El Nido - To Coron - 6 - Ferry Seating

El Nido – Philippines – To Coron




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I was coming to the end of my 9 night stay in El Nido and it was time to look forward to Coron.

I asked a few of the locals which was the best ferry to Coron; they said the ‘Bonso’.

On Thursday, I went down to the Art Cafe to book my ticket for the Saturday morning. The ticket was PHP1500; I believe that you can get them for PHP1400 elsewhere.


I was told to be at the Ferry Terminal at 8:00am. The Ferry leaves at 8:30am.

I set my alarm for 5:30am, washed, packed and had my free Tandikan breakfast at 7:00am. I left the Tandikan at 7:30am for the short, 10 minute walk to the Ferry Terminal. I was the only person there. The security guard told me that the ferries had been cancelled.

I walked to the Art Cafe. They told me that all ferries had been delayed in Coron by the Port Master because of high winds and rough seas. They did not know when the ferries would be allowed to sail. I was asked to come back later for more information.

I was back at the Tandikan Beach Cottages just after 8:00am. Luckily, they had not rented out my room – so, I moved straight back in.

Lessons learnt: The day before departure, especially in places like the Philippines, check that the ferry is sailing.

Later that day, I went back to the Art Cafe.

They confirmed that the ferry was sailing the next morning at the same time. They had already booked me on the next ferry. There was no fee. Excellent service.

I was up at 5:30am on Sunday morning and followed the same procedure to the Ferry Terminal.

This time, there were people there.

We waited in the passenger terminal until 8:00am, paid the PHP20 ‘Port Fee’, and started boarding.

It was a Bankha big enough to hold 40-50 people – not what us ‘westerners’ would call a ferry.


On a good day with good seas, the ferry takes 6 hours to get from El Nido to Coron. On a bad day it takes 8 hours. We had a good day.

You never hit open sea, the ferry hugs the islands.

This provides some excellent scenery on the way.

The best seat in the house is up front on the bow.

A simple lunch is provided on board; it is included in your ticket price.

Most people on board slept; there was plenty of room for people to spread out and lie down.

I spent most of my time on the bow listening to music.

By 2:30pm we could see Coron through a gap between 2 islands.

By 3:00pm we were docked at the Ferry Terminal and disembarking.


It was a very pleasant voyage. But, I can imagine that, in rougher seas in could be a completely different story.

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