Your travel guide to El Nido, Palawan, Philippines!

How to Get to El Nido

El Nido is a tropical paradise in the northern tip of the island of Palawan, the Philippines’ last frontier. While El Nido is a magnificent and breathtaking destination, getting there takes either time OR money. Its remoteness protects the town from too much commercialization. The nearest city is Puerto Princesa, the Palawan capital, which is five to six hours away by land.

An Airphil Express aircraft at Puerto Princesa Airport, 5 hours away from El Nido

Although this hideaway may be far from the noisy jolts of urban living, it is not very difficult to reach. As mentioned above, if you have the time or money, reaching El Nido should not be a problem.

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There are three common ways to travel to El Nido. Click on the item to see details.

  • Via Direct Flight

    El Nido has an airport, Lio Airport, albeit a small one. Its short runway does not allow big aircraft to land here, a challenge to commercial airlines even up to now. Seair used to offer direct flights to El Nido but they cancelled it.

    You may still fly directly to El Nido with ITI (Island Transvoyager Inc.) but it is certainly more costly than the usual commercial flight. Fare is around PhP 7000 per way (estimate only).

    Interested? Contact ITI at +63 (2) 851 5664 or +63 (2) 851 5674.

  • Via Puerto Princesa

    Unlike El Nido Airport, Puerto Princesa International Airport can accommodate bigger aircraft that commercial airlines use. Here is the list of carriers that fly to PPS and the destinations they fly to/from:

    • Airphil Express (Cebu, Clark, Manila, Busuanga)
    • Philippine Airlines (Manila)
    • Cebu Pacific Air (Manila, Cebu)
    • Zest Airways (Manila)
    • AirAsia Philippines (Clark)
    • Sky Pasada (Caticlan)

    Flights to Puerto Princesa are absolutely cheaper than direct flights to El Nido. But there’s a catch — Puerto Princesa is at least five hours away from El Nido. There are buses, vans/shuttles that ply the Puerto Princesa-El Nido route but they don’t operate at night. This means that you will have to spend half of your day on the road to El Nido (and back, too). This also means that if you’re visiting El Nido via PPS, you should have at least four days to spare so you can spend at least two full days in El Nido.

    Once you land at the PPS Airport, you may hire a tricycle to take you to the San Jose bus terminal or to the van terminal.

    BY BUS

    Non-airconditioned buses to El Nido from the San Jose Terminal in Puerto Princesa depart at the following times:

    • 06:00 am
    • 07:30 am
    • 08:30 am (last trip)

    Here are the bus companies that operate in Puerto Princesa and El Nido:

    Win Eulen Joy Liner
    Travel time: 6-8 hours
    Stops: Roxas and Taytay, Palawan
    Fare: PhP 350
    Contact Number: +63 919 716 2210

    Sweety Transport
    Travel time: 6-8 hours
    Stops: Roxas and Taytay, Palawan
    Fare: PhP 350
    Contact Numbers: +63 (0) 92 6699 8700 (Puerto Princesa Terminal), +63 919 716 2210 (El Nido Terminal)

    If you wish to take the bus, make sure your flight arrives by 7:30am. From El Nido terminal, take a tricycle to your hotel.


    There are two shuttle service companies that offer trips to El Nido from the city proper of Puerto Princesa — Fort Wally and Eulen Joy. Both companies use air-conditioned vans, which can accommodate up to 10 people. Travel time is much shorter here but fare is higher.

    Fort Wally
    Schedules: 5am, 7am, 9am, 11am, 1pm
    Travel time: 5-6 hours
    Fare: PhP 700 one way or PhP 1,200 roundtrip
    Contact Number: +63 917-2762875

    Eulen Joy
    Schedules: 7am, 10am
    Travel time: 5-6 hours
    Fare: PhP 700 one way
    Contact Number: +63 926-6998700

    From El Nido terminal, you may simply take a tricycle to your hotel if it’s in El Nido town proper.

  • Via Coron/Busuanga

    Another way to reach El Nido is via Busuanga or Coron. Busuanga has its own airport that serves commercial airlines including Airphil Express and Cebu Pacific Air and fare is cheaper than direct flights but more expensive than Puerto Princesa flights.

    Once in Coron, you have to take the boat that plies the Coron/Busuanga-El Nido route. The boat departs at 7:30 am, from Monday to Saturday (weather-permitting). Note that they offer 1 trip per day only and because it uses an outrigger boat.

    Coron-El Nido Boat
    Schedule: Monday-Saturday, 07:30 am
    Travel time: 8 hours
    Contact No.: +63-921-7797692

Important: Fares, schedules and other details might have changed already. Make sure you get the updated information by getting in touch with the transportation company first before your trip. Always prepare for your trips!