Looking for a way back to Palawan’s capital after an awesome stay at Port Barton? You might want to consider spending an extra night or two in Puerto Princesa before finally heading to the airport to fly to other Philippine wonders.
Puerto Princesa is mainly popular for its Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the world’s longest subterranean river and a huge gem for spelunking enthusiasts. Although not as laidback as Port Barton, you will still love its white-sand beaches, particularly in the nearby Honda Bay. At night, you can either enjoy its bustling nightlife or go firefly-watching across Nagsaguipi River.
The distance from Port Barton to Puerto Princesa is 160 km (99 miles). In this post, we compare the two best options to travel from Port Barton to Puerto Princesa: by Van (3 hours) and by Bus (4 hours). Ticket prices range from 380 PHP ($7) – 650 PHP ($12).
The van is the more convenient way to go from Port Barton to Puerto Princesa. We think it’s worth paying a few more dollars for the air-conditioned journey. The journey takes about 3-4 hours and tickets cost 650 PHP ($12).
The bus is the cheaper option at 380 PHP ($7). However, only non-aircon buses are available for the Port Barton to Puerto Princesa route. They’re an exciting way to travel the country’s rural areas, but they are not very comfortable and can get really hot, especially in summer (March to May).
As there aren’t many bus trips from Port Barton to Puerto Princesa, the van is a more convenient option. Van tickets cost 650 PHP ($12) per person and the journey takes 3-4 hours.
Although there used to be several van operators before the pandemic, there is currently only one van company operating on this route (May 2022). Previous van operators included Klook, Lexxsus, and Recaro. Currently, the only van operator is Fortwally.
Fortwally vans go straight to Puerto Princesa Airport. It’s a great option if you want to fly out of Palawan, but also if you are staying a night in Puerto Princesa. The airport is located in the city centre, which means it’s only a 10-15 minute walk or short taxi drive to most hotels in Puerto Princesa.
Keep in mind that the trips can be irregular during the low season, and vans sometimes leave when they are full even if it’s not the scheduled departure. If you book your ticket online, make sure to be at the terminal at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.
Tip: The van is the most preferred mode of transport in Palawan. Seats can fill up quickly, so always try to book at least 1 day in advance!
Port Barton to Puerto Princesa by Bus
Duration: 4 hours Cost: 380 PHP ($7)
Going from Port Barton to Puerto Princesa by bus is pretty straightforward. There is only one bus operator with only 2 trips scheduled per day. The bus fare is 380 PHP ($7), and the trip takes about 4 hours.
Note that this non-airconditioned bus journey is much less comfortable than a van. Besides the lack of aircon, it has less comfortable seating and you will be swinging from right to left in every corner.
Departure & Arrival station
Just like the vans, the buses also depart from Port Barton Bus Terminus.
Instead of the airport, they drop passengers off at San Jose Terminal, which is a bit outside Puerto Princesa town. From here, it’s a 20-minute ride to Puerto Princesa Airport and a 25-minute drive to the town centre.