Philippines Travel Budget: How Much Do I Need for 10 Days?

 
You’ve purchased a new bikini, popped your sunnies on your head, thrown in your beach towel and packed your passport. You’re more than ready to do some sunbathing, drink fresh coconuts every day and go snorkelling with the incredible marine life. The Philippines will provide this and so much more. But make sure you’ve budgeted enough to ensure that you will have oodles of fun and not be left stranded in a tropical paradise sans money. We’ve compiled a detailed list of costs that we incurred during our 10 day trip through the Philippines. We visited Siargao, El Nido and Coron. If you plan on visiting other islands in the archipelago, let this post be a guide to help you prepare your Philippines travel budget.

A 10 day budget for siargao, el nido & coron

TRANSPORT

Flights

If time is of the essence and you have a few more dollars up your sleeve, flying between the islands will be the fastest and most convenient mode of transport but also the most expensive. The two key airlines in the Philippines are Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. We’ve provided details of the flights that we booked during our 10 day trip.

Remember! Where you can, purchase carbon offsets with airlines and do your bit for the environment.

Manila – Siargao (via Cebu)

Flying Cebu Pacific 

x2 flights, x2 people, checked baggage

PHP ₱9,669

AUD $276 | USD $189 | GBP £147 | EUR €170

Siargao – Cebu

Flying Cebu Pacific

x1 flight, x2 people, checked baggage

PHP ₱8,956

AUD $255 | USD $175 | GBP £136 | EUR €158

Cebu – El Nido

Flying Air Swift

x1 flight, x2 people, checked baggage (10kg limit per person)

PHP ₱13,980

AUD $400 | USD $273 | GBP £213 | EUR €246

Coron – Manila

Flying Cebu Pacific

x1 flight, x2 people, checked baggage

PHP ₱7,250

AUD $208 | USD $142 | GBP £110 | EUR 128

Hotel Transfers

Unless you’ve pre-arranged transport from the airport or ferry terminal to your hotel, you will be subject to the prices of hotel transfers set by drivers waiting in the pick up area.

During our 10-day trip in the Philippines, we paid for hotel transfers in Manila, Siargao, El Nido and Coron, travelling via minivan, taxi and tricycle. In some instances, you will be able to haggle the price down, but in many cases, transfers are fixed prices.

Manila

Airport to Hotel – Taxi Transfer

PHP ₱200

AUD $5.80 | USD $3.90 | GBP £3.05 | EUR €3.50

Be careful in Manila. Taxi drivers are supposed to run fares on their meters but they are notorious for claiming malfunctioning machines and/or will bargain a fixed fare with you instead.

We had come off the back of travelling almost 30 hours to reach Manila and even though our hotel was just across the road from the airport (we basically could have slept at the airport because we needed to be back there less than 8 hours later), we were in no mood to argue and agreed with the fixed rate proposed by our taxi driver. If you are travelling further into town, insist that the driver runs the meter.

Siargao

Airport to Guesthouse – Shared Minivan

PHP ₱300 pp (one-way)

AUD $8.55 | USD $5.85 | GBP £4.55 | EUR €5.30

Majority of transport from the airport to General Luna/Cloud 9 area is via minivan. This is because visitors usually arrive laden with luggage. You’ll be packed in with several other travellers but at least the van is air-conditioned! The journey is approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour and the driver will drop you at your accommodation.

El Nido

Airport to Hotel – Private Minivan

PHP ₱600

AUD $17.15 | USD $11.70 | GBP £9.15 | EUR €10.55

We arranged a transfer with our hotel from the airport at a fixed price.

Coron

Ferry Terminal to Hotel (arrival) – Tricycle

PHP ₱100

AUD $2.85 | USD $1.95 | GBP £1.50 | EUR €1.75

Arriving at the Coron ferry terminal, you will be bombarded with tricycle drivers, yelling at you and pulling at your arm. Don’t be afraid to haggle the price here. We managed to halve ours on the spot. Make sure you agree on the price before allowing the driver to load your luggage onto their tricycle.

