I don’t even know where to begin because this place was just an absolute dream. We landed in Porto Princess from Manila, (get air fair before hand it is cheaper, we bought them the day before for $80, still not bad.) and then we mentally prepared ourselves for a 5-6 hour bus right down to El Nido. Right when you land there are tons of mini vans and hustlers trying to get you to go with them…Negotiate! There was 4 of us and I got it down to $11 a person. They are small vans but they have AC which is huge because it is bloody hot and humid in the Philippines. You do stop part way at a local restaurant thats ala cart style with different curries and meats. Not the best but doable. Super authentic. Once you get to El Nido they drop you off down where the bus terminal is where you see tons of Jeepney’s/tuk tuks. Jump in one of those for your hotel transportation. We stayed at the Orange Pearl. If you want:
- cheap (just under $20 a night)
- private beach
- free breakfast (which was fantastic)
- acoustic night entertainment
- great staff
- no air conditioning
- 7 minute walk from hotel to main road ( because your hotel is right next to the water)
Two of the nights we got a room behind the front desk, we had nets that we had to sleep in. And the 3rd night we stayed in a little house right on the beach, that was just a short walk from the main hotel. It was seriously so cool, and you didn’t have to sleep in nets in the house. Also there is only one place where everyone hangs out, drinks (including the amazing Mango Smoothie), eats and watches the sunsets at which is called the Beach Shack. And you know everyone is always trying to find the perfect sunset spot!
If you would like to go to downtown El Nido then catch a 20 minute Jeepeny Ride for $3 for everyone (can hold 4 people). Downtown El Nido is great for dinner on the beach, shopping, MASSAGES etc. But everyone I talked to and my personal expierence said- stay where we did because its more excluded and less touristy, and the beach is beautiful not to mention the water is like a hot tub. Enjoy your stay and stay tuned for what to do in El Nido!