Home GUIDE: How to Get to El Nido Palawan

GUIDE: How to Get to El Nido Palawan

guide how to get to el nido palawan

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

El Nido Palawan, a tropical paradise nestled in the Philippines, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and stunning limestone cliffs. However, reaching this enchanting destination can sometimes be a challenge, especially for first-time travelers. This guide will provide you with all the necessary information to help you navigate your way to El Nido Palawan and make your journey a seamless one.

What is El Nido Palawan known for?

El Nido is a coastal town in Palawan. El Nido in Palawan is the best destination to visit in the Philippines when looking for beautiful white sand beaches and islands, according to both local and foreign tourists.

Because of its paradisiacal features, including white sand, blue waves, bright coral reefs, and breathtaking limestone cliffs, El Nido has frequently been ranked as one of the top island beaches in the world by online travel publications. 

El Nido serves as the entry point to the breathtaking Bacuit Archipelago, which is home to 45 islands and islets, each with its own distinctive geological formations. It’s hardly surprising that El Nido frequently ranks as one of the top island vacation spots worldwide, not just in the Philippines. 

El Nido Travel Requirements & Guidelines and Protocols

Travelers can once again immerse themselves in the beauty of El Nido Palawan, with its magnificent beaches, regal lagoons, and other picturesque locations. However, it is essential to carefully understand the entry requirements and determine the category you fall under as the local government has specific regulations for different types of tourists.

Travel Requirements 

When traveling to El Nido, here are the requirements you need to bring.

  1. Valid ID

List of Acceptable Government Issued Identification Cards/ ID’s

  • e-Card / UMID
  • Employee’s ID / Office Id
  • Driver’s License*
  • Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) ID *
  • Passport *
  • Senior Citizen ID
  • SSS ID
  • COMELEC / Voter’s ID / COMELEC Registration Form
  • Philippine Identification (PhilID / ePhilID)
  • NBI Clearance *
  • Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) ID
  • Firearms License *
  • AFP Beneficiary ID
  • BIR (TIN)
  • Pag-ibig ID
  • Persons With Disability (PWD) ID
  • Solo Parent ID
  • Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) ID *
  • Barangay ID *
  • Philippine Postal ID *
  • Philhealth ID
  • School ID 
  • Other valid government-issued ID
  1. Vaccination Certificate
  2. RT-PCR test results for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers.
  3. Confirmed accommodation booking at DOT-accredited hotels or resorts.
  4. S-Pass Travel Permit: you can apply for a permit via the S-Pass website.

Guidelines and Protocols

When you arrive at El Nido, be careful to abide by these safety precautions:

  • Visitors are advised to cover their faces, often clean their hands, and maintain social distance, especially in public. This will aid in the fight against COVID-19’s spread.
  • Tourists must present a confirmed booking at any DOT accredited hotels. It should match the number of days you are staying on the island as per round trip ticket.
  • Negative RT-PCR test must be taken 48 hours prior to arrival in El Nido.
  • Entry is permitted to people of all ages, although those over 65, those with immunodeficiencies, comorbidities, or other health problems, as well as pregnant women, must be completely vaccinated.

How to Get to El Nido Palawan

Manila, the capital of the Philippines, serves as the primary departure point from El Nido. You may either fly directly there or fly to Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan, and then take a bus or van.

El Nido is reachable by road or water if you are already in other places in Palawan, such as Coron or San Vicente. Discover your options on how to go to El Nido, Palawan. 

Direct Flights from Manila to El Nido

Experience the swiftest and most seamless way to reach El Nido by taking a direct flight from Manila to Lio Airport. Currently, AirSwift is the exclusive airline offering this route, ensuring a smooth journey to this captivating tropical paradise. With up to four daily flights available, you can quickly embark on your El Nido adventure. 

In just 1 hour and 20 minutes, you’ll find yourself immersed in the wonders of El Nido. From Lio Airport, a convenient 30-minute land travel will transport you to the vibrant Town Proper.

Traveling from Puerto Princesa to El Nido

Taking a plane to Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan, is the most popular method of transportation for traveling to El Nido. The flight costs are less than a direct trip.

Air Travel

Flights from Manila, Clark in Pampanga, and Cebu in the Visayas connect to Puerto Princesa. The duration of the Manila flight is approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes, while Clark and Cebu flights take about 1 hour and 30 minutes and 1 hour and 15 minutes respectively.

For your booking convenience, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia offer flight options to Puerto Princesa. Upon arriving at Puerto Princesa airport, you will need to arrange transportation via van or bus, which will take approximately 5-7 hours to reach El Nido.

Van Transfers

Vans are the preferred choice for land travel to El Nido among travelers due to their slightly shorter travel time of 5-6 hours compared to buses. Vans typically depart once they have reached full capacity. Along the journey, there is a single stop halfway for restroom breaks and to grab some snacks.

