EXACTLY How To Get From Puerto Princesa To El Nido, Palawan [2024]

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Want to visit a tropical paradise and wondering how to get from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, Palawan? We can help!

El Nido is a popular tourist destination in the Philippines. With its gorgeous coastline and great beaches, there is so much to love about a trip here. Of course, before you can enjoy it, you need to make it there!

Puerto Princesa is a common entry point to Palawan with usually better flight prices and options than flying to El Nido directly. From here, you can travel overland to El Nido.

El Nido Palawan
El Nido

While the travel time from Puerto Princesa to El Nido isn’t that far, this journey can seem complicated – at least until you take it step-by-step. It’s actually quite straightforward with many people taking this trip every day.

Below, I break down exactly how to go from Puerto Princesa to El Nido so you know exactly what you need to do, when, whether you are looking for a flight from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, a Puerto Princesa to El Nido van transfer or taking the El Nido Puerto Princesa bus route. This way, you will be in paradise as quick as possible!

I also describe the reverse journey from El Nido to Puerto Princesa.

Map: Puerto Princesa Palawan To El Nido

Wondering how to get El Nido from Puerto Princesa? the following map shows the most direct overland route.

Puerto Princesa To El Nido map
Click the map above to open it in Google Maps.

How far is El Nido from Puerto Princesa? About 268 kilometres. How far is Puerto Princesa airport to El Nido Palawan? About 271 kilometres. This is the road distance Puerto Princesa to El Nido.

If you were to drive from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, the travel time Puerto Princesa to El Nido is about 4.75 hours. However, the exact Puerto Princesa to El Nido travel time depends on what method of transport you take and the road and traffic conditions on the day. The table below gives you a better idea of how long this journey might take you.

BEST OPTION: How To Get From Puerto Princesa To El Nido, Palawan

The quickest and best option for traveling from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is to take a private taxi or a van.

Here’s a summary of your options:

Mode of transportDurationBest For?Book
Flights7 hoursPeople who only want to flyBook here
Bus8.5 hoursThe cheapest optionBook here
Van6.25 hoursThe best combination of price and speedBook here
Car4.75 hoursPeople who are happy to hire a car or who like to stop along the wayBook here
Taxi4.75 hoursThe easiest and quickest way between Puerto Princesa and El NidoBook here
Durations take into account an approximate time getting to and from bus stations/airports to a central location as well as waiting time

Here are full instructions for how to travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido by each of these transport options.

Option 1: Puerto Princesa To El Nido: Flight

Puerto Princesa Airport, Palawan

It’s not possible to take direct flights from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. This means that if you want to fly Puerto Princesa El Nido Palawan, you have to take at least two flights. This involves either flying via Manila or Cebu.

By the time you take two flights, it doesn’t really save any time and usually costs more than traveling overland.

For this reason, I don’t recommend you take a Puerto Princesa to El Nido flight.

If you really want to fly, there are flights with AirAsia, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines out of Puerto Princesa. You then need to connect with an Air Swift flight to El Nido.

This will take at least 4.5 hours of flying and then you need to factor in time to get to and from airports, check-in, go through security, etc.

Click here to see the prices and options for your dates.

Option 2: Bus Puerto Princesa To El Nido

Taking a bus Puerto Princesa to El Nido is a better option.

Buses take around seven hours and depart in the early morning and evening. The night bus Puerto Princesa to El Nido departs around 9:30pm.

Tickets start at ₱670. The bus line is Cherry Bus. Buses depart from the Puerto Princesa Central Land Transport Terminal which is about 10 kilometres northwest of the centre of Puerto Princesa.

They finish at the El Nido Bus Terminal which is about 4 kilometres northeast from the town. You can take tricycles.

It’s best to buy a ticket in advance, and it’s recommended that you arrive at the bus station 45 minutes early.

Click here to see the latest Puerto Princesa to El Nido bus schedule and the latest prices now.

Bay Walk Park at Puerto Princesa Palawan

Option 3: Puerto Princesa To El Nido Van Transfer

An even better option is to take a van transfer from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. The van Puerto Princesa to El Nido price is similar to the bus, but it is much quicker.

