El Nido is a coastal settlement and major tourist destination on the Philippines island of Palawan. El Nido comprises 45 islands and islets; limestone cliffs are also found here, which form a Karst backdrop similar to those found in Ha Long Bay, Krabi and Guilin. El Nido is a popular destination for locals during the long holidays of Holy Week but, until recently, has been relatively unknown to foreign tourists. Beaches, clear waters (away from the main town), jungle, steep limestone cliffs and stunning inlets make for beautiful seascapes.
Before El Nido became saturated with tourists, fishing and harvesting swift nests ("Nido") were the main source of income. Nowadays tourism has become the municipality's main source of revenue. The beachfront area has exploded in popularity over the years and is now largely a party area with overpriced food and drinks. However huge tour groups are still nowhere to be seen. El Nido is also known for water sports such as diving, snorkeling and kayaking. Water quality around the main beach is poor, with garbage collecting at the main beach and boat oil seeping into the bay. Swimming is not recommended.
El Nido Airport(IATA: ENI) sees 4 flights a day to and from MANILA and 1 daily flight from/to CEBU. by Air swift (former ITI)Air swift. Tickets may also be booked through their local GSA at Artcafe. ITI flies with an ATR-50 seater. The prices tend to be higher (P6,500-8,500) compared to those departing from the provincial main airport Puerto Princesa. The positive side is that flying with Air Swift is very relaxing and the holiday starts as you enter the terminal at their private hangar where it departs from at Andrews Avenue and fresh pastry and coffee is served in the lounge before and after the flight. Luggage allowance is 10kg +7kg hand luggage for Regular fare and 20kg +7 kg for Premium Peak season fare. Excess luggage is charged upon check in P200/kg. Terminal Fee Manila P200. Low season fares (June to October) start at Php 4,500 person.
Air Swift now flies from El Nido to Manila and El Nido to Cebu vice versa. As of January 2016the cost is Php 6,344-7,022 one way.
Upon arrival by air in El Nido, the El Nido Resorts passengers are whisked away in vans and those remaining take local tricycle taxis (motorcycles with modified side car). The Airport staff will call the tricycle taxis to get you to town and the 5km (3 mile) ride costs about P200-P250 for two people and luggage.
Puerto Princesa International Airport(IATA: PPS) is Palawan's premier gateway. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, airphilexpress, Seair and Zest Air fly from Manila, Davao, Busuanga, Cebu and Clark to Puerto Princesa. You can catch a bus, private or public van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido on arrival.
From Puerto Princesa
Three Van companies are doing regular shuttle trips to El Nido, departing from San Jose bus terminal in Puerto Princesa.
As of October 2015, fares for van from El Nido to Puerto Princesa are 500 pesos with free delivery to the hotel. Travel time is around 5 hours which for us included 2 stops of about 20 minutes and leaving El Nido 15 minutes later than the announced time. Tickets can be purchased inside the city and vans travel on each hour. There are very few unfinished patches of the road remaining. The ride in the van worked better for us than Cherry Bus from Puerto to El Nido which took 7 hours and we felt each bump on the road on our back.
If you are in a hurry (flight etc) then don't depend on timely departure as these minivans almost never depart on time. The departure time is actually when they start picking up people around town and actually get on the road 30-60 minutes later. Also they sometimes make you change minivans along the way once or twice and your luggage is tied on the roof and despite the covers can be becomes covered with heavy dust from the gravel road 1h before El Nido.
Fortwally transport w/ the following schedule for only Php500 free pick up in airport, schedule from Pps-Elnido 5am,7am,9:30-10am,11am,1:30pm,4-5pm and 6:30pm. Please contact direct to fortwally Travel and Tour #s (048)434-9988),09172762875,09165696025, email at email@example.com
[Eulen Joy Shuttle Van ] PPS-El Nido-PPS have daily trips from Puerto to El Nido at 5:00, 7:00, 9:00, 10:30, 13:00 and 18:00 and from El Nido to Puerto at 5:00, 7:00, 9:00, 10:30, 13:00 and 18:00h. Phone: PPS +639129167822, El Nido +639494498858. Tickets are available at Artcafe Travel Center and other outlets. The fare is P600.
