Calling all water lovers! Endless beaches, crystal clear waters and EPIC snorkelling are calling your name. Let me introduce you to El Nido.

Whether you’re into snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing or paddle boarding – you can do it all in the tropical waters of El Nido. Home to hidden coves, enchanting marine life and incredible coral – El Nido never fails to captivate its visitors.

And if you’re not sold just yet, just wait until you see the smiley faces of the friendly locals who welcome you. The Filipinos are some of the friendliest humans in the world and they welcome you into their home with open arms (and plenty of food!)

Deciding where to stay in  El Nido is an important mission to be tasked with. El Nido has a few key areas to choose from and each offers something a little unique to its visitors. If you’ve never visited before, it is hard to know which will be best for you.

That’s where I come in! I’ve had the difficult task of exploring the beaches and eating the food in each of the areas (such a tough job). I’ve compiled everything I know into this guide to help you decide which area suits you best.

Whether you’re looking for the best surfing spots, pumpin’ nightlife, or are planning a family vacation – I’ve got you covered.

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.

When to visit El Nido

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Magestic Hut In The Jungle | Best Airbnb in El Nido

You cannot find a better experience in the Philippines staying here. You get to stay in private hut! This Airbnb has the number one view we have seen on the site, and it doesn’t end there. The owners are totally switched on about saving energy and using the resources mother nature gave us. They even teach you about the permaculture, let you pick from the garden, and show you just how their solar panel system works in the tropics.

And most of all, the place is geared towards travelers coming through, so they made the ideal hangout location on site. Just sip on some coconuts or drink a cold San Miguel while you meet new people staying nearby or on the location. As for location, there’s nothing better than having the option to go hiking in your backyard, but if you are looking for some social life there are some awesome coffee shops within walking distance with the choice of neat little cafes that will definitely have halo halo, – a must-try local dessert!

Spin Designer Hostel | Best Hostel in El Nido

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.

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

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 – some of the best El Nido nightlife. It has comfortable and well-outfitted room, a coffee bar, and an on-site eatery.

El Nido Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in El Nido

FIRST TIME IN EL NIDO
Caalan Beach, El Nido
FIRST TIME IN EL NIDO

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. It may be the best beach in El Nido.

ON A BUDGET
El Nido Town, El Nido
ON A BUDGET

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.

NIGHTLIFE
El Nido Town, El Nido
NIGHTLIFE

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.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Marimegmeg, El Nido
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

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.

FOR FAMILIES
Corong Corong Beach, El Nido
FOR FAMILIES

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.

El Nido is a spectacular tropical paradise, perfect for surfers, divers, and nature lovers. It’s one of the coolest destinations in Palawan, offering crystal clear waters, lush landscapes, and brilliant limestone cliffs.

Caalan Beach is the best place to stay if you’re visiting El Nido for the first time. Here, 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.

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. It’s also the best place to stay if you’re backpacking the Philippines on a budget, as there’s lots of cheap accommodation on offer.

To the south is Marimegmeg, which boasts incredible views and easy access to El Nido’s most famous landscapes. This 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.

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, this is for you. Even if you don’t stay here, it’s one place to add to your El Nido itinerary.

Still not sure where to stay in El Nido? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with more information on each area below!

El Nido’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look at each of these areas in more detail. We’ve included our top accommodation and activity picks in each, so you know exactly what to expect.

1. Caalan Beach – Where to Stay in El Nido for your First Visit

Caalan Beach, El Nido
Photo: glwx (WikiCommons)

Nestled on the eastern edge of El Nido is the resort town of Caalan Beach. It’s where you can enjoy all the best of El Nido without the tourist crowds.

The beach is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the top attraction in this area. This long stretch of pristine sand is perfect for lounging in the sun and catching some rays. It’s 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.

Magestic Hut In The Jungle | Best Airbnb in Caalan Beach

You cannot find a better experience in the Philippines staying here. You get to stay in private hut! This Airbnb has the number one view we have seen on the site, and it doesn’t end there. The owners are totally switched on about saving energy and using the resources mother nature gave us. They even teach you about the permaculture, let you pick from the garden, and show you just how their solar panel system works in the tropics.

