Solo Travel Budget for Puerto Princesa and El Nido, Palawan


(UPDATED 2023)

What is the most affordable budget for a solo trip to Puerto Princesa and El Nido?

I wrote this post in response to a pressing question from our Facebook group for solo travelers. I admit that I am mostly too lazy to respond to the discussion thread, but I thought this might be useful to some local travelers as well, so I decided to write this quick post.

How much budget do you need to enjoy Puerto Princesa and El Nido, Palawan? Let me list down the expenses to help you plan your trip. 


Cebu Pacific offers the cheapest round-trip airfare from Manila to Puerto Princesa for P2600. If you want to go straight to El Nido from Manila, you can take a more expensive direct flight with Philippine Airlines.

Domestic flight terminal fees are paid at Puerto Princesa airport before returning to Manila.

Local – P 200

Foreigner – P 700

LCC Cebu Pacific at Puerto Princesa Airport


The cost of a tricycle from Puerto Princesa Airport to downtown is between P 150 and P 200, depending on the distance. P 300 is the most you’d have to pay. If the tricycle driver requests P500 and you are only going to Robinson’s or a nearby hotel, or to the El Nido van terminal, politely negotiate.

Multi-cabs travel throughout the city for a minimum fare of P 8.00. Try public transportation, such as town tricycles or multi-cabs, if you’re like my Spanish friend who prefers to travel like a local.

PRO TIP: Act as if you know where you’re going or have lived in Palawan for a long time.

The cost of a van ride from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is P 600 per person. The total travel time, including stops, is 6 hours. I traveled from El Nido to Puerto Prinsesa in a relatively short amount of time. Surprisingly, the driver was picking up passengers along the way. I thought we should have taken a little longer.

A tricycle ride from downtown El Nido to the van terminal is P50.00


If, like me, you don’t eat rice at night, a “karinderya” or a street-side Filipino diner can serve you a short order of Adobo or a vegetable dish for as little as P25.00.

In some small restaurants, you can eat rice meals at P 99.00.

The cheapest dinner in El Nido downtown is at P50.

A bottle of water costs P20.

Filipino breakfast at Austria’s in El Nido


Where to Stay in Puerto Princesa 

The cheapest place to stay in Puerto Princesa is a bunk bed with a shared bathroom and unlimited coffee for P 204.00 per night.

Check out YOUR HOSTEL in particular. This room has air conditioning. The staff is pleasant. You can reserve a room through Agoda (if you are a member, you can also get cash backs so I recommend you sign-up on this booking site). A credit card is not required to book a room. When you check-in, you can pay at the hotel.

Bunk bed room at YOUR HOSTEL, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

If you want a little more comfortable accommodation, check out Blue Lagoon Inn & Suites. For Php999 per night, you can stay in a double bed Room with a Garden view Balcony/terrace with a private shower, free wifi, and a hairdryer. The property has a pool too. 

Another budget-friendly accommodation in Puerto Princesa City is the Casaoro Homestay. A night at Casaoro Homestay with free breakfast for two, free wifi, shower, in a 4-bunk bed mixed dormitory is only 379 pesos.

Book a bunk bed at Casaoro Homestay

If you want an awesome hotel in Puerto Princesa, you can check out the stylish, design-forward Hue Hotels and Resorts Puerto Princesa.

Where to Stay in El Nido, Palawan

The most affordable accommodation in El Nido is P200 per night at a camping site an hour from the airport.

I recommend AUSTRIA’S GUEST HOUSE downtown. P450 per night includes city tax and other charges for a private fan room with a shared bathroom and included breakfast.



If you buy a sim card for P70.00, you can register your network for unlimited internet browsing for 7 days. The cost is P90.00.


This is worth mentioning because I found it useful. Dry bags for your belongings are sold for P300. However, you can simply use a garbage bag to protect your bags. Some tours even provide these to their guests.

The price of a smartphone waterproof case is P100.00.

A smartphone waterproof case is Php100.00.

Snorkeling rental in Honda bay is Php150.00.

Shops in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River Port


I highly recommend you book your tours with Northern Hope Tours El Nido. They specialize in El Nido island hopping tours but they also provide island and inland tours in Puerto Princesa. I am posting a review of my experience with them in another blog post.

I made a video from the clips I took from the tours I enjoyed with Northern Hope Tours.

