Of all the places in the Philippines, no other location has gained so much interest among island-loving tourists than El Nido. This northern first class municipality in the island province of Palawan is currently ranked No. 1 in the “20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler’s magazine.
Some of the important tips in spending time in El Nido are similar to any other top guidelines for budget travel in the Philippines. However, there are also a few things to take note which only apply exclusively to El Nido’s environment.
June to November
The best time to visit El Nido is within these five off-season months. During these months, hotel prices in the Philippines are usually cheaper. The only setback when it comes to choosing this period is dealing with heavy rains. The wet season can put airline passengers ill at ease. Another potential drag is the unavailability of island-hopping cruises when storm clouds brew unpredictably during these months.
From Puerto Princesa to El Nido
Upon arriving at the provincial capital of Puerto Princesa via Manila, there are three modes of transportation to go about it. Shuttle vans cost $12.1 but they cover the vast distances within 5 hours, stopping only for one meal break at any station.
Buses are cheaper, with air-conditioned types costing only $7.7 to $9.7, although the travel takes roughly 7 hours due to multiple stops. The cheapest mode of transportation is the tricycle, yet the bargain only applies to a group. Choosing a tricycle is complicated and unadvisable for first timers without a savvy local guide who will prevent tourists from getting ripped off beyond $2.4.
Although automated teller machines have been made available in El Nido as of 2015, it is still not advisable to use the town’s singular bank for two reasons. One of the first causes for concern is that any withdrawal exceeding $100 accrues a penalty of $4. Another reason why withdrawing in El Nido is inadvisable is that the machine quickly runs out of paper cash. It is vital to cash out as much as one can while in Manila or Puerto Princesa.