Promo tickets, travel hacks, and a street smart guide from El Nido locals
Due to its foreign tourism demand, El Nido, Palawan may be quite expensive. But did you know, you can fit a ₱7K budget or even lower for a weekend itinerary in El Nido. It will just be enough to see the amazing view of El Nido, just enough so you can decide when to come back.
This itinerary can already include airfare, food, a place to sleep and a few El Nido tour highlights just to give you a glimpse of what El Nido looks like. After all, your first visit in El Nido will not be the last.
Your possible itinerary necessities
El Nido is a large patch of paradise. You’ll need a month to visit all the destinations a traveler can explore.
There’s a million ways on how to go through a ₱7K budget in El Nido. It will be just enough to visit El Nido, Palawan for the first time.
For your budget itinerary, let’s go through your necessities first.
Flight to Puerto Princesa – Two-way for ₱2000
To fit this budget, two words: Promo Tickets.
Cebu Pacific, AirAsia and even Philippine Airlines sell their tickets in promo cycles. You just have to subscribe to their alerts. With an all in ₱2K budget for going to and out of Puerto Princesa International Airport, it’s actually not a bad idea.
Puerto Princesa is one of the more price friendly alternatives when it comes to reaching El Nido.
El Nido has its own airport, but it costs really pricey. You can read more on how to fly straight to El Nido, but since we’re on a budget trip, lets move on.
Vans from Puerto Princesa to El Nido – ₱450-₱550
Vans travel daily from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, Palawan.
As a backpacker, you can ride straight from a van shuttling from Puerto Princesa International Airport to El Nido Terminal. Vans around the airport’s parking lot offer trips to newly arrived flight passengers. Usually they would charge ₱400-₱500. Find a way to ask for discounts since you’ll still need some spare change for a tricycle ride when you arrive at the El Nido terminal.
It’s positioned for higher end tourists and, if you’re familiar with Metro Manila, looks like a modern day Greenbelt in the heart of a jungle, beside the beach.
Dalimatan Beach – Free
Still a part of Ayala Land Inc., and a beach just a few steps from Lio Tourism Estates. Dalimatan Beach shares its shores to locals for FREE. It’s one of the best budget places for a quiet chill time on the beach. Also, it’s a great place to watch the sunset.
It’s not as pristine as the island shores in Bacuit Bay, but it’s enough to satisfy your vitamin-sea cravings.
FREE beach shores are all around El Nido, Palawan. These hidden gems are not crowded at all, has a long beach shore and…
The sunsets here are amazing. It’s one of the few places where the sunset has an unobstructed view. It’s another 15 minute distance motorcycle ride going south from the main town of Bacuit. Tricycles also offer rides for ₱50/head. A few restaurants and bars are also located here.
Taraw Cliff – ₱400
Get a 360 degree view of the Bacuit Bay archipelago.
This is a 1 hour and 30 minutes motorcycle trip from Bacuit town proper to the town of Taytay. It’s got seven (7) waterfalls upstream but only three (3) accessible waterfalls to the visiting public. Each waterfall is more majestic and taller than the other ones closer to the entrance.
Being located in Taytay, Palawan, Kuyawyaw waterfalls is actually located near the border of the town of El Nido and Taytay. Taytay is the town south next to El Nido. Here, guests are also required to show their environmental tickets, and pay a per head entrance fee. Also, there’s a mandatory tour guide to accompany you to all three (3) falls.
The waters here were cold but really really beautiful. They are also way majestic than the Nagkalit-kalit falls, which is nearer to town.
It’s another 20 to 25 minute motorcycle ride from the main town of Bacuit. this waterfalls is on the way to Nacpan Beach, El Nido.
Nacpan – ₱1000
Nacpan is a 2 hour motorcycle trip from the main town of Bacuit. It’s one of the most pristine beaches you will find in El Nido. It’s got a long white sand shoreline with crystal blue waters. How about checking this video to see what’s in Nacpan.
Boat Tours in Bacuit Bay – ₱1200
Get ₱200 OFF on boat tours if you tell our partner boat tour in El Nido you got referred by Clueless Commuter. Boat tours travel from mainland El Nido to the Bacuit archipelago. As of writing, they have segmented it into different tours that you can try everyday.
Tour A – ₱1200 (Around 23 USD)
Tour B – ₱1300 (Around 25 USD)
Tour C – ₱1400 (Around 27 USD)
Tour D – ₱1200 (Around 23 USD)
Exchange rate at time of writing: (1 USD = ₱52).
