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JBR: Dec 30 - Jan 6th

Which El Nido hotels are on sale?
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Melbourne, Australia
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JBR: Dec 30 - Jan 6th

What a trip and what a place!

Spent my first week in Boracay, loved it, will post a report on there, but wanted to post a good report on El Nido to be as honest and easy for others to follow and have a great trip.

We stayed at Angel Nido cottages in Caalan Beach, not a beach to swim in but happy it wasn't in the heart of town (beach there you can't/shouldn't swim in anyway, too dirty). Our host Matteo was awesome, simple cottages but for what you pay it was perfect. He also set us up with the best tour operators would could imagine. Was called GK Booking Service, and was on the walk towards town from our cottages. You can't miss it, there are 3 little huts beside each other, they are on the end. We also booked our motorbike hire from them.

We did Tour A, C and D all with them, they were basically all private, but we were only charged the same as the big group tours in town - great service! The big group tours looked shocking, so many people crammed onto the boats. I suggest even if staying in town, get out of it and go explore to book your tours, well worth the small effort.

Loved all the islands hopping tours, being on private boats they timed our arrival at the busy spots so it was basically just us there, perfect.

El Nido town itself really isn't much to see, only went in there for dinner, and even then hard to find reasonable quality food, best food we had in El Nido was the pork/chicken/fish cooked for us on our boat tours.

Aside from island hopping my number one recommendation is to hire a motorbike/scooter and ride to Nacpan beach, then visit the waterfall on the way home. It seemed so little people made the effort to do this, and the trip there was half the fun! Don't bother getting a trike to take you, enjoy the motorbike ride yourself in the countryside!

As for an amazing beach near the town - head to Los Cabanos beach, a short 10 minute trike ride from town, another quiet beautiful beach with a perfect sunset.

Hopefully I'll be back in El Nido again one day, think I would stay in Corong Corong beach for something different and a nicer swimming beach, but regardless loved every minute.

Also for any hospitality stars out there, the place is crying out for another good quality restaurant, as the pizza joint Alcove does incredibly good business as it's probably the only guaranteed good feed we could find, the rest was pretty hit and miss. Great opportunity if looking to open a place there!

Melbourne, Australia
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for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
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1. Re: JBR: Dec 30 - Jan 6th

Jim_3441 thanks for sharing and great to hear that you enjoyed El Nido. Id love to return back there as well.

Altrove definitely does a fantastic Pizza!

Tommo

Luzon, Philippines
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for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
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2. Re: JBR: Dec 30 - Jan 6th

Thank you for your JBR and kind words about El Nido.

I hope El Nido stays the same for now despite of dearth of ATMs, commercial flights, international quality restaurants and hotels. There are now many "commercialized" destinations in this country and El Nido should not follow suit... just leave it to the big guys.

Edited: 9:29 pm, January 14, 2014
Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: JBR: Dec 30 - Jan 6th

Good point - think that's what we loved about the place, in comparison to Bali or Thailand (which I don't think I could go back to now I've experienced the much nicer Philippines) it's just so quiet. No big groups of drunken fools, just people who enjoy getting out during the day and doing things!

Also heard reports people cancelled due to the typhoon. Considering there was no damage whatsoever and no reported damage, you wonder why people would cancel?

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: JBR: Dec 30 - Jan 6th

<<in comparison to Bali or Thailand (which I don't think I could go back to now I've experienced the much nicer Philippines) it's just so quiet. No big groups of drunken fools, just people who enjoy getting out during the day and doing things!>>

Thats some compliment.

As more and more discover the beauty of the Philippines and word gets out hopefully more and more tourists will change from the more popular haunts like Bali Malaysia Thailand.

Tommo

Luzon, Philippines
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for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
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5. Re: JBR: Dec 30 - Jan 6th

<<<No big groups of drunken fools, just people who enjoy getting out during the day and doing things!>>>

-Precisely! That's what I love about El Nido.

<<<Also heard reports people cancelled due to the typhoon. Considering there was no damage whatsoever and no reported damage, you wonder why people would cancel?>>>

-You were very lucky that you were not one of them.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
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6. Re: JBR: Dec 30 - Jan 6th

The perception out there is that when one part of the country is affected by a disaster (fllood typhoon earthquake) they assume the whole country is affected. Ive witnessed this perception even at my work

Tommo

Negros Island...
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for Bacolod, Negros Island
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7. Re: JBR: Dec 30 - Jan 6th

Great trip report again.

When people say they want to stay in not the touristy places in the Philippines, I always try to explain that the touristy here will still be nontouristy as compared to the places mentioned. So no need to go farther our. It is never touristy.

Bali for example, in touristy places, you will hardly find locals eating in restaurants or the fancy ones anyways. It is all tourists. In the Philippines, there are more locals than foreigners in most places.

Singapore, Singapore
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8. Re: JBR: Dec 30 - Jan 6th

Sole,

Bali is like a province of Australia. Bali is well loved by Aussies as it is so much nearer to their country.

I guess the ratio for foreigners to locals may be 1:1 or maybe even 1.2:1!

In Philippines, tourism is still at its infancy stage. Visit this place before it become one of the mainstream countries.

My last visit to Philippines is in Nov 2013 but it seems so long already.

Orange County...
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9. Re: JBR: Dec 30 - Jan 6th

Jim,

Approximately how much time did you spend at Nacpan? I'm very interested in that beach, but with the travel time to he there, I don't think we'll have enough time to enjoy it.

Philippines
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10. Re: JBR: Dec 30 - Jan 6th

Nice trip report - glad you enjoyed yourself.

One good thing in Phils is that while everyone gets drunk (we get Tanduay in all sari sari shops!), you raely find drunk people making a public nuisance.