Aug 27, 2013

Breathtaking El Nido

El Nido is branded as a luxurious place presumably by many because of high end resorts like Lagen and Miniloc. We are here to prove to you that El Nido caters not only for luxurious travelers but also for budget conscious travelers too like us.

We check-out early and took a tricycle to San Jose bus terminal in Puerto Princesa. You have the option either to take a bus or a van. You might want to check this post on how to get to El Nido from Puerto Princesa. We are scheduled to catch the 10:00 am bus but we arrived late so we catch the 12:00 pm bus instead. After 6 solid hours, we finally arrived at El Nido. We hailed a trike and headed to Og's Pension and Restobar for a night then we transferred to El Nido Beach Hotel the following morning. Og's Pension is for the backpackers who want to spend weeks or months. The room is not that nice but it has great view of  Cadlao Island.

Worst Nightmare

The weather is main spoiler of our trip. It went from good to bad since day 1 of our El Nido trip. The surge is caused by a low pressure area east of Palawan and it's heading north to El Nido. Gusty winds and heavy rainfall batter the coast of Bacuit Bay and lasted for 2 straight days with intermittent power outages all over El Nido.

El Nido Palawan rainy storm

Sun is Up!
Thank goodness we were blessed with pretty descent weather after two unpleasant days. But Cadlao Island remains elusive.

El Nido Palawan Philippines

The View
Finally, after 2 days the elusive Cadlao Island appears in the horizon. It's the biggest island in Bacuit Bay. It also possesses many other superlatives, like its curving white sand beaches, lush forest cover, and many other surprises. Swimmers and waders will appreciate the beaches of Bocal Point, Sabang Beach, Paradise Beach, and Natnat on Cadlao Island. Cadlao Lagoon's limestone formations and lush corals provide a magnificent setting for snorkelers.

View of Cadlao Island in El Nido Palawan

Cadlao Island El Nido, Philippines

Quiet Town
The tricycle is the main transport in El Nido. The fare from RoRo bus terminal to your hotel or inn is Php 40-50 pesos ($2-4). They usually charged Php 20-30 ( below a dollar) around town. There are no fastfood chains on the island so we opted to eat at food eateries. For budget conscious travelers, one can dine at Karinderya or chow in barbecue stalls , don't worry it's clean. If you have the budget you can dine at your hotel or the nearest pub.

Unfortunately, El Nido has no hospitals. But they do have a Rural Health Center which can treat minor wounds, checked bp's and asthma. For complex medical cases, patients are either flown out to Puerto Princesa or Manila. The nearest hospital is Taytay district hospital which is 55 kilometers from El Nido, Antipyretic, cold and cough medicines, and other over-the-counter medicines as well as a limited supply of prescription drugs are available


El Nido Tricycle on the move
El Nido Tricycle
Lets Go Biking!

We rented mountain bikes to explore the island and its surroundings. We paid Php 500.00 ($10-12) for the whole day of use.You can view the rental rates here.

Biking around El Nido Palawan Philippines
Cliffside Cottages in the background

The healthy way to explore El Nido

St. Francis of Assissi, El Nido
We accidentally met him while taking pictures of Cadlao Island. We call him " Manong Ilde" he treated us like family during our visit. He runs a boat rental business that offers island hopping , customize tours, motorcycle and bicycle rent. You can check his wordpress website

Las Cabanas El Nido Philippines
Las Cabanas Beach
We drove our bikes two kilometers from the town to reach this beach. We enjoyed this place because it's not yet commercialized and touristy. From the main road there is narrow path that will lead you to this place. Just ask the locals and they won't hesitate to guide you. It started to drizzle as we headed back to town.

If your looking for peace, tranquility and a solitude then El Nido is the place. I really thought that El Nido was an overly expensive place but after staying there for 7 days I realize that it's not expensive at all. Price versus Experience? well for me i will preferably choose experience.

Fun things to do

• Snorkeling at Miniloc House Reef - Take the plunge! Guests are encouraged to snorkel from Miniloc’s pier where hundreds of coral fish and giant Jackfish swim around our house reef.

• Biking – The healthy way to explore El Nido is by biking.
• Kayaking – Paddle your way to nature’s wonders at your leisure. Use of special sea kayaks, and regular kayaks are available at El Nido Boutique.

• Paddle your way to nature’s wonders at your leisure. Use of special sea kayaks, and regular kayaks are available at the Marine Sports Centre.

• Island Hopping – Being popular for its beautiful limestone cliffs, pristine islands and stunning beaches. Don't leave El Nido without visiting the surrounding islands and beaches.

 Tuklasera Tip

• Power Outages happens every 2pm
• Rent a boat and set off to Cadlao Island

Rundown of Expenses

• El Nido bus terminal to hotel - Php 40- 50 / trike
• RORO bus Puerto Princesa to El Nido - Php 380 ac / 290 for non ac
• El Nido Beach Resort Accommodation - Php 1500 / day
• Og's Pension - Php 800 / day
• Food - Php 300.00 - Php 800.00 /day
• Mountain Bikes - Php 500 / pax / whole day

What I AM saying is to pay attention to where you are spending your money and make sure that you get the experience that you are expecting. - See more at:


  1. Love the shots and thanks for sharing your camera settings when taking a picture. That helps us a lot.

  2. Wow!! awesome place and you looks cool in that white shirt and blue beach suit. These are the cool camera shots i have ever seen in my life and love that place. I am cycling lover and this place is perfect for my passion and adventure. Great sharing !!


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