How to Get to El Nido, Palawan?

Located at the very north end of Palawan island, El Nido is quite a remote place (that’s also what makes it a charming place). Until a few years ago, accessing it used to be an adventure in itself, taking up to 24 hours from Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s main city, which is “only” 230 km away. Nowadays, this tropical paradise is much easier to reach… even though it still isn’t a total piece of cake.

How About El Nido?

Before planning your trip and choosing your island hopping tours in El Nido, the first thing you’ll need to know about it is how to actually get there! This is exactly what we’ll discuss here. We’ll see what are the most common and the most practical ways to get to El Nido, may it be by road, by air or by sea.

But you can Book The Fatest Way to go El Nido from Manila to El Nido the Airfare is epensive but this way is hussel Free. You can try here

How to Come and Enter The Philippines?

Let’s start from the beginning… If you’re a foreigner, chances are that you’ll arrive in the Philippines by a plane landing in Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport. There’s no advice we could give you about that, except trying to find a cheap flight. For that, you can use Skyscanner. This very popular tool retrieves and compares thousands of flights to allow you to find the cheapest. You can try it here.

The entry conditions in Philippines depends on your nationality. For most European and western countries, you won’t need a visa if you’re staying for less than 30 days. Nonetheless, you’ll need to give a proof of your intent to leave the country in that time window and the customs will ask you to show your exit flight ticket.

Now that you’re in Manila, the only advice I can give you is: get out of it as soon as you can. 🙂 That may sound harsh but this huge, overpopulated and polluted city has no real interest for a tourist… Especially if you compare it to the sugar-white sand beaches and crystal-clear water lagoons of the tropical paradise you’re heading to.

That’s up to you, for sure, but that’s the advice I give to all the friends coming to visit Palawan and the Philippines: if you can make the connection to Puerto Princesa the same day you land in Manila, just do it. Just give yourself a window of 3 hours minimum between your arrival and your next flight, so you’ll have enough time to go from one terminal to another (Manila is known for its HUGE trafic jams).

What is The Most Common Way to Get to El Nido?

We’ll now see what’s the most common way to get to El Nido, Palawan. It involves planes, vans and tricycles – exciting, right? This way represents the best compromise between cost and time. It’s also the easiest way in terms of organization, and all that probably explain why it’s the most popular.

1. Flying from Manila to Puerto Princesa

Most tourists coming to El Nido land on Palawan island in Puerto Princesa International Airport, through a direct flight from Manila. The two main companies operating daily flights between the two cities are Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. Thanks to the Skyscanner, you’ll find the cheapest prices for these flights. Just click here to access the flights search engine.

2. Taking a van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido

The journey usually continues with a van direct from Puerto Princesa airport up to El Nido bus terminal. Your van transfer will take between 4:30 and 6 hours, depending on the time of the day, and the price for a seat is around P600 to P700. You will find more information on that topic in this post: How to go from Puerto Princesa to El Nido?

3. Riding a tricycle to get to El Nido town

Finally, your van will stop in Corong-Corong bus terminal. This is located just 5 minutes away from El Nido Poblacion (the proper town) with a tricycle. You’ll just have to ask you to one of the drivers to take your hotel or guesthouse. During the day, the normal price is P20 per person, but at night, the rates goes up and the tricycle drivers will ask you P100 minimum.

So here you are, well arrived in El Nido! You can now get ready for your island hopping tours. 🙂

This most popular way to get to El Nido will basically take you one day. But, as I was saying, this isn’t the only way to reach your destination. Let’s have a look at what your other options are…

How to Get to El Nido by Road?

Once in Puerto Princesa, you do have several options to get from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. Mainly, you can either choose between a van (around P650/person) or a bus (around P400/person) trip. It’s also possible to rent a car (around P4,000/day) or to rent a motorbike (around P600/day). Travelling by road from Puerto Princesa to El Nido usually takes from 5 hours (van or car) to 9 hours (bus).

We already published a detailed guide on how to go from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. It will give you everything information you need to know in order to choose your mean of transportation, and give you the names of the companies operating these trips. Click here to read it: How to Travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido ?

For a most convenient trip, we definitely recommend to hire a private van. The cost is between P6,000 and P7,000 and it can accommodate groups up to 12 persons. You can book your private van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido directly on this page.

How to Get to El Nido by Plane?

Taking a plane from Manila to El Nido clearly is the fastest and the most confortable way to get to El Nido. It’s also, as you guess, the most expensive one. There is one company, Air Swift (formerly named ITI for Island Transvoyageur, Inc.), which operates several flights a day between El Nido, Manila, Cebu and Caticlan.

How much does a plane ticket to El Nido cost? It depends on the season and the special offers of Air Swift, but most of the time, it’s around P7,000 to P9,000.

How long does it take to go from Manila to El Nido by plane? Around 1 hour and a half. Compared to the +12 hours of flying to Puerto Princesa and going by road to El Nido, it’s an ultra quick way to get to El Nido.

During the time of ITI, the only way to book a flight ticket was to go through a local booking office in El Nido or Manila. It changed when the company was renamed Air Swift and they now have a website. You can check it to make a booking for flights between El Nido, Manila, Cebu and Caticlan.

How to Get to El Nido by Sea?

It is possible to get from Manila to El Nido by boat. You can book a ticket with Atienza Shipping Lines Travel from Manila to El Nido Direct Or 2Go Manila to Coron and then, in Coron, book another ticket going to El Nido with a local company. But it’s a long (loooong) way and it will take you 24 hours at least, plus a night in Coron. So, basically, it’s a two days trip. We don’t advise you to choose this solution (except, maybe, if you’re really afraid to fly!).

Nonetheless, the boat is the best option if you’re going from Coron to El Nido. The trip costs around P1,900 and takes around 4 hours. You can book your fast-craft trip from Coron to El Nido thanks to our online booking. Fast craft from El Nido to Coron is also available.

To sum up

The most common way to get to El Nido, Palawan, is by taking a plane from Manila to Puerto Princesa, and then taking a van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. It will take you a day, but it’s the cheapest way to go.

Another good option is to take a direct flight from Manila to El Nido. That way you don’t spend to much of your holiday time in the transportation. It’s also most expensive and may not be appropriate for backpackers travelling on a tight budget.

I hope this article helped you planning your trip to El Nido! Don’t hesitate to shoot us an email if you have any question or inquiry. We offer bookings for vans between Puerto Princesa and El Nido, as well as boat to and from Coron. And, for sure, we organize many island hopping tours. Just have a look at the miniatures below and at our online booking to see what’s available at the time of your stay.

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