Are We There Yet? – Bus Trip from Puerto Princesa to El Nido

According to Uncle Google, it’s about 241 kilometers from Puerto Princesa to El Nido (see map below).

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To get to El Nido from Puerto Princesa we can either take a van or a bus. We opted to take the bus so we can have more leg room as we were told that it takes about 6 hours to travel by bus due to frequent stops along the way.

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We took the air-conditioned Roro Bus (Php 380/person), on a 10 am departure. Roro bus departs hourly from 4am to 10pm, from San Jose bus Terminal. A new bus company called Cherry Bus has recently started operations there as well. Road conditions, frequent stops, half hour stop in 2 towns (Roxas and Taytay), and engine trouble turned the 6-hour journey to 8 hours.

ROAD CONDITIONS

The road from Puerto Prinsesa to Taytay (168 km) is paved concrete. From Taytay to El Nido it’s mostly rough road with patches of on-going construction along the way.

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The photo above shows half the road is concrete while the other half is just gravel.

 

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This photo shows the road as gravel mixed with hardened clay soil. The road from Taytay to El Nido, which is about 60 kms was a stretch of either gravel and half concrete or just gravel.

The last two hours of the journey was a test of my patience as I was cranky, tired and slightly dehydrated. We did brought bottled water with us but as the journey went longer than anticipated, it was not enough.

TRAVEL TIP

Going to El nido from Puerto Princesa can be easier by hiring a van either a Nissan escapade or Toyota Grandia which can seat 12. These vans have more leg room as it only have 3 rows of seats compared to the others with 4 rows. It costs 7000 pesos from Puerto Princesa to El Nido for the whole van, and travel time is reduced to 5 hours.

If you want some contact numbers for a driver of a van, do leave a message :)
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Text and Photos by Alice Davis

11 comments on “Are We There Yet? – Bus Trip from Puerto Princesa to El Nido

  1. Hi Thanks for having interesting info on the Philippines. My husband and I have booked for next feb. Our neighbours go frequently to Boracay so we have decided to travel. I have booked the flights but am now just coming up with a schedule. The places they stay are expensive and I think we would rather try less exclusive places. Where would you suggest staying in El Nido – and is that to base oneself to do the tours you have mentioned? We have a total of three weeks in the Philippines – so I thought a week in Boracay and about 7-8 in El Nido (enough time?) and what advise if any do you have regarding Cebu. Hope you don’t mind me picking your brain – I have found trying to self plan the Philippines is a bit of a task.
    kind regards Karen

    1. Hi Karen, I am just about to finish an article about the places we stayed in El Nido, will post it this week and you can have a read through it :-) 7-8 days is enough for you to do the 4 tours. We only did 2 island hopping tours as we didn’t have enough time. Just take 2 days out for travelling though, if you are coming from Puerto Princesa. While in Palawan you may as well fit in a day and see the underground river in Sabang. I have more articles coming about this.

      Cebu is a good place to go as well. Beautiful beach resorts in Lapu-lapu island, also in North and South of Cebu. If you have enough time, swim with the whale sharks in Oslob, South of Cebu, and stay a night there. If you are into scuba diving head to Moalboal after Oslob and stay a night or two in Moalboal instead.

      It’s good that you have plenty of time to plan, you may check out airline promo rates of either Cebu Pacific and Air Asia as early as now or sign up for a newsletter as they do send out emails when they have specials.

      Hope this helps.
      Alicia

  2. Hi Alice
    Thank you so much for you reply – the more I research the better the trip is looking – I now wonder if three weeks in enough! That trip from Puerto Princesa looks a real pain but hopefully we can hire a driver ?? Your thoughts. Thank you so much for your advise. Kind regards Karen

    1. Hi Karen
      Cebu, Boracay and El Nido is just right for 3 weeks. If you are travelling as a group it may be good to hire a van. Noel is the name of the driver, his number is +63 928 793 8781.
      I read about Daytripper as well, maybe worth a search in google. I haven’t tried them though.

  3. HI~Alice
    Thanks for your information. Could you pls provide the contact no. for driver of a van?
    Since the flight will land around 1430… Cannot meet the RORO bus schedule.

    Thanks.
    Wilkin

    1. Hi Wilkin
      The name of the driver is Noel, his number is +63 928 793 8781.
      Just let him know that you got his number from me.

  4. Hello! Thanks for the great post! Does Noel have an email address or website? I’m in canada so calling him will be a bit difficult. Thank you!
    Stephanie

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