Trip to the Philippines: The Picturesque Island

Taking its name after the Spanish word for edible nests, this small Palawan town is fascinating not just for its flora and fauna but for its undisturbed world of sea creatures. Surrounded by 45 beautiful islets with distinct features each - Handy Travelguides 2012.

How to reach El Nido?

1. By booking a direct flight from Manila via Island Transvoyager, Inc.

2. Book a flight via Puerto Princesa. Take the bus/van at San Jose Terminal and have the 6 hours land trip to El Nido.

Lots of tour packages are available but planning on your own might add spice to the adventure. Those unexpected experiences can be more memorable and fun.

So if you are planning to stay in El Nido, Palawan for few days and wondering about the possible expenses, here’s the idea based from our escapade:

Transportation cost:

  • Taxi from Magallanes to Airport: Php50 (250/ 5 persons)
  • Air ticket (ZestAir promo): Php1500- Php2000
  • Roro bus fare to El Nido (6pm): Php966 (round trip)
  • Tricycle (max of 5 persons): Php84 (420/5 persons)

Save some bucks, plan things ahead and take advantage of the promo fare. Arriving late in Puerto Princesa is not a problem anymore, Roro bus trip going to El Nido is still available at 6pm and 10pm. But for faster travel time or when in a hurry, taking the van is an option. For a hassle free trip and in case you want to stop at specific places, better to hire a private van.

at the entrance
at the entrance

Accommodation (2 nights with breakfast included)

Lots of hotels are available ranging from Php 300 (low cost) to Php 24000 per night in some exclusive resorts. The tour guide even mentioned Php109000 per night!

  • Viewdeck Cottages (triple sharing with breakfast): Php 1100 (Php 3300/3 persons)

The place is near the Roro Terminal but renting a tricycle is a must to avoid hassle specially during midnight. They can be found just beside the terminal. Expect to reach Viewdeck Cottages in few minutes.

Due to the hectic schedule, we reserved the room the day before our flight, luckily we get one in Agoda. We informed the owner our expected time of arrival and he agreed to wait for us. We are surprised seeing him personally waiting for us in the middle of the dawn. A very simple and kind person. Now be ready to overcome more or less hundreds steps going up the room. The great view of the sea, cliffs and the town will be your reward after the tiring trip.

The place is few minutes walk from the town's center.

Environmental fee (Airport and El Nido): Php 440

  • Airport: Manila; Php200 and Puerto Princesa; Php40
  • The Eco Development fee (Php200) in El Nido is mandatory and valid for maximum of 10 days.

Island hopping tours (one tour per day with lunch)

  • Tour A: Php 700
  • Tour B: Php 800
  • goggles: Php200 (2 days)

Choose from 4-5 island hopping tours (A, B, C, D and others with E). Drinking water is not included so bring your own water.

Food:

  • Dinner and Snacks: Php 500
  • Bottled water: Php 80

Others:

  • Customized shirt at The NEST Print Shop: Php280
  • Pasalubong (cashew): Php1000


TOTAL COST: Php7620 (~$184.95)

The amount can be higher or less depending upon your lifestyle.

Things To Remember

  • No electricity in El Nido from 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM so plan your activities well. It is better to charge your gadgets during the night.
  • No banks or ATM’s in EL Nido. However foreign currencies can be exchanged in some shops.
  • A PHP200 Eco Development Fee is mandatory. You can pay in the tourism office.




A Picturesque Place

The town is surrounded with miles of limestone. People are very accommodating and kind. The bird's nest soup (a bit pricey) is one of the famous dishes here.
The town is surrounded with miles of limestone. People are very accommodating and kind. The bird's nest soup (a bit pricey) is one of the famous dishes here.
Lagoons with extraordinary beauty. Overwhelming   view of nature's magic.
Lagoons with extraordinary beauty. Overwhelming view of nature's magic.
Whatever mood you're in, you will be tempted to splurge and bath in this crystal clear water.
Whatever mood you're in, you will be tempted to splurge and bath in this crystal clear water.
so relaxing...
so relaxing...
The secret lagoon. A wonderful "revelation" it is! :-)
The secret lagoon. A wonderful "revelation" it is! :-)
Shimizu Island. Amazing formation!
Shimizu Island. Amazing formation!
Shimizu Island with its "powdery-milk" sand.
Shimizu Island with its "powdery-milk" sand.
Cathedral cave in Pinasil Island. Cathedral-like cavern...
Cathedral cave in Pinasil Island. Cathedral-like cavern...
Cudugnon Cave. According to our tour guide, some Yamashita treasures were found in this cave.
Cudugnon Cave. According to our tour guide, some Yamashita treasures were found in this cave.
Some Yamashita treasures were buried here. They said, the  treasures are already in the museum.
Some Yamashita treasures were buried here. They said, the treasures are already in the museum.
Vigan Island and popularly known as the Snake Island because of the s-shaped sandbar...
Vigan Island and popularly known as the Snake Island because of the s-shaped sandbar...
s-shaped sandbar
s-shaped sandbar
Snake Island
Snake Island
7 Commando Beach. Time to relax and watch the sunset.
7 Commando Beach. Time to relax and watch the sunset.
7 Commando Beach
7 Commando Beach
Pinagbuyutan Island
Pinagbuyutan Island
Pinagbuyutan Island
Pinagbuyutan Island

More by this Author


Comments 4 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Simply beautiful! Thank you for the photo tour!


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for the tour and the great pictures


alocsin profile image

alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

Beautiful. I'm assuming you took all the wonderful pictures? Voting this Up and Beautiful.


pinkhawk profile image

pinkhawk 3 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Author

@billybuc and Mhatter - thank you very much for appreciating! ^_^

@alocsin- yes, I tried to capture the beauty of the place by those shots...thank you very much for appreciating and voting this up.

Hope you can all visit El Nido one day or...once more! ^_^

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working