Budgeteer Guide in Palawan
I have to admit that splurging in travels can provide you a wondrous feeling. Having financial freedom is one of the best things to have when you go about your journeys. There’s question about it. But let me break it for you. You CAN and SHOULD enjoy travel without exhausting your annual savings.
Like what I’ve shared in my previous blogs, the level of enjoyment you can have doesn’t equate with what you have on your pockets. Mostly, it is about determination to get that level of enthrallment. It depends on your mindset and how you embrace the feeling. But how exactly can you do so? In this edition of my blog, let me offer you the different ways to relish traveling in one of the few places that are close to my heart, Palawan! Take a look!
Cheapsake Guide in Coron
Coron will always be one of my favorite places. It holds a variety of spots that surely can take your mind away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Mount Tapyas would be a great place to start if you are up to challenge and thrill. For those who do not enjoy hiking, you may visit Cyc Beach, Kayangan Lake, and Barracuda Lake. Banol Beach is great to explore, too. If you are into wildlife and provincial life combination, the Calauit Safari Park got your wish covered.
Travelers can go to Coron via sea or air. If you prefer going by sea, Manila has routes going to Coron Pier. 2GO Travel offers this service every Friday at Manila Pier 4. You would leave the pier at around 5 PM and arrive in Coron around seven in the morning.
However, most travelers prefer going by air since it would save a lot of time. Good thing that Philippine-based airlines offer flight schedules to this wonderful island. You may want to visit websites of Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines or AirAsia Zest to check their available schedules.
Budget tip: these airlines usually offer discounted flights. There are cases where you just need to pay for the taxes and excessed baggage! I highly suggest you turn on your notifications to their facebook pages or twitter accounts so you could easily hear about their promos.
You will need to rent a van to bring you from the airport to Coron Town. It will cost around $3 – $4. Once you arrive at the island, make sure to buy a map. Coron may look like a small island but it would be a lot easier go around with a guide. You may consider buying one at Coron Galleri in Brgy. Poblacion.
The next question to answer is where to avail affordable accommodations in Coron. Do not be picky and be careful of scammers. You would only need a place to sleep and bath properly since you would be out most of the day. Divine Castle Travelers Inn, Treetop Suites, and even Jims Castle Inn offer rooms around $40 per night.
For travelers with $20 budget per night, you may go for Luis Bay Travellers Lodge, RB Transient House, or Palanca Guest House. Hostels in Coron also offers cheaper services if you are fine staying with a non-air-conditioned room. The hostels in the island may cost you from $5 to $12 per person. This usually does not include free breakfast but there are places near the area where you can buy affordable meals.
You also to keep in mind that tours and packages in Coron are not standardized. Some tours range from about $10 to $15, some go as far as $20 to $30. While there isn’t really an exact pricing, what this means that you can be spontaneous on your round abouts. Wouldn’t that be more exciting?
Solo travelers may also save money through entering a joiner tour. This means that you will join a group of 10 people to visit a certain place. So, you will not be paying for the entire boat or van. But if you are going with your family, it is best to hire a private boat or van. Please, be mindful of the hidden charges and make sure to ask everything to your tour operator
Never Say No in El Nido
Since you are already in Palawan, it is a must to visit El Nido. It holds paradise such as Nacpan Beach, Big Lagoon, Snake Island, and Mantoc Island. Entulala Island and Simuzu Island would also be part of my recommendations.
For newbie travelers, do not get carried away with its name. It may sound so classy and different, but it does not mean you cannot afford to visit such a nice place. You can and here are the things you may want to consider.
From the airport, you have to ride a tricycle that cost $1 to $2 to the bus terminal. Then you have to endure a six-hour drive going to El Nido. Bus rides would only cost you around $6 to $8. But if you have extra budget, then I recommend renting a private van. It would save you time and a number of bus stops that only costs $8 to $10.
Accommodations in El Nido is as budget-friendly as in Coron. If you are traveling alone or with a friend, it will be cheaper to consider El Nido Sans Inn. It is not an air-conditioned place and it ranges from $12 to $13 per night.
If you are up for fully air-conditioned rooms, then I recommend Marina Garden Hotel and Garnet Hotel. Their services also include breakfast and other amnesties. Prepare around $25 to $30 per head. Meanwhile, Northern Hope Inn is a good place to stay if you are to bring your whole family. A huge room for your family would only cost around $50.
In El Nido, they usually offer a standard price for different tour packages. You have to be mindful of websites that might offer you pricey packages. Some tour packages may have hidden charges. A tour package in El Nido ranges from $24 to $30. This is exclusive of $4 environmental fee.
Stick with the Budget in Puerto Prinsesa
The Puerto Prinsesa Subterranean River National Park is one the first things that comes in your mind when talking about Puerto Prinsesa. Wanderlust or not is familiar with this 80-km underground river. It became famous when it was included in the New Seven Wonders of Nature. And it is not the only amazing place Puerto Prinsesa can offer to you. It still holds a lot of sites that would be worthy of your budget.
Going to Puerto Prinsesa, it’s the same with El Nido and Coron. You may visit the place via air. Again, look for discounted price and other promos. Among the airlines mentioned before, Cebu Pacific is active in giving out discounted flights. This would give you more room in your budget to enjoy the tourist spots in Puerto Prinsesa.
A tricycle ride that cost around $1 to $2 would take you from the airport to the town proper. This is where your concerns about accommodations begin. But do not get startled since Puerto Prinsesa has dorms or hotels that fit your tight budget.
Marianne Home Inn is good for a group of people. If you are six to seven in the family, then I recommend this place. They can accommodate your group for just $70 to $80 per night. You may also request for extra beds.
Traveling alone would also not cost you so much. Villa Travelista Travel Lodge has fully air-conditioned rooms, which range from $13 to $15 per night. It includes a breakfast meal. You may also want to try The Legend Hotel. They have a double room that costs $42 per night.
Also, a budget of around $18 to $20 per night would also bring you a good place to stay in. Casa Linda offers this rate and a lot of good restaurants stand near the small hotel. You can also try their local cuisine at a cheap price! Baragatan Inn and Badjao Inn also offer affordable rooms that ranges from $6 to $8 per night.
Here comes the tour packages. Of course, the UNESCO Heritage place is already part of your plan. I also suggest paying a visit to Honda Bay Island, Ugong Rock, and Luli Island. Iwahig River would be the best place to watch fireflies at nightfall. It is a dreamy place especially when you just to relax and give yourself a time for silence and peace. Travelers who have a heart for provincial life and wildlife would enjoy the Mintra Ranch. You may try their amazing zipline adventures!
These places are only feasible with budgeted tour packages. Tour rates vary depending on the places you want to visit. Just to make sure, prepare a budget around $23 to $30 for each island you want to explore. For instance in Honda Bay Tour, it would cost you $30 to enjoy and see for yourself the adventures that the island holds.
Enjoying the traveler life would require you to have a certain budget. It is a given. But remember that it does really need to be pricey. You just need to be smart and savvy in preparing for your adventures. So, go for the budgeted wanderlust tour in Palawan! Tell me your story once you get back!
Until my next travel.