How to get to El Nido?
It has never been that easy to reach El Nido. You can choose to travel by air, by land or by sea.
- Direct flight to El Nido airport:
The fastest and most comfortable way to get to El Nido.
Airswift offers direct flights between El Nido (Lio) and other popular destinations in the Philippines: Manila, Cebu, Bohol, Caticlan (Boracay) and Clark (Angeles).
Travel time is about 1 hour on a 40 seater ATR aircraft. You will land directly at Lio airport, located only 4 kilometers from El Nido town. From the airport, it’s a 20-minute tricycle ride to El Nido town.
A one way ticket is around 5,000php. This can vary depending on the time of the year. Watch out for promo flights on Artcafe’s Facebook page.
There is a 10kg weight restriction, including hand luggage. Each extra kilo is charged 200php.
- Land transportation from Puerto Princesa to El Nido:
The best value for budget travelers.
Puerto Princesa Airport in Central Palawan is the main gateway to the rest of the island. The airport receives regular flights from Manila, Cebu and most of the major airports in the country via CebuPacific, PAL Express, AirAsia and other local carriers. From Puerto Princesa, you still have to cover about 230 kilometers of highway to get to El Nido. To do so, you have different options:
- Van : The trip takes 5-6 hours. Most companies have 2 stops on the way where you can eat and rest for a bit.
- Bus. If you are on budget, take a bus. Ask a tricycle to take you to the bus terminal. There two companies travel on the Puerto Princesa-El Nido route every day. We recommend Cherry Bus. It takes about 6-8 hours, depending on how many stopovers the bus will make on the way.
- AC bus. If you want a bit more space the special aircon cherry bus has all the conforts of a modern bus. It has comfortable seats, aircon, tv, wifi, toilets on board. It leaves everyday at 9am and 9pm from both terminal in El Nido and Puerto Princessa. The price per passenger is Php 500.
- Car or motorbike. If you want to travel at your own pace you can rent a car or a motorcycle. Lakwatsero is one of the few rental companies offering one way service. A road trip is a great way to discover the Northern part of Palawan. You can stop over villages and enjoy the rustic view of the countryside. Be prepared, though. This can be a long trip (almost 300km) and full of surprises (cows, dogs, water buffaloes, potholes, etc.). Avoid traveling at night and drive safe!
We warmly recommend DaytripperPalawan. They will get you to El Nido safely and comfortably in their executive vans/coaches. You will have to get in touch with them to book your seat and organize pick up and drop off locations. The price per passenger is PHP 850-950.
Several other van companies leave daily from the Puerto Princesa airport. The vans can be crowded and the drivers in a hurry to get to destination. The price per passenger is PHP 500
Overnight in Puerto Princesa. If you want to stay overnight in Puerto Princesa, we can recommend you.
Hibiscus Garden Inn. The hotel has a beautiful tropical garden and a nice restaurant serving both local and western dishes. It is a convenient base if you want to explore the city.
- Boat trip from Coron to El Nido:
The most scenic route but remember to check the weather forecast.
If you decide to make the journey by ferry you have now 3 companies serving the El nido-Coron route. They all offer daily transfers from Coron to El Nido and vice-versa. The travel time is around 4h in newer and relatively comfortable fastcrafts. Keep in mind that bad weather can make the trip longer and very uncomfortable. Trip cancelations are also common due to bad weather or boat maintenance.
From El Nido to Coron:
The Monte Negro ferry leaves first at 6am. Followed by the Phimal ferry at 8:20am. And finally the Jomalia ferry at 12:30pm.
From Coron to El Nido:
The Jomalia ferry leaves first at 7:30am. Followed by the Phimal ferry at 8:20 am. And finally the The Monte Negro at 12pm.
To book a ticket visit one of the local travel agency at least one day before. Your hotel might also be able to help with this.
The price is 1,760php -1,840php.
Transport around El Nido town
Walking is always possible but can be at times quite hot. If you need to go a bit further here is how.
Paying the right price for a tricycle in El Nido.
Most drivers are honest but to avoid being overcharged it’s good to have a rough idea of the prices. The price depends on the distance of course and the time of the day. Expect to pay more at night.
Short rides in town should not cost more than Php 50.
Special trips like from the town center to corongcorong or corongcorong to maremegmeg are Php 100.
Going from the town to marimegmeg costs Php 200.
The rate to or from Lio airport is Php 350.
The daily rental can range from Php 400 to Php 1,000 depending on the unit.
Just remember to always wear a helmet and keep an eye out for unruly drivers and wandering dogs!