Today’s Culture with Travel post is by Boom Rizal
Known for its breathtaking seascapes and rich terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, Palawan is a paradise everyone must experience. If you are a newbie and are confused with the various options available in Palawan, the following info on Coron, El Nido and Puerto Princesa will assist you through the cobweb of options and help you find the right destination.
Ease of access
Coron. To reach Coron, you will have to travel to the airport in Busuanga, which is only about an hour away via major airlines in Manila. From the airport, you could easily find vans that will take you directly to the town. You may also reach the island via an overnight ferry route.
El Nido. You can take a direct flight from Manila to El Nido. This takes about one hour. The plane will land at the Lio airport, which is only approximately 4 kilometers from midtown. You can then take a tricycle ride to your place of accommodation.
Puerto Princesa. Direct flights are available to take you to Puerto Princesa from Manila and other areas in the country. The flights will take you directly to the city. All you would need to do is hop on a tricycle and voila! You are at your accommodation after only a few minutes.
Coron. The accommodation options in Coron are mostly in the low- to mid-range. There are only a few high-end hotels. The ones I stayed in during the two times I went to Coron were pretty average, although you do have better options offered at reasonable prices. The major downside is that you will not find any beachfront resorts in town.
El Nido. El Nido can easily conjure images of five-star resorts, but there are actually several options on the island. The cheapest one I have encountered thus far was a beachfront accommodation with very nice interiors and rates as low as Php500 per night. One of the best things about El Nido is that most accommodations are beachfront.
Puerto Princesa. You will find many reasonably-priced hotels and inns in the area. The only problem is that they are situated in the city. Unless you are willing to burn cash at Dos Palmas, there will be no beachside resort option for you in Puerto Princesa.
Coron. You can enjoy three different island tours in Coron: the Malcapuya Loop, the Coron Island Tour, and the the Culion Tour. The first two are great for snorkeling and beach activities, while the last one is great for historical exploration.
El Nido. There are four popular island tour options in El Nido, generically named Tour A, B, C, and D. All of these options are great for divers and beach lovers. The hidden coves are excellent plus points for the island tours.
Puerto Princesa. Two island tours are available in the city: the Dos Palmas Island Day Tour and the Honda Bay tour. The first is a luxurious island beach tour complete with an indulgent buffet lunch while the other is an average island hopping adventure.
Coron. You can head over to Calauit where you can take part in a safari to a game park. Such a tour is a rare treat in the Philippines. You can also hike up Mt. Tapyas in town or have a starry night tour at Kingfisher Park, trek Mount Lunes Santo, and take a kayaking adventure through mangroves. You can end the day relaxing at the highly popular saltwater hot spring in Maquinit.
El Nido. You can visit the long stretch of white sand beaches in Nacpan and Calitang, which are only an hour away from town. You can also dip in the Makinit Hot Springs, located just near the area, then trek to waterfalls on your way back. You may relax at the tranquil Corong Corong, which is only a few minutes’ tricycle ride from town. If you are the adventurous type, you can have fun climbing the Taraw Peak.
Puerto Princesa. When in Puerto Princesa, you simply must experience the famous Underground River tour. While in the area, rock climbing enthusiasts can have their dose of adrenaline at the Ugong Rock, and beach lovers can have the time of their lives at the Sabang Beach. You can also hire a tricycle and have a fun city tour. Do not forget to check out the sunset at the baywalk. End your day with a magical firefly tour of the mangroves!
Food and restaurants
Coron. More than just the usual carinderias lining the streets, you will find gastronomic delights in town. There are also fresh and affordable seafood sold at a nearby market, just make sure you have a place where you can cook them.
El Nido. Countless expensive restaurants are found in El Nido, with some remarkably exceptional. If you prefer affordable dishes, you can head over to the streets where you will find several carinderias. You may also buy seafoods from vendors in the nearby market or by the beach, and have them cooked at your place of accommodation.
Puerto Princesa. You can find practically everything in the city, from street food, carinderias and fast food joints to cafes and expensive restaurants. Whether you prefer regular yum burgers or exotic local delicacies, you will find just what you are looking for in the city.
Coron. Coron has a laidback and easy-going vibe. You could leisurely stroll along its street, check souvenir shops, and visit the baywalk.
El Nido. El Nido almost has the same vibe as Coron, but instead of heading over to the baywalk, you get to walk right along the beach. You can have a grand time just lounging by Corong Corong or Marimegmeg beach early in the morning, and watch the stunning sunrise. There are kids playing along the beach and friendly dogs lending even more warmth to the whole experience.
Puerto Princesa. Save for the beautiful baywalk, Puerto Princesa is not really for leisurely walks as it is a little too big and urbanized.
Coron, El Nido and Puerto Princesa all have their own pros and cons. One thing is for sure though, you can never go wrong with any Palawan destination. All you could think about once you’re there is wanting to stay longer. And many give in to the lure! Those local currency exchangers truly can and will come in handy. As for me, I have gone back to the islands often enough to afford the list above. I am a bit of a pro now!
Author bio: Boom Rizal is an investor, a property consultant, a researcher and a writer. She finds helping other OFW’s in making good decisions when investing in various businesses and/or real estate properties as part of her daily life. She also loves to take research in property innovation and writes articles advising readers on how to invest in a property.
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