Lexus Company goes from Sabang to El Nido daily at 7:30, 14:00 and 16:30h. Fare is P900. Tel. 09121002652. From El Nido to Sabang at 5:00 AM and 11:00 AM.
Tickets are available from most guest houses and tour booking office.
Daytripper Palawan is a new transport company that offers more comfort and convenience. Daytripper departs onces a day and the fare is P850 for the executive Van and P950 for the executive Coach. Pre-booking is a must at their website or by calling +63-917-8488755, +63-921-7423683.
Air-conditioned and ordinary Buses departs San Jose Bus terminal, Puerto Princesa and El Nido Market alternate regularly. RORO bus is suspended at the moment. CHERRY BUS departs Puerto Princesa 5:00, 9:00 A/C, 11:00, 13:00 A/C, 15:00, 21:00 A/C. El Nido to Puerto Princesa departures are set for 7:00, 9:00 A/C, 11:00, 13:00 A/C, 21:00 A/C. Fare is P550 for the air-con (A/C) trip and P450 for non-aircon. It takes about 7hours. These are relatively new buses and absorb bumpy roads much better than the smaller vans, and with more leg room. These buses do, however, make many stops along the way to pick up passengers, so the empty seat next to you will be filled eventually, and the stops can get quite annoying.
From Sabang or Port Barton
Several minivans leave Sabang daily, the first at 7am & last at 4:30pm. Ride is 5hours and 800peso. Another option is to take a van or jeepney to the intersection with the National Highway and flag down the Cherry bus (220P from Roxas to El Nido).
It is also possible to charter a boat from either Sabang or Port Barton to El Nido, although this is more costly than a bus and weather dependent.
Bacuit archipelago of El Nido
Breathtaking views of nature are the main reason to visit El Nido. The pristine waters of El Nido offer beautiful coral reefs, while its beaches are uncrowded unlike the popular Boracay, exploring the lagoons by kayaking is a great way of visiting the islets, coves and caves are also abundant. Inland El Nido, springs and waterfalls are also found. Bacuit Bay composes of limestone islands, where its possible to either dive, snorkel or hike.
The easiest way to see the Bacuit Bay is on an island hopping boat. These boats carry 8'-15 people and will visit 4 or 5 islands in a day. The boats usually take set routes named A to D, but can vary depending on tides and weather. Boats normally cost around P1200-P1400 per person depending in the route and travel agency but you can pay the half of it by showing up and asking at 8am at some travel agencies.... Easy to save money! The trip takes one day (ca. 9:00-16:00), normally includes a good lunch and can be arranged from most guesthouses and travel agencies in El Nido. El Nido municipality also charges P200 as an Environmental fee which is valid 10 days.
If you have time, go for overnight island hopping (3 days 2 nights is a good option) where you get to camp on deserted island ala Survivor style. (Though most places you can be dropped at are included in the daily island hopping tours.) It gives you the best option to visit lots more islands that are included in those bundle package tours but at your own leisure time. Find a few more people to get a much better rate. Recommended place a booth at Aplaya Restaurant, look for Nhel who will give you the best deals and arrangements.
Mountain Biking. There are numerous destinations to visit... even Nacpan beach is possible for the adventurous. Bikes range from 400-500p per day. "Discover El Nido", next to Together Pension, on Calle Amboy street offer good rates and provide a map/guide detailing 12 routes. Taking the budget, healthy way to see El Nido rewards travelers with routes through traditional villages along forest trails, roads and dirt tracks. For the adventurous, rivers, rice fields, coconut groves, hot springs, mangroves, waterfalls, caves and off-the-beaten-track beaches await...
Guided mountain biking tours are offered by El Gordo Action Adenventures El Gordo Adventures.
