All-inclusive ten day return trip from Manila to Palawan for 10,000pesos ($200)

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Do you live in Manila and have always dreamed of spending a week in beautiful Palawan but could not afford the expensive booking packages? I’ll show you some ways how you can do it very cheaply.

First of all, as explained in my travel itinerary suggestions for the Palawan area, if you have a limited time and budget, I would suggest you skip Puerto Princesa entirely. It is not a very appealing town, and the only reason to even go down that far, the Underground River Tour, really isn’t that spectacular. You’ll lose an entire day waiting in line and be herded about with the massive crowd of other tourists. Then you’ll lose an entire day making your way up to El Nido.

If you love nature, glad to get away from the tourist crowd, have a limited budget and only about one week’s travel time, I would suggest you take the Atienza ferry straight to El Nido. That costs 1,700p, you sleep overnight in a bed (so you save one night on accommodation), and they feed you, so you save on food costs.

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The contact for Atienza’s Manila office is (Smart) 0999 881 7266 or 0998 532 6553, or (Globe) 0917 633 2090. Other details on our ferries page. Note that if the waves get too rough, sometimes the coastguards delay them from leaving. There is only one Atienza ferry doing the Manila > El Nido > Linapacan > Manila route, once a week, so a delay will delay the whole cycle.

 Day 1: 1,700p, 1,700p total 

If you have the budget and want to get that extra day in, you can take a Air-Swift flight to El Nido for around 6,500p, so about 5,000p extra.

El Nido

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Now you have several options. You can check out our El Nido page for info on accommodation and what to do there. You can get a room for as little as 500p, perhaps less, so if there are two of you, that would be 250p each.

You can rent a kayak for 400p, so 200p each for two. The zipline for around 700p is worthwhile, otherwise there are a few nice things you can do for free. Meals are around 200p in restaurants, or there is a good public market across from the bus terminal.

El Nido is famous for its lagoons, but that will add to your budget. Note that, because they are famous, they tend to be flooded with tourists and perhaps you’d be satisfied just renting the kayak to explore the island across from El Nido. Also beautiful and you may very well be by yourselves.

Note that you may be charged 200p each for the local environmental fee.

 Day 2: 2000, 3,700 total 
(includes budget accommodation, 3 meals a day in restaurant, kayak for 2 and zipline)

El Nido has a good night life with lots of bands playing in different places, but if you want to avoid the tourists and save, you can always move on towards Sibaltan, depending on when the ferry arrives.

Moving to Sibaltan

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Moving east along the El Nido peninsula, we come across Nacpan, Calitang and Duli beaches, with various resorts off the beaten path as explained in our suggested accommodations page. The most affordable of these is Where to Next on Calitang beach, but close to the end of Nacpan beach, so you get two beaches for the price of one. 550p tent for two is their lowest offer.

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On the Sibaltan page below there are some contacts to bus and jeepney services. May require some juggling to hop along the coast, but ask the resorts you will be staying at to help you. When in El Nido you can also ask at the bus terminal.

 Day 3: 1000p, 4,700p total 
(assumes 500p for food, 300p for accommodation and 200p for transport)

Sibaltan

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Sibaltan is a lovely little archeological village with a very long stretch of beach quickly filling up with one quaint resort after another. You should be able to get accommodation for as little as 500p for a room, and there are many options. Definitely worth visiting.

 Day 4: 1000p, 5,700p total 

Linapacan

island-hopping-boat-tours-takling_DCIM100GOPROTakling Island

I would consider this the jewel of your stay. So much to explore, but the best way to get there, if you have the budget, is by a private boat. That way you get to see a bunch of more jewels along the way, such as Pical (30 minutes by boat from Sibaltan), Takling (a deserted island you can camp out on, and there are many others), Calacala, and the tons of great places to snorkel and lounge (check out our most popular boat tour stops).

island-hopping-philippines-calacala_DCIM100GOPROCalaCala Island

With enough people, such a tour can actually be quite affordable, especially since you will only be going from Sibaltan to Linapacan, perhaps on a two day trip, combining it with a boat tour of the Linapacan area on day 2. Or we have small boats for 2-3 people that are much more affordable, but not so comfortable, details here.

Trekking on Bolina island, Philippines, PalawanBolina, deserted island across from our nature camp where you can sleep overnight.

If you cannot afford a private boat, there is the Lara and other ferries leaving from San Fernando, just north of Sibaltan, at least four times a week for about 700p. That will take you to Linapacan (San Miguel), where there is tons to see by inexpensive local boat tour, and affordable accommodation easy to find (about 500p/room or two people).

return-trip-manila-palawan_20161212View of our nature camp beach from our island mountain.

