All About Budget & Expenses in El Nido

How to Travel Cheap in El Nido? You might find this post useful when traveling to El Nido.

The Secret Lagoon, El Nido
The Secret Lagoon, part of Tour A

Most people think that traveling to El Nido costs too much. If you’re one of them, let me show you a comprehensive budget guide which includes expenses and price breakdowns when traveling to El Nido which may help you believe that traveling in this beautiful bliss is indeed affordable.


Flying to Puerto Princesa is the usual way for travelers to get to El Nido.  It is important to contact the transportation office to reserve for your seat. Reservations can be made a day before your flight or 2 to 3 hours before the ride.

The cheapest nonair-conditioned bus going to El Nido from Puerto Princesa is the Eulen Joy Liner which is PHP 350.00 but the travel time is 7 to 8 hours while the air-conditioned bus (RoRo Bus) is PHP 483.00 with travel time of 5 to 6 hours. For shuttle van, price ranges from PHP 600.00 to 700.00 with travel time of 5 to 6 hours as well.

You can also refer to my list of buses and vans going to El Nido.

El Nido Skyline Inn


The cheapest accommodations in El Nido are fan rooms worth PHP 300.00 to 350.00 per night (good for one) or PHP 600.00 to 800.00 per night (good for two). For family rooms (good for four), cheapest is PHP 1,500 to 2,500 per night.

You can also refer to my list of cheap accommodations in El Nido.

Keep in mind that these prices are off-peak season based; and since they offer the lowest price; do not expect much. Some of them don’t have free WiFi or even neat bathrooms.


There are plenty of traditional eateries in the town proper or also called as turo-turo or “point-point” in English which mean, you point what you want to eat from a variety of choices and then pay as you order. Meal ranges from PHP 40.00 to 60.00 (rice, viand, plus soup or vegetable).

While nice bar and restaurants range from PHP 150.00 to 300.00 per meal.

Going around El Nido town proper

Tricycle is PHP 8.00 to 10.00 only (shared).

Tour Price and Gear Rentals

Tour Fee Price per head
Environmental Fee (1-time only) PHP 200.00
Island Hopping Tour A PHP 700.00 (buffet lunch included)
Island Hopping Tour B PHP 800.00 (buffet lunch included)
Island Hopping Tour C PHP 900.00 (buffet lunch included)
Island Hopping Tour D PHP 800.00 (buffet lunch included)
Inland Tours or Tour E PHP 500.00 – 1,100.00 (buffet lunch included)
Taraw Cliff Climbing PHP 300.00 – 350.00

Gear Rentals Price per head (whole day)
Snorkeling gears PHP 100.00
Kayak PHP 800.00 – 1,200.00 (single & double)
Fins PHP 100.00
Underwater Camera PHP 500.00 to 800.00

Keep in mind that some booking office already includes snorkeling gears. Unlike in my case, the booking office that I joined doesn’t include snorkeling gears, so I have to pay for additional PHP 100.00 for the rent.

Souvenirs and items

There are several souvenir stores in the town proper of El Nido. Surprisingly, they have unique items which cannot be found in other places, so might as well grab that opportunity to purchase it.

Price negotiating or haggling doesn’t apply to most of the stores there, but don’t be disappointed with that as they are only trying to make a living. Don’t be too stingy!

Postcards                           - PHP 20.00 to 30.00
El Nido T-shirt                    – PHP 200.00 to 400.00
Display items                     – PHP 100.00 to 800.00

Estimated budget cost per day

The possible cheapest budget you can make per day would be PHP 1,300.00 to 1,500.00 which already include the tours and activity, accommodation, and food.

If there’s no activity made during the day and opted to just relax, you can live with PHP 100.00 to 300.00 per day.

Estimated cost per entire trip; per individual (with tours and activity)

Availing a package tour in El Nido through agency will cost you a lot. Some of them offer 4D/3N trip to El Nido which is already a whooping PHP 8,000 to 10,000 per head. So the next possible way to travel cheap is preparing a DIY (do-it-yourself) travel plan.

Below is the estimated cost per trip per individual if you decided to travel to El Nido on DIY basis:

3-Day/2-Night   – PHP 2,600.00 to 3,800.00 (USD 62 to 95)
4-Day/3-Night   – PHP 3,800.00 to 5,000.00 (USD 95 to 120)
5-Day/4-Night   – PHP 5,000.00 to 6,200.00 (USD 120 to 150)

Keep in mind that abovementioned budget guide excludes airfare. Regular airfare going to Puerto Princesa starts from PHP 2,500 to PHP 4,500 round trip depending on the travel period. So better yet book your travel during airline promos; price starts from PHP 1,200 to PHP 1,500 round trip.

Other ways to travel cheap

  • Book during airline promos.
  • Travel during off-peak season (June to September).

Upon reading my El Nido Budget Guide, are you now ready to travel to the beautiful paradise of El Nido?  If yes, might as well read my article about the 17 things you need to know about El Nido.

Lastly, plan your itinerary. Refer to this guide to help you plan your daily itinerary: El Nido Sample itineraries. You can also read my true-to-life travel itinerary and expenses in El Nido.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, I would be happy to look into them.

If you found my blog helpful in planning your itineraries, please consider buying me a beer! ;-)

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About Ada

Ada Wilkinson of

My name is Ada, an old-fashioned, curly, jumper, wanderlust, who enjoys budget and DIY traveling.

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