Rock climbing & walking. The western side of El Nido township lies in the shadow of an impressive sheer cliff face which is just the visible portion of an even more impressive headland. There are guided climbing tour (P350) to the top of the "taraw" offering a breathtaking view. The hike is rather adventurous though as you have to climb over sharp rocks. Good footwear is a must. Climb takes about 3 hours in total. It's advisable by 7am or at 2pm as it can be very hot on top. Be sure to hire a licensed tour guide. You may avail one at the El Nido Tourism Office or at Artcafe.
"Canopy Walk" At Barangay Maligaya behind the Barangay hall there is El Nido's Canopy walk for the less experienced hikers, still giving you a great view over town and the bay. There is an entrance fee. Pass by El Nido Tourism Office in calle Hama to book this.
- Catch a tricycle taxi to Las Cabanas (P50) and plonk yourself down out front of Orange Pearl Bar for a day away from the crowds on a white sandy beach and crystal waters. It's a short walk down a dirt road from where you will be dropped off. There is also an island with some OK snorkeling which can be reached easily wading through waist deep water.
- There is an usually empty beach right north of the El Nido airport if you are looking for some solitude (tricycle ride :P150).
- Take a tricycle taxi to Nacpan beach (P1000-1500).
Island hopping / Snorkel tours.
Bacuit Bay consists of islands with limestone cliffs which are ideal for climbing, Diving & Snorkeling; The most popular activity is island hopping costing from P1200 a day including BBQ lunch and snorkel gear. There are 4 basic day trips to choose from named Tour A to D and can be booked from all over town. The quality of the boat, guides & tour depends on who you book it through.
- El Nido Boutique & Art Cafe, Serena St., . The El Nido Boutique & Artcafe is one of the most experienced island hopping and kayak tour operator in El Nido with since over 20 years. > edit
- Islanen Tours, Masagana, ☎ 09999644369. edit
Kayaking. Many beaches can be reached from Town or from Corong beach by Kayak. Fiber glass Kayaks can be found in many places and Clear Kayak which give you the opportunity to the marine life while kayaking are available at El Nido Boutique & Art Cafe.
SUP / Standup Paddleboarding is a great way to experience the nearby islands.
SUPs can be rented at El Nido Boutique & Artcafe and SupXplore on Corong Corong beach offers guided day tours in the Bacuit bay and into Mangrove rivers.
- El Nido Adventure Scuba, Serena St. (near Artcafe), ☎ +63949-9108460 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 7:30-21.00. Dive with the "locals" and most experienced dive masters in the area. SSI and PADI open water and advanced dive courses are offered. edit
- Submariner Diving Center, Hama Street Brgy Masagana (Beachfront), ☎ +63 905 484 1764 (email@example.com), . Submariner Diving Center is the first and only PADI 5* Dive Resort in El Nido, Palawan Philippines, which is operated by the German Ronny Oliwka who is PADI MSDT and TDI AN/DP Diver. Submariner is also certified as Aqualung Partner Center who offers high standard in Diving and Education as well as diving gear branded by Aqualung and Apeks. Not only the Equipment considers a high standard. Also the staff is highly qualified edit
- Palawan Divers, ☎ +63 939 958 1076 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Palawan Divers is the most established dive center in town. Created 10 years ago, it is the first certified PADI Dive Resort in town. Friendly and professional team of instructors, divemasters, and crew. They will make your stay safe and comfortable as you explore the diverse marine ecosystem of El Nido. From the beginner to the experienced diver, there is something for everyone here. edit
- El Dive, ☎ +63 999 171 2915 (email@example.com). El Dive provides amazing, safe and long dives among corals and colorful aquatic life. It is managed by the Japanese Yoshi Ohtsuka who has been a PADI instructor for more than 20 years. Today, El Dive is the one dive center in El Nido that provides you high quality of dives, courses and equipment. The motto is Go Slow With El Dive. Its goal is to make you very excited and satisfied during and after your dive trip. edit
- Sea Dog/Plankton Divers, Serena street (beach front, next to Alternative restaurant), ☎ +639494495399. SSI and PADI instructors (including dive masters) with 20+ years experience. Jacques' Mayol personal tour guide in El Nido. edit
You can rent a motobike at P700/day and go around the countryside. There are many rental place around town. At Corong Coron you may rent from Erl Motorbike Rental located at Brgy. Corong-Corong before the bus terminal Cell. +639106198381. Their bikes are new semi automatic and manual.