Coron

Hotel to Airport (departure) – Private Minivan

PHP ₱600

AUD $17.15 | USD $11.70 | GBP £9.15 | EUR €10.55

Our hotel helped to organise this transfer for us at a cost of PHP 300 per person.

Drone capturing a glorious sunset over Nacpan Beach, El Nido
Amazing aerial view of Cadlao Island at sunset, El Nido
A couple share kiss underneath the palm trees on Nacpan Beach with a beautiful sunset backdrop

In-Betweens

For day-to-day activities, transport is usually by tricycle or scooter. We’ve listed a few of the costs we incurred and some others that you can expect to pay.

Ferry

El Nido to Coron

PHP ₱1,848 per person

AUD $53 | USD $36 | GBP £28 | EUR €33

We used Montenegro Lines to catch a ferry one way from El Nido to Coron. The journey is approximately 3 hours. You must reserve a seat and collect your tickets from the ferry office the day before you travel.

Tricycle Hire

Land tour of Siargao

PHP ₱1,500

AUD $43 | USD $29 | GBP £23 | EUR €27

We hired a driver to transport us around Siargao. We visited Sugba Lagoon, Magpupungko Rock Pools, Messin River Rope Swing. Each of these attractions had their own entrance fees.

Tricycle Hire

Transport between Cloud 9 and General Luna in Siargao

PHP ₱20 – 50 per person

from AUD $0.60 | USD $0.40 | GBP £0.30 | EUR €0.35

The local taxi service in Siargao is via tricycle. It is simple enough to flag one down on the main road. Prices are generally per person; the higher rates usually apply in the evening or during peak time (i.e. around sunset at Cloud 9).

Tricycle Hire

Nacpan Beach (return)

PHP ₱1,200

AUD $34 | USD $23 | GBP £18 | EUR €21

Unfortunately, the trip from El Nido to Nacpan Beach is not the most comfortable in a tricycle as it was quite a snug fit for the two of us. The last 15 minutes of the journey is also on an unpaved, rocky road but the incredible, jaw-dropping sunsets and quiet beachfront makes the bumpy trip more than worth it. There are shuttle buses which complete the same journey from El Nido for the same price (PHP ₱600 per person return), however, you are restricted to set departure times.

Scooter Hire

PHP ₱350 – 500 per day

from AUD $10.00 | USD $6.85 | GBP £5.30 | EUR €6.15

The rental price varies from island to island and this is based on information from fellow travellers. We didn’t hire a scooter ourselves based on our experience in Nusa Penida, Indonesia. 

1L of Petrol

PHP ₱55 per litre

AUD $1.57 | USD $1.07 | GBP £0.84 | EUR €0.97

A tricycle by the palm trees grove, Siargao

ACCOMMODATION

There is a range of accommodation across the islands from budget hostel rooms and cheap homestays to upscale 5-star resorts. We selected varied accommodation during our trip, choosing to save money in Siargao but splurging in El Nido. 

Based on our experience, the standards differed dramatically. However, despite the price difference, all the accommodation we stayed in was always clean and tidy with helpful staff. You can search for a deal on Booking.com or on Airbnb.

Siargao

Nine Clouds Homestyle Accommodation

Double Room with Fan, Shared Bathroom

4 nights, 1 room

PHP ₱3,000

AUD $86 | USD $59 | GBP £46 | EUR €53

El Nido

Bella Athena Garden

Double Room, Air-Conditioned, Private Bathroom

4 nights, 1 room

PHP ₱20,000

AUD $571 | USD $390 | GBP £304 | EUR €352

Coron

Argamosa Bayside Inn

Superior Double Room, Air-Conditioned, Private Bathroom

2 nights, 1 room

PHP ₱4,592

AUD $130 | USD $90 | GBP £70 | EUR €80

FOOD & DRINK

From fresh tropical fruit drinks to cold bottle of beers, colourful halo-halo dessert and scrumptious BBQ dinners – this is what you should eating in the Philippines.

Fresh Coconut

Buy it fresh from a stand and it will be cheaper. Restaurants and cafes add a mark-up. Say no to plastic straws!

