Philippines Holiday 2020 (El Nido, Cebu)

Looking forward to our holiday in the Phillipines later in the year.

Any recommendations for accommodation and activity bookings? Or should we book through the usual: or agoda, and then book activities once we're there.

As for activity bookings (daily island boat tours), is it like Phuket etc. where you can negotiate pricing with the sellers?



  • +2 votes

    I went to El Nido and Coron in October 2018 and used expedia to book the accomodation, but booked all activities locally. In El Nido they are all on pretty much the same page. They know that they have a decent sustainable tourism industry so they don't want to ruin it for each other by undercutting one another. Taxi trikes charge the same to go places, scooters similar prices, the day tours are also about the same in price.. I think they are about $30 a day, Just go in and either book at the hotel or one of the shops.

  • +1 vote

    Enjoy El Nido! It's a beautiful place. And yep, you can negotiate prices with the locals, just don't overdo it. Safe travels!

  • +1 vote

    El nido is beautiful - if you like indian food you MUST try Gandhi's Revenge. Its a 5 hour drive from PPS Airport to El Nido. Tours are cheap we booked online i think to avoid availability issues but I think you should be ok to book there.

  • +2 votes

    Shoot an email to the Member for Manila, George Christensen. He seems to know it quite well.

  • +1 vote

    We visited Philippines Dec 2019/Jan 2020 and had a great time. We did Cebu City, Moalboal, Port Barton (smaller version of El Nido) and finished off with Manila.


    • Cebu City we stayed at Mandarin Plaza. Super affordable 3/4 star hotel. Complimentary breakfast and adjacent to Ayala Center Mall. Rooms are spacious and cleaned every day.
    • Moalboal we stayed at Marcosas Resort. Complimentary breakfast, pool and tanning beds. Located in a quiet area but less than 5 min walk to the main area.
    • Port Barton we stayed at Bing Vice Tourist Inn which was pleasant but quite pricey. Would be worth doing further research. Accommodation and food prices will be jacked up.
    • Manila we splurged at stayed at I'M Hotel. 5 star hotel located in an upper class area (Makati).

    We booked through whatever had better value and offered better cashback (Cash rewards & Shoprewards)


    • Cebu City - explore city, shop around the mall, visit markets. We did a day trip to Bohol which requires you to take a ferry there. We booked a driver for the day for 2300 php ($65 AUD).
    • Moalboal - We pre-booked a bus transfer from Cebu City to Moalboal via Klook. Kawasan Waterfall Jumping is a MUST DO. We booked on the spot for 2000 php ($57 AUD).
    • Port Barton - island hopping costed 1200 php ($35 pp). The prices are fixed by government so all tours will offer the same price. I think it might be more expensive in El Nido. Your accommodation can book it or you can visit one of many booths that offer the tour. There are 5 different tours (A B C D & E), but honestly the beaches all start to look the same, so you're not missing out if you only go on one tour. I'd recommend going on two island tours max.
    • Manila - explore city, shop & eat.

    Tours and transport can all be booked on the spot and for cheaper value too.

    Feel free to DM me


      Thanks Biryani boy, very helpful post.
      In Cebu, did you happen to go to Oslob for snorkeling with the whale sharks?


      Also, how convenient was your ride from puerto Princesa to Port Barton? We are travelling with a 5yo so want to know how easy it is to travel to PB/El nido from puerto Princesa.


      • +1 vote

        No we didn't do whalesharks. If I recall it was quite pricey and you have to wake up at 4AM to get there from Moalboal. Other travellers who joined in on our Kawasan Falls jumping after whale sharks told us you only go to swim with them for 30 or so minutes. Great experience but not missing out if you don't go.

        Getting to PB/EN from PPS is very easy. Some people hopped off a plane and transited directly. We weren't in any rush so we stayed one night in PPS. We pre-booked a van with aircon via Klook for $12pp. Van came to our place and took us there. Transit time was 2.5 hours. We got lucky as we only took 7 other people. Every family had a row to themselves. I'm sure your hotel could organise a transfer and probably at a cheaper rate.

        If you do choose to stay in PPS, I'd stay next to SM Mall where the activities are. There's not much to do in PPS.

        Another handy tip would be to wash your clothes before arriving to PPS. Laundry at PB was insanely expensive ($15 for two people!). We didn't have time to do laundry in PPS either.


    Can use Diners credit card in many places if they accept credit cards.

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