Direct flights to El Nido:
Air Swift is a small airline that offers daily flights to El Nido from Manila, Clark, Cebu and Coron. This is the fastest and most direct way to get to El Nido.
The flights land at Lio airport, located 4 kilometres from midtown. At the airport, tricycle drivers will be waiting for you and it will take around 20 minutes to get into town. You can also check with your accommodation to see if they can organise a pick up for you.
Coming from abroad, Clark, Manila and Cebu are good transfer points, all with connections from Hong Kong.
From Puerto Princessa Airport:
Another airport is Puerto Princessa, but the travel time from this airport to El Nido is about 5 hours over land. First, you have fly to Puerto Princessa Airport in Central Palawan. Flights from Manila and Cebu are via Cebu Pacific, Philippines airlines, Palexpress, AirAsia and other local carriers.
Some people prefer this route, as they want to spend a few days in Puerto Princessa and explore some of the local attractions, while others just want to get to El Nido right away.
From Puerto Princessa, you still have to cover about 220 kilometres of highway to get to El Nido. To do so, you have some different options:
1. Travel by Van
Travelling by van is the most common option. The trip from Puerto Princessa to El Nido usually takes about 5 to 6 hours with a break. You can either rent your own van, or you catch one of the pubic transport vans. There are a lot of companies that leave daily from the Puerto Princessa airport, or your hotel can arrange it for you.
2. Rent a Car or Motorbike
If you want to travel at your own pace. Taking a road trip is a fantastic way to discover the Northern part of Palawan. All around the Puerto Princessa are shops that offer weekly or monthly car and motorbike rentals.
You can stop over at villages and enjoy the rustic view of the countryside. Why not visit the Tay-Tay and the Spanish fortress ruins, have lunch at Pho Hoa Vietnamese Noodle House in Roxas, or chill out in Port Barton.
Be prepared though. This can be a long trip (more than 280 km) and full of hassles (cows, dogs, water buffalos, potholes, etc.). Do not travel at night and be extremely careful!
Please Note: Thereʼs no parking in El Nido! Make sure your accommodation has a parking lot, or youʼll spend a lot of time looking for a space!!!
3. Take a Bus
If the first two options donʼt suit you, you might prefer taking a bus. It is a good way to share your trip with locals and get good tips. Two bus companies do the Puerto Princesa – El Nido route every day.
We highly recommend Cherry Bus. This company is more comfortable than regular vans, and the price is lower. It takes about 6-8 hours, depending on how many stopovers the bus will make along the way. Try to catch one equipped with air conditioning and more spacious seats (lazyboy).
Please Note: In Puerto Princesa, the bus terminal is located 4 km away from the airport. You will have to deal with tricycle drivers to get there. The bravest can try to get there with a jeepney. It might take… we donʼt know.
These trips from Coron – El Nido or El Nido – Coron are operated daily by the two fast craft companies, Montenegro Shipping Lines and Phimal Fast Ferry:
1. The Montenegro Fast Ferry leaves El Nido daily at 6am. The boat leaves Coron at 12:00pm. The fare is around Php 1760 one way.
2. The Phimal Fast Ferry leaves El Nido and Coron at 8:20am. The fare is around Php 1850 one way. The trip takes between 3 hrs 30 mins and 4 hrs 30 mins.