Getting Around Palawan: Puerto Princesa to El Nido & Coron

Getting Around Palawan: Puerto Princesa to El Nido & Coron

4th Sep 2019

Palawan is arguably one of the most visited places in the Philippines. The island has so much to offer: El Nido’s secluded lagoons, Puerto Princesa’s mysterious underground river, and Coron's sandy beaches. So little time, yet so many places to see!

Photo credits to @jasminekho on Instagram

As you may already know, Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and Coron are situated in different areas. It takes some time to go back and forth from each municipality. We’ve put together a short guide for getting around Palawan. Maximize your trip by planning the most convenient route from Puerto Princesa to El Nido or Coron.

How to Get to El Nido from Puerto Princesa

Photo credits to @backpackwithme on Instagram

The fastest way to El Nido is to take a direct flight via AirSwift. However, this tends to be pricier. Majority of travelers choose to fly to Puerto Princesa instead and then travel by land to El Nido. You’ll need to allot almost a day just for travelling but it’s also more affordable than the first option.

Once you land, you can get a van to take you straight to El Nido. These will be faster with a travel time of only 5-6 hours. Arrange for your shuttle before your arrival for a hassle free transfer. You may also opt to take the public bus. If you prefer to commute, see the bus schedule to El Nido below.

Bus Schedule to El Nido

7:00 AM | 9:00 AM | 9:20 AM | 11:00 AM | 1:00 PM 

3:00 PM | 5:00 PM | 9:00 PM | 10:00 PM

Buses are not readily available at the airport so you’ll have to make your way to the San Jose Terminal. El Nido is a top destination so you might have to fight tooth and nail to get a seat during peak hours. Booking your bus ticket online means you won’t miss out on your preferred departure time.

Just a heads up: Puerto Princesa to El Nido by bus may take up more of your time. The bus will make several stops along the way to pick up and drop off passengers. Fares range from 400-900 PHP depending on the type of bus you choose. Make sure to ride the air conditioned one as it will be a very long drive.

How to Get to Puerto Princesa from El Nido

Photo credits to @goncalapinho on Instagram

To return to Puerto Princesa, you’ll just have to reverse the steps we’ve mentioned. You can find the buses heading south at El Nido’s Transport Terminal in Corong Corong. It’s not very far from the El Nido’s hotels. Depending on where you’re staying, you can even walk to the terminal! But if your bags are too heavy, it might be more practical to call for a tricycle.

Bus Schedule to Puerto Princesa

7:00 AM | 7:20 AM | 9:00 AM | 9:20 AM | 1:00PM 

3:00 PM | 5:00 PM | 7:00 PM | 9:00 PM

Take note that the bus schedule from El Nido to Puerto Princesa is slightly different. Aim to arrive early at the terminal if you haven’t pre-booked your bus tickets. But if you have, then you can rest easy and just wait for your scheduled departure. Again, arm yourself with patience because you’ll be sitting for quite a while. If you want to cut down your time in transit, you can go for the night trips since they tend to be just a little bit faster.

How to Get to Coron from Puerto Princesa

Photo credits to egracenyc on Instagram

Coron is an island away so you would need to travel either by air or by sea. Even though it’s not connected to the main island, it’s still very much part of Palawan. The Calamian group of Islands make up the breathtaking municipality of Coron. Below is the ferry schedule from Puerto Princesa to Coron and vice versa.

Ferry Schedule to Coron

The ferry leaves the Puerto Princesa port only once a week for Coron. It departs at 7:00 AM on Sundays, with an arrival time of 6:00 PM. Travel time is roughly 11 hours. The Puerto Princesa port is only 15 minutes away by car from the airport. Buy your tickets early to avoid being left out!

How to Get to Puerto Princesa from Coron

Photo credits to @rizasalahudin on Instagram

To get to the Coron Pier, just hire a tricycle to take you. The accommodations in Coron are near the airport and pier so 10 minutes should be enough time to get there.

Ferry Schedule to Puerto Princesa

Just like the ferry from Puerto Princesa to Coron, the return trip has only one departure scheduled per week. It leaves at 8:00 AM on Saturdays. You’ll be arriving on the main island at 7:00 PM of the same day. Because of the low frequency of trips, you might have to line up extra early just to save a spot for yourself. Avoid the pains of queuing by purchasing tickets online.

Now you have all the info you need on how to get to El Nido and Coron from Puerto Princesa! Be a smart traveler and buy tickets as early as possible. It’s always best practice to prepare your travel plans and itinerary beforehand.