You’ll need an airplane when island hopping between El Nido and Bohol. The ride departs from El Nido airport and lands in Panglao International airport after a quick, hour and a haf journey. It’s recommended to arive early enough to the airport as check in closes 45 minutes before scheduled departure time.
To travel from El Nido to Bohol you have two options. You can either choose to fly direct or you can island hop for a couple of days by bus and ferry. Ferry and bus travel is far slower than flying but it can be an excellent way to experience more of the Philippines.
To fly to Bohol from El Nido takes around an hour and a half in the air. You will also need to take into account the time needed to check in through passport control and all the regulatory checks. The airline company, Air-Swift, requires passengers to be at the check in desk at least 45 minutes before take off.
Flight prices are a lot more expensive than traveling by ferry however, the whole experience is a lot less convoluted. Economy seats start from US$217 per person. At the moment there's just one flight a day. It's a popular option for travelers looking to spend more time relaxing on the beach.
Planes have air conditioning, onboard bathrooms and semi-reclining seats. One item of luggage is included within the flight price but food isn't part of the deal. This is the best mode of transport between El Nido and Bohol if you're looking for a quick power nap and scenic views.
Getting to Bohol from El Nido without flying is quite an adventure. It takes around two days in total to make the trip by bus and ferry. Ticket prices for the entire bus and ferry trip start from around US$136.
Firstly, you need to take a three hour high-speed ferry from El Nido to Coron. The passenger vessel is modern and small so don't expect much to do other than snooze and watch the waves from the window. From Coron you'll head to the island of Mindoro on a six hour passenger ferry.
Mindoro's San Jose Occidental ferry terminal is in the south of the island but you'll need to travel overland to Calapan, in the north, before taking a ferry to Batangas Port which is about an hour's drive south of Manila. From the Philippines' capital it's a 21 hour bus and ferry ride south to Bohol.
The flight from El Nido to Bohol is very scenic and you'll be treated to bird's eye views of the archipelago set against cobalt blue seas. Grab that window seat if you can! The flight takes around 90 minutes but remember to arrive early for the check in.
El Nido airport is basically a runway so don't expect too much in the way of duty free shopping. Panglao International Airport in Bohol, on the other hand, is much more grand, though you probably won't want to spend too much time there when you arrive.
Traveling by bus and ferry between El Nido and Bohol is the best way to see much more of the Philippines at ground level. Island hopping by ferry is also a good way to meet fellow travelers and get to know more about the hot spots for diving and eating out.
Passenger ferries will usually have an open deck for sunbathing and a lower deck that's air-conditioned. Watch out the window as you pass by the islands of Linapacan and Culion as you take the first leg of the journey north from El Nido to Coron on Busuanga.
Bus travel is also a rite of passage if you're planning on seeing the real Philippines. The journey from Batangas Port to Manila, especially, is always memorable. Approaching the sprawling city limits is not always a pleasant experience but it will open your eyes to how many impoverished Filipinos live on the outskirts of the capital.
Traveling south by bus from Manila will take you on the national San Pedro Highway. Heavy traffic and congestion builds up around urban areas before opening out into more rural scenes as you enter the final phase of your epic trip from El Nido to Bohol.
Taking a flight
Flying from El Nido to Bohol is by far the best way to travel between the islands. Although El Nido's airport is not much more than a runway, it really sets the scene for the flight. Look down and you'll be able to see tiny offshore islands surrounded by beautiful blue seas. If you weren't already in the mood for underwater adventures, you soon will be.
The flight from El Nido to Bohol takes around an hour and a half. Planes are modern, air-conditioned, comfortable and include an onboard washroom. Service is always welcoming although no food and drink features as part of the price. There's usually one daily flight with ticket prices starting from US$217. Air-Swift's economy flight is the most popular option with travelers.
Taking a ferry
If you're keen on making the 509 kilometer (316 mile) ride from El Nido to Bohol by bus and ferry then you'll need to set aside at least 2 – 3 days of full-on traveling. This is not an easy journey and involves numerous island connections as well as time spent in the Philippines' capital, Manila.
You will need to plan the route well in advance and think about spending time on each island as you hop from north to south. Connections are not always straightforward and you can't just skip from bus to ferry and ferry to bus without missing a beat. Enjoy the ride and take your time.
Basically, this is the best way to travel if you want to see more of the Philippines but don't mind how long it takes you to do it. It's an adventure and will stick long in the memory, just don't attempt this epic overland and water journey if you'd prefer to spend more time snorkeling.
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Economy flight by Air-Swift starting at US$97
493 Km (Air)