When people think back to their El Nido island hopping days, it’s unsurprising that Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Helicopter Island and Snake Island are often the stops that come to mind. Their names are very easy to remember and the destinations are definitely remarkable, but Entalula Island needs credit for being its own stunning Palawan tourist spot.
In 2019, we were incredibly fortunate to spend an entire day on Entalula Island as part of the Redbull Cliff Diving World Series activities. The island had been set up as a private beach club with food, DJs and a lot of Red Bull for an all-day beach party. Fast forward to 2021 and we returned to Entalula Island for an entirely different experience.
El Nido was only just starting to recover from the pandemic and there were very few local tourists in town. We ended up having the entire Entalula Island to ourselves to focus on getting the perfect drone shots for Carson’s photography portfolio. What luck we had!
WHERE IS ENTALULA ISLAND EL NIDO
Entalula Island is one of the dozens of islands in Bacuit Bay. It’s around an hour from the mainland by pump boat, so the only way to reach it is by joining the Big Lagoon Premium El Nido island hopping tour.
READ: BIG LAGOON EL NIDO GUIDE
HOW TO BOOK A TOUR TO ENTALULA ISLAND
There are so many tour agencies in El Nido, it can be a little overwhelming choosing the best one. After a bit of research, we ended up going with Ape Tours, which was the best decision we could’ve made. The crew were incredible and we quickly became fast friends with them all!
Our main reason for choosing Ape Tours was for their photography. Yeah, we take all our own photos, but it’s such a bonus to be with a tour company that sees the value in taking time to get the shot. We never felt rushed, and they even pointed out some unique angles most people overlook. If you’d like to book with them, we have a special discount for our readers! Just quote ‘NOPOSTCODE’ at the time of booking for 10% off.
WHAT TO BRING TO ENTALULA ISLAND
Prepare for your trip to Entalula Island El Nido with our must-have travel essentials.
Waterproof backpack & phone case: Earth Pak 35L or 55L Heavy Duty Backpack, IPX8 Waterproof Phone Case Included (click for price)
Quick dry microfiber travel towel: Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Travel Towel (click for price)
Action camera: GoPro HERO9 Black (click for price)
GoPro dome: TELESIN Dome Port Lens for GoPro Hero 9 (click for price)
Drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro (click for price)
Snorkel, mask & fins: Cressi Adjustable Mask,Fin & Snorkel Set with Carry Bag (click for price)
READ: WHAT’S IN MY CAMERA BAG
OUR EXPERIENCE AT ENTALULA ISLAND
One of the most beautiful ways to see Entalula Island is from above. If you don’t have a drone for El Nido, we really recommend you get one. Carson spent a good 30 minutes flying around, getting stunning shots of this rugged landscape while Zowie napped on the boat. All that sun and swimming at Big Lagoon and Shimizu Island prior had taken its toll.
Something to look out for if you’re a drone pilot is eagles. They’re curious creatures who will hover around larger drones like the Mavic 2 Pro, but they might actually try to take down a mini. If you do end up going with Ape Tours, we dare you to dramatically scream “EAAAGLEEE!” while flapping your arms. This was Zowie’s famous line the whole trip.
THE BEACH AT ENTALULA ISLAND
We were kind of party poopers and didn’t actually go swimming this time, as we were chasing daylight hours and still had one stop to go. In saying that, we spent an entire day on Entalula Island in 2019 for the Redbull Cliff Diving World Series, so we know it well! Entalula Beach has powder-soft sand, and the little cove makes it one of the most picturesque beaches in El Nido. If you want to do more than just lounge around on the sand, it’s also a great place to kayak (which Ape Tours includes in their package!)
One thing that caught us by surprise was a monitor lizard making his rounds on the beach. We watched him from afar on the boat as he slowly sauntered on the sand. Entalula Island isn’t typically known for its monitor lizard population, unlike its neighbouring Shimizu Island which apparently has many (though we didn’t see any). It was an awesome surprise and definitely something to keep your eyes peeled for.
READ: SHIMIZU ISLAND GUIDE
Even though our trip to Entalula Island El Nido was short this time around, it’s still a beautiful spot to visit, made all the more exciting by the cameo appearances from the native wildlife. To keep planning your El Nido trip, scroll on for more travel guides and our top picks for accommodation!
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WHERE TO STAY IN EL NIDO
There’s no shortage of accommodation in El Nido, but having all those options can be a little overwhelming when it comes to choosing the best place to stay. We’ve chosen our top four picks for budget, midscale, boutique and luxury hotels in El Nido to make things easier for you.
BUDGET: DEN’GI INN
If you’re planning on being in El Nido for a while and you’re not looking to break the bank, Den’Gi Inn is our top recommendation. We stayed for two weeks and found it was the best value for money. It’s one of the cheapest properties in El Nido, but offers clean rooms, good amenities and is in a prime location in town.
MIDSCALE: FRENDZ HOSTEL
Frendz Hostel has a million dollar view without the million dollar price tag. It’s right in the centre of town but its height offers unbeatable views of the bay. From private to share rooms, it boasts having a bed for every budget, and its social environment makes it a great place to make new friends.
BOUTIQUE: THE BIRDHOUSE
If you’re looking for something a little different, The Birdhouse is that something. It’s a small five tent glamping hotel with unbeatable sunset views. Their tents are decked out with all the finer things in life, including private bathrooms, and their yoga platform is a destination in its own right.
LUXURY: SEDA LIO
For those with a little more cash to throw around we recommend Seda Lio, one of the biggest luxury beach resorts on the mainland. Housed within the Lio Tourism Estate, Seda Lio offers a haven to escape to after a long day of activities and island hopping.
MORE EL NIDO TRAVEL GUIDES
Big Lagoon, El Nido
Cadlao Lagoon, El Nido
Entalula Island, El Nido
Shimizu Island, El Nido
Nacpan Beach, El Nido
Duli Beach, El Nido
Las Cabañas Beach, El Nido
Papaya Beach, El Nido
Seven Commandos Beach, El Nido