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El Nido, Philippines

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Aug 20, 2023

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in El Nido, Philippines. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

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What do I need to know about living in El Nido?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to El Nido, they said:

"Expats considering retirement in El Nido, should be aware that the cost of living is generally lower than in Western countries, but it can vary depending on lifestyle choices. They should also know that the primary language spoken is Filipino, but English is widely understood and spoken. Healthcare in El Nido is basic, so expats with serious health conditions may need to travel to larger cities for treatment. Expats should also be aware that the climate is tropical, with a dry season from November to May and a wet season from June to October. El Nido is known for its natural beauty, including beaches, lagoons, and wildlife, making it a popular destination for tourists. However, this also means that it can get crowded during peak travel seasons. Expats should also know that they will need a visa to stay in the Philippines long-term. There are several types of visas available, including a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) which is specifically for foreign nationals who wish to retire in the Philippines. In terms of safety, while El Nido is generally safe, expats should still exercise caution, especially at night or when in less populated areas. Lastly, expats should be aware that while the infrastructure in El Nido has improved in recent years, it is still developing. Power outages can be common, and internet service can be unreliable," wrote one member in El Nido.

"Electricity still the major issue - install a solar panel. Communication and internet is improving - StarLink is already available. Road Network is improving - new roads open and cemented," remarked one expat who made the move to El Nido.

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Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.
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What do I need to know before moving to El Nido?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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