And if you really like to get off the beaten path into beautiful and peaceful nature, you can stay at our kitesurfing nature camp. We have beach volleyball, good music, several instruments with which to play live music around the campfire at night, wakeboarding, rent a banca and borrow our fishing rods, jungle trails to explore, but general all out relax. We also cook together and food costs are only 250p/day, so a good place to save.

Drone shot of our island.

Here in Linapacan there is also an environmental fee of 200p, and perhaps also along the route to get here, so keep that in mind. Tents for as low as 600p for two, 400p for one, more details here. So roughly 500p a day including food, and assuming you will want to party it up a bit or maybe do an affordable local group boat tour, a budget of 1000p a day should be sufficient for the rest of your stay and include the Lara ferry to get here.

 Days 5/6/7/8/9: 5000p, 10,700p total 

Back to Manila

Snorkeling nearby.

So if the Atienza ferry leaves Manila on Saturday (make sure to call and check their schedule), arrives to El Nido on Sunday, leaves for Linapacan on Monday (which you can obviously take if you want to save more money by not going to Sibaltan), and leaves from Linapacan back to Manila on Monday, it should be on the same schedule a week later. Day 10 should be the next Monday and when the ferry will head back to Manila, overnight arriving on Tuesday, 1,700p, food included. Total price then:

 Day 10: 1,700p, 12,400p total 

Of course savings can be made here and there, such as not boozing up so much while staying at my nature camp (1L beers selling for 100p or big bottles of Emperador for 200p – or simply bring your own), such that, technically, you could have a ten day trip through the best parts of Palawan for as little as 10,000p.

return-trip-manila-palawan-beach-volleyballFree activity.

But if you do have more meat in your budget, there are certainly other options to making your way back to Manila. For example, you can shorten your stay in Linapacan and take one of our boat tours, small or large boat, up to Coron, visiting the most popular Coron spots along the way. If you are an avid diver, there are 8 shipwrecks around Coron, but no beach and not much else to do there.

Twin-lagoons-coron-Twin_Lagoon_Palawan-120Twin lagoon near Coron.

Or if you do not have the budget for a private boat to Coron, take the Jessabel ferry, and then the 2Go ferry onward to Manila (all info on the usual ferries page).

However, it can be hectic trying to catch all the connections, and if you have the budget, a better option would be to follow my suggested itinerary, fly into El Nido, possibly beach hop by land on the way to Sibaltan, island hop by multi-day private custom Palawan boat tour to Coron, and take the big party ferry back to Manila from there. Tons of paradise beach islands to see along the way, excellent snorkeling in crystal clear waters, caves to explore, Spanish fortress and much more. Completely off the beaten path!

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Home » Palawan » Boat Tours » All-inclusive ten day return trip from Manila to Palawan for 10,000pesos ($200)