PHP ₱50 – 120

from AUD $1.40 | USD $1.00 | GBP £0.75 | EUR €0.90

Mango Shake

Cold and refreshing and damn delicious. Other flavours include coconut and pineapple. Say no to plastic straws!

PHP ₱150

AUD $4.30 | USD $2.90 | GBP £2.30 | EUR €2.65

Bottle of Beer

San Miguel is the local beer. Always cheaper buying from the beach shacks than in a restaurant.

PHP ₱60 – 120

from AUD $1.70 | USD $1.20 | GBP £0.90 | EUR €1.05

Smoothie Bowl

Watch out Bali. The Filipino smoothie bowls are becoming some serious competition in terms of aesthetics and flavours. The best smoothie bowls we ate in the Philippines was at Shaka Cafe

PHP ₱250

AUD $7.15 | USD $4.90 | GBP £3.80 | EUR €4.40

Coffee

From an espresso to a latte, we made sure we scoped out the best places for caffeine. 

PHP ₱100 – 120

from AUD $2.85 | USD $1.95 | GBP £1.50 | EUR €1.75

Grilled fish with rice & vegetables

When surrounded by the ocean, fresh seafood is always close by.

PHP ₱300

AUD $8.55 | USD $5.85 | GBP £4.55 | EUR €5.30

Halo Halo

The technicolour Filipino dessert is a concoction of crushed ice, evaporated milk, purple ube, sweetened beans, coconut strips, sago, gulaman (seaweed gelatin), pinipig rice, fruit slices, flan and topped with ice cream. Don’t turn your nose up too soon – give it a go! It’s refreshing and delicious.

PHP ₱80

AUD $2.30 | USD $1.55 | GBP £1.20 | EUR €1.40

Ice Cream

In El Nido, we recommend Stix & Cones.

In Coron, we recommend Pedro’s Gelato.

PHP ₱100 – 150

from AUD $2.85 | USD $1.95 | GBP £1.50 | EUR €1.75

Boodle fight

A boodle fight in Filipino culture is the military practice of eating a meal. This type of meal dispenses cutlery and diners are encouraged to eat with their hands. We visited Boodle Fight Resto & Bar in El Nido and ate the Boodlefight Special (all meat) served with rice and salad for x2 people.

PHP ₱395

AUD $11.30 | USD $7.70 | GBP £6.00 | EUR €6.95

BBQ Dinner

For two people, you can eat like royalty without breaking the bank. BBQ dinners ended up being our favourite and you can usually watch your meat, seafood and vegetables being cooked on the grill before coming straight to your table. 

PHP ₱450 – 650

from AUD $12.90 | USD $8.80 | GBP £6.85 | EUR €7.95

Smoothie bowls on the beach at Shaka cafe, Siargao
The bright rainbow colours of a Halo Halo dessert, Philippines Travel Budget
A latte and espresso at Fili Beans Espresso, Siargao

ACTIVITIES

You’re surrounded by water so most of the activities are water-based. Island-hopping is by far the most popular.

Private Boat Tour (Siargao)

Three Islands Tour

PHP ₱1,500 (per boat)

AUD $43 | USD $29 | GBP £23 | EUR €26

There are fewer boat tours from Siargao and the most popular is a half-day tour to Guyam Island, Naked Island and Daku Island. No lunch included. You can only buy food and drink on Daku Island. We did see boats transporting groups of tourists to these same islands so if you choose to visit the islands this way, we expect the price per person would be less.

Private Boat Tour (El Nido)

Tour B

PHP ₱7,000 (minimum)

from AUD $200 | USD $137 | GBP £107 | EUR €123

If you are travelling with a group of friends, a private boat tour is cost effective and allows a fair bit of flexibility. Ours included lunch and an additional pit-stop but this came at an extra cost in terms of money and time. 

