How do you get from Puerto Princesa to El Nido in 2023? It turns out is pretty easy and straightforward, with comport depending on how much comfort that you need.
What the Puerto Princesa?
Puerto Princesa is the capital city of Palawan, which was at least the “best island in the world”, although I feel that Coffee Caye might give it a run for its money now.
There is not much to do here, but it is a transit point for Coron and El Nido which both offer island hopping – note it is very different from island hopping in Bougainville.
Flights here cost $30 as opposed to $100 directly to El Nido, so if you are heading north you’ll need transport and probably a night in Puerto Princesa.. We stayed at Blue Lagoon Hotel, which more than did the trick.
Puerto Princesa to El Nido
A fe hundred clicks away you will need a vehicle of some description, with there being numerous options from public buses that cost about 10 bucks, to more expensive ones that are twice as much as well as car share which vary in price.
We personally rent our own mini-bus with AC that can fit 6+ people in that goes for about $270 roundtrip, but this is less easy to find and comes as part of our tours in the Philippines.
Food on the way to El Nido
There is of course street food, as well as Sari Sari stores, but also as things have developed more also standard rest stops where the driver gets paid to take you there, very much like how they roll in Cambodia.
We stopped at Fennsan, which had decent enough fare and while it far form broke the bank was not exactly earth shattering either.
How if the Puerto Princesa to El Nido journey?
There was a time when this would have taken 7 hours on really bad roads, but to be fair the government have obviously invested in infrastructure as the roads are comfy and nice, something the people of Bougainville could only dream of….
And then after just 5 hours you are greeted to the El Nido of 2023, post-covid and now a tourist trap to rival Boracay in some ways.
Perhaps that is a little unfair and we will be back next year, but El Nido is far from the hidden gem that it once was.