El Nido Palawan Travel Guide

El Nido Palawan is one of the most popular travel destination in the Philippines. The Island has gained worldwide attention for its pristine white beaches, towering limestone cliffs, beautiful mountains,astonishing wildlife and enchanting lagoons.

One of the most beautiful island in the world

Essential Information

Language: Filipino is the official language but English is also widely spoken around El Nido Palawan

Religion: Catholic

Currency: Philippine Peso 1$ = P50

Modes of Payment: Cash but a few establishments accept credit card payments. There are only few ATMs in the island.

How to get to El Nido

Manila to El Nido
Airswift has direct flights going to El Nido. One way fare starts at P5000 ($100)

Via Puerto Princesa
A cheaper option is flying to Puerto Princesa Airport.
Airasia, Cebu Pacific and Pal Express have flights going to Puerto Princesa.
From Puerto Princesa Airport,ride a van going to El Nido. Fare is P500-600 ($10-12) and travel time is 5-6 hours. Van trips to El Nido are available from 5:30am to 8:30pm

You can also ride a bus from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. From the airport, ride a tricycle going to San Jose terminal. Fare is P120 ($2.4). Ride a bus from the terminal going to El Nido. Travel time is 7 hours and fare is P290($5.8) for non air-conditioned buses while P380($7.6) for air-conditioned buses. Bus trips to El Nido are available from 5am to 9pm.

Beachfront accommodations

Where to stay in El Nido

El Nido town proper – for budget accommodations and lively nightlife.

Masagana Poblacion – Quiet and relaxed accommodations.

A night in a hostel would cost you P300 ($6), P1500($30) for a mid-range hotel room while a nice beachfront hotel would cost you P8000 ($160) per night.

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A bunk bed in Amakan is P900 ($18) per night with free breakfast

Getting around El Nido

Tricycle – Short distance trips are P10 ($0.2) per ride. Hire a tricycle for a day to tour El Nido.

Scooter – Rent a scooter for P500 ($10) a day.

Island Lunch!

Where to eat in El Nido

Some of best restaurants in El Nido are Artcafe, The Nesting Table and Tamboks.

If you are on a budget, there are small eateries around the island with P50-100 ($1-2) per meal.

Palawan is also famous for its cashew nuts.

Island hopping tour

Places to visit and things to do

Island Hopping

El Nido’s island hopping tours are the number 1 attraction in the island. Tour duration is 7 hours and inclusive of island lunch.

* Tour A: Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, Small Lagoon and 7 Commando Beach P1200 ($24) per person
* Tour B: Cathedral Cave, Entalula Island, Popolkan Island (the island to visit in replacement of the now private island Pangulasian) and Snake Island P1300 ($26) per person
* Tour C: Helicopter Beach, Hidden Beach, Matinloc Shrine, Secret Beach and Tapiutan Island P1400 ($28) per person
* Tour D: Bukal Island, Cadlao Lagoon, Nat Nat Beach, Paradise Beach, and Pasandingan Cove P1200 ($24) per person

Tours and A and C are the most popular tours so expect a large crowd while tours B and D are less crowded and more relaxed.

Mainland Tour
Rent a scooter or hire a tricycle and visit Nacpan and Calitang Twin Beach. Travel time is 45 minutes from El Nido town.

Surfing
Go surfing in Duli beach. Located 15 minutes away from Nacpan beach, Duli beach is has fewer visitors. Surf season is November to March and surfboard rental is P500 ($10) per hour.

Diving
Scuba diving – South Miniloc is El Nido’s most famous dive site. Rate starts at P5000 ($100)

Paradise
Island hopping tour boats

Itinerary

Day 1

1:00pm Arrive in Puerto Princesa
1:30pm Ride van going to El Nido P500($10)
7:00pm Arrive in El Nido
7:10pm Ride tricycle to hostel P10($0.2)
7:20pm Check in
7:40pm Dinner
9:00pm Party

Day 2

9:00am Start Tour A P1200 ($24)
12:00pm Lunch
4:00pm End Tour A
6:30pm Dinner
9:00pm Party

Day 3

9:00am Start Tour C P1400($28)
12:00pm Lunch
4:00pm End Tour C
6:30pm Dinner
9:00pm Party

Day 4

10:00am Check out
11:00am Lunch
12:00pm Ride van to Puerto Princesa P500($10)
6:00pm Arrive in Puerto Princesa

Budget

P3610 or $72

*Airfare, accommodation and food not included

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28 thoughts on “El Nido Palawan Travel Guide”

  1. OMGodness, that water! I wish I can travel. My cruise was canceled this summer and I was looking forward to seeing white sand and blue water. That island looks heavenly.

  2. Subhashish Roy

    Philippines is on my top go to list. It seems an amazing place. Would now include El Nido Palawan. It’s beautiful.

  3. Oh my goodness! This is an amazingly beautiful place. The Philippines was not in my future travel plans but after seeing these stupendous places I am thinking to plan a trip there.

  4. This is one of the beautiful place that I wish to visit, it’s beautiful and looks like a paradise to me. Thanks for sharing this travel guidelines will definitely save this.

  5. I love the blue turquoise water of El Nido Palawan. Amazing and mind-blowing. The food id bit crazy for me, but I know that’s an island delicacy. I love to get lost in such an island.

  6. Love El Nido! We were there in 2011 and I wonder how much things has changed since! Must be even more touristic than 10 years ago. We took our PADI there and would love to go back to dive now when we have more experience. And also do some hikes around which we never got the chance to do.

  7. El Nido Palawan just got added to my bucket list. It looks spectacular. The Philippines has always been on my list but I am just taking the time to add all the places within the country which I would love to visit. I am going to bookmark your post, so I can use it in the future while planning.

    1. One of the primary reason I want to visit philipines is because of this gorgeous place , El Nido.. I simply love thee beauty of the marine life out there. The Beauty is simply outstanding ..

  8. I see photos of Palawan all over and think it looks such a beautiful place to visit. Your photos have brought it alive and one day I hope to get there.

  9. This is such an informative guide! All these experiences and pictures are so amazing and beautiful. Happy finding this guide for our future trip to the Philippines and El Nido but also so sad that we couldn’t go this year as planned due to the Covid-19.

  10. wow those photos want me to just pack a bag and book my flight to El Nido Palawan ! ( well after the pandemic of course 🙂 ) . Its so beautiful there ! The color of that water looks incredible ! The real paradise of the Earth !

  11. What a stunning location to visit for some rest and relaxation. With the current global pandemic, we all have to wait until further notice.

  12. Billy Sandoval

    Wow! that is really a stunning plae I want to be there someday.Some of my friends visited El Nido Palawan and they say that this place is really wondrous.

  13. The Philippines got so many beautiful islands to visit and Palawan is definitely one of them. Thank you for the detailed travel guide, it’s definitely helpful.

  14. El Nido has got everything that i look for in a destination. Great Vibes, Yummy food, awesome scuba diving sites, and beautiful vistas. I still regret for not spending a tad bit more money, and flying to Philippines, when i had the chance to do so from Bali. Lets see, when do i get the chance to visit again.

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  16. The island hopping tour sounds like a blast! El Nido Palawan looks like a true paradise with those blue lagoons and gorgeous beaches. I’m also a huge cashew fanatic, so this looks like a great spot for me!

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