Pristine beaches, mesmerizing landscapes, crystal blue waters–this is what you’ll see in El Nido, Palawan, one of the most popular places in the Philippines. In fact, Palawan has been hailed multiple times as the “Best Island in the World”, a title it deserves because of its sheer beauty. Being the popular tourist destination that it is, El Nido boasts a number of resorts, beaches and tourist spots that will surely take your fancy. Lio Tourism Estate is one of them, but there’s a catch: it’s not just a resort; it’s a town.
How to get there
Lio Tourism Estate is easily accessible for people outside Palawan since there are direct flights from Manila to El Nido, courtesy of Air Swift. Lio Airport is just two minutes away from the estate, so the distance definitely won’t be a problem. Flying to Puerto Princesa is recommended if you’re on a tight budget, though you will also have to make a 6-hour land transfer just to reach El Nido.
There are lots of tours available at travel and tour agencies, and these packages usually include the transportation from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. On the other hand, if you want to test the waters and try commuting on your own, you can easily catch a van or a bus going to El Nido at the City Public Transport Terminal.
Lio Tourism Estate is located at Sitio Lamoro, which is a tricycle ride away from El Nido Town. Scheduled transports by the hotels located on the estate are also available to make things easier for visitors.
Since I’m from Puerto Princesa, I chose to travel for six hours just to reach the paradise. And upon arriving at the place, it did not disappoint.
Lio Tourism Estate is everything that a traveler can ask for. Just like a real town, Lio Tourism Estate has the complete package. Aside from the resorts and commercial establishments, there’s also an airport, a jetty port and lounge, and even a farm which provides for their needs, making them self-sufficient.
E-jeepneys can also be found throughout the whole estate and is used as one of the primary means of transportation. Going around the estate through the use of the locally-made bamboo bike is another option as well.
Right beside the hotels is the Lio Beach, which is open to the public and can be visited by anyone even if they aren’t staying at one of the resorts. There are many activities that can be done at the beach, such as kayaking, stand-up paddle, frisbee or even beach volleyball.
Shops @ Lio
Located right along Lio Beach is [email protected], which is home to shops, bars and restaurants in the estate. In fact, some of the best shops in El Nido can be found in Lio, so you should definitely check this out! If you are a foodie, you’re definitely in for a treat at Lio since there’s a lot of restaurants you can choose from.
Pair-A-Dice Burger House
A personal favorite of mine is the delicious burgers at Pair-A-Dice Burger House, whose food are all made from scratch–and yes, the patties and even the bread are all made in-house.
Another must-try is the pizzas available on Pizza Amore. They have a number of brick oven pizzas to choose from, including their unique carbonara and Nutella pizzas.
If you want to chill out and refresh yourself with a hot or cool drink, you can try hanging out on Bead Cafe. You can even make your own bracelets and necklaces while waiting for your orders.
Pukka Bar and Manille Beach Bar
Lio also has quite a number of bars that you can choose from, such as Pukka Bar and Manille Beach Bar. And there’s no need to worry about the lack of nightlife because the nights are definitely alive at Lio. There are also singers and DJs who perform there every night to make the night more upbeat and lively.
If you are tired and you want to relax, you can indulge yourself with a nice massage at the Mayana Spa. Their massages and body scrubs are perfect after a day’s adventure.
Going around Kalye Artisano is definitely a must-do for everyone, especially to those people who are inclined to arts and crafts. In fact, this art gallery even paved a way for the creation of a local designer brand that introduced a new spin on traditional Filipino fashion.
Lio Tourism Estate has four hotels in the area, and all were built with environmental sustainability in mind. But since these four hotels are practically located in the same area, on which one should you choose to stay?
First one in the list is Casa Kalaw, which was the first one to open last year. The hotel was inspired by contemporary Filipino architectural designs, so it definitely exudes a unique vibe to it. It has a pool surrounded by a garden, and is perfect for families going on a vacation.
If you’re going as a couple, then Balai Adlao is perfect for you. This island getaway has a native feel to it, with its earth-toned interiors decorated with local weaves and fabrics.
If you want a hotel with a much modern feel to it, Hotel Covo is definitely the perfect choice. It has 20 guest rooms with a chic vibrance, which is perfect for the youthful and carefree travelers.
On the other hand, if you want to be somewhere more private, then you should definitely stay at El Nido Cove. The hotel has a perfect view of the beachfront, which adds to its relaxing and scenic ambiance.
From this review, you might think that the Lio Tourism Estate has already been completed. While most of the main attractions have already been constructed and are now operating, the estate is still far from being complete.
Although Lio may not be complete yet, it already provides excellent service to the people and to the environment. One can only imagine how amazing it will be once the fully-functional town is finished.
Nevertheless, make sure to include Lio Tourism Estate into your Palawan trip checklist! They regularly hold events in there, so you better check out their Facebook page to see if you can attend one.
Enjoy your stay!