How much did I Spend in El Nido

I thought El Nido was an uber expensive place but after staying there for one month I realize that budget travellers like me could also afford to travel in this paradise. They now have a few budget hostels in El Nido that can accommodate foreign and Filipino backpackers and I’m sure that in a couple of year’s time the number of hostels will double or triple.

How much did I Spend in El Nido

Food is a little expensive when you eat at restaurants with prices ranging from P100 ($2.50) up. But don’t worry, there are a few carinderia or eatery that caters to budget travellers. If you bring your own cook set and cook your own meal, the price will definitely be lower. Most food items in the market are cheaper compare to manila with the exception of oil and some vegetables since they mentioned that they also import it from Manila.

Tour prices are almost as the same as with anywhere else. The key to saving money on tours is by joining group tours instead of renting an entire boat (unless you’re travelling in a big group). Do not forget to bargain hard (but polite) because a lot of them are generous enough to give you discounts (especially if you travel here during off peak season).

Here’s how much I spent in El Nido:

Taxi to Airport100
Cebu Pac Promo Ticket MNL-Puerto-Manila1426.8
Terminal Fee (Manila and Puerto Princesa)240
Van and Bus PP-El Nido-PP1050
Rent Room in El Nido (Mar24-Apr20)1500
Tours (A&B and Inland)1300
Hostel in Puerto Princesa  (Apr 21)150
Food, Water and Halohalo3000
Pasalubong (Dried Fish)250
Reinstatement of baggage allowance800
Total Cost for 29 days in Palawan9816.8


Bear in mind that rent price is shared, its actually P3000 for one spare room in a local’s family’s house. The house is located in Bgy. Corong Corong which is 15 minute walk away from El Nido town. If you’re interested to stay long in El Nido for a very cheap price then I suggest that you look for a “boarding house” instead of asking hostels for their monthly rate.

Food cost is cheap because our meals were usually fish and vegetables which is way cheaper than meat products. I didn’t buy bottled water which cost around P30 for 1.5 liter instead we rented a 5 gallon container at Ionic and had it refilled for only P50.

Airfare is cheap because of Cebu Pacific’s promo fare. Van and bus prices are fix and non-negotiable.

The price that you would have to pay on your trip depend on some comforts that you can compromise. If you can’t compromise airconditioning and wifi, then your cost would definitely be higher. Long staying guest also get discounts which vacationers (those who stay for less than five days) don’t typically get.


Currently stitched on my backpack 🙂 You can get this at Art’s Cafe

Photo Credits: Seven Commando Pic by Frameless World


  1. Thanks for those budget tips Flip! I’ve never been to El Nido so I’m looking forward to going in the near future and spending less money. Btw, how long did you stay there? I want to calculate how much it would cost on a daily basis. Thanks much!

    • 28 days in El Nido and a day in Puerto Princesa 🙂 bear in mind that I did not stayed in a hostel but rather stayed in a local’s house spare room. ask around for “boarding house”…

      • Ah okay. That’s a good tip. We also did that a lot in India and SE Asia. More of a home stay. And instead of eating out all the time, we just asked if we could eat with family and just pay them a bit. Thanks for this helpful post!

  2. Panalo ka talaga Flip! Now I want to spend a month in El Nido!

  3. After staying in El Nido for a week, I also discovered even cheaper places to stay, and cheap eateries to eat from. The tours are cheap because you can share it with other tourists and if you’re lucky enough to get one of those promo fares, El Nido is actually a cheap place to explore even on a long term stay.

  4. Ikaw na talaga Flip! Might try this one of these days! Also, if one can’t compromise WiFi and for those who don’t want to pay for internet rentals (not sure kung meron din ba), I think those internet plugits will work to one’s advantage. No need to book in a hostel basta may signal lang! If one has freelance jobs, you can actually live there and even earn more – depending on the job that you have.

    Great post, Flip! very inspiring to those who think El Nido is expensive!

    • thanks for the additional tip ed.

      what i also do ed is go to wifi restaurants and order the cheapest drink like coffee for P25 and use their wifi connecton for the whole day.

  5. thanks for the guide Flip!.. just exactly what I’m looking for.. 🙂 traveling to a beautiful place like Palawan need not be expensive.. more so if you’re staying for a long time.. Hope you had a greeeeeat time!

  6. great tips Flip! I wish to stay there in a month too pero mukhang malabo. so now you’re done with El Nido, saan na nga punta mu? China then…? surprises! we’ll wait on your stories Flip! 🙂

  7. I’m gathering infos on yours and James’ blog. Hopefully when I finally get rid of the day job and be able to travel for at least a month. El Nido would be number 1 or 2 on my list. 1,500 room rental for a month is such a find.