The roads are partly unpaved rough, but you will find it rewarding to get to the longest beaches El Nido has Nacpan Beach / Twin Beaches and Duli Beach. Make sure to ask for a map. 20km north of El Nido, you may stop and hike to Nakalit-Kalit Waterfall. Guide is recommended. Another few kilometers north, before Barangay Barotuan you may visit the "Hot springs". There are no signs, so it's best to ask.
- El Nido Boutique & Artcafe, Sirena Street (Buena Suerte), ☎ 09209026317, . 7.00-21.30. El Nido T-shirts printed in their own Artshop, Souvenirs, Handicrafts, Postcards, Books, Photo supplies and Cameras, Snorkel Gear, Swimming clothes and beach wear, Sarongs, Dresses, Jewerly, Suntain lotions and drugstore items, Wine and Liquors, Bags and Backpacks, Hammocks and lots lots more. edit
Generally speaking the number of and standard of eating houses are good. Menus have good variety mostly European, American and Filipino dishes, and prices are moderate. Most are accessible from the laneway as well as from the beach and seating has the advantage of views of the bay and environs.
- Art Cafe a well established restaurant with good quality food such as seafood, salads (the vegetable mostly come from their own organic farm), steaks, pizzas, spaghetti, homemade bread, cakes and fruit shakes and coffee. They have Live-Music 3 nights a week. Travel Center for all your inquiries about your onward travel. * Art Cafe, Sirena St. (toward the pier), ☎ 09209026317 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 7:00 -23:00. edit
- El Nido fastfood offer nido soup; bird's nest soup perhaps.
- Marber's Great food and atmosphere right on the beach. Dishes include pasta, pizza, sandwiches, Filipino and German food as well. Nice staff and reasonably priced.
- Habibi Restaurant & Shisha Cafe, Hama Street, Zone 3 (Beachfront), . Good food and beverages, and they are the only Shisha Bar in Palawan. Drinks are made with fresh ingredients, pizzas are also popular. The full bar offers all varieties of premium drinks. The owner frequently visits the local market to find the best/freshest fish available. Free Wi-Fi, widescreen projection television, and games. The vibe is warm and friendly. The restaurant is ideal for groups wishing to enjoy the freshest fish. The fish are presented to you for selection, and prepared to order. edit
- Aplaya Restaurant Great food, portions are big for the price range and relatively nice atmosphere. Not too crowded. Dishes include Seafood, Chopsuey, Pancit Noodles, Beef dishes, Pizzas and pastas. There is free wifi, just ask the staff for the password
- Filipino listless eateries a couple of them on the main street, for prices around 70P.
- BBQ stands 10P for a stick
- El Nido Corner, North end of the beach in El Nido. Great beachfront restaurant with a Danish owner. Try the fresh catch of the day. edit
- Altrove Trattoria Great freshly made brick oven pizza.
- Austria Restaurant & Hotel, Zone 2 Buenasuerte, El Nido. While at lunch and dinner times the restaurant has nothing out of ordinary to offer, Austria's breakfast buffet for only 99 PHP includes brewed coffee, toast, bread, fluffy pancakes with honey, an egg cooked to order and the usual Filipino breakfast dishes(i.e. rice, fried fish, vegetables, chicken/pork adobo). The quality is similar to the fancier hotel across the street that charges twice this price. If taking the 8h boat to Coron (which usually includes a lunch of rice and a deep fried chicken body part), ask them to pack you a lunch box. 99 PHP. edit
- V & V Bagel Great coffee and almond cookies are a must try. Free Wi-Fi, you can just ask the friendly staff for the password.
