Pin me!Image water the colour of the turquoise stone, mountains looming like behemoths overhead, and circle-shaped hidden lagoons. Think about wading via the crystal clear water, surrounded by glittering fish with a cornucopia of colourful corals beneath.
Which place am I speaking about? Truthfully, it might be both Coron or El Nido, and also you’re most likely right here since you’re questioning which to choose in your journey to Palawan, Philippines.
The 2 locations have quite a few similarities, not simply when it comes to what there’s to do at each, but in addition when it comes to pricing, crowds, and general expertise. When you can handle to spend 2 to three days in every, it will provide you with an opportunity to island hop in each locations and get the most effective of each. Nevertheless not everybody has that sort of time, so which is best when it comes all the way down to Coron vs. El Nido? This put up can assist you choose:
Highlights of El Nido
El Nido’s Massive Lagoon
Floating within the Massive LagoonThe finest method to get to know each El Nido and Coron is to island hop. Neither Coron city nor El Nido city are notably spectacular, so your time is finest spent on the perimeter of islands close by.
The largest spotlight for me of the entire experiences on this checklist was the Massive lagoon. Nearly everybody selected to kayak via it for an extra 250 pesos (about USD $5), however I simply opted to swim via with my masks and snorkel and that’s exactly what made it so fantastic. The water was flat and calm, it was tremendous clear, and I simply beloved the liberty of it. Sure, there have been lots of people in there and I did must pay an extra 200 pesos to get in, as will you need to you select to go, however it was value it.
Wow!Named for its lengthy sandbar connecting two islands, I actually beloved this cease on Tour B, most likely due to my obsession with sandbars. I had a lot enjoyable droning over it, however even in the event you don’t have a drone, you possibly can hike to the highest of the island to get a pleasant vantage level.
7 Commandos Seashore
7 Commandos Seashore, bruhThis beautiful stretch of white sand, with a bigger seaside than a lot of the different islands within the space, is a cease on Tour A. It’s additionally potential to kayak to it, particularly in the event you lease a kayak in Corong-Corong.
Las Cabanas Seashore
The View from The BirdhouseThis seaside has probably the most superb sundown views I’ve seen wherever on this planet. The unbelievable form of the islands on the horizon as every little thing turns pink and purple is simply beautiful. I’d take excessive warning swimming there, since there are sea urchins and even worse, Rockfish. Alternatively head as much as The Nesting Desk for a sundown dinner and yoga session. It’s additionally a pleasant place to remain.
You’ll be able to learn my full itemizing of issues to do in El Nido right here and my evaluation of the entire island hopping excursions right here.
A bit drone flight nearbyI want I had seen this one tremendous early within the morning earlier than there have been plenty of individuals, however it was nonetheless fairly a good looking sight to see these two lagoons with lovely turquoise water. The jellyfish had been, nonetheless, not the nicest shock. They’re only a Could prevalence, although. I did a full evaluation of it right here.
Kayangan and Barracuda Lake
Freedive heavenThese are two separate lakes however I included them in the identical class as a result of they’re fairly related though Barracuda is much less in style. Each are brackish, which means a mixture of salt and freshwater, and each have extremely clear water that makes it fairly enjoyable to dive down into. Barracuda offered a greater expertise for me as a result of I used to be in a position to get all of it to myself for some time within the afternoon. That’s not potential with Kayangan Lake until you head there round 7:30/8am, which simply wasn’t within the playing cards for me this journey!
They’re lacking out!I don’t see very many blogs or island hopping excursions masking Black Island, however it was one of many coolest stops of each El Nido and Coron for me As a result of there have been only a few different individuals, the seaside is lengthy and exquisite with white sand, you continue to get these jagged and dramatic rock formations, and there’s a cave you can swim in!
A swimming cave!I spent nearly an hour in there with out some other individuals coming in. This one is kind of removed from Coron city, nonetheless it wasn’t too removed from my lodging on the north finish of the island, which I extremely suggest you keep at for not less than a pair days. Extra information within the lodging part beneath.
Prices of Coron vs. El Nido
A second of solitude on a non-public Tour B in El NidoNeither El Nido nor Coron are as low cost as different elements of the Philippines. In truth, that is the costliest space I’ve been to within the nation. That mentioned, it’s nonetheless not that costly.
Group island hopping excursions in El Nido are all a set value as of late, starting from 1200 to 1400 pesos per individual. Everybody has to pay a 200 pesos environmental charge which is sweet for 10 days, and the Massive and Small lagoon each require a 200 peso entry charge. It prices an additional 150 pesos for a masks and snorkel rental per day, and that is widespread everywhere in the Philippines so that you would possibly as nicely carry your individual.
If you wish to do a non-public tour, the costs have gone up significantly over the past couple of years. I discovered boards and outdated web sites with choices for 3000-4000 pesos for a non-public tour, however as of late you’re prone to be quoted wherever from 7000 to 9000 pesos ($133 – $171!). You’ll be able to minimize it down by bringing your individual meals, and by reserving at El Nido Overlooking, the place I paid 5k with out lunch. You’ll be able to learn extra about my personal Tour A and personal Tour B for a full rundown of prices and find out how to e book plus professionals and cons.
