Puerto Princesa International Airport is located in the heart of the city; arriving by tricycle from almost anywhere in the city should not cost more than 50 PHP, although it costs 150 to the bus station to be 7 km north. It is a place where I have terrible memories, boisterous and chaotic, with insufficient fans for Palawan sultriness; It is a very bad idea to think about having lunch here or arriving early to our flight and waiting. Receive direct flights to the main cities in The Philippines and few international flights. You have to pay a fee of PHP 200 per domestic flight.
- There are no direct flights to El Nido, although there are flights in the opposite direction.
- To Coron there are only very expensive 6 seated airplanes some Thursdays and Saturdays.
- Manila: 12 a day from 1400 PHP, 1h and 30m.
- Cebu: 3 or 4 a day, from 1300 PHP, 1h and 20m.
- There are several flights a week to Iloilo.
- Seoul: 1 a day, from PHP 13,000, 4h and 30 m.
- There are occasional flights to Taipei.
They leave and arrive at the Ferry Terminal, at the west end of the city center:
- 2GO has routes to Manila (2000 to 2800 PHP, 31 hours) on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:59 pm via Coron (1450 to 2280 PHP, 15 hours). Includes meals.
- Milagrosa Shipping and Montenegro Lines go to Iloilo via Cuyo Islands. 3 pm Thursday (870 to 1450 PHP, 36 hours) and 6 pm on Mondays (1220 to 1590 PHP, 26 hours) respectively.
In case anyone doubts, there is no train in Palawan. The bus and jeepney station is New Public Market San Jose, 7 km north of downtown. A tricycle up there will cost us 120 PHP, 25 PHP a jeepney. It’s another place that could not be more chaotic:
- Sabang: apart from arriving by a private excursion to visit the Underground River, we have the following options:
- Lexus Shuttles: 5 or 6 a day in each direction, the last one at 6 pm. It costs PHP 200, 90 minutes. It is the option that we use. It has a direct service from the airport.
- Jumbo jeepney: 4 a day from New Market Station in San Jose, 7 km north of Puerto Princesa, the first at 7 am and the last at 2 pm. It costs PHP 150 (120 if we do not carry luggage), it takes about 3 hours.
- Take the Puerto Princesa – El Nido bus and get off at Salvacion, where we can change to the only jumbo jeepney at 12 noon, but it does not make much sense, since this second jeepney also costs PHP 150.
- Hire a minivan privately. It should cost around 2000 PHP and take 90 minutes.
- Anyone who dares to go on a rented motorcycle costs PHP 600 per day. Good luck.
- Port Barton:
- Minivans: PHP 350, 2½ hours. Recaro Transport has 7 a day. Daytripper offers the only premium service at 4 pm for 850 PHP.
- There is a daily jumbo jeepney at 8 am (PHP 250, 4 hours).
- There are also 4 lime green buses a day, they cost and they take the same time as the jeepney and they do not have air conditioning, but there is a direct service that takes 3 hours (350 PHP).
- El Nido:
- Bus. They take 7 hours, cost between 450 (without air conditioning) and PHP 550 (with air conditioning). They are newer, more spacious and less uncomfortable than minivans, but slower because they stop whenever someone wants to go down or up. The companies are Roro Bus and Cherry Bus, which alternate every hour a service until 10 pm.
- Most use the uncomfortable minivans for being faster (they are direct). 500 PHP, 5 hours. There are several main companies; each one has 6 or 7 minivans per day, from 4 am to 6 pm. They do not go out until they are full.
- Minivans of companies like Lexus Shuttles, Eulen Joy and others are more expensive but we will not have to wait until they are full to leave and they will pick us up at our lodging, what in El Nido could be an inconvenience, but in Puerto Princesa it is an advantage for the consequent saving of time and money by not having to go to the station. The most expensive and comfortable is Daytripper (850 PHP, costs the same as up to Port Barton, but it is not premium service).
- Private Minivan: between 7,000 and 10,000 PHP, according to our bargaining capacity.
- Southern Palawan is reputed to be less attractive than the north, so it is less developed, there is more likelihood of diseases and even violent events like kidnappings; tourists hardly visit it. From Puerto Princesa there are buses or minivans to the main towns, they take between 1 to 4 hours and cost from PHP 150 to 400.
GETTING AROUND IN THE CITY
Tricycles charge PHP 50 (except for the San Jose Station, 120 PHP, 150 PHP from the airport) and PHP 15 for multi-buses per trip. Mini jeepneys do prefixed routes for PHP 25. The city is quite extensive, and the traffic is dense, slow and noisy.