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!

Make sure you also check out my post: 5 Places in the Philippines You NEED to Visit & How to Get to Them All!

First off, El Nido does have an airport but its not a main airport. You can email the Arts Cafe in El Nido ( 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!

When you get to El Nidio you need to do a boat tour – The Beauty of El Nido and the Tour A boat trip. and try and go to Port Barton on Palawan too! – Island hoping in Port Barton.

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, 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!

Tip – I got an afternoon flight from Manila into Kalibo, stayed overnight in Kalibo at RB Lodge Kalibo for a really cheap price (£9.00 for a twin room). I got a quick and cheap tricycle from the airport to my accommodation that night, and then in the morning got on a minibus to the North of the island to get the boat to Boracay. This meant we didn’t have to worry about getting in late and missing the last bus up North or worry about travelling at night.

el nido to boracay flight

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!

Flights were one of the bad things about the Philippines, see my overall thoughts here – Is it really more fun in the Philippines??

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, which you can read about here 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!

For accommodation, check out for great deals and great cancellation terms, incase your plans have to change. When you book use the code ‘THEWAN100’ and we’ll both get £15.00 off!

el nido to boracay flight

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.

I loved Boracay, this is what I got up to! – Visiting Beautiful Boracay.

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, as I mention above, 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!

el nido to 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!


To get your flight booked or to look into the options that work best for you. Visit Skyscanner here! If you’re on your mobile, look on the app!

For accommodation in El Nido have a look at here,

& for accommodation in Boracay have a look at here!

When you book use the code ‘THEWAN100’ and we’ll both get £15.00 off!

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

5 Places in the Philippines You NEED to Visit & How to Get to Them All!

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.

If you’re travelling South East Asia these posts on money should help you out:

How Much Money I Spent Travelling South East Asia for 5 Months.

How Much Money I Spent Travelling South East Asia Again but for 3 months!

And, if you need specific Country information or inspo, click on the Country link below which will take you to my blog posts from there!








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

el nido to boracay pinterest pin

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


    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

  2. Allie
    October 23, 2017 / 3:24 am


    Thank you for this super helpful post!

    I just wanted to ask how easy you found it to get from Puerta Princesa and El Nido, how long does it take, how much does it cost and is it reliable?!

    We will also be there over Xmas and NYE. Planning to do Puerta Princesa for 2 days, Coron for 4 days, El nido for 2 days, boracay for 4 days. It’s going to be hectic but hopefully we can make it work with internal flights!

    • October 23, 2017 / 7:25 am

      Hello Allie.
      I can’t remember how much it costs but that may be in my El Nido blog post. It did take awhile in the bus but I believe the roads have got better since I went so it should only be a few hours.
      That sounds great, yep just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get the flights as they tend to be delayed!
      Any more questions just let me know.

  3. December 5, 2017 / 9:34 am

    nice tips, definitely some fun beaches to visit, definitely helped us plan our trip a little better

    • December 5, 2017 / 12:32 pm

      That’s good to hear! Thanks for letting me know. Enjoy!

  4. Sharayu
    December 11, 2017 / 11:19 am

    Extremely helpful blog!!! Choosing Kalibo airport instead of Caticlan save me a lot of money. Thanks a ton. XOXO

      • Sharayu
        December 12, 2017 / 12:43 pm

        Get in Touch with me if you ever come to India! 🙂

  5. July 9, 2018 / 11:00 am

    Oh, your post makes me remind of my trip to Boracay three years ago. Although we just have 4 days there, we have lots of fun and unforgettable memories. It’s a pity that now the tropical paradise is closed for preservation; so I don’t know when I can come back there. Anyways, thanks for your sharing!

    • July 9, 2018 / 5:40 pm

      It is a shame but it should open up in a few months time and hopefully it will be looked after more then and it’s a good lesson to other islands too.
      I’m glad you liked your time there 🙂

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