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TRAVEL GUIDE: El Nido Palawan

I’ve been meaning to write about my birthday vacation, which happened almost a month ago. But since I’ve been extremely busy ever since I returned from that vacation, I never had the chance to blog about it. Now that I have some time on my hands, let me share with you our paradise-like vacation in El Nido Palawan…

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After my birthday dinner with my family on the 30th of July at Vikings SM Markina, Arjay and I packed our things and prepared for the vacation we booked just a few days before. We never really planned to take a vacation for my birthday, but since we both knew we needed a break, we said, “What the hell!” and bought tickets to Puerto Princesa Palawan.

We had no idea what our itinerary will be like, nor did we have accommodation booked. We just drove to the airport and flew to Puerto Princesa. Thankfully, one of Arjay’s friends from his Officers’ Basic Course lives in Puerto Princesa. He greeted us on our arrival and offered to drive us all the way to El Nido. He even went out of the way to find a hotel for us there.

I say he went out of the way because El Nido is a 5-hour drive from Puerto Princesa! If he didn’t bring us there, we would have endured a long, cramped ride in a passenger van and not truly enjoy the sights on the way. But since he brought his own car, he was able to take us on side trips on the way to El Nido. One of which is the old town of Taytay, Palawan.

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After our long journey from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, we finally reached our destination. Although the town was buzzing with locals and tourists alike, July isn’t the peak season in El Nido so it wasn’t hard to find a hotel to stay in. We looked at three hotels, but what we found the most comfortable at an affordable price (and near the beach) is Rovic’s Tourist Hotel. It’s not beach front, but it’s just a few steps away from the beach. Note that there are two Rovic’s there: the Rovic’s Tourist Hotel where we stayed, and the Rovic’s Pension House. Go for the first one.

We chose the Matrimonial Deluxe Room for our stay because hello, we never had a honeymoon kaya. LOL! Kidding aside, we found that the Deluxe Room is a bit too cramped for us so we got the next bigger room.

What I Love About Rovic’s Tourist Hotel:

  • Clean and beautiful rooms. It has a nice bathroom, if I may add.
  • It’s super near the beach.
  • They have friendly and accommodating staff.

We spent the first night in a dinner by the beach. They say seafood is the best here so that’s what we got: crabs, shrimps, and fish. We also ordered a few drinks afterward. I’m not a drinker so one glass of Weng Weng already knocked me down. 😀

Before heading to bed that evening, we inquired about Rovic’s tour packages. There are four tour packages. Since we only have three days in El Nido, we were only able to try one package. Boohoo. We will definitely be back to try the others! We asked the receptionist which one he’d recommend and he said Package A. Package A it is, then.

Package A costs P1,200 per pax. This includes island hopping (covering five islands) and lunch. Be sure to bring money because in one of your stops, you might want to rent a kayak. Also, it’s best to bring a water-proof camera because all your stops will require you to swim/paddle to shore. We weren’t able to take lots of photos because we only had my SLR with me. So as not to damage it, we decided to just leave it with our boatman.

We still managed to take a couple of shots though (all thanks to our boatman):

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I hate that this trip had to be planned just a few days in advance. I didn’t get to go on a diet. LOL!

We reached El Nido town at around 4 in the afternoon. We were dead tired because of all the swimming and kayaking fun. We remembered that our boatman mentioned that we can rent motorbikes from the locals if we wanted to see the whole town for ourselves. He also told us about where to capture the best sunset in El Nido is–Las Casas.

Instead of taking a nap, we looked for a motorbike rental. Unfortunately, most of the bikes were either under repair or have been rented out already. 🙁 And so we resorted to just taking a tricycle ride to Las Casas instead. Since sunset was still an hour away, we walked by the shore and just enjoyed the fresh air.

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We don’t get that a lot even in Rizal. The picturesque view of the sea and mountains blending with the calming sound of the waves took my breath away. Arjay and I even began thinking of moving to El Nido because this is the type of life we are craving for: laid back, quiet, and with the sand and sea right at our doorstep. We went as far as talking about how we will homeschool the minis there and what our house will be like.

We haven’t moved to El Nido, but it’s on our minds…

True enough, Las Casas does give you a spectacular view of the El Nido sunset. The golden rays of the sun reflected on the waves with the orange and blue sky in the background looked all so beautiful. That was one wonderful vacation cap for our last night!

