Palawan: Puerto Princesa to El Nido via Roxas
Trip Start Apr 04, 2009
17Trip End Apr 18, 2009
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Here are three different options on how to get to El Nido from Manila:
a. Charter flights: the fastest option, but the most expensive. They usually give priority to guests who have reservations in the exclusive resorts located in the Bacuit Archipelago. Check out ITI or SEAir.
c. Public bus: this option is the cheapest, but the most uncomfortable. However, if you are into experiencing something unique and truly Filipino, then this is the way to go. Foreigners (usually Westerners) love taking this option as they get the opportunity to mingle with the locals and truly immerse in the culture. They also have the option to sit on top of the bus (a safety hazard though). I don't blame those who select this path.... the views in Palawan are simply phenomenal. Lush forests and a spectacular coastline greet the first-timer. The costs for a bus ride is P350 (roughly $7, compared to around $150 for a plane ride), and takes at least 8 hours depending on unexpected repairs and stops required along the way. Be ready for a very bumpy ride though, with tons of road powder for your face all the way through.
d. You can take a ship going to El Nido, but the schedules are erratic. These usually take longer than the above options.
All shuttles and buses take a mandatory pit stop in the tiny town of Roxas about a third of the way towards El Nido. The system here goes like this -- the driver would bring everyone to a small restaurant, where the guests are obliged to order food. The driver then gets a free meal from the restaurant owners in exchange for the people he has recruited over. The food and ambiance have a lot left to be desired, but it is a welcome rest from the somewhat exhausting and moderately lengthy journey.