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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Palawan Travel Guide: Puerto Prinsesa, El Nido, Coron

We love Palawan so much, and we look forward to returning each year. Yes, you heard it right! We’ve been visiting Palawan since 2011, and we visit this place once or twice a year, yet we never run out of options to choose from. It’s our favorite place! There are so many places worth visiting and the beaches are breathtaking.
The island of Palawan is a long stretch of exquisiteness, filled with unspoiled forests, big and small islands, rocky coves, and powdery white beaches! For those who are not that familiar with Palawan, here’s a simple map:
El Nido is about 5-6 hours away from Puerto Prinsesa by van, and 6-7 hours by bus (expect for stopovers). There are so many companies offering Puerto Prinsesa-El Nido transfers, and vice versa. The prices are almost the same. These vehicles leave every 2-4 hours, depending on the company and type of transportation. You can book in advance or book upon arriving. There are even vans that offer hotel pick-up for your convenience. You can also go for night trips. Most roads are smooth, but you’ll still encounter bumpy paths.
On the other hand, there are ferry companies offering EL Nido-Coron transfers, and vice versa. They’re available 4 - 5 times a week. The length takes about 7-10 hours. Booking is only available upon arrival. You cannot book in advance. The ferry ride is quite slow and tiring. We prefer Manila-Coron or Cebu-Coron flights.
Puerto Prinsesa
Opt for a week long vacation to Palawan, or just make sure you include El Nido in your ternary. 5-6 days might work.
Puerto Prinsesa is the most developed location. There are a lot of hotels, restaurants, bars, and other establishments to choose from. The Underground River Tour is the highlight of this place. There are also other fun activities to choose from. We recommend the City Tour, Ugong Rock Adventure, Underground River Tour, Iwahig Firefly Watching, and restaurant hoping.
We don’t appreciate the island-hopping package that much. We’re Davaoenos and we’ve seen a lot of beautiful Samal Beaches. The beaches were okay. They’re not that impressive. We prefer El Nido beaches!
Read this article for a more detailed review:
El Nido
This is probably our favorite place among the three. The long and tiring road trip is worth it!
El Nido is just a small town. You need not to book hotels near the shore because the shore is not that awesome. It’s just a seaport with boats and opaque water. Opt for hotels near Calle Real. The port is just walking distance and the hotel rooms are cheaper.
There are four island hopping tours to choose from. The most popular ones are tours A and C. Tour A offers excellent view because it includes the Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, and Shimizu Island. Tour C is for the risk-takers. Get ready for a fun adventure!
Coron is not that crowded compared to El nido. The town proper is also smaller and less progressive than El Nido. Coron is the best place to snorkel and dive. It’s a suitable option for divers and for underwater adventure.
They have the best snorkeling spots like Ship Wrecks, Siete Pecados, Calachuchi Coral Eden, Twin Peaks Reef, and Barakuda Lake. It’s also the home of the world-renowned Kayangan Lake.
Palawan is considered as the "Island of the Gods" and it is not without reason. The impressive bodies of water will make you see heaven on earth!

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