Travelling to Palawan? The best ways to get there
01 Mar 2015
The best way to travel to Palawan depends upon you. Either to transport via air, or land, or water, it’s all up to your choice but surely, you will enjoy!
Despite enjoying the reputation of being ‘the last frontier’, Palawan is very accessible from Manila and some other areas of the Philippines. With enough planning and good timing, you might even be able to arrive in Manila, change planes, and arrive at your destination in Palawan the same day. Flights to Palawan from the country’s capital take just over an hour.
More likely, you could fly to Manila, spend a night in the metropolitan, and then hop on a plane or boat to Palawan the following day. Either way, the delights of Palawan are within easy reach of travellers.
Palawan is connected by air from the international as well as domestic airports at Cebu, Manila and Caticlan (Boracay).
Palawan’s main airport is in Puerto Princesa, but there are two other smaller airports further north in Palawan and in the island of Busuanga. El Nido and the Bacuit Archipelago are served by El Nido Airport. Sandoval Airport, about 30km north of Taytay, serves as an alternate entry point to northern Palawan. On Busuanga Island, there’s the YKR Airport, which serves Coron Town and the resorts of the Calamian Archipelago.
Air travel is remarkably speedy and efficient in Palawan, and it’s certainly the way to go if you can afford it.
One advantage of flying is the opportunity for aerial sightseeing: if, for instance, you are flying from the south to El Nido, you could get a spectacular aerial view of the Bacuit Archipelago.
If you want to save some money and avoid the discomfort that comes with travelling by road, then you should take a boat.
There used to be regularly scheduled bangka services up and down the west coast of northern Palawan, connecting Sabang, Port Barton and El Nido. Though such operation has been stopped, it is still possible to charter boats between these and other seaports.
Another option you have is to hire a bangka by the hour or day for trips between the main island and offshore islands and for island hopping. A typical day rate for island hopping within the Bacuit Archipelago would range between P1000 to P1500.
In addition, there are ships that operate between Manila and the ports in Coron and Puerto Princesa.
Getting around Palawan is almost as easy as getting there, but be warned that road journeys can be time-consuming, bumpy and a little frustrating.
Road trips across Palawan are very popular among tourists. These trips are made either by jeepneys or bus hybrids, larger vehicles that have seats facing forward. If you have the money, you can hire a private van or jeep to cover long stretches. Not only will you be able to see more of the scenery, but you will be in a better frame of mind to actually appreciate the view. They also offer transfer or shuttle services from Puerto Princesa to El Nido (6 hours) and Puerto Princesa to Taytay (4 hours).
However, keep in mind that the roads become less accessible during wet season, which is from June to September.
Travelling to Palawan is quite easy considering the transportation options you have at hand. What you just need to consider is the money you are willing to invest for a safer and better travel. Enjoy your journey!