The activities you can try in Puerto Princesa and El Nido with Northern Hope Tours are:

1. Underground River Tour in Puerto Princesa 

Rate: 2,000 Pesos/person

Duration: 7 AM to 5 PM

Round-trip air-conditioned van transportation, buffet lunch, Underground River Permit, Boat Transfers, Paddle Boat Tour inside the Underground River, Environmental Fee, and Licensed Tour Guide assistance are all included.

The Girl with the Muji Hat at Underground River Tour

2. Honda Bay Tour Puerto Princesa

Rate: 1,640 Pesos/person

Duration: 7 AM to 4 PM

Includes air-conditioned van transfer, lunch, entrance fees, boat for island hopping and a licensed tour guide to assist you.

Sorcery at Honda Bay, Palawan lol

3. City Tour Puerto Princesa

Rate: 600 Pesos/person

Places to visit: Bay walk, Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, Plaza Cuartel, Princess Eulalia Park

Souvenir shop/market, Mitra’s Ranch, Baker’s Hill, Binuatan Weaving Center and Crocodile Farm


Half-Day (4 hours)

Morning – 8AM to 12NN

Afternoon – 1PM to 5PM

Includes:Air conditioned Van Transfers, Guide, Entrance Fees and Small Snack

4. El Nido Tour A

Rate: 1, 200 Pesos/person

Places to visit: Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Simizu Island, Secret Lagoon, and 7 Commandos Beach

Schedule: 9 AM to 4 PM

Includes: Lunch, mask & snorkel, life vest, and guides to assist you

Lovely shot by a traveler I met during the tour

5. El Nido Tour B

Rate: 1,300 Pesos/person

Places to visit: Entalula Island, Pinagbuyutan Island, Snake Island, Cudugnon Cave and Cathedral Cave

Schedule: 9 AM to 4 PM

Includes: Lunch, mask & snorkel, life vest, and guides to assist you

6. El Nido Tour C

Rate: 1,400 Pesos/person

Places to visit: Hidden Beach, Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, Matinloc Shrine, and Star Beach

Schedule: 9 AM to 4 PM

Includes: Lunch, mask & snorkel, life vest, and guides to assist you

7. El Nido Tour D

Rate: 1,200 Pesos/person

Places to visit:Bukal Island, Ipil Beach, Nat-Nat Beach, Cadlao Lagoon and Paradise Beach

Schedule: 9 AM to 4 PM

Includes: Lunch, mask & snorkel, life vest and guides to assist you

8. Kayaking on the lagoons

Rate: P300 per Kayak (for 2 people)

Kayaking on the big lagoon

9. El Nido land tours

Roundtrip Tricycle Rental: 1,500 Pesos/tricycle (whole day) – A tricycle can fit up to 3 persons

Places to visit: Nacpan Beach, Waterfall, Maregmeg Beach


Go pro rental is P 1000 per day. You can also coordinate with Northern Hope Tours if you want to rent a Go Pro.


I am not really sure about the exact price but I believe in grocery shops you can buy san mig light in can for P40 pesos or around that cost. Don’t ask me about cigarettes. Maybe you should try Buko juice if you feel some cravings. Coconuts are sold for P50.00.

Buko Juice at Seven Commando Beach, El Nido, Palawan



Given the costs I have collated above, you can see in this table a plausible day to day expenses for your solo travel:

You see, if you are a foreigner traveling solo to Palawan and you intend to enjoy the best tours in Puerto Prinsesa and El Nido, you would need P13,859 or around 272 USD

But if you’re a local traveler and don’t need to rent go pro, you can subtract 1500 from that total cost – and that would be P 12,359. AHHH You can less the souvenir expenses too! So around, P11,900 for a 5-day travel!

USD 272 for 5 days and 4 nights in Puerto Princesa and El Nido may be cheap for foreign travelers, but HEY things can GET even CHEAPER.

The Girl with the Muji Hat with Northern Hope Tours

Parting Words

Upon comparing, it is more budget-friendly to avail Northern Hope Tours 5-Days-4-Nights Package for 2 people for Puerto Princesa and El Nido. I will discuss this more in my next blog post.

For now, let me leave you with this information in the hope to help you in your planning!



Round-trip air-conditioned van transportation, buffet lunch, Underground River Permit, Boat Transfers, Paddle Boat Tour inside the Underground River, Environmental Fee, and Licensed Tour Guide assistance are all included.

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