How to get from Manila to El Nido | Easiest, Cheapest, & Fastest – 2020

Traveling to El Nido has become easier and easier over the years. In this article, we’re going to go over all the different ways to travel from Manila to El Nido.

Just a few years ago it took a whole day to travel to El Nido from Manila with a flight, a taxi, and a bus! It doesn’t have to take that long anymore, traveling to El Nido is so much easier.

If you are looking at traveling from Coron to El Nido Click here for step by step directions.


View out of the window of a El Nido Flight - Flying from Manila

El Nido Flights

If want to fly to El Nido there are two airports you can fly into. The El Nido Airport is a quick 20-minute tricycle ride from El Nido town, but only one airline services this airport and it will be one of the more expensive options. The cheapest airport to fly into is Puerto Princesa which is 230 kilometers from El Nido. Let’s go through both flight options.

Fastest: Direct Flights from Manila to El Nido

The easiest way from Manila to El Nido is on a direct flight. There is one airline that offers this, Air Swift. Air Swift offers several daily flights to El Nido from Manila. El Nido flights land at the Lio Airport, which is a 20-minute tricycle ride from El Nido Town.

  • How much does a flight to El Nido cost? Flight prices vary like all flights based on season and demand. On average flights to El Nido cost 5,000 to 7,000 PHP/ $100-$140 USD each way. We’ve never seen prices under 5,000 PHP / $100 USD.
  • How long is the flight from Manila to El Nido? This direct flight is a quick 80 minutes.
  • Where to book flights to El Nido? The only way to book tickets with Air Swift to El Nido is online here.

Cheapest: Manila to Puerto Princesa Flight + Bus/Shuttle to El Nido

This is the cheapest way from Manila to El Nido, but it will take 12+ hours. If you have the money we highly suggest just flying direct to El Nido. If you choose to fly into Puerto Princesa you’ll also have to take a shuttle bus/drive to El Nido. This ride can be very long and can be uncomfortable.

  • Airlines that fly Manila to Puerto Princesa:
    • Cebu Pacific (this is who we flew)
    • Air Asia (we fly them all the time)
    • Philippine Airline (One of the top carriers in the Philippines)
  • How much are flights to Puerto Princesa from Manila? Flight prices vary like all flights based on season and demand. On average flights to Puerto Princesa cost 2,500 to 4,000 PHP/ $50-$75 USD each way. Watch for promotions with Cebu Pacific and Air Asia, they often have really good deals. We always book on Skyscanner as they have the best prices and show you all your flight options in one place. Click here to check rates.
  • How long is the flight to Puerto Princesa? The flight is less than 90 minutes.

How To Get From Puerto Princesa to El Nido Options

Once you land in Puerto Princesa you’ll have to arrange transport to El Nido. El Nido is roughly 230 kilometers from Puerto Princesa, so you still have a journey ahead of you before you get there. There are several options on how to travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. Here are all the options

gray shuttle van - service between Puerto Princesa to El Nido

Most Popular: Shuttle Van to El Nido from Puerto Princesa Airport

Shuttle vans are the most popular option with tourists because it’s way cheaper than the direct flight and faster than the local buses. However, we aren’t always a fan of shuttle vans because too often than not the shuttle van drivers drive way to fast and the vans are crammed. They typically will fill every seat, and since it’s a long drive if you get a bad seat it’ll make for a very uncomfortable trip.

We suggest booking online here for the Lexxus Shuttle that leaves right from the airport. This is a 14 passenger van with air conditioning.

  • How Long is it from Puerto Princesa to El Nido by Shuttle Van? 5-6 hours but this varies based on the number of stops.
  • How much are El Nido shuttle van tickets? 650 PHP / $13 USD
  • Book Online Now Here

White coach bus with brand "Cherry" on the side in red letter - Bus From Puerto Princesa to El Nido Palawan

Cheapest Option Bus from the El Nido Bus Terminal

If you choose to take the bus to El Nido from Puerto Princesa you’ll have to first take a taxi from the airport to the bus station. When we did this, we spent the night in Puerto Princesa and then an early morning taxi to the bus terminal to catch an early bus to El Nido. We rode the Cherry Bus and had no issues and would recommend it. On our next trip to El Nido we’ll fly direct to El Nido, factoring in the time in transit it’s so worth the flight price.

  • How Long is it from Puerto Princesa to El Nido by Bus? 7 hours but this varies based on the number of stops.
  • How much is the bus to El Nido? 515 PHP / $10 USD
  • Book Online Now Here

El Nido Private Shuttle

If you’re traveling with several people booking a private shuttle to El Nido from Puerto Princesa might be your best option OR if you want to have a vehicle to yourself. We suggest booking with El Nido Paradise, click here to book. In order to get this price, you’ll need to book in advance. There will be private transfer options at the Puerto Princesa airport but their prices will be much higher.

  • How long is it from Puerto Princesa to El Nido by shuttle van? 7 hours but this varies based on the number of stops.
  • How many people does the private shuttle fit? 10 people, the price is good for up to 10 passengers
  • How much is an El Nido private transfer from Puerto Princesa? 6,500 PHP/ $130 USD
  • Book Online Now Here

Rent A Car

This is what we did on our last trip. We wanted to go to the Underground River on our way to El Nido, and the easiest way to do this was by renting a car and driving ourselves.

There aren’t the usual rental car companies like Hertz, Enterprise, etc. all the rental car companies are small local companies. We rented with Palawan Days and picked our car up at the Puerto Princesa airport and returned it in El Nido. There was a 3,500 PHP charge to drop the car off in El Nido. Not all companies allow you drop off the rental car in El Nido.

If you are driving straight from Puerto Princesa to El Nido it doesn’t save any time by driving yourself, you mine as well just take a shuttle or bus. If you are wanting to visit a few other places along the way consider renting a car.

  • Rental Car Prices: 1,250+ PHP/Day

We always suggest carrying travel insurance just in case something were to happen. It’s great to have some peace of mind. Our World Nomads insurance covered us when our camera equipment got damaged in a sandstorm in Namibia, and when we got robbed in Malaysia. They also cover trip delays and cancelation. For only $10 a day a person it’s worth it.


 

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