Group Boat Tour (El Nido)

Tour D

PHP ₱1,200 – 1,800 per person (tour dependent)

from AUD $35 | USD $23 | GBP £18 | EUR €21

In El Nido, we opted to participate in a group tour with El Nido Boutique & ArtCafe and selected Tour D. We got quite lucky as this tour only had 8 people including ourselves. Lunch and unlimited water included.

Group Boat Tour (Coron)

Ultimate Islands Escapades Tour

PHP ₱1,200 – 2,000 per person (tour dependent)

from AUD $35 | USD $23 | GBP £18 | EUR €21

In Coron, we selected the Ultimate Islands Escapades Tour. We got unlucky as this tour had 21 people on the boat including ourselves. Hotel pick-up and drop off, lunch and unlimited water included.

Snorkel Mask Hire

PHP ₱100

AUD $2.85 | USD $1.95 | GBP £1.50 | EUR €1.75

We found that snorkel mask hire was always an additional extra on boat tours. If you have your own pair plus room in your suitcase, we recommend bringing your own.

Sugba Lagoon Tour (Siargao)

PHP ₱2,000 – 2,500 (2 pax)

from AUD $57 | USD $39 | GBP £30 | EUR €35

One of the most popular attractions to visit from Siargao is Sugba Lagoon. There are 6 tour options to choose from that are organised from Del Carmen. The cost that we have listed is the amount that we paid for Tour C for two people as well as the environmental tax of PHP ₱200 per person.

Kayak Rental

PHP ₱500 (full day) PHP ₱300 (half day)

AUD $14.30 / $8.55 | USD $9.75 / $5.85 | GBP £7.60 / £4.55 | EUR €8.80 / €5.30

We hired a kayak from El Nido Boutique & Art Cafe and paddled around the headland to Ipil Ipil Beach and Seven Commandos Beach. We’d recommend packing food as there were only drink shacks on Seven Commandos Beach.

Surfboard Rental

PHP ₱400 per day

AUD $11.40 | USD $7.80 | GBP £6.10 | EUR €7.05

No lack of them in General Luna and Cloud 9. If you don’t have a means to transport your surfboard around the island (i.e. on the side of a scooter), best to hire one close to where the waves are so you don’t have to carry it too far. See below.

Surfing Lesson

PHP ₱200 per hour

AUD $5.80 | USD $3.90 | GBP £3.05 | EUR €3.50

For beginners, head to Jackson Trail at Cloud 9 where you’ll find plenty of shops with surfboard rentals and surfing instructions. The guys speak excellent English and are super patient.

Wading through the shallow rock pools at Magpupungko, Siargao
A girl stands on a SUP at Sugba Lagoon, Siargao
Kayakers enjoying Cadlao Lagoon surrounded by jagged rocks, El Nido
A couple perch on the edge of a boat during a boat tour in El Nido, The Philippines

OTHER COSTS

Local SIM Card

PHP ₱800

AUD $22.85 | USD $15.60 | GBP £12.15 | EUR €14.10

There are two main telecommunication mobile carriers in the Philippines: Globe & Smart. We chose Globe solely based on the tourist package that best aligned with our itinerary. The package gave us 1,000 text messages (all networks), 500 call minutes (Globe and TM networks only) and 25GB internet for 15 days. In our experience, internet coverage was pretty patchy at times so don’t expect amazing connection or loading speeds if you choose to buy a local SIM.

ATM Withdrawal Fees

PHP ₱250 per withdrawal

AUD $7.15 | USD $4.90 | GBP £3.80 | EUR €4.40

ATM fees are the WORST. But they’re part of travelling, particularly in countries where cash is king. The ATMs in the Philippines, from our experience and from what we’ve heard, all charge the same flat withdrawal fee with most machines limiting travellers to a maximum withdrawal amount of PHP ₱20,000. You may also find many machines “Out of Order” so for peace of mind, withdrawing cash at an airport is usually a safe bet.

Travel Insurance

Variable

And you should never travel without travel insurance. If you’re sitting on the fence, read our blog post – TRAVEL INSURANCE: SHOULD I, SHOULDN’T I?

Have you visited the Philippines? Let us know of any other items that travellers should budget for!

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