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EL NIDO TRAVEL GUIDE 2019 BLOG with a ₱7,000 DIY Itinerary and Budget for First-Timers

NEW UPDATED EL NIDO TRAVEL GUIDE BLOGS 2019 Things To Do DIY Itinerary Budget and Expenses with CHEAP TOUR PACKAGE RATES 2019

Looking for El Nido Travel Guide 2019 with DIY Itinerary, Budget and Expenses for First-Timers?


El Nido in Northern part of Palawan is certainly one of the top destinations in the Philippines. 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 finally travel and visit El Nido.

Traveling to El Nido for the first time? In this El Nido Travel Guide 2019 with DIY Itinerary and Budget, I will help you with useful tips on how to plan your trip to El Nido, Palawan. This also includes details and information on how to get there, where to stay, where to eat, things to do, spots to visit, suggested DIY itinerary, and estimated budget and expenses.

If you're traveling to El Nido soon but don't know where to start, here's my

2019 First-Timer's Travel Guide to El Nido, Palawan



WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS EL NIDO TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG 2019?


WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT EL NIDO?


I believe, the best time to visit El Nido is during the summer months in the Philippines - that is from March to May. Dry months from November to February are also a good time to visit El Nido. As island hopping and enjoying the beaches are the top things to do in El Nido, avoid the rainy and typhoon seasons - from July to October.

HOW MANY DAYS TO SPEND IN EL NIDO?


It really depends on the things you want to do and the tourist spots you want to visit in El Nido. Considering the long travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, 4 days and 3 nights is the most ideal for first-timers in El Nido. This should give you a good amount of time to have 2 full days for island hopping and inland tours. You may refer to my 4D 3N DIY Itinerary below.

ECO TOURISM DEVELOPMENT FEE


When traveling to El Nido, you have to pay the Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF) worth PHP 200.00 per person. This is required for all tourists going to any tourist destination within El Nido. This one-time fee is valid for 10 days. You can either pay for it and get an official receipt at the Tourism Office or pay it together with your island hopping tour in a travel agency or booking office. Keep your receipt and always bring it with you while in El Nido.

WHAT TO BRING WHEN TRAVELING TO EL NIDO?


  • Light and Breathable Clothes - as a tropical country, the weather in El Nido is most of the time hot and humid. I suggest that you wear light and breathable clothes. Depending on the season, also bring a light jacket or raincoat for the occasional rains.
  • Swimwear - island hopping is one of the most popular things to do when traveling to El Nido, Palawan. Be sure to bring your swimwear to fully enjoy the islands and the beaches of El Nido.
  • Sun Block - always wear sun block when exploring the islands. Please use coral-friendly sunblock only.
  • Aqua Shoes - always wear an aqua shoes to protect your feet when exploring the islands and the lagoons.
  • Action Camera or Water-proof Camera - don't forget to bring a waterproof camera to document your precious travel moments. An action camera is highly recommended!

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO EL NIDO?


Definitely yes! El Nido is one of the most tourist-friendly destinations in the Philippines. The locals are already used to local and foreign tourists and they are very nice and accommodating.

Good morning. See you in a bit #PuertoPrincesa, #Palawan! ❤️ #ThankYou #AirAsiaPH

A photo posted by Pinoy Adventurista (Mervz) 🇵🇭 (@pinoyadventurista) on


HOW TO GET TO EL NIDO?


There are several ways on how to get to El Nido. You can go there via plane to Puerto Princesa City, via a direct flight from Manila to Lio Airport, or via a ferry from Coron, Palawan. Here are some of the options to choose from.

Manila to Puerto Princesa to El Nido


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 or bus to El Nido. Travel time from Puerto Princesa to El Nido takes about 5 hours and fare is PHP 500.00-700.00 pesos per person. Check Bookaway for more bus options in Philippines.

TRAVEL TIP: Search and book cheap Philippine Airlines flight tickets in 3 easy steps via Traveloka! Download the FREE Traveloka Flight Ticket and Hotel Booking App and enjoy huge discounts!

