Getting there & away
Despite its 'last frontier' reputation, Palawan is easily accessible from Manila and a few other parts of the Philippines. Indeed, 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 Manila take just over an hour). More likely, you could fly into Manila, spend a night in the city, then hop on a plane or boat to Palawan the following day. Either way, the delights of Palawan are within easy reach of the traveller.
A SuperFerry(02-528 7000 in Manila, 048-434 5734 in Puerto Princesa; www.superferry.com.ph) liner sails once a week from Manila to Puerto Princesa via Coron and back again (P1852 Super Value ticket with meals, 28 hours). It departs Manila on Friday, arrives in Coron on Saturday and then in Puerto Princesa later that same day; it departs Puerto Princesa on Sunday, arrives in Coron on that same day and then in Manila on Monday.
Negros Navigation (www.negrosnavigation.ph; 02-244 0408 in Manila, 048-434 4735 in Puerto Princesa) has a ferry that sails once a week between Manila and Puerto Princesa (P1835 economy class with meals, 23 hours). It departs from Manila on Thursday and arrives in Puerto Princesa on Friday; it departs from Puerto Princesa on Saturday and arrives in Manila on Sunday.
San Nicolas Shipping (02-243 4595 in Manila, 0918 216 1764 in Coron) operates three trips weekly between Manila and Coron (P800, meals included). All trips leave Manila at 4pm (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) and arrive in Coron at 5pm the following day. Coron-Manila trips sail Monday, Wednesday and Friday, leaving Coron at 4pm and docking in Manila at 5pm the next day.
Atienza Shipping Lines (02-243 8845 in Ma- nila, 0927 406 6036 in Coron, 0918 566 6786 in El Nido, 0919 257 4455 in Liminancong) operates a Liminancong- El Nido-Coron-Manila route, leaving Liminancong at 7pm Saturday and arriving in Manila at noon on Monday. The reverse journey leaves Manila at 6pm Wednesday and arrives at its final destination at noon on Friday. The Manila-Liminancong fare is P940, with meals included.
Milagrosa Shipping (033-335 0955 in Iloilo, 048-433 4806 in Puerto Princesa) has a ferry that sails once a week between Iloilo and Puerto Princesa, stopping in the Cuyo Islands en route (P800 economy, 26 hours). The ferry departs Iloilo at 7pm on Monday and Thursday and arrives in Puerto Princesa at 9pm on the following day; it leaves Puerto Princesa, headed in the opposite direction, at 3pm on Sunday and Wednesday, arriving in Iloilo at 5pm the following day.
San Nicolas Shipping (0918 216 1764 in Coron) does a weekly Coron-San José trip, departing at 10am Tuesday and arriving at San José about six hours later. The return journey leaves San José at 10pm on Saturday and arrives in Coron at around 4am the following morning.
Palawan's main airport is in Puerto Princesa, but there are two smaller airports further north in Palawan and one on the island of Busuanga. El Nido and the Bacuit Archipelago are served by small El Nido Airport. Sandoval Airport, about 30km north of Taytay, serves as an alternate entry point for northern Palawan and places like Flower Island and Club Noah Isabelle. On Busuanga Island, there's the YKR Airport, which serves Coron Town and the resorts of the Calamian Archipelago.
In addition, SEAIR (02-884 1521 in Manila, 048-434 5272 in Puerto Princesa, 0919 467 4616 in Coron, 0916 628 6665 in El Nido; www.flyseair.com) has a number of flights from Manila to various airports in Palawan, including: Manila-Busuanga (one on Tuesday and Saturday, two on Thurs- day, three on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday); Manila-Busuanga-El Nido-Puerto Princesa (one on Tuesday and Saturday); and Manila-Busuanga-El Nido-Puerto Princesa-Cuyo (one on Tuesday). These all operate in both directions on the days listed here.
Asian Spirit (055-209 1189 in Busuanga) has a flight daily to Busuanga but that can be reduced during the low season. It flies to Taytay's Sandoval Airport (0916 452 8197 in Taytay) daily.
You would be well advised to keep in mind that the timetables (as well as the routes and fares) of the different airlines, particularly Asian Spirit and SEAIR, are subject to frequent change, so it's best to check with the airline for the latest update.