After two years traveling around the world, I finally found the Paradise! And of course, it’s in The Philippines! Before I give you all the information and tips on how to travel to Pangulasian Island, there are two things you need to know: paradise is not easy to reach, but in El Nido it comes with an eco-luxury tag!
I spent 3 days in Pangulasian Island and it was enough to witness the beauty of Palawan and fall in love with El Nido region. The giant rock formations floating on the deep blue sea, limestone cliffs covered in lush green forest, and the pristine beaches are enchanting.
Pangulasian Island is getting famous among nature and beach lovers, but the truth is that the whole area is a new [and one of the best] travel destination in The Philippines. El Nido was discovered in 1979 after a boat accident during night time. The boat engine failed and the fisherman had to anchor in one of the islets of Bacuit Bay, in the following morning they were surprised by amazing scenery of El Nido. That’s how paradise was found, and now we are lucky enough to be able to travel there.
When our boat approached the island my thought was: I’m in Paradise! Pangulasian is a small islet blessed with white sand beach, crystal clear water and palm trees. Since 1998 it’s part of a managed resource protected area, what means that we can visit it, but we have to preserve and protect it.
Pangalusian is known as “Island of the sun”, from its 750 meters of white sand beach you can enjoy the sunrise and sunset, a privileged spot for those who want to see the best of Palawan. And it’s not only the location of the island that is superb, the marine sanctuary is right on your doorstep.
There is only one hotel in Pangulasian Island and it’s the best place to stay in Palawan, Philippines! El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island goes beyond your expectations, they are not only responsible for your accommodation and food, the hotel team will look after all your activities, things to do in El Nido, transfers and much more. A luxury experience in paradise!
Unmissable things to do in El Nido and Pangulasian Island
Pangulasian Island is gorgeous, but it’s only a small fraction of paradise! I wish I could stay there forever, but the resort concierge convinced me to leave the private island and discover the other hidden gems in Bacuit Bay.
To explore the best of El Nido you need to be on a boat. Be prepared to sail the whole day and find hidden caves, secluded beaches, perfect snorkeling spots and watch an unforgettable sunset. Here is a list of the activities and things to do in El Nido, all of them tested and approved by moi!
» Lagoon Tour in El Nido
Early in the morning catch a traditional Filipino boat and visit the lagoons. The blue water trapped between the giant rocks look like a mirror reflecting the sky. The warm water is full of colored fishes and corals, the green forest around the lagoons reminds me of the Jurassic Park movie.
» Kayaking in the small Lagoons
Some of the lagoons can’t be reached by boat, you will need to paddle your kayak and pass underneath the rocks to visit the small lagoons. I’m not a kayak expert, and in a few moments, I struggled to pass through the tiny rock gates, but totally worth it!
The Lagoon tour and the Kayak tour can be done on the same day, morning or afternoon. This is not the best place to swimming, so keep your mermaid moves to the next activity in El Nido.
» El Nido Island Hopping:
The boat will sail around the Bacuit Bay passing by small islands, caves, tiny beaches… One place more beautiful than the other! Prepare your camera and your swimming suit, the boat will stop by Snake Island for a cooling dip on the sandbar beach and a pleasant walk to the viewpoint. It’s hard to say what I enjoyed the most: the wind on my face, the sun or the ice-tea served on board. The island hopping is a perfect example of a luxury activity in El Nido.
» Snorkeling & Diving in El Nido
El Nido is a protected area, and marine life is outstanding. There are several spots for snorkeling or diving, depending on your experience the guide will lead you to a different beach or island. One thing you can be sure, the water is transparent and you will be amazed by the corals and fishes.
» Swimming with Sharks in Pangulasian
This was my second experience with black tip sharks. The first time I swam with them was in Langkawi, Malaysia. But there they were baby sharks, in El Nido they were big ones. At 6:30am I met my guide on the resort beach and on a small boat we went to a natural reef off Pangulasian island. He gave us some instructions [not to swim towards or after the sharks, not step in corals…] and we jumped in the water.
