Imagine hundreds of tiny islands, coral reefs, limestone cliffs, turquoise water, white sand beaches, and hidden lagoons. Basically imagine a tropical paradise and you have the Bacuit Archipelago surrounding El Nido on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. It is easy to feel like you are the last people left on earth when you arrive in these islands!
El Nido is not all that easy to get to which puts it off the beaten path. To me this is a good thing as it stifles corporate development and ensures that only committed travelers will make the journey there.
Once in El Nido it is easy to hire boats or join a tour to take you island hopping. Renting an ocean kayak to take to the islands is an additional expense but it is worth it to be able to explore the hidden lagoons and beaches within many of the islands on your own!
If you travel to El Nido during the "low season" (Jun-Sep) you run the risk of rain and typhoons, but you maximize the chance of having picturesque beaches and maybe even an entire island all to yourself!
Most hotels in El Nido will help you line up an island tour but we booked our trips through Art Cafe because of their reputation and we were not disappointed. The tour guides were pro and the beach lunches were hearty and delicious. We also enjoyed meeting the other travelers that we shared the tours with!