These depart often in the morning with a few choices in the afternoon and early evening as well. They only take about five hours, and there are many providers of this service. Ticket prices start at ₱670.

Vans have different pick-up points depending on the company. You can be picked up at the airport by some or the Centro Transport Terminal. If you can be flexible with departure time, look at the different Puerto Princesa van to El Nido options and pick one that leaves from the most convenient location from your hotel.

The different companies also arrive at different places in El Nido. So again, check out the options on the link below and look for a company that is convenient for you.

Click here to see the latest van to El Nido from Puerto Princesa prices and schedules.

Option 4: Puerto Princesa To El Nido By Car

Another option is a car rental. Puerto Princesa to El Nido by private car is a great way to go and you can explore along the way.

As above, it’s about 268 kilometres and takes about 4.75 hours.

The downside is that the price can add up, especially if you want to take a private car from Puerto Princesa to El Nido but not return again. There will be a one way fee in this case.

Click here to see car rental prices for your dates.

Street View Puerto Princesa Palawan
Street View, Puerto Princesa

Option 5: Taxi From Puerto Princesa To El Nido

Your final option is the easiest which is to take a Puerto Princesa to El Nido private transfer. This is also nice and quick.

However, this is not just the most expensive option, but can take a little more effort to organise. You can try asking at your hotel or ask vans and taxis at the airport on arrival if they will take you.

There are also sometimes Puerto Princesa to El Nido private van options at the bus station.

You can also sometimes find taxis at this link starting at ₱6,500.

Boat From Puerto Princesa To El Nido?

Pier, Palawan ferry
Ferries at the pier

Unfortunately, there is no ferry from Puerto Princesa to El Nido so if you want to travel Puerto Princesa to El Nido by boat, you are out of luck.

Take one of the options above instead.

How To Get From El Nido To Puerto Princesa

Cave Entrance Of Puerto Princesa Subterranean Underground River, Palawan

If you are traveling El Nido Palawan to Puerto Princesa instead, don’t worry. Your options are the same and you can basically reverse the transport Puerto Princesa El Nido instructions above.

The distance from El Nido to Puerto Princesa is about 268 kilometres, and the travel time from El Nido to Puerto Princesa is about 4.75 hours.

If you would like an El Nido to Puerto Princesa flight, again, I don’t recommend this. It doesn’t really save time as you’ll have to fly via Manila or Cebu. Air Swift will fly you out of El Nido then you can connect to an AirAsia, Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines flight to Puerto Princesa.

This will take at least 4.5 hours plus time to get to and from the airports, check-in etc.

The best transportation from El Nido to Puerto Princesa for budget travelers are buses or vans.

The El Nido to Puerto Princesa bus schedule is in the early morning and evening. The bus is with Cherry Bus lines and takes about 7 hours.

The El Nido to Puerto Princesa van schedule is throughout the day starting at 5am. Vans take only five hours and cost a similar price to the buses.

Click here for the latest prices and schedules for vans and buses from El Nido to Puerto Princesa.

You can read more about the bus and van services in the section above.

You can also hire a car or taxi to travel from El Nido to Puerto Princesa.

Final Words

Marimegmeg Beach, El Nido, Palawan
Marimegmeg Beach, El Nido

I hope you found this guide to how to go to El Nido from Puerto Princesa useful.

The Puerto Princesa to El Nido distance isn’t far, and this is an easy journey to make overland whether you choose to take a bus, van, taxi or hire car. I don’t recommend you fly.

A taxi is the easiest option, but a van is a good combination of price and time.

Click here for the latest prices and schedules.

You can find all the best things to do in El Nido here and the best hotels In El Nido here. Also find our complete travel guide to Palawan here.

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon first fell in love with the Philippines back in 2013 when she spent her son's first birthday on the beach in Boracay. Since then, she has visited many times and loves sharing her love of the Philippines here so you can enjoy it too. Sharon also has a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies and a Certificate III in International Travel Sales. Sharon especially loves island hopping through the Philippines - it's so gorgeous and easy. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to the Philippines!