After we had been in Puerto Princesa for two nights, we made our way via van to the -almost- northern most part of Palawan; El Nido. The ride there was pretty painful; it took about 6 or so hours with multiple stops picking up and dropping off passengers (both tourists and locals) along the way in the towns of Roxas, Taytay, and who knows where else. However, I was in for a real treat on the ride back to Puerto Princesa when we were stuck in a much smaller van with the same amount of people, and had a pregnant lady moaning as if she were having contractions and an older woman who was horking into a baggy that she tied around the back of a seat… But, I digress.
We had decided to book three nights in the main town, Barangay Buena Suerte, and then head a bit further up north (still walking distance to the main town) to Sitio Caalan to stay at a cheaper hostel. Some of the nicer hotels are located in this area as well though. The first place we stayed at was called Francisco Inn. Nothing special, just simple budget accommodation. It was located on Amboy Street (Near the Corner of Rizal Street), Brgy Maligaya Zone 1, El Nido Town Proper, and was about a 5 minute walk to the beach. We met some pretty cool people in our inn whom we went on an island hopping tour with. The staff and rooms weren’t great, but we did have a private room and bathroom. When you’re paying about $10-15 CDN per night, you really can’t complain. They had a “nice” outdoor terrace that proved useful when it rained and to socialize over a few drinks with other travelers.
After our three nights were up at Francisco Inn, we packed all our stuff up and made the journey towards our new accommodation, Antonio Village Pension and Cafe, at Sitio Caalan, Barangay Masagana, Caalan, which was just up and around the corner from the main town. Because of the narrow and bumpy path leading into this part of El Nido, tricycles don’t ride down here (hopefully you don’t have a lot of luggage!), so we had to lug our packs about 15 or so minutes to our place that was literally in the middle of nowhere. Initially, we were excited about staying somewhere a bit more “local”, but there was nothing exciting about this place. The washrooms and showers were communal (we did have our own, fairly large private room), and mosquitoes were everywhere. They also ran out of toilet paper one night.. seriously, though?! Needless to say, staying here wasn’t the greatest. Thankfully, the majority of our time was spent in the main town, so we managed to get through the two nights unscathed.
Note: I would highly recommend you stay in the main town if you’re planning a trip to El Nido. Walking upwards of 10 minutes to and from your accommodation in Sitio Caalan might not seem that awful, but to do this multiple times a day, especially in the middle of the night with no lights helping you to navigate the rubble walk path is more than a minor inconvenience. As I mentioned before, there are some nicer accommodations in this isolated area that some friends were staying at, but I don’t think it’s worth it to stay here for all of the above mentioned reasons. There are many nice accommodations located in the main town to choose from.
My other adventures in Palawan:
Things To Do In Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Puerto Princesa Palawan: Accommodation & Aimless Wanderings
Ugong Rock Caving & Zipline: Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Puerto Princesa Underground River: One Of The New 7 Natural Wonders Of The World