Backpacking 101: Northern Palawan Budget and Itinerary

It was my dream to travel in Palawan ever since I was a child. I picture pristine beaches and exotic islands on my mind whenever I hear Palawan. Thus the backpacker in me started to conceptualized this Journey soon after I graduated from college. So here I am excited to show you my itinerary, actually my whereabouts so that it can help you build your own. Consider this as a summary as I am planning to create a separate Travel Guide on each destinations I have been.

For this adventure I started my travel in Iloilo City where I had an eight hours to spare. I met the man who inspired me to do this adventure and he is also the one who inspired me to create a Travel Blog. I met Marcos Caratao of =)

I am creating a separate post for my eight hours Iloilo Trip =)

Then I took the 15 hours boat bound to Cuyo Island. Spend 2 days in that secluded Island then proceed to Puerto Princesa to do some works then off to El Nido. After doing some island hopping I proceed to Taytay for a half day tour before heading to San Vicente. I walked on the longest beach in the Philippines before hitting the boat again this time for Port Barton. After a fulfilling moments in Port Barton I had to say goodbye to Palawan then heads south for my flight back to Manila. But before I proceeded to the airport Josiah of and Lai of treated me for lunch. =)

That was my 13 Days Northern Palawan Adventure =)    

Day 1 - Iloilo to Cuyo
·        7:00PM – Iloilo to Cuyo via Milagrosa Liner (Php750.00)


Day 2 - Cuyo
·         10:00AM – Arrived in Cuyo
o   Proceed to Tourism Office
o   Proceed to my Host Family as endorsed by the Tourism Office
§  Dok’s Lapaz Batchoy Homesay – 0909-3992044/0946-5349724
§  Php250.00 per night
o   Lunch (Php40.00)
·         1:00PM – Walk Around Cuyo Town (Snack Php60.00)
o   Old Spanish Fort/Church
o   Playground
o   Municipal Hall (Chat with Tourism Officer)
o   Walk Around Town
o   Capusan Beach Bumming
·         7:00PM – Dinner
o   Bought fresh LapuLapu (Php75.00 + Php10.00 for rice)
·         8:00PM – Watched Basketball in the Plaza

Old Cuyo Port

Day 3 – Cuyo-Magsaysay
·         6:00AM – Breakfast with my guide (Php70.00 two La Paz Batchoy)
·         6:30AM – Motorcycle Tour Cuyo Island (Php500.00)
o   Cuyo Municipality
§  Old Port
§  Mt. Aguado
o   Magsaysay Municipality – (Snack Php28.00)
§  Little Baguio
§  Cuyo Airport
§  Maysaysay Church
§  Quijano Windsurfing Retreat
§  Ploning Shooting Site
§  Cashew Manufacturing  (Bought some Cashew Nuts Php150.00)
·         12:00NN – Lunch (Fresh left over fish I bought + rice Php10.00)
·         2:00PM – Massage (Php100.00)
·         4:00PM – Walk Around Town
o   Looked for souvenirs
o   Sunset Watching
·         7:00PM – Dinner (Free Dinner yey!!!)
·         9:00PM – Boarding (Terminal Fee Php6.00)
·         10:00PM – Cuyo to Puerto Princesa via Montenegro Liner (Free!  Because they’re my client hihi)

Cashew Nuts

Day 4 to Day 6 – Puerto Princesa City
You are not interested in this part because it was an Official Business thus my company shouldered all the expenses.  Half of day 6 though was my time to roam around the city.

Day 6 – Puerto Princesa City
·         2:00PM – Roam around the city (left my bag at the hotel Php50.00)
o   Immaculate Conception Cathedral (Php10.00)
o   Plaza Cuartel
o   Palawan Provincial Capitol (Php10.00)
o   Palawan Heritage Center (Php100.00)
o   DIY Bakers Hill (bought a box of Hopia at Php40.00)
§  Multicab to Sta. Monica – Php15.00
§  Tricycle to Bakers Hill – Php20.00
§  Tricycle to Sta. Monica – 10.00
§  Multicab to Junction One (near Robinsons) Php10.00
·         5:00PM – Dinner at Robinson’s (Php60.00)
·         9:00PM – Proceed to Roro Bus Terminal take the Last trip bound to El Nido
o   Tricycle, Robinson to San Jose Php20.00
·         10:00PM – Travel to El Nido
o   Free!  Because they’re my client too!!! Hihi

Wristband Collection inside Palawan Heritage Center 

Day 7 – El Nido
·         4:00AM – Bus Arrived at El Nido Transport Terminal
o   Tricycle to Ramiro’s Pension – Php30.00
o   Check In Ramiro’s Pension Php350.00/night. Paid a total of Php1,050.00 (0920-2053728/0939-9064386)
·         9:00AM – Walk Around El Nido Town (Wasn’t able to do Island hopping due to the Habagat or Southwest Monsoon)
o   Municipal Hall
o   Beach Front
·         12:00NN  - Lunch at Squidos (Php250.00)
·         1:00PM – Chill and did some work in The Alternative Restaurant (Tea Php70.00)
·         9:00PM – Dinner at Bulalo Plaza (Php150.00)

Day 8 – El Nido

You may now book your Hotel and Tours in El Nido via Northern Hope Tours for convenience and excellent service. 