And most of all, the place is geared towards travelers coming through, so they made the ideal hangout location on site. Just sip on some coconuts or have a San Miguel while you meet new people staying nearby or on the location. As for location, there’s nothing better than having the option to go hiking in your backyard, but if you are looking for some social life there are some awesome coffee shops within walking distance with the choice of neat little cafes that will definitely have halo halo, – a must-try local dessert!

Kalinga Beach Resort | Best Budget Hotel in Caalan Beach

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.

Golden Monkey Cottages | Best Hotel in Caalan Beach

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.

El Nido Reef Strand Resort | Best Hotel in Caalan Beach

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.

Things to See and Do in Caalan Beach

  1. Get PADI certified and explore a world beneath the waves.
  2. End your day with a few drinks at La Plage Sunset Bar & Restaurant.
  3. Drink, float, and take in the scenery at Harmony Floating Bar.
  4. Hop on a scooter and head north to Nacpan Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
  5. Rent a kayak and venture out onto the crystal clear turquoise waters.
  6. Enjoy great cocktails and a relaxed atmosphere at Bacuit Grill.
  7. Spend a day relaxing on Caalan Beach.
  8. Dine on a delicious meal at Havana Beach Bar & Restaurant.
  9. Go for a seaside stroll along the Caalan Beach Walking Path.
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2. El Nido Town – Where to Stay in El Nido on a Budget

El Nido Town, El Nido
Photo: Jack Versloot (Flickr)

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 budget accommodation in El Nido. Offering everything from hostels and boutique hotels to vacation apartments, you’ll be comfy no matter how long you stay.

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 falafel.

Simple And Cozy Room | Best Airbnb in El Nido Town

This cozy room is perfect for backpackers looking for budget accommodation in El Nido. The room comes with free wifi, a hot shower, and a TV with satellite channels. It’s newly renovated and features modern furnishings.

Spin Designer Hostel | Best Hostel in El Nido Town

Located at the heart of El Nido, this hostel is within walking distance of restaurants, the beach, and bars. It has spacious and comfortable rooms with hot showers, private lockers, and laundry services. There’s also a delicious breakfast on offer each morning.

Bill Tourist Inn | Best Hotel in El Nido Town

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.

Ipil Suites El Nido | Best Hotel in El Nido Town

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.

Things to See and Do in El Nido Town

  1. Hop on board and spend a day island-hopping around El Nido.
  2. Feast on fresh and delicious falafels.
  3. Rest and relax with a good (and cheap) massage.
  4. Explore the beautiful Big Lagoon.
  5. Try to find El Nido’s stunning Hidden Beach.
  6. Enjoy amazing views from Taraw Cliff.
  7. Relax and cool off at Seven Commando Beach.
  8. Wander around Entalula Island.
  9. Dine on delicious food at Tambok’s El Nido.
  10. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Midtown Bakery.
  11. Sample a few drinks at Rooftop.
  12. Eat an incredible meal right on the beach at Pinche’s Mexican Bar and Grill.

3. El Nido Town – Best Area to Stay in El Nido for Nightlife

El Nido town, Philippines

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 good night out. There is a good selection of bars dotted around the area, perfect for unwinding after a long day in the sun.

You won’t find any wild clubs and all-night dancehalls here, but you can enjoy a laid-back party any night of the week.

El Nido Beach Hotel | Best Hotel in El Nido Town

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.

Charming and Quiet Bungalow | Best Airbnb in El Nido Town

Within less than a minute’s walk from the beach is this cute bungalow. It’s in the middle of an exotic garden, with a rustic but contemporary feel. You’ll have access to a kitchen and free wifi, giving you the convenience of a hostel with some extra privacy.

Our Melting Pot | Best Hostel in El Nido Town

Located in the heart of the city is Our Melting Pot – one of our favorite hostels. 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.

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

This stunning three-star hotel 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.

Things to See and Do in El Nido Town

  1. Spend a day swimming, singing, and partying on the El Nido Party Boat.
  2. Enjoy good music at The Playground.
  3. Dance the night away at New Zone.
  4. Listen to the best reggae in town at Rasta Bar.
  5. Hear live music every night of the week at Pukka Bar.
  6. Eat incredible food at The Cadlao Resort and Restaurant.
  7. Dig into fresh seafood at Doy’s Grill.
  8. Catch the game at Art Café.
  9. Try the best cocktail in El Nido at Sava Beach Bar.
  10. Bask in a welcoming atmosphere at Balay Tubay.
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4. Marimegmeg – Coolest Place to Stay in El Nido

Marimegmeg

Marimegmeg Beach is one of the most popular and beautiful destinations in El Nido. 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 neighborhood, you can watch bright and brilliant colors fill 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!

