Having a trip to El Nido Palawan? Best Budget for Travelers while on Stay

With its stunning beaches and limestone cliffs, El Nido on the northwestern side of Palawan is a dream destination. Luxury and bottom-end resorts abound, but mid-range resorts are on the thin side. Ferdz Decena lists a few good ones.

Marina Garden Beach Resort at the center of El Nido town right along M. Quezon (formerly Calle Hama) is a mid-range type resort with both native cottages with basic facilities for budget travelers (starting at P780 per night) and concrete country villa rooms with air-conditioning and hot showers (starting at P1,750 per night). There’s a small café and restaurant. WiFi is available. I found their beachfront the best stretch of beach in El Nido Bay, ideal for lounging and swimming. http://www.mgelnido.com/; +63917/ 624 7722 or +63908/ 884 3711.

For budget travelers, check out Cliffside Cottages (Rizal St.; +63919/ 785 6625) just beside the towering limestone cliffs of El Nido (Room rates range from P500 to P700). It’s a seven-minute walk to the beach but its basic cottages are clean, decent and are best value for long stays in town.

Related story: Palawan Top Travel Destination

Lualhati Lodge (athan_lualhati@yahoo.com; +63919/3196683), a few minutes’ walk from Cliffside Cottages, has a quiet and peaceful garden (rooms start at P700). They have spartan rooms and the kitchen is free for guests to use if they prefer to cook their own food. Breakfast is also available.

Hadefe Cottages
 fronting Caalan Beach further north of El Nido town has a tropical setting with spacious native cottages with fans and clean toilet and bath. It’s a 15-minute walk to town but the view along the way is scenic. http://www.hadefetravel.com\

El Nido Garden Beach Resort just before Caalan Beach is quiet and cozy with its own pool and fitness room. Their homey rooms start at P4,000 (breakfast included). Visit http://www.elnidogardenresort.com/

Also read: Welcome to Boracay Beach Resorts

For a private, luxurious experience, El Nido Resorts has premiere accommodations on Lagen and Miniloc islands. Stylish rooms and cottages are built on stilts. The resorts also offer activities like kayaking, windsurfing and diving. Visit http://www.elnidoresorts.com/.

The Alternative Center on Serena Street, Barangay Buena Suerte has an extensive menu of delicious vegan cuisine from soups to entrees plus exotic teas. Meat dishes are also available. There’s a bar and cozy lounges on the second floor. Free WiFi for diners. http://www.thealternativeelnido.com; +63917/ 896 3408.

Artcafe is at the end of Serena Street. They are known for their pancakes, fresh muesli and homemade yoghurt. WiFi available. Visitwww.elnidoboutiqueandartcafe.com.

It’s hard to resist the inviting smell of grilled squid when passing by Squidos Restaurant on the corner of M. Quezon and Abdulla Streets. Its French owner lent a French touch to Filipino favorites. People also swear by how good their burgers are.

If one doesn’t mind the distance, the restaurant of Stunning Vista Beach Resort in Corong-corong serves good food. Try their lemon pepper tuna or Cajun maya-maya while enjoying the sunset. Definitely worth the trip. Visit http://elnidostunningvistas.com/.

An institution in itself, Balay Tubay on Real Street serves Filipino and European cuisine, and comes with live performances from local musicians. +63917/ 842 1971

About 45 limestone islands make up Bacuit Bay, so choosing which ones to see first can be daunting. Several tour operators in El Nido can take you to these different islands. El Nido Boutique and Art Café (http://elnidoboutiqueandartcafe.com/) is the more established tour operator in town with the following premium rates:

Tour A costs P800 per person. Itinerary includes Miniloc Island, its lagoons and the scenic secret lagoon beach. There is a snorkeling stop on Simisu Island and a sunset beach stop on 7 Commandos Beach. A nice starter tour.

Tour B includes the Cudugnon Cave and Cathedral Cave, the winding stretch of beach of Snake IslandLagen Island, and Inabuyutan Island. Tour costs P900 per person.

Tour C includes Matinloc and Tapiutan Islands, which are farther from town (P1000 per person). The adventure of swimming through a crack to find a beach is worth it. The Matinloc Shrine has a grotto with a nice view of the channel between the islands and the scenic Hidden Beach behind picturesque towering limestones which probably inspired Alex Garland to write the bestseller, The Beach.

If you’d rather go on individual island hopping trips, it is easy enough to hire a boat and a guide. Whatever you do, stop by the Big and Small Lagoons in Miniloc Island.

As a break away from the beach, tour operators offer a number of inland activities. An hour’s hike after a 14 kilometer ride from El Nido town proper is the Nagkalit-kalit Falls in the town of Pasadena.

Five kilometers further is the undeveloped Makinit Hotspring purely for sightseeing. There’s the two-hour hike to Bulalakaw Falls in Villa Paz, 15 kilometers from El Nido town.

Seven kilometers from El Nido town proper is Ille Cave with its archaeological artifacts dating back 10,000 years.

The waterfalls are best visited during the rainy season via tricycle. Within El Nido town, one can climb the Taraw Cliff for a magnificent panoramic view of El Nido and Bacuit Bay.

For more information, get in touch with El Nido Tourism Office on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Nido-Tourism/ Contact Arvin Acosta, El Nido Tourism Officer +63917/ 8417 771

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