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El Nido Palawan: An Inexpensive Way To Experience Paradise

"On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it." --- Jules Renard

El Nido or translated as “The Nest” is the nest of scattered paradise pieces here on earth. Hundreds of limestone karsts and isles in different shapes and sizes will never fail to captivate every mortal’s heart.

Okay... I think I’m being too mushy on the introduction and that is because, El Nido became one of my favourite places here in the Philippines instantly.

  • There's no ATM in El Nido so bring enough cash with you.
  • No signal for Sun Subscribers.

El Nido Expenses
Van to El Nido (regular fare is 700 PhP but haggled to 500 PhP): 500 PhP
Tay Miloy’s Inn 800 PhP (shared by 4 pax per night): 200 PhP
Island Combination Tour A and C w/ lunch: 1000 PhP
Environmental Fee: 100 PhP
Bus back to Puerto Princesa: 483 PhP
Total of 2,283 PhP (non-inclusive of meals, airfare and pasalubong)

El Nido Itinerary

Day 1
When we arrived at Puerto Princesa around 10 am. We headed to Puerto Princesa office to get a permit for our Underground River tour. It is strongly recommended to book days or a day before your planned UR tour date because of a number of tourists going there. 

After that, we had our lunch at Robinson's and started our trip to El Nido via Van at around 1:30 PM and reached EL Nido around 7 PM.

How to Get To El Nido?
If you started the trip in Puerto Princesa, you may have to endure a 5 to 6 hours of meander roads that would make you feel giddy.

You can check my separate article about transport schedules and road experience to El Nido here.

When we arrived in El Nido, we hired a trike going to our Inn and paid the driver 10 PhP. Then, we were welcomed by Tay Miloy (Kuya Rodrigo) himself.

Where To Stay?
Tay Miloy’s Inn is by far the cheapest but decent accommodation I have checked online. The great thing about the Inn is its close proximity to the beach where the boats and restaurants are stationed. Just about 5 minutes walk, and you’re on the beach.

Room Rates
Family Room: 800 PhP (shared by 4 pax - fan/aircon)
Standard Room: 300 PhP (shared by 2 pax - fan room)

They also arranged our Island Tour Hopping and reserved us bus seats going back to Puerto Princesa.
Contact Number: +63929-795-5756
E-mail address: rodrigo.caranog@gmail.com

More of my Tay Miloy Inn experience here.

Where To Eat?

There are a lot of sea side restaurants in EL Nido where you’ll see a lot of foreigners lounging around.

Sea Slug restaurant is the most recommended restaurant therein because of the delicious food they’re serving but it is always full, so you might consider making a reservation in advance. 

Squidoo restaurant is famous for their stuffed squid but it is not fronting the beach. Their stuffed squid costs 170 PhP and the place is usually full at dinner time. So again, you might want to make a reservation in advance.

Day 2
We woke up around 6 am strolling around the sea side and bought some bread and coffee for breakfast. We returned to the Inn and prepared ourselves for the Island Hopping Tour that will start in an hour.

Just can't contain myself. Feeling so excited to start the Island Hopping tour :-)

Here is a list of our destinations arranged in order of stopover:

Combination Tour A and C

Seven Commando Beach

Big Lagoon
Secret Beach
Shimizu Island (Lunch)
Small Lagoon
Hidden Beach
Matinloc Shrine
Helicopter Island

Seven Commando Beach
According to our tour guide, Seven Commando beach was named after the seven Filipino soldiers who died on that island during World War II.

There was an undergoing construction of a resort at Seven Commando Beach during the time of visit. They also have a bar where you can just cool down and relax, a beach volleyball area, loungers, and a free-to-use frisbee disc.
Big Lagoon according from our guide is the setting where the end part of the movie Bourne Legacy was filmed. 
Secret Beach can be reached through swimming under limestone rocks. It would be a fun experience but one should take extra precaution during a bad weather because the strong waves might smash you on the rocks.

My Two Favorite Islands
Small Lagoon is second to my most favorite island in this tour. The limestone karsts that surrounds me while back floating is really pleasing to the eyes plus the drizzling effect made it more dramatic. 

Hidden Beach is my most favorite island in the tour. The huge limestone karsts and isles, its shallow water and the isolated rain shower during that time was very enchanting.

In fact, I laid still on the water, half-opened my eyes to fight the rain from clouding my eyes, and stared at the limestone formations surrounding the whole landscape. Really feels like PARADISE~

A Quick Love Story Telling

Matinloc Shrine was built because of a French man's love to a Filipina. I was told by our tour guide that the island was very beautiful back then but they got separated and left this beautiful island unattended.

You'll see the extravagance of love that once was there from the mansion to the port to the shrine. In fact, the limestone isles combined is a heart shape in aerial view, simply made for love. But also notice the aftermath of a broken love - just, ruins.

Helicopter Island got its name from its form. Just add the propeller and the look would be complete. Also, its waves in the afternoon are fun to play with.

The tour ended at around 5 pm and we went back to our Inn to wash ourselves. We had our dinner for the last time in El Nido and took the 10 pm last trip going back to Puerto Princesa for our next destination.

And that ends our 2-day El Nido Trip.

Special thanks to Joann of Chasing Places for helping me plan my Palawan Adventure and to my BFF's photography prowess.

Related Articles:
Tay Miloy's Inn - Cheap Stay In EL Nido
Transport Schedule and Road Experience To EL Nido

Ugong Rock Adventures
El Nido To Puerto Princesa Itinerary And Expenses


johnjalanie OT said...

awe-inspiring eden! That is why I choose Philippines.

Rochkirstin Santos said...

With the advantage of proximity and affordability, Tay Miloy’s Inn is the way to go! Thanks for the tip. :)

Franc Ramon said...

This makes me want to visit El Nido. I've been to Coron and Puerto Princesa, I want to see El Nido too.

Ellen Bernardino said...

Nice pictures of El Nido, I haven't been there yet and I hope this coming summer and your post is helpful for my travel plan.

MaryJane Tauyan said...

the lagoons and the whole place looks fantastic and fun! looks very summery! nice seeing the photos too! i guess you all had so much fun the whole plus "the story" added to the beach sounds exciting for me too! hope I can visit place like this in philippines soon. thanks!

joy | chemist2writer said...

El Nido is one of the places I would love to visit someday :) It's great to see it from your camera lens :) looks like you had a lot of fun :)

Mai Flores said...

I died just looking at your photos! I'm actually struggling with plans of spending my 30th there or abroad... El Nido is winning so far! :) Anyway, do you have a separate post for your accommodations? Would love to see how the room looks like. :)

markpogi said...

El Nido is one of my top places to visit before I hit the bucket. I wish to dip in its blue waters.

Saranghae Korea said...

Very beautiful place. Thanks for providing the information regarding the cost, I think it's not quite expensive.

Gana Explore said...

@Mai Flores Hi Miss Mai. Thank you. I have not made a post about the accommodation yet but will let you know soon when I finish it. Thanks for dropping by :-)

Ganessa said...

Hi Miss Mai. El Nido is a good choice for your birthday. Here's my separate post for the accommodation:

Enjoy :)

arcsinice said...

Nice, sweet report. Obviously a clear reflection of both the location(s) and the writer.

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