C RC R
05:51 03 Apr 24
I give 5 stars because they actually helped me to arrange the tour to Balabac in last minute. However, because the money wired through the local bank in my country took time to be processed, so i missed the boat due to peak season as many people paid before my money was received by the tour guide.As most of people usually feel, once your money has been transferred out to someone you do not know, you probably frustrated that your money would not be able to be refunded.But not in my experience. I dont need to be worry, the owner refunded me the money he has received (minus the bank fees). He promised to refund me and he did it. It was around 18.700 Pesos.So, eventhough i didn't manage to go with the tour, but i am really satisfied with their legitimate and great business practice. Hopefully, people will try their services and not worry about their legit business!Thanks a lot!
Chloe BlanchardChloe Blanchard
13:38 27 Mar 24
The most wonderful experience from booking to beach! Karel and Mel were so fast and responsive to my very last minute trip over the holidays. We booked a private boat for two and could not have been happier with our four day trip! We didn’t think about anything other than snorkeling the entire time. Linda, our captain, cooked wonderful meals and took us to totally empty beautiful beaches. We loved staying the night in Pical especially! Wonderful to experience the Philippines this way! Will come back again and would recommend to anyone!
hotel luci del farohotel luci del faro
08:13 31 Jan 24
We booked the 3 day 2 night expedition, from Coron to Sibaltan.First of all the booking part was really simple. I organized this trip to the Philippines last minute for my family (my parents and my uncles) but Karel answered all my questions very quickly and really made everything easier for me. It was an incredible experience. Albert, our tour leader, is a wonderful guy, always smiling and ready to help us. They assisted us in everything and really took care of making everything go smoothly. The accommodation on the islands is as spartan as you expect but the location of each hut alone is worth the trip. The wonder of nature was then added to the goodness of cuisine. It's really difficult to argue how you can cook all that goodness on a boat.If you are looking for an authentic experience, in contact with nature, off the beaten track, this company's private expedition is certainly for you.
Kate BrownKate Brown
00:22 27 Oct 23
What an unforgettable experience! We did a two night (3 day) island hopping tour from Sibaltan to Coron. Everything was so well organized and the boat crew were amazing and really made sure we had a great time. The accommodation was rustic, but added to the authentic experience of the Philippines. Karel always responded to any queries we had promptly. Our boatman, Albert, was the most amazing chef and we enjoyed every meal. The crew taught the kids how to fish with a line which was their highlight of the trip. They took us to the most unbelievable snorkelling spots along the way. Would highly recommend this trip.
Ian PascualIan Pascual
02:43 10 Aug 23
One of the most amazing, unforgettable things you can do in your life
Lou PrataliLou Pratali
11:04 25 Jul 23
This is a must to do!!Super ultimate tour is the best with Kayangan and barracuda lake, twin lagoons (my favorite), coral garden (blue fabulous coral) were the best. It’s really worth it to pay for private tour (3500 to 4000 PHP). You will also have to pay for entrance fees (150 to 200PHP by location) and eventually shopping at the market - must do (count 300 for 2 for fish, pork, fruits and vegetables, water).
Gérard BENOITGérard BENOIT
16:11 07 Feb 23
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the stunning Bacuit Gulf.Based on the comments, I contacted Mel.Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization.The on-board staff were very friendly and very helpful.And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel.In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I cannot recommend Mel and his team highly enough.A big thank-you.
Alyse TarbottonAlyse Tarbotton
23:48 30 Aug 22
This tour went well above all our expectations! I couldn't recommend this enough! The boat crew, captain and tour guide were nothing but amazing, everyone was so kind, helpful and friendly. The crew knew the best spots to visit that weren't overcrowded with tourists, 3 times we were lucky enough to have whole islands to ourselves! It was my partner's birthday while away and everything went above and beyond, bonfire, cake, birthday card, singing and celebrating with us.If you love camping this is definitely a tout you should do, it has been the highlight of our trip!!
Danish KayaniDanish Kayani
10:24 31 Oct 19
Coron is the best place i have ever seen.. picturesque. Beautiful. Peaceful
We booked a 4 days/3 nights private boat trip from Coron to Sibaltan. The organization went very well from the beginning, the owner answered to all my questions, and we were able to choose which islands to visit and where to sleep. The first night we slept in a bungalow in Banana Island, the second we camped in Araw beach and the last we slept in a seafront bungalow builded on a tree in Pical on Iloc Island.The islands in that area are the most beautiful islands I have ever seen, with clear water, lots of coral reef and fishes to see, white sand and almost deserted. The crew was very friendly and polite and they organize every single meal and for camping they give you a tent which was just perfect! This was our highlight in our 2 weeks in the Philippines and I wish I had booked a longer trip. A private trip gives you the freedom to decide where and when to go.
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Gérard Benoit
Gérard Benoit
2023-02-08
recommends
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the beautiful bay of Bacuit. Seeing the comments, I contacted Mel. Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization. The crew were very friendly and very helpful. And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel. In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I can recommend Mel and his team highly enough. A big thank-you.
André Mardoñal
André Mardoñal
2019-10-22
recommends
