The daylight was already starting to fade when I arrived in El Nido town proper. It took me a few months to prepare and plan my first solo backpacking trip to El Nido. Like most people, I was initially scared at the thought of travelling alone but I knew that I had to overcome this fear if I were to achieve my long term travel masterplans evil laugh. Palawan, was the perfect start since, other than being a very beautiful place to visit, it was already an established backpacking destination. After getting off the bus in El Nido, I couldn’t resist to urge to dash to the beach. I felt really good that I’ve survived the long journey … yey! My itinerary worked really well so far :)

Looking for the Cheapest Hostel

El Nido town proper had a decent white sand beachfront area. As first impressions go, the beach itself didn’t look impressive. I was however left awed by the monolithic rock cliffs bordering the town proper and the uber inviting view of the nearby islands. Although it was low season during my visit, I was surprised to discover the cheapest room in El Nido was priced at P350 per night at “El Nido Plaza Inn.” I was expecting El Nido to be more budget friendly for solo backpackers but I couldn’t seem to find hostels/guesthouses at the P200 price range. I knew I would’ve had better luck at nearby Coron-coron Beach but I was already feeling too tired to venture out of the town proper.

El Nido Plaza Inn was located across Dara (Fernandez) Resort. My room was in a native style cottage, which could fit two people (basic fan room & shared batchroom). The guy managing El Nido Plaza Inn was quite accommodating and offered unlimited coffee during my stay.

Looking for the Cheapest Island Hopping Tours

I hurriedly got out to the beach, hoping to catch some sunset/dusk shots but realized the town proper wasn’t a great vantage point since the tall rock cliffs at the western end were blocking off the sunset view. Well, I had two more afternoons in El Nido to try taking better sunset shots. During my stay, I planned to go on two different island hopping tours of Bacuit Bay: I read that Tour A and C were the best, so I wanted to try them out. I had a contact person for the tours beforehand but I later realized that it would have been better to just go around town (the day before) and check/haggle for the cheapest boat tours. Most places had signs & prices of island hopping tours displayed at the entrance of their establishments.

Looking for the Cheapest Food

Outside the beachfront area, the rest of El Nido town proper looked like a typical coastal village with local eateries, bakeries, shops, a school, park, municipal hall etc… The restaurant tables decked out at the beachfront looked inviting but I chose to eat dinner at a carinderia, where a meal only costs P50 or less.

Had to force myself to sleep earlier than usual for the island hopping tours I booked for the next day. Call time was 8AM and I couldn’t forgive myself if I ended up oversleeping … like I always do :)

El Nido, Palawan Notes

  • “Eulen Joy” bus ride from Taytay to El Nido (3 hours) – P100. Boarded the bus in Taytay terminal at around 2:45PM and arrived at 5:30PM. Most likely, its the same 10AM bus (last trip of the day) from Puerto Princesa City.
  • El Nido Plaza Inn – P350 per night (Fan room with shared BR; Good for 2 persons)
  • Learn more about El Nido, Palawan; El Nido Resorts; El Nido Tourist Spots