To ensure a seamless experience, it is recommended to pre-book your van transportation in advance, allowing them to pick you up directly from the airport. Alternatively, if you are traveling as a group, hiring a private van offers a more convenient and personalized trip.

Bus Transfers

Opting for bus travel is a suitable choice, especially if you have large or multiple pieces of luggage, as buses typically provide luggage compartments. Compared to vans, buses offer more spacious legroom. However, it’s important to note that buses have a longer travel time of approximately 6-7 hours due to stops made along the way to pick up and drop off passengers.

Marine Transfers

If you find yourself in Coron, Palawan, you have the option to take a fast craft to reach El Nido. The journey typically takes approximately 4 hours, offering a swift and scenic passage. 

Departing from Coron at noon, the boat arrives in El Nido by 3:30 PM, allowing you to enjoy the stunning landscapes along the way. It’s important to note that there are no direct flights available from Busuanga Airport in Coron to El Nido, making the fast craft an ideal choice for seamless travel between the two destinations.

Traveling from San Vicente to El Nido by Flights and Vans

Situated at a distance of 2-2.5 hours from El Nido, a rising destination in Palawan awaits—San Vicente. To reach San Vicente, you have the option to fly to San Vicente Airport by booking flights through SkyJet (approximately 50 minutes from Manila) or Philippine Airlines (around 1 hour and 30 minutes from Clark in Pampanga).

Once you arrive at San Vicente Airport, you can conveniently hire a van that will transport you to El Nido. It is advisable to prearrange your van transfer in advance, ensuring a smooth journey as they pick you up directly from San Vicente Airport.

Approved Tour Operators in El Nido

There are several approved operator tours in El Nido that offer guided tours and activities in and around the area. Some of the approved operator tours in El Nido include:

  • Ape Tour Services
  • Discover El Nido Travel & Tours
  • Go Paradise Travel & Tour
  • Haqqy Life Travel & Tour
  • Leatherback Travel & Tour
  • Philippine Travel A La Carte
  • Umi Travel and Tour
  • Anang Travel & Tours
  • Aqua Island Tours
  • Beachfront Travel and Tours
  • Bellitta Tours
  • Cadlao Travel and Tours
  • Caera Travel and Tour
  • Cashem Travel & Tours
  • Devayn’s Travel & Tours
  • El Swift Travel and Tours
  • Elbyahe’s Travel and Tours
  • Gabreiel Travel and Tours
  • Golden Monkey Travel & Tours
  • Hannah Travel & Tours
  • Helloen Boat Tour Services
  • Jhannas Travel & Tours
  • Kapupuruan Travel & Tours
  • Klienkris Travel & Tour
  • Krischana Travel & Tour
  • Life Simple Pleasure Travel & Tours
  • Lovelyn Travel & Tour
  • Mercurio Travel & Tours
  • Nativ Exploration Travel & Tours
  • Philippine Island Cruise Corporation
  • RR Travel and Tour
  • Spider Travel & Tour
  • Tao Lost Boys, Inc. El Nido
  • Tarawis Travel & Tours
  • Alexzus Travel And Tours
  • Awit At Alon Travel And Tours
  • Bighorn Travel And Tours
  • Buddy Lets Go Travel And Tours
  • Buhay Isla Ecotour (El Nido Branch)
  • Destination Philippines Travel And Tours, Inc.
  • Dolarog Travel And Tours
  • El Moments Travel And Tours
  • El Nido Bay Travel And Tours
  • Elswissnest Travel And Tours
  • Exoticloops Motorcycle Tour
  • Gea Travel And Tour
  • Go Paradise Travel And Tours (Main Office)
  • Hayahay Travel And Tours
  • Isla Magdaphil Travel And Tours Inc.
  • Jbenito Travel And Tours
  • Keelooma Island Camp Booking Office
  • Kulafo Travel And Tours
  • Kuya Cris Travel And Tours
  • Lihim Travel And Tours
  • Northern Hope Tours El Nido
  • Paragua Travel And Tours
  • Ricgem Travel And Tour
  • Rovic’S Travel And Tours
  • Rsj Travel And Tours
  • Soledad De Amor Travel And Tours
  • Spider Travel And Tours
  • Treshfanny Travel And Tours
  • Tropical Paradise Travel And Tours
  • Yva Travel And Tours
  • Z Tours.Ph
  • Zeñorita Travel And Tours

That’s it for El Nido Palawan Travels!

Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture, sample delicious seafood, and interact with the friendly locals. With its breathtaking landscapes, turquoise waters, and warm hospitality, El Nido is truly a tropical paradise worth discovering. So, pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and prepare to create unforgettable memories in this enchanting corner of the world. – WhatALife!/Jayve

Sources: (1), (2), (3), (4), (5)

Also read: Baguio COVID-19 Travel Requirements in 2022

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