El Nido, Palawan (Philippines) surfing spots and weather
This visually stunning tropical location is home to some great kitesurfing, diving and cliff jumping. You’ll recognise El Nido, Palawan (Philippines) from photos, most of us have seen the plant-covered volcanic peaks jutting straight up from the transparent water, with coral reefs visible just below the surface. The cluster of volcanic peaks surround what looks like gargantuan tropical tide pools. The ocean here has some of the clearest water of any in the world.
But during the Amihan season, November through April, the forecast often calls for strong winds to blow through the area making it perfect for kitesurfing. Give it a go as, just like surfing, it’s a great way to see and enjoy this beautiful area .
Being a tropical location, there’s not much seasonal shift in water or air temperatures in El Nido. Safe to say water will always be somewhere between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit while the air is humid and mostly in the 80s.
The Philippines has some world class surf, but most of those spots face into the maw of Pacific Typhoons. El Nido is on the leeward side of the Pacific, situated on the South China Sea. It doesn’t pull in much swell other than the odd short-lived wind swell.
Surf lessons El Nido
Kite Club Palawan provides lessons in a tiered structure. A kitesurfing “taster” lesson for 1.5 hours will set you back $57US while a full course of nine hours with one-on-one instruction costs $360. They also run kite safaris if you’re looking to explore this beautiful part of the world.
El Nido hotels and resorts for surfers
Located within the Qi Palawan Resort, Palawan Kiteboarding has a variety of packages including equpment rental. A two-hour lesson is $133 with all equipment rental included. Should you want to go big and book a full nine hours, they charge $420. Prices are on top of a $13 spending minimum at the resort. So, if you want to access the beach and facilities, you need to buy some drinks, or snacks at the bar first.
The area is a resort Mecca. People from all over the world vacation here, dive, jet-skii, surf and do other type of water sports activities. It’s also the Philippines, so you can find 500€ per night mega resorts next to mom and pop beach shacks for 12€ per night. We found some great stays somewhere between the two.
The Lally and Abet Beach Cottages are the right mix of resort luxury and private jungle camp. Accredited by the Department of tourism, they have a great reputation and pride themselves as the best affordable quiet getaway. They offer single and double story cottages mapped out along manicured lawns and dense jungle palms. Prices start at 63€ for a simple, single stay cottage with all amenities.
At Corong Corong, El Nido, Palawan (Philippines) surfers will find the Orange Pearl beach resort. With rooms starting at 50€ per night you can enjoy a private beach area, tropical dining, air conditioned rooms and 24-hour room service. This place has a great tour option as well. They will arrange an island hop so you can see the famous lagoons around Shimizu Island and Cudugnon Cave. Of course there’s some stellar kitesurfing nearby too.
The Island Front Cottage is a family resort with a hideaway feel: private beach, private jungle, etc. Power, often an issue in remote El Nido, is run through their own generator. The whole resort is just two kilometres from the centre of the city, so you can enjoy both the town and country. But remember that these are cottages, so the walls are thin and they feel somewhat open to the elements. Island Front Cottage also offer a deluxe sea view room with fridge, AC and private bath. Standard rooms start at 42€
El Nido, Palawan is a great vacation place for water sports activities.
El Nido, Philippines surfing guide and tips prepared by Bryan Dickerson (wavepoolmag.com) for Dailystoke.com’s surf guides.
Photo by Cris Tagupa