If you want to go to northern Palawan, you will need to get the El Nido bus. The good news is with the tourism boom, the days of two early buses a day are over. There is now buses pretty much around the clock. Ok, from 3am to 10pm.
Roro Bus and Cherry Transport are the main players with a few smaller transportation companies in the market. They all operate out of bus terminal next to the New Market in San Juan.
For those worried about the prices, they are all normally between 300-400 pesos depending on if you get the ordinary or air conditioned buses.
El Nido bus tip: Get out of Puerto Princesa early
The trip is between six and eight hours depending on traffic and how many cows are laying on the highway. It is a long trip no matter how you look at it. It will take some time. You probably don’t want to spend a whole day on the bus so leave early.
If you can get that 3am bus (yes, it is early); that will put you in El Nido at the latest ten in the morning. At least, you will be there in time to get on the water the same day. That is what matters at the end of the day, right?
What about express vans?
There are many companies that offer vans to El Nido and they are about 30-40 minutes faster. I am not a fan of them because they pack way too many people in them to make a profit. A six hour trip packed in like you are a crayon box just is not my thing. It might be yours.
The vans are about the same price so if you are looking for them, just walk across the road from the bus terminal and ask which one is leaving next.