The Crowded El Nido – April 2013

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I have been to El Nido, Palawan last April 27 to 30, 2013. And I noticed the big change in El Nido. El Nido now is crowded! This is my 3rd time in El Nido. My first and second time in El Nido was the same awesome experience, but it was not that crowded. Somehow, I was longing for that laid back feeling in a town. Why was it crowded? I noticed that there were so many lodging not only in El Nido town but also in nearby Corong-Corong town. I think this is attributed to the presence of additional air-con buses. And this could be because of the improved road condition from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. The Taytay – El Nido road is still under construction to this date May 2013, and is expected to be finished on August 2013. For some people, “crowded” may be a plus or a positive. But for me, this is a negative. For me, the place lost its charm. Everywhere I go, it is crowded. The streets of little El Nido town is now full of people walking and tricycle passing. The beaches, lagoon, and other island spots is now full of visitors. It is really now a crowd in El Nido. I can almost feel it is “Boracay” like. And one drawback of this too many visitor in a town is the pollution it cause. The beach of El Nido town is with algae now! Anyway, here was our itinerary on this El Nido April 2013 Trip.

Day 1

  • Arrive morning in Puerto Princesa Airport.
  • Tricycle to Capitol Junction. Fare = P8 (Travel Time = 5-10 minutes)
  • Multicab to San Jose Terminal = P13 (Travel Time = 15-30 minutes)
  • Aircon Roro Bus to El Nido = P483 (Travel Time = 6.5 hours)
  • Tricycle to El Nido town proper = P10 (Travel Time = 5-15 minutes)
  • Check-in at Marina Garden Beach Resort. Fan Room = P780/night

Day 2

  • Tour B. Pinagbuyutan Island, Pinasil Island, Cudugnon Cave & Beach (Lunch Place), Snake Island, Reef opposite Pangalusian Island. Tour Cost including lunch = P800/Person.
  • Some Notes:
  • Table rent for lunch at Cudugnon beach = P100/table
  • One-time ETDFee = P200/person
  • Pangalusian Island is now private and cannot be visited, although it is usually included in the Tour B itinerary.
  • Meal budget for breakfast and dinner can be as low as P100/person

Day 3

  • Tour A & C. Helicopter Island, Hidden Beach at Matinloc Island, Matinloc Shrine, Matinloc Beach for lunch spot, Secret Beach at Matinloc Island, Secret Lagoon at Miniloc Island, Simizu Island Snorkeling Site, Big Lagoon of Miniloc Island, Small Lagoon of Miniloc Island, and 7 Commando Beach. Tour Cost = 1200/person including lunch. We were at 4pax only.
  • Some Notes:
  • You can go practical about the spot you want to visit. For me it is not necessary to visit a spot or to stay long in all spots. Just choose according to your preference.
  • For me, I would just skip Hidden Beach and Secret Lagoon
  • For me, I would sight see and stay short time at Secret Beach, Big Lagoon, and Small Lagoon.
  • Since I am a snorkeling addict, I would spend more time on Matinloc Beach (Lunch Spot), and Simizu Island.
  • And for beach relaxing, I would spend more time in Helicopter Island and 7 Commando Beach.
  • There are Joining Group Tours in El Nido. Disadvantage of Group Tour is when the group is more that 6pax, the boat is crowded and you cannot dictate your own time duration.

Day 4

  • This was supposed to be our Taraw Cliff Climb. Tour Guide Fee = P500. But since it rained, we skipped this as recommended by the locals there.
  • We headed back to Puerto Princesa City (PPC). We took the 6am bus. Arrive PPC at around 12nn.
  • Tricycle to El Nido Bus Terminal = P10/person
  • Aircon Roro Bus to Puerto Princesa (San Jose Terminal) = P483/person
  • Multicab to PPC proper = P13/person
  • Tricycle for lodging search = P20/person
  • We checked in at Felix Pension. The standard room was not available. And so we choose their family room = P950/night.

Day 5

  • This is just Going-Back-Home day.
  • Tricycle to PPC Airport = P20/person
  • Terminal Fee PPC Airport = P40/person

Trip Expenses

  • Day 1 = (Transportation) 8+13+483+10 + (Accommodation) 390 + (Food) 100+100+100 = P1204/person
  • Day 2 = (Tour) 800+200 + (Accommodation) 390 + (Food) 100+100 = P1590/person
  • Day 3 = (Tour) 1200 + (Accommodation) 390 + (Food) 100+100 = P1490/person
  • Day 4 = (Transportation) 10+483+13+20 + (Accommodation) 475 + (Food) 100+100+100 = P1031/person
  • Day 5 = (Transportation) 20+40 + (Accommodation Extension) 100 + (Food) 100+100+100 = P460/person
  • TOTAL =1204 + 1590 + 1490 + 1031 + 460 = P5775/person

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