PUERTO PRINCESA TO EL NIDO VIA SHARED VAN

For convenience, I highly recommend that you book a seat in a shared van transfer from Puerto Princesa to El Nido so you will have a sure seat when you arrive at the airport..


BOOK A SHARED VAN TRANSFER HERE!

DEPARTURE TIMES: 5:30am, 7:00am, 8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am, 1:00pm, 2:30pm, 4:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:30pm

The shared van transfer is inclusive of:

  • One way shared transfer service to El Nido
  • Hotel pick up
  • Fuel fees
  • English speaking driver
  • Insurance provided by operator

PUERTO PRINCESA TO EL NIDO VIA PRIVATE VAN

If you're on a big group, you may also rent a private van that will take you from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. The package includes hotel pick-up, fuel fees, English speaking driver and insurance provided by the operator.

BOOK A PRIVATE VAN TRANSFER HERE!


TRAVEL TIP: Fly to Puerto Princesa City early in the morning so will arrive in El Nido and still have a enough rest before starting your island hopping tour the next day.

OTHER OPTION: Puerto Princesa City to El Nido via bus or mini van.

Direct Flight from Manila to El Nido


OPTION 2: Alternatively, you could fly directly from Manila to El Nido, Palawan. This is the fastest and most convenient, but expensive option to get to El Nido. Air Swift has flights from Manila to El Nido, Palawan's Lio Airport. 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 budget is not an issue, if you have limited time and want to get to Palawan as fast as possible. Upon arrival at the airport, you may hire a tricycle to El Nido town proper for about 200 pesos. Travel time is about 30 minutes.

Coron to El Nido


OPTION 3: If you're coming from Coron, there is a fast ferry that can bring you to El Nido. Montenegro Shipping Lines has daily ferry service from Coron to El Nido at 12:00 noon. Travel time is around 3-4 hours depending on sea conditions. Advance reservation is highly recommended.

BOOK A FERRY TICKET HERE!


For ease and convenience, you may SEARCH ferry schedules and availability below:


Hello #PuertoPrincesa #Palawan! ❤️ #ThankYou #AirAsiaPH for the safe flight! 😎

A photo posted by Pinoy Adventurista (Mervz) 🇵🇭 (@pinoyadventurista) on


WHERE TO STAY: HOTELS AND RESORTS IN EL NIDO


With the popularity of El Nido to foreign and local travelers, there are so many hotels and resorts in El Nido that cater to the accommodation needs of visiting tourists. From luxury hotels and resorts, to mid-range hotels, hostels, and backpacker's inns, I'm sure you'll find a place to stay in El Nido that will fit your budget and preferences.

During our trip, we stayed at Northern Hope Inn which is located right at the center of the town. What I love most about staying here is that, 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 the 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 the size of the room. And oh. breakfast is also included.

For more info, visit: www.northernhopetours.com/accommodations/el-nido/northern-hope-inn/

Hotels and Resorts in El Nido Palawan
Northern Hope Inn El Nido Palawan

Top-Rated Family-friendly Hotels and Resorts in El Nido



Raje Residence

Location: Rizal Streetm Barangay Maligaya, Corong-Corong, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, 5313
Room Rates: starts at ₱ 1,620.00
Book Here: Check room rates and availability


Casa Kalaw

Location: Lio Tourism Estate, Lio, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, 5313
Room Rates: starts at ₱ 7,289.80
Book Here: Check room rates and availability


Den Gi Inn

Location: Amboy Street, Elnido, Palawan, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, 5313
Room Rates: starts at ₱ 2,424.95
Book Here: Check room rates and availability


Sophia's Beach Guest House

Location: Taytay - El Nido National Highway, Corong-Corong, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, 5300
Room Rates: starts at ₱ 1,800.00
Book Here: Check room rates and availability


Ipil Suites El Nido

Location: Real Street, Buena Suerte, Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, 5313
Guest Rating: Impressive
Room Rates: starts at ₱ 4,364.93
Book Here: Check room rates and availability


Top-Rated Luxury Hotels and Resorts in El Nido



El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island Resort

Location: Pangulasian Island, Bacuit Bay, Pangulasian Island, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, 5313
Room Rates: starts at ₱ 40,885.00
Book Here: Check room rates and availability


Lagun Hotel

Location: Balinsasayaw Road, Brgy. Maligaya, National Highway, Poblacion, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, 5313
Room Rates: starts at ₱ 12,359.65
Book Here: Check room rates and availability


Cauayan Island Resort and Spa

Location: Bacuit Bay, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, 5313
Room Rates: starts at ₱ 27,608.53
Book Here: Check room rates and availability

Note: Room rates are subject to change and depends on your booking dates. Guest reviews were based on Tripadvisor user reviews.

