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

March 10, 2016

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Updated 2019. 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 fly from Boracay to El Nido or El Nido to Boracay!

Firstly, El Nido does have an airport but it’s not a main airport. Air Swift fly multiple times a day from El Nido Airport to places like Manila and Cebu, but they do not fly direct to Boracay and this is a much more expensive option, so for that reason, I’m not including this into my options below.

It is an option though if you have more money than time to get from El Nido to Boracay as you could fly from El Nido to Manila and then onto Boracay rather than travelling by bus to Puerto Princesa to then fly to Manila.

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


Secondly, you’ll notice that when you type Boracay into Skyscanner (by far my favourite flight booking site!) two airports will appear- Caticlan Airport (Boracay) and Kalibo Airport (Boracay) and this is because Boracay island doesn’t 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.

This means that flights to Caticlan are a bit more expensive than to Kalibo which is where I flew in and out of, however, make sure you search a few different options and dates for Caticlan and Kalibo from Puerto Princesa Airport to get the cheapest flight.

Flying into Caticlan is the most ideal option because from Kalibo as I mentioned, you will need to travel 2 hours North to Caticlan pier by minibus however the bus and ferry combined is only about £10.00 / $13.00 so not too expensive.

You can book a minibus and boat ticket online direct from Kalibo Airport to Boracay here which will help you save time instead of booking a bus at the airport.

Tip – I got an afternoon flight from Manila into Kalibo and I 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 to get to Boracay or worry about travelling at night!

If you fly into Caticlan Airport you’ll need to get a really quick bus to the pier and boat over to the land.

You can book a bus and boat online from Caticlan Airport to Boracay here in advance for a cheap price!

Note that you may still need to pay an environment fee before getting on the boat to Boracay!

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!

On the talk of flights in the Philippines, 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!

From what I see on Instagram the flights in the Philippines are still regularly delayed in 2019 too!

I 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 in Manila, check out Booking.com for great deals and great cancellation terms, iin caseyour plans have to change.

el nido to boracay flight

Views of Manila below.

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 quicker, perhaps more pricey way:

Mini Bus- El Nido to Puerto Princesa airport

Flight- Puerto Princesa to Caticlan

Boat- Caticlan to Boracay


Option 2: The longer, cheaper way:

Mini Bus- El Nido to Puerto Princesa airport

Flight- Puerto Princesa to Manila

Flight- Manila to Kalibo

Mini Bus- Kalibo to Caticlan pier

Boat- Caticlan to Boracay

this option is where I would recommend staying in Manila for a night.

I’d recommend checking out the bus and boat prices and options on BookAway here to help you plan your trip and see which way works best for you!

To get your flight booked or to look into the options that work best for you. Visit Skyscanner here

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

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 in 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.




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13 responses to “Getting from El Nido to Boracay and vice versa in the Philippines!!”

  1. Rebecca tinnion says:


    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 !

    • 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 says:


    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!

    • 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. guy says:

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

  4. Sharayu says:

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

  5. 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!

    • 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 🙂

  6. Very helpful blog!!! I can still recommend Port Barton as a destination on Palawan !

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I’m Ellie Quinn!

I’m a travel addict who has been travelling on and off since 2010. In the Summer of 2018 I quit my office job in London, left my flat and I now travel and blog full time! Yes, I’m living that dream!

I created this blog to share my best travel tips with you to help you travel better, save money and visit some hidden gems! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and you can read more about me here!





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