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:
- 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.
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.
- Dinner and Snacks: Php 500
- Bottled water: Php 80
- 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.