Your Ultimate Travel Guide to El Nido, Palawan in 2023!


El Nido, Palawan is pleased to welcome you to its enchanted tropical paradise. Located in the Philippines, El Nido is famous for its crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, and towering limestone cliffs. In 2023, if you visit this tropical paradise, you will be charmed by its amazing beauty and will experience an adventure you will never forget. If you’re planning a trip to El Nido, Palawan, look no further!

Getting to El Nido in Palawan

Manila to El Nido in Palawan

Manila to Lio Airport, El Nido Map
Manila to Lio Airport, El Nido Map

Flight: From Manila, you can take an Airswift aircraft to Lio Airport, which is located just 7 kilometers from the center of El Nido. You can avoid Puerto Princesa and head straight to El Nido by using this route.

Puerto Princesa to El Nido

Map of Puerto Princesa to El Nido
Map of Puerto Princesa to El Nido

There are several options to travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido:

Public Transport: A bus travels between Puerto Princesa and El Nido several times daily. Prices per person start at 430 PHP but can change based on the bus company used. It’s important to remember that the bus makes stops along the way, which can add up to an additional eight hours to the total travel time. There is a restaurant halfway through where you may eat lunch and use the facilities.

Van: You can reserve a van at the Puerto Princesa bus terminal if you’d want to travel more quickly. Depending on how good you are at haggling, the fare can be anywhere from 500 to 700 PHP. Traveling by van to El Nido will take about 5.5 to 6 hours, with a 20-minute break for lunch.

Own Transport: Renting a car or motorcycle in Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan, and driving to El Nido on your own is an option. However, remember that the vehicle must be brought back to Puerto Princesa at the conclusion of your excursion.

Port Barton to El Nido

Transfer El Nido to Port Barton

Port Barton is a popular halfway point for tourists traveling between Puerto Princesa and El Nido. To get from Port Barton to El Nido, follow these directions:

Public Transport: There is no direct bus route, therefore if you choose to take public transportation, you will have to transfer to the nearby town of Roxas. To get to Roxas from Port Barton, take the Jeepney (the local public transportation) at 8 a.m., as it only takes 90 minutes and costs 150 PHP. (approx. 3 USD). A bus ride from Roxas to El Nido costs 180 PHP ($3.60 USD) and takes around 3.5 hours.

Van: The most time-efficient way to get from Port Barton to El Nido is to hire a vehicle. It takes about 4.5 hours by van and costs around 350 PHP in fare. (approx. 7 USD). Having the ability to bargain could help you get a better deal.

Own Transport: If you leased a car in Puerto Princesa to go to Port Barton, you can continue driving to El Nido on your own time.

Accommodation in El Nido

Now that you are aware of the suggestions and tips for scheduling a stay in El Nido, you can proceed with comfort. Find out which affordable, mid-range, and luxurious El Nido hotels and resorts come highly recommended.

Budget Accommodations:

El Nido, Palawan is worth the trip without breaking the bank. You can easily find a budget-friendly hotel to stay in. Tourists consistently rank them among the best in the world due to their convenient locations, high-quality services, and friendly staff.

1. Spin Designer Hostel

This trendy hostel is a hit with travelers and digital nomads alike, earning a spot among El Nido’s best-value hostels. Rooms range from dorm-style to private, and either a shared or private bathroom is included.

Entrance of Spin Designer Hostel in El Nido
Entrance to Spin Designer Hostel in El Nido

Together, they share a forest-view patio, a game area, a kitchen, and a barbeque. Their movie nights (with complimentary popcorn!) and beer pong and margarita nights are huge hits with the guests. Getting to the heart of town from the hostel takes about 5 minutes.

2. Outpost Beach Hostel

If you want to meet people from all over the world, this is the hostel for you. Guests can mingle and enjoy the sunset at the bar and restaurant located directly on the beach.