- Spider, (Last restaurant at the north of the beach, close to Pukka reggae bar). Nice restaurant and bbq with outside kitchen, you can talk to the chef and he will made you special sauce for your seafood ! One of the best ration price-quality 150-300P. edit
- Yummy Burger, Rizal Street. Local burger place offering variety of burgers and hotdogs. The place doesn't look much at first sight (we skipped it the first night) but burgers turned out to be delicious cooked in front of you with all fresh ingredients. They serve Chaolong too. edit
As most of the accommodation in El Nido town is lined one-next-to-another along the road parallel to the beach it is pretty easy to find a room that suits budget and needs. Booking recommended during Christmas, Easter and Chinese New Year as all places, especially on the beaches, can become full.
Many places now advertise themselves as having WiFi, at least in "public areas", but note that due to power outages and lousy mobile providers, the cheaper places will usually not have very good WiFi. On the other hand, the most expensive resort (Matinloc resort on Matinloc Island, prices from US$350) has good WiFi everywhere, including even on its beachfront!
- El Nido Cove Resort, Sitio Lamoro, Barangay Pasadeña, ☎ +63-02-9025900 (email@example.com), . El Nido Cover Resort in Palawan, Philippines is the perfect place to unwind. Each accommodation has air-conditioning, private toilet and bath, hot and cold shower, lanai, wardrobe, clothes rack, desk and bath amenities. El Nido Cove Resort also has restaurant, kayak, volleyball, badminton, massage service, board games, car park and airport transfer. edit
- Biolina Guesthouse, Calle Lisang, Brgy. Maligaya, ☎ +63 907 527 8584. Fan and air-con rooms available with its own toilet and bath. from ₱500. edit
- Catian Beach (Ernesto Servantes), Nacpan Beach (1h North of El Nido town), ☎ +63 906 213 7793. Simple native houses right on beautiful Nacpan beach. While most of people only take a day trip from El Nido to Nacpan, it is nice to stay there few days to enjoy the nice sand and the laidback atmosphere. The owner Ernesto is a great cook too, don't miss the coconut milk seafood dishes for ₱150. Easy access to the hotspring and waterfalls. ₱800. edit
- Cliffside Cottage, Brgy. Maligaya (near Globe Tower), ☎ +639109567957, . sgl ₱600, dbl ₱700. editLocated slightly away from the centre but set in a quiet setting with porches facing the garden. Friendly staff, free Wi-Fi and kitchen available for cooking. If heading there from the bus station ignore the over inflated tricycles turn left and after 10 minutes walk cliff-side cottages will be on your left.</sleep>
- Dolarog Beach Resort, . Central location, non-smoking rooms, desk, shower, balcony/terrace. Bar/pub, laundry service/dry cleaning, restaurant, room service, safety deposit boxes, hotel/airport transfer, pool (kids), water sports (non-motorized), outdoor pool, private beach, garden. edit
- El Nido Beach Hotel, ☎ +6348-723 0887 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . ₱3,500-5500. edit Each room and suite is designed with the comfort and convenience of guests in mind. All rooms have hot water, TV, mini fridge and free Wi-Fi.</sleep>
- El Nido Four Seasons Beach Resort, Sito Lugadia, Barangay Corong Corong (The property is just 3 km or a 3- to 4-minute ride from the town center), ☎ +63 (0) 9175419804, . All rooms are equipped with Air-conditioning, TV with cable channels, Hot shower, Private balcony, Private toilet and bath. Some of its facilities and services are Island hopping tours, Airport transfer, Massage service, Room service and Laundry service. Rates start at 2300.00 PHP. edit
- Islandfront Cottages and Restaurant, Sitio Lugadya, Brgy. Corong-cong (just 1.5 km away from the town proper), ☎ 09296501284 (email@example.com), . Rates start at 1500.00 PHP. edit Rooms are equipped with Air-conditioning, High-speed Internet access, and Daily Breakfast.
- Kalinga Beach Resort, Caalan, El Nido, Palawan, ☎ +63 9215700021, . Located along Calaan beach, has 8 cottages and beach villas available. edit
- Krizma Cottages, ☎ 09126548487, . On a quieter road back from the beach, these new cosy cottages are great value with hot shower and wifi and lovely managers. edit
- Francisco Inn. Basic and clean rooms, free to use kitchen, private bathroom, nice staff. Double : 500-600P / Triple : 700P; edit
- La Salagane, Serena St. 33, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . edit With two different locations, both seafront, La Salangane Hotel offers a variety of accommodations according to the wishes and budgets of its guests.
