Budget solo travel in El nido

How I survive 6800 pesos in 5 days and 4 nights



There’s a lot of blogs now showing  how they manage to budget from 5k to 10k. But its always depend on the places and experience. If some people are proud that they could able to budget 5k in El nido but they only been in group A and Merimegmeg beach. For some this budget and itinerary might not compensate their travel style and satisfaction. Budgeting is all about research, discipline and adaptibility to the place. Budgeting must satisfy your travel needs depends on each individual.

Places I’ve been under 6,800 pesos.

Day 2- Group A and B Day 3- Group C and D Day 4- DIY Inland tour
7 Commando Island Helicopter Island Nacpan beach
Cudugnon Cave Hidden beach Merimegmeg beach
Snake Island Calmon Island Mangrove park
Ponpocan Diving spot Cadlao Lagoon
Pinagbuyutan Island Pasandigan Beach
Entalula Island
Simitzu Island
Big and Small Lagoon


It sounds a lot and that’s because of the unexpected events of good and not so good luck. But even the weather is not an issue, the number of places listed above would partly the same.

How to go in El nido ( my personal itinerary )

From the New Airport in Puerto Prinsesa  I rode a van going to El nido. I suggest contact your hostel for pick up. Yes they get commission but a hassle free looking for a ride is good enough reason to booked ahead of time. You can also take a bus which is my plan B just in case my host didn’t book my transportation. I saw 2 tricycles just in front of the airport. But if there is no tricycle outside the airport just walked a little about 100 meters and you will be in the main road. From the main road you can get trycle going to bus terminal. I didn’t know the exact fare cause I haven’t tried it. But based on my research its around 50 to 100 pesos. Bus fare going El nido is 450 and its already a comfortable and aircon bus. Just take note that bus will drop you only at bus terminal. You still need to ride a tricycle from bus terminal to your hostel which cost 50 pesos. Unlike taking a van, it will drop you  directly to your hostel.By the way my van fare was 550 pesos. Either way has its own advantage and the opposite. But if your opt for comfort and leg space then bus will be your best option.

A brief Day 1 experience:

It was around 8:00am when I arrived in the new Puerto Prinsesa airport. I immediately contact my hostel if they arrange a transfer for me. I believe my host was quite surprise when I arrived. Maybe he thinks I’m one of those “ paasa ” client. To cut the story short he didn’t book me. I was already going to pick up tricycle when suddenly my host called me and told me the van’s name and plate number. In fairness my host was really quick for an unpredictable client like me. That is a big plus for me. When I arrived in my hostel it was exactly 2pm the exact time to be enable to get in to your room. I had the fan room with 2 beds and a private bathroom. Perfect for “ makalat ” person like me. After I changed my clothes I immediately went to the infamous Bacuit Bay. This mountain cliff that we always see in the pictures in any el nido sites is astonishingly beautiful. Its the symbol of El nido and looking at it makes you imagine what beautiful moments ahead of it. It was 3:20 pm and there’s no one else walking along the shore except me and the couple who I’m with in the van. My first day was really tiring so I just walked around El nido town.


Accommodation: El nido Cliffside Cottages

October is an off season ( its actually typhoon season )  and  the owner gave me a 200 pesos discount. The nipa room is quite big for a solo traveler. I stayed here for 3 nights.


These are the Pros and Cons


My room has a private bathroom There’s a mosquito net around the room but still there’s irritating mosquito.
Affordable and spacious for a solo like me My beds is really itchy. I am just lucky there’s no redness spot around my skin.
They have their own motorcycle rental There’s a videoke sounds a few blocks from our place.
Incredible view of the cliff. The reason why I booked in this place.
Walking distance in any place around the town of El nido.

Island hopping tour

Letherback traver and tours

Before I went to Palawan I’ve already contacted Leatherback through facebook. They booked me for island hopping combination tour A and B for 1,600 pesos and it includes buffet lunch, snorkeling mask and local government fee for natural choo! choo!. I also add 500 pesos for renting kayak for the most awaited assault in Big and Small lagoon. Their staff service is really good and if you want to take a pictures around the islands without the disturbing rope in your picture then this company cruise will be your best option. I can attest their dedication for quality service. They add extra stop which indeed surprise me cause that place wasn’t even in the internet. And nothing of the original stops was compromise


Cj travel and tours

In my third day in El nido I avail my tour from my hostel which the Tour C. From the start there’s a little complication. I believe they are puzzled what tour company they will put for me. And after 20 minutes of waiting and calling they finally brought me to CJ travel and tour. Their lead guide has a sense of humor. What I did notice that they had 5 to 7 staffs in the boat. I assume some of them are apprentice to be a guide tour in the future. With their staff talents their food preparation was superbly beautiful. Its the same preparation what a 4 star hotel can do.

In my fourth day  I did a DIY going to Nacpan beach.


After my whole day trip in the mainland its time to face the sad moment of travelling which is to leave. I have 8:30am flight in the next morning so the best option would ride an overnight bus. Its around 5pm when I took the shower  and change clothes. I took my things from the owner cause I leave my bag while I was touring El nido in scooter. Then the hard part was knowing that you are now leaving one of the best place in the World. From my hostel I walked going to the bus terminal. I chose Cherry Bus cause their bus looks more modern. I booked in advance by going to their terminal. Actually its not needed because there’s only few of us who rode but for the name of assurance. Right?.


Now for the breakdown of my expenses:

Accommodation 500×3 nights 1500
Tours Day 2 Island hopping with kayak 2,100

Day 3 Island hopping 1,100

Day 4 Scooter rent 400

Transportation Van 550 PP to El nido

Bus 450 El nido to PP

Foods and miscellaneous

Includes my Mcdo reward food in Puerto Prinsesa

Total 6,800 pesos


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Other related post:

  1. Top 5 places in El nido
  2. Guide in El nido as a solo
  3. My Nacpan Beach Solo Journey
  4. DIY in Nacpan Beach using motorcyle


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