You have several options to get to El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. As someone who is based in Metro Manila, though, this post will discuss mainly about how to get to El Nido from Manila.
From Manila, there are direct flights to and out of El Nido. But, as expected, this will come out more expensive by a lot of thousands than when you opt to go there via Puerto Princesa. If you are one of those who do not mind spending, here is a website that I found useful in helping us decide (as if we needed more convincing) to take the Puerto Princesa route.
But, if you are like us, who would rather allot your resources on the experience (tours, food, etc.), there are cheap flights offered by airlines such as Cebu Pacific, PAL, and Airasia. Of course, we scoured for the cheapest flights during the time we booked and chose AirAsia.
From Puerto Princesa, you have the option of either taking a bus or riding a van to El Nido. Taking the bus would come out a bit cheaper. But, we also considered the length of time we had to be on the road (5-7 hours in a crowded bus is not a pleasant experience), the season (we visited Palawan during its not-so-peak season and so we assumed that there wouldn’t be a lot of tourists), the leg room, and the time we would arrive in El Nido (we wanted to get to El Nido the earliest time possible to maximize what we spent for the accommodations). While we were concerned with the comfort (we just requested that we be seated on the first row behind the driver for a bit more leg room) and because we wanted to maximize our time in El Nido as well as we thought there would not be too many tourists booking the van and so it wouldn’t be too crowded, we chose to take the van and booked with our hotel (for a little more convenience, Php 1,100.00, two-way). The bonus for us here is that we were picked up from the airport and didn’t have to go through the hassle (however little that may be) of getting to the bus terminal and having to wait for the next bus to leave.
If you have extra time and would enjoy the long bus ride, I would definitely suggest that you take the bus option. It’s cheaper by a couple of hundreds and I think there would be a bit more leg room and comfort than when you are in a van and would have to sit on the 2nd or 3rd row from the driver.
When you get to El Nido, you would have to take a trike to your hotel, especially if your hotel is located in one of the smaller streets, like ours. The tricycle ride will cost Php 50.00 (not per person) and that is the standard rate. We recommend contacting our driver, Kuya Jerry, who also owns a tour agency, Gea Tours. He is polite, respectful, and provides superb customer service – definitely what you can expect from an experienced security staff of famous El Nido hotels and former security OIC of a few Survivor shoots. :) You may contact him through this number: +63.909.237.2609
- Life’s a Beach! – El Nido, Palawan
- Nido Bay Inn, El Nido, Palawan
- Where to book your tours in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
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