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Solo Travel Budget for Puerto Princesa and El Nido, Palawan


What is the cheapest budget for traveling solo in Puerto Princesa and El Nido?

I created this post to answer a pressing inquiry from our solo travelers Facebook group. I admit I am mainly too lazy to respond to the discussion thread and I thought this could be helpful to some local travelers too, so I decided to create this quick post.

How much budget do you need to enjoy Puerto Princesa and El Nido, Palawan? Let me list down the expenses to help you plan your trip. 


AIR FARE AND TERMINAL FEE


Cheapest round trip airfare with Cebu Pacific would be P2600 from Manila to Puerto Princesa. If you want to head straight to El Nido from Manila, you can take a direct flight with Philippine Airlines which would cost you more.

The terminal fee for domestic flight is paid at Puerto Princesa airport before you go back to Manila.

Local - P 200
Foreigner - P 700

LCC Cebu Pacific at Puerto Princesa Airport


TRANSPORTATION


Tricycle fare from Puerto Princesa Airport to downtown would be P 150 - P 200 depending on the distance. At most, you'd need to pay P 300. If the tricycle driver asks for P500 and you are just going to Robinson's or a hotel close by or to the van terminal to El Nido, politely negotiate.  

Multi-cabs get around the city with minimum fare of P 8.00. If you are like my Spanish friend who's fond of traveling like a local, try public transportation such as town tricycle or multi-cabs.

PRO TIP: Look like you know where you are going or like you've been in Palawan for long

Van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is P 600 per person. The travel time is 6 hours including stops. When I traveled from El Nido to Puerto Prinsesa, it took a relatively shorter time. Ironically, the driver was actually picking passengers along the way. I thought it should've taken us longer.

Tricycle ride from downtown El Nido to the van terminal is P50.00


FOOD


If you are like me who don't eat rice at night, then your dinner can be as cheap as P25.00 for one short order of Adobo or a vegetable dish in a "karinderya" or a street-side Filipino diner.

In some small restaurants, you can eat rice meals at P 99.00.

Cheapest dinner in El Nido down town is at P50.

Water is P20 per bottle.

Filipino breakfast at Austria's in El Nido


ACCOMMODATION


Cheapest accommodation in Puerto Princesa is P 204.00 per night  for a bunk bed with shared bathroom and unlimited coffee.

In particular, you can check YOUR SPACE. The room here is air conditioned. The staff are friendly. You can book a room via Travelbook.ph booking site. You don't need a credit card to book a room. You can pay at the hotel when you check-in.

Cheapest accommodation in El Nido is P200 per night in a camping site that is an hour away from the airport.

In downtown, I recommend AUSTRIA'S PLACE. For a private fan room with shared bathroom and inclusive breakfast, it would cost you P450 per night including city tax and other charges.

If you want an awesome hotel in Puerto Princesa, you can check the stylish, design forward Hue Hotels and Resorts Puerto Princesa. It is not cheap though.

Bunk bed room at YOUR SPACE, Puerto Princesa, Palawan


MOBILE DATA


If you buy a sim card for P40.00, you can register your network for an unlimited internet browsing for 7 days. The cost is P70.00.


ACCESSORIES


I need to mention this because I found this useful. Dry bags for your stuff is sold at P300. But you can just use garbage bag to protect your bags. Some tours actually provide these for the guests.

Smartphone waterproof case is P100.00.

Snorkeling rental in Honda bay is 150.00.

Shops in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River Port


ACTIVITIES & TOURS


I highly recommend you book your tours with Northern Hope Tours El Nido. They specialize in El Nido island hopping tours but they also provide island and in land tours in Puerto Princesa. I am posting a review for my experience with them in another blog post.

I made a video from the clips I took from the tours I enjoyed with Northern Hope Tours.



The activities you can try in Puerto Princesa and El Nido with Northern Hope Tours are:

1. Underground River Tour in Puerto Princesa 


Rate: 2,000 Pesos/person

Duration: 7AM to 5PM

Includes round trip air-conditioned van transfer, buffet lunch, Underground River Permit, Boat Transfers, Paddle Boat Tour inside the Underground River, Environmental Fee and Licensed Tour Guide to assist you.