Check out more in depth descriptions on the difference of these tours here.
El Nido to Puerto Princesa Airport – ₱450-₱550
Similar on how you came here in the first place, you’ll need to ride a 4-hour van trip going back to Puerto Princesa International Airport.
Vans offer a direct trip to the airport, you’ll just need to make sure the van you have boarded will be at the airport in time for your flight.
From Puerto Princesa Airport to Homebound
Provided that you have also took a promo ticket going back to your provincial or home destination, it’s time to board the plane and head back.
Hop on a boat tour when you visit El Nido, Palawan
Hello travelers in and to the Philippines! If you are planning to visit El Nido, Palawan, you’ll definitely need to find a boat tour operator during your stay.
There are other activities in El Nido, Palawan but boat tours is one of the most popular reasons why travelers visit this paradise.
Boat tours are El Nido, Palawan’s bread and butter when it comes to its local economy. This is since the lovely white sandy shores and snorkeling spots in El Nido is made up of separate islands within the area of Bacuit Bay.
What to expect from an El Nido boat tour?
If it’s your first time in El Nido, availing a boat tour service is the way to go. It’s the top activity in Bacuit Bay, El Nido. It’s also the only way for guests to visit the islands around the area.
Usually, a boat is shared depending on the boat’s passenger capacity. Local operators will fill their boats with tourists before starting the tour.
Boat tour inclusions differ. It depends widely on the operators prerogative. Although not all, there’s a few operators who include buffet lunch, towels, drinking water, and snorkeling gears.
With other tourists during your trip, it’s a perfect way to meet new friends while visiting El Nido.
How much is an El Nido boat tour?
El Nido boat tours may seem quite expensive due to the international tourist demand visiting El Nido, Palawan. But you can ask for a discount if you tell them Clueless Commuter referred you to our partner boat tour operator in El Nido.
El Nido has created standardized boat tour packages. Their tour packages are determined as follows:
Tour A – ₱1200 (Around 23 USD)
Tour B – ₱1300 (Around 25 USD)
Tour C – ₱1400 (Around 27 USD)
Tour D – ₱1200 (Around 23 USD)
Exchange rate at time of writing: (1 USD = ₱52).
Possible additional fees during boat tours
Environmental Fee ₱200 – The local government collects a separate environmental fee from guests. This is valid for 10 days and can be shown every time you are asked to pay environmental fees.
Kayak Rentals (Tour A) ₱200 – There are also fees such as kayak rentals especially for Tour A. The Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon offers kayak rentals for an additional ₱200 for 2 (two) people per site destination. You can choose not to rent a kayak and swim your way inside the lagoons. This option may be tiring as the lagoons are quite big to swim on your own.
What is the difference between El Nido packaged tours?
These tour packages are determined by the proximity of the islands included in the tour.
Tour A is the most popular packaged tour and, at times crowded. Its proximity area is near to the town’s jump off point. This tour also includes El Nido’s iconic Small Lagoon experience.
Tour B is the next proximity of islands visited around Bacuit Bay. This tour is made memorable by its caves and snorkeling sites.
Tour C is the furthest group of islands toured in El Nido, Palawan. Its pristine white sandy shores, quiet beaches and rock formations make it a favorite among the guests.
Tour D isn’t a popular boat trip in El Nido, Palawan, except maybe for Privately rented boat tours. One of the reasons for this is it’s a tour easily reachable by renting a Kayak from the main town. It goes around Cadlao island. It’s the huge mountain island just in front of the town.
I was able to compile Tour A, Tour B, and Tour C videos here.
What about Private Boat Tours?
A more expensive option is available by hiring boats on a Private set-up. With this set-up you have privacy during the tour. You pay a premium to avail this. This works well when you visit as a group especially when you want to maximize your time on tours.
Through Private Boat Tours, you also have the option to only include the best destinations in your itinerary. This works well if you have tried all the boat tours in the past.
Kayak your way through Tour D
Kayak rentals available by the shore cost around ₱500/day for a whole day.
By paddling a kayak, you may already reach some spots in the Tour D itinerary. This is since, the shores of Cadlao Island in front of the main town is reachable by two people through a kayak. This is also the reason why boat tour services for Tour D are offered less.
The main attraction in Tour D is the Ubugnon Cove. It’s a view of limestone cliffs with white sandy beaches surrounding a rock formation.
Be wary though, paddle back to town early because you don’t want to be battered by the strong current going back to the main town.