- Lagen Resort, Lagen Island, . Have 50 rooms and cater a la carte meals and buffet. A clinic, library, boutique, a swimming pool and a game area are some of the facilities offered here. edit
- Lally & Abet Beach Resort, Barangay Masagana, . A Dept. of Tourism accredited hotel, it has 34 rooms with an A/C, telephone and shower, a laundry service and foreign currency exchange is also provided here. For leisure they also have sports facilities for badminton and volleyball games. Major credit cards are accepted here. edit
- Lualhati Cottage, Brgy. Maligaya, ☎ +639193196683 (email@example.com). P500 fan room, P1000-1200 aircon. edit Comfortable family runned accommodation at the edge of town.
- Marina Garden Beach Resort, Buena Suerte, ☎ +639176247722, . P980-2500. edit In Center of Town Beach on the beach.
- Miniloc Resort, Miniloc Island, . Have 51 rooms, aside from being a resort, they also offer snorkeling facilities, and they have kayaks, aqua bikes and other water sports equipments available for rent. edit
- Nido Bay Inn, Sirena St. (near Art Cafe), ☎ 09275608535. P1500-1700. edit Building with 10 rooms right at the Sea shore.
- Mountain Side Inn, Brgy. Maligaya (west side of Rizal St.\, look for sign on street, property about 10m back from street (back of Lolo Oyong Pension)), ☎ +63 935 816 0551. fan rooms start at ₱700, air-con ₱1,000. edit Friendly Annabel runs this budget option which offers one of the best values in El Nido. It's very clean and a three minute walk to the beach. There are only five rooms in total though. Free tea and Wi-Fi included!
- Peak House Garden Pension, Hama St., Brgy. Masagana, El Nido, ☎ +639195273121 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 2:00 PM; checkout: 12:00 NN. Peak House Garden Pension is a family owned accommodation located right in El Nido town centre, just a few minutes walk to the beach. Guests have a quick and easy access to downtown and less than 5 minutes walk to some of the best restaurants, bars, bakeshop, pizza house and main shopping area. So come and experience the comfort of our tasteful design accommodation with a touch of modern and native inspired architecture, spacious terrace with wooden chairs and coffee table, native gazebo and landscaped gardens that will give you a very relaxing atmosphere. edit
- Og's beach pension, brgy masagana, ☎ +639204040223 (email@example.com). P700-2900. edit Three story building with run down rooms but a great view right on the beach. Happy Hour from 5pm to 7pm with P40 Beer. Divers should seek out one of the staff named Mator as he often does private trips.
- Rosanna's cottages, Brgy. Masagana (near Bus Terminal), ☎ +639206054631. P1200-P2500. edit
- Relucio Traveller's Pension, Serena St, Brgy. Buena Suerte (left end of the main street), ☎ +639262196640. nice family-house-turned-pension, bay view terrace, free coffee, free wifi P600-P700. edit
- Shore Pass Lodge, Sirena St. (near Art Cafe), ☎ 09179059659. P1300-1500. edit 5 rooms right at the Shore Line.
- Stunning vistas beach resort, Corong Corong (before entering El Nido from Taytay), ☎ +639217515783 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . PHP 2400-3600. edit Famous for a beautiful sunset. Easy tricycle access from town (5 mins)
- Lorenzo, Corong-corong (Ask for Lorenzo to any tricycle driver). Nice basic bubgalows in front of the beach. Free hot water, mosquito net, free hot water and friendly owner. 600 (double, private bathroom). edit
- Tay Joe Cottages, National Road, Sitio Lugadia, Bgy. Corong-corong, ☎ +63 919 537 9595 (email@example.com). 2 rooms available, Fan room, 4 person capacity of every room, 15m away from Bacuit Bay & 1.5kmaway from town; also arranges motorbike rentals. P 800.00 to P 1000.00. edit
- Zion's Welcome Inn, Lugadia, Corong-Corong, El Nido, ☎ +639494495399. checkin: 1pm; checkout: 12pm. Affordable quiet beach front resort located next to the most beautiful beach of El Nido. Offers fan and air conditioned rooms, free Wi-Fi and unlimited coffee. Very good hospitality, nice islands view and island hopping tours. Also offers scuba-diving courses, fun dives and kayak rentals. 1000-1500. edit
- Casa Cecilia, Rizal St, ☎ 0907-692-9798, . Located in the center of town of El Nido, Casa Cecilia is conveniently located to everything you will need during your stay in El Nido from food, tourist attractions,souvenir and boutique shops, just to name a few. edit
Electricity in El Nido used to run from 14:00 to 06:00, but from November 2014 it now runs 24hrs. some places (not necessarily the expensive ones) have their own generators that cover the occasional black out.