9:00 AM – Island Hopping Tour A
o   Tour food inclusive -  Php700.00
o   Snorkeling Gear - Php100
o   Bottled Water -  Php35.00

Island/Beach Visited

-          Big Lagoon
-          Small Lagoon
-          Etnalola Island (Lunch Area)
-          Shimizu Island
-          7 Commandos (Bought Fresh Buko Php50.00)

Small Lagoon. May favorite of all the spots in El Nido =)

*Secret Lagoon was supposed to be part of the tour but the waves and tide didn’t allowed us to see it ;(

·         7:00PM – Dinner with new found friends
o   The Alternative Restaurant (Php250.00)
o   Bought a Mars Chocolate Bar Php35.00 (Sorry… haha)
·         9:00PM – Massage (Php300.00 for 1 Hour)

7 Commandos Beach

Day 9 – El Nido
·         9:00AM – island Hopping Tour C
o   Tour food inclusive -  Php800.00 (got a Php100 discount hihi)
o   Snorkeling Gear - Php100
o   Bottled Water -  Php35.00

Island/Beach Visited

-          Matinloc
-          Hidden Beach
-          Tapyutan/Talisay (Lunch Area)
-          Cadlao Lagoon
-          Helicopter Island (Good for Snorkeling)  

*Secret Beach was supposed to be part of the tour but the waves and tide didn’t allowed us to see it ;(

 Happy Eating!!!
Jump!!! Cadlao Lagoon

·         5:00PM – Travel to Las Cabanas to watch the Sunset and meet Josiah and Lai (Travel Blogger Friends)
o   Town to Las Cabanas (Php100.00 from Php150.00, split into 4 Php25.00 each)
·         8:00PM – Dinner at GK Community Restaurant (10-15mins walk from town)
o   Home Cooked Chicken Curry, Tinolang Isda, Grilled Squid and Adobo  
o   Php200.00 each

Me Josiah and Lai =)

Day 10 – Taytay/San Vicente
·         7:30AM – El Nido to Taytay
o   Tricycle to El Nido Transport Terminal Php25.00
o   Bus to Taytay Town Php65.00
·         9:45AM – Arrived in Taytay Transport Terminal
o   Tricycle to Taytay Bayan Php25.00
·         10:00AM – Walk around Taytay town
o   Fuerza de Sta. Isabel or Cuta (Php30.00)
o   Plaza
o   Sta. Monica Church
·         11:30 – Lunch at Casa Rosa Pension and Restaurant
o   Shrimp and Ice Tea Php230.00
·         1:00PM – Back to Taytay Transport Terminal
o   Tricycle Php20.00
·         2:00PM – Travel to San Vicente
o   Bus to Alimangunan Intersection Php50.00
o   Single Motorcycle to San Vicente Poblasyon Php200.00 (they will initially charge Php300.00, haggle!!!)
·         4:00PM – Arrived in Poblasyon, San Vicente
o   Tourism Office
o   Check In at Station 5 (Php500.00 per night Yes!!!)
·         5:00PM – Walk Around town
o   Dinner Php50.00

Why did you put that thing?

Day 11 – San Vicente/Port Barton

14 Kilometers Beach!!! 

Sand Art created by small crabs. Cute =)

·         7:00AM – Breakfast, Long Beach
o   Bread and Water – Php40.00
o   Motor to Long beach – Php20.00
·         7:30AM – Beach Walk. The Long beach
o   Walk the 8 Kilometers Beach from New Agutaya to San Isidro. Wahh…
·         9:40AM – Reached San Isidro
o   Bought cold coke!!! Php12.00
o   Motorcycle back to Poblasyon Php75.00
·         11:00AM – Travel to Port Barton via Magdalena Boat (Php150.00)
·         1:00PM – Arrived in Port Barton
o   Check in at Bamboo House Cottages and Restaurant (Php200.00 per night, Paid Php400 for 2 nights)
o   Lunch at Bamboo House (Php240.00)
·         2:00PM -  Roam Around Town
o   Walk in the Beach
o   Looked for Pamoayan Waterfalls but failed to do so ;( Wait for my Story on this hehe
o   Chat with the Locals
o   Visit the Health Center to treat my wound and chat with the health workers
o   Donated Php100.00 to the health center
·         8:00PM – Chaolong Dinner at Frnd’z Food House (Php50.00)
o   Chat with Kuya Paul the owner ;)

Falls with no name =(

Day 12 – Port Barton
·         7:00AM – Breakfast Php120.00
o   Back to the health Center to clean my wound
·         10:00AM – Joined the health workers in their field work in the Islands
o   Albaguen (Bought Squid for Php80.00)
o   Bunuangin
·         8:00PM – Dinner at Jambalajaya Php310.00


Oh... be careful!!!

