El Nido Palawan | Travel & Budget Guide
Taking my summer goals to the next level means setting course to the ultimate paradise destination, PALAWAN.
Took about some time to prepare for this, once the traveling itch starts, man! for sure there is no cure for such, so now here’s a rundown of our spontaneous adventure.
How to get to El Nido
We had our flight booked earlier and we opted to travel via Iloilo to Palawan. Seat sale always comes handy for travelers like us, we had our round-trip tickets for only 1000php each. Coming from our city which is Bacolod, we took the 1st trip ferry going to Iloilo at 6am, upon arrival at 7:15AM we already booked an advance taxi to pick us up at the port going to Iloilo International Airport with a fix rate of 400php ( Light of Glory Taxi / 09177799080 ) . Local taxi’s will be more expensive so make sure to negotiate whenever you can. With an hour flight from Iloilo we finally arrived at Puerto Princesa Palawan at exactly 10:25AM.
The route of going to Puerto Princesa then take a 5 hours land trip going to El nido. Yes, there’s an airport in El Nido, but ITI is the only airline flying into El Nido’s privately run by Lio Airport, tickets are probably about 5000php to 6000php and flights origin are only from Manila.
We also booked our Van in advance via WHL liners, that’s 600php one way trip, we were still figuring out our route going back to Puerto Princesa so instead we didn’t booked a van trip going back to the City, which our driver agreed to. You can opt to take the Bus, with only minimal difference when it comes to cost, most familiar Bus liner in Palawan is the Cherry and RORO Bus, 480php for AC Bus, if I were you, better take the Van instead.
I can all assure you that the roads are completely paved, some towns are still fixing some areas but only a few of them, my friend who happened to spend her childhood days in the Island for some time did mention that way back 2009 or so, roads were still bumpy, but say no more, Palawan did some upgrading when it comes to their roads.
Once you reach El Nido you can ask your driver for directions going to your hotel or resort, take a tricycle ride as it only cost 10php, we had our applications up such as google map and waze when we were looking for our lodging house. Locals are very much proficient in tagalog and english, so don’t be scared to get out of your shell and start a conversation with a complete stranger when asking for direction.
( Refer on the last item on this blog with regards to maximum budget that you can allot for this trip. )
Where to stay
Most hotels would cost 1500php to 3000php ( 2 pax ), you can also consider getting a place at the street side of the beach front, though the beach front hotels would cost more. Fortunate for us, we have our contacts on where to stay, so happy to have extended family and friends in other islands.
We stayed at Bacuit Grill, yes it’s a restaurant, and then the family decided to put a small place with 4 rooms good enough for guest accommodation. The house was new, neat and clean, we rented the place for 1200php per night, good for 3 person, the room has running water, AC and the best part is its situated at the beach front.
Just a few 10 to 15mins walk on the south area from Bacuit Grill you will find the beach front with numerous boats and a line up of restaurants 50 meters from the shore line,
and once you turn left going to the main road you will find yourself at the not so busy streets, no worries of getting lost, its definitely a small place, there are affordable restaurants and karenderia that you can choose from, prices range from 150 to 250 good for 2 person. Small time convenient and sari-sari store are also available whenever you need some personal stuff to purchase.
We were just in time for the sunset when we arrived at El nido, and man the view was nothing like we’ve seen before, we settled our bags at the room, didn’t mind to clean up or wash, we took off and sat at the front beach with some coolers in hand, and yah the 5hours drive was definitely worth it.
**Here’s a link i borrowed for some options that you can consider in picking a place to stay in El Nido.
Dine and Chill
I would of course recommend catching breakfast at Bacuit Grill, they serve the best banana pancake in town which was already good for 2, brewed coffee is also available, they have english and meditterinian breakfast in their menu, breakfast by the front beach is definitely a good way to say “Good Morning!”
If you’re in for a tight budget, then head out to the main street and you will find a line up of affordable restaurants, karenderia and sizzlers just around the corner, prices range from 70php to 150php per meal. There’s a couple of seafood resto at the beach front, you can request to have your own style of cooking such as grilled, sizzling, tinola etc. price range from 200 to 400php per viand.
I’m a sucker for banana’s so I do consume lots of it, found this crepe stall just along the street, Crepes with nutella and banana is for 130php.
Some early night chill down at the front beach is a must, we dropped by at Coco Bar since they have a live band to entertain us, they play good ol 90’s alternative music, waiters were very quick to respond. After an hour or 2 we moved to Pukka Bar, its one of the most popular place in the island, we felt like we were the only Filipino’s that night, place was crowded with foriegners may have been that the ambiance on that play interest most people, they have their own local reggae band, can’t say that the food is great, but much more than that, seems a pretty good place to meet new people, enjoy music and beach view that you can’t afford to exchange for.
**Bars have their happy hour at 4PM till 6PM or 9PM the most, better catch some while you can.
Click on this link to check out my blog my ultimate tour A and land trip guide in El Nido Palawan.
Budget Proposal for this trip I did not include the amount we exactly spent for our food during the trip, we had some “baon packs” that saved us a couple of peso. Here’s an overview of an individual cost during our 4 Days and 3 Nights trip, you can make some adjustment depending on how many days you decide to stay and what activities you’re gonna have.
|Activity||Cost ( Php )|
|Bacolod to Iloilo Ferry Round trip||760.00|
|Port to Iloilo Airport Round Trip||200.00|
|Aiport Terminal Fee Round Trip||400.00|
|Iloilo to Palawan Round Trip ticket||1,000.00|
|Puerto Princesa to El Nido Van Round trip||1,200.00|
|Lodging House ( 1,200 / Night / 3 pax )||1,000.00|
|Tour A ( island hopping, entrance fee, environmental fee, snorkling gear, lunch )||1,200.00|
|Kayak Rent ( 300 good for 3 pax )||100.00|
|Tricycle Rent for Land trip (1,000 / 3 pax )||333.00|
” A real happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery even when they have to take a detour ” – James Jeans