If you think that traveling to the Philippines there are white sand beaches stretching in Boracay or familiar places to tourists like Cebu – Bohol, it is a pity. Living Nomads has discovered a new location that is still somewhat “human foot”. These are the port city of Puerto Princesa (Princess) and the coastal town of El Nido. Both are located in Palawan – the Philippines’s largest province. How to spend 6 days in Palawan (Palawan itinerary 6 days)? Let’s explore the nation island though our Palawan travel blog: Palawan itinerary — Exploring the coastal town El Nido & port city Puerto Princesa below.
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If you love peace, like immersing in nature, or have the desire to get away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded cities, you surely must go to El Nido and Palawan. This place is very wild, few foreign tourists, most are local tourists. Living Nomads is sure that your 6 day trip in the Philippines will be you’re your expectation. This will be one of the most wonderful experiences if you love the sea, nature and the desire to explore the local places.
When to go to Palawan? What should we do?
El Nido and Puerto Princesa are coastal towns, so it is only possible to go in the dry season (from December to early May), and don’t come here at the rainy season (from May to early December). Because that is storms and heavy rain season, the sea was neither beautiful nor dangerous. The best time to visit Palawan is March and April because there is absolutely no rain, blue sea. That is great to enjoy and take photos comfortably.
Food in the Philippines uses only soy sauce because the Philippines does not have fish sauce and lemon. Soy sauce is usually mixed with vinegar, purple onion, and onion so its taste will be pungent and sour. If not familiar with taste, let’s prepare some spices such as pepper salt, shrimp salt, chili salt, a small fish sauce bottle to eat together with seafood.
El Nido’s specialty is green mussel, green mango, and green mango shake. However, mangoes here are not allowed to bring on the plane because they are afraid of the beetle in the stalk and the mango peel bearing pathogens, so what to eat in El Nido, just enjoy at El Nido!
The Philippines is one hour earlier than Vietnam, and the currency here uses PHP (Philippine Piso); 1 PHP ~ 0,02 USD.
Airlines: Cebu Pacific Airlines (Terminal 3) & Philippine Airlines (Terminal 2)
To get to Puerto Princesa, you have to transit through Manila. If you use Cebu Pacific airline, the price is listed as follows:
SGN – MML – SGN: 13762 PHP (~ 265 USD)
MNL – PPS – MNL: 5,622 PHP (~ 108 USD)
If you book tickets at both Cebu and Philippine Airlines, remember to spend more time cause each airline is at different terminals so it will take longer time for you to move.
How to get from Puerto Princesa to El Nido?
The 16-seat bus or bus are the only two means of transportation. However, traveling by bus will be more inconvenient because you have to carry your luggage to the station, while the 16-seat car will pick you up at your destination. Although the car has 16 seats, they add additional seats into the empty gap between the car (Toyota Hiace 16 seats) so it can carry 19 – 20 guests. The car parked outside the PPS airport so you just go out, someone runs to ask immediately.
The road is quite far away so those who are car – sick, remember to prepare the drug. If you go to El Nido in the morning, the two sides of the grass and flowers everywhere will make you forget the car – sick situation immediately, but If you depart at night, let’s take a nap.
Time for transport: it takes about 6 or 7 hours depending on drivers.
Ticket price: PHP 400/ one way/ a 16 – seat car (~ 8 USD)
An advice for you is to buy a return ticket here for convenience, but remember to bargain because they always offer higher prices. You should always buy SIM card at the Manila airport to be easier to contact them when picking up. 3G is very weak here, mainly used in hotels.
Things to do in El Nido
To visit El Nido you can rent a motorbike to get around. However, when you have come here, you must definitely go to Hopping Island – that is to sail to visit the beautiful islands. The most famous are A, B, C and D tours that mean tours to explore the large and small islands in the area. Each tour will take a day to go, if there is more time you can go all the tour, but if you just want to go to know or not enough days to go, the suitable tours are definitely a Tour A and Tour C. The two most attractive tours guide you go to the beautiful island introduced by the native that will be introduced in the schedule well.
El Nido: Mostly hotels, guesthouses, there are not many options in downtown (near the marina). The best one is 3 stars (only 2-3 hotels) but the quality is equivalent to a guesthouse or 2 stars. Thus, do not expect too much. The areas that should be booked in guesthouses are Rizal Street and Calle Hana Street or nearby.
Puerto Princesa: This is a city, so there are more options. We stayed at Pension Del Flora (Deluxe Fan room) – 2-star hotel with room rates from $16/night. Located in a residential area, close to the center so it is easy to transport. You should ask them to prepare the early breakfast in advance. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Palawan itinerary: 6 days in Palawan (Palawan itinerary 6 days)
Day 1: Saigon – Manila – Puerto Princesa – El Nido.
From Saigon to El Nido, it is also at midnight, so you book the hotel in advance in order not to look for room after a tired day, and remember that the number of hotels is very little, easy to be out of the room early.
Day 2: El Nido – Tour A (island).
Breakfast: recommended at the hotel. You can buy a cake at the only bakery in the town. Open from 07:00 AM to 17:00 PM. Should buy more food for reserve in case the lunch of the tour is not enough or not suitable for you because you are getting around the island, no one sold anything.
Tour A (Big and small Lagoon＋Shimizu Island＋7 Commandos): As mentioned, coming to El Nido without booking tour A, tour C is just the waste of the time. The first morning we decided to go with tour A. This tour includes fees such as transportation fees, lunch fees on board, even including environmental protection fees, snorkeling diving equipment (diving glasses, snorkel, ..). The tour will go through Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Shimizu Island, Secret Lagoon and Seven Commandos Beach. Every place is so amazingly beautiful.