Puerto Princesa to El Nido

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How to get from Puerto Princesa to El Nido?

El Nido is well-known for being one of the best island-hopping experiences in the world. Whether you book a tour package or explore on your own, you won’t be disappointed with El Nido’s gorgeous beaches, coral reefs, and colorful lagoons.

The distance from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is 260 km (162 miles). In this post, we compare the two best options to travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido: by van (5.5 hours) and by bus (5.5-7 hours). Ticket prices range from 610 PHP ($11)840 PHP ($15.50).

2 ways to get from Puerto Princesa to El Nido

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Van5.5 hours840 PHP ($15.50)Check van tickets
Bus5.5-7 hours610 PHP ($11)Check bus tickets

We recommend to take the van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido for more comfort, more choices in departure times, and shorter travel time. It’s a bit more expensive than the bus, with rates starting at 840 PHP ($15.50), but we think it’s more than worth it.

The bus is the cheaper option starting at 610 PHP ($11). However, travel time can take longer (5.5 to 7 hours) as they don’t always take the highway. Also, the bus can be a bit uncomfortable with all the twists and turns during the trip.

PRO-TIP: Can’t get enough of the beaches and beautiful Islands? Consider adding Coron to your itinerary too.

Own experience: When I travelled to El Nido, I decided to take the van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido and try out the bus on the way back. I expected the bus to be less bumpy and offer a bit more comfort, but that was not the case. The roads are quite narrow and there are quite a lot of turns, so the bus will shake even more than the van. Next time, I’d rather take the van on the way back as well.

Looking for more info? We got you covered!

Itinerary from Puerto Princesa to El Nido

How to get from Puerto Princesa to El Nido by Van

Duration: 5.5 hours
Cost: 840 PHP ($15.50)
Duration: 5.5 hours
Cost: 840 PHP ($15.50)
El Nido van Station

Taking the van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is a bit more expensive than taking the bus, but also an hour faster. The journey will take around 5.5-6 hours and prices start from 840 PHP ($15.50).

Departure station

Eulen Joy Express and Fortwally are the only available van operators for now. They have the same departure times and both depart from Puerto Princesa Airport. However, only Fortwally offers free hotel pick-up, so you can choose to book with them if you’re coming from the town centre.

The earliest departure is at 07:30 with the last trip at 17:30. They generally make a stop at a local canteen halfway to El Nido, where you can use the washroom and buy classic Filipino food, beverages, and snacks.

Van schedule from Puerto Princesa to El Nido

Van OperatorScheduleCosts
Eulen Joy Express07:30-13:00
10:30-16:00
13:00-18:30
15:30-21:00
17:30-23:00
840 PHP ($15.50)
Buy Your Van Tickets
Fortwally07:30-13:00
10:30-16:00
13:00-18:30
15:30-21:00
17:30-23:00
910 PHP ($17)
Buy Your Van Tickets

Arrival station

Vans from Puerto Princesa to El Nido drop passengers off at El Nido Transport Terminal in Corong-Corong. Keep in mind that vans and buses are NOT allowed to enter El Nido town due to its small roads. Upon arriving at the terminal, you can take a tricycle to the town centre for 50 PHP ($0.90).

We recommend booking your van ticket online to avoid the hassle of organizing your ride at Puerto Princesa. Also, most operators offer free cancellation, which can be useful in case your travel plans change at the last minute.

TIP: The van is the most preferred mode of transport in Palawan. Seats can fill up quickly, so try to book at least 1 day in advance through BookAway!

How to get from Puerto Princesa to El Nido by Bus

Duration: 5.5-7 hours
Cost: 610 PHP ($11)
Duration: 5.5-7 hours
Cost: 610 PHP ($11)

Another way to travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is by bus. Because the buses travel along small provincial roads, the journey takes much longer than it would on a highway. The small width of the roads and its many turns make this journey from Puerto Princesa to El Nido last between 5.5-7 hours.

Roro and Cherry Bus are the two main bus operators for this route. Because of the pandemic, though, Roro Bus stopped all of its operations. Currently, you can only travel with Cherry Bus that offers 3 options for passengers.