Resort Bayview Hotel | Best Hotel in Marimegmeg

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.

Bungalow Surrounded By Good Vibes | Best Airbnb in Marimegmeg

If you love jungle, this is the room to stay in! By far, this place is in an ideal location when you want to stay near the beach. The eco-cottages are sorounded by shops, restaurants, and bars. The staff that always there are super helpful and can tell you about all the hidden gems to check out during your adventure on the island. Have a relaxing afternoon grabbing a book from the reading corner and lay in the hammock on your private deck when you need some peace.

There’s a beautiful hilltop, dining area with unbelievable views, and little rec room where you can play pool, ping pong, or some throw darts, and get a little workout in. It’s like staying at a 5-star resort, but for lows prices that backpackers can afford.

Coco Gardens Villas | Best Budget Option in Marimegmeg

Of all the cheap places to stay, this one is exceptionally good value. This awesome property comes complete with a garden and a coconut plantation. Each room is outfitted with modern amenities and comfortable surroundings, and a free breakfast is provided.

Las Cabanas Beach Resort | Best Hotel in Marimegmeg

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.

Things to See and Do in Marimegmeg

  1. Grab a drink and watch the sunset at Republica Sunset Bar.
  2. Fly through the air and zip line your way down to Las Cabanas Beach.
  3. Rent a stand-up paddleboard and glide across the amazing waters that surround El Nido.
  4. Rest and relax on Las Cabanas Beach.
  5. Learn to dive and get up close and personal with schools of exotic and colorful fish.
  6. Explore beautiful Pinabuyutan Island.
  7. Enjoy good drinks and an awesome view at The Nesting Table.
  8. Sip seaside cocktails and watch the world go by at Marimegmeg Beach Bar.
  9. Watch the sunset from the Outpost Beach Bar and Restaurant.

5. Corong Corong Beach – Best Neighborhood in El Nido for Families

Corong Corong Beach, El Nido

Set just ten minutes south of El Nido’s main town, you won’t find a better base for families than Corong Corong. This former fisher fold boasts incredible views of Bacuit Bay and a plethora of activities the whole family will love. Some of the best resorts and nicest beaches can be found here.

Corong Corong 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.

FamilyHome On The Beach | Best Airbnb in Corong Corong Beach

This family-friendly private room offers beachfront access and free wifi. The accommodation sits within lush tropical gardens, away from the busy tourist areas. There’s no kitchen included, but you’ll be a stone’s throw away from restaurants and cafes.

El Nido One Hostel | Best Hostel in Corong Corong Beach

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.

Elnido Greenviews Beach Resort | Best Hotel in Corong Corong Beach

El Nido hotels are a good option if you want a balance of comfort, privacy and service. 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.

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

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.

Things to See and Do in Corong Corong Beach

  1. Rent kayaks and explore the Big and Small Lagoons of El Nido.
  2. Snack on great American-style food at The Beach Shack.
  3. Sink your teeth into a delicious slice at Bella Vita El Nido.
  4. Enjoy tasty Filipino fare at Palaone Chon Resto El Nido.
  5. Sip an incredible cappuccino and enjoy a tasty treat at Botanica.
  6. Wade into the waters of Corong Corong Beach and enjoy a nice swim.
  7. Browse the stalls and shops as you sample your way through the Night Market.
  8. Spend a day lounging or playing in the sane at Seven Commandos Beach.
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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in El Nido

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of El Nido and where to stay.

What To Pack For El Nido

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

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Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
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Sea To Summit Micro Towel

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Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for El Nido

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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 one of the coolest destinations in the Philippines.

No matter where you choose to stay, you’ll be spoilt for choice by beautiful white sand beaches, stunning natural attractions, and everything else on offer.

That being said if you’re still unsure where to stay, we highly recommend Caalan Beach. It’s got a bit of everything on offer and provides a great look into what El Nido has to offer.

Looking for more info on travelling to El Nido and Philippines?

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