CHECK HERE TO SEE OTHER HOTELS & RESORTS IN EL NIDO




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.

WHAT ARE THE 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.
  1. Island Hopping with lunch buffet in one of the islands. Island hopping tours are called "Tour A," "Tour B," "Tour C," "Tour D," etc. To get the best out of your trip, the most recommended tours for first-timers in El Nido are Tours A and C.
  2. See El Nido town from Taraw Peak
  3. Beach Bumming, sun bathing, snorkeling and free diving
  4. Walk around town
  5. Food trip! Indulge in fresh seafood.
  6. Get a massage [ BOOK HERE! ]
  7. Sunset watching at Corong-Corong and Marimegmeg Beaches
  8. Souvenir Shopping

Island hopping usually starts in the morning and ends in the afternoon. It is best to stay in El Nido for 3 days or more to fully enjoy your vacation. Also consider the long journey from Puerto Princesa to El Nido which you'll need to add one day each for your arrival and departure in Palawan. The best itinerary I could suggest is 4 days and 3 nights, so you'll have at least 2 full days to spend for island hopping in El Nido.

OTHER THINGS TO DO IN EL NIDO (TOURIST SPOTS AND ATTRACTIONS)


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 EL Nido DIY itinerary are:

  • Beach Bumming at Nacpan Beach and Calitang Twin Beaches, dubbed as "The twin beaches of El Nido!"
  • 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
  • Try the Bird's Nest soup
  • Visit Kuyawayaw Waterfalls
  • Enjoy Sibaltan Beach
  • If you ahdve more time and you want explore other worthy places outside El Nido, you can also visit Coron, Taytay, and Linapacan.
  • On your way back to Puerto Princesa, you can also visit San Vicente / Port Barton.

For other amazing guided tours and exciting tours in El Nido, Palawan PLEASE SEE HERE.


CHEAP AND AFFORDABLE EL NIDO TOUR PACKAGE 2019


How to book an island hopping tour? The best way to book an island hopping tour in El Nido is to book an El Nido Tour Package and book it in advance online. By booking online, you can get it on discounted rates. For example, the standard rate for El Nido Tour A is 1,200 pesos per person for a join-in tour if you book it in El Nido. But if you book it online via Klook, you can get it for a discounted rate of 900 pesos only. Below are the sample itineraries for Island Hopping Tours in El Nido.

EL NIDO TOUR A ITINERARY (RATE: ₱ 900 per person)

  • Small lagoon
  • Big lagoon
  • Hidden lagoon
  • Shimizu Island
  • 7 Commando Beach

Inclusive of: Join in tour, Local English speaking guide, BBQ lunch, Water, Hotel pick up and drop off, Snorkeling gear

BOOK A DISCOUNTED EL NIDO TOUR A HERE!


EL NIDO TOUR B ITINERARY (RATE: ₱ 1,100 per person)

  • Snake Island
  • Pinagbuyutan Island
  • Papaya Beach
  • Pangulasian Island
  • Cudugnon Cave
  • Cathedral Cave

Inclusive of: Join in tour, Local English speaking guide, BBQ lunch, Water, Hotel pick up and drop off, Snorkeling gear

BOOK A DISCOUNTED EL NIDO TOUR B HERE!


EL NIDO TOUR C ITINERARY (RATE: ₱ 1,250 per person)

  • Helicopter Island
  • Matinloc Shrine
  • Secret Beach
  • Tapiutan Island
  • Hidden Beach

Inclusive of: Join in tour, Local English speaking guide, BBQ lunch, Water, Hotel pick up and drop off, Snorkeling gear

BOOK A DISCOUNTED EL NIDO TOUR C HERE!