The corals were beautiful and many huge fishes hiding under the rocks. Our guide called us to see the first shark of the expedition, a big one. We stayed still, and suddenly more of them start to come and swimming in front of us. I was in ecstasy, amazed by their fast moves and all that untouched nature around me. The morning was perfect, when I left the water a rainbow appeared in the sky to surprise us.
» Try Local & Fresh Seafood at Entalula Island, Palawan
All the swimming, snorkeling and kayaking will make you hungry. One of the top things to do in Palawan is to try the local food. Forget about beef, chicken or pork, the real deal is the fresh seafood.
One of the best meals I have on the trip to El Nido Palawan was at Entalula Island. A palm-fringed beach that is part of El Nido Resorts and where they have a beach bungalow restaurant. Delicious food served in a paradise beach, the tables are literally on the sand, and after lunch you can relax, swim or explore the islands on foot.
El Nido Resort has 4 hotels in Palawan: El Nido Resorts Apulit Island, El Nido Resorts Lagen Island, El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island, and El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island. You can stay in Pangulasian Island and enjoy the amenities and restaurants of the other properties. While sailing around El Nido you can stop for lunch at the other resorts, rest and keep sailing.
» Sunset Cruise in El Nido
The days in paradise end in a special way! The sunsets in The Philippines are the most beautiful sunsets in the world. The natural spectacles we saw in Boracay and Bohol Island were heard to beat, but Palawan didn’t disappoint me. Even after a cloudy afternoon, the sun appeared on the horizon to wave us goodbye. Another amazing day in El Nido came to an end.
The sunset cruise is perfect for couples and honeymooners. Believe or not, I was alone there. I traveled to Palawan without Rob, and I had to enjoy the sunset and a glass of sparkling wine all by myself. Hard life! 🙂
» Candlelight dinner at Pangulasian Beach
If you want to keep the romantic mood on, ask the hotel concierge to organize a candlelight dinner by the beach.
» Sunbath in El Nido
The Pangulasian beach is perfect for sunbathing, you can stay endless hours sitting by the beach, listening to the birds and the hypnotic sound of the waves crashing on the sand. There are many beaches in El Nido, you can choose the perfect one and spend the whole day under the sun.
In front of your bungalow you will find two chairs, an umbrella, and a kayak. If you feel more adventurous ask the hotel staff to bring a stand-up paddleboard and go for a ride around the island.
» Enjoy a Relaxing Spa Session
I didn’t have time to enjoy a massage or a spa session, but two of my friends did an in-room spa session and love it! They booked a body scrub followed by an oil massage, all done inside the room, so they could relax, have a nice shower after it and go straight to bed. On the other morning, they were glowing of happiness, what made me regret of not joining the massage extravaganza.
Those are the activities and things to do in El Nido that I tried and recommend. You can also do rock climbing and sail your own Hobie Cat while staying at El Nido Resorts in Pangulasian Island. How awesome is that?!
My trip to El Nido was packed with fun, relaxation and memorable experiences. All the activities were organized and lead by the hotel staff, people from Palawan that know the region, who are passionate about their land and how to protect it.
El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island » Eco-Luxury in The Philippines
The Pangulasian Island resort is luxurious, with lovely and helpful staff. The property is beautiful, a mix of Filipino design and modern decor. The resort environmental policies are outstanding. From ecologic bathroom amenities to the no plastic bottle rule, everything is organized to protect the nature and you feel good to follow the recommendations.
The 42 deluxe rooms are facing the beach, you can stay literally on the sand or choose one of the bungalows that are hanging on the cliff and have the best view ever. One thing is sure, your neighbors will be hornbill birds, monitor lizards, and monkeys. As the hotel manager told me, “we are the guest at Pangulasian Island. The real residents are the animals here, and we should respect and protect them”. Said that, we are not allowed to feed the monkeys, touch the lizards, or even take plants and shells from outside the island.
All the rooms have the same features, the only difference is the position on the island, and some of them have a private pool. I stayed at the bungalow number 14, right on the beach. From my front door I could smell the sea, watch the sunrise and relax. The room was huge, seriously, enormous… High ceiling, beach luxury decor, king-size bed, sitting area, and my own espresso machine. The bathroom was almost a second room, so big that I could have a party there… So bad that I was alone, that beautiful room screams for a romantic stay.
