Promo tickets, travel hacks, and a street smart guide from El Nido locals
Due to its foreign tourism demand, El Nido, Palawan may be quite expensive. But did you know, you can fit a ₱7K budget or even lower for a weekend itinerary in El Nido. It will just be enough to see the amazing view of El Nido, just enough so you can decide when to come back.
This itinerary can already include airfare, food, a place to sleep and a few El Nido tour highlights just to give you a glimpse of what El Nido looks like. After all, your first visit in El Nido will not be the last.
Your possible itinerary necessities
El Nido is a large patch of paradise. You’ll need a month to visit all the destinations a traveler can explore.
There’s a million ways on how to go through a ₱7K budget in El Nido. It will be just enough to visit El Nido, Palawan for the first time.
For your budget itinerary, let’s go through your necessities first.
Flight to Puerto Princesa – Two-way for ₱2000
To fit this budget, two words: Promo Tickets.
Cebu Pacific, AirAsia and even Philippine Airlines sell their tickets in promo cycles. You just have to subscribe to their alerts. With an all in ₱2K budget for going to and out of Puerto Princesa International Airport, it’s actually not a bad idea.
Puerto Princesa is one of the more price friendly alternatives when it comes to reaching El Nido.
El Nido has its own airport, but it costs really pricey. You can read more on how to fly straight to El Nido, but since we’re on a budget trip, lets move on.
Vans from Puerto Princesa to El Nido – ₱450-₱550
Vans travel daily from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, Palawan.
As a backpacker, you can ride straight from a van shuttling from Puerto Princesa International Airport to El Nido Terminal. Vans around the airport’s parking lot offer trips to newly arrived flight passengers. Usually they would charge ₱400-₱500. Find a way to ask for discounts since you’ll still need some spare change for a tricycle ride when you arrive at the El Nido terminal.
Use your negotiating skills to ask for a discount here. Otherwise, it’s the perfect time to develop one.
Lodging at Fan Rooms for 2 – ₱500/night
El Nido accommodations range from just enough to sleep for the night, to the very comfortable.
Food – ₱100/meal
Stay there for a full 4 days and 3 nights, and you’ll be spending ₱1200 all in. If you plan to eat out, I won’t stop you. I’ll blog about the food in El Nido on a different post.
Pick an El Nido Activity
As mentioned above, there’s a million ways to go through this, but lets break it down on how to go about to fit your 7K during this trip.
You can choose any of the activities here to fill in your itinerary. Take note, there’s just a few must try trips when it’s your first time visiting El Nido, Palawan.
Rent a Kayak – ₱500
Alright, so you’re feeling adventurous. Rent a kayak for a whole day and explore the shores of Cadlao Island.
You’ll need a friend here for maximum safety and efficiency. Rowing a two-manned kayak can be tiring for a solo traveler (which I have tried, and will not do it again).
Good morning Philippines! Beyond this beach is Cadlao Island with a few shores of its own. You can reach them by…
In Cadlao Island, you can reach the nearest pristine beach where there’s less crowd.
Ask for a discount when renting a kayak. Just across the main town of Bacuit Bay is the Cadlao Island.
As a friendly reminder, wake up and pay for a kayak early, by noon, all kayaks are most probably gone.
Contact for Mon-mon
for Kayat rentals at:
Rent a Motorcycle – ₱400/day
It’s time to be confident in riding a motorcyle, It’s one of the most affordable ways to roam around El Nido town. Your alternative would be renting out a tricycle, which may cost more.
A lot of automatic motorcycles are available for rent around El Nido. By renting one, you can easily reach:
Lio Beach – Free
Lio Tourism Estates is an Ayala Land Inc. property. They have set up a high-end commercial strip from Bacuit Bay, El Nido’s main town. You may easily reach it by a motorcycle ride or a tricycle hire.
It’s positioned for higher end tourists and, if you’re familiar with Metro Manila, looks like a modern day Greenbelt in the heart of a jungle, beside the beach.
Dalimatan Beach – Free
Still a part of Ayala Land Inc., and a beach just a few steps from Lio Tourism Estates. Dalimatan Beach shares its shores to locals for FREE. It’s one of the best budget places for a quiet chill time on the beach. Also, it’s a great place to watch the sunset.
It’s not as pristine as the island shores in Bacuit Bay, but it’s enough to satisfy your vitamin-sea cravings.
FREE beach shores are all around El Nido, Palawan. These hidden gems are not crowded at all, has a long beach shore and…
You’ll know its Dalimatan Beach when you see the root sculpture near the beach shore.
Visit the Bathaluman in Dalimatan Beach Resort just beside Lio Tourism Estate in El Nido, Palawan.
You’ll need a GPS map to navigate going here.
Las Cabañas – Free
The sunsets here are amazing. It’s one of the few places where the sunset has an unobstructed view. It’s another 15 minute distance motorcycle ride going south from the main town of Bacuit. Tricycles also offer rides for ₱50/head. A few restaurants and bars are also located here.
Taraw Cliff – ₱400
Get a 360 degree view of the Bacuit Bay archipelago.
Kuyawyaw Falls – ₱150/head + ₱200/tour guide + Environmental Fee
This is a 1 hour and 30 minutes motorcycle trip from Bacuit town proper to the town of Taytay. It’s got seven (7) waterfalls upstream but only three (3) accessible waterfalls to the visiting public. Each waterfall is more majestic and taller than the other ones closer to the entrance.
Being located in Taytay, Palawan, Kuyawyaw waterfalls is actually located near the border of the town of El Nido and Taytay. Taytay is the town south next to El Nido. Here, guests are also required to show their environmental tickets, and pay a per head entrance fee. Also, there’s a mandatory tour guide to accompany you to all three (3) falls.
The waters here were cold but really really beautiful. They are also way majestic than the Nagkalit-kalit falls, which is nearer to town.
The water falls here are just amazing.
Nagkalit-kalit Falls – ₱250
It’s another 20 to 25 minute motorcycle ride from the main town of Bacuit. this waterfalls is on the way to Nacpan Beach, El Nido.
Nacpan – ₱1000
Nacpan is a 2 hour motorcycle trip from the main town of Bacuit. It’s one of the most pristine beaches you will find in El Nido. It’s got a long white sand shoreline with crystal blue waters. How about checking this video to see what’s in Nacpan.
Boat Tours in Bacuit Bay – ₱1200
Get ₱200 OFF on boat tours if you tell our partner boat tour in El Nido you got referred by Clueless Commuter. Boat tours travel from mainland El Nido to the Bacuit archipelago. As of writing, they have segmented it into different tours that you can try everyday.
Tour A – ₱1200 (Around 23 USD)
Tour B – ₱1300 (Around 25 USD)
Tour C – ₱1400 (Around 27 USD)
Tour D – ₱1200 (Around 23 USD)
Exchange rate at time of writing: (1 USD = ₱52).
Check out more in depth descriptions on the difference of these tours here.
El Nido to Puerto Princesa Airport – ₱450-₱550
Similar on how you came here in the first place, you’ll need to ride a 4-hour van trip going back to Puerto Princesa International Airport.
Vans offer a direct trip to the airport, you’ll just need to make sure the van you have boarded will be at the airport in time for your flight.
From Puerto Princesa Airport to Homebound
Provided that you have also took a promo ticket going back to your provincial or home destination, it’s time to board the plane and head back.
Home sweet home!
Did your ₱7K budget fit in? Let us know in the comments below!