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El Nido in November - location / weather / duration / scuba?

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El Nido in November - location / weather / duration / scuba?

Hi there,

This time, I want to plan a little ahead and organize a long overdue trip to El Nido during my 2 week stay in the Philippines at the end of November.

I have approx. 10 days for play time in total during my trip and wonder if anyone can give me some feedback and advice regarding El Nido.

Considering that my main outlook is relaxation, enjoying white beaches, island hoping and definitely scuba and snorkeling are 5-7 days enough, too short or too long to stay just in El Nido?

Also, what is the general weather pattern during end of November in that area? Is that a good time for scuba diving or does the see tend to get choppy?

Lastly, are there any resorts in particular to consider, which might offer access to nice white beaches as well as good scuba and snorkeling spots without absolutely breaking the bank (I am not on a terribly tight budget but also don’t want to overdo it either).

Thank you for any feedback

Singapore, Singapore
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1. Re: El Nido in November - location / weather / duration / scuba?

Novemeber is a mix in terms of weather. Itis the tail end of the wet season so the threat of typhoon is there but I would say the chances is low but not zero.

I have been to Philippines at least twice in end Nov and the weather is good in both weather.

As for the length of stay, it really depends on you.

Do note that El Nido is not famous for diving. So please do not expect too much but of course diffrent people different stroke.

Los Angeles...
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2. Re: El Nido in November - location / weather / duration / scuba?

Thank you very much for the feedback!

I actually also checked on hotels and boy, it is expensive.

While I havent written off El Nido quite yet, I am also looking into other places again.

Thanks again for your advice :)

3. Re: El Nido in November - location / weather / duration / scuba?

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Philippines
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4. Re: El Nido in November - location / weather / duration / scuba?

@ CGN

Welcome to the Philippines. Nice to know that you plan to visit El Nido, a beautiful place which receives raving reviews from most tourists, and rants from a minority such as me!

This time, I want to plan a little ahead and organize a long overdue trip to El Nido during my 2 week stay in the Philippines at the end of November.

I have approx. 10 days for play time in total during my trip and wonder if anyone can give me some feedback and advice regarding El Nido.

1) 5-7 days is just right for El Nido. Since you like beaches and peace, try to stay in Caalan (10 minutes North of El Nido town proper) - it has a far more beautiful beach and very few people. Taiyo and Hippocampe (if it is still open!) are good choices. Taiyo also has better electricity than most of El Nido (where there is no electricity from 6 am to 2 pm) and they arrange for local boat operators to pick you up closer to the resort. Budget = 2500 pesos including meals for a huge air con cottage. (They have 1500 peso rooms too)

2) Unfortunately the diving and snorkeling in El Nido is poor, as compared to the rest of Phils (like Siquijor / Bohol balicasag / Coron / 100 islands / Apo island). Right off the beach, there is very little marine life (I spent enough hours looking for fish armed with my snorkel!). During island hopping, other than 7 commandos, there is very little to see when snorkeling either. However, 7 commandos has VERY STRONG CURRENTS.

There are jsut 1-2 dive shops in El Nido. Hence if it is diving / snorkeling you wish to do, I would suggest Siquijor / Bohol Alona beach / Balicasag island Bohol / Nalusuan island Cebu / Coron Palawan. If you have dived elsewhere in the Philippines (or in GBR), you will be disappointed in El Nido.

PS - Cacnipa island - off Port Barton - has far better snorkelling. however, due to the paucity of proper transport between El Nido and Port Barton, I would NOT recommend visiting Cacnipa and El Nido within a 7 day trip. The travel is back breaking. Also, El nido has far better to see when isladn hoppign than Cacnipa.

3) November - expect the weather to be good. The typhoon season would have receded. Mostly sunny days. However, there is always an errant typhoon that just might be in the vicinity - monitor pagasa - the local weather website.

4) No - if planning to scuba dive, choose an alternate spot like Coron (also in palawan - but to the north. Coron needs to be visited separately, since transport links between El Nido and Coron are, to put it politely, pathetic!)

5) Resorts - I woudl suggest Taiyo, however, do not expect any good snorkellign jsut off the beach of El Nido.

Alternately spend all your time in Cacnipa island - excellent snorkellign right by the white sand beach. Many smal land pretty isladns in the vicinity and a dive operator. But none of the stunningly beautiful sights like Snake island and Miniloc / Big lagoon that one sees when island hoppign off El Nido.

5) Do note that island hopping and resorts are expensive in El Nido compared to other places in Philippines (Island hopping costs 800 pesos per head in El Nido for a fixed itinerary and with 5 co passengers, while it costs 1500 pesos in 100 islands for 5 people and 2500 P in Coron for a made to order itinerary)

You will spend far lesser and do some stunningly beautiful snorkeling if you spend your week in in Siquijor - Coco grove / Apo island near Dumaguete / Balicasag - off Bohol / Nalusuan island - off Cebu).

However, again, the island hopping in El Nido is far far better and the sights encountered are amazing (if you can ignore the crowds)

So you WOULD have to really choose between quality snorkelling / diving and island hopping.

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: El Nido in November - location / weather / duration / scuba?

Hi YouLiveOnlyOnce,

first of all, thank you so much for taking your time and effort for the really detailed feedback! Greatly appreciated!!!

Based on that and other information, I might shift to another place for a longer stay with the main focus on scuba.

Thanks again - as usual: really informative forum posts here on TA :)

Philippines
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6. Re: El Nido in November - location / weather / duration / scuba?

@ from CGN

You are welcome. Enjoy your stay in the Philippines :)

7. Re: El Nido in November - location / weather / duration / scuba?

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