Tea, cookies and fruits were served daily. Every night, before bedtime, I was surprised with a sweet snack and letter from the hotel explaining our next day activities and how I should be prepared for it.
If you are travelling with friends or family you can rent the Kalaw Villa, it’s a complex with four bungalows, plus a private swimming pool and a dining/leisure area shared in the middle of the bungalows. Our group had a dinner at the Kalaw Villa and I can tell you the place is gorgeous.
Let’s talk about food! At Pangulasian Island you can be sure the food will be good. The luxury tag goes for the kitchen too, a mix of international cuisine and Filipino traditional dishes. A fusion of flavours that you can savory from the breakfast served in the main restaurant facing the beach, to the lovely snacks and dinner served by the pool. And don’t forget to visit the other El Nido Resorts properties and try their food specialties. I had lunch at the Miniloc and Lagen Island, both of them delicious.
How to get to Pangulasian Island, El Nido
Palawan is located on the west part of The Philippines and it’s not easy to reach, but trust me, all the flights and boat rides are worth it. There two ways to get to El Nido, one faster, and the other one a bit longer. You can choose the option that suits your schedule and pocket.
» Flying to El Nido + Boat to Pangulasian Island:
Frist of all you need to arrive in Manila. The Philippines’ capital is served by many international connections, so it won’t be a problem to reach this stunning country. Second part of the adventure is to fly from Manila to El Nido airport, a tiny tropical runaway that is served by AirSwift.
You can book your flight directly on AirSwift website. The flight departures from Manila Domestic Airport Terminal 4, at 6:30am, 11am and 2pm. It takes only 55 minutes to arrive in El Nido, be prepared to fly in a small aircraft with 50 seats. The luggage allowance can be 10kg or 20kg, depending on the type of ticket you purchase, plus 1 carry-on bag of 7 kg.
When you arrive in El Nido Airport (LIO) you will be greeted by the resort staff and will be asked to wait for the luggage clearance. In a few minutes a traditional Filipino Jeepney (a kind of a bus) will drive you to the pier so you can catch the private boat to Pangulasian Island. Super easy and fast.
The boat ride to El Nido Pangulasian Resort takes from 30 to 45 minutes depending on the weather. Here is the boat schedule:
- From El Nido Airport to Pangulasian Island: 8 am, 12:45pm and 3:45pm
- From Pangulasian Island to El Nido Airport: 6am, 2pm and 3 pm.
» Flying to Puerto Princesa + Road Trip to El Nido + Boat to Pangulasian Island
You can check the best flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa – Palawan at Skyscanner. Then you have to catch a bus or van to El Nido, about 6 hours journey. Outside of Puerto Princesa airport, you will find several companies offering the shuttle service, be prepared for a long road trip.
From El Nido you need to get a boat to Pangulasian Island, contact the El Nido Resorts to figure out the best time for your pickup.
Do you love the post?! Pin it for later!!
Have I convinced you to travel to Pangulasian Island in El Nido, Philippines? I hope so!! The island is a truly paradise and the eco-luxury resort is everything you need for the ultimate beach holiday. So don’t waste time, check your agenda, book a flight and room, Pangulasian Island and Palawan are waiting for you!!
PS: I huge thanks to TBEX and TPB Philippines for inviting me to paradise! As usual, doesn’t matter who pays the bill, you get my true opinion about the place and experience. Now I’m dying to go back to El Nido and Pangulasian Island, but next time I will take Rob with me!
45 thoughts on “Pangulasian Island » The best place to stay in El Nido, Philippines”
A very nice and descriptive review of your stay, nice job! We also found El Nido, actually Palawan in general to be one of the most beautiful beach destinations we have been too. We havent been to Pangulasian Island but really enjoyed the island hopping tours around. It was also nice to see how the people do a lot to protect the area which is not a very common practice around SE Asia.
