There are various ways of getting to El Nido and there are lots of routes that are cheaper but will take you a whole day of your time. That’s right, while other routes are quicker, you will also pay a hefty price. We will show you here the way to El Nido from Manila via sea or by plane.
From Manila To Puerto Princesa
Before you can get to El Nido, you have to get to Puerto Princesa (the capital city of Palawan) first and foremost (although there is a direct flight from Manila to El Nido, we will discuss it later). The two main airlines that offer daily flights from Manila to Puerto Princesa (and vice versa) are Cebu Pacific and PAL (Philippine Airlines).
Once you arrived at the Puerto Princesa Airport, you have to take a van (usually UV Express or AC Tourist Vans) from the airport to El Nido. El Nido is about 246km northeast of Puerto Princesa by land and the trip usually takes 4 to 5 hours. A van ride may cost you between P600 to P700 per person. On your way to El Nido from Puerto Princesa, you will pass by the towns of Roxas, San Vicente, and Taytay, among others. The spectacular natural views on this route are truly breathless and inspiring!
When you reach the Corong-Corong bus terminal in El Nido, you may take a 5-minute tricycle ride from the terminal to El Nido town proper to take you to your hotel or guesthouse.
From Manila to El Nido
Traveling by sea is one of the most thrilling adventures one could have. Going to El Nido from Manila via a ferry is really a great experience and cheaper than an airplane, although the trip may take you two days before you arrive in El Nido. Anyways, you can book a ticket with 2GO Travel in Pier 4 Tondo, Manila via Coron, Palawan.
When you arrive in Coron, you should take another ticket from a local ferry company and take a boat ride to El Nido. You might spend the night in Coron if you missed the last trip to El Nido. The boat ride may cost you P1,700/person and takes about 8 hours of sea travel.
Direct flight from Manila to El Nido
There are direct flights from Manila to El Nido, but this may cost you from P7,000 to P9,000 per head (one way). This price range is only offered by Swift Air (formerly the Island Transvoyageur, Inc. or ITI) which caters for special flights from Manila to El Nido (and vice versa).
Although more expensive than other means, chartering a Swift Air is the quickest of them all which will take you only about a one-in-a-half-hour of flight time from Manila to El Nido and the shortest land travel from the airport to El Nido. If you have more cash to spare but has limited time, a Swift Air flight might be the solution.
More travel tips: If you don’t want to travel in a van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, you can take a public bus from the terminal. This may cost you only P400 per person but travel time might take a little longer (8 to 9 hours). There is also car rental available in Puerto Princesa which will cost you around P3,000 per day.