Day 13 – Port Barton to Puerto Princesa
·         5:00AM – Free Coffee courtesy of Bamboo House ;)
·         5:10AM – Motorcycle to San Jose Php300.00

(Note: My flight was re-scheduled. Instead of 8PM they changed it to 12:55PM. So I had to hire a motorcycle in order to arrive in the airport on time. The only jeep and bus in Port Barton leaves at 8 and 9AM respectively. Travel time from Port Barton to Puerto Princesa in 4-5 Hours. I had no choice)

Got some new friends in Port Barton =)

·         6:30AM – Arrived in San Jose, Roxas Palawan (Motorcycle Php150.00)
·         9:30AM – Arrived in San Jose New Market Terminal (this is different from the San Jose in Roxas)
·         10:00AM – Arrived in Josiah and Lai’s Pension
·         10:10AM – Brunch at Bona’s Chaolong with Josiah and Lai (They treated me. Im so touched hehe)
·         11:30AM – Checked In
o   Tricycle to the Airport Php30.00
o   Terminal Fee Php100.00

Summary of Expenses

  • Transportation     -  Php2,005.00
  • Accommodation   - Php2,200.00
  • Food                           - Php2,600.00
  • Tours                         - Php2,130.00
  • Others                       - Php864.00
TOTAL EXPENSES         - Php9,799.00 

*Total expenses does not include the airfare. 

What if I did't had a client in Palawan and I had to pay for my transportation from Cuyo to Puerto Princesa and Puerto Princesa to El Nido? What if also I didn't had an official business in Puerto Princesa thus my company won't pay for my expenses in Puerto Princesa?

Hmm... Maybe I won't go around Puerto Princesa anymore because i've been there last time ;) 

Then I would have to pay for my transportation from Cuyo to Puerto the to El Nido. Here it goes:

  • Total Expenses                                   - Php9,799.00
  • Cuyo to Puerto via Montenegro       - Php920.00
  • Puerto to El Nido via Roro Bus*       - Php483.00
    TOTAL                                                           - Php11,202.00

Let us assume that you haven't been to Puerto Princesa and so you want to experience the Puerto Princesa Underground River, Honda Bay, the City Tour and Ka Lui, and other gastronomic restaurants in the city. Let me show you a sample computation for your convenience ;)

Let us also assume that you are not lonely like me so you can split the expenses and you will do all tours by yourself a.k.a. DIY tours ;)

  • Accommodation - Php1,000.00 (Php500 each x 3 days = Php1,500.00)
  • Tours 
    • Day 1 - Honda Bay 
      • via Tricycle Php500 - Php600 (two way)
      • Php250.00 each + Snorkeling Gears + Food = Php500.00
      • Boat. A 6 pax boat would cost you Php1,500.00 to Php2,000.00 so be friendly and find some friends there. Lets assume Php350.00 each.
      • Total for Day 1 - Honda Bay -  Php850.00
    • Day 2 - Puerto Princesa Underground River 
      • For this one I would recommend that you book it with your hotel. 
      • Php1,500.00 - transportation and food included 
      • Total Day 2 Puerto Princesa Underground River - Php1,500.00
    • Day 3 - City Tour
      • Places to visit: Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Plaza Cuartel, Palawan Heritage Center, Bakers Hill, Mitras Farm, Crocodile Farm, Iwahig Penal Colony and some shopping Center for your souvenirs.
      • City tour via a motorcycle costs Php600-700
      • Firefly watching is also an option during the night. It will cost you around Php500.00
  • Food  
    • You would want to eat to some of the nice restaurant in Puerto Princesa. As per our IT above you would have at least 6 meals excluding the one in Honda Bay and Underground River.
    • Php200 per meal is enough to enjoy Palawan. Php200 x 6 meals = Php1,200.00.
    • Suggested restaurants: Ka Lui, Bonas Chaolong, Ugong Rock Restaurant and others.
  • TOTAL: Php5,750 (not including the Firefly Watching and souvenir items)

Lets do the math again...
  • Total Expenses                                   - Php9,799.00
  • Cuyo to Puerto via Montenegro       - Php920.00
  • PUERTO PRINCESA EXPENSES      - Php5,750.00
  • Puerto to El Nido via Roro Bus*       - Php483.00
    TOTAL                                                           - Php16,952.00

There you go! I hope this helps you as you plan your travels!!! Clicking that link didn't go to the trash bin... I hope hehe...

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