Getting from El Nido to Boracay and vice versa in the Philippines!!

Getting from El Nido to Boracay and vice versa in the Philippines!!

So, you’re planning your trip to the Philippines and you want to visit both El Nido AND Boracay and after all why wouldn’t you, Palawan island (where El Nido is) has been named the best island in the world and Boracay has been voted Asia’s best beach on more than one occasion, and after all IT IS MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES, however when you type El Nido and Boracay into Skyscanner no flights appear!

 

Well i’m going to tell you the quickest and cheapest way to do the journey!

 

First off, El Nido does have an airport but its not a main airport. You can email the Arts Cafe in El Nido (flights@elnidoboutiqueandartcafe.com) and ask about flights but they are expensive. I got quoted over £100.00 for a flight from Manila to El Nido so for that reason i’m not including this into my options below but it is an option if you have more money than time!

 

So, more than likely the airport you will use to get to and from El Nido will be Puerto Princesa, 6 hours South of El Nido via mini bus.

 

Secondly, you’ll notice that when you type Boracay into Skyscanner (by far my favourite flight booking site!) two airports will appear- Caticlan (Boracay) and Kalibo (Boracay) and this is because Boracay doesn’t actually have an airport either, you have to fly into the bigger island just South of Boracay where these two airports are and most importantly what you need to know is that Caticlan airport is on the tip of the bigger island and just a short taxi ride away from the boat pier that takes you to Boracay, whereas Kalibo is 2 hours South of Caticlan and the pier.

Of course this means that flights to Caticlan are much more expensive than to Kalibo which is where i flew in and out of. For example if i look for flights next month (March) on Skyscanner then flights from Puerto Princesa to Caticlan range from £112 – £147 however flights to Kalibo range from only £49 – £90.

 

From Kalibo as i mentioned, you will need to travel 2 hours North to Caticlan pier but this will only cost 250 peso / £3.60 via mini bus from Kalibo airport or 100 peso/ £1.50 from Kalibo Town so this definitely the cheapest way to do it!

There are amazing views leaving Palawan island.

There are amazing views leaving Palawan island.

 

Thirdly, you will notice after looking at flights to either of these airports that there are no direct flights to them and you have to change in Manila!

Now, i took 4 internal flights in the Philippines and none of these left on time! In fact not only were my flights delayed but while sitting waiting to board 80% of the flights were delayed each time by a good 1-4 hours and in some cases 5-6 hours!

It’s likely you’ll book a flight with AirAsia or Cebu Pacific for these internal flights and i guess if your first flight is delayed then its their fault that you’ll likely miss your connecting flight and they will have to get you on another flight however this is a lot of hassle and A LOT of time spent waiting in the airport!

 

I actually decided to have a stopover for a night in Manila between going from Puerto Princesa to Boracay and in the end after experiencing these delays i was so glad i did, so i would highly recommend doing this to make sure you actually catch both flights and booking the flights on separate days rather than connecting as i have mentioned above will either cost the same or slightly less!

image

Views of Manila below.

 

And lastly, you’ve got to Caticlan pier either from a short taxi ride from Caticlan airport or from the 2 hour mini bus from Kalibo, now you just have to get the boat over to Boracay. The cost of this boat is 200 peso/ £2.90 and will cost the same no matter which airport you come from, theres a ticket office just outside the pier with 3 counters- boat ticket, environmental fee and the tax fee and between these 3 counters you will pay 200 peso. The journey takes about 20 minutes.

If you fly into Caticlan it makes sense to go straight to Boracay as you are so close, however if like me you fly into Kalibo airport and arrive late at night you could stay in Kalibo town for the night (i would recommend RB Kalibo Lodge if you do- just a short tricycle ride from the airport and the next morning you can get a mini van right outside to Caticlan). I decided to do this as i wasn’t sure if the bus and boat to Boracay would run all night as i arrived in Kalibo at about 11:00pm, it turns out it does run all night and we could of gone straight to Boracay and arrived at 2:00am ish but we still got there at 11:30am the following day after getting a good sleep in Kalibo so it worked out well!

And you won't be disappointed when you do arrive in Boracay!

And you won’t be disappointed when you do arrive in Boracay!

 

There’s no doubt about it, travel days in the Philippines are long and each place takes a lot of time to get to (and delayed flights don’t help!).. its well worth it but don’t expect it to be like Thailand or Vietnam etc.

 

Rounding up the above here are the 2 options you can take to get from El Nido to Boracay and vice versa:

 

Option 1: The quickest and more expensive way:

Mini Bus- El Nido to Puerto Princesa airport- From £5.80

Flight- Puerto Princesa to Caticlan- From £112.00

Boat- Caticlan to Boracay- £2.90

Total- £120.70

 

 

Option 2: The longer, cheaper way:

Mini Bus- El Nido to Puerto Princesa airport- From £5.80

Flight- Puerto Princesa to Manila – From £28.00

Flight- Manila to Kalibo- From £15.00

Mini Bus- Kalibo to Caticlan pier- From £1.50

Boat- Caticlan to Boracay- £2.90

Total- £53.20

(this option is where i would recommend staying in Manila for a night)

 

I hope that helps you make the best decision based on how much time and money you have!

Personally i feel that Manila is a hugely underrated city, on one of my days there i did a True Manila tour where we saw the slums of the city and donated some money and clothes to children, if you’re looking for something to do whilst in Manila i would recommend doing this, you can read my blog post here on how to do this!

 

If you want to read more on what i got up to in the Philippines then you can check out my posts below:

Is it really more fun in the Philippines??

How much I spent in the Philippines and travelling South East Asia.

The Beauty of El Nido and the Tour A boat trip.

Island hoping in Port Barton.

Beautiful Boracay.

The True Manila Tour.

 

**Want to SEE my trip to the Philippines?? Check out my YouTube video here!**

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2 Comments

  1. Rebecca tinnion
    August 28, 2017 / 12:51 pm

    Hello

    We are off to Philipeans for Xmas and new year so have 10 days it sounds like it is too much to do both El Nido and Boracay ? If it is which would you recommend ?

    I have done Asia / Malaysia and love the quieter more authentic islands rather than main stream party

    Currently living in Melbourne so done all of Australia so open to anywhere else you might suggest

    Thanks in advance !

    • August 28, 2017 / 7:00 pm

      Hello! Thanks for reading the post!
      It would be very rushed yes! I’d probably say El Nido as it’s not as touristy at all as boracay if that’s what you want and like! There are lots of other places too, I’ve heard Coron is nice in the Philippines but not 100% how to get there from either of these islands!
      Let me know how you get on!! X

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