Originally we planned to go to Korea this year with only twelve days to spend for our emergency leave. Due to a change of flight route, we took our refund. After a week, there was a seat sale from CEB-PPS, a cheaper rate than CEB-USU. A spontaneous booked flight which my husband allowed.
The sunshine weather permitted us to fly without delay. We arrived past three in the afternoon at Puerto Princesa International Airport. The airport reminds me of Laguindingan Airport, where my husband confusingly asked why PPS is called an international airport where we had to walk several meters to the arrival area. I’d say Laguindingan is way better with their F&B services. I read from The Poor Traveller’s blog how to get to El Nido from Puerto Princesa. A week before our trip, I sent an email to Ms Evelyn and she responded after a few minutes. Assuring that she will be in the waiting area to accommodate us. Unfortunately, there was an LTFRB inspection confiscating unregistered vans in the area. From 500 PHP, prices increased to 700 PHP. Some passengers have no choice but to pay due to the shortage supply of vans. I negotiated to meet halfway at 600 PHP since our first agreement through the mail was 500 PHP.
The van took six hours to reach El Nido. I have been impatient the whole trip since the driver was stopping at (in)convenience stores. I know he is affiliated with those stores but as the night approaches by, the more he shouldn’t stop. The road is the same as Bukidnon-Davao. We had four stops before arriving San Jose terminal. Since we live at the El Nido proper we paid 60 PHP to the tricycle.
A friendly tip: Don’t arrive at El Nido without booking hotels in advance because sometimes you can be robbed with the room rates.
Various dry bags are displayed around the area. You have to check every store to canvass for the cheapest rate.
We had a one free day to explore El Nido. Blogs are a big help that affects an itinerary decision. Nothing was planned ahead of time (except for the tour though). The same way when we were in Japan, I just want a whatever-I-see-along-the-road-while-avoiding-unnecessary-entrance-fees. Since there we were a crowd of three, sticking to our budget is a must. Any sign of movement means money. Personally, I don’t believe El Nido is for budget travelers. Why?
For those who wanted to hop from one place to another, El Nido regulated tricycle rent. The price ranges from 1200-1500 PHP from the city proper to Nacpan Beach. Bloggers and vloggers highly recommended this place. A round trip ride of a van costs 600-700 PHP. Before we took the risk of riding the motorcycle with three people, we verified it with a police officer.
With an average speed of 40/kmh, we arrived at our destination for forty minutes. Upon arriving, you have to pay 50 PHP per person for tourism fee. They distributed drink vouchers from different restaurants.
After five minutes we arrived at the parking area. I was at the peak of using the comfort room until a lady told us we have to pay before using it. Unbelievable! Is this a tourist spot or a bus terminal?
Nacpan Beach is unbelievably hot and humid! To use the beach chair with an umbrella we have to shell out 400 PHP. We paid 420 PHP for Pork Ribs (good for two people) and 40 PHP for the plain rice at Sunmai Restaurant.
After lunch, we decided to stop by Lio Beach which is along way home. No entrance fees and free beach chairs (first come, first serve). Bring your own mosquito/bug repellent to avoid the midges/sand flies.
We waited for our turn until no one uses a chair. Immersed in the water around six in the evening where the sun sets. It was the most serene view I enjoyed with my husband. The water isn’t hot nor cold. The perfect private time to swim.
We stroll along the area and found restaurants near the shore. Like a night market. Wide varieties of fresh seafood are available for selection. The mussels cost 200 PHP for eight pieces and Kingfish for 300 PHP. Worth the splurge than the Silog Republic that cost us 119 PHP each for a breakfast that is worth the taste of 40 PHP.