El Nido Palawan Budget: 3 Days for Only PHP4000 at the Best Island Destination in the Philippines

El Nido Palawan Budget: 3 Days for Only PHP4000 at the Best Island Destination in the Philippines

Verified expert

El Nido Palawan island hopping and Ipil Beach Pinagbuyutan Island

El Nido is known for its unspoiled beaches, pristine islands, and its stunning limestone cliffs. Because of this, this municipality in Palawan has become one of the most famous tourist spots in the Philippines. Despite this, what I like most about El Nido is that it is often quieter and more laid-back compared to other popular places in the country like Boracay. In fact, I have experienced walking up early in the morning to go to the beach and seeing that I actually had it all to myself!

While El Nido has its fair share of lively bars and restaurants, the nightlife here is generally more relaxed, which is perfect for people like me who enjoy chill nights by the beach. El Nido also has modern structures and amenities, but when you venture out away from the town proper and the hotels, you’ll realize its natural attractions are mostly untouched, which is another reason I keep coming back to it.

But what is even better is, unless you’re planning to stay in one of the luxury resorts in El Nido (like Lihim Resorts, Lagen Island, or Miniloc Island)  it’s actually not that expensive to enjoy a vacation here. Even if there are limited flights to El Nido (making it more expensive compared to other local destinations), a trip here can still be budget-friendly. 

Traveler stands by boats at a beach in El Nido

As a frequent traveler, I usually prefer DIY travel for my trips, but seeing the cost and value for money of this El Nido package from Guide to the Philippines, I decided to give it a try, which in the end paid off. I traveled with my friends, and not only were we able to save money, but the trip was hassle-free. We also liked that we were still able to plan our activities and only go on El Nido tours that we wanted to go on, which was especially important for us, as all of us had already been to El Nido at least once.

In this article, I will share with you how convenient and affordable this package was for my friends and I.

El Nido Budget Package: Hotel and Daily Breakfast Included

I love El Nido sign

For this trip with my three friends, I planned and booked everything, and I decided to avail of this 3-day El Nido package. There were actually several El Nido vacation packages on offer at the Guide to the Philippines website, but after using the filter for 3 days, I found that this package with Den’gi Inn was the most affordable one, making it perfect for a quick getaway. With four of us in the traveling party, the package only cost us a little over PhP 4,000 (around US$70) per person.

The package came with budget accommodations, breakfast, and the option to add airport transfers and tours.

Budget El Nido Accommodations at Den’gi Inn

Den'gi Inn outdoor loungePhoto from 3-day El Nido package at Den'gi Inn

The package we booked included accommodations in a Standard Room at Den’gi Inn, one of the budget hotels in El Nido. We stayed in two rooms for this trip, and one Standard Room was enough to comfortably accommodate two of us. The rooms each had a queen size bed, air-conditioning, cable television, a hairdryer, and a private bathroom with a hot and cold shower. Drinking water and basic toiletries were also provided to us. 

While this package gave us the opportunity to upgrade to a Deluxe or a Family Room, we decided not to since we were planning to spend our quick trip to El Nido mostly exploring and only needed comfortable accommodations to sleep and rest in. There was also free WiFi in our rooms, so we could go online without using our mobile data during our downtime.

Den'gi Inn roomPhoto from 3-day El Nido package at Den'gi Inn

The best thing about staying at Den’gi Inn is that it is located on the outskirts of El Nido Town. This means that it’s a bit quieter compared to the busier areas near the beach, but everything in the town, including the beach, is still just around a 10-minute or less walk away.

If you’re planning to book this package, just keep in mind that it is one of the most affordable El Nido hotels, so don’t expect luxury amenities. If you want to pamper yourself, you can get packages with the top hotels and resorts in El Nido.

Complimentary Daily Breakfast

Since we started our days early during our trip, it was nice to have complimentary breakfast at the inn before we left. The breakfast during our stay was pretty simple: rice, sunny side up egg, and corned beef, but it was enough to keep us going throughout the morning until lunchtime. (Note that the breakfast can change daily, and if you book this package, you might be served a different set.)

For those with a big appetite, you can still enjoy breakfast at Den’gi Inn and then grab a snack at one of the cafés or restaurants in El Nido town proper before lunch.

Add-on transfers and tours

Flights to El Nido

For this trip, I booked flights to Lio Airport in El Nido, as it was not included in the package. Since there were four of us and we each had our own bag, we decided to avail of the add-on roundtrip El Nido airport transfers. This meant that we could immediately head to our hotel upon arrival and go back to the airport after checkout without wasting time trying to arrange for transportation on the spot. 

Even if it was just a short trip (Den’gi Inn is just around 15 minutes away from Lio Airport by car or by motorcycle), it was reasonable enough for us to pay a small additional fee for convenience at the beginning and the end of our trip, as I always do my best to plan a seamless and hassle-free travel experience.

Strolling at Lio Beach

If you want to save even more, you can book flights to Puerto Princesa instead. They’re usually a lot cheaper compared to flights to El Nido. Depending on the dates and flight times, El Nido flights can cost as much as four times that of Puerto Princesa flights. 

In the past, I’ve taken flights to Puerto Princesa and then ridden a van to El Nido, and while it takes longer to get to El Nido, it has saved me a lot of money. 

This package also came with the option to book an island-hopping tour on day 2, but we decided to book our activities with Guide to the Philippines separately so we could have more options. 

Things to Do in El Nido on a Budget

Even if we only had three days for our vacation, we wanted to make the most of our stay by going on as many El Nido tours and activities as our time would allow us. There were many options for us when it came to things to do in El Nido, but we decided to go on one of the El Nido island-hopping tours, visit Nacpan Beach, experience a Via Ferrata canopy walk in Taraw Cliff, and try the Las Cabanas zipline.

El Nido Island Hopping Tour

Cadlao Island

Since most of us in our group had previously gone on either El Nido island-hopping tour A or Tour C, for this trip, we decided to go on Tour D. This tour allowed us to visit the stunning sites of Cadlao Lagoon, Pasandingan Cove, Paradise Beach, Nat Nat Beach, and Cadlao Lagoon.

But by far, everyone’s favorite stop on this tour was Small Lagoon. Despite its name, it’s actually quite big, and the limestone cliffs surrounding it are just equally as impressive as the other karst cliffs that you can see in El Nido.

We also had a picnic lunch for this tour, which we greatly appreciated as we needed to fuel ourselves in the middle of the tour to continue island-hopping, swimming, and snorkeling.

El Nido Via Ferrata Canopy Walk

Taraw Cliff canopy walk via ferrata

Photo from El Nido Taraw Cliff Canopy Walk Via Ferrata activity

Some of us also enjoyed a Taraw Cliff canopy walk. This tour by Via Ferrata came with all the necessary safety gear and a tour guide. The canopy walk includes walking through a footbridge and rocky paths, as well as climbing steel stairs. While the trek can be sometimes scary, it was reassuring to know that we were harnessed and were completely safe. 

The final destination on our canopy walk is the view deck, which is around 75 meters above sea level. Once we reached this, we were treated to amazing views of the rest of the Taraw Cliffs, El Nido town proper, and other surrounding areas. It was truly one of the most unique activities in El Nido that we’ve ever tried.

Nacpan Beach Tour

Nacpan Beach

Even though we’ve been to Nacpan Beach before, we always love coming back to it since it’s always so laid-back. Nacpan Beach actually has a smaller “twin” called Calitang Beach, and if you have time and energy for an easy hike, you can climb a nearby hill to see a stunning view of these twin beaches from above. We always make it a point to do this when we visit Nacpan Beach.

But if you want to just laze around, Nacpan Beach is the perfect place to do it. You can just lounge on the beach, grab a meal, snack, or drink at one of the beachside restaurants, swim in the ocean, or just admire the beautiful surroundings. Bring your own beach mats so you can save even more money by not having to rent beach loungers.

Tip: In case your El Nido island-hopping tour gets canceled because of bad weather, you can still visit Nacpan Beach if the sun is out. This has happened to me before, and I’m glad to have had the option to enjoy El Nido’s natural attractions without having to wait for the weather to clear up.

Las Cabanas Zipline

Ziplining in Las Cabanas Beach

Photo from the El Nido zipline at Las Cabanas Beach

Some of my friends are adrenaline junkies, so we had to try the zipline at Las Cabanas Beach. The beach is just around 15 minutes away from El Nido town proper by car or motorcycle. While the beach is known for its bars and restaurants, we were excited to see it from a different perspective. 

The zipline is 750 meters long, and it was amazing to zoom above the beach and feel the wind in my face. The views of El Nido were also spectacular, making the zipline ride even more memorable. You can try this activity in the morning or the afternoon, but we opted to go in the afternoon so we could enjoy an early dinner and some drinks and catch the sunset at the beach afterward.

An affordable trip to El Nido is possible with the right package

Clear waters of a beach in El Nido

Because we were able to save money on this package, my friends and I indulged in other aspects of the trip, including our meals and drinks. If you are like us, who like to spend most of our vacation exploring, this budget accommodation package may be perfect for your El Nido trip. But if you want other aspects of the trip to be arranged for you, including flights and tours, you can find other El Nido tour packages from Guide to the Philippines that you can consider.

An El Nido vacation need not be expensive. Apart from booking with El Nido budget hotels, you can check out Guide to the Philippines’ Palawan tour packages, some of which even allow you to include Coron and Puerto Princesa in your Palawan itinerary so you can visit more of Palawan’s best beaches!

Popular articles

Link to appstore phone
Install the Philippines’ biggest travel app

Download the Philippines’ biggest travel marketplace to your phone to manage your entire trip in one place

Scan this QR code with your phone camera and press the link that appears to add the Philippines’ biggest travel marketplace into your pocket. Enter your phone number or email address to receive an SMS or email with the download link.