A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons El Nido vs. Cebu

Should you visit El Nido or Cebu?

Should I visit El Nido or Cebu? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

El Nido

El Nido is a coastal destination on the Philippine island of Palawan. It consists of about 45 islands and islets all with beautiful beachfront scenery and plenty of opportunities for experiencing nature above and below the water. Some of the island's best features include limestone karst cliffs, coral reefs, lagoons, coves, and waterfalls.

Cebu

Cebu Island is an important island in the Visayas region of the Philippines, characterized by its main port at Cebu City as well as many natural features. The most-visited areas include islands of Mactan, Bantayan, Badian, Malapascua and Camotes, all which have resorts and hotels. Scuba diving and snorkeling are common activities along the shoreline, while hiking the mountainous spine of the island is popular inland.

Which city is cheaper, Cebu or El Nido?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in El Nido is $37, while the average daily cost in Cebu is $61. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for El Nido and Cebu in more detail.




Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $26 in El Nido For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $23. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Cebu the cost is $46 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    El Nido $13
    Cebu $23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    El Nido $26
    Cebu $46


Food

In El Nido travelers spend around $11 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

On average, meal and food prices in Cebu cost around $20 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $8.00.


  • Food Meals for one day
    El Nido $11
    Cebu $20


Local Transportation

El Nido's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $18 per person, per day on transportation in El Nido.

The cost of a taxi ride in Cebu is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $25 per person, per day, on local transportation in Cebu.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    El Nido $18
    Cebu $25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Nido

Also for El Nido, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • One Way Sharing Van Transfer El Nido to Puerto Princesa: $10
  • Palawan Transfers between El Nido and Puerto Princesa: $30
  • Private Van Transfer: One way El Nido to Puerto Princesa: $103
  • El Nido to Puerto Princesa - Private Transfer: $115
  • El Nido to Sabang Private Transfer: $140

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cebu

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cebu:

  • Cebu Departure Transfer from Mandaue city to Mactan Cebu Airport (CEB): $46


Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in El Nido can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $5.10 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Entertainment and activities in Cebu typically cost an average of $16 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    El Nido $5.10
    Cebu $16

Tours and Activities in El Nido

For El Nido, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Snorkeling/Island Hopping Tour A: $24
  • El Nido Island Hopping Tours(A-D): $25
  • EL Nido Tour A: $26
  • El Nido Island Hopping (Tour A) – Full Day: $28
  • Island Hopping Tour's,private Tours,packages Tours,transportation's: $30
  • El Nido Island Hopping Tour B: $32
  • EL Nido Tour D: $33
  • EL Nido Tour B: $35
  • El Nido Tour A With Big Or Small Lagoon: $39
  • EL Nido Tour C: $40
  • El Nido to Puerto Princesa via Underground River Tour: $49
  • Nacpan El Nido Tour: $50

Tours and Activities in Cebu

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Cebu are as follows:

  • Cebu City Tour with Uphills Spots: $62
  • Cebu Safari Adventure: $86
  • Kawasan Falls Canyoneering & Cliff Jump Private Tour: $99
  • Moalboal Pescador Island Hopping Day Tour: $107


Alcohol

Typically, people visiting El Nido spend on average $7.93 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in Cebu per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    El Nido $7.93
    Cebu $13



When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between El Nido and Cebu, we can see that Cebu is more expensive. And not only is El Nido much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to El Nido would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in El Nido and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Cebu would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cebu than you might in El Nido.

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El Nido vs. Cebu Travel Comparison

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