How to Get to El Nido, Palawan

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El Nido seems to be a far flung place when I first heard about it. I was so ignorant about this place that the first thing that comes to my mind whenever I hear the word El Nido is an expensive resort. But now that I’ve been here for a couple of weeks already, I know that this paradise on Earth is accessible and can be a cheap destination too.

Here’s how you can get here:

By Air

Unfortunately as of now, only Seair serves the Manila-El Nido-Manila route by air. There seems to be no competition as of now although sometimes a chartered flight flies here too (check ITI Air).

Alternatively you can fly from Manila to Cebu to Puerto Prinsesa via Cebu Pacific Air, Zest Air or Airphil Express.

Overland

How to Get to El Nido, Palawan

Once you get to Puerto Prinsesa, you can either take the bus which will cost you around P350 or take the shuttle van which will cost you around P600. They are only available at 5AM, 7AM and 9AM. If you don’t get to catch the bus or the van, you can then contact Fort Wally if they have a special trip in the afternoon. The special trip will cost you around P700.

Warning:

 

On our way to El Nido, we stopped by a terminal to pick up more passengers. Unfortunately those passengers didn’t show up and some guys in the terminal asked us to add P500/person more to cover the cost. Together with the other passengers we politely decline to pay more since it isn’t our fault that their expected passengers didn’t arrive.

By Sea

There’s a ferry service that brings passengers to El Nido and vice versa via Atienza Shipping. The cost is around P1000 and the travel time is around 28 hours. Their contact number in Manila is (02)2438848 and their El Nido phone number is 09185666786/09056445041.

EL Nido – Manila: M/F Departs at 12MN

Manila – El Nido: T/F Departs at 6PM

Suggestion:

If you have more than a month to travel and enjoy the beauty of Palawan, I suggest you start your trip by flying from Manila to Coron and then hop on a ferry to El Nido and continue on to Puerto Prinsesa overland. From Puerto Prinsesa, you could just catch a plane back to Manila. Both Manila to Coron and Puerto Prinsesa is being served by local carriers such as Cebu Pacific Air, Zest Air and Airphil Express. You will definitely see most of the famous tourist spots here if you take this route.

Photo Credits: Pic by Frameless World

Comments

  1. wow, a month just to explore the place? — minimum? no wonder so many people are enchanted by the beauty of Palawan.

  2. Well, this is a good guide. And cool! Posted in Yahoo Travel :)

  3. ryan angeles says:

    we’ve been to El Nido-Puerto Prinsesa last week, it was such a paradise! beaches are so stunning..I hope more travelers can visit the place! loved it..

  4. I’m from Puerto Princesa City and have been to El Nido twice. I must say your information is very informative and accurate. Kudos! Additional info, normally the boat ride for island hopping is 1200-1600 good for 6 heads and that’s with meal and will bring you to a set of 3 different island beaches (if your trip is not a pre-arranged package from a touring agency, you can bargain with the price). There are three sets of destination. Each set includes 3 beaches. So if you can stay for 3 days in El Nido and you have enough money, you will definitely enjoy. =) Enjoy

    • thanks for the additional information Ben

    • Hi Ben,
      Good day, Im Jen, a Filipino but based in Singapore I have been meaning to find someone who
      actually lives in Palawan who I can ask questions regarding the province. Myself and some of my french buddies are planning a trip to el nido early next year. Is there any way we can keep in touch,lets say through email in case I want to enquire or ask advise from you, stuff that a local
      like you can answer best than some travel agent. No pressure, if you are comfortable with giving me you email add i will totally understand. Have a good day, and your lucky to be in a place where you can consider a paradise.

      Jen

    • do you think how much many i need if i stay about 3-5 days in el nido :)

      • HI Xtian, It all depends on what you want do and how much comfort you wanted but the basic cost on the lower end of the spectrum might be around 300-500 for accommodation and then P100/meal.

  5. Hi, my wife and son has been planning to go to that beautiful place a long time ago but we are on a tight budget. Can you show us how to do it step-by-step and the approximate cost, excluding airfares to and from Manila? You’re help is much appreciated!

    • Hi Joshua, for flights direct to el nido you can check flyseair.com for the updated airfares… alternatively, you could fly to puerto princes and take a van to el nido :-)

  6. hi flip.. any idea what’s the best hotel in Coron but affordable? my boyfriend and i will be there a week from now, any ideas of what activities are best to try? we only have a limited budget of 20-25k. please give us information for a hotel to stay, 3d 2n, foods and activities… pls pls pls…

    • hi cmn, sorry but cant remember the hotels in coron anymore, i have a listings though for el nido… island hopping would be the best activity in coron :-)

      • When I went to Coron last year, the ferry you mention was not available so we travel by a large boat with a capacity of 15-20 pax.The travel took 8 hours from Coron to El Nido.
        If you are looking for a place to stay in Coron, it is quite easy. Just head to the market, there are quite a few inns you can walk by & ask around. You should try to go to the hotspring, a locally known site and not to miss the Tapyas hill. I love to be back at Coron.

  7. Hi Flip,

    i like ur blog, by the way, my wife and i wanted to explore EL nido, im done with Underground river but my wife has to see it during this travel. With the 3 days two night time, I wanted to visit both place to make i sulit.. can you still remember any cheap accommodation at EL-Nido? how much would it cost per night…Thanks

  8. never thought may ferry from manila to el nido… pasok sa budget, medyo matagal nga lang travel time. thanks.

  9. we’ll be in Puerto Prinsesa for 3 days. 1st day is our arrival. 2nd day we have a scheduled Underground River tour. we have the 3rd day free to go anywhere before we fly @ 535pm to manila. which tour can you suggest for this limited time, honday bay island tour or el nido tour?

    thanks!

    • hi daisy i suggest you go for the honda bay tour because el nido is quite far from puerto princesa and the transportation (back and forth) would eat your time :-) enjoy your trip :-)

  10. found your blog while looking for info on El Nido.. Planning to go there in Nov.. although the post is written last year, it still provides me with good infos.. thanx :)

  11. Just started following your blog recently, love it! I know this comment is a bit late but random note on traveling from Coron – El Nido.. have you heard of the company Tao Expeditions based out of Coron? They do a 5 day sailing trip from Coron to El Nido (and vice versa) and it sounds like an amazing way to travel. Haven’t seen any other companies offering a similar type of thing, know of any? Anyway… maybe you should add slow going island hopping to your list of ways (you do mention a ferry).

  12. Hi! My partner and i are going there soon. We will be going to the underground river on the 2nd day and flying back from puerto princesa on the 5th day. Do you think we should still travel to El Nido on the 3rd and 4th day? Appreciate your help in advance!

    • It’s possible but the time might not be enough as the overland travel will eat up around five hours of your time (per way).

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  1. [...] Puerto Princesa  and take a five to six- hour bus trip up to El Nido. Check out my blog post on How to Go to El Nido for a more detailed [...]

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