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.
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 Airport||100|
|Cebu Pac Promo Ticket MNL-Puerto-Manila||1426.8|
|Terminal Fee (Manila and Puerto Princesa)||240|
|Van and Bus PP-El Nido-PP||1050|
|Rent Room in El Nido (Mar24-Apr20)||1500|
|Tours (A&B and Inland)||1300|
|Hostel in Puerto Princesa (Apr 21)||150|
|Food, Water and Halohalo||3000|
|Pasalubong (Dried Fish)||250|
|Reinstatement of baggage allowance||800|
|Total Cost for 29 days in Palawan||9816.8|
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