EL NIDO, PALAWAN: TRAVEL GUIDE

You won’t have seen El Nido if you haven’t experienced island hopping here. This place is gorgeously studded with breath-snatching limestone cliffs that cradle swirling mix of aquamarine water and gleaming talcum sand, plus jade-colored lagoons that look miles away from the ordinary.

 

To help you plan your El Nido tours and island hopping, here is my El Nido travel guide blog.

el nido land twin beach

 

HOW TO GET TO EL NIDO

 

Manila to Puerto Princesa to El Nido

From Manila there are daily flights to Puerto Princesa via local airlines such as Philippine Airlines.

 

VIA VAN

 

At  Puerto Princesa City, you can take a multi-cab or charter a tricycle to Robinson’s Mall.  There are shuttle vans available to take you to El Nido town. Van departs almost every hour from 5:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Travel time is approximately 5 hours.

There are also some shuttle vans that depart for El Nido at Puerto Princesa Airport.  You can find them near the airport arrival area.

Here’s a list of shuttle vans that travel between Puerto Princesa and El Nido.

VAN COMPANY FARE CONTACT NUMBER
Lexus Shuttle Php 550/ USD 11  to Php 600/USD 12 0920 957 1025
Eulene Joy Van Php 550/ USD 11 to Php 600/USD 12 0999- 7093- 766
Day Tripper Van Php 550/USD 11

to Php 600/USD 12

0918 – 2546 – 749

VIA BUS

 

At Puerto Princesa airport, exit the gate and hail a tricycle (outside of the airport).  Tell the driver to drop you  off at Junction 1. Fare is Php 8.  At Junction 1, ride  a multi-cab to San Jose Terminal, fare is Php 13/ USD 0.26.

 

Alternatively, you can also charter a tricycle to take you to the terminal for Php 100/ USD 2 -Php 150/USD 3 depending on your haggling skills.

At San Jose Terminal, there are buses (Cherry or Roro Bus) bound for El Nido, travel time is approximately 6 – 7 hours . Roro bus fare is around Php 290/ USD 5.86 for non-air-conditioned bus and PHP 380 / USD 7.67  for air-conditioned bus. Cherry bus fare is Php 480/USD 9.69 for aircon bus and ordinary bus is Php 385/ USD  7.77.   Travel time is approximately 6 hours.

 

The ride ends at El Nido Integrated Bus Terminal where you can hire a tricycle to take you to downtown El Nido or wherever your hotel is.

el nido island hidden beach


Here’s the bus trip schedule from Puerto Princesa to El Nido

PUERTO PRINCESA TO EL NIDO CHERRY BUS TRIP SCHEDULE

 

TIME CLASS FARE  
05:00 AM Ordinary Php 380 / USD 7.67 Fix trip
07:00 AM Ordinary Php 380/ USD 7.67 Fix trip
09:00 AM Air-conditioned Php 480/USD 9.69 Fix trip
11:00 AM Air-conditioned Php 480/USD 9.69 Fix trip
01:00  PM Air-conditioned Php 480/USD 9.69 Fix trip
03:00 PM Ordinary Php 380/ USD 7.67 Extra trip
05:00 PM Air-conditioned Php 480/USD 9.69 Extra trip
07:00 PM Ordinary Php 380/ USD 7.67 Extra trip
09:00 PM Air-conditioned Php 480/ USD 7.67 Fix trip

 

 

PUERTO PRINCESA TO EL NIDO RORO BUS TRIP SCHEDULE

 

 

TIME CLASS FARE  
04:00 AM Ordinary Php 367/ USD 7.41 Fix trip
06:00 AM Air-conditioned Php 483/ USD 9.75 Fix trip
08:00 AM Ordinary Php 367/ USD 7.41 Fix trip
10:00 AM Air-conditioned Php 483/USD 9.75 Fix trip
12:00 PM Ordinary Php 367/ USD 7.41 Fix trip
02:00 PM Air-conditioned Php 483/USD 9.75 Fix trip
04:00 PM Ordinary Php 367/ USD 7.41 Fix trip
06:00 PM Air-conditioned Php 483/USD 9.75 Fix trip
08:00 PM Ordinary Php 367/ USD 7.41 Fix trip
10:00 PM Air-conditioned Php 483/USD 9.75 Fix trip

 


 

GETTING OUT OF EL NIDO

 

 

EL NIDO TO PUERTO PRINCESA

 

From El Nido town, you can charter a tricycle to El Nido Bus Terminal.

At El Nido Bus Terminal there are vans and buses (RoRo Bus and Cherry Bus) to Puerto Princesa City.

