Here’s to heart-catching emerald green waters, calming pure white shores, soothing fresh air, blue skies, and oh! the perfect awe-inspiring limestone cliffs. This is something that will get you off your feet in just a heartbeat! Yes, HELLO EL NIDO AND PUERTO PRINSESA!
PS: This is a warning. You might get attached to this dreamland, just like I did.
Yep, it was one freaking weekend where my world was away from my laptop and office papers; from my meetings and appointments, from all my responsibilities. It was a time to let go of the hustle and bustle of my life and just live to the fullest. Well, I think I deserve it. Hence, I flew to Puerto Prinsesa to explore this paradise and El Nido as well. Yep, I only did it over the weekend. It’s possible!
Pre Travel Guide
Where to book flights?
It was a random day when I booked a flight to PPS through Traveloka mobile app! It was a smooth booking with absolutely no hassle. What’s more, is that:
- You get to have an overview of the cheapest flight per day & per month by just keying in your destination in the search bar on the home page.
- They also offer weekly promos for more discounts!
- Prices shown in the results are FINAL PRICES already. Meaning, it already includes taxes–which are typically not shown in some booking platforms.
Where to get cheap tours?
Based on my experience, I highly recommend you to book discounted tours for your trip in Palawan from KLOOK in order to enjoy a hassle-free way of exploring the islands. Doing the DIY way might be a hassle for you. Your vacation has to be the most relaxing as possible, hence, booking a tour is better. Don’t worry, as most of my suggested tours from KLOOK are reasonable and are within the fair market value + of course, has your money’s worth!
- Underground River Day Tour; 1,740PHP
- Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour; 1,400PHP
- 3-in-1 Puerto Princesa Sabang Adventure Package; 3,000PHP
How to get around?
Getting around Puerto Prinsesa and El Nido is never a hassle. There are several means of transportation around the island that will let you get from Point A to Point B. What’s awesome about these modes of transportation is that it will not cost you a lot, and at the same time, it will give you a feel of that probinsya or island life vibe while riding the vehicle!
How to get to PPS town from Airport:
- Ride an airport tricycle: 50PHP
How to get to El Nido from PPS (and vice versa:)
- Ride a van or a local bus bound to El Nido.
- Usually, accommodations in PPS & El Nido can book you a van and let you be picked up right at your doorstep.
- Cost: 500PHP ; Travel time: 5-6 hours.
Local Transportation around Puerto Prinsesa and El Nido:
- Tricycle: These are the main mode of transportation around the towns of Puerto Prinsesa and El Nido: Cost is at 50-150 PHP / PAX if you’re going from Point A to Point B within the town.
- Tricycle for Hire: 750PHP/ Day
- Rent A Motorbike: Starts at 500 PHP + Gas
- Rent a Bike: 400PHP /Day
- Hire A Boat: If you’re doing a Do-it-yourself tour around the islands of Puerto Prinsesa and El Nido, you can hire a boat for the island hopping tour easily.
Where to stay?
I highly suggest you book an accommodation in Puerto Prinsesa and El Nido, where everything is accessible (e.g. restaurants, souvenir shops, etc.) There are plenty of accommodations available around these towns: from hostels to high-end ones, from accommodations with a pool in it, or those nearby the main road, anything!
As a budget traveler, I personally recommend you to book in one of the cheapest hotels in both PPS & El Nido:
- Name of Accommodation: Tres Pension House; 3 Star Hotel
- Rate: 930PHP/ 2PAX
- Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPS) (1.11 km)
- Adventist Hospital Palawan (1.32 km)
- Ka Lui Restaurant (1.81 km)
- Palawan Museum (2.57 km)
- Name of Accommodation: Garnet Hotel El Nido
- Rate: 1500PHP/ 2PAX
- Parish of St Francis of Assisi (0.15 km)
- El Nido Dock (0.20 km)
- El Nido Municipal Hall (0.27 km)
- Canopy Walk (0.41 km)
When is the best time to visit?
The ideal time to visit Puerto Princesa and El Nido is from January to April. However, it is important to note that it may be more crowded during summer time from March to April since it is considered a peak season. You may also go during the rainy season from July to December, but plan your trip at your own risk. The weather can be very unpredictable during these times. In order to make the most out of the islands, best if you go in January or February.
- ATM Machines
- Although there are a bunch of ATM machines in certain locations, it’s best if you have enough cash with you before arriving on the island. Remember that the majority of establishments prefer cash. Some resorts and restaurants accept credit card transactions, but it is better if you have cash with you at all times, just in case.