The Girl with the Muji Hat at Underground River Tour

2. Honda Bay Tour Puerto Princesa


Rate: 1,300 Pesos/person

Duration: 7 AM to 4 PM

Includes air conditioned van transfer, lunch, entrance fees, boat for island hopping and licensed tour guide to assist you.

3. City Tour Puerto Princesa


Rate: 600 Pesos/person

Places to visit: Bay walk, Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, Plaza Cuartel, Princess Eulalia Park
Souvenir shop/market, Mitra’s Ranch, Baker’s Hill, Binuatan Weaving Center and Crocodile Farm

Duration:
Half-Day (4 hours)
Morning – 8AM to 12NN
Afternoon – 1PM to 5PM

Includes: Air conditioned Van Transfers, Guide, Entrance Fees and Small Snack

4. El Nido Tour A


Rate: 1,200 Pesos/person

Places to visit: Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Simizu Island, Secret Lagoon and 7 Commandos Beach

Schedule: 9 AM to 4 PM

Includes: Lunch, mask & snorkel, life vest and guides to assist you

Lovely shot by a traveler I met during the tour


5. El Nido Tour B


Rate: 1,300 Pesos/person

Places to visit: Entalula Island, Pinagbuyutan Island, Snake Island, Cudugnon Cave and Cathedral Cave

Schedule: 9 AM to 4 PM

Includes: Lunch, mask & snorkel, life vest and guides to assist you

6. El Nido Tour C


Rate: 1,400 Pesos/person

Places to visit: Hidden Beach, Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, Matinloc Shrine and Star Beach

Schedule: 9 AM to 4 PM

Includes: Lunch, mask & snorkel, life vest and guides to assist you

7. El Nido Tour D


Rate: 1,200 Pesos/person

Places to visit: Bukal Island, Ipil Beach, Nat-Nat Beach, Cadlao Lagoon and Paradise Beach

Schedule: 9 AM to 4 PM

Includes: Lunch, mask & snorkel, life vest and guides to assist you

8. Kayaking on the lagoons


Rate: P300 per Kayak (for 2 people)

Kayaking on the big lagoon

9. El Nido land tours


Roundtrip Tricycle Rental: 1,500 Pesos/tricycle (whole day) - A tricycle can fit up to 3 persons

Places to visit: Nacpan Beach, Waterfall, Maregmeg Beach


GO PRO RENTAL


Go pro rental is P 1000 per day. You can also coordinate with Northern Hope Tours if you want to rent a Go Pro.


BOOZE


I am not really sure about the exact price but I believe in grocery shops you can buy san mig light in can for P40 pesos or around that cost. Don't ask me about cigarettes. Maybe you should try Buko juice if you feel some cravings. Coconuts are sold for P50.00.

Buko Juice at Seven Commando Beach, El Nido, Palawan



SUMMARY OF EXPENSES


Given the costs I have collated above, you can see in this table a plausible day to day expenses for your solo travel:


You see, if you are a foreigner traveling solo to Palawan and you intend to enjoy the best tours in Puerto Prinsesa and El Nido, you would need P13,859 or around 272 USD

But if you're a local traveler and don't need to rent go pro, you can subtract 1500 from that total cost - and that would be P 12,359. AHHH You can less the souvenir expenses too! So around, P11,900 for a 5 day travel!

USD 272 for 5 days and 4 nights in Puerto Princesa and El Nido maybe cheap for foreign travelers, but HEY things can GET even CHEAPER.

The Girl with the Muji Hat with Northern Hope Tours


Parting Words


Upon comparing, it is more budget friendly to avail Northern Hope Tours 5-Days-4-Nights Package for 2 people for Puerto Princesa and El Nido. I will discuss this more in my next blog post.

For now, let me leave you with this information in hope to help you in your planning!

PIN THIS!


Have you been to Puerto Princesa and El Nido? How much money did you spend for a 5 days travel? Do you want to go solo traveling in Palawan? Let me hear your thoughts below. And if you have questions you know where to reach me. Finally, if you find this article useful, you know what to do. Share! Thank you so much! 

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