There is an ATM machine located in the Municipal hall, but don´t count on it working. It is frequently out of order for some reason. On Palawan, the only place you can be very confident of access to a working ATM is in Puerto Princesa. If for any reason the El Nido ATM is not working, you still have some options to access money:
- Look out for the locally produced Enjoy El Nido leaflet for a step by step guide how to use a money transfer service if you have never done it before - essentially you can quite easily send yourself money online & pick it up at an authorized place in town.
- Another option could be a remittance service like Palawan Pawnshop or Cebuana Lhuillier to receive money from online remittance services like World Remit or Moneygram.
You should always also cash up in Puerto or Manila before you set out. Accommodation, Dive operators and some restaurants also accept credit card payments, this can save some of your cash as well.
Internet Access There are a few Internet cafes in the town. Most restaurants, bars and guesthouses have free wifi. Internet access is subject to electricity availibility, with the exception of Artcafe who has Solar powered wifi, i.e. Internet cafes and most of WiFi work all day. A good alternative is to purchase a mobile phone SIM card and use the internet access on a phone with 3G.
Mobile Phones work well using the Smart or Globe Network prepaid cards which can be purchased at El Nido Boutique & Artcafe or at street vendors. 5-day internet flatrate is P200 and provides faster internet than most Wifi points there. Unlimited data usage is provided by the purchase of a SIM card, so Skype calls on a smartphone with this unlimited data plan makes for cheap worldwide calls.
- Coron There are ferries to Coron, an island to the northeast of El Nido. There are departure everyday. The official fare is 1,800P one way and the journey takes 7-9hours but in low season, you can get it for 1100P to 1400P depending on your bargaining skills. These boats are depending on the weather and may get cancelled. And are extremely overpriced compared to any other boat destination in the Philippines (and uncomfortable!).
- Port Barton is coastal fishing town with nice beaches some 4-5h away by bus to the south of El Nido. It is less touristy but worthy of a visit for the pretty beaches. There are tourist vans for 600P - 800P depending on who you book from (curiously, the other way around they only cost 350P...). A much cheaper method is to use bus and jeepney - take the bus to Roxas (P100 for local bus that keeps stopping or P250 for the Cherry aircon bus) and then a jeepney (150P, one per day, leaves Roxas around 12pm).
- Sabang, another small village even farther south on the west coast of Palawan. People come here to relax on the low-keyed white sandy beach, or more frequently to visit the Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sabang is roughly 50km north of Puerto Princesa.
- Puerto Princesa is 7 hours away by Cherry Bus (P550, departs at 7:00, 9:00 A/C, 11;00 A/C, 13:00, 21:00), or 5-6 hours by minivan (depart all day, starting at 5am - less legroom, but fewer stops. Quality of vans vary, P600).
If you are traveling on a budget:
- Look out for the locally produced Enjoy El Nido leaflet which features monthly offers, deals & promos for things like accommodation, tours, diving etc.
Water: Near the junction between Rizal St and Balisasayan Rd there is a water refill (P5/2 liter). Or ask at your hotel.
Eat: several eateries for P50-P60 a meal, including rice and meat/fish, meat stick for 10P in street food stalls.
Sleep: Outside the beach strip and along Rizal Street, its possible to find a room with private bathroom for 250P-P300.