- Mobile signal / LTE
- The LTE signal is stable overall, however, it can be pretty rough in some areas.
- Don’t litter on the islands! Always be mindful of your trash. Keep your trash with you if there are no garbage bins around. Best if you have a container with you at all times. Let’s help preserve the beauty and wonders of the islands.
3D / 2N DAYS SUGGESTED ITINERARY
The paradises of Puerto Prinsesa and El Nido are unfathomably beautiful. Its friable, powder-like sand will definitely put you in tranquility the moment your feet touches the ground. Serenity will conquer you as its pellucid, cool waters caress your skin and trounce your sight. Equanimity will define your sensation as you witness how alluring the natural resources around the island are. Ahhhhh, this is absolutely a paradise.
Since we only have the weekend to spare, we made sure our trip was fully maximized. We carefully planned it out and chose Klook to ensure quality service!
DAY 1 – Puerto Prinsesa Arrival; Check in
We safely arrived the town of Puerto Prinsesa and immediately proceeded to our hotel to check in. We also tried the famous Kalui Restaurant where you eat with your shoes off.
DAY 2- Puerto Prinsesa Honda Bay Island Hopping
Puerto Prinsesa is not just known for its famous Undeground River. It is also home to amazing beaches and landscapes. Hence, for a day in this paradise, we opt to do the Honday Bay Island Hopping Tour where we explored 3 stunning islands: Luli Island, Cowrie Island and Starfish Island.
- 7:00am hotel pick up
- Luli Island
- Cowrie Island
- Picnic lunch in Cowrie Island
- Starfish Island
- Approximately 2:00pm hotel drop off
To Book this tour: Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour
If you have an extra day to spare in Puerto Princesa, don’t forget to check out its unique wonders and scenic attractions! To help you plan your itinerary, here is a list of places and destinations that you should not miss:
- Puerto Princesa Underground River
- Ihawig Firefly Watching
- Puerto Princesa City Tour
- Puerto Princesa Cathedral
- Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center
- Plaza Cuartel
- Mitra’s Ranch
- Baker’s Hill
DAY 3 – El Nido Tour A Island Hopping
Since we only have a day in El Nido, we booked the tour that is generally the most recommended one: The Tour A Island Hopping Activity. Here, we explored the clear waters of Miniloc Island, where we found three breathtaking lagoons, soaked up the sun and relax on the white sand beaches of Shimizu island, and snorkeled in the pristine waters of Seven Commando beach.
- 9:00am hotel pick up
- Small lagoon
- Big lagoon
- Hidden lagoon
- 12:00pm lunch
- Shimizu Island
- 7 Commando Beach
- 3:00pm end of tour
- 3:20pm hotel drop off
To Book this tour: El Nido Tour A
In case you’re spending more days in El Nido, I highly recommend that you maximize the island hopping experience! There are a total of four types of island and beach tours to choose from, including the one that we did!
- Small Lagoon
- Big Lagoon
- Hidden Lagoon
- Shimizu Island or Payong Payong
- 7 Commando Beach.
- Snake Island
- Cudugnon Cave
- Entalula Island
- Cathedral Cave
- Popolkan Island
- Matinloc Shrine
- Matinloc Island
- Secret Beach
- Hidden Beach
- Tapuitan Island
- Helicopter Island
- Nat Nat Beach
- Pasandigan Cove
- Paradise Beach
- Ubugon Cave
- Bukal Island
- Cadlao Lagoon
- Calitang Twin Beach
- Nagkalit-kalit Falls
- Las Cabanas or Marimegmeg Beach
- Puerto Prinsesa: 930PHP/ 2 PAX = 465PHP/ PAX
- El Nido: 1500PHP/ 2 PAX = 750 PHP/ PAX
- RT Van transfer from/ to PPS and El Nido: 1000 PHP
- Day 1: 200PHP
- Day 2: Breakfast: Free cc: Hotel /// Lunch: Free cc: Tour /// Dinner: 150PHP
- Day 3: Breakfast: 60PHP /// Lunch: Free cc: Tour /// Dinner: 100PHP
- Puerto Prinsesa: 1400PHP
- El Nido: 900PHP
- RT Airport Transfer from/to Airport and PPS Town: 100PHP
Whether you’re on a weekend getaway to escape your busy routines or you’re planning a week-long vacation, Puerto Princesa and El Nido are easily the best choices to go on an adventure! So, what are you waiting for? Book your flights and pack your bags… Get ready to fall in love with Palawan’s world-class beauty!