Inside the 12-bed dormitory room
Inside the 12-bed dormitory room

This oceanfront social hostel in Corong-Corong’s Sunset Beach is a favorite among budget travelers. Both shared and private accommodations provide air conditioning, fans, a hot shower, and secure storage lockers.

3. Mad Monkey Hostel Nacpan Beach

This hostel on Nacpan Beach is a favorite spot for chill after-hours gatherings because of its proximity to the beach and because of the on-site restaurant and bar. They have both glamping tents and dorm rooms with fans. It is affiliated with the well-known Mad Monkey Hostels chain in Southeast Asia.

Mid-Range Accommodations:

If you want greater privacy and comfort in your room during your stay in El Nido, would you be ready to spend a little more? Check out these hotels that offer more than just the essentials at a reasonable price. Location and service are the main reasons why visitors give these such high marks.

1. El Nido Garden Resort

Rooms at this beachside resort are air-conditioned and come with a variety of conveniences like flat-screen cable TV, a refrigerator, a coffee/tea maker, and a private bathroom. A patio with stunning views of the ocean and El Nido’s main beach can be found outside some of the suites. The resort has an outdoor pool, a bar, and a breakfast buffet, so guests have plenty of options for unwinding and having fun.

Photo by El Nido Garden Resort
Photo by El Nido Garden Resort

2. The Nest El Nido

The Nest El Nido is a boutique resort on Calaan Beach that provides air-conditioned rooms with convenient facilities including flat-screen cable TVs, tea/coffee makers, minibars, and private bathrooms. Enjoy a continental breakfast while gazing at the surrounding island of Cadlao at the resort’s restaurant. The resort’s yoga floor is a popular feature because of the peaceful ambiance it provides thanks to its location above Bacuit Bay and with sweeping views of the surrounding islands.

3. Nacpan Beach Glamping

Nacpan Beach in El Nido is home to a one-of-a-kind beachside property that offers “glamping,” or upscale camping with modern conveniences like air conditioning and high-quality mattresses. Guests can unwind in comfort with the lounge chairs and dining table provided in each tent. To further ensure the protection of visitors’ goods, the resort also provides safety boxes. Nacpan Beach Glamping is a one-of-a-kind camping experience in El Nido, complete with palm trees and a lovely beach.

Visit El Nido, Palawan, and glamp in style at Nacpan Beach Glamping.
Visit El Nido, Palawan, and glamp in style at Nacpan Beach Glamping.

Luxury Accommodations:

Is it your dream to visit El Nido and stay at the most luxurious island resorts? Take a look at these top-rated hotels. You may avoid the throng and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of a private island at any of these hotels.

1. El Nido Resorts

The El Nido Resorts group, widely regarded as El Nido, Palawan’s finest hotels, features eco-friendly accommodations on the islands of Apulit, Miniloc, Lagen, and Pangulasian. Guests are taken by boat from the El Nido Lio Airport or the El Nido Resorts Jetty Lounge to their destination island.

Photo by El Nido Resorts
Photo by El Nido Resorts

The resorts’ accommodations provide contemporary conveniences in addition to decor inspired by traditional Filipino motifs and materials. There is a wide variety of opulent lodging options for guests to choose from, including rooms on the beach, in the gardens, and in villas jutting out into the water. Each island has its own resort with world-class accommodations, including restaurants, bars, and spas.

2. Cauayan Island Resort

This five-star resort on Cauayan Island in El Nido’s Bacuit Bay caters to visitors who want to live it up while making the most of their time in paradise. The resort’s villas are styled after traditional nipa huts, but they are equipped with all the conveniences of home (including a flat-screen cable TV, minibar, indoor and outdoor showers, and more).

Photo by Cauayan Island Resort
Photo by Cauayan Island Resort

There is a wide range of options for guests seeking a deluxe vacation, including villas that are close to the ocean, the beach, the gardens, or the pool. The resort also features a restaurant and a pool bar where visitors can enjoy a variety of delectable dishes from across the world.

