El Nido (Palawan Island), Philippines - Bacuit Archipelago
El Nido is a coastal town in Palawan. El Nido composes of 45 islands and islets, limestone cliffs are also found here which form a Karst backdrop similar to those found in Ha Long Bay, Krabi and Guilin.
El Nido is a popular destination for locals during the long holidays of the Holy week, but it relatively unknown to foreign tourists. El Nido is more than just a stereotypical tropical paradise- Beaches, clear waters,jungle, sheer limestone cliffs and stunning inlets make for one of the world's most beautiful seascapes.
Before El Nido a popular tourist destination, fishing and harvesting swift nests "Nido" were the main source of income. Nowadays tourism has become the municipality's main source of revenue, however the authorities are keep to keep it sustainable and hotel chains are refreshingly absent.
Island hopping is the main pastime in the Bacuit Archipelago, along with exploring the numerous beaches here. El Nido is the main town in the region, from where visitors can charter a boat or get on a boat tour of the Bacuit Archipelago.
There is something like three-dozen islands to choose from, including the likes of Miniloc, Pangalusian, and Snake islands. Big Lagoon on Miniloc Island is a major highlight and is especially impressive during a full moon, while nearby Small Lagoon is perfect for the adventure type. Snake Island has the best sunbathing; Pangalusian superior snorkeling.
Closer to El Nido for those in search of a good beach are Commando Beach, Paradise Beach, and Lapus-Lapus Beach, all of which have fine sands and great coral for snorkeling.