EL NIDO & PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN: Budget Travel Guide

My wife and I planned our Palawan Trip six months ago. Two days before our trip, we went to our relatives to ask if they can take care of our kids but to not avail. I have no choice but to travel alone since my wife already decided that she’ll just stay home and take care of our kids.

I’m used to being alone so there’s no problem with me on traveling solo. It is actually one of the most liberating feelings you can get. What backpacking alone gives you is invaluable. Not only will it be the experience of a lifetime, you will grow into a better person as a result.

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I left Manila at 2 pm and I arrived in Puerto Princesa at 3:20 pm. My ultimate goal on my first day was to reach El Nido before the day ends so I head onto San Jose Terminal to catch the Roro bus leaving at 4 pm. It was a long and tiring bus ride that took 7 hours. I arrived at El Nido and checked-in to Amos Hostel at 11 pm. The owner of the hotel arranged my Island Hopping Tour and my van reservation going back to Puerto Princesa for the following day.

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Amos Hostel

I woke up at 7 am the following day. After taking a bath, I went to the hotel cafeteria to claim my free breakfast ( Sausage, egg and rice paired with Coffee). Island Hopping Tour starts at 9 am and I’m ready to go outside my comfort zone in doing this on my own. I feel like I’m a fearless person who is ready to take on the world.

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Amos Hostel Cafeteria

I was able to do Tour A (Small & Big Lagoon, Simizu, Secret Lagoon & Seven Commando Beach). Tour A is popular because the scenery was jaw dropping  and the clearest water I have ever seen.

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Big Lagoon
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That’s me striking a pose! 🙂
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Kayak Rental Place
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Small Lagoon

 

After taking selfies at the famous Big Lagoon and Kayaking at the Small Lagoon. We had our lunch at Simizu Island. Our bankero prepared our hearty meal and it was really worthy. Grilled Fish, Liempo, Chicken Inasal, Crabs, Mussels, Ensalada and Fruits filled our table and soon filled our hungry tummy. It was nice having lunch and small talks with bunch of people that you’ve just met.

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Secret Lagoon is our next destination after our lunch stop at Simizu Island. We thought that our boat won’t make it but because of our urge to witness the hidden beauty of the Secret Lagoon, our bankero was forced to continue on our way to the secret gem of Palawan. And it was really worth our effort as we were astonished by Secret Lagoon’s enchanting beauty. I was spellbound by the highwalls covering the lagoon and it’s crystal clear water bedding the seafloor.

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Seven Commandos Beach is our final stop and our longest stop on the whole Island Hopping Tour. You can chill for a bottle or two of beer, walk around the island and take some photos, enjoy riding the swing like a child or talking to other travelers are some of the things that you can do on this majestic island. Seven Commandos Beach is our last destination for the day but it is definitely not the least.

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Seven Commandos Beach

Traveling alone allows you to meet new friends. Since the time that I boarded the boat for our Island Hopping tour, I’ve been itching to make friends so I actively talk to people around me. It is actually one of the unwritten rules of being a solo backpacker.

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Our Island Hopping tour ends at 2 pm which is ealier than expected due to the bad weather condition. It’s been raining every now and then so I took advantage of the time when the sun is up to take good photos. I’m back at my hotel by 3 pm. I packed all my stuff and have a quick dinner during my remaining free time before my 6 pm van ride back to Puerto Princesa. I arrived at Puerto Princesa by 11 pm checked into Natua’s Cabin and sleep right away.

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Natua’s Cabin

The following day, my Puerto Princesa City Tour was scheduled from 7:30 am to 1 pm. Just enough time to roam around the city before my flight back to Manila at 2 pm. It was a busy day for me touring around Plaza Cuartel, Mitra’s Ranch, Baker’s Hill and Crocodile Farm.

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Plaza Cuartel
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Mitra’s Ranch
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Baker’s Hill
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Crocodile Farm

It truly is exhilarating to plan a solo trip. Good thing is that I never had to do anything I didn’t want to do, or go to a place I didn’t care to visit. Traveling alone pushes you to go outside your comfort zone. You’ll learn how to be more outgoing, how to take risks, and how to really go for the things you most want in life.

Day 1
2:00 PM Departure from Manila
Roundtrip Airfare via Air Asia P350
3:20 PM Tricycle to Junction 1 P8
3:30 PM Multi-cab to San Jose Terminal P13
4:00 PM Roro Bus to El Nido P300
11:00 PM Arrival at El Nido
Checked into Amos Hostel
Fudge Bar (2 pcs.) P20
C2 Iced Tea P30
Hamburger P25
Sprite P20
Total P766
Day 2
7:00 AM Breakfast free
9:00 AM Start of Island Hopping Tour
Island Hopping Tour P900
Environmental Fee P200
Lunch Buffet at Simizu Island free
Beer P75
2:00 PM End of Island Hopping Tour
3:00 PM Back to the hotel
4:00 PM Adobo & Rice P65
5:00 PM Checked out from the hotel P450
6:00 PM Departure from El Nido
Van P500
11:45 PM Arrival at Puerto Princesa
Checked in Natua’s Cabin P450
Total P2,640
Day 3
7:30 AM Start of Puerto Princesa CityTour P500
1:00 PM End of Puerto Princesa CityTour
Baker’s Hill Sweet Goodies P470
Palawan Key Chain P200
Ref Magnet P100
Sisig & Rice P85
Mountain Dew P15
2:00 PM Departure from Puerto Princesa
Terminal Fee P200
3:20 PM Arrival at Manila
Total P1,570
Total Expense- P4,976

 

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