Looking for more accommodation options in El Nido? Check out our previous blog post on ‘Top 10 Best Accommodations in El Nido’ for more recommendations!

Tips and Recommendations

El Nido, Palawan hotels fill up fast during high season, therefore it’s best to book in advance if you want to stay there. If you are looking for a place to stay in El Nido, consider these suggestions:

1. Book in advance

Since accommodations in El Nido are in high demand, planning ahead is essential to getting the best available deal. Hostelworld, Agoda, and Booking are just a few examples of online booking services that may make locating and reserving a place to stay a breeze.

2. Consider different booking platforms

While Agoda and Booking offer reasonable rates for hotels and B&Bs, Hostelworld is a wonderful alternative for cheap, social hostels. Last-minute travelers can find possible savings by using Agoda’s flash deals.

3. Be aware of the prices

Remember that there are fewer low-cost lodging options in El Nido and that the area is often more expensive than elsewhere in the Philippines. Prepare your finances properly, as prices are expected to rise.

Top Things to See and Do in El Nido

El Nido, Palawan is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and pristine beaches. Here are some of the top things to see and do in this tropical paradise:

1. Go Island-Hopping 

El Nido island hopping should be at the top of anyone’s list of things to do in Palawan. It’s not just one of the top El Nido attractions, but a top attraction in the Philippines.

The beautiful lagoons, white sand beaches, rocky islets, towering limestone cliffs, and abundant marine life in El Nido have earned it international acclaim. The island’s beauty has earned it a reputation as one of the top island and beach vacation spots in the world.

Because so many of El Nido’s best sights can be found on the islands and islets in Bacuit Bay, visiting them is a common pastime for tourists. If you want to see these sights, you should plan your island hopping trip in advance, especially during the high season.

El Nido yacht island hopping tours allow you to visit the islands and beaches in comfort and luxury and are a viable alternative to the more commonplace boat transfers.

When you book our island-hopping boat expedition between El Nido (Sibaltan) and Coron, you can customize it. You can either start in Coron or in Sibaltan. Sibaltan is an hour away by van from El Nido town – do not worry about getting there. We can arrange a private van transfer for you at around 2,500 pesos good for nine people.

2. Do a Land Tour

In addition to the stunning islands and beaches, El Nido also offers land attractions that are worth exploring. You can hire a tricycle, motorcycle, or rented motorcycle to visit these spots if you’re staying in a resort or hotel on the mainland. Alternatively, you can opt for a private van tour for a more comfortable and convenient travel experience. Don’t miss including these must-visit spots in your land tour of El Nido!

The Twin Beaches of Nacpan and Calitang
The Twin Beaches of Nacpan and Calitang
  • Twin Beaches of Nacpan and Calitang – One of the most famous land tour spots in El Nido is the picturesque Nacpan Beach, which stretches for 4 kilometers. Adjacent to Nacpan Beach is Calitang Beach, which is why they are often referred to as the Twin Beaches. Here, you can enjoy swimming, lounging by the beach, or hiking up to the hill for a panoramic view of the Twin Beaches.
  • Nagkalit-kalit Falls – Translating to “nagsalit” or “taking a moment,” Nagkalit-kalit Falls is a majestic waterfall that is worth a visit. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this natural wonder as you marvel at the cascading water and surrounding lush greenery.
  • Las Cabanas Beach (Marimegmeg Beach) – Located along the coast, Las Cabanas Beach, also known as Marimegmeg Beach, is a less crowded tourist spot known for its beautiful sunsets and laid-back vibe. You can relax on the sandy beach, take a dip in the turquoise waters, and enjoy the stunning views as the sun sets over the horizon. There are also restaurants and bars lined up by the beach, perfect for enjoying a refreshing drink or snacks while watching the sunset paint the sky with vibrant colors.

