Vans go from Puerto Princesa to El Nido throughout the day, making hopping from one place to another super easy. There are few amenities in the vans, but most importantly there is air conditioner. Drivers are excellent, and often know English, so of course your ride will be interesting.
Taking the bus from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is another option for travellers finding themselves between the Filipino resort towns. This is a non-expensive option that is similar to vans, but often travellers say buses are more comfortable. Make sure to avoid coming to the bus on the dot in order to avoid missing it, as this is a non refundable option.
El Nido is the perfect destination to relax after enjoying the lively atmosphere of Puerto Princesa. El Nido provides the best of the island nation’s nature and beauty spots for travelers seeking to explore while on a budget; in this case it’s true that the best things in life are free (or at least very affordable!)
You can take the 173 kilometer (107 mile) journey north from Puerto Princesa to El Nido by bus or minivan. The quickest option for travel between Puerto Princesa and El Nido is with the Tourist Bus by Cherry Bus which takes approximately 5.5 hours. If you prefer going by minivan, there are many providers to choose from with a range of prices and journey lengths.
Both travel options from Puerto Princesa to El Nido have pros and cons, but the preferred mode of travel is by minivan with Rems Katar Transport Service. This journey has English speaking staff, rest/toilet stops for convenience, and start at around $11 for a single journey.
Once you arrive in El Nido you will be more than ready to lounge on the white sand beaches, discover the “secret” lagoon or dive into the clear blue ocean to explore the exotic creatures that live there.
The approximate half-day spent on your journey from Puerto Princesa will give you the time to settle in and enjoy your first evening in El Nido.
The thin stretch of island that you travel on from Puerto Princesa to El Nido allows you to look out on the serene water; almost tempting you to plunge in headfirst! See if you can spot the nearby islands dotted on the horizon… they may be worth visiting. Towns are relatively small and separated by mountainous jungle and long expanses of beach. Relax and enjoy the nature and rich wildlife that separates these two cities of Palawan island.
Taking a bus
The bus from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is a comfortable and affordable option, starting at around $9 per person. Bus services from Puerto Princesa to El Nido are run by Cherry Bus and Roro Bus. Depending on which service you choose, amenities such as Wi-Fi, toilet facilities, and TV are available. All services provide air conditioning, and some provide rest stops along the way.
The departure location at San Jose New Market in Puerto Princesa is central and easy to get to, while the drop off location at El Nido Bus Terminal sits very close to Corong Corong Beach where you will find places to eat and guest houses to stay the night.
Taking a minivan
Traveling from Puerto Princesa to El Nido by minivan is a good option if you want the flexibility of more departure times and private bookings. All minivan pickups happen at Puerto Princesa International Airport, which is close and easy to get to from the city center.
Different minivan operators have different rules for refunds or changing tickets, so be sure to check the policy of the specific operator before booking. Many minivan operators now have English speaking drivers to allow you to chat and get recommendations for what to see and do on the island during your journey.
You can book a private journey from certain operators for a group of up to 10 people, ensuring flexible departure times and no chance of picking up other travelers during the journey.
The best time of year to visit Puerto Princesa is during the dry season between December and May. The high season in Puerto Princesa is between March and May when the island is at its busiest and temperatures soar to around 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Visiting before March will ensure a comfortable temperature and a better chance of peace and quiet.
No matter what time of year you visit, El Nido will always be worth the trip. But if you want to make the most of your outdoor explorations and the beautiful wildlife on the northern coast, the dry season between December and May gives you the best chance.