How to Go to El Nido from Puerto Princesa

How to Travel to El Nido from Puerto Princesa

No one can argue. The Philippines is one of the go-to places when you travel the world. Beautiful sceneries, beaches, and the culture of hospitality might leave you staying for months. As a Filipino myself, I’m still in awe when I travel around our country. And one place stuck to mind is El Nido. (Here is an El Nido itinerary if you’re planning your trip.)

With its pristine beaches and greeneries, El Nido has been ranked one of the best islands in the world multiple times already. But the problem is, transportation might not be that easy. Most people will need to travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido to enjoy one of the best beaches in the world.

It’s a 6-8 hour ride from Puerto Princesa. But I tell you it’s all worth it! And this is how to go to El Nido from Puerto Princesa.


COVID Requirements

COVID Requirements

First of all, get ready with the COVID requirements. With the pandemic in place, El Nido is strict with the entry of the people into their municipality. As of writing, here’s what you need.

  1. Go to and click get QR-Coded tourist ID.
  2. Afterwards, fill in the personal details required.
  3. Upload the following:
    1. Valid ID
    2. Negative RT-PCR Test within 72 hours before arrival.
    3. Hotel Booking with DOT-accredited El Nido Hotels or Resorts
    4. Return Flights
  4. Click submit. And you will receive an email when your documents are verified.


El Nido Town vs. Lio Beach


El Nido Town vs. Lio Beach

There are two options for drop-off to El Nido. Either you can disembark on El Nido Town or Lio Beach.

El Nido Town offers relatively cheaper accommodations. But then, prices of commodities can be high. There are also more selections for food, tourist agencies, and bars. If you want a feel of how the Philippines is, El Nido Town is the place for you.

On the other hand, Lio Beach is a property developed by the Ayalas, one of the biggest tycoons in the Philippines. You can expect the beach to be stunning. Also, the food selection is quite on the upscale side. But it’s pretty limited.

Ironically though, the food is cheaper here compared to El Nido town based on my experience.

Choosing between the two is crucial because it would take around $8 if you want to travel from El Nido Town to Lio Beach.



Going to El Nido from Puerto Princesa

Now, it’s time to book your transfers. But it’s quite hard to find reliable transfers pre-booked. If you want to get one ready before arriving, you can use Bookaway at your convenience. Based on my experience, it’s cheaper compared to getting the transfer onsite. And here’s how to do it. 

Going to El Nido from Puerto Princesa 1

First, go to the Bookaway site. And look for routes in the Philippines. Type Puerto Princesa, Philippines and El Nido, Philippines. Input the date and the number of passengers. Afterwards, click find tickets.

You can either choose a bus or a van for your transfers. 


Bus Transfers

Buses are much cheaper. But it’s not as convenient because you need to go to the bus terminal first. And then, it takes roughly 6 to 8 hours before arriving. 

Going to El Nido from Puerto Princesa 2

Afterwards, you can only alight only on El Nido’s Bus Terminal. The only available route is San Jose New Market to El Nido Bus Terminal. You still need another transfer to get to your hotel.

If you have time to spare and you’re on a tight budget, it’s the option for you.


Van Transfers

Personally, I prefer van transfers because of their convenience. For a few dollars more, you can get picked up at Puerto Princesa Airport or any hotel in Puerto Princesa. Not to mention, it only takes 5 to 6 hours of travel time.

And then, you can have yourself dropped off in El Nido Bus Terminal, El Nido Transport Terminal, Any Hotel in El Nido downtown, or in Lio Beach! How convenient, right? 

Van Transfers1

With this, choose first where you want to get picked up on the left side panel. You can either choose Airport Pickup or Hotel Pickup.

Van Transfers2

And then, check the options available for the drop-off. There are four options available with varying prices.

  • $11 El Nido Bus Terminal
  • $12 El Nido Transport Terminal
  • $17 El Nido – Any hotel located in El Nido downtown area 
  • $19 Lio Tourism Estate

The El Nido Bus Terminal and El Nido Transport Terminal are just walking distance from each other. 


Private Transfers

Lastly, you can opt for private transfers if you don’t want to travel with anyone. With this, you have lesser chances of interacting with a COVID carrier. And you will have the whole van to yourself or your family.

Private Transfers

Just tick “private transfer” on the left side panel. And choose the destination you want to be dropped off. That’s it!



Are you ready to go to El Nido? Have convenience and peace of mind by booking your transfers on Bookaway. Cheers!

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