With its immaculate beaches and inviting blue waters, El Nido is a favorite among veteran backpackers. And while the long-haul trip to get there and some of the island hopping tours may set budget travellers back a tad, accommodation can be scrimped on with these great bang-for-your-buck hostels.
Though a bit on the pricier end, this artsy hostel offers more than just a simple bed and bath. It’s detailed and beautiful and the perfect environment for meeting open, like-minded, adventure-seeking individuals. Making a conscious effort to foster an ideal atmosphere for socializing, Spin not only has several shared spaces that are bright and cozy, they also regularly organize fun events like pub crawls, barbecues, and karaoke nights. Clean, endearingly stylish, and serving a good breakfast – this is a far cry from your run-of-the-mill hostel.
Outpost is the fun-loving backpacker’s perfect pick. It sits right on the beach of Corong-Corong (about a five-minute tricycle ride from the El Nido town proper) and emanates a vibrant, social energy to go with their great common areas overlooking the beach and sea. At night, these areas come alive when the hostel encourages everyone to get together through activities and a nightly theme. Drinks, good music, new friends, and a spectacular view of the sunset — for the fun, young, social traveler, Outpost is hard to beat.
Though more of a bed and breakfast with mostly quaint private rooms, Amakan also has a few dormitory-style rooms of four and six beds for the thrifty traveller. It’s well-located, with plenty of nearby restaurants, cafes, and stores, and about a five-minute walk to the beach. Aside from its location, Amakan is appreciated for its cleanliness and modern design — making it an instant standout from its shabbier competitors. Guests are also made to start their El Nido days the right way with extensive daily breakfast buffets, including both Continental and Filipino favorites.
Pawikan Hostel | Courtesy of Pawikan Hostel El Nido
For travellers who are short on time, it’s always best to stay as central as possible. Simple, affordable, and reliable, Pawikan Hostel is a quick walk from the beach, the jump-off point for El Nido’s famous island hopping tours around Bacuit Bay. If your trip is limited to just enough time for the most popular tours, waste no time or energy getting to and from a distant hostel. Pawikan offers three types of accommodations: a double room, a double room with an extra bed, and the budget-friendly dorm room. All are equipped with air conditioning and include breakfast.
If you want to distance yourself from the crowded El Nido town proper, perhaps a hostel on Nacpan beach (less than an hour on scooter or via tricycle from town) would better suit your fancy. Unlike the one by El Nido town, this beach is actually one you’d want to relax on. Mad Monkey Hostel sits perfectly beachfront, allowing guests stunning views throughout their stay — their second floor open-air lounge provides just about the best seats in the house. The staff nurture a social and relaxed atmosphere, making guests feel right at home and comfortable with one another. Despite being a rather young establishment, Mad Monkey already has several high points that put them ahead of the competition including spacious beds, a great bar, and breathtaking unobstructed views.
Perfect for the no-frills traveller, Our Melting Pot Hostel has all the basic amenities one would need for a painless price tag. With its central location, attentive staff, maintained cleanliness, and basic breakfast included daily, this hostel leaves little else for a backpacker to ask for.
Kings Landing Hostel Dorm Room | Courtesy of Kings Landing Hostel El Nido
At 500 PHP ($10) a bed in their eight-bed dorm room, Kings Landing Hostel is difficult to pass on. Their bathrooms are equipped with hot and cold showers and their rooms with air conditioning. It’s also located at the heart of El Nido town proper, keeping it a stone’s throw from several restaurants, cafes, and shops, but most importantly, the port from where boats depart for island hopping tours. The hostel’s hosts are warm and accommodating, giving guests a comfortable stay that feels more like a friend’s home than an establishment. Ask anything from emergency help to tips and recommendations and you’ll find they’re more than glad to lend a hand!