Palawan: Puerto Princesa to El Nido via Roxas

Trip Start Apr 04, 2009
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Trip End Apr 18, 2009


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Flag of Philippines  , Palawan,
Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My family and I were at the Manila airport at around 6am for our 8am flight to Puerto Princesa City (PPC), the gateway to the islands of Palawan. My mom got us discounted business class tickets so we got to hang out at the Lounge where they served delicious fruits and my favorite -- arroz caldo (porridge). We arrived at PPC at around 9am and quickly boarded a tricycle (see pic) to bring us to the San Jose Terminal where we were to catch our shuttle to El Nido, the jumping off point to the Bacuit Archipelago.

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.
b. Shuttle Vans: this is the option we took. From Puerto, there are two van companies (Fort Wally and Savior) that ply the PPC-El Nido Route. The vans are air-conditioned, and thankfully the air-cons do work! Personally, this is the best option for travellers who want to save a couple of hundred pesos, without sacrificing their comfort. The trip takes at least 5.5 hours, and costs 600 pesos ($15). There are also private vans for hire which are much more expensive. I think the going rate is 6K. This would be an option for those traveling in large groups (8-10 pax).
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.
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Comments

Karl on

Hi Guys, if you are planning to visit Palawan and looking for a van to rent just call or text me ahead of time thru this no. 09186779661 or email me at jc_jamesc@yahoo.com. im the owner and your driver so a discount to the normal rate is possible. Just look for Karl and book ahead of time... God bless!

mey on

i spent also my vacation with my family last june 2010, i saw email ad of fortwally, and i try to send email to evelyn gonzales the manager, and also she has cntact #09172762875,when we arrived in pps airport, we meet her in person,shes nice to be with, we feel comfort, she gave us discount, and give full detail abt the trip,tips etc. Fortwally is highly recomend!

annie on

how much po ang fare sa van per head going to el nido? and how many hours from the puerto princesa airport?

crismanila77
crismanila77 on

I think we paid about 600 pesos per person for the 6 hour trip. More during rainy season. This was back in 2009, I imagine that it had already gone up. Please check w van operators. El Nido is paradise. Have fun!

Alverly M. Caipilan on

who is the owner of puerto princessa city

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