- The first inconvenience, which could have become a real danger, was in my case health: in El Nido I had the worst traveler’s diarrhea in my life, and there have been many; one of those times that comes at the same time as vomiting and you do not know what to do. Once it happened, after two of the worst days of my life, I stayed two more days with hardly any strength, thank goodness that going to the beach does not require too much energy. Essential: have your own bathroom, antibiotics ciprofloxacin or metronidazole type (when in doubt this last is preferable, since it kills amoebas in addition to bacteria) and loperamide; Although we will be told that ideal is not to use antibiotics or antidiarrheal drugs, it is better to wait for to be cured itself, etc, in a case as severe as the one I had, you can not wait or I would have ended up in a do not even think about what kind of hospital there may be in El Nido. In any case, in this circumstance my personal experience tells me that waiting for it to pass by alone, even though our general physical condition is good, will only lead us to lose several days without being able to leave our accommodation or our town if we are lucky, while making use of antibiotics in developing countries cuts the disease usually in less than 24 hours. I guarantee you that I know what I am talking about, and not only because of my experience as a backpacker. El Nido is perhaps one of the places with the most contaminated water in the country, where it is not even advised to brush your teeth with tap water. Never leave home without travel insurance, mosquito repellent and mosquito net, all recommended vaccines (which in the Philippines are quite a few) and a health kit as complete as possible, better not skimp on “just in case” things. There is no malaria in the northern half of Palawan.
- Labor informality so obvious in the Philippines in general and in Coron in particular did not accompany us at El Nido, fortunately, but you should not count on that.
- Traffic accidents: the risk is similar to the rest of the country and in general to other developing countries in the area such as Indonesia or Cambodia. The most frequently injured are as always, tourists who rent mopeds; I have done it several times, although not in the Philippines, but you have to be extremely cautious given the driving style of locals and the state of the roads. In El Nido, taking into account the price of tricycles, it is not very profitable.
- Public safety. As in Coron and in general the entire northern half of Palawan, there is no terrorism and the risk of being a victim of a violent crime is exceptional, although of course we will be exposed to small scams, pickpockets or theft of unguarded objects, always keep an eye on your belongings on the beaches. On excursions to the islands you can leave belongings in your boat with ease.
- Climatology. Palawan is the rainiest and windiest region in the Philippines. This can mean that boats may not sail and we have to stay in El Nido longer than desired; Although the sea in front of the town seems to be calm, once it goes out to sea, conditions can worsen significantly. Bangkas of different sizes sinking are not strange, and if that happened, you can not expect much help from the crew.
- Massification. If the Philippines is in fashion it is almost exclusively because of El Nido. People may not know the spectacular and neighboring Coron, and incidentally come to see the undeservedly famous Puerto Princesa Underground River, which actually is in Sabang, but what has place this country on the map have been the landscapes of El Nido, whose name anyone more or less interested in the region knows. The fact that El Nido Town is growing in an ugly and disorganized way is partly compensated by the beauty of Corong Corong area, a much more attractive spot and where most of new accommodations are being built. But what can not increase in size are the places that tourists come to see; There are already too many people in Seven Commando Beach or in Big and Small Lagoons, among others. Those who visit the area in the best time in terms of weather will have to compete with hordes of tourists or start to divert to less known and less accessible areas, although not for that less charming. Check the post WHEN TO GO TO EL NIDO for more information about number of tourist and weather.
- Money. At the end of 2018 there are only 4 ATMs; all accept Visa and Master Card, being the two in BPI Bank supposedly more reliable; the other two are next to the town hall. A fee of PHP 200 is charged each time money is withdrawn. It is convenient to bring cash to spare, since ATMs could run out of bank notes, most of the accommodations and restaurants do not accept credit cards and those that do usually charge a commission between 4 and 8%. Change money in the banks themselves is usually worse than withdrawing money from the ATM.
MORE INFORMATION ON EL NIDO: