Your Itinerary to Puerto Princesa & El Nido (plus DIY budget tips!)

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Updated March 12, 2022.

Considering the fact that Palawan is the biggest province in the Philippines, 4 days isn’t just enough to travel the entire province itself. So when my friends asked me to go there even if I knew within myself that I had been there already, I didn’t have any second thoughts of going back. This is my second time visiting the best island in the world together with my friends. We opted to book a flight months before our flight in order to get a cheaper price. We decided to stay in Puerto Princesa and El Nido Palawan for four days and 3 nights which I knew wasn’t enough. But if you also plan to travel to Puerto Princesa and El Nido, this travel guide is for you!

Table of Contents

My 2nd time visiting Puerto Princesa and El Nido

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It was afternoon when my best friends and I were talking with each other, planning where our next destination would be. So we asked each other to look for a cheaper flight without having any thought of a place where we could visit. All of a sudden, they contacted me and told me that they wanted to visit Palawan. It would be their first time visiting the island yet in my case it would be my second time. But I didn’t care. Who cares anyway? I didn’t hesitate to answer them with “YES”!! Why not? I haven’t seen much of Palawan yet. Why couldn’t I come back? Later on, I just found myself booking a flight together with my friends which was good for 4 days and 3 nights. I felt really excited!

After months of waiting, we were at the airport and anticipating my flight number to be called on. A few hours later, it was finally our boarding time and ready to depart to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. My heart raced quickly as if it was my first time visiting! I got on the plane, walked through the aisle of it, sat on my designated seat, and waited for an hour to arrive on the island of Palawan.  I was on cloud nine! Finally! I was here again. For the second time around. I was here to make good memories again on this majestic and the best island in the world.

What Are the Top Places to Visit in Puerto Princesa and El Nido?

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Puerto Princesa 

  • Honda Bay: This is an island hopping where you can get a chance to visit three islets. The island hopping can be done either half day or the whole day. 
  • City Tour: This includes a visit to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Plaza Cuartel,Mitra’s Ranch, Baker’s Hill, Butterfly Garden, Binuatan Creations, City Baywalk Park, and Pasalubong Center. 
  • Underground River, Puerto Princesa

El Nido

El Nido is more of island hopping and visiting lagoons than anything. During our visit, we actually got a chance to visit some of the famous lagoons and islets around the island of El Nido. We got to visit Helicopter Island, Cadlao Lagoon, Hidden Beach, Small Lagoon, and Big Lagoon. 

Puerto Princesa & El Nido Package Tours

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Many people have been asking me how it is easy for me to travel cheaply in Palawan. It has been one of the top destinations in the Philippines. In that case, thinking of traveling to this island is quite difficult without breaking a bank. But getting a package tour when in Palawan should also be considered. Sounds quite true. It’s quite expensive to travel around Palawan if you do not know how to do it cheaply.

Where to book?

I always consider getting a tour agency to make my trip less hassle and less worrying as well. Fortunately, I have found a good travel agency that catered and arranged our Palawan tours well. It’s really affordable and not only that, he guided us and made sure that we were doing fine and having fun at the same time. I came back to Palawan without expecting anything special but never had I any idea that it would be a memorable one indeed! I will surely book my Palawan tour again with this agency once I come back to Palawan again!

  • Clarkent Affordable Tours: They are such a big help to us. They really helped us with our Palawan itinerary and made sure that we could make the most of our stay in Palawan in 4 days! You may contact them at 0955-294-6691 / 0977-250-3813 / 0946-398-7500 / 0918-624-3731.

Here are some of the other travel agencies that you may also consider:

  • Isla Palawan Travel & Tours 
  • Ceilo Tickets and Tours Palawan 
  • Lexart Travel and Tours
  • Palawan Travellers – Tour Package 
  • Miya’s Travel And Tours
  • Palawan Deal Packages 
  • TripiditoTravel

Puerto Princesa and El Nido Itinerary 4D3N

Day 1: Puerto Princesa (Free Time)

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We had an unforgettable stay at Hillside Resort Palawan.

Day 2: Honda Bay Tour

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  • Starfish Island
  • Luli- Island
  • Cowrie Island
  • Depart to El Nido

Yes, you can also go island hopping in Puerto Princesa. If you are interested, you can avail the Honda Bay Palawan Tour Package!

Day 3: El Nido Tour

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  • Helicopter Island
  • Cadlao Lagoon
  • Hidden Beach
  • Small Lagoon
  • Big Lagoon
  • Depart to Puerto Princesa

DAY 4: Puerto Princesa City Tour 

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  • Immaculate Conception Cathedral
  • Plaza Cuartel
  • Mitra’s Ranch
  • Baker’s Hill
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Binuatan Creations
  • City Baywalk Park
  • Pasalubong Center
  • Back to Manila

Where to stay in Puerto Princesa? 

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There are a lot of hotels and hostels that you can choose when staying in Puerto Princesa, but here are some of the following:

Hillside Resort 

Location: Sandiwa, Tiniguiban. This is where my friends and I actually stayed overnight. 

Room Rates: Starts from Php 1400 (USD 40) per night. 

Balai Princesa

Location: Socrates Rd, Barangay San Pedro 

Room Rates: Starts from Php 4000 (USD 80) per night

Southwind Resort Palawan

Location: South National Hwy, Puerto Princesa

Room Rates: Starts from Php 1500 (USD 30)

Panja Resort Palawan

Location: Bay Vista Rd, Bgy. Tagburos

Room Rates: Starts from Php 3300 (USD 66)

Cleon Villa Pension

Location: Pineda Rd, Barangay San Pedro

Room Rates: Starts from Php 1300 (USD 26) per night

Costa Palawan Resort

Location: F. Ponce de Leon Rd, Barangay San Pedro

Room Rates: Starts from Php 1500 (USD 30) per night

Holiday Suites

Location: North National Highway, 5300 Puerto Princesa. 

Room Rates: Starts from Php 2400 (USD 48). 

Hotel Fleuris 

Location: Lacao Street. 

Room Rates: Starts from Php 3500 (USD 70).

Blue Lagoon Inn & Suites

Location: Rizal Avenue Ext Interior Purok Malaya, Rizal Avenue 

Room Rates: Starts from Php 1200 (USD 24).

Where to stay in El Nido?

ALT="diy puerto princesa el nido big lagoon"
The Big Lagoon, El Nido, Palawan

Focus Rooms 

Location: Taytay – El Nido National Highway

PHP 4,500

Maligaya Beach Bungalows

Location: Corong Corong Beach, Palawan. If you are looking for beachfront accommodation, this one suits you! 

Room Rates: Starts from Php 8,100

Lagun Hotel

Location: Balinsasayaw Road, Bgy. Maligaya 

Room Rates: Starts from Php 6000

One El Nido Suite

Location: Lot 2 Bgy. Corong-Corong

Room Rates: Starts from PHP 3600

Frendz Hostel El Nido

Location: Osmena Street, Barangay Masagana

Room Rates: Starts from PHP 4400 

El Nido Moringa Resort

Location: Barangay Corong-Corong 

Room Rates: Starts from PHP  3,300

SANSE Boutique Hotel

Location: Abdulla Street 

Room Rates: Starts from PHP 2,800

Bulskamp Inn

Location: Osmeña Street

Room Rates: Starts from PHP 2700

El Nido Boutique Vacation Villas

Location: Sitio Lugadia Corong-Corong

Room Rates: Starts from PHP 1100

Country Inn El Nido

Location: Barangay Corong Corong

Room Rates: Starts from PHP 2700

Dolarog Beach Resort

Location: Sitio Dolarog, Corong-Corong

Room Rates: Starts from PHP 4700 
Note that the prices written above are subject to change. You may book your accommodation in Agoda if you want to get discounts!

Top Reasons to Visit the Beautiful Islands of Palawan, Philippines

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People are so nice.

Everywhere you go, people will greet you nicely. Most of the people you meet here in Palawan – whether it is in Puerto Princesa or El Nido, are friendly. You would surely enjoy talking with the locals. staying on this island for a few days or weeks isn’t enough! More to that, Puerto Princesa and El Nido are not the only places that you can visit here, of course!

There is always something about this island that makes you wonder.

It always feels like the first time. As I mentioned above, I’ve been to Puerto Princesa and El Nido twice, but I’ve still had the same feeling as the first time I visited these places. 

‎You will learn a lot of things about the island.

Palawan is rich in culture, so once you visit here, you will be amazed at how they are rich in natural resources and every little thing that will make you certainly realize that Palawan is indeed the best island in the world.

Less traffic.

Palawan’s traffic is totally incomparable to Manila’s traffic. From what I have learned, the reason why there is less traffic there (most especially in Puerto Princesa) is that there are designated vehicles that can only operate according to the day that has been assigned to a certain vehicle. It is really organized.

‎Palawan has the lowest crime rate in the country.

Yes, you heard it right! ‎It is said to be that Palawan has the lowest crime rate in the country.

Get close to nature.

‎Surrounded by trees, Palawan is an island where you can really get closer to nature.

That “feeling” being on this beautiful island.

I just love being comfortable on this island. This indescribable feeling that I get every time I visit.

You get to appreciate nature more.

This island has taught me how I should appreciate nature more! It’s not just being able to see the beauty of it; in return, it is about being able to be more responsible and caring for taking care of it. Our nature shouldn’t just be taken for granted.

The amazing Philippines! Isn’t it more fun?

With its pristine beaches, beautiful lagoons, delectable food, accommodating people, and amazing scenery and landscapes, who would have thought that I am just in the Philippines?

Changes made in El Nido, Palawan

Note that this itinerary was made for our tour in 2018 and unfortunately, there are new rules and regulations for the island hopping tours and activities in El Nido.

New Rules & Regulations in El Nido

They have implemented that you can’t do combination tours anymore in order to limit the number of tourists going to each of the islands from Tours A, B, C, D more particularly in Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, and Secret Beach. You can’t visit these most popular islands on the same day.

If you plan to visit El Nido for a day, then that means you can only choose one tour either A, B, C, or D according to your preference. In addition to that, pre-registration is now required before you get to visit the Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, or Secret which they call the “Premium Spot”. You have to pay Php 200 for each spot as well. More to that, boats are prohibited to enter the lagoon thus renting a kayak is mandatory in order to enter the lagoon. Check out the sample itinerary below for your future Palawan trip.

El Nido Island Tours

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Tour A

  • Big or small lagoon (user fee 200 per pax)
  • Simizu island
  • 7commando beachSecret lagoon
  • Payong Payong island

Tour B

  • Cudugnon cave (entrance fee 100 per pax)
  • Snake island
  • Entalula island
  • Cathedral cave
  • Pinagbuyatan island

Tour C

  • Matinloc shrine (100 per pax entrance fee)
  • Helicopter island
  • Hidden beach
  • Secret beach
  • Tapiutan island

Tour D

  • Small lagoon (user fee 200 per pax)
  • Nat nay beach
  • Cadlao Lagoon
  • Pasandigan beach
  • Paradise beach
  • Ipil beach

FAQs about Puerto Princesa & El Nido 

Does it cost a lot to visit Palawan? 

Actually, it depends on how much budget you have, how many days you are staying on the island, where you are staying, and eating. It really depends. It may either be costly or affordable. As I have said, there are so many travel agencies that offer cheap package tours. 

Where to find an affordable package tour?  

You can easily find some on Google. I listed some legit and highly recommended travel agencies in Palawan that you can check out. But if you have other preferences, make sure that the travel agency that you find is DOT accredited. 

Best time to visit Palawan?

The best thing about Palawan is they rarely experience typhoons so they have year-all-round tropical weather. 

Can I travel solo to Palawan?

Definitely yes. I have seen a lot of people who have done this before. But of course, it is going to be more costly on your end. 

Is it worth visiting the island?

Why not? Palawan is indeed one of the best islands not just in the Philippines, but also all over the world. 

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About the Author

Ara Patria

A travel blogger in the Philippines and a K-pop enthusiast, Ara Patria (The Adventuress) pursues her passion and love for traveling. She’s been blogging for years, where she writes about her own travel experiences and promotes the wonders of the Philippines. Not only does she promote the beauty of her country, but she also focuses on promoting sustainable tourism. She dreams of traveling the world and inspiring other people through her own written works and captured moments with her camera.

The Adventuress is a travel blogger with a purpose. She aims to inspire other people through her personal experiences, stories, and lenses. Outside her blogging world, she is an educator, an SEO specialist, and TEFL/TESOL certified.

Join her adventures!

6 thoughts on “Your Itinerary to Puerto Princesa & El Nido (plus DIY budget tips!)

  1. I am so happy I stumbled upon this post! I’ve been dying to visit the Philipinnes! I was supposed to go last year but I only had one week off and at that time Boracay was closed (so we decided to wait)! I am starting to really look into it for November maybe! I love the details in this article and your pictures are beautiful!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

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