3. Dive to Explore the Marine Life

Scuba diving in El Nido
Scuba diving in El Nido

Scuba diving enthusiasts will find El Nido a haven for underwater adventures, with over 40 dive sites just a boat ride away from town. Whether you prefer shallow dives with coral gardens, steep vertical walls, sandy flats, tunnels, drift dives, or deep dives, there’s a dive site in El Nido that will cater to your preferences. Joining an El Nido diving tour will allow you to explore these exciting dive spots:

  • South Miniloc – This is the most famous dive site in El Nido, offering colorful coral gardens in shallow waters, along with the opportunity to encounter sea turtles, yellowtail barracuda, and schools of chevron.
  • North Rock – Located near the center of Bacuit Bay, North Rock is a prime spot for pelagic sightings, making it a popular choice among divers.
  • Dilumacad Island – This stunning site in Helicopter Island is a must-visit for experienced divers, known for its cave dive sites called the Dilumacad Tunnel, which offer a unique and thrilling diving experience.
  • Entalula Island – Entalula Island is known for two diving spots: Entalula Wall and Entalula Drift. Divers can expect to see vibrant coral gardens, small inhabitants like electric oysters, and schools of fish.
  • Nat-Nat Beach – Popular among macro photographers and critter hunters, Nat-Nat Beach boasts an exciting collection of corals and macro marine life, making it a fascinating spot for underwater exploration.

With such a diverse range of dive sites, El Nido offers an unforgettable experience for scuba divers of all levels, with something to suit every preference and skill level.

4. See the View from Taraw Cliff 

For adventure seekers who are not afraid of heights, two must-try activities in El Nido are hiking Taraw Cliff and taking the Canopy Walk. Taraw Cliff involves climbing steep limestone rocks for a panoramic view of El Nido, while the Canopy Walk offers a unique perspective without the steep climb. Both options provide breathtaking views of El Nido’s stunning scenery and are perfect for adventure enthusiasts. Remember to follow safety guidelines and use a guide for a safe and enjoyable experience.


5. Explore the Town Proper

Exploring El Nido’s town proper is a must for visitors seeking a vibrant atmosphere. The town offers a bustling scene with its shops, restaurants, and bars. Take a leisurely stroll along the beachfront promenade and enjoy the picturesque view of the sea. Sample local cuisine at various restaurants, offering a range of Filipino and international dishes. Interact with friendly locals and immerse yourself in the local culture. Don’t miss the opportunity to shop for souvenirs or unique handicrafts to bring back home as a reminder of your trip to El Nido. The town proper of El Nido offers a lively and charming experience that adds to the overall charm of this tropical paradise.

What to Eat and Drink in El Nido

Whether you’re traveling solo or with a group, you’ll find plenty of enjoyable dining and drinking options in El Nido. Most of these can be found in the Town Proper, with many located along or near the beach. Here are some recommended restaurants and bars in El Nido to check out during your visit:

1. El Nido Boutique & Art Cafe

Photo by El Nido Boutique & Art Cafe
Photo by El Nido Boutique & Art Cafe

El Nido Boutique & Art Cafe is a unique establishment in El Nido that combines boutique shopping and an art cafe experience. It offers a wide range of locally crafted products, such as handicrafts, jewelry, and clothing, making it a great place to find souvenirs or unique gifts. The art cafe serves delicious food and beverages, with an emphasis on using fresh local ingredients.

The cozy and artistic ambiance of the cafe makes it a perfect spot to relax, enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee, and appreciate the local art and culture. Whether you’re looking for a shopping spree or a creative culinary experience, El Nido Boutique & Art Cafe is a must-visit destination in El Nido.

2. Squidos Sports Bar

Their house specialty is the stuffed squid
Their house specialty is the stuffed squid

Craving for seafood in El Nido?  Squidos Sports Bar in El Nido is a popular dining spot known for its fresh seafood and generous servings. The highlight of the menu is their stuffed squid, which is a house specialty. The mixed seafood platter is also a must-try for seafood lovers. The bar has a lively atmosphere, perfect for sports enthusiasts and those looking to enjoy a casual meal or drink. With its delicious seafood options and relaxed ambiance, Squidos Sports Bar is a recommended dining destination for those craving for seafood in El Nido.

