I was so inspired by solo backpackers I encountered during my to Banaue last April. Even though I’ve been travel blogging for a while, I haven’t actually done a whole backpacking trip by myself since all of my previous travels had involved being with friends or family members but I’ve always anticipated eventually doing a lot of solo travels because of my lifestyle. I mean, there are so many places in the Philippines that I have not visited yet and promised myself to visit within the next few years and I don’t expect to always have a travel buddy around for every trip at the date that I want. Being in close encounters with a couple of solo backpackers in Banaue and had given me a better sense of the solo backpacking lifestyle and made me very curious about how it feels like and the possibility of doing it myself. So after a month of planning, I’ve set myself to do a solo trip to Palawan.

Palawan Solo Backpacking: Cuyo – El Nido – San Vicente – Port Barton – Sabang – Puerto Princesa

Aside from being a solo backpacking trip, I decided to do it on “shoe string” budget. Previously, I had always made itinerary and budget plans with super safe expenses estimates. This time, I’ll make sure to pursue the cheapest places to stay, transportation options, food, etc… Again, this is inspired by backpackers I encountered in Banaue. We saw this female solo backpacker walk a 45-minute jeepney ride from Batad Village to Banaue Town Proper. We were riding a chartered jeepney at the time and the driver offered her a P150 jeepney fare, which is how much a regular passenger fare costs. She declined the offer and persisted on walking the whole way (on a hot sunny day along the winding mountainside). I was surprised at her decision, was a bit impressed, and wanted to try doing something like that myself.

My Palawan Itinerary

I’m actually leaving tomorrow and will be back home after almost two weeks. My journey will start in my hometown, Iloilo City, where I’ll be riding a RoRo ferry to Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

The ferry to Puerto Princesa has a stopover in Cuyo Island, so it’ll give me a few hours to visit a few of the attractions there. Taking the stopover into account, it takes approx. 36 hours to get to Puerto Princesa from Iloilo City. After arriving in Puerto Princesa, I’ll be heading strait to El Nido, the northernmost town in mainland Palawan, via a 10 hour bus ride. I’ll be staying there for a few nights to do some exciting island hopping tours of Bacuit Bay.

After El Nido, I’m planning on moving southwards and spending at least one night on a few destinations along the way back to Puerto Princesa like:

San Vicente Town for its long beach (reputed to be 14 kilometers from end to end – the longest white sand beach in the Philippines!), Port Barton (a popular backpacker’s destination, thanks to Lonely Planet), Sabang (where the St. Paul Underground River, the longest subterranean river, can be found)

After Sabang, I’ll be spending a few nights in Puerto Princesa to tour the city extensively. Hopefully, I’ll also get to visit Honda Bay if I have enough time. The last leg of the journey will be the final 36-hour ferry ride back to Iloilo including another stopover in Cuyo.