Nice post 🙂
Like you, I was surprised how environmentally friendly and concerned they are in El Nido. Not a common reality in many SEAsia countries. What made me really happy, so we can have hope for Palawan, that it will stay protect and beautiful for a long time!
Glad you liked the article, thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for this blog post. It’s incredible how much attention El Nido is starting to get. My wife and I just moved out here after falling in love with this place. It’s been a nice change in pace.
Pangulasian Island sounds gorgeous. We’ve heard so much about this specific property and the resort group. Glad to hear it met your expectations! Also glad to hear about their sound environmental policies, now if the rest of El Nido could get on board that would be great.
Thanks again for spreading good vibes and writing this post.
The Philippines has a special place in my heart and El Nido was fantastic as I expected.
I’m a bit jealous to know you are living in this paradise, enjoy every second of it!
And let’s hope people become more environmentally conscious and protected this paradise!
We were in Puerto Princesa in 2011 but were told the road trip to El Nido was not good, bumpy and all. Now regret it! It looks like the flight from Manila is better. We never got the chance to go back.
The road trip is tough Carol, some friends have made it and they said it’s hard… Now you have one more reason to go back to The Philippines, fly to El Nido and enjoy the islands…
Thanks for stopping by!
We just got back from El Nido. All the roads are now paved but still winding and long 5-6hours from Puerto Princesa. That said, it’s a scenic drive and I enjoyed it. The island and beach hopping was wonderful and truly feel like you’re in Paradise. But the town proper still needs improvement. Lots of construction going on, hotels being built and a little bit dis organized with no good public access to the beach where you take the boat for the island hopping. Maybe our guide didn’t take us to the best place as we were only there for the day, but that is our experience. Again, once you’re out in the water, it is paradise!!
I’ve heard great things about El Nido and definitely have to visit someday soon. We traveled to Puerto Princesa and didn’t want to miss those parts of Palawan and the 6 hours bus ride felt too long with our daughter so we didn’t visit. We’ll have to fly from Manila next time. Too bad Rob was not with you, it would have been even better I’m sure! Looking fabulous as always Nat!
The bus ride from Puerto Princesa to El Nido are tough, not sure if I could make it either…
But next time you go to The Philippines, make sure you fly to El Nido, and enjoy the paradise!! But don’t do like me, take Andrew together for a romantic trip!
Happy travels, ks
A very detailed post ! Though I have been to Philippines a couple of times but not to El Nido so this post is going to help me a lot in deciding.
I also loved the idea that they were updating you on next day’s activities.
Loved the last picture! 🙂
See you again soon Natalie, somewhere in this world. 🙂
How are you Nisha?
You must go to El Nido, those islands are incredible!!
Pangulasian Resort was an amazing experience, especially the activities, the letters informing our next day schedule were so sweet and practical!
Cheers and hope to see you soon (maybe in The Philipines?!)
Amazing! I’m itching to get to the Philippines and your photos have just made me all the more excited to visit! Thanks for the guide!
If you like nature and beaches you must travel to Philippines, all the islands are gorgeous and El Nido is a paradise!
Gorgeous photos! I visited Philippines back in 2009 but never made it to El Nido- clearly I’ll have to head back!
Go back to The Philippines Tamara, and spend at leat a week in El Nido and Pangulasian Islands… Definitely a paradise!
Wow – what a paradise! I just met some of the guys at TBEX Stockholm who will be hosting in the Philippines this autumn. It looks fabulous and I wish I could join you (I’m sure you’ll be there??).
Pangulasian is a true paradise!! Wish I could have stayed there forever! 🙂
SO how was Stockholm? I was fallowing all the action via Facebook! I believe Tbex Philippines will be great and the Fam trips look awesome! I think we gonna make it!
El Nido has been on my radar for awhile and this will make my list as well. The resort looks amazing and who doesn’t want to be on a private island. Also, being prepared for spending a day on a boat is what I dream of doing when I travel. Thanks for sharing.
If you like to be on boat surrounded by amazing landscape and pristine beaches, you need to travel to El Nido!!
I wish I could have stayed there forever!!
All the best!