Here’s the contact number of shuttle vans that travel between El Nido and Puerto Princesa.

 

VAN COMPANY FARE CONTACT NUMBER
Lexus Shuttle Php 550/ USD 11.11 – Php 600/USD 12.12 0917- 5859 – 612
Eula Joy Van Php 550 / USD 9.7 – Php 600/ USD 12.12 0999- 7093- 766
Day Tripper Van Php 550 / USD 9.7– Php 600/USD 12.12 0918 – 2546 – 749

Here’s the bus trip schedule from  El Nido to Puerto Princesa

 

EL NIDO TO PUERTO PRINCESA CHERRY BUS TRIP SCHEDULE

 

TIME CLASS FARE  
05:00 AM Ordinary Php 380/ USD 7.67 Fix trip
07:00 AM Ordinary Php 380/ USD 7.67 Fix trip
09:00 AM Air-conditioned Php 480 / USD 9.69 Fix trip
11:00 AM Air-conditioned Php 480/ USD 9.69 Fix trip
01:00  PM Air-conditioned Php 480/ USD 9.69 Fix trip
03:00 PM Ordinary Php 380/ USD 7.67 Extra trip
05:00 PM Air-conditioned Php 480/ USD 9.69 Extra trip
07:00 PM Ordinary Php 380/ USD 7.67 Extra trip
09:00 PM Air-conditioned Php 480/ USD 9.69 Fix trip

 

EL NIDO TO PUERTO PRINCESA RORO BUS SCHEDULE

 

TIME CLASS FARE  
04:00 AM Ordinary Php 367 / USD 7.41 Fix trip
06:00 AM Air-conditioned Php 483/ USD 9.75 Fix trip
08:00 AM Ordinary Php 367/ USD 7.41 Fix trip
10:00 AM Air-conditioned Php 483/USD 9.75 Fix trip
12:00 PM Ordinary Php 367/ USD 7.41 Fix trip
02:00 PM Air-conditioned Php 483/USD 9.75 Fix trip
04:00 PM Ordinary Php 367/USD 7.41 Fix trip
06:00 PM Air-conditioned Php 483/USD 9.75 Fix trip
08:00 PM Ordinary Php 367/USD 7.41 Fix trip
10:00 PM Air-conditioned Php 483/USD 9.75 Fix trip

 

  • I remember when I first visited El Nido in 2009, the road getting there was hellish, but I am happy to see that it has improved a lot now.

 

EL NIDO TO CORON , PALAWAN

el nido island 6

At Coron port, there are boats to El Nido, travel time is about 7-8 hours.

Buy your tickets in advance. I took the boat from Coron going to El Nido, the sea was calm during my trip, but bring books and gadgets to entertain yourself especially if you are traveling alone. There are some nice islands to photograph along the way.

 

Coron to El Nido/ El Nido to Coron Boat/Ferry Rate (MBCA Overcomer)

 

Php 1,500 (USD 30.29)  /person + Php 20 (USD 0.40) Terminal  Fee– Filipino Citizen

Php 1,800 (USD 36.35) /person + Php 20 (USD 0.40) Terminal  Fee – Foreigner

Boat fare includes lunch.

Boat/Ferry Schedule from El Nido to Coron/ Coron to El Nido (MBCA Overcomer): 

El Nido to Coron: Monday, Wednesday &  Thursday

Coron to El Nido: Tuesday, Thursday & Friday

Boat leaves at 8AM.

Travel time is 7 hours on good weather.

Passengers should be at the port an hour before the trip (7AM).

 

 

 

 


 

 

EL NIDO TOUR PACKAGE 2017

el nido land tour


Island hopping in El Nido is divided into : Tour A, Tour B, Tour C, Tour D and Tour E (land tour).  If you only have a few days to spend, you can pick either Tour A or Tour C

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  TOUR DESTINATIONS PRICE
TOUR A Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Simizu Island, Secret Lagoon and 7 Commandos Beach PHP 1,200 /

USD 24.23

TOUR B Entalula Island, Pinagbuyutan Island, Snake Island, Cudugnon Cave and Cathedral Cave PHP 1, 300/

USD 26.25

TOUR C Hidden Beach, Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, Matinloc Shrine and Star Beach PHP 1,400/

USD 28.27

TOUR D Bukal Island, Ipil Beach, Nat-Nat Beach, Cadlao Lagoon and Paradise Beach PHP 1,200/

USD 24.23

TOUR E Land tour includes Twin Beaches, Marimegmeg Beach and some waterfalls PHP 1,500/

USD 30.29

 

For El Nido Tour E, you can just hire a tricycle for Php 800 / USD 16.15 – Php 1,400 / USD 28.27 (good for 3 persons) to take you to Twin Beaches, Marimegmeg Beach and Nacpan Falls.

