Most people think that traveling to El Nido costs too much. If you’re one of them, let me show you a comprehensive El Nido budget guide which includes expenses and price breakdowns when traveling to El Nido. This post aims to help you believe that traveling in this beautiful paradise is indeed very affordable.
Conversion rate:1 Php = 0.023 USD as of 2014
Transportation Costs and Getting Around
The cheapest bus going to El Nido from Puerto Princesa is the RoRo Bus which is Php 250.00 (non-aircon) but the travel time is 7 to 8 hours while the air-conditioned bus (RoRo Bus) is Php 483.00 with travel time of 5 to 6 hours. For shuttle van, price ranges from Php 600.00 to 700.00 with travel time of 5 to 6 hours as well.
The cheapest accommodations in El Nido are fan rooms starting from Php 300.00 to 350.00 per night. For family rooms (good for four), cheapest you can find is Php 1,500 to 2,500 per night. You can also refer to my list of cheap accommodations in El Nido.
There are plenty of traditional eateries in the town proper or also called as turo-turo or “point-point” in English which mean, you point what you want to eat from a variety of choices and then pay as you order. Meal ranges from Php 40.00 to 60.00 includes rice, viand, plus soup or vegetable.
While nice bar and restaurants range from Php 150.00 to 300.00 per meal.
Going around El Nido town proper
Tricycle is Php 8.00 only (shared).
Tour Price and Gear Rentals
Tours and Gears
Price per head
|Environmental Fee (1-time only)||PHP 200.00|
|Island Hopping Tour A||PHP 1200.00 (buffet lunch included)|
|Island Hopping Tour B||PHP 1300.00 (buffet lunch included)|
|Island Hopping Tour C||PHP 1300.00 (buffet lunch included)|
|Island Hopping Tour D||PHP 1300.00 (buffet lunch included)|
|Island Hopping Tour E||PHP 500.00 – 1,100.00 (buffet lunch included)|
|Taraw Cliff Climbing||PHP 300.00 – 350.00|
|Snorkeling gears||PHP 100.00|
|Kayak||PHP 800.00 – 1,200.00 (single & double)|
|Underwater Camera Rent||PHP 500.00 to 800.00|
|Note: Some tour agencies includes free use of snorkeling gears.|
There are several souvenir stores in the town proper of El Nido. Surprisingly, they have unique items which cannot be found in other places, so might as well grab that opportunity to purchase it. Haggling does not apply to most of the stores in El Nido, but don’t be disappointed. They are only trying to make a living. Don’t be too stingy!
- Postcards – Php 20.00 to 30.00
- El Nido T-shirt – Php 200.00 to 400.00
- Display items – Php 100.00 to 800.00
Estimated cost of the entire El Nido trip (per head)
Availing a package tour in El Nido through agency will cost you a lot. Some of them offer 4D/3N trip to El Nido which is already a whooping Php 8,000 to 10,000 per head. So, the next possible way to travel cheap is preparing a DIY (do-it-yourself) travel plan and below is the estimated cost of the entire El Nido trip per head if you decided to travel to El Nido on DIY basis:
3-Day/2-Night – Php 2,600.00 to 3,800.00 (USD 62 to 95)
4-Day/3-Night – Php 3,800.00 to 5,000.00 (USD 95 to 120)
5-Day/4-Night – Php 5,000.00 to 6,200.00 (USD 120 to 150)
Keep in mind that abovementioned budget guide excludes airfare. Regular airfare going to Puerto Princesa starts from Php 1,500 to Php 3,500 round trip depending on the travel period.
Other ways to travel cheap in El Nido
- Book during airline promos.
- Travel during off-peak season (June to September).