Cadlao Island is the iconic mountain just in front of El Nido’s main town. Tourists can reach this by renting a kayak.
What are Combination Tours
A few boat operators have opened an option where tourists get to visit the most popular destinations under Tour A and Tour C.
Some tourists are only visiting for the weekend, so, to maximize their stay, boat operators have started offering this combination tour.
Whatever tour you decide to pick, your first time to visit El Nido will not be the last time.
My boat tour experience in El Nido
I have been to El Nido twice. My first visit lasted for a week in September 2017. My next visit was last January 2018, which lasted for almost a month.
Limestones, rock formations, amazing beaches, and islands all in one place.
Due to this, there is an El Nido craze going on with travelers.
It seems that El Nido just has to be on every traveler’s bucket list. What exactly is in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines?
Where is El Nido, Palawan
El Nido, Palawan is a municipality at the northern tip of Palawan’s mainland. It’s a 4-5 hour smooth ride from Puerto Princesa City: Palawan’s main city as of this writing. El Nido’s main town, Bacuit, is very distinctly described as a town exactly at a foot of a huge cliff.
Other than being a cliff side town, its location is very unique. Just a few thousand meters to the shore, is the glorious Bacuit Bay, where boat tours A, B, C and D give livelihood to El Nido’s town folk.
El Nido and its limestone mountains
If the word about El Nido has reached you: be it a suggested Youtube video, a story from someone you can’t recall, or the internet, then It’s one of the hidden gems that’s waiting to be discovered in Palawan, Philippines.
Rock formations that can be visited in El Nido has been there for millions of years. (Ongoing content).
El Nido is just very different
I have been to a number of beaches in the Philippines. I have visited a decent amount of tourist destinations in my country. But El Nido, it’s a tiny patch of indescribable paradise that’s reachable by man. It’s just amazing.
We have mentioned on our Facebook posts that, no amount of photos will equate to experiencing El Nido, first hand. We do not have words to describe it, but for the benefit of this blog: I can try.
For now, here’s a photo of Cadlao island, it’s the iconic mountain island in front of the main town of Bacuit, El Nido, Palawan.
The iconic Cadlao mountain island view just across the shops and restaurants in Bacuit Town, El Nido, Palawan.
The No. 1 Island in the World
Palawan coins itself to be the No. 1 island in the world. Are they just being proud? Well, Palawan is a huge island paradise. Apart from El Nido, there are a few tourist destinations that are being developed in Palawan. These places include:
…And all the fine sandy beaches, cliffs and mountain islands that still need to be uncovered.
After seeing El Nido with my own eyes, and after contemplating about it, Palawan is just plain lucky to have El Nido on their huge island patch.
Connect with us
We would love to hear about your travels in our country, the Philippines. Chat us on our Facebook page.
Also, if you’re ever feeling lost while in the Philippines, we’ll be one chat away.
This post is being updated from time to time. Our Facebook Page is regularly updated so check out Clueless Commuter’s Facebook as well.
Just this September 2017, I came back to Palawan, where I spent my elementary days in the hot sun. Back then, I was engrossed in going to school, playing by the beach, and getting taller every single day.
During my childhood, Palawan was already a paradise to be discovered.
Now that tourism has boomed in the Philippines, Palawan has become a sought after destination. It has also experienced tremendous economic growth– even claiming that it’s the No. 1 island in the world.
Palawan is a dear familiar place to me. It’s city, I walked when I was still in elementary. So after 13 long years, I was able to go back to my hometown and visit places I did not know existed. Here’s my humble list I hope you will enjoy.
1. El Nido, Palawan
Since this post is more on the places to go to when you visit Palawan, El Nido has to be on the list. It’s one of the top tourist destinations worldwide. I say, it should definitely be.
With El Nido, Palawan, no amount of photos can equate to experiencing it firsthand.
The tour provider I hopped into was gracious enough to extend their discounts to those who I will refer (:
Please feel free to use the promo discount below if you’ll ever visit El Nido.
Tours A B C D Promo code discount in El Nido. DIY promos as low as 800.
2. Underground River
A rock formation depicting a banana blossom (puso ng saging) inside Underground Subtarranean River in Palawan.
The Underground Subtarranean River in Palawan has made it to UNESCO’s Top 7 Natural Wonders of Nature.
This has become one of the primary reasons why foreign tourists have started flocking to Palawan even before Filipinos have visited it themselves.
