I've been to Palawan before, specifically in Coron and Puerto Princesa City. I could say, that no doubt it's one of the Best islands in the World. But there's one place in Palawan that I been wanting to visit, the islands of El Nido. It's been on my bucket list for the longest time. That is why, I am so happy when we got the chance to travel to El Nido earlier this month. In this El Nido Travel Guide, I will help you with tips on how to plan your trip to El Nido, Palawan. This includes details and information on how to get there, where to stay, where to eat, things to do, suggested itinerary, and estimated budget and expenses.
El Nido, Palawan Travel Guide
When is the best time to visit El Nido?
I believe, the best time to visit El Nido is during the summer/dry months in the Philippines. That is November to May.
How to get to El Nido, Palawan?
OPTION 1: From Manila, there are several airlines that fly to Puerto Princesa City, the capital city of Palawan. Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines and Air Asia have several flights daily from Manila to Puerto Princesa City. Travel time is about an hour. Upon arrival at Puerto Princesa Airport, you may take a passenger van to El Nido. Travel time from Puerto Princesa to El Nido takes about 5 hours and fare is PHP 500.00 pesos per person.
There are many van shuttle services in Puerto Princesa Airport that has several trips to El Nido. The one we took is MIROJU Transport Service. You may contact them at (+63) 0936-236-8059 or (+63) 0921-721-9979 to reserve a seat. It is best to call them in advance so you will have a sure seat when you arrive at the airport.
Puerto Princesa to El Nido Van Schedule
1st Trip: 07:00 AM
2nd Trip: 08:00 AM
3rd Trip: 10:00 AM
4th Trip: 12:00 NN
5th Trip: 01:00 PM
6th Trip: 03:00 PM
7th Trip: 05:00 PM
8th Trip: 07:00 PM
TRAVEL TIP: Fly to Puerto Princesa City as early as possible so will arrive in El Nido and still have a enough rest before starting your island hopping tour the next day.
OPTION 2: Alternatively, you could fly directly from Manila to El Nido, Palawan. Air Swift has flights from Manila to El Nido, Palawan. They have daily round trip flights from Manila's NAIA Terminal 4 to El Nido Airport. I guess, this is the most convenient way if you want to get to Palawan as fast as possible.
Where to Stay (Hotels and Resorts in El Nido)
With the popularity of El Nido to foreign and local travelers, there are many hotels and resorts in El Nido that cater to the accommodation needs of visiting tourists. During our trip, we stayed at Northern Hope Inn which is located right at the center of the town. It is near all the activities in El Nido as well as to the beach, port, restaurants, grocery, souvenir shops, tour operators, and the market.
Our room is a huge family room that could comfortably fit 6 people. It has essential amenities needed for a comfortable stay, such as a private toilet and bath, television set with cable channels, air-conditioning unit, cabinets, and free use of bath towels. It costs PHP 2,500 pesos per night which is quite affordable considering the amenities included. And oh. breakfast is also included.
For more info, visit: www.northernhopetours.com/accommodations/el-nido/northern-hope-inn/
Where to Eat: Restaurants in El Nido
El Nido offers a lot of dining places that will surely stimulate your taste buds. Be it a fine dining restaurant, a "hole in the wall" diners or simply a street food kiosk, you will surely enjoy El Nido as there are a lot of food options to choose from. We got to try El Nido Art Cafe, Mezzanine Restobar, and Little Italy, all are located just a short walk from Northern Hope Inn.
Top Things to Do in El Nido
There are plenty of things to do in El Nido to fill your trip itinerary in exploring all that El Nido has to offer. But for our trip, here are my top best things to do in El Nido, Palawan.
- Island Hopping with lunch buffet in one of the islands
- See El Nido town from Taraw Peak
- Beach Bumming, sun bathing, snorkeling and free diving
- Walk around town
- Food trip
- Sunset watching at Corong-corong Beach
- Souvenir Shopping
The above activities are just some of things we did during our 4D/3N adventure in El Nido. Other things to do that you may include in your itinerary are:
- Beach Bumming at Nacpan and Calitang Twin Beaches
- Walk on wooden path of the Mangrove Eco Park
- Explore around Yaposan Beach
- Scuba Diving
- Get wet at Nagkalit-kalit Waterfalls
- Trek to Makinit Hot Spring
- Explore Marimegmeg Beach
- Check out Pangulasian Island
- Visit Pinagbuyutan Island
- Explore Pinasil Island and Cathedral Cave
El Nido DIY Itinerary (4 Days and 3 Nights)
DAY 106:00 AM - 07:00 AM - Travel to Puerto Princesa City from Manila
07:30 AM - Arrive at Puerto Princesa City Airport
08:00 AM - 01:00 PM - Travel to El Nido from Puerto Princesa City
02:00 PM - Arrive at El Nido, Check-in at Northern Hope Inn
03:00 PM - Explore the town, Eat, Sunset Viewing
09:00 PM - Sleep
DAY 207:00 AM - Breakfast
08:30 AM - Start of Tour A
04:30 AM - End of Tour A
07:00 PM - Dinner, Party, Have some drinks
09:00 AM - Sleep
DAY 307:00 AM - Breakfast
08:30 AM - Start Tour C
04:30 AM - End of Tour C
05:00 AM - Catch the sunset at Corong-Corong
07:00 PM - Dinner and souvenir shopping
09:00 AM - Sleep
DAY 407:00 AM - Breakfast
08:00 AM - Trek to Taraw Peak via Canopy Walk
09:00 AM - End of Taraw Peak trek
10:00 AM - Go back to the hotel, prepare for check out
11:00 NN - Check out and have lunch
01:00 PM - Travel to Puerto Princesa City
06:00 PM - Arrive at Puerto Princesa Airport
08:00 PM - Travel back to Manila
TRAVEL TIP: When traveling to Puerto Princesa City, book the earliest available flight from Manila. When traveling back to Manila, book the latest available flight available from Puerto Princesa. Alternatively, you may also opt to stay for one more night in Puerto Princesa City so you will have enough time and won't miss your flight to Manila.
Budget and Expenses
Below are the estimated budget and common expenses that could help you plan your trip in El Nido.
Van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido - PHP 500.00 per person
Accommodation for 3 nights (2,500 per night for 6 pax) - PHP 7,500.00
Food expenses - PHP 3,000 per person for 4 days
Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF) - PHP 200.00 per person
Standard Island Hopping Tour Rates:
Tour A - PHP 1,200 per person
Tour B - PHP 1,300 per person
Tour C - PHP 1,400 per person
Tour D - PHP 1,200 per person
Kayak Rental - PHP 400.00
Souvenirs - PHP 500.00
Transportation around town - PHP 800.00
Van from El Nido to Puerto Princesa - PHP 500.00 per person
Terminal Fee (Puerto Princesa Airport) - PHP 200.00
Where to get Best Affordable Island Hopping Tour in El Nido?
I highly recommend Northern Hope Tours. They offer affordable island hopping and land tours in El Nido. Their tour guides are also awesome and always see to it the the guests will have safe and fun adventure.
You may contact Northern Hope Tours at:
Northern Hope ToursE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(+63) 939-902-2216 (Smart)
(+63) 927-735-3221 (Globe)
(+63) 942-375-2441 (Sun)
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