This is my take on the Palawan dilemma our country is currently facing. Yes, I know this is serious and should be featured on the nightly news.
Yesterday, I underwent odontectomy where my wisdom tooth #48 (lower right molar) was surgically removed. Now, I have pretty much ample time to dwell on some serious matters. One of which is the ever bugging question I received from friends, which is really is which… El Nido or Coron?
El Nido, 2012 (Snake Island)
Coron, 2014 (Mt. Tapyas View Deck)
My answer would always be – depends on what you’re after. The two places offer exquisite experience for nature lovers. If you’re into a quieter, more serene, soul searching vibe – I would suggest El Nido. Otherwise, go to Coron.
The much better option would be why not go and see both, right?
And boy, those trips were forever etched in my adventure seeking heart.
I ‘ll give a rundown of my travels – first up would be El Nido then Coron. So quickies, shall we?
Use El Nido in a sentence: Go for it! El Nido to go for it! (okay it sucked but believe when I tell you to go and fly here!)
My orgmates fresh outta college decided to pay a visit to Lisa’s hometown – El Nido. Who am I not to join, especially when most of our expenses will be shouldered by her. I have such great friends, right? This trip didn’t just bring me to one of the best destinations in the Philippines; or perhaps, in the world but awakened my traveling feet. 3 years later, I’ve been to major hot spots in the country and now starting a travel blog.
Itinerary & expenses of my PPS x El Nido trip
Day 1 Puerto Princesa (PPS)
Dinner at Ka Lui – 8 to 10:00 PM (200-300php/pax)
Firefly watching – 10:30 PM (didn’t push through due to weather)
Day 2 PPS to El Nido
ETD from Lisa’s house (PPS proper) to Sabang (drop off going to Underground river) – 7:00 AM
Underground river tour – approx. 9 to 11:00 AM (Free c/o my generous friend Lisa)
Lunch – Sabang (Buffet at 200php)
ETD Sabang to El Nido: 1:00 PM
ETA El Nido: 6 to 7:00 PM
>walk by the beach, explore town, dinner and walwal! (Expenses depend on your preference)
Oh my hello El Nido!!!
Day 3 El Nido
> Whole day island hopping – (Package B 800php/pax)
Day 4 El Nido to PPS
> If you guys have tour packages then good for you. For those who are backpacking, you have to rent a van that will take you to PPS. Well that’s the case back then, I don’t know now if they have established public vehicles now. Feel free to comment. As for our case, thanks again to Lisa for providing the van and just had us chip in for gas which cost me a staggering 100php for a 6 hr ride.
> Lunch at PPS ( approx.150-200php)
> Rushed city tour and souvenir shopping before the flight (1000php)
Air Fare: Php 2600
Day 1: Php 400 (Dinner at Ka Lui)
Day 2: Php 400 (100 for breakfast and 200 for lunch at Sabang)
Day 3: Php 1800 (800 for Package B and 1000 for food & lodging during my entire El Nido stay)
Day 4: Php 1300 (gas x lunch x pasalubong expenses)
Total: Php 6,500 (including air fare)
Notes: Careful planning is the key in visiting El Nido as you will need a transportation time of about 12 hours (round trip via land). Travel and tour packages definitely make traveling easier. But hey, I’m a backpacker and a big fan of DIY trips. So if you insist of backpacking El Nido and saving money in the process, by all means 🙂
Yey we’re complete here! Let’s set another one, out of the country maybe?
Let’s get it on, Coron!
I dare you, yes you reader, go book a weekend flight to Coron/Busuanga (preferably this coming weekend and a seat sale) and never come back. Kidding! Just a weekend trip, no plans, no ifs, no buts. I guarantee you, you won’t regret it. Well, you might. You might regret staying for just a couple of days. That’s the good thing in Coron (aside from stable commercial flights – as opposed to El Nido), you can definitely find a place to stay even after you land! And go with whatever you wanna do in the island while you’re at it.
Top View (photo taken a Mt. Tapyas View Deck)
Yeah, you get to see that after climbing a flight of stairs, 700++ steps to be clear.
Itinerary x Expenses
Mt. Tapyas hike (Php 100 – 3 bottled water)
Maquinit Hotspring (Php 150 entrance)
Whole day island hopping part 1( approx. Php 1000)
It’s underwater madness down there, I am urchin everyone not to step on anything! Oops!
Dinner at local restaurant (Php 300)
Social drinks at No Name Bar (Php 300)
Island hopping part 2 (approx Php 850)
Ship wrecks, fish feeding, picturesque views, Kayangan lake’s brackish water.. Coron got it all!
Pasalubong hunting (Php 200)
Tipid dinner in the city (Php 100)
3 night stay at Kimberly’s (Php 3600 good for 3 pax)
Miscellaneous (transportation, bottled water, some toiletries, etc) Php 300
Air fare: Php 1200
Total: Php 5,700 (including air fare)
I got to experience Coron for 4 days in less than Php 6,000 (~$130)
And I was dancing Nae nae long before its hype.
See you again, Palawan! My family and I will be flying back to El Nido by mid next year. I will make sure to provide you guys with an intensive blog post by then. I realized I was there in El Nido for just more than a day. Next year, I’ll stay there for the entire week (hoping)
Credits to Lisa, Anjo, Migs (who almost died reaching the Mt. Tapyas’ 400th step) and Poli for some of the photos posted here.