The cheapest bus at the moment costs 610 PHP ($11), but we don’t really recommend taking a bus. You would spend more time on your journey if you take the bus, and it’s less comfortable than a van ride.

Departure & Arrival station

Buses depart from San Jose Terminal. From Puerto Princesa Airport, a 15-20 minute tricycle ride to the bus terminal costs 150 PHP ($2.80). The buses usually make two stops along the way, in the towns of Roxas and Taytay, where you can buy local food, snacks, and some souvenirs.

The last stop is also at El Nido Bus Terminal in Corong-Corong. From here, you can take a 10-minute tricycle ride to the town centre for 50 PHP ($0.90). It’s best to take a tricycle as there are no sidewalks and it’s not safe to walk along the road, particularly at night.

Bus Schedules from Puerto Princesa to El Nido

Bus OperatorScheduleCosts
Cherry Bus
(Economy)
07:00-12:30610 PHP ($11)
Buy Your Bus Tickets
Cherry Bus
(Tourist)
09:00-14:30820 PHP ($15)
Buy Your Bus Tickets
Cherry Bus
(Elite)
21:00-03:501060 PHP ($19.50)
Buy Your Bus Tickets
Roro Bus*
(Economy)
14:00-22:00
18:00-02:00
20:00-04:00
555 PHP ($10)
Buy Your Bus Tickets
*COVID-19 UPDATE: The Roro Bus operator for Puerto Princesa to El Nido route has not yet resumed trips. Please check the provided link to see if anything has changed.

Cherry Bus from Puerto Princesa to El Nido

Cherry bus from El Nido to Puerto Princesa
Cherry Aircon bus operating between Puerto Princesa to El Nido

Cherry Bus provides standard bus service and currently offers 3 types of buses for passengers.

The economy bus is the cheapest option, costing 610 PHP ($11), mainly because it is non-airconditioned. You can also book a Tourist bus that costs 820 PHP ($15) if you want more comfort. This bus is air-conditioned and has television on board.

If you want to splurge a little or prefer to travel at night, you can try the Cherry Elite bus, which is the most expensive bus at 1080 PHP ($20). An Elite bus has recliner seats that are perfect for a night rest. It also offers toilet on board and travels from Puerto Princesa to El Nido without any stops.

Roro Bus from Puerto Princesa to El Nido

Roro bus from El Nido to Puerto Princesa
Economy Roro Bus (non-aircon)

Roro Bus is definitely cheaper than Cherry Bus, with the economy bus costing just 555 PHP ($10). It is also air-conditioned and even has television and WiFi on board. The downside is that the journey from Puerto Princesa to El Nido takes much longer, about 8 hours.

As mentioned, this bus operator has not resumed trips yet, so make sure to visit BookAway to see if they are already offering ticket bookings for the Puerto Princesa to El Nido route.

FAQ How to get there

Frequently asked questions about travelling to El Nido from Puerto Princesa

El Nido town view

Is it worth visiting El Nido?

The scattered karst mountains offer one of the most stunning landscapes of the Philippines and are definitely worth adding to your island-hopping itinerary. The journey from Puerto Princesa to El Nido might seem a bit long, but once you arrive, you know it was worth it.

Keep in mind that thousands of tourists visit El Nido. If you are looking for less touristic places, we suggest visiting Port Barton in the town of San Vicente. The charming beach town also offers several island-hopping tours, although it doesn’t offer the same landscapes filled with karst mountains.

How to get from Puerto Princesa to El Nido by jeepney?

If you like travelling via local transport, there are also jeepneys that head from San Jose Bus Terminal in Puerto Princesa to El Nido. It costs 250 PHP ($4.65) and the journey takes approximately 6 hours. Jeepneys also drop passengers off at Corong-Corong Bus Terminal.

However, bear in mind that sitting in a van for 5 hours from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is already a struggle. Sitting in a jeepney wouldn’t be a good experience at all for such long journeys, especially during summer!

Does El Nido have an airport?

El Nido does have an airport that is located 20km from its town, about 15 minutes by van or tricycle. El Nido Airport is owned by AirSWIFT which is the only airline operating at this airport and it does not offer connecting flights from Puerto Princesa.

Another option for travellers is to fly from Manila to El Nido, which takes just a little over one hour.

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