Coron from the air close to Kayangan LakeIn Coron, Issues are organized a bit in a different way since each island and lagoon you go to is privatized. The entry prices are included within the group excursions which vary wherever from 1500 pesos as much as 2300 pesos per individual. When you take a non-public boat, you’ll must pay an entry charge for each cease. Kayangan is the costliest at 300 pesos per individual and the Twin Lagoon is 200. Nearly every little thing else prices 150. The usual price for simply the boat going to Coron island is 2700 in the event you go proper to the dock to e book it As a substitute of going via a lodge or company, which can add a intermediary charge. If you wish to go to the farther locations, it may be as excessive as 5000. Nevertheless in the event you cut up this with a number of individuals it might work out cheaper and for me it was value it to have flexibility.
Issues like meals and lodging in each locations are about equal when it comes to prices and there’s at all times a variety. I did really feel that there was a bit much less of an effort to be scammy in Coron. Costs appeared roughly mounted for tricycles and excursions, whereas in El Nido it was at all times essential to haggle with tricycle drivers and the personal excursions appeared astronomical. I suppose I can’t blame anybody for making an attempt to get more cash, however it’s a lot nicer when that’s not the vibe.
Lovely reefs of Coron – all these specks are fish!Given the clear water and corals, each locations are nice for diving and also you’ll discover diving operations in each spots throughout city.
It’s rumored to be fairly good in El Nido, with sea turtles and even the occasional whale shark sighting.
That mentioned, Coron is extensively thought-about the most effective place within the Philippines for scuba diving due to the entire WWII wrecks and the Apo Reef. I did an eight day liveaboard to the wrecks and the reef in 2014 and might verify, it’s unbelievable diving. I didn’t see any whale sharks however I did see tons of reef sharks, turtles, and large faculties of fish in all of these wrecks. Remember the fact that it’s good to be a sophisticated open water diver and even Nitrox licensed to have the ability to go as deep as a few of these ships are.
Lovely Locations to Keep in Each El Nido vs. Coron
In each areas, there are tremendous high-end luxurious motels on their very own islands that look superb. They normally value a minimal of $500 per evening, so since I didn’t strive these out, I can’t suggest them right here. However in the event you can afford it it looks as if a pleasant expertise.
What I can suggest are some actually cool, extra reasonably priced locations to remain!
On El Nido’s Las Cabanas seaside, you possibly can keep in an excellent vibey glamping/yoga/excellent sundown hangout place I referenced above referred to as the Birdhouse. Now that I checked it out for dinner, I’d most likely keep there sooner or later. It’s considerably secluded however not overly so, and you’ll’t beat the view.
El Nido Overlooking – Larger finish than glamping however nonetheless doableI stayed at El Nido Overlooking on Corong-Corong seaside which is close to to El Nido city however a bit outdoors of the insanity. I beloved my view as nicely, and the villa was excellent. I additionally appreciated that it’s solely four villas and it’s set above the seaside, so it’s really peaceable and quiet up there. There’s additionally a pool which, once more because it’s four villas, you hardly ever must share. This additionally proved to be the most cost effective place to purchase excursions, and I requested about 15 locations!
The AirBnBs additionally look fairly cool round El Nido, with some tremendous secluded choices and others that appear like an actual expertise. You will get $30 off your reserving by utilizing this hyperlink (I get a small referral credit score, FYI).
At Sanctuaria petting cats. Regardless of my cat allergy, I can not resist. I by no means learnIn Coron, or fairly Busuanga which is the island Coron city is situated on, I stayed in a tree home referred to as Sanctuaria that was magical. I had a good looking view of the mangroves, it was secluded and quiet, and it was tremendous simple to order a ship to return and take us to Black Island for the day. It was additionally cheaper to get there because it was nearer. I assumed it was excellent to separate time between there for 2 days and Coron city for 2 days.
On the town, to be sincere there’s nothing all that spectacular since there’s not a variety of seaside and it’s principally dock. I stayed at Sophia’s Backyard and whereas it was good, I’m undecided it was well worth the value. The women I shared an island hopping boat with had been staying at Humorous Lion they usually appeared to love it.
It’s potential to fly to each El Nido and Coron from Manila on AirSwift and SkyJet Air. Costs can really be fairly affordable, however flights don’t go day by day, so check out each schedules to see if it really works in your dates.
When you fly into Puerto Princesa, El Nido is rather more accessible since you may get there on an affordable bus (you possibly can learn the complete instructions right here). Coron would require an extra flight and/or ferry crossing.
El Nido vs. Coron – Who wins?
Powerful selection!You no-doubt got here right here since you wish to definitive reply, and the 2 locations are so related, it’s not essentially simple to say one is best than the opposite. However I most definitely have an opinion.
Each locations are lovely, each locations are highly regarded, and each locations have related actions. However I’d give the sting to Coron. El Nido to me feels a bit too aggressive, and it may simply be luck of the draw, however my island hopping experiences had been simply significantly better in Coron. I felt the blokes on the boat wished to be there extra, weren’t making an attempt to sturdy arm me, and general, I felt like Coron was friendlier. Clearly that’s completely subjective, so I’d have an interest to listen to from anybody who has been to each whether or not they agree or not.
Personally, I may see myself going again to Coron, however not El Nido.
Though each are lovely, Palawan will not be my favourite spot within the Philippines. Take a look at the hyperlinks beneath for my favorites.
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