The trip inside is an adventure.You get to traverse the dark with surprising rock formations along the tourist’s 2km safe zone. The remaining Your tour guides only have a lone LED lamp that they point at featured rock formations. Other than this, there was
The bats were hospital. They simply let the guests visit them, although flash photography has to be discouraged as a guest courtesy.
Tourists gaze at rock formations while inside The Underground River in Palawan.
3. Iwahig Stargazing and Firefly Watching
It came as a surprise, but my elementary classmate’s mom brought us to Iwahig where we were able to stargaze and watch fireflies. If you are interested in visiting the place, I suggest you ask help from your travel provider since it’s a few miles from from the city, of which you can only enjoy at night.
Aim for a romantic Iwahig Firefly getaway when you visit Palawan.
For a Manileño like me, I seldom get to see the night sky so bright and glimmering.
I even got to see the milky way! I thought they were clouds clouding the starry view, to my dismay, they weren’t moving. Sadly, my skills for capturing milky ways aren’t just there yet.
4. Baker’s Hill
What more can I say, Baker’s Hill is a local lover’s park within Puerto Princesa City. It’s a tricycle away from the city center. Locals would once in a while drop a visit. As my local friend mentioned, “There’s always something new being added here.”
Still, if you’re a tourist, you’ll definitely go there for their food, some photos, and a way to snag some pastries and goodies before your trip home.
5. Robinson’s Palawan
Due to Puerto Princesa being just a small city, Robinson’s strategic location will make you drop by before going to El Nido, Underground River, or San Vicente. Here’s where you can drop by when you forgot bringing your sunscreen, or a flipflop, or just some snacks along the way.
By this time, there’s now two mega shopping centers competing for the local market in Puerto Princesa. The other one, which is SM Puerto Princesa, has opened more recently.
6. Port Barton
Port Barton has become one of the buzz words in Palawan lately. I haven’t personally visited it, yet. But I heard it houses majestic views, island hopping tours (just like El Nido) and a laid back island life.
Its tourist population isn’t as renowned yet, so, it’s perfect for visitors who are still on the look out for an unpopulated Palawan destination.
7. San Vicente Long Beach
Like Port Barton, San Vicente long beach has become a recent buzzword in Palawan. Local developers have also started eyeing on this 8-mile long white sandy shore. At the moment, there’s almost no establishments here, only a deserted pristine shore of aquamarine shore.
8. Honda Bay Island Hopping
If you’re on a quick visit to Puerto Princesa City, add Honda Bay to your itinerary list. It’s the best choice you have if you’re short on time during your stay.
It’s a 15 minute tricycle ride from the airport. You get to spend the day on an island hopping trip on the islands in Puerto Princesa. White sandy beaches and marine life are in store. They have available packages that include lunch.
We hear about Bangkok. We hear about Thailand, but what’s to see when you’re from Manila or the Philippines? What’s to consider when visiting Bangkok as a Filipino?
I decided to join my parents during their trip in Thailand. It’s not everyday to you get to have a chance to.
Last July 2017, I stayed at Bangkok for four (4) days and three (3) nights. My parents attended a homecoming reunion hosted by one of my father’s college batchmates from Thailand.
I have a knack on going with loved ones and friends on trips. I do this so I can spend time with them and benefit from the discount you get with group travels. Alternatively, I do clueless commuting (like my solo Japan trip last November 2016).
Too bad I wasn’t geared for this. I don’t have words enough to explain how Bangkok is ‘THE’ place to be if you want to go for a wardrobe overhaul. Converted to Philippine Pesos, you can get fashion finds for as low as PhP 300. All this already with the quality, fabric and style as what I see in Forever 21 stores.
Flowing dresses priced somewhere around P2200 when converted to PhP.
Their fabric, cloth quality and cut are refined craftsmanship. They are comfortable to wear. They have the flair. They set the trends (you see in Manila). The clothes are flattering.
Exquisite prints and quality fabrics are used for Bangkok clothes.
If I get to visit Bangkok, Thailand again, I’ll make sure to save up and bring home an enormous amount of fashion finds with half the cost.
If you plan to shop in Thailand, You can check out Platinum Shopping Mall .Forget about shopping in Hong-Kong or Korea if you have been there. Bangkok. Is. The. Real. Thing. Continue reading
It’s a Filipino concept diner that brings you Pinoy local breakfasts, street style.
A few of my colleagues have repeatedly mentioned Kanto Freestyle.
I was only able to visit it this week when Ez and I needed a late dinner fix. Since Makati Avenue caters to night life and after party eats, Kanto Freestyle is also open until late. If I’m not mistaken it’s even open 24-hours.