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As much as we wanted to stay longer, we had to travel back to Puerto Princesa on the third day to catch our evening flight back to Manila. Since we had a few hours before the flight when we arrived in Puerto Princesa, our friend took us on a quick city tour where we saw the old colonial structures as well as the new government buildings. We didn’t forget to drop by Baker’s Hill, too, to buy the famous hopia for the minis.

Before our flight, we had late lunch at Kinabuch’s Bar & Grill where we had the recommended Kanin ni 04 and garlic butter shrimp. We met Buch Chase himself there as well–nice guy! They say a must-try at Kinabuch’s are the crocodile dishes, but I’m not an adventurer when it comes to food so I played safe with the shrimp.

After lunch, we parted ways with our friend and we headed to the airport. Since we were still quite early, we decided to get a massage at the Vibe’s Massage booth inside the departure area. With us in the booth is Edgar Allan Guzman who Arjay greeted as if they were friends. “Oh, nandito ka rin ‘pre?” he asked. E.A. was friendly enough to reply, “Oo eh. Pero mabilis lang.” Then we all had a massage together. Hahaha! I swear, my husband should be given the Mr. Congeniality Award. He befriends everyone…even celebrities who don’t know who he is.

And that ends our El Nido Palawan vacation.

If you’re heading to El Nido, here are a few tips:

  • Book the earliest flight going to Puerto Princesa. It takes around five hours to reach El Nido from the city so an early flight means you’ll reach El Nido earlier–more things to do!
  • Book a late flight from Puerto Princesa to Manila so you have time to explore the city before you leave.
  • If you can, book a 4- to 5-day holiday so you can really experience El Nido. This is what we did in our Coron Trip and it was super sulit!
  • It’s best to book your hotel before you head to El Nido, just to be sure.
  • Bring a water-proof camera.

That vacation made us crave for more. Any suggestions for our next holiday?

Get PhP500 off on your next Palawan trip!
Use the coupon code momondutyC017 when booking with

Kimberley Reyes

Kimberley Reyes is an Online Business Manager for entrepreneurs who are ready to get off the hamster wheel and step into their CEO shoes. On top of helping her clients get organized and scale their businesses, she is also happily busy raising her five kids with her firefighter husband.

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Denise Rayala

    You’re so lucky to have celebrated your birthday this way! The last time I happily celebrated mine was my 28th. Hay naku, haha. We want to go there, too someday. Kailangan lang mag-ipon ng bongga! 🙂

  2. mumwrites (@vixquips)

    Palawan is simply breathtaking! I would love to visit its many islands with my boys one day! Belated happy birthday!

  3. Mommy Levy

    Last May we were able to visit Puerto Princesa, I wish that we will have a budget to go back and visit either Coron or El Nido. Palawan is such an amazing place.

  4. Balot

    looks like travel with spontaneity is more enjoyable (and just as long as friends is available…hehehe) 😀
    belated happy birthday 😀

  5. Maan Laxa

    That would be a big change from the usual lifestyle, but even we considered it sa Surigao naman. But I just couldn’t live without malls lol. I’ll check the website out!

    1. Kimberley Reyes

      Malls we can live without! It’s the thought of homeschooling the kids that scares us. Haha! We are really not very good at teaching eh.

  6. Kat Rodriguez

    El Nido is indeed a paradise, my friends and I enjoyed there. Planning to go back soon, this time with the family,

  7. mhaan arambulo-delos santos

    El Nido is one on my must-see place. I hope in a year or two makapunta kami dyan with the whole family. I love your pictures! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    1. Kimberley Reyes

      We hope to bring the kids to Palawan too. Just waiting for them to get a little bit bigger! 🙂

  8. Kaity

    Palawan looks lovely! I should put this on my “to-go” list!(:

  9. jennie villanueva

    Wow! Looks like you really had a great time. El Nido is such a paradise. I wanted to see it din sana kaya lang we had a different itinerary last time i was in palawan.

  10. islesgilian

    I love seeing El Nido in pictures. I wish I could see it one day. 🙂

  11. Alarcon Alfonso Noel Ruth

    Amazing scenery! Visiting Palawan still tops my to-do list. Kailan kaya ako makakapunta dyan? 🙁 Hehe! Anyway, sis what’s the brand of your camera and lens? Thanks.

    Belated Happy Birthday! 🙂

    1. Kimberley Reyes

      I’m using Nikon. Lens used in these photos are the kit lens and portrait lens. 🙂

  12. May De Jesus-Palacpac

    hahaha i know what you mean about dieting before going on a vacay! i do that, too. happy birthday Kim.

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