How to Get to El Nido from – Manila, San Vicente, Coron, or Puerto Princesa

How to Get to El Nido
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El Nido is one of the most popular destinations in Palawan because of its amazing underwater treasures and white-sand beaches. However, unlike Coron, Puerto Princesa, and San Vicente where several airline companies offer daily flights, there is only one flight that goes directly to El Nido and it is pretty expensive.

In this article, we will tackle the different and best ways on how to get to El Nido from Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

How to Get Directly to El Nido from Manila or Ninoy Aquino International Airport?

Air Swift is the only airline that flies directly to El Nido, Palawan from Manila. Their planes land directly at Lio Airport which is about 4 kilometers from midtown. Air Swift is the charter company of El Nido Resorts and definitely the fastest and easiest (but expensive) way to get to El Nido.

How to Get to El Nido from San Vicente?

Another (not prominent) option to get to El Nido is by taking a flight bound for San Vicente Airport from either Manila or Clark. San Vicente Airport was inaugurated in May 2018. Philippine Airlines (PAL Express) offers trips from Clark Airport to San Vicente, with an estimated time of 1 hour and 40 mins. Skyjet Airlines on another hand offers trips from Manila to San Vicente; travel time is one hour.

From San Vicente, El Nido is around 4 hours away by land travel.

How to Get to El Nido from Coron?

If you want to see another tropical paradise of Palawan before heading to El Nido, you can opt to fly to Busuanga first and explore Coron, Palawan. Travel time is only one hour. From Coron Port, you can take a 4-6 ferry ride bound for El Nido Ferry terminal. Ferry ride costs around ₱1,300-₱1,700 per way.

Discounted activities to do in Coron, Palawan

How to Get to El Nido from Puerto Princesa, Palawan?

The most popular way to get to El Nido, Palawan is by taking a plane ride from Manila to Puerto Princesa and then riding a van or a bus from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. The two main companies operating daily flights between Manila and Puerto Princesa are Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. You may ask our travel agency partner, Sole Adventours for the cheapest flights available on your preferred dates.

El Nido is just 230 kilometers away from Puerto Princesa, but it can take 5 to 9 hours of land travel because of the road condition. The bus usually takes longer because of multiple stopovers.

See the table below:

Mode of Transportation Travel Time Price
Van 5 to 6 hours  ₱500 to ₱700
Bus 6 to 9 hours  ₱380 (non-aircon) to ₱480 (aircon)
Private Car Around 5 hours ₱2000 to ₱3500 (daily rate)

A.) By Van – it is not difficult to look for a van ride from Puerto Princesa Airport to El Nido as El Nido van drivers offering a ride will start swarming around you the moment you step out the airport.

Transportation by van means you will be joining other passengers, so you have to be aware that, most of the time, the van company will wait until the van is full before leaving. Sometimes, you may even have to wait a few hours (basically, until the next flight has arrived). Another thing to consider is that van companies tend to fit a maximum of 13-14 people into one van, sometimes adding removable extra seats. Expect to be uncomfortable throughout the trip especially if you are a 6-foot-tall human being and stuck in the middle or in the last seat rows because you won’t have much leg room. 

Some van shuttle companies offer pick-up from Puerto Princesa hotels to El Nido. This is a very convenient option especially if you plan to stay a day or two in Puerto Princesa to do Underground River Tour or Honda Bay Tour.  

There is a trip leaving every hour. Earliest trip leaves at 6AM and the last trip is at 6PM. Our travel Partner Sole Adventours offer a one-way van transfer for ₱700 per person. You may message them here.

Book your DISCOUNTED van transfer below:

B.) By Bus – Roro Bus and Cherry Bus companies offer daily trips to E Nido from San Jose Bus Terminal. (Please refer to the table above for the rates). San Jose Bus Terminal is 7 kilometers away from the airport, which is 10 to 20 minutes tricycle ride that costs around ₱100. There are buses going to El Nido every one or two hours during the day. The earliest trip is at 4AM and the last trip is at 10PM.

Whether you take a van or a bus, the journey will end in Corong-Corong Bus Terminal, which is just a few minutes away from El Nido town proper. We recommend that you ride a tricycle to your hotel. During the day, the normal price is ₱15 per person; at night, the minimum rate goes up to ₱50 per person.

C.) By Private Car – If you’re traveling as a group, we recommend that you rent a private car for convenience. The rate is around ₱2000 to ₱3500 per day.

So that’s it. Welcome to El Nido! You can now get ready for your island hopping tours. Check and book discounted rates of popular El Nido activities below:

Travel Tips:

  1. If you decide to travel by bus, do the evening trip as it usually takes only around 5-6 hours due to lesser stopovers as compared to 8-9 hours during the daytime.
  2. If you are coming from another flight from outside the country and planning to fly to El Nido, San Vicente, or Puerto Princesa directly, give yourself a time allowance of at least 3 hours between your arrival and your next flight, so you’ll have enough time to go from one terminal to another. Take note that the traffic jams in Metro Manila are extensive.
  3. For affordable Palawan tour packages, contact our travel partner Sole Adventours. You can join shared tours to save more. 
  4. Be part of Love Eat Wander Facebook community and be connected with thousands of like-minded individuals. Share your travel stories with us through Tweets and Instagram photos. Please follow @loveeatwander. Also, check our YouTube channel for video updates.

Thank you for dropping by!


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