El Nido Alternative Tour: Local Family Experience

Immerse yourself in traditional ways of Filipino life by taking our El Nido Alternative Tour. We’ll give you an opportunity to experience the local lifestyle by staying in a humble beach cottage owned by a local family outside the busy and touristic town of El Nido. No need to tire yourself from discomfort going from island to island for days with a boatload of other tourists. Our special tour is for those who are hungry for authentic travel experiences.

El Nido Alternative Tour
With our guests from Portugal

This is your holiday. Have it your way.

El Nido is known for its stunning islands, magical lagoons, and beautiful white-sand beaches. Taking the popular boat tours is no doubt the best way to experience Palawan’s unparalleled nature. But one doesn’t truly travel a country without getting to know the people in it. Our El Nido Alternative Tour is a unique experience that lets you create unforgettable memories with the locals you meet before you leave.

Experience the authenticity and simplicity of life in El Nido.

During your stay, you’ll learn more about Filipino culture and experience how the local family lives.

Converse with them and engage in their daily activities. Travel by local transport. Visit remote islands, cook together, eat together, and exchange campfire stories. Immerse and have a deeper look into our culture.

Palawan Alternative Tour
Private boat tour to the remote islands

What to Expect From Our El Nido Alternative Tour?

Live like a local

Stay with the locals for a few nights and learn more about our way of life. Babes is a sweet lady who owns the cottages, she will treat you like part of the family. She and her family will focus on your needs and take care of you all throughout your stay. You may go fishing with them, visit local markets or even help pick bananas and coconuts. Our El Nido Alternative Tour lets you spontaneously participate in the locals’ daily routine and take part in cultural experiences that continue to tie the present with the past.

Stay in a beach cottage

Babes’ husband built small cottages by the beach just beside their home. Their home is located on a secluded beach about 1 hour away from El Nido’s posh resorts and restaurants. Expect to go back to basics. The room has a double bed, private toilet, mosquito net, and fan. The reception is weak, there’s no internet and the electricity is limited for a few hours. This is the place for those who wish to unplug for a few days, relax, and get away from it all.

Visit remote islands

This is the time to take a break from our digital life and go back to nature. On a good day, there are plenty of things to see and do depending on your interests. Babes’ son will take you to remote islands by their pump boat. You’ll get to swim in the clear waters, relax on white-sand beaches, and snorkel to your heart’s content. The family will show you around, take you to town or other beaches by means of local transport.

Eat like a local

You’ll miss out on proper local cuisine if you just dine in restaurants for tourists. With our El Nido Alternative Tour, you’ll get to enjoy home-cooked and freshly prepared Filipino dishes. Because there’s nothing more authentic than eating in someone’s home. This is the best way to connect tourists with locals. Based on our previous guests, Babes is no doubt the best cook around. She takes care of the meals for everyone and definitely knows how to make mouth-watering dishes. She can cater to your dietary requirements or food preferences. Share meals or cook together, just ask!

Make friends with the locals

You’ll get to experience true Filipino hospitality if you choose to spend your holiday with the locals. Staying for a couple of days with a local family creates instant friendship. You’ll immerse yourself into their lives as you engage in their daily activities. The day-to-day conversations and interactions will hopefully give you a fresh perspective about the world and our culture as you go back home.

One of the remote islands


Note: The itinerary can be customized to suit your specific needs and interests. Let us know if you would like to add other activities you may have in mind, and we will try our best to make everything possible for your holiday.

Day 1: Welcome to El Nido

We will take you by a private van or motor transport to the family’s beach cottage. The journey will take around 45 to 1 hour from El Nido town.

Have freshly-prepared lunch or dinner at the cottage, depending upon the time of your arrival.

Day 2: Private Boat Tour

The next day, we will take you on a private boat tour to the remote islands off the coast. This is a whole day activity where you can snorkel around pristine reefs or swim in the turquoise waters.

Note: The highlights for this tour might vary depending on the weather and sea conditions.

Day 3: Free Day

Day 4: Beach and Backcountry Tour

Take a private van or motor transport to other beaches and sights outside El Nido. Please see the link for the activities.

Day 5: Goodbye El Nido

We will take you back to El Nido airport or depending on your next destination.


  • Palawan Alternative guide and local experts
  • 4 nights / 5 days beach cottage accommodation
  • Full-day guided tours
  • Shuttle van or motor transport
  • Banca / Private Boat
  • Meals according to your food preference
  • Water safety equipment
  • Mask & snorkels
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Personalized service

Not Included

  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities


Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking our El Nido Alternative Tour. Please note that the Coast Guard might cancel boat trips due to sea conditions or bad weather for your safety. In this case, an alternative tour or activity would be suggested.

Make sure to bring your own towels, swim attire, water bottle, and change of clothes.

Maintain a 3-meter distance from the reefs. Please help preserve the beauty of Palawan’s marine life by not touching or stepping on the corals while snorkeling. There may be dangerous organisms that thrive on the coral reef.

Palawan Alternative promotes environmental awareness in the community and you can do your part by not contributing to the waste that harms marine life. Help us preserve the natural wonders of Palawan for the future generation by refraining from littering, using reusable bottles or containers and segregating wastes (biodegradable and non-biodegradable). Bottled waters and single-use plastics are not allowed on the boat.

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