Island Hopping Tours in El Nido, Palawan
Island Hopping in El Nido, Palawan

EL NIDO DIY ITINERARY (4 Days and 3 Nights)


What to do in El Nido in 4 days? Here’s my suggested 4 days / 3 nights (4D3N) DIY itinerary. You can adjust this depending on the times of your flights, the things you want to do in El Nido, tourist spots you want to visit, and on your budget.

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.

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL IN EL NIDO / EXPLORE THE TOWN

  • 06:00 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 from Puerto Princesa to El Nido [ BOOK HERE! ]
  • 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 2 - EL NIDO TOUR A

  • 07:00 AM - Breakfast
  • 08:30 AM - Start of Tour A
    • Small lagoon
    • Big lagoon
    • Hidden lagoon
    • Shimizu Island
    • 7 Commando Beach
  • 04:30 AM - End of Tour A
  • 07:00 PM - Dinner, Party, Have some drinks
  • 09:00 AM - Sleep

BOOK AN EL NIDO TOUR A HERE FOR ₱ 900 PESOS!


DAY 3 - EL NIDO TOUR C

  • 07:00 AM - Breakfast
  • 08:30 AM - Start Tour C
    • Helicopter Island
    • Matinloc Shrine
    • Secret Beach
    • Tapiutan Island
    • Hidden Beach
  • 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

BOOK AN EL NIDO TOUR C HERE FOR ₱ 1,250 PESOS!


DAY 4 - TARAW PEAK AND DEPARTURE

  • 07:00 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 from El Nido to Puerto Princesa City [ BOOK HERE! ]
  • 06:00 PM - Arrive at Puerto Princesa Airport
  • 08:00 PM - Travel back to Manila

For other amazing guided tours and exciting tours in El Nido, Palawan PLEASE SEE HERE.


Today's #sunset from Corong-corong beach #ElNido #Palawan! ❤️

A photo posted by Pinoy Adventurista (Mervz) 🇵🇭 (@pinoyadventurista) on


IS EL NIDO A BUDGET FRIENDLY DESTINATION?


Yes! The bulk of your travel expenses will go to your accommodation. You don't need to stay in a luxury hotel or resort. If you want to save on travel expenses, stay in a budget hotel or hostels in the main town. They are definitely so much cheaper. To save on expenses on island hopping tours, I highly recommend that you book it online. Rates are discounted if you book your island hopping tours via Klook.com.

IS IT OKAY TO TRAVEL SOLO IN EL NIDO?


El Nido is one of the most solo travel-friendly destinations in the Philippines. You can join group tours on the daily island hopping tours offered by the locals. The best thing is, rates are standard and there are less chances that you will get ripped off. For accommodation, stay in a hostel or budget inns and guesthouses to save on travel cost. Or better yet, travel with a group so you could share the cost of your accommodation.

IS THERE AN ATM IN EL NIDO?


Yes, there's an ATM in El Nido. But I highly suggest that you bring all the cash you'll need. Before going to El Nido, withdraw money from ATMs in Puerto Princesa, pre-booked your hotel and island hopping tours before your flight so that when you arrive in El Nido, all you need to spend is for food and souvenirs.

EL NIDO BUDGET AND EXPENSES


Below are the estimated budget and common expenses that could help you plan your trip to 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, total of PHP 7,500.00
  • Food expenses - PHP 3,000 per person for 4 days
  • Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF) - PHP 200.00 per person
  • Matinloc Shrine Entrance Fee - PHP 100.00 per person
  • Big Lagoon Entrance Fee - PHP 200.00 per person
    • As part of the implementation of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) Resolution No. 2017-051, effective 1 Dec 2018, guests must pay an additional and entrance fee to enter the Big Lagoon

Standard Island Hopping Tour Rates:

These rates are based on the tours offered if you book your tours upon arrival in El Nido.

