coolest place to stay in El Nido

Marimegmeg Beach is one of the most popular and beautiful destinations in El Nido. Set south of El Nido, Marimegmeg Beach looks out at stunning Bacuit Bay. From the pristine sands of this stunning beach, marvel at the sights of this one-of-a-kind natural attraction.

This part of the island is famous for its incredible sunsets. From almost any point in the neighbourhood, you can watch bright and brilliant colours dance across the sky as the sun dips down beyond the horizon.

Want to get your heart pumping while staying in Marimegmeg? Strap yourself in and fly through the air on a zip line that takes you right to the beach. The views along the way are incredible and not to be missed!

Marimegmeg, El Nido

 

Things to See and Do in Marimegmeg

– Grab a drink and watch the sunset at Republica Sunset Bar.

– Fly through the air and zip line your way down to Las Cabanas Beach.

– Rent a stand-up paddleboard and glide across the amazing waters that surround El Nido.

– Rest and relax on Las Cabanas Beach.

– Learn to dive and get up close and personal with schools of exotic and colourful fish.

– Explore beautiful Pinabuyutan Island.

– Enjoy good drinks and an awesome view at The Nesting Table.

– Sip seaside cocktails and watch the world go by at Marimegmeg Beach Bar.

– Watch the sunset from the Outpost Beach Bar and Restaurant.

 

Best Budget Option in Marimegmeg: Coco Gardens Villas

This awesome property comes complete with a garden and a coconut plantation, massage treatments, and a laundry service. Located in Marimegmeg, this property is close to the beach, restaurants and delightful bars. Each room is outfitted with modern amenities and comfortable surroundings. You’ll also enjoy a delicious daily breakfast.

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Best Hotel in Marimegmeg: Resort Bayview Hotel

This rustic retreat is one of our favourite places to stay in El Nido. Set near Marimegmeg beach, this hotel is in close proximity to the beach, bars, restaurants and top tourist attractions. It has 20 spacious room, an on-site restaurant, and there are even massage services available.

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Best Hotel in Marimegmeg: Las Cabanas Beach Resort

The Las Cabanas Beach Resort is set right on trendy Las Cabanas Beach. It is close to El Nido and it’s many dining and nightlife options. This hotel has a beauty centre, massage services and private beach access. All this combined makes it our pick for where to stay in Marimegmeg.

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5. Corong Corong Beach – Best neighbourhood in El Nido for families

Set just a ten-minute trek south of El Nido’s main town, you won’t find a better base for families than Corong Corong. Home to a long and large beach, this former fisher fold boasts incredible views of Bacuit Bay and a plethora of activities the whole family will love.

Carong Carong Beach is also a great base for exploring the region. From its shores, you can hop on a boat and head out to explore some of the most beautiful natural attractions in the world. Sail through Bacuit Bay and explore the glistening Big and Small Lagoons, making memories that your family won’t soon forget.

Corong Corong Beach, El Nido

 

Things to See and Do in Corong Corong Beach

– Rent kayaks and explore the Big and Small Lagoons of El Nido.

– Snack on great American-style food at The Beach Shack.

– Sink your teeth into a delicious slice at Bella Vita El Nido.

– Enjoy tasty Filipino fare at Palaone Chon Resto El Nido.

– Sip an incredible cappuccino and enjoy a tasty treat at Botanica.

– Wade into the waters of Corong Corong Beach and enjoy a nice swim.

– Browse the stalls and shops as you sample your way through the Night Market.

– Spend a day lounging or playing in the sane at Seven Commandos Beach.

 

Best Hostel in Corong Corong Beach: El Nido One Hostel

This fantastic hostel is conveniently located near Corong Corong. It is situated between the beach and the town and allows for easy access to restaurants, shops and landmarks. It has a whole host of great features, including a helpful tour desk, motorbike rental, and an on-site laundry service.

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Best Hotel in Corong Corong Beach: Elnido Greenviews Beach Resort

Located within walking distance of the beach, this is one of our favourite hotels in Corong Corong. It is close to Balay Tubay Bistro and El Nido town centre. This three-star resort has comfortable rooms, a laundry service, and a tour desk that can help book a variety of great excursions around the region.

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Best Hotel in Corong Corong Beach: The Cavern Pod Hotel & Specialty Cafe

This great three-star hotel gets our vote for where to stay in Corong Corong. Situated in beautiful El Nido, this hotel is within walking distance of the beach, bars and great restaurants. It has comfortable and well-outfitted room, a coffee bar, and an on-site eatery.

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in El Nido

Packed with action and adventure, incredible nature and mind-blowing sights, El Nido is a one of a kind travel destination. Thanks to its pristine beaches and fun party scene, this small seaside community is a top destination for travellers of all ages, styles and budgets. So whether you’re looking to lounge on the beach or marvel at the sights, El Nido is for you!

To quickly recap this post; Spin Designer Hostel is our favourite option for budget accommodation. Not only is it within walking distance of the beach, but it is surrounded by restaurants, bars, shops and great tourist attractions.

Another good option is The Cavern Pod Hotel & Specialty Cafe. South of the town in Corong Corong, this hotel has comfortable rooms, a stylish coffee bar and a delicious on-site restaurant.

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

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