Where is Kanto Freestyle in Makati?
Kanto Freestyle’s Makati branch is located at the end of P. Burgos Avenue and Makati Avenue, a few steps near J.P. Rizal Avenue. As far as I know they have a prior branch in Kapitolyo, Pasig City that actually started the buzz.
Kanto Freestyle in Makati is located at the end of P. Burgos and Makati Avenue. It’s already a few steps to J.P. Rizal Avenue.
People might get confused since Kanto is located at the corner of the two avenues.
P. Burgos and Makati Ave. meet twice: one near Jupiter Avenue and the other one near J.P. Rizal.
What’s special with Kanto Freestyle
I believe it’s positioned as a place to get meals after tipsy friends end the night out. That’s why, they’d be open until the wee hours in the morning.
But, more than that, their menu is designed so you can get a taste of Pinoy mix and match diner breakfast experience. You can get some bacon with a classic Pinoy Tinapa (smoked fish) topped with Herbed tomatoes, some eggs– name it and add it to your heart’s content.
… With which, I’ll make sure to take a photo of their custom menu when I go back, okay.
What we ordered
Ez was hungry. She decided to go for a rice meal. I was opting to be a bit more conservative, it was already late.I thought I needed something (subjectively) just enough for a midnight snack.
So my friend here orders crisped Kanto Freestyle Fried Pork Belly. What a Pinoy classic to stare at for a midnight snack.
Ez orders Kanto Freestyle’s Fried Pork Belly (Php 110). It’s an everyday Pinoy street style classic.
After that, her Grilled Suman gets served. It’s a Filipino native snack dessert. It’s made of glutinous rice drizzled with chocolate and ube halaya (I missed the ube in the photo, sad).
She also decides on having a native grilled suman (Php 85) for dessert. We shared them but boy, was that was h-e-a-v-y.
As I was saying, I was on the decoy to order something light. I didn’t want to drowse off while finishing off a website project when I get home. Apparently, it’s not what you go to Kanto Freestyle for. Continue reading
Traveling without a specific destination seems to be in the genes.
For one, I just know that when I go to a place, there’s a lot to uncover. Then, you will know where to go.
It’s nice hopping on a bus, and travelling a round trip ride.
There are also times when I’m faced with a difficult decision, I hop on a bus and wait for it to go for a roundtrip. By doing so, I find time to think; I learn a new route; and this assures me that in life, I will not easily get lost.
Also, Clueless Commuter does adventure traveling to relieve stress. Going to places one has never been to releases endorphins! I do it for the thrills, although, it could also be in the genes.
Maybe it started during childhood
I was raised to commute. We owned a car, but my father made sure we knew how to go about safely and independently. My father always told us that we’ll never get lost if we look for the main roadways. This was before Google Maps was up our fingertips.
Here, I’m Commuter chillin’ with my late grandma in a jeepney.
I grew up in Puerto Princesa City, in Palawan, Philippines. It’s a suburban city in a rural town. I wasn’t born there, it wasn’t my first home, but I finished elementary in Palawan.
If you’re on a Clueless Commuter tour in Tokyo, you should definitely purchase Tokyo Metro’s unlimited 24-hour Tokyo Metro pass. With the help of a tourist map or itinerary, you can hop on a subway, get lost, and explore your way around Tokyo.
How much does it cost
I used this unlimited pass during my Tokyo trip last November 2016. It only costs as low as ¥600 for adults and ¥300 for children. That’s less only around ₱300 for a Tokyo tour. (Persisting exchange is at .45₱/1¥).
Tokyo Metro 24-hr unlimited pass
Alternatively, Tokyo Combination passes are also available on Tokyo Metro stations. They cost at 1590¥ for adults, or 800¥ for children.
You can purchase these passes at Tokyo Metro stations around Tokyo. You can learn about their other promo passes through their site.
Tokyo Metro logos are all around Tokyo’s main ward. You can recognize them through their blue cat ear-like logo. Check out the places I went to using only the Tokyo Metro Pass.
Sometimes, there’s more than one Tokyo Metro in a city ward.
If you can secure a Tokyo Metro tourist map from train stations, tourist spots can be found in which nearest respective station. If you’re just in for an exploratory stroll, you can get off at a station and walk around the block. Usually, you might find more than two or three Tokyo Metro stations around the area.
What it looks like underground a Tokyo Metro substation.
Lastly, if you ever need help while you’re in Tokyo, you can always chat Clueless Commuter so you don’t have to get lost.