  • 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 100.00 - 500.00
  • Transportation around town - PHP 800.00 for 4 days
  • Shared Van from El Nido to Puerto Princesa - PHP 500.00 per person
  • Terminal Fee (Puerto Princesa Airport) - PHP 200.00

EL NIDO SAMPLE EXPENSES FOR 7,000 PHP BUDGET


If you will follow the DIY Itinerary we did above, stay in budget hotel, and share some of the expenses with a travel buddy, here's a sample computation of expenses for a 4 days / 3 nights El Nido Trip for 7,200 pesos.

This assumes the following:
  • You will be traveling in a group of 2.
  • Your maximum budget for food is PHP 250 per meal per person.
  • You will be staying in a budget hotel for 1,500 pesos per night for 2 persons with breakfast. That's 4,500 pesos for 3 nights / 2 = 2,250 per person.

Breakdown of Expenses


DAY 1 - ARRIVAL IN EL NIDO

  • Shared Van Puerto Princesa to El Nido - PHP 500.00 per person
  • Lunch - PHP 250.00 per person
  • Tricycle to Corong Corong Beach - PHP 200.00 (2-way for 2 persons)
  • Dinner - PHP 250.00 per person
  • TOTAL - PHP 1,100 per person


DAY 2 - EL NIDO TOUR A

  • Breakfast - complimentary
  • El Nido Tour A - PHP 900.000 per person
  • Lunch - included in the tour
  • Dinner - PHP 250.00 per person
  • TOTAL - PHP 1,150 per person


DAY 3 - EL NIDO TOUR C

  • Breakfast - complimentary
  • El Nido Tour C - PHP 1,250.000 per person
  • Lunch - included in the tour
  • Dinner - PHP 250.00 per person
  • TOTAL - PHP 1,500 per person


DAY 4 - TARAW CLIFF AND DEPARTURE

  • Breakfast - complimentary
  • Tricycle to Taraw Peak - PHP 100.00 / 2 = 50.00 per person
  • Taraw Peak Canopy Walk - PHP 500.00 per person (with guide)
  • Tricycle back to hotel - PHP 100.00 / 2 = 50.00 per person
  • Lunch - PHP 250.00 per person
  • Shared van to Puerto Princesa - PHP 500.00 per person
  • TOTAL - PHP 1,200 per person


SUMMARY

  • Accommodation (3 nights) - PHP 2,250 per person
  • Day 1 - PHP 1,100 per person
  • Day 2 - PHP 1,150 per person
  • Day 3 - PHP 1,500 per person
  • Day 4 - PHP 1,200 per person

GRAND TOTAL - PHP 7,200 per person


Not included in this computation are:
  • Round trip airfare Manila-Puerto Princesa-Manila
  • Puerto Princesa terminal fee
  • Transportation in and out of the airport
  • Budget for pasalubong and tips
  • Food expense for snacks
  • Other miscellaneous expenses such as kayak rental, etc.

Please note that these expenses are based on our travel experience. Budget and expenses will depend on your travel style and spending habits. The tour rates, ticket prices, hotel rates, entrance fees, and other expenses are subject to change and depend on the date of your bookings.


Where to get Best Affordable Island Hopping Tour in El Nido?


If you were not able to book online, I highly recommend Northern Hope Tours. They offer affordable El Nido Tour Packages, cheap island hopping adventures, and land tours in El Nido. They have an office in El Nido town where you can book your tours, transportation, and other travel needs. 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 Tours

E-mail: northernhopetours@gmail.com
Mobile Numbers: (+63) 939-902-2216 (Smart) (+63) 927-735-3221 (Globe) (+63) 942-375-2441 (Sun)
Facebook: facebook.com/NorthernHopeTours
Website: www.northernhopetours.com

I hope this FIRST-TIMER'S TRAVEL GUIDE EL NIDO 2019 with DIY Itinerary, Budget, and Expenses help you in planning your El Nido Palawan Adventure this 2019! Enjoy and have fun in Palawan!


For other amazing guided tours and exciting tours in El Nido, Palawan PLEASE CLICK HERE.



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4 comments :

  1. Very helpful guide. Thank u for this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sir. What's the price range of air fare? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing this itenerary

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing. We might follow your itineraries.

    ReplyDelete

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