 

Island Hopping Tour Schedule: 9 AM to 4 PM

Tour inclusion:

Lunch, snorkeling gear, life vest and guides to assist you.

Does not include the Php 200 (USD 4.04)  per person Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF). This is good for up to 10 days of your stay here in El Nido. (The will ask the receipt before you embark on your island hopping tours so make sure you pay the ETDF)

On every Island Hopping Tour, they serve a generous amount of the following:

Fruits and Vegetables, Grilled Chicken, Grilled Pork, Grilled Fish*,  Shrimp/Crabs/Squid*

  • * Subject to availability in the market.
  • Do advice your tour agent of your food restrictions.

Kayaks are available for  whole day rental  (Php 700/ USD 14.13) so you could easily go inside the hidden lagoons.

Underwater camera can also be rented at Northern Hope Tours for  Php 700 / USD 14.13 per day.

 


 

WHERE TO STAY IN EL NIDO

 

BUDGET

 

Joaquinn’s Bed and Breakfast

agoda joaquinns final

Real Street, Barangay Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan

Trendy but not costly!

Walking distance to the port, quiet location with a great view of El Nido Bay.

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE 

 

 

SPINNER DESIGNER HOSTEL – EL NIDO

agoda spin designer final

Balinsasayaw Road cor. Calle Real, El Nido, Palawan

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

Dayunan El Nido Tourist Inn

agoda dayunan final

Sitio Cabigsing, Barangay Buena Serte, El Nido, Palawan

Located at the town center

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

 

 

Bayog Beach Campsite

agoda bayog final

Barangay Sibaltan, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

A short ride from the town center.

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

MID-RANGE

 

Rainforest Beach Hotel

agoda rainforest final

Hama Street, Brgy. Masagana, El Nido

Conveniently located at the heart of El Nido town center.

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

 

Rovic’s Tourist Hotel

agoda rovics3

Hama Street, Brgy Masagana, El Nido, Palawan

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

 

HIGH-END

 

Vellago Resort

agoda velago final
7 Commando Beach, El Nido, Palawan

Situated in an island off the coast of El Nido town.

 CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

 

El Nido Resorts Lagen Island

agoda lagen final
Lagen Island, El Nido, Palawan

Situated in a private island off the coast of El Nido

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

 

 

Cauayan Island Resort

agoda cuayan final

Bacuit Bay, El Nido, Palawan

Situated in a private island off the coast of El Nido

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

 


 

EL NIDO ITINERARY (3 DAYS 2 NIGHTS)

 

 

 

DAY  1 ACTIVITIES
07:30 AM Arrival at Puerto Princesa Airport
07:45 AM Charter tricycle for Puerto Princesa City Tour

(Php 600 good for 3 persons)

08:00 AM Breakfast
08:30 AM Start of City Tour

Puerto Princesa Provincial Capitol

Puerto Princesa Museum

Puerto Princesa Cathedral

Plaza Cuartel

Baker’s Hill

Mitra’s Ranch

Crocodile Farm

Ihawig Penal Colony

02:30 PM End of Tour
03:00 PM Travel to El Nido
09:00 PM Estiated Arrival in El Nido
09:15 PM Check in at hotel/resort
09:30 PM Dinner

 

 

 

 

DAY  2 ACTIVITIES
07:00 AM Breakfast
07:30 AM Register at El Nido Tourism Office and pay the Php 200 Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF)
08:00 AM Start of El Nido Tour A

Big Lagoon

Small Lagoon

11:00 AM Lunch at SimizuIsland
12:00 PM Continue Island Hopping Tour

Secret Lagoon

7 Commandos Beach

04:00 PM End of tour. Back to El Nido Town
04:15 PM Buy souvenirs
05:00 PM Return to hotel
06:30 PM Dinner

 

DAY  3 ACTIVITIES
07:00 AM Breakfast
07:30 AM Tricycle to Taraw Cliff
07:45  AM Find local guide
08:00 AM Start ascent
10:00 PM Summit Taraw Cliff
11:00 PM Descent
01:00 PM End of Climb Back to El Nido
01:30 PM Late lunch
02:00 PM Hire tricycle for land tour
02:15 PM Start of El Nido Land Tour

