Travel: Philippines • How to get to El Nido

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Planning your trip to El Nido?
• How to get to El Nido?
Best way to get to El Nido, Palawan


✍️ El Nido is a 1st class municipality in the province of the island Palawan in Philippines. It is about 420 kilometres (260 mi) south-west of Manila and about 238 kilometres (148 mi) north-east of Puerto Princesa, Palawan's capital.
El Nido is a managed resource protected area and it is well known for its white-sand beaches, coral reefs, limestone cliffs and as the gateway to the Bacuit archipelago.
El Nido is currently ranked No4 in Condé Nast Traveler's list of 20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World.
Also in CNNgo El Nido was named as The Best Beach and Island destination in the Philippines for its “extraordinary natural splendor and ecosystem”.


• The most inexpensive way to go to El Nido in Palawan island is if you book a flight (in advance to get promotional discounted fares) from Manila (or Cebu city) to Puerto Princesa city and from there take a local bus to El Nido.

• The airlines that usually flight this trip from Manila are Cebu Pacific (affiliated with Tiger Airways), Zest Air (affiliated with Air Asia) or Philippine Airlines. From Cebu city to Puerto Princesa you will find only Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. All the above airlines aren’t that expensive if you are travelling light (with not many luggages that will cost you extra money).


Lily's tips for this trip | Your reviews How to get to El Nido Philippines
Photo from travel-palawan.com



Lily's Tips:
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The cheapest way, the quickest way and the adventurous way to get to the famous El Nido


✍️ The most inexpensive way to go to El Nido in Palawan island is if you book a flight (in advance to get promotional discounted fares) from Manila (or Cebu city) to Puerto Princesa city and from there take a local bus to El Nido.

• The airlines that usually flight this trip from Manila are Cebu Pacific (affiliated with Tiger Airways), Zest Air (affiliated with Air Asia) or Philippine Airlines. From Cebu city to Puerto Princesa you will find only Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. All the above airlines aren’t that expensive if you are travelling light (with not many luggages that will cost you extra money).



How to get to El Nido upon exiting the (Puerto Princesa) airport:


1) Take a tricycle to the San Jose Bus Terminal (15 minutes drive that costs about 150 pesos) and get on an airconditioned RoRo bus or Cherry bus to El Nido (Corong-corong) bus station.
The buses run between Puerto Princesa to El Nido and back daily starting at 5:00 AM up to 6:00 PM, with 1-2 hour intervals between trips.
Travel time is 6-7 hours because there are many numerous bus stops for picking up and dropping off the passengers throughout until the final destination.
Ticket fare is around PHP 480 - 500.00 (USD 11.00).
From Corong-corong bus station in El Nido you might have to take a tricycle ride to go to your hotel.


2) There are several private shuttle vans that will take you direct to El Nido bus station in 4-5 hours.
The most famous and well organized shuttle van operators are Lexus and Eulen Joy.
Ticket fare is around PHP 600.00 (USD 13.00).
In case you aren’t able to catch a van from the airport, head over to the San Jose Bus terminal where there are also many shuttle vans going to El Nido.
Some complains have been made for their service and the speeding drivers of Eulen Joy and Lexus private vans that you need to search before booking your trip with them.



3) If you are minimum 5 persons to run, take a Day tripper Van from Puerto Princesa to arrive in El Nido in about 5 – 6 hours (usually with two stop included – one for lunch and one for pee).
They can pick you up on the airport and bring you to Corong-corong bus station because vans are not allowed to go in El Nido city.
The Daytripperpalawan.com company uses large spacious vans with comfortable seats with seatbelts and all the drivers speak English. Visit their website to view their trip schedules and to make early reservations and booking via internet.
Ticket fare is around PHP 950.00 (USD 21.00) per person and lunch stop (in Roxas) isn’t included.
If you want to eat in a specific restaurant in Roxas, please let the driver know about it.
Book your seats and pay your tickets in advance if you plan to visit during the high season.

Mind that during Christmas and big holidays all busses and vans are changing their schedules and they don’t run that often.



The quickest way to get to El Nido:

The quickest way to go to El Nido is to take a straight flight to El Nido airport.
You might pay something like PHP 6750.00 (USD 150.00) per person one way or 11.500 -12.000 pesos (only for the airtickets) but it will save you almost 2 days of travel time if you flight into Puerto Princessa airport and waste 7 hours in a bus/van each way.
Flights from Manila or Cebu airport to El Nido are only served by Air Swift*
Flight time is 55 minutes. Upon landing, it’s about a 15-minute tricycle or jeepney** ride to El Nido town.



The most adventurous way to get to the famous El Nido:

Just for the travel story there are also a few ways to go to El Nido from Manila with boat.
But as there are no direct ferry trips from Manila to El Nido, it could take from many hours to several days to reach your final destination.
You must be a really adventurous traveler or have a lot of time to spend to choose these ways of travel, though they don’t actually save you a lot of money (expect to pay minimum 3,800 PHP for this trip).
The journey is very scenic though as the ferry will pass through smaller islands between Coron and El Nido.



* Air Swift is the charter company for El Nido Resorts.
The flights land directly at Lio airport, located about 4 kilometers from midtown.
At the airport tricycle drivers will be waiting for you and it will take around 20 minutes to get into town.
You can also check in advance with your hotel if they can organize a pick up for you.



** Jeepneys (Filipino: Dyipni), sometimes called simply jeeps, are buses and the most popular means of public transportation ubiquitous in the Philippines.
They are known for their crowded seating and kitsch decorations, which have become a widespread symbol of Philippine culture and art.







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