Hiking trails in El Nido

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Last updated on March 04, 2023

On the island of Palawan, the incredible rocky peaks around El Nido hide many hiking trails. Dusty in the dry season, but extremely muddy in the rainy season, these trails are a great way to enjoy the beautiful landscape, but also to discover the local fauna. Read below to discover the best hiking trails around El Nido.


There are many hiking trails around El Nido, some offering spectacular views over Bacuit Bay.


Taraw Peak is the highest peak in El Nido; climbing to the top is definitely not easy. The terrain is rocky and steep with sharp limestone rocks, and it can be dangerous if you are not careful. For starters, do not try this climb without a professional guide, and wear suitable shoes (climbing shoes or trainers as a minimum) and clothing. The hike takes about 3 hours, but you will be largely rewarded for your efforts once at the top with an exceptional panorama over the archipelago of Bacuit.

taraw peak


Located about 14km north of El Nido, the splendid waterfalls of Nagkalit-Kalit are the ideal setting for an easy but equally impressive hike. To get there, you will first have to take a tricycle to get closer to the site (about 25 minutes from El Nido), then walk a few kilometers through rice fields, jungle, and also some small streams, so bring shoes that can get wet! Once there, you will be able to swim in the fresh waters of the beautiful natural pool.


If you are keener on an easy walk than on a proper hike, a trip to the Makinit Hot Springs is a good choice. All you need to do is take a tricycle to Barangay Bucana (about a 30 minute drive) and then walk a short 15 minutes to reach the Makinit Hot Springs. There, you will enjoy the serenity of the place, but be aware that you will probably not be able to swim as there are not concrete pools.


If you want to combine hiking with historical discoveries, take a tricycle to Barangay New Ibajay (about a 45 minute drive) then walk for about an hour and a half to reach the caves and their prehistoric artefacts.


To reach the Bulalacao Waterfalls, you will first have to take a tricycle up to Barangay Pasadeña, then walk for about two hours through rice paddies and forests. Beware, however, this hike is not possible during the monsoon season, especially between August and October.


If you choose to explore the surroundings of El Nido on foot, do not forget to bring enough water, as you will not find many shops near the hiking trails. In addition, don’t forget to use sunscreen, as the sun is very strong in this area, regardless of the time of year. In the summer, it is better to avoid walking between 10am and 3pm too, as you could suffer from a heatstroke. Finally, please do not light a fire during your hikes, because the paths around El Nido are part of a protected area.