Nacpan Falls

Twin Beaches

04:30 PM Back to El Nido town for Marimeg Beach
05:30 PM Watch Sunset at Marimeg Beach
06:30 PM Back to El Nido
07:00 PM Dinner

 

 

DAY  4 ACTIVITIES
07:00 AM Breakfast
07:30 AM Check out
08:00 AM  Travel back to Puerto Princesa
02:00 PM Estimated Arrival in Puerto Princesa

 

 


 

EL NIDO TRIP BUDGET

 

el nido island food

 

ACTIVITIES EXPENSES
Tricycle to San Jose Terminal (roundtrip) Php 21 x 2 = Php 42 / USD 0.85
Bus fare (roundtrip) to and from El Nido Php 480 x 2 =  Php 960 / USD 19.38
Eco-Tourism Development Fee Php 200/ USD 4.04
Hotel/Resort (per day x # of days) Php 800 x 2 =Php 1,600/  USD 31.99
Food Budget (per meal x # of days) Php 150 x 2 x 3 = Php 900/ USD 17.99
El Nido Tour A Php 1,200/  USD 24.23
El Nido Land Tour Php 1,000 / USD 20.19
GRAND TOTAL Php 5,902 / USD 118.67

 

*Airfare not included.

 


 

 

EL NIDO TRAVEL TIPS

el nido island hidden beach 1

  • Bring dry bags with you during your island hopping tour and make sure it is locked securely.  My DSLR “drowned” while island hopping, so investing on a reliable dry bag would be wise. I recommend 20 L Millerton Dry Bag, you can get one for only Php 999 (with free 1.5 L dry bag)  at Kimstore.com.
  • Almost everything is on cash basis, stack up cash as there is only one ATM  in El Nido, only in Coron and Puerto Princesa.
  • Bring mosquito repellent especially if you are camping or staying at lodges in the island.
  • Food in restaurants in El Nido will cost you at least Php 150 per meal. There are small eateries dappled around the town proper if you want to save, but just a reminder: you’ll get what you pay for.

 

 

 


 

 

EXTEND YOUR TRIP

 

el nido twin beach 4

RELATED POST

 

CORON TRAVEL GUIDE

CULION TRAVEL GUIDE

 THINGS TO DO IN PUERTO PRINCESA

 


 

DISCLOSURE: My El Nido trip was made possible by Philippine Airlines, Northern Hope Tours, Rainforest Beach Hotel and Joaquinn’s Bed and Breakfast.


 

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24264_351910964162_336201504162_3580676_6142279_nAbout the Blogger : Gael is a Filipina travel blogger. Her work has appeared in local and international publications.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this travel guide! Putting this on my list for summer 2016 =)

    1. Hi , my husband and I are planning to spend our vacation in late May 2016 also. This travel guide is very helpful. I am very exacited

  2. is there any travel by ship from el nido to cebu or coron to cebu?

    1. you can do Puerto to Iloilo and Iloilo to Cebu.

  3. is mbca overcomer still working? coron to el nido ? thanks

  4. Hope to visit this place soon.what’s the best month to visit considering the climate /waves conditions.
    Cheers to all…

      1. how about the weather on feb?

        1. check the weather updates before proceeding po

  5. Thank you so much for the guide. It helps a lot especially for us that will be visiting El nido for the first time. Me and my partner were ready for our trip this coming August but we dont have itenerary yet for the tours in el nido. Were planning to get TOUR A B C, do you have any idea for the prices of each tours? Thanks a lot. Youre a star! 🙂

  6. hi upon reading your blog, itmakes me more exciting for my el nido travel this july. can you please help me to do my it and any idea for the expenses.

  7. Hi Gael! I just would like to know how much is the travel time with the van and do you know how much the price is? Do they also have trip schedule? What would you recommend to take? The bus or the van? Would really appreciate if you respond. Thank you!

    1. Hi AJ, haven’t tried the van, I recommend the bus since there’s bigger space. Have fun! 🙂

  8. Hi! Goodmorning! I would just like to ask about how it is traveling in Palawan? Any places, views, restaurants and food you can recommend? Thanks in advance! 🙂

  9. hi ask ko lang, pwde ba dun mismo sa el nido mag booked ng tour? same day book tas same day tour din? if yes san ba usual place ng mga islang hopping operators para makatawad pa o makuha mabab price? we are at el nido this nov 30, 2 pax only, thanks i nadvmce

    1. yep, just go to Northern Hope Tours. Pero I think same din yung price nila whether or not you book in advance with them. 🙂

  10. I am headed to El Nido for the 2nd time and 1st time on my own. This blog is really helpful with my solo traveler fears. Looking forward to join explorers in the island trips for my 5-day vacation.

