El Nido, Palawan: Tips for the budget traveler

Land Tours

If you're looking at discovering some of the mainland beaches you can hire a tricycle for as cheap as P1000-P1500 for the entire day, good for 4 people. Our recommendation would be to go to Nacpan Beach in the morning, do a hike up on the hill at the end of the beach for spectacular views of the twin beaches.

Come back to town for a cheap lunch and then have your driver take you to Marimegmeg Beach (Las Cabanas) for the rest of the day and walk down the beach for sunset.

Tip: For swimming, opt for Marimegmeg Beach rather than Nacpan as there’s a strong rip tide/current.

Marimegmeg Beach, 2.

5 km south of town

Kayak Tours

Kayak rentals start at P300 for half day or P500 for the entire day. From the town proper you can make your way to Cadlao Island (Bukal Beach or Pasandigan Beach) or Ipil Beach in about an hour.

From the Corong Corong area you can visit 7 Commandos Beach and Papaya Beach. If you go early in the day you’ll likely have some of these beaches to yourself as tours usually park themselves closer to town near the end of the day.

Tip: Ask for snorkel gear to be included or at least discounted.

El Nido on a budget

For a busy 3 days and two nights you can spend around P5000 per person with activities each day exploring the El Nido area:

Here's a sample itinerary for 3D/2N:

Total: P5010

El Nido, once a sleepy town, has waken up to a huge boom in tourism. In the recent past El Nido was synonymous to a playground for the wealthy to vacation on private island resorts.

Things are changing and the backpacking scene is growing in the noisy, cramped town. These alternatives to the luxury hideaways are creating a huge market for the frugal to come in and island hop past the private islands and onto gorgeous beaches. However, with the increase of accolades El Nido and Palawan in general are receiving the best time to go is now. The prices increases are steadily happening and with the rush in development the charm may wear off.

Will you be visiting soon? Let us know in the comments below. – Rappler.com

Mark is a one-eyed Filipino-American that is the happy owner of Pepper a French bulldog. He is married to his lovely wife Camille. They are currently on an epic year long honeymoon around the world.

His heart beats to the pulse of the Philippines but he has lived in South Korea, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and China. He is a former international school educator and an entrepreneurial backpacker. He is 1/2 of 365traveldates.com.

After chasing the sun around the world for over 500 travel dates he and his wife have settled down in El Nido, Palawan and are currently building a glamping hotel called The Birdhouse.