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

Should you visit El Nido or Gili Trawangan?

Should I visit El Nido or Gili Trawangan? 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.

Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan, known as Gili T, is the most visited of the three Gili Islands, located on the northeast side of Lombok. These islands are known for world-class diving and snorkeling spots. It's not hard to see why, considering that any direction you step off the shoreline, there's a beautiful underwater world to explore.

Which city is cheaper, Gili Trawangan 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 Gili Trawangan is $32. 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 Gili Trawangan 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.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $42 in Gili Trawangan For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    El Nido $13
    Gili Trawangan $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    El Nido $26
    Gili Trawangan $42

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.

The average traveler spends about $6.42 per day in Gili Trawangan for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    El Nido $11
    Gili Trawangan $6.42

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.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Gili Trawangan than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $2.45 on transportation in Gili Trawangan on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    El Nido $18
    Gili Trawangan $2.45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Nido

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

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

Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in El Nido can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $5.02 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Sightseeing expenses in Gili Trawangan, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $3.54 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    El Nido $5.02
    Gili Trawangan $3.54

Tours and Activities in El Nido

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

  • EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING (TOUR A)- Lagoons and Beaches with Buffet Lunch: $67
  • EL Nido Tour A: $26
  • EL Nido Tour B: $35
  • EL Nido Tour C: $40
  • EL Nido Tour D: $33
  • El Nido Island Hopping (Tour A) – Full Day: $28
  • El Nido Island Hopping Tour B: $32
  • El Nido Island Hopping Tours(A-D): $25
  • El Nido Nacpan Beach + Lio Beach + Las Cabanas Tour: $82
  • El Nido Nacpan Beach + Lio Beach Tour: $68
  • El Nido Tour A Private Tour: $95
  • El Nido Tour A With Big Or Small Lagoon: $39

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting El Nido spend on average $7.80 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting Gili Trawangan spend on average $3.27 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    El Nido $7.80
    Gili Trawangan $3.27


When comparing the travel costs between El Nido and Gili Trawangan, we can see that El Nido is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

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El Nido vs. Gili Trawangan Travel Comparison

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