    If anyone is traveling July 18-22, let me know if you will welcome a 1st time Solo Explorer like me.

    Thanks!

  11. my friend told me that travelling to el nido (from palawan) is now shortened to 3 hours only because of repaired roads, is this true?

  12. To go to Palawan is on top of my bucket list! There are so many exciting things to do there! And island hopping would probably be my most favorite activity in places like these!

  13. Hi! Thank you for writing this. It will help us alot when we travel to palawan on Nov 4-11 . Hoping for a wonderful adventure. Cheers!!!

  14. Hi, can you provide a summary of your expenses for the trip? 🙂

  15. Hi! Thanks for the travel guide. They’re very helpful to us who are just beginning to explore the beauty of our country. I’m on way back to Puerto Princesa from a 5 days 4 nights stay in ElNido. And i can’t wait to go back early next year.
    I just want to ask what under camera r u using? I’m planning on investing in one. Any suggestion for a beginner in a underwater/non underwater camera?

    Thanks!

    1. I go for Nikon, they have new underwater cameras in the market now. For DSLR, I’m using NikonD5500.

  16. Hi thanks for sharing your El Nido experience! You think mas okay na from PPS airport punta nalang kami terminal for our transfer to El Nido or mas mura if magreserve nako accommodation? Arrival namin sa PPS 5pm eh. Its either we get a hotel with roundtrip transfer or we do it our own. What do you think?

    1. If you want you can go straight to El Nido (night trip) but make sure you book a hotel in advance. Once you arrive in the morning, you can check in and do the island hopping. That is, if you are pressed for time.

  17. Hi. How many days do you suggest would we be able to enjoy the tour in palawan? And hiw much is the approximate budget? 2 persons to el nido and if possible to coron as well?
    Thanks.

  18. Hi! I will be travelling to El Nido by myself. Do you think it’s a good idea? Would you please recommend a hotel/tour that can accommodate 1 pax at a very good price?

    1. Hi, yes, I always travel alone there. Kindly read the blog, I discussed the answer above. Contact Northern Hope Tours, You can join their open tours, that’s what I did. For hotels, I stayed at Joaquinns and Rainforest. See details above.

  19. Hi. Do you have a budget plan for this solo trip? Or can you give us an idea on how much we have to save for this trip? Been planning this for weeks now, glad I’ve found your blog. 🙂

  20. Hi there, I saw this blog and it is cool, may I ask if may share on what is the details budget plan for a solo trip to El Nido. Appreciate the information yo may share.

  21. Help! For a 4day trip to El Nido … Backpack or luggage?

  22. Hi! Is the rate for the island hopping tour you indicated above is per person? Or is it per boat rate already?

  23. Thanks for the Blog Ms.Gael It’s really helpful. Will be traveling alone this Oct. & can’t wait to see El Nido. Cheers!

  24. Hi there,

    I hope you can help me plan for my trip to el nido. I will arrive in puerto princesa by 10:00am on July 7 and my flight back to manila in 10 am of July 10. my friend backed out so i will be traveling by myself.

    Thank You so much

  25. hello Gael! how bout the Underground river? I really appreciate the blog. it’s a big help

  26. Awesome blog! Can I ask what is the best el nido tour among A B C D? Planning to visit Palawan for the first time and might stay for 3 nights. Thank you!

  27. Hi Gael. Planning to go in palawan in dec/jan. Do u think the waters are calm? It’s just that im scared of the waves but it would be really good if i could visit this beautiful place. Thanks so much!

    1. Check the weather before heading there. I visited last time in December and it was sunny naman during the island hopping, but a few days after a storm hit PI and I was stranded. Have fun!

  28. Hi good day!.. Pls check the weather now in elnido, pupunta kami by september6,2016…thanks

  29. Awesome blog! So informative, clear and everything that a traveler needs! More power!

    1. Thank you so much! Happy travels!

  30. Hello po. Just want to ask, what tour would u recommend for first timers? A? B? C? D? I’ll be going to palawan on sunday. Tnx

  31. Hello Gael,

    I am planning a two days visit in El Nido and third day afternoon is my flight back

    First day early morning i reach El Nido.

    Do i get time to do all Tour ABC? Please suggest me which tour I should choose in two days

    1. maybe 2 tours only. I suggest you pick Tour A and C.

  32. Hi,

    I agree with you that El Nido’s really majestic! 🙂 Also, isn’t the van named Eulen Joy? :)))

  33. hi. any info from PPs to underground to El Nido route. how much fare? and suggestion. ty

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