Island hopping in turquoise water and white sand. Eating freshly caught fish on a boat surrounded by tropical palm trees. Sounds like an island paradise reserved for the rich and famous, right? Well, I managed to experience all that as well as a secret beach or two in the Philippine town of El Nido on a budget that will not break the bank.
Okay so I won’t fool you, the trip to the most Northern tip of the Palawan island where El Nido is situated is not exactly quick and easy but it’s worth it. The most cost-effective way to do it is to fly into the Philippines Capital, Manila.
From there hop on a quick 1-hour 30-minute flight to Puerto Princesa. This will only set you back about R500 (1480 Pesos) for a one-way ticket. Then take a van to El Nido, which will cost you about another R500 (1480 Pesos).
This drive can take anywhere between four and seven hours depending on how many cars, goats and other roaming animals you need to dodge at high speeds. It is recommended to factor in an entire day of traveling to El Nido. However, you get to see epic views during the drive to your destination.