3. Trattoria Altrove

Trattoria Altrove in El Nido is renowned for its delectable brick oven pizza and has gained a reputation as the best pizza place in town. This cozy restaurant has become a popular spot among travelers seeking authentic Italian cuisine.

Pancetta Con Tartufo in Trattoria Altrove
Pancetta Con Tartufo in Trattoria Altrove

Must-try items on their menu include the Pancetta Con Tartufo, a truffle bacon pizza, and the Gamberreti Aglio Olio, a pasta dish with shrimp, garlic, and olive oil. Trattoria Altrove also offers a great selection of wines to pair with their delicious dishes. With its inviting atmosphere and scrumptious Italian fare, Trattoria Altrove is a must-visit restaurant for pizza and pasta lovers in El Nido.

4. Boodmo

Boodmo is a Ukrainian nano-brewery that was established in El Nido in 2017, and it has become a noteworthy addition to the local dining and beer scene. This unique brewery offers a variety of craft beers, including the Cadlao IPA and Pale Ale, which are brewed specifically for the tropical climate of El Nido.

In addition to their refreshing beers, Boodmo also serves Ukrainian beer chow, such as mussels and shrimp dumplings with pesto, adding a distinctive twist to their menu.

If you’re a beer enthusiast looking for something different in El Nido, Boodmo is definitely worth checking out for its interesting beer selection and Ukrainian-inspired dishes.


Would you like to visit Busuanga Island? Check out our Busuanga Island here.

If you decide to check out Palawan, our small family operation organizes private custom boat tours through the Palawan area, voted the best island in the world, with its 52 pristine white sand beaches and some of the clearest waters in the world 

Palawan Boat Tours - Cebu - Things You Need to Know

Experience the thrill of island hopping in the Philippines.

Calauit Island National Park: A Taste of the Wild West



Palawan is one of the most popular islands in the Philippines for tourists. Palawan has been a popular tourist destination due to its beautiful beaches, pristine waterways, and abundance of marine life. El Nido and Coron may be well-known, but beyond them lie undiscovered treasures. The island of Calauit is a prime example.

A wildlife sanctuary, Calauit Island is located in the Calamian Islands group in Northern Palawan and is home to around 300 African animals like as giraffes, zebras, impalas, and waterbucks. The Philippine government established the Calauit Safari Park in 1976 as an effort to preserve wildlife. Currently, it draws many visitors looking for a one-of-a-kind safari experience in the Philippines.

Zebras running at Calauit Island
Zebras running at Calauit Island


Getting to Calauit Island

The journey to the island is not as easy as hopping on a bus or a plane. However, the scenic views along the way make the long journey worth it. Here are the ways to get to here:

By Air: The nearest airport to Calauit Island is Busuanga Airport, which is around 100 kilometers away. From Busuanga, you can rent a van or take a public transport vehicle to reach the Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary.

By Sea: You can also reach Calauit Island by sea through the Port of Coron. From the port, you can take a boat or a ferry to Calauit Island. However, the sea journey is not for the faint-hearted, as the waters can be rough, and the journey can take up to five hours.

How to Get Around?

The best way to explore Calauit Island is by taking a safari tour. The Calauit Safari Lodge offers guided tours that take visitors around the sanctuary to see the animals and learn about their habitat. The tour will take you around the wildlife sanctuary, where you can see the exotic animals up close and personal. You can ride a jeepney or a horse-drawn carriage during the tour, and the guides will give you information about the animals and their habitat.

There are a number of hiking trails on the island that provide visitors with breathtaking panoramas of the water and terrain. Bicycles and motorcycles can be rented so that visitors can navigate around the island.

The old but reliable safari jeepney
The old but reliable safari jeepney

Where to Stay on Calauit Island?

In Coron, there are various hotels and resorts to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious. Some popular options include Coron Soleil Garden