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The island world of Linapacan between Coron and El Nido with the clearest waters in the world is truly a dream for itself! Without a boat you won't be able to see it! But what this boat trips makes so amazing is the crew! Once you come on board they might be shy in the beginning but will make you feel welcome and home from the first moment. Not only that they are looking that you sit comfortable all the time, they will prepare fresh and delicious food what the buy from local markets. They know the best spots and most beautiful islands and will bring you to places where you get this "Robinson Cruisoe feeling". Every day you visit 3 to 5 spots for snorkeling, enjoying a beach or exploring a little island. The accommodation we had was good and simple. We slept in bungalows and tents right at the beach. Sheets and towels were always provided and sometimes towels. After a while you feel like a family on board. We loved living the boat life didn't wanna leave! If you doubt take a longer than shorter trip! For any questions please message me.
Sarah Uhan
Sarah Uhan
2019-01-31
recommends
All in all it was a really great experience. It's a once in a lifetime thing to do and you won't get more authentic and basic Philippino experiences anywhere else. We were not so lucky with the wind and waves so we couldn't do all the stops we wanted to unfortunately. So be aware that especially the months from January to May can be very rough on water. But we still saw some great places Benji took us. Benji and his family was very nice and they did everything they could. The food was amazing - always freshly made in authentic Philippino style and way too much for the 2 of us. Make sure to bring enough cash - many of the islands cost extra (entrance fee) and be aware that any kind of accommodation and food (200php per meal) is not included in the boat fee. Also the deposit and commission fee for the agency are a little over the top, especially since the crew does not get any of it. The costs all in all are rather high for phillipino circumstances especially given the basicness of it all. However if you think about that all 5 boat people (in our case) live off of the boat fee alone, you spent the money willingly. Be aware though that accommodation and sanataries are very basic if even existant. So you gotta have the right mindset. Bring tissue, sanatiszer and earplugs to get some better sleep. Another feedback I have concerning the size of the boat. I don't think it is sufficient for more than 4 people. If the weather is like it was these days, you always have to sit on top and it was already a little squeezy with us 2 and 5 boat people. So I guess 4 guests can be fine but more than that won't have the space. There is different boat sizes but make sure to talk about that with Karel in advance. Other than that it was really worth it and we got to see so many great beaches and reefs which we could have never been able to visit without the tour.
Eric Liu
Eric Liu
2018-03-15
recommends
It was scary to book a 5 day trip with no places to stay confirmed or a strong itinerary. And in the Philippines, communication is difficult. But that is part of changing mindsets to a rural island mindset. In the end, everything worked out. We had some tough moments with bugs. But we also had some amazingly beautiful secluded beaches, the best snorkeling in the world, relaxing on the beach, and freshly made food on the boat while docked at beautiful places (better than being on land). Note, we went with Benji. Recommendations: - you must get a local SIM when you arrive to make sure pickup and everything works out - some islands have bugs - use bug spray! Pros: - a fraction of the cost - away from the crowds - can customize what you want - just ask! - a truly local experience - saw a REAL rural town Cons: - locals aren't really polished tour guides - if you don't ask for it, you won't get it, need to be pretty proactive - pretty simple "activities" - no frills like bathrooms or kayaks etc.
Ángela Deand
Ángela Deand
2017-04-26
recommends
We can't be more grateful to have had the opportunity of experience the peace in Patoyo Kitesurfing Camping! Spending two weeks in Dimancal Island, gave us the chance to experiment the rural and traditional way of life, in touch with the nature and people. We have learnt how to cook with fire, how to open a coconut and how to survive in an environment where for a time we forget about unnecessary needs, just to focus on enjoy the small details and pleasures of life. Mentioning too the amazing snorkeling and beautiful islands around this place, which make it unique​ and special. It is a lovely option if you are running away from tourists and overcrowded places in the Philippines. You will find yourself in the middle of virgin beaches and nature, surrounding​ by charming people. We will definitely come back!
Caroline Danielle
Caroline Danielle
2017-02-13
recommends
We haven't done a Tao tour, but I would suspect that this is a cheaper version of the same thing. Our boat operator (Benji) and the entire crew were were fun, friendly and made an effort to ensure we had a good time. If you get a large group of people together it can be a really inexpensive alternative to other Coron-El Nino and vice versa island hopping tours. The food was good, but more expensive than as advertised by Karl. The price quote we got was 100 php a meal, but the boat charged us 200. Since the food was good we didn't mind the extra expense, but it is important to keep in mind if you're on a budget. Definitely plan for some incidental spending. Our boat did have some mechanical issues and as a result we ended up being stuck in the same place for longer than we wanted to be. That being said, little could have been done about it and the trip was fun nonetheless.
Hauk Are Fjeld
Hauk Are Fjeld
2017-01-01
recommends
If you believe that doing the touristic tours in El Nido and going to "The hidden beach" takes you off the beaten path, you are wrong. There are lots of beautiful places in Palawan, but few of these places are without any other tourists. If you want to spend some extra effort on getting away from the tourist places, and don't mind a little "primitive" living, Island Hopping in the Philippines is definitely something you should check out
Arnold Cabiguen
Arnold Cabiguen
2015-05-08
recommends
The snorkeling in this area is phenomenal. Clearest waters in the world. I guess it's because there is relatively such lower tourist traffic through here, and the locals really protect the reefs!
Karel Kosman
Karel Kosman
2015-05-08
recommends
Love it so much, just had to say it twice!
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We are a family operation managing private custom boat tours in the beautiful Palawan area, and are happy to help travelers with their plans through the country, having traveled a lot of it ourselves and planning to visit it all.

0 thoughts on “All-inclusive ten day return trip from Manila to Palawan for 10,000pesos ($200)”

  1. Hello, I used your boat tour service two years ago and was so great! Do you know any other areas of Philippines offering something similar. Looking to travel by boat around Cebu? Or somewhere else

    Reply

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