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  • Writer's pictureMier Torregosa

Digital Nomad in EL NIDO PALAWAN | Ultimate Travel Guide for Work From Home or Online Workers

Palawan has always been my DREAM and one of my top 3 MUST GO destination in the Philippines. So on my 30th birthday, without a doubt I chose Palawan as birthday gift to myself.

sunset in lio beach

I booked a ticket for 10 days which needed me to find a place to work as well because 10 days is a huge loss on my wallet. With two of my friends, initially we thought that it is difficult to do online work in El Nido. We had the assumption that it's better to stay in Puerto Princesa to work then travel to El Nido on weekend for the tours.

However, the following topics below will discuss everything we discovered in El Nido Palawan and how possible working online (see: Primary Considerations for Online Workers) while you're in this paradise. Before that, here are some activity highlights of our El Nido travel together with the prices that you can refer.

Highlights with price on relevant items:

  1. 700php/pax: Van pickup from Puerto Princesa to El Nido accommodation

  2. 1500php/night (3pax): Casa Yolanda, El Nido see: Useful Contacts

  3. 1000php/pax: Tour D Kayak: 300php for 2pax capacity, 500php for 3pax capacity

  4. 100php/bottle: Beers (SanMig Light or Redhorse) are served per bottle on almost all bars and not per bucket.

  5. 250~450php/glass: Cocktail mix

  6. 300~php: Food range starts at 300 mostly

  7. 1000php/pax: Tour A Kayak: 300php for 2pax capacity, 500php for 3pax capacity

  8. 700php/pax: Canopy Walk

  9. 500php/pax: Tricycle to Lio Beach (back and forth)

  10. 600php/pax: Van pickup from Casa Yolanda to PPS airport

Primary Considerations for Online Workers:

  1. Internet Connection El Nido town specially the barangay of Buena Suerte where most of the tours start and considerably the heart of El Nido town already have a good internet connection. Mobile Data: I was using Globe sim on my mobile phone which ranges from 10 to 20mbps on internet speed. This was more than enough for me even on teams meeting. Smart network however is really slow and is close to zero mbps. I have my smart bro pocket wifi but was unable to use it even when roaming around the town. WiFi Connection: Our accommodation which is Casa Yolanda (contact details down below) has a very good internet connection. It may however not reach rooms away from the reception so you need to work in the lobby or request to be in a room that's within the wifi range. Their internet speed could reach up to 100mbps upon checking.

  2. Power or Electricity I first read about power outage in El Nido every day but we never experienced a single shutdown in my 7 days stay there (July 2023). The owner of the hotel where we stayed explained that there was really a rotational brownout due to the previous typhoon that hit the province but it has recovered already.

  3. Security One of the considerations as a remote worker is how secure your things are specially you will be bringing with you your personal or company issued laptop. The risk is a little higher than normal travelers. For El Nido and with my experience, the place is very secured. The accommodation is less crowded and away from the busiest streets in town. They have no guard since it's a budget inn but the caretaker is very accommodating and sees to it that everything is fine with our stay. She constantly checks with me when I go to the lobby to have coffee or work. The town as well feels very safe because of multiple patrol cars and police officers that are 24/7 around the town streets. I noticed as well that most tricycle drivers are honest and very accommodating with questions. Local vendors are very friendly and approachable.

  4. Travel Time or Accessibility Direct to El Nido via AirSWIFT: If only I have more than enough budget, I would have flown directly to El Nido. The airport is just a few minutes ride to Buena Suerte which is the center location of the town. Although it may cost you much more than the other entry points, it's surely because of it's convenience. Boat travel from Coron: Coron airport (Busuanga) is the next option if the above entry point is a bit too much. Plane fare to Busuanga may be a couple of thousands as well but it can be a great starting point of your tour and do a side trip to El Nido for few days. From Coron, you need to take a boat ride as well going to El Nido which will take around 5hrs for 2000~3000php so you need to plan well and consider your work time when taking this option. Departure time from Coron is between 6:00 ~ 7:00 AM. Land travel from Puerto Princesa: This is the most common route that many travelers will prefer. Local airlines include the route to Puerto Princesa in seat sales that's why for budget travelers, this is the best option to go. Land travel will take around 5-6hrs and you can arrange in advance a van reservation (contacts down below) that will pick you up from the airport to your El Nido accommodation. There are multiple vans that depart every hour therefore the flexibility is much better for this option.

  5. Alternative Internet and Power Source This is one of my MUST when traveling to a new destination. The reason for this is that there are times when mobile data and accommodation's WiFi will both not work. Luckily, El Nido town has a lot of coffee shops already that offer free WiFi and free to use power source. I've tried multiple coffee shops in the town and only 1 of them has no internet connection which is still on an ongoing process. Therefore working remotely while exploring the town is really possible.

  6. Value of Money or Pricing Whenever I hear "El Nido", I can immediately imagine spending as much as I can for it is my dream destination. However as an honest review, one meal in El Nido (for 1 person) may cost around 300-500php. Coffees and sandwiches may also be 200-300php. Take note that they do not offer service water anymore on any restaurants due to the issue on water contamination so it can be an extra expense for you when you don't bring your own water from the accommodation.

General Tips:

  1. For Digital Nomads like me who wish to stay longer in Palawan, El Nido (Buena Suerte) is already a very good place to go online. I had the idea that internet is hard in El Nido so I decided to stay in Puerto Princesa for 3 days but sadly it's the opposite.

  2. Arranging your tours in advance or online may give you a bit of discount. Tour A and D for us was just 1000php compared to 1200php for walkin.

  3. Tour D is less selected package but it is where small lagoon is added now. Honestly all three of us enjoyed much more in small lagoon than in big lagoon.

  4. Coordinate with your agency if lunch is still the packed one not a buffet. If so, make sure to bring some chips with you. The food may not be enough or sometimes won't taste that okay.

  5. It is best to ask the caretakers or front desk of your hotels about tours you wanted to do in El Nido. They have multiple registered coordinators that will direct you to the right location and give you the mandated rates.

Useful Contacts

Here are most of the contacts that we personally requested and booked with our tour. As per experience, all of them are on top of there customer service. Highly recommended!

1. Puerto Princesa Taxi: Kuya Cris - 09702189153/09057205713

2. PPS - El Nido Van: 09614611457 or (Ask Casa Yolanda to arrange pickup for you)

3. Casa Yolanda (El Nido Accommodation): 09182718282

4. El Nido Tour Services: Tripidito FB: Tripidito Michael Yao

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