    A month in El Nido *shakes head in envy* hahahaha

    • 3000 yung monthly rent but since im sharing it with another person, 1500 lang per person… when you go there ask those wandering vendors where they stay… i actually found out that there are cheaper options…

  8. That price is amazing! I can earn more than that (in Canadian funds) working a weekend shift at my serving job.

    • it can be really cheap robyn.. plus if you bring your currency in southeast asia it gives you more value, with the exception of course of singapore which is very expensive

  9. Hello… Pwedi palang mag stay sa El Nido na ganito lang ang budget…
    Galing… Thanks Flip…:)
    Nice Blog…

  10. Thanks for sharing this Flip, currently researching affordable El Nido accomodations rin eh =)

  11. May Ann A. says:

    Your blogs on Palawan are very informative! I’m going to be spending some time there this coming July. Can you recommend any boarding house that is safe for a solo female backpacker looking to stay for over 2 weeks or more?

    • i suggest you ask around in bgy. corong corong, its cheaper than the main el nido town 🙂 cant suggest anything specific because the only place i stayed in would be giving up those small rooms to give way for a construction of their resort…

  12. Wow! grabe Flip! galing! Ito nga ung worry namin yung budget kasi we’ll be doing the Puerto Princesa-El Nido route this August 24-30 but since we’re arriving late on the 24th, we’ll catch the earliest bus ride to El Nido on the 25th.

    • flipnomad says:

      thanks, umupa kami ng kwarto sa isang local sa Bgy. Corong Corong, anyway, i listed yung accommodation sa El Nido… makipag-tawaran kayo since off peak season naman 🙂

  13. Im glad to read this post of yours even though its month way back 🙂 El Nido is already on my list but due to hearin side comments such as “its a dollar billed island” whew 😐 i have to reserve it for some other time .. Luckily my curiosity gets me to your page. :)) il be excited to read more of your travel.


  14. Hi. I find all of your posts regarding El Nido very informative. thanks a lot. I just have one question though..what if I dont want to rent a place, do they allow camp-out in any of the beaches?

  15. Thanks for this very informative piece on corong-corong,just what I had been searching for quite a while.I’m planning on an extended stay on the island by end of February 2012,wouldn’t mind renting the room all to myself,whew for 3k that’s a steal…..any advice or concerns that I should be aware of?

  16. nanayniclem says:

    Hi. I am planning to stay there for a month too mid next year with my son. Need more advcies! is it possible to contact the people who provided you your accommodation? Thank you 🙂

  17. This is great, thanks. A couple of questions:

    -is it easy enough to buy fresh food if I want to cook?
    -would boarding houses have internet? If I want fast internet what should I do?

    • There’s a wet market near Bgy. Corong Corong and there are also women walking around town in the morning selling fresh seafood (fishes and occasionally crabs). For the internet, I frequently go to restaurants that have wifi but you may try to subscribe to internet service providers. You may ask around in the town about this.

  18. Thank you so much for all those great advices. I’m going in March for about 10 days to Palawan and I’m really looking forward to it. I also wrote a blog post about Philippines, check it out if you like. Salamat.

  19. Christine Marquez says:

    Hi I’m Chritine ask ko lang po kung totoo yung hotel Php 1,500 lang po for 1 month.?


    • HI Christine, It’s not a hotel/hostel but rather a spare room in a local’s house. We paid 3,000 for that (1,500/person) for one month. But it was two years ago and I’m not sure if they’re still renting out their spare room.

  20. It does not seem to expensive.. My friend is gone there to open up a hostel!

  21. Hi. I was referred to Dreamland for our accommodation but I see no site for me to check the place. Do you have any idea if it is a good place to stay or not? I will be travelling with my family so i cannot compromise safety and just about right comfort. Thanks

  22. Great tips. I could certainly be happy with a fish and veg diet, sounds very healthy too.

    You make El Nido sound very affordable for the smart traveller. Hopefully I can discover this first hand one day.


  1. Cebu, I can’t wait to see you | RANDOM TRIPPINGS NI DREW says:

    […] plans of carrying-out a semi-epic adventure to live in a travel destination for about a month ala Flipnomad in El Nido. Currently, my only choice is Dumaguete as I feel living there will allow me to continue keeping my […]

  2. chasing whale sharks in oslob, cebu says:

    […] plans of carrying-out a semi-epic adventure to live in a travel destination for about a month ala Flipnomad in El Nido. Currently, my only choice is Dumaguete as I feel living there will allow me to continue keeping my […]

  3. What to do in El Nido, Palawan - The World According to Carm says:

    […] hehe. But for a once in a lifetime experience, you try this one. I first thought about it reading Flipnomad’s recount of his experience in El Nido but my decision to actually try it was reinforced by Journeying James’ account of solo- […]

  4. […] has been a roller coaster ride. After spending a month in El Nido last April where most days were spent hanging out on the beach, I flew to Beijing, China by April […]

Speak Your Mind


Follow my Adventures in Facebook