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How to Get to El Nido Palawan?

Finally, I got the ticket, no news about flights being cancelled, I finally got the chance to fly out and visit another part of the Palawan province, the famous El Nido Palawan.

I was lucky enough that AirAsia Philippines was so generous in giving me ticket to Puerto Princesa Palawan, and that is from Cebu to Manila, then Puerto Princesa. I actually won a ticket for their flights from Cebu to Davao but since they’ve removed that flight, I asked if I could go instead to Puerto Princesa, and they’re so game with it. So, thank you AirAsia!


How to Go to El Nido via Plane?

There is actually a direct flight to Puerto Princesa from Cebu, but that one is not for free, so the flight provided by AirAsia was totally great for me. There is also now a direct flight to El Nido, and yes from Cebu! It used to be just from Manila to El Nido, but now AirSwift, a private airline and the only company that can land in El Nido now offer a flight from Cebu to El Nido.

The El Nido airport is about less than 30 minutes away from the main town. It doesn’t also look like the regular airports here in the Philippines, it’s like, there’s the runway, and there’s the plane, and tiny house that you can see from the main street.

Cebu or Manila to EL Nido

The direct flight to El Nido though may cost you 2 times more than your regular flight, so if your time is precious then you might want to go for this rather than going to Puerto Princesa or Coron Palawan in order to go to El Nido. The direct flight to the El Nido airport from Cebu or Manila costs around P6,000. And they’re also very strict with the baggage because of their small plane.

Via Puerto Princesa

Now, if you want to save a lot, you’ve booked a flight to Puerto Princesa in a seat sale (like how I first planned it, but lucky to be given a free ticket) then you’d rather go on a road trip from Puerto Princesa for 5-6 hours in a van for P500-P700 depending on the season and provider, and how you haggle.

You can surely save a lot if you take this route but yeah, it’s 5-6 hours. Our flight was actually delayed and landed in Puerto Princesa at 5pm, left Puerto Princesa around 6pm, and so we arrived around 12 midnight in El Nido and the Caalan Beach Resort tricycle picked us up.

Via Coron Palawan

Yes, if you’re visiting Coron, then why not just hop into a boat or ship from Coron, and go to El Nido Palawan. Not sure if the fee is the same, but Northern Hope Tours do offer a trip from El Nido to Coron for P1,500. So you might want to check that out too. I can’t give any more details since, well, I forgot to ask about this, but crossing from Coron to El Nido is totally possible.

How to Get to El Nido from Puerto Princesa?

You need to book a flight from Cebu or Manila to Puerto Princesa, depending on your flight schedule or preference you might also like to stop over first in Puerto Princesa and proceed to El Nido first thing in the next morning. But then again time is gold, so what we did is actually take a van at around 6pm and just take the trip, and arrived in El Nido around 12 midnight.

There are vans that you can take just in front of the airport, just follow the flow, and go straight and you’ll see people holding banners, with vans. If you prefer to have a van, which what I actually did, I booked our van ahead with Lexxus, and they’re so cool in waiting for us, since our flight was delayed for hours, and I informed them. They said they will still have a van there waiting for us.

The van will then stop at their own terminal for vans in El Nido, and there will be tricycles there waiting and they can take you to the hotel. Fare is P50 for 1 trip, 1 tricycle can fit up to 5, but ideally for foreigners it can be just be good for 2.

Van from Puerto Princesa Airport to El Nido, and Vice Versa

Vans from Puerto Princesa, or from El Nido usually starts to leave El Nido, and can pick you up from 5am to 7pm. They have vans leaving hourly, and if the time is tight, you might want to inform your driver what time is your flight.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered - How to Go to El Nido from Puerto Princesa


How Long to Travel or How Many Hours of Travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido?
It’s about 5-6 hours. If you’ll be meeting someone after the road trip, have the 6 hours estimate. Same time estimate if you’re traveling from Puerto Princesa Airport to El Nido.

How much is the Puerto Princesa to El Nido Van Fare?
We’re able to get our El Nido van transfer from Lexxus for P600 instead of P700.

I was so excited to finally come to the talked about El Nido Palawan, especially for someone like me, a Cebu blogger who itches to get out from the province once in a while.

If you have any more questions on how to get to El Nido, please leave your questions as a comment below. But feel free to watch this video, might give you an idea.


We've done the El Nido island hopping tour C, and the El Nido tour A in El Nido plus a visit at the beautiful Nacpan Beach. So check it out!



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Gay Aida Dumaguing (a.k.a. G) is a 29 years old Filipina traveler and food lover from Cebu Philippines who makes a living online as a SEO specialist, Social Media Manager, and Brand Ambassador. Follow her on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

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