There are only two means of public transport to get from Puerto Princesa to El Nido: a bus or a shuttle van. The distance between Puerto Princesa and El Nido is approximately 230 kilometres, but you will need not less than 5 hours and up to 9 hours to get to El Nido. The ticket price depends on your choice of transportation but expect to shell out from PHP500 one way.
From Puerto Princesa airport to El Nido
If you have not booked your onward transport in advance, upon landing at Puerto Princesa International Airport proceed to the tourist information booth to inquire about your transportation options.
In any case, a lot of touts will surely approach you as soon as you step out of the airport to ask if you need a ride. There will be vans waiting just outside the airport ready to whisk you to any destination. Not so fast though! After you have agreed on the price, don't think that the van will depart right away. They won't leave until all the seats are sold. This can mean hours (!) of waiting as if there are not enough passengers, drivers will wait for the next flight. It is important that you realize this especially if you have a limited time.
Another thing you have to be wary about is the fare. Most drivers will quote you anything up to PHP800 – do negotiate; PHP600 sounds much more reasonable for the both sides.
Van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido
Vans from Puerto Princesa town to El Nido depart frequently and are operated by a number of companies. The most popular operators are Eulen Joy, Fort Wally Shuttle Services, and Lexxus Shuttle. Vans are the quickest way to get to El Nido – expect the trip to last about 4 hours and cost PHP500-PHP700.
Bus from Puerto Princesa to El Nido
Buses to El Nido depart from San Jose Terminal first. From the airport, it is only about 15 minutes by tricycle and the fare is around PHP120. If you are traveling solo, on a budget, or are not pressed for time you can take a tricycle to the Junction for PHP8 and then take a multi-cab to the terminal for about PHP12.
There are two bus companies that serve the Puerto Princesa-to-El Nido route: Roro and Cherry Bus. The fare generally ranges between PHP4000 and PHP500. Buses usually run every 2 hours with the first bus departing at 4am and the last bus at 10pm. Yes, there are night buses so you may want consider them to save a couple of bucks on a hotel room. Buses take from 6 to 9 hours to reach El Nido.
A few more things to remember. Sit on the left side of the vehicle if you are traveling during the day and you will be rewarded with a view of the sea as you approach El Nido.
There is a short stretch of a relatively rough road – hence the travel time.
All buses and vans make a stop about halfway between Puerto Princesa and Port Barton for a quick meal and toilet.