Palawan Island Travel Guide

El Nido and Coron are the most famous places on the Palawan Island. You only have to look at the pictures to see why! Limestone cliffs, crystal clear waters, secluded islands, giant coral gardens and friendly locals all awaits on Palawan island in the Philippines! Follow my guide for the best tips and recommendation for this beautiful region of the world!

Palawan Tips:

  • There are lots of stray dogs, pretty much all are friendly, but just be prepared. If you are a dog lover, like me, you’ll want to take them all home!
  • Main language is English so getting around and talking to locals is easy.
  • Please note that the WIFI in the Philippines is not very good, even at nice hotels, the infrastructure is just not there. Please be understanding.
  • Be ready to explore. This is a destination best suited to individuals who are open-minded and at least a little adventurous.
El Nido Palawan

El Nido on Palawan Island

Things to know:

  • El Nido is the northern tip of the main Palawan Island.
  • The main airport on the island is Puerto Princesa but this is a good 4.5-5 hours from El Nido so be sure to fly into Lio airport in El Nido.  
  • Other places on the island to visit 
    • Sabang and the underground river
    • Port Barton
    • San Vicente
  • You can hike/climb the cliffs behind the town but you must have a guide

Island Hopping Tours

  • The tours here are very controlled and there are options A, B, C and D. This control is to help protect the are from over tourism.
  • I recommend doing the combo tour A and C. This will hit all the main sites and islands. 
  • I highly recommend a private tour. A group tour will run you $20-$30 USD per person and a private tour $200-$250 USD for 2 people. These prices include crew and lunch for the entire day! Well worth the price!
  • There is no single use plastic allowed on the boats. They will provide water and cups or be sure to bring your reusable water bottle. 
  • One company I recommend is Discover El Nido Travel and Tours. You can book ahead of time with them through their website. 
  • Top sites on this tour include small lagoon, big lagoon, secret lagoon, secret beach, hidden beach, helicopter island and more beaches! 
  • Be sure to tell your captain you’d like lunch on a private island. 

Top Sites Around El Nido

  • Best way to explore is by scooter.
  • Top sites to explore on your own:
    • Nacpan Beach- continuously ranked one of the top beaches in the world. It will get busy so go early.
    • Nagkalit-kalit waterfall- not in dry season, there will be no falls.
    • Lio Beach- another beautiful beach. Also, a great spot for lunch. 
    • Makinit Hot springs
    • Las Cabanas beach
El Nido Palawan

Restaurant Recs

  • Taste El Nido(vegan) 
  • Falafel restaurant
  • Café Athena
  • Big bad Thia Bistro and Bar

Hotel Recommendations

In and near El Nido you can either stay around/in town or on a nearby private island resort. My top pick are below.

Private Island Resorts

Hotels In El Nido

Coron Palawan

Things to know

  • Coron is located on a separate island north or El Nido.
  • You can get there from El Nido by plane or by ferry.
    • The flight to Coron is about a 35 minutes.
    • To go by boat: you can take the Fast Ferry that takes 3.5-4 hours or you can take the regular ferry that takes 6 hours. 
    • I suggest the flight if it fits your budget. 

Island Hopping Tours

  • Similar in pricing to el Nido, again I highly encourage you to take a private tour. 
  • Sites you will see on this tour:
    • Kayangan Lake
    •  Twin Lagoon
    •  White sand beaches
    • Snorkel above shipwrecks
    • Coral gardens 
    • Eat lunch on a private island
  • There are less companies online to book ahead of time for this tour in Coron than El Nido. I suggest booking once you are there. There are tons of little travel and booking agencies in Coron Town you can book a tour through for the very next day.
  • You can easily take a tour on two separate days and see different sites/islands.  

Top Sites Around Coron

  • Mt. Tapyas- around 700 stairs to the top of the mountain. The views are definitely worth it!
  • You can book a private Coron Town tour with any of the local travel and booking agencies, we were able to book and leave right away. On the tour you will see Mt. Tapyas and:
    • Maquinit Hotspring
    • Public Market
    • Town Plaza
    • Lualhati Park
    • St. Augustine Church
    • Harbour Center
    • Cashew Harvest

Hotels Recommendations Coron

Coron Palawan

Restaurant Recommendations

  • Brujita international and vegetarian
  • Levines’s Eatery
  • Trattoria Altrove Coron
  • La Sirenetta Seafood Restaurant and Bar

Still overwhelmed planning your Palawan adventure? You can get my FREE Philippines Itinerary and Travel Guide or let me help! As a professional Travel Advisor its my job to design you the perfect Philippines escape. Visit my travel planning page or planning process page to learn more. 

Krista Suletic
Krista Suletic

Full-service, luxury Travel Advisor/Agent. Travel Blogger. Married, dog mom, plant-based. Based in San Jose California but often traveling the world.

Find me on: Instagram

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: