Coron to El Nido

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How to get from Coron to El Nido

Most island-hopping travellers who have experienced the beautiful island of Coron continue on to El Nido, which is popular for its beautiful dive spots, magical lagoons, and serene beaches.

The distance from Coron to El Nido is 277 km (172 miles). In this post, we compare the two best options to travel from Coron to El Nido: by ferry (3.5 hours) and by flight (1hr 45m). Ticket prices range from 1,610 PHP ($28) to 2,640 PHP ($46).

2 ways to get from Coron to El Nido

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Ferry3.5 hours2,640 PHP ($46)Read article for more info
Flight + transfers1hr 45m1,610 PHP ($28)Check Flights

The ferry is a convenient way to travel from Coron to El Nido. Travel time for a fast ferry takes 3.5 hours. Due to the pandemic, the only available ferry at the moment has only three trips per week, and the ticket fare has increased to 2,640 PHP ($46).

Another option is a 40-minute flight with additional transfers. After trips have resumed during the pandemic, this option has become the cheapest way to travel from Coron to El Nido with total costs starting from 1,610 PHP ($28). Fares are expected to increase once travel picks up more. The flight leaves only two times a week. Overall, the flight and transfers to and from the airport take almost 2 hours.

TIP: If you decide to travel by plane, please consider including a carbon compensation fee to reduce your impact on the environment.

PRO TIP: If you are looking for a once in a lifetime experience in El Nido, check out the Tao Island Epedition. It costs some money, but I can assure you that it will be the highlight of your trip!

Itinerary from Coron to El Nido

Coron to El Nido by Ferry

Duration: 3.5-4 hours
Cost: 2,640 PHP ($46)
Duration: 3.5-4 hours
Cost: 2,640 PHP ($46)

Going by boat from Coron to El Nido is a great experience. The route passes a few well-known islands, such as Linapacan and San Miguel, all with beautiful beaches and landscapes. Some companies offer tour packages for exploring these islands.

For the real experience, though, we recommend taking a tour package to explore these stunning islands.

With the ferry, you will obviously not stop at these islands and you can only see them from a distance. The ferry types operating between Coron and El Nido are:

  • Fast ferry (recommended)
  • Slow boat or bangka
  • Passenger-cargo ship

The trip can take 3.5 hours by fast ferry, while slow boats and passenger-cargo ships can take as long as 6-9 hours. We highly recommend booking a fast ferry to spend fewer hours on transport and make the most out of your trip to Palawan.

Departure and arrival station

All ferries depart from Coron Port, which is 2 km away from the town centre. From your hotel, you can easily take the 15-minute walk to the port, but if you have luggage, you can ride a tricycle that costs around 20 PHP ($0.30).

Upon entering Coron Port, you need to pay a port fee of 20 PHP ($0.30).

These ferries arrive at El Nido Ferry Terminal. This ferry terminal is within walking distance from most hotels in the town centre, but you can also rent a tricycle for a low price.

Fast Ferry from Coron to El Nido

Duration: 3.5-4 hours
Cost: 2,640 PHP ($46)
Duration: 3.5-4 hours
Cost: 2,640 PHP ($46)

There are 3 fast ferry operators for the Coron to El Nido route: Jomalia Shipping, Montenegro Lines, and Phimal.

*COVID-19 UPDATE: The last time we checked (September 2022), only Montenegro Lines has resumed operations for the Coron to El Nido route. While they used to run daily schedules, they now operate only every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday. The trip takes 3.5 hours from Coron to El Nido, and the ticket price has increased to 2,640 PHP ($46) per person.

Ferry schedule from Coron to El Nido

Fast Ferry OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
Montenegro Lines12:00-15:30 every
Sunday, Wednesday, Friday
3.5 hours2,640 PHP ($46)

At the moment, booking online with platforms like BookAway or 12GOAsia is not possible. In the meantime, you can book your tickets at the Montenegro Lines office in Coron town. Note that the line can get long outside the office, especially during peak season.

You can also book tickets for the Coron to El Nido route by sending an email to [email protected] or [email protected].

For more information about booking tickets with Montenegro Line and its latest schedules, visit Montenegro Lines’s Facebook page. You can search “Coron to El Nido” on their page to easily find the latest update for this route.

Other fast ferries (Not operating the last time we checked- September 2022)

As for the other fast ferries, these were the schedules before the pandemic:

  • Jomalia Shipping 07:30-11:00
  • Phimal 13:00-17:00

Jomalia takes 3.5 hours to reach El Nido with ticket prices at 1,900 PHP ($33). Phimal takes longer, around 4 hours, and costs a bit cheaper at 1,750 PHP ($30.50).

According to travellers’ reviews, Montenegro Lines easily offers refunds in case the trip gets cancelled. Meanwhile, there are several complaints about Phimal ferries due to lack of communication about rebooked or cancelled trips. Jomalia ferries generally get better reviews than the two.

It’s always best that you book your ticket in advance. Tickets for Coron to El Nido also sell out several days in advance during peak season (December-April).

On the day of your trip, make sure to arrive at the port at least an hour before the scheduled departure to secure seats in the fast ferry. If you don’t arrive early, you would be forfeiting your ticket, and they would give your seat to a passenger on the waiting list.

We suggest checking the button below to see if any of the two other fast ferry companies have resumed operations.

Check Fast Ferry Tickets with BookAway

Slow boat or ‘bangka’ from Coron to El Nido

Duration: 6-9 hours
Cost: 1,400 PHP ($24)
Duration: 6-9 hours
Cost: 1,400 PHP ($24)

*COVID-19 UPDATE: The last time we checked (May 2022), there are no regular slow boats operating between El Nido and Coron.

The term ‘bangka’ refers to the boats locals use to cross islands. A slow boat trip from Coron to El Nido takes 6-9 hours, depending on the weather conditions.

Pre-pandemic, two boats offer trips for this route: Bunso Transport and MBCA Jessabel. The fare for a slow boat ride is 1,400 PHP ($24) per person, and this fee includes a free lunch.

Bunso Transport has daily trips at 08:30 from Coron to El Nido, while MBCA Jessabel leaves Coron Port only every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 07:30. These slow boats can accommodate only 80 passengers, so you need to buy your tickets early if you want to take this ferry.

There is no online booking available for this ferry transport. When trips resume, you can buy your tickets in advance from any travel agency in Coron. You can also ask your hotel for assistance in booking tickets.

Make sure to only go for this option if the weather is bright and sunny. Sometimes, the currents can be quite strong, which makes for a rougher, longer trip from Coron to El Nido. If the weather is bad, though, the company or port will decide to cancel the trip for the safety of passengers and crew.

Although slow boats are cheaper than fast ferries, we don’t really recommend this option. Taking a slow boat from Coron to El Nido for 6-9 hours is time-consuming and really uncomfortable.

Passenger-cargo ship from Coron to El Nido

Duration: 8 hours
Cost: 1,500 PHP ($26)
Duration: 8 hours
Cost: 1,500 PHP ($26)

Aside from fast ferries and slow boats, a passenger-cargo ship also operates the Coron to El Nido route. Operated by Atienza Lines, MV May Lillies provides only one trip in a week for this route.

The ship leaves Coron Port every Monday at 07:00, and the overall travel time is 8 hours.

An economy ticket costs 1,500 PHP ($26) per person, while the passenger lounge with air-con costs 1,650 PHP ($28.50).

This passenger-cargo ship provides standard service. However, note that there are trips catered to only cargo or goods, while other trips allow both passengers and cargo.

Coron to El Nido by Flight

Duration: 1hr 45m
Cost: 1,610 PHP ($28)
Duration: 1hr 45m
Cost: 1,610 PHP ($28)

If you’re short on time, you can opt to take a short flight with AirSwift from Coron to El Nido. A disadvantage is that the flight only leaves twice a week.

The total cost mentioned above includes the van transfer from Coron town to the airport, as well as the tricycle ride from El Nido Aiport to town.

Taking a flight is the fastest and most convenient way to travel from Coron to El Nido. However, short-haul flights like this have a negative effect on the environment due to the high emissions caused by taking off and landing.

Step 1: Coron Town to Francisco B. Reyes Airport by Van

Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 150 PHP ($2.60)
Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 150 PHP ($2.60)

From your hotel in Coron, you need to take a van ride to Francisco B. Reyes Airport. From Coron centre, it will take around 45 minutes to reach the airport which is also known as Busuanga Airport.

Some hotels in Coron offer free airport shuttles. However, if this is not available in your hotel, you can ask them for assistance in getting a ride to the airport. They can arrange a shared van transfer for 150 PHP ($2.60), and you’ll likely be riding together with guests from other hotels.

Alternatively, you can rent a private van that can fit up 10 passengers. A private van from Coron town to Busuanga Airport would cost about 1,800 PHP ($31).

Step 2: Francisco B. Reyes Airport to El Nido by Flight

Duration: 40 minutes
Cost: 1,310 PHP ($22.50)
Duration: 40 minutes
Cost: 1,310 PHP ($22.50)

There is only one airline offering flights between Coron and El Nido. Air Swift, a boutique airline operating a small propellor plane. The plane only operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The plane leaves Busuanga Airport at 10:10 and arrives 40 minutes later at 10:50 in El Nido.

A one-way ticket ranges from 1,300 PHP ($22.50) to 2,200 PHP ($38).

Normally, we refer to Skyscanner to find the best flights, but Air Swift is a small airline that is not listed on Skyscanner. For bookings, you have to check the Air Swift website.

Note that their schedules change according to specified dates, so it’s best to check their website for the latest updates.

Check Flights on AirSwift

Step 3: El Nido Airport to El Nido town

Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 150 PHP ($2.60) based on two people
Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 150 PHP ($2.60) based on two people

Flights from Coron depart at El Nido Airport which is located about 5 km away from El Nido town centre.

To get to your hotel, you can take a 20-minute tricycle ride that costs around 300 PHP ($5) for two people and luggage. You can also check if your hotel offers airport pick-up service or ask them for assistance with your ride to the hotel.

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