According to Uncle Google, it’s about 241 kilometers from Puerto Princesa to El Nido (see map below).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Text and Photos by Alice Davis