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Manila to El Nido

Leeds, UK
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Manila to El Nido

Hi everyone,

Today I got an Email from SEair cancelling our flight from Manila to El Nido on 16th January 2010 with no real explanation.

What are our alternative options to get there? Our dates are pretty fixed as we have paid deposits for accomodation from 16 January in El Nido and on through to Sabang. We probably could change them, but I'd prefer not to.

I have Emailed ITI to see what the chances of getting a flight with them are, but I imagine they will get an influx of enquiries from other people booked on our flight. And of course they cost twice as much as we paid originally.

Flying via Puerto Princesa is I guess the next possibility. However, this is likely to mean we wouldn't arrive in El Nido on 16th. Given that Jeepney/public bus aren't really an option as we have a 2yr old with us we'd have to hire a van/car and I think this would cost approx php14,000 plus the plane ticket cost?

Any advice very gratefully received?

For info, our planned itinerary was as follows

15th - Manila

16 to 21st - El Nido

22nd to 25th - Port Barton

26th to 28th - Sabang

29th - Manila (PP - Manila flight booked)

Melbourne, Australia
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for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
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1. Re: Manila to El Nido

They are the only flight options direct from Manila.

You could fly to Puerto Princessa and take the road trip. It takes at least 5-6 hours.

Tommo

Bolton, UK
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2. Re: Manila to El Nido

Hi,

I think you could catch an early morning flight to Puerto Princesa and still make it to El Nido the same day. We caught a 08.10 Cebu Pacific flight from Manila and arrived into PP at 09.30 am. This means you should be able to catch the Fort Wally van leaving at 11.00 am, which would get you to El Nido before it gets dark. It should only take 5 hours (6 at the most)

I think if your 2 year old occupied a seat on a public van they would be fine. Should only cost 500 peso each (but they'll ask for 600)

Of course if you fly to PP then it would then make more sense to go to Sabang first and then Port Barton and then El Nido. Depends on your flight time back again from PP whether you have to overnight in PP.

How do you intend to get to Port Barton?

Edited: 06 January 2011, 09:03
Leeds, UK
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99 posts
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3. Re: Manila to El Nido

I know there is no other flight option into El Nido, i'm just annoyed and frustrated that my plan has been thwarted. El Nido is the main reason for us choosing Philippines and now it is looking difficult.

UK to Manila to PP to El Nido with only 1 night in Manila as a break would be too much travelling.

But El Nido is the main reason we are coming to Philippines and

Leeds, UK
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99 posts
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4. Re: Manila to El Nido

Infoaddict

We were going to decide how to get to Port Barton when we were in El Nido.

The problem with our itinerary is that we have paid deposits to secure bookings everywhere.

We arrive in Manila at 11pm so an early flight followed by bus doesn't appeal.

Leeds, UK
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99 posts
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5. Re: Manila to El Nido

Anyone have a working Email address for ITI?

The one from El Nido Art Boutique website doesn't work for me.

Bolton, UK
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2,426 posts
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6. Re: Manila to El Nido

From ITI's website

info@itiair.com

I can see your problem in the travel plan. However I can't suggest any better idea if you want to get there for the 16th. El Nido is somewhat difficult to get to and that's part of it's charm. I know you will be shattered, but at least you can relax when you arrive.

Travel to Port Barton from El Nido is difficult. The first option is a 6 hour or longer banca ride which will be expensive and may not suit your child. Safety can also be an issue on these long journeys.

The better option is by private van. Public transport will be too difficult, if not impossible

I assume you haven't booked accommodation in Port Barton (as you don't know how you will get there). If so, I would suggest missing it out an spending more time in El Nido or Sabang.

Leeds, UK
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7. Re: Manila to El Nido

Infoaddict:

I tried that Email message and it fails as well. I will try from my yahoo account in case it is a problem with my work Email.

We have booked accomodation near Port Barton. My better half was adamant she wouldn't go anywhere without knowing where she was staying.

I'd prefer to travel by boat. Everything I've read says the boat ride takes a maximum of 5hrs usually less. The scenery is said to be spectacular. We wanted to see the weather forecast before committing though.

Bolton, UK
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8. Re: Manila to El Nido

I note from your other posts that others also suggest the Manila - Puerto Princesa option. I hope you get something sorted soon.

Regarding the Port Barton boat - we never did this trip but whilst in El Nido we bumped into a couple whom we'd had dinner with in Sabang. They had done the trip up from Port Barton. They said they had been told it would take 5-6hours but actually took almost 8, and the seas were quite rough.

Also there has been a recent post on LP which is worth a read - regarding boat travel. It's from El Nido to Coron and is quite scary. Reply number 7 details a trip someone did from El Nido to Port Barton.

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa…

Not trying to put you off - just make you aware.

Leeds, UK
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9. Re: Manila to El Nido

I've read a few scare stories about boat rides between El Nido and Coron and these did cause us to change our original plans. In an ideal world with unlimited funds we would have booked the Tao trip to Coron but unfortunately they don't allow children on the scheduled trips.

Whether we travel by boat to Port Barton will depend very much on the weather and the boat and we will decide when we are there based on our observation and advice. There is a bigger boat that can be chartered (as mentioned in the Thorntree post) and if we can get together with other people we may well opt for this.

All this is a mute point at the moment until we decide how we are getting to El Nido.

It looks like ITI flights can only be booked from 5 days before the flight in person at their office in Manila which is no good for us.

Leeds, UK
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99 posts
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10. Re: Manila to El Nido

Thanks to everyone who replied, we ahve managed to secure 3 seats on an ITI flight to El Nido.

For anyone who is interested, ITI are happy to take bookings by Email and receive payment upon check-in. They confirmed our booking 6 days ahead of departure, but if it wasn't for the time difference it would have been 7 days before.

The only working Email we found was info@islandtransvoyager.com. More useful Email contacts are rsupilanas@itair.com and apayumo@itair, the direct Emails to Rachel and Peachy respectively in the ITI reservations department.