Bus from Puerto Princesa to Elnido

2 Dec

Elnido beaches were ranked the 14th best in the world according to CNN ‘s Top Beaches in the World. I think this place is still an unspoiled paradise mainly because it is so remote and not too easy to get too. The most common way to to get to Elnido is to fly first to Puerto Princesa (via Manila, no international flights go to Puerto Princesa ) and then take an 8 hours bus to Elnido. This is obviously not a route for those who are looking for comfortable travel. As a result, not many tourists go to Elnido, especially if you compare it to Boracay and more popular Thai beaches.

Puerto Princesa to Elnido

Puerto Princesa to Elnido

If you are planning to visit el Nido, you can choose one of the following ways:

1- By plane: I never met one who flew to Elnido simply because this is a private airport and all flights going there are run by resorts for their super rich guests (i.e.. Leonardo Dicaprio when filming “the Beach” and other stars). You can of course buy a ticket from them but it will cost at least 120,000pesos (300USD) one way

2- By Van: Vans or Mini buses (usually 8 seats) run from Puerto Princessa to ElNido few times a day. They cost between 600 and 900 pesos ( 16 to 21CAD). You can book your seat at the airport or via your hotel or hostel reception. Usually they come pick you up before departure. The ride to Elnido in the an take 5h. They are reputed for being careless drivers.

3-By Bus: This is the option i chose. There are two Companies you can go with Cherry Bus (white bus) or RORO bus (Green Bus).

They are very similar but CherryBus is slightly more expensive and reputed for having newer buses with more leg space. I was traveling on a budget and not looking for comfort so i chose the RORO bus.

RoRo Bus

RoRo Bus

  • Booking and getting there:

RoRo Bus leaves from Saint Jose Bus terminal every hour from 4 am to 6pm with an overnight  bus at 10pm. To go the San Jose Bus terminal, you can a tricycle there  and it would cost around 20pesos (50 cents). You need to remember that you can not book your ticket in advance so you have to go there at least one hour in advance to get on the bus and physically book your own seat. You pay for the ticket on the way when the “bus manager” comes and asks you to pay.

  • Cost: 

The AirCon RORO costs and the non AirCon 480 pesos (12CAD) RORO costs 290pesos (7CAD). I chose the non AirCon and it was not bad because it rained that day and most people keep their windows open so it doesn’t really get hot in the bus.

  • How is the ride?

The ride to Elnido took  us around 7 hours. It is much longer then the van because the bus takes two 20min breaks in both Roxas and TayTay. In addition to picking up anyone who flags the bus along the road. Some people use the bus for short distance traveling between villages. I actually really enjoyed these stops because i was sitting right next to the door so i had several passengers sit next to me and each with his own story; an 8 years old kid was running errands for his mom in a nearby village and buying her groceries. He walked 6km to the grocery store but now he is taking the bus back because it was raining. More people get on the bus then there are seats and they end  up standing up for most of their ride.

No more seats, people have to stand

No more seats, people have to stand

the first 30% of the road is paved, the next 50% is an okay road but the last 20% is just a dirt road with alot of bumps , so don’t expect to be able to nap on the last one hour of the ride 🙂

the good Road which was only about 30% of the way

the good Road which was only about 30% of the way

I hope you enjoy your trip to Elnido, you can find out about more things to do in Elnido and Palawan in my 10 days Palawan DIY Backpacking trip

View from the bus

View from the bus


2 Responses to “Bus from Puerto Princesa to Elnido”

  1. Lonni January 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    This is good info. Based on the date of your post, it sounds like the service suspension from earlier in 2013 has since been lifted?

    • Global Citizen January 3, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

      yeah there was a suspension on the roro bus because of an accident but even at that time Cherry bus was still running. Now they are both operating from PP to Elnido

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