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

Should you visit Palawan or El Nido?

Should I visit Palawan or El Nido? 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.

Palawan

Palawan is an archipelagic province of the Philippines, named for its largest island which measures about 450 kilometers (or 280 miles) long. The island is known as an ecological frontier with plenty of beaches and resorts as well as opportunities to see a diverse array of wildlife and their habitats on land and sea.

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.

Which city is cheaper, El Nido or Palawan?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Palawan is $32, while the average daily cost in El Nido is $36. 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 Palawan and El Nido in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $24 in Palawan For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

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.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Palawan $12
    El Nido $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Palawan $24
    El Nido $26

Food

While meal prices in Palawan can vary, the average travelers spends about $10 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Palawan should cost around $4.00 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Palawan is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Palawan $10
    El Nido $11

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Palawan than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $14 on transportation in Palawan on average per day.

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 $17 per person, per day on transportation in El Nido.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Palawan $14
    El Nido $17

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Palawan or El Nido?

Prices for flights to both El Nido and Palawan change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Palawan, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $4.74 per day, per person.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in El Nido can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $4.87 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Palawan $4.74
    El Nido $4.87

Tours and Activities in Palawan

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

  • Puerto Princesa Full Day City Tour (private): $189
  • Yamang Bukid Eco Tour From Puerto Princesa: $80

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 Palawan spend on average $6.78 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting El Nido spend on average $7.57 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Palawan $6.78
    El Nido $7.57


When comparing the travel costs between Palawan and El Nido, 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.

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Palawan vs. El Nido Travel Comparison

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