How gorgeous–Pangulasian Island definitely looks like paradise, and that resort looks amazing! I would love to go kayaking there and the sunset cruise in El Nido looks wonderful, as well. This definitely made me want to visit Pangulasian Island sometime!
The kayaking was magical, the islands and the rocky cliffs are gorgeous!!
Thaks for stopping by Jenna!
Hi Nat! I am glad you got the chance to visit Palawan. This place is trully amazing! One of my favorite in the whole Asia!
PS: The sunset cruise looks really great!
I’m counting the days to go back to Palawan, it became one my favourite places in Southeast Asia too 🙂
THnaks for stopping by!
I didn’t realize El Nido was such a relatively new discovery. It looks so beautiful and unspoiled. I hope that visitors are are careful so that it can stay that way.
I was surprised too when I discovered that El Nido is such a new travel destination in The Philippines, a paradise hidden from many years… It’s stunning!!
Cheers and happy travels!!
Just stumbled on this while looking for things do on weekend in Sofia. Stunning photos of natural beauty and thanks for posting this. Really amazing and in fact inspiring natural beauty…
Pangulasian is a magical place, the nature there is stunning!
I’m glad you like it!
Just stayed in Pangulasian about 2 weeks ago – I couldn’t express my thoughts better, this place is heaven on earth!
That’s so true! Pangulasian is a haven on earth!
Can’t wait getting there back 🙂
I definitely should write a post on this amazing experience as well.
Heading to Palawan in March – loved the preview! How’s the cell reception? I do work from the road (although I’ll be largely focusing on play during my time in El Nido), so if there is at least 3G, I should be ok. Otherwise, I’ll just have to clear my freelancing schedule … gotta love making advance plans!
Internet connection is only good in big hotels and resorts. You can get 3G signal on your mobile phone, but it’s not available in all areas and islands. If you keep close by big cities and you will be fine.
Happy travels, enjoy El Nido!
Hi Natalie, very interesting your post and absolutely descriptive. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay and travelers can learn about El Nido Palawan through your experience. Best regard
Thank you guys!!
I had a lovely time in Pangulasian Island, can’t wait to go back but next time I will take my husband with me. The Pangulasian Resort is the perfect place for a romantic trip!
All the best,
Just like you, I fell in love with El Nido. truly a Paradise! We’ve stayed at Miniloc & Lagen Resort. Customer Service was superb! When my friend left his charger in the room at Miniloc Resort, they picked it up and brought it to us in Lagen Resort. Because we decided to transfer last minute the following day when we did the tour. I fell in love with Lagen. We stayed by the water. I was convincing my sister to change the booking to Lagen. Thank you for your post and spectacular photos. . I am now looking forward to staying at Pangalusian Resort this May. Since you’ve been to the 3 resorts, overall, would you rate the Pangalusian the best among the 3 Resorts? My co-worker said that the food is better at the 2 Resorts. Is it true?
How was your trip? Did you enjoy Pangulasian?
As I didn’t sleep and eat all the meals at all the 3 resorts is not easy for me to choose the best one. I love Pangulasian bungalows by the beach, felt very secluded.
Hope you had a great time. 🙂
Thank you Natalie for an amazing read.
We are a couple planning on heading to el Nido in January, but unfortunately the above property is sold out during our scheduled time.
Can you recommend some other property to have a similar experience.
I would recommend other properties from the same group such as Apulit, Lagen or Miniloc.
Hey, I really liked your posts and i wanted a few suggestions on a romantic cum adventurous travel honeymoon for good 10-12 days and can travel different nearby places. we are a couple from last 10 years and now getting married.
Please help with the best of places and if you can suggest with some itinerary also. Would be really helpful.
Here you can find more articles to inspire your trip around The Philippines:
I am planning a trip to Pangulasian and wanted to know can you swim on the beach on the island? I don’t want to be stuck by the pool all day when I can swim in the ocean.
Hope y’all can help!
Yes you can!
Hi Robson! Thanks for sharing a very informative and helpful article. By the way do you also have a blog about Private resort in Rizal?
Not yet, but will add it to our list!