Palawan: El Nido-Puerto Princesa (Travel Guide)

Palawan: El Nido and Puerto Princesa

Dubbed as one of the best islands in the world. Palawan offers a wide range of beautiful sceneries, from beaches, islands to underwater landscapes. It is considered as the Last Frontier because of being the last unsettled region in the Philippines which resulted to its unspoiled natural resources and treasures.

Palawan: El Nido-Puerto Princesa (Travel Guide)
El Nido

Before I resigned, there was a seat sale at Cebu Pacific. I should have saved but traveling was also one of the reasons why I will resign. I also wanted to take my girlfriend somewhere we haven’t been before. So, without hesitation, I booked our flight. From all the destinations, we chose Puerto Princesa, Palawan as our entry point.

Palawan: El Nido-Puerto Princesa (Travel Guide)

WHERE IN PALAWAN?

It gave me a hard time to choose what places should we consider in our itinerary. We wanted to visit all destinations (El Nido, Sabang, and Puerto Princesa) in Palawan, but 4 days were not enough. In the end, we chose El Nido and Puerto Princesa, leaving Sabang (PP Underground River) off the list.

Our priority is El Nido. Home to the scenic rock formations, diverse marine life, and beautiful islands. Traveling to El Nido is easy, there are buses and direct vans going there. Tours were made available for tourist to choose. Each tour has specific tourist destinations which includes lunch. We’ve chosen Tours A (Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, 7 Commandos Beach) and C (Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, Star Beach, Talisayen Beach, Hidden Beach).

Palawan: El Nido-Puerto Princesa (Travel Guide)

All of our tours were made easy for us because our accommodation booked us to their contacts. We just registered and they informed us if we got the slot and when will the transport arrive.

We also visited the Twin Beach, Calitang and Nacpan, in Sitio Calitang by renting a scooter and traveling on our own.

Palawan: El Nido-Puerto Princesa (Travel Guide)
Twin Beach: Nacpan and Calitang

On our last day, we wandered around the city of Puerto Princesa. Tried local restaurants, visited historical landmarks and observed local way of life.

 

ITINERARY

DAY 0

TIME
ACTIVITY
6:00 PM
Flight from NAIA Terminal 3 to Puerto Princesa Airport
7:30 PM
Took van going to El Nido
2:30 AM
Arrived at El Nido Bus Terminal & took trike going to D’ Strong Tower Inn
3:00 AM
Checked-in @ Strong Tower Inn

DAY 1

TIME
ACTIVITY
8:30 AM
Picked up by trike going to port
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Tour A: Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, 7 Commandos Beach
4:00 PM
Back to Accommodation, Wash Up
5:00 PM onwards
Explored El Nido Town Proper
7:00 PM
Dinner @ Kaptain’s Diner
9:00 PM
Lights Out

DAY 2

TIME
ACTIVITY
8:30 AM
Picked up by trike going to port
9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Tour C: Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, Star Beach, Talisayen Beach, Hidden Beach
4:30 PM
Back to Accommodation, Wash Up
5:30 PM onwards
Explore El Nido Town Proper
8:30 PM
Dinner at Sea Jane Resto Bar
10:00 PM
Lights Out

DAY 3

TIME
ACTIVITY
7:30 AM
Rented scooter delivered at D’ Strong Tower
8:00 AM
Traveled to Nacpan Beach
10:00 AM
Arrived at Nacpan Beach; Swim and Relax
3:00 PM
Marimegmeg beach
4:00 PM
Las Cabanas Beach
5:00 PM
Sunset at Corong-Corong
6:00 PM
Back to El Nido
8:00 PM
Dinner
9:00 PM
Lights Out

DAY 4

TIME
ACTIVITY
4:00AM
Rode Van going back to Puerto Princesa
8:00 AM
Stop over at a Restaurant in Roxas
10:00 AM
Arrived at Puerto Princesa; Buy stuff at LRC 908 Market Mall
12:00 PM
Lunch at Haim Chicken Inato
1:30 PM
Dessert at Nokinocs Savory House
2:00 PM
Immaculate Conception Cathedral
2:30 PM
Plaza Cuartel
3:00 PM
Palawan Museum
4:00 PM
Back to Airport
7:30 PM
Departure from Puerto Princesa International Airport (Delayed Flight)
9:00 PM
Back in Manila

 

ACCOMMODATION

We just stayed in one called D’ Strong Tower Inn. Located in the town proper and 5 minutes away from the beach. The place is clean and simple. Our room is fan-cooled and has a bathroom. What I really like about the place was the staffs. They were nice and very accommodating. We paid 1,625.85 Pesos for 3 nights. If you are on a tight budget and want a simple place to stay in, this is the place.

 

For hotels, check out TravelBook for better rates!

 

 

TRANSPORTATION

El Nido can be reached by bus or van which will stop at the El Nido Bus Terminal:

By Bus:

Cherry Bus is the only bus company that operates going to El Nido and vice versa. Its terminal is located in Common Terminal, New Market in San Jose. Fare ranges from 380-480 Pesos depending if you want an ordinary or aircon bus.

Going to the Terminal:

  • Take a tricycle outside of the airport and tell the driver to drop you off at the Bus Terminal in San Jose. Fare price is 50 Pesos.
  • For a cheaper option, ride a multicab going to the junction (8 Pesos). Ride again another one going to the New Market (14 Pesos) which will stop at the front of the terminal.

 

By Van:

If you want to ride a van, there are travel agencies outside the airport, that offer van transfers to El Nido and a return back to Puerto Princesa. One that we rode is the Lexxus Shuttle Services. The fare is from 500-600 Pesos.

 

EXPENSES

  • Airfare (Roundtrip):  1407 Pesos
  • Van to El Nido: 600 Pesos
  • Tricycle from Bus Terminal going to El Nido Town Proper: 50 Pesos/2 = 25 Pesos
  • Accommodation (3 nights): 1,625.85/2 = 812.92 Pesos
  • Breakfast at the Sisig Republic: 158/2 = 79 Pesos
  • Kayaking at Small Lagoon: 150 Pesos
  • Eco-Tourism Development Fee (Good for 10 days): 200 Pesos
  • Tour A: 800 Pesos
  • Dinner at Kaptain’s Diner (Day 1): 220/2 = 110 Pesos
  • Snorkeling gear: 100 Pesos
  • Tour C: 1000 Pesos
  • Dinner at Sea Jane Resto Bar: 570/2 = 285 Pesos
  • Scooter Rental (Whole Day): 500 pesos/2 = 250 Pesos
  • Gasoline: 200/2 = 100 Pesos
  • Lunch at Prince Restaurant: 245/2 = 122.5 Pesos
  • Dinner (Isaw, Rice, Coke): 190/2 = 95 Pesos
  • Van Going Back to Puerto Princesa: 500 Pesos
  • Breakfast at Restaurant (Stop-Over) = 45 Pesos
  • Souvenirs and Foods: 875 Pesos
  • Lunch at Haim Chicken Inato: 229/2 = 114.5 Pesos
  • Halo-halo at Nokinocs: 85 Pesos
  • Entrance Fee at Palawan Museum: 50 Pesos
  • Tricycle around Puerto Princesa 122/2 = 61 Pesos
  • Terminal Fee at Puerto Princesa International Airport: 200 Pesos
  • Miscellaneous (Foodtrips, Medicine, Donation, Water, Bus): 500 Pesos

TOTAL EXPENSES: 8566.92 per person

 

 

REMINDERS/GUIDES/TIPS

 

Power Pack:

  • Drybag
  • Snorkeling Gear
  • Flippers
  • Action/Underwater Camera

 

Fees:

  • Eco-Tourism Development Fee (Good for 10 days) = P200
  • Island Hopping Tours (A, B, C, D, and E – inclusive of lunch) = P800-P1500 depending on season
  • Entrance Fee (Palawan Museum) = P50

 

Notes:

  • ATM machines are now available in El Nido. We saw a BPI office near El Nido Port.
Palawan: El Nido-Puerto Princesa (Travel Guide)
BPI El Nido
  • Bring dry bags, so you will not worry for your gadgets to get wet while island hopping
  • Scooters and Motorcycles are available for rental. Just make sure you know how to drive one. Safety First!
  • Tricycles going to Nacpan, Marimegmeg, and Corong-Corong are available for rent. This will cost you around 800-1000 Pesos.
  • Please don’t step on the corals, they are alive as well.

Palawan: El Nido-Puerto Princesa (Travel Guide)

Our trip in Palawan was short but it is one of the beautiful places we have ever been. We had a great time and made unforgettable memories. It was an adventure, experiencing both challenges and fun. Hope that it will be protected and well-maintained for the coming generations. For them to experience, love, and treasure it as well.

 

Next posts will be about the places we’ve visited and our day to day activities. 😀

 

Island Hopping Tour A – El Nido Day 1 

Island Hopping Tour C – El Nido Day 2 

Nacpan and Calitang Twin Beach –El Nido Day 3 

Puerto Princesa City Tour – Puerto Princesa Day 4

 

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