4D3N El Nido Itinerary and Budget

Going to El Nido, Palawan turns out to be pretty easy and inexpensive. I had always thought that El Nido was a place reserved only for the rich and famous. This brought on qualms like I wouldn’t be able to afford going there and that if I did, I’d be surrounded by snooty tourists. But all these were proven wrong when I got there. Going to El Nido from Puerto Princesa was not that excruciating, budget travel is possible and the tourists were friendly. It was actually the first time that I mingled with other people during my travels and well, it was quite something else. El Nido is such a beautiful place which has numerous sites to offer that a 4D3N trip is really not enough. But if you find yourself needing a 4D3N El Nido itinerary, this is just what you need. I’ve also included a budget guide and some travel tips to help in your planning.

4D3N El Nido Itinerary and Budget

4D3N El Nido Itinerary and Budget

4D3N El Nido Itinerary

Day 1: Road Trip to El Nido and Inspection of the Town Proper

8:05 – Departure from NAIA Terminal 3 via Cebu Pacific
9:00 – Arrival at Puerto Princesa
9:20 – Departure of the “Sharing Van” from the Puerto Princesa Airport parking lot


Tip: Book your airport transfer in advance with Day Tripper Palawan.


12:00 – Stopover for Lunch
14:50 – Arrival at Doublegem Beach Resort in Corong-Corong, El Nido.  Checked in.  Booked the Island Hopping Tour C from the front desk. Inspected the room.  Checked out the beach area of the resort.  Took photos of the beautiful Corong-Corong Beach. Posted photos in Facebook and Instagram.
16:20 – Left Doublegem to investigate the Town Proper.  Took a tricycle to the Town Proper and were asked to pay only P20 each.
16:30 – Arrival at El Nido Boutique & Art Café. Checked out the souvenir shop. Ate Art Cafe Pizza with Iced Coffee (and Mixed Fruit Shake for Moche).


17:30 – Hung around the town plaza.  Checked out the St. Francis of Asisi Parish. Checked out the shops and restaurants. Looked around for places to find snacks for tomorrow’s island hopping tour.

Town Fiesta

19:30 – Still not hungry (WOW!) So, dinner was three sticks of barbeque at the very popular barbeque stand across the plaza.
20:00 – Return to Doublegem Beach Resort.  Pre-order breakfast for the next day.  More social network activities. Lights out.

Day 2: El Nido Island Hopping Tour C

7:00 – Free breakfast at Doublegem Beach Resort
9:30 – Start of El Nido Island Hopping Tour C
10:30 – First stop:  Secret Beach
11:15 – Second stop: Star Beach
12:30 – Lunch at the Star Beach
13:40 – Next stop: Matinloc Shrine
14:30 – Fourth stop: Hidden Beach
15:35 – Last stop: Helicopter Island
17:00 – Arrival at Doublegem Beach Resort
18:03 – Photo Op:  Corong-Corong Beach Sunset
19:25 – Dinner with new friends at Sea Slug.

23:30 – Back at the resort. Pre-order the next day’s breakfast. Some social network activities. Lights out.

Day 3: El Nido Inland Tour

7:00 – Breakfast. Packing. Check out.
9:00 – Tricycle to Nacpan Beach
10:10 – Arrival at the Nacpan Beach.  Put on sunblock. Take photos.  Swim.  Chill.
12:00 – Lunch at Kyla’s Cocina.

13:00 – Put on a hat or any head covering and walk to the end of the beach (away from Kyla’s Cocina), trek up the small hill and take in this wonderful view of the Calitang Twin Beach.

Nacpan Calitang Twin Beach

Nacpan at the top, Calitang Twin Beach at the bottom

14:00 – Head back. Swim some more.  Chill some more.
15:15 – Departure from Nacpan Beach.
16:25 – Arrival at the Maremegmeg Beach, a.k.a. Las Cabanas.  Chill.
17:50 – Photo Op:  Maremegmeg Beach Sunset.
18:10 – Departure from Maremegmeg Beach.
18:15 – Arrival at Doublegem Beach Resort. Prepare to go home.
19:15 – Tricycle to Bulalo Plaza.
19:20 – Dinner at Bulalo Plaza.

20:20 – Go to the nearby Cherry Bus Terminal.
21:20 – Departure from El Nido

Day 4: Until next time, El Nido

3:06 – Arrival at San Jose Bus Terminal. Take a tricycle to the Puerto Princesa Airport
4:00 – Opening of the Puerto Princesa Airport.
6:25:  Departure from Puerto Princesa

4D3N El Nido Budget

Transportation Total1450
Day 1
Tricycle to the Town Proper50*
Tricycle to the Hotel50*
Day 2
Tricycle to the Town Proper50*
Tricycle to the Hotel50*
Day 3
Tricycle to the Cherry Bus Station50*
Cherry Bus to San Jose Terminal in Puerto Princesa450
Tricycle to the Puerto Princesa Airport150*
Tours Total3100
Tour C1400
Ecotourism Fee200
Tricycle Tour1500*
Food Total1683
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Miscellaneous (Snacks/Water for Tours)68
Doublegem Beach Resort Deluxe Room (price is per night)3012
Cebu Pacific Promo Airfare1482.84

*price indicated is already applicable to the entire tricycle, regardless of how may passengers

El Nido Travel Tips

1.  The prices of the tours are standardized everywhere in El Nido.  So, it would not really matter which tour operator you choose. But I would recommend Lovelyn Island Tours because they have very cool tour guides and the food they served during our Tour C lunch was more than sufficient for us and they cooked really well.

El Nido Island Hopping Tours

Tour ATour BTour CTour D
per pax
per pax
per pax
per pax
Small LagoonPinagbuyutan IslandHelicopter IslandCadlao Lagoon
Secret LagoonCudugnon CaveMatinloc ShrineParadise Beach
Shimizu IslandPangulasian IslandSecret BeachBukal Island
7 CommandoSnake IslandHidden BeachNat Nat Beach
Big LagoonEntalula IslandTalisay BeachIpil Beach


Tip: Book everything before your flight with El Nido Paradise.


2.  There are numerous cheaper accommodations available at the town proper. Booking there would probably result to even more savings on money because there would be less tricycle rides.  But, staying in Corong-Corong Beach would give you a better view of the sunset and more peaceful surroundings.

3.  Be sure to charge your phones, cameras and other gadgets because there is no electricity in El Nido from 2pm to 6pm. Bring your power banks, too, just to make sure you don’t run out of battery even while you’re out on the boat or on an island.

4.  Bring some mosquito repellant lotion.  The mosquitoes there were huge!

5.  Use sunblock.  Bring a hat.  Hydrate.  The sun could be particularly cruel so it’s better to prevent eventual discomfort and ensure maximum enjoyment by doing these three.  Trust me.

6.  Bring an underwater camera.  Ultimately, we only regret the things we did not do.  And yeah, I’m still beating myself up for not having bought one before this trip. Because if there’s any place that warrants an underwater camera, it’s El Nido, Palawan.

Enjoy El Nido!

***all photos were taken using iPhone 5

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Jayce Cairo

Jayce is a linguaphile who speaks four languages and currently works as a translator to finance her various interests. Scoring very high on “Openness to Experience” on the Big Five Personality Test, she is an avid globetrotter who aspires to retire at 35 and travel for the rest of her life.


  1. you availed of the island tour C. is it advisable to get the other island tours too?

  2. hi jayce,
    im bringing my husband and child on this trip. and im planning to get tours a and c. but want to see pangulasian island, too. we only have 5days for this one. any reco? for the hotel, and land/bus transfer from puerto to en.

    • Hi koko,

      That would be one jam-packed trip! each of the tours take 1 day. I’m not sure though if you can just visit one island out of the set. You’d have to check with the boatmen/tour operators. Anyway, there are plenty of hotels in El Nido. and for land transfer, take the van during day time and the bus during night time. Have fun!

  3. how much the tricycle going to nacpan?

  4. Thanks for the information, will go there this coming January

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