Reaching El Nido is neither a difficult task nor a complicated one. El Nido island, Philippines is connected with almost all sorts of transportation, be it flight, bus, or boat. You can consider visiting the island from either Manila or from Puerto Island as both the destinations are pretty well connected with El Nido. You can choose to fly from these places to get to El Nido. It is the best and the most convenient way how to get to El Nido, however, a bit costly as well. There is also an option of traveling by bus to reach the island, which is the cheapest and ideal way for all the budget travelers. Cruising through a boat can also be a choice for you to reach El Nido. But as always, it would be a bit longer journey. This post includes detail information on all these means of transportation to El Nido island. Thus, without any delay, let’s now find out the apt and the most suitable means for you to get to the beautiful island of El Nido in Palawan.
Btw, I know its no secret, but still, El Nido is one of the best islands in the Philippines I visited.
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Traveling From Manila to El Nido
Manila to El Nido By Air
If you are planning to visit El Nido from Manila, the capital of the Philippines, then you should consider traveling by air as it is the most convenient and fastest travel choice. Travelers with a big budget can prefer to take a direct flight from Manila to El Nido airport, also referred to as Lio Airport. The airhead is located some two miles north of downtown.
Consider Air Swift ( a Filipino-owned regional airline) to book a regular flight from Manila. There are around 3-6 flight departures from Manila to El Nido. From Manila, the flight departs from Terminal 4 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Fares of the flight totally depends on the season as well as the availability of the seats. However, to book your flight, you can visit the official website of Air Swift airline. On the top of your flight ticket fare, you can also expect to pay a fee of 2000 PHP as an environmental fee. This fee is given to El Nido Foundation – an NGO that works on environmental issues in El Nido as well as in islands in Bacuit Bay.
Manila to El Nido By Sea
Yes, you can also get to El Nido from Manila by sea. For that, you first have to board a boat from Manila to Coron by ferry and from Coron to Palawan by speed boat. This means it will definitely be a time-consuming way to reach El Nido yet, you will get to enjoy the abundance of beauty of the archipelago. The journey could take up to 2 days to complete. Hence, I won’t recommend this in the first place. However, if your El Nido itinerary gives you time to cover this journey, then surely it would be an experience to remember for a long time.
Puerto Princesa to El Nido
If you are comfortable with long-hour traveling, then you should consider a bus ride from Puerto Princesa would be the best way to reach El Nido. The total distance of the journey is around 144 miles and it will take around 8-9 hours to reach El Nido from Puerto Princesa. But the best thing is you wouldn’t regret your decision of traveling through a bus as the highways and roads are well paved. The only thing that will be uncomfortable for you will be the leg space of your bus.
There are two stops from where you can take a bus to El Nido
San Jose Terminal
It is a public transport terminal which is located right next to the public market. Board a local motorized tricycle to reach here. Upon arrival, ask anyone about the bus to El Nido.
Puerto Princesa International Airport
You can also find a bus going to El Nido at the arrival area at Puerto Princesa International Airport. The buses wait here for passengers who want to reach El Nido
Cherry Bus is one of the most secure options for travelers who want to visit El Nido from Puerto Princesa. These buses go nine times a day to El Nido. You can choose the preferred time slot from their official website. Also, these buses are available in two categories – air-conditioned and ordinary buses. The best time slot is the overnight one which I also prefer in case of a long road journey. The bus leaves Puerto Princesa around 9 PM and reaches El Nido at around 4 AM. The fare depends on the bus category – you will have to pay around 385 PHP for an ordinary bus ride and 480 PHP for an air-conditioned bus ride.
For a road journey, there is also an option of boarding a van. There are a lot of companies that operate van service from Puerto Princessa airport to El Nido on a daily basis. Some of them are Biyaheroes, DaytripperPalawan, and CAMARIH Transport. You can find these vans from the terminal itself. These are the executive vans that offer more comfort than open-air buses. What makes these vans a better option than buses is the fact that it takes just 6 hours (instead of 8) to get to El Nido if you are traveling by a van. The fare somewhere ranges between 350 PHP and 950 PHP. If you are in a large group, then consider hiring the whole van. In that case, prices are available on request.
Air Swift also offers direct flight services from Puerto Princesa Airport to El Nido. The company also offers smooth flight services for return from El Nido to Puerto Princesa Airport. This is the best and the most convenient way to reach the island. However, it is a little expensive than other means. A flight journey from Puerto Princesa to El Nido Island takes around 50 minutes to complete and the cost of the one-side flight is around 3000 PHP. You can book your ticket from the official website of Air Swift.
Is the Trip Worth It?
Absolutely! But you must have a meticulously designed itinerary for your El Nido travel. You should be well aware of where to go to El Nido. My personal recommendation is some of the best El Nido Beach. Lio Beach, Duli Beach, Dolarog Beach, and Marimegmeg Beach are some of the most pristine El Nido beaches to visit.
So, these are all the options available for tourists who want to visit El Nido, the Philippines from both Manila and Puerto Princesa. However, if you want to add a different charm to your vacation in El Nido, consider having the best stay in El Nido. The Cavern Pod Hotel & Specialty Cafe, Fisheye The Rooms, Cuna Hotel, Focus Rooms, Sea Cocoon Hotel, and Lagun Hotel are some of the best El Nido places to stay and El Nido accommodation for all visitors.