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El Nido's Hidden Hiking Trails: Discover Paradise Beyond the Beaches

While El Nido is renowned for its stunning beaches and island-hopping adventures, there's a hidden world of natural beauty waiting to be explored on its hiking trails. Lace-up your boots and venture beyond the coastline to discover lush forests, hidden waterfalls, and breathtaking viewpoints that offer a different perspective of this tropical paradise.

Choosing Your El Nido Hiking Adventure

El Nido boasts a variety of hiking trails, each with its own unique charm and difficulty level:

hiking el nido

Nacpan Beach to Duli Beach: 

This scenic trail along El Nido's northern coast unveils a different side of paradise. Hike from the lively Nacpan Beach to the serene Duli Beach, immersing yourself in diverse landscapes, from pristine shorelines and verdant rice fields to local villages and hidden coves.

hiking el nido

About the Trail

  • Distance: Approximately 14 kilometers (depending on the route).

  • Duration: Allow 3-4 hours for a leisurely hike, with plenty of time for enjoying the scenery and taking photos.

  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate. The trail is mostly flat but can be sandy and uneven in some sections.

  • Scenery: Expect breathtaking views of the coastline, cliffs, rock formations, and the vast expanse of the ocean. You'll pass through rice paddies, encounter local villages, and might even spot some wildlife.

Taraw Cliff:

For experienced hikers seeking an adrenaline rush, the Taraw Cliff hike is a must-do. The trail is steep and challenging, but the reward is an unparalleled 360-degree view of El Nido town, Bacuit Bay, and the surrounding islands. The climb involves scrambling over rocks and using ropes for support, so proper hiking shoes and a good level of fitness are essential. (Distance: 1.5km, Duration: 2-3 hours, Difficulty: Challenging) The Taraw Cliff hike is not only a physical challenge but also a mental one, requiring focus and determination to navigate the rugged terrain. As you ascend, the panoramic views unfold, showcasing the beauty of El Nido's landscape from a unique vantage point. The sense of accomplishment upon reaching the summit is incomparable, making it a memorable experience for adventure enthusiasts.

hiking el nido

You can book your canopy walk tour here.

Nagkalit-kalit Falls:

hiking el nido

Embark on a moderate hike through lush jungle terrain to reach these hidden waterfalls. The trail follows a riverbed, crossing through clear streams and bamboo forests. The waterfalls cascade down moss-covered rocks into a natural pool, perfect for a refreshing swim.

About the Trail

  • Distance: 3km, Duration: 1-2 hours

  • Difficulty: Moderate

hiking el nido

Nagkalit-kalit Falls offers a serene escape into nature, where the sound of cascading water and the verdant surroundings create a peaceful ambiance. The journey to the falls is a sensory delight, with the scent of tropical flora filling the air and the soothing sounds of wildlife echoing through the forest. Upon arrival, the cool waters invite you to unwind and connect with the natural beauty of the Philippines.

To get to the starting point of Nagkalit-kalit falls, you can either ride a tricycle, rent a motorbike, or rent a van here.

Lio Eco-Trail: 

This is a beginner-friendly trail through old-growth forest located within the privately-owned Lio Tourism Estate. It takes about 30-40 minutes to reach the 270-foot-high view deck, offering panoramic views of Lio Beach, Bacuit Bay, and Cadlao Island.

hiking el nido

  • Distance: 3.8 kilometers roundtrip.

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Wildlife: You might encounter Palawan hornbills, long-tailed macaques, and other unique wildlife along the trail.

  • Accessibility: The trail is open to visitors of the Lio Tourism Estate.

Bulalacao Falls: This multi-tiered waterfall is a refreshing escape from the beach crowds, offering a unique adventure for those willing to venture off the beaten path.

From Barangay Pasadeña, you'll embark on a scenic hike through rice paddies, forest trails, and across streams. The trail is well-trodden but can be muddy, especially during the rainy season. The hike takes approximately 1.5 - 2 hours.

The hike to Bulalacao Falls is a moderate trek, suitable for those with some hiking experience. The trail can be challenging in some parts, with rocky sections and river crossings. However, the reward is well worth the effort. The falls themselves are a multi-tiered cascade of crystal-clear water, perfect for swimming and cliff jumping (for the daring!).

bulalacao falls hiking el nido

About the Trail:

  • Duration: The entire trip, including the tricycle ride and hike, takes approximately 4-5 hours.

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Entrance Fee:  PHP 75 (as of June 2024)

  • Guides: Hiring a local guide is mandatory for this hike. They are readily available in Barangay Pasadeña.

  • Best Time to Visit: The dry season (November to May) is the ideal time to visit, as the trail can be challenging during the rainy season

How to Get There, Preparation, and Tips:

  • Getting to El Nido: You can reach El Nido by air (via Puerto Princesa), land (direct bus from Manila), or sea (ferry from Coron or Manila). Book your flights here.

  • Transportation within El Nido:  Hire tricycles or motorcycles to reach the starting points of different hiking trails. Book your van here.

  • Gear and Essentials: Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots, comfortable clothing, and a hat. Pack plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a first-aid kit, and a waterproof bag.

  • Guided Hikes: For challenging hikes like Taraw Cliff, hire a local guide for safety and navigation. Hire your guide here.

  • Weather: Check the forecast and avoid hiking during heavy rain or storms.

  • Start Early, Stay Hydrated, and Respect Nature: Begin your hike early, drink plenty of water, and leave no trace.

We've done an El Nido road trip by car, see below to check it out!

El Nido's hiking trails offer a diverse range of experiences, from easy coastal walks to challenging climbs with rewarding views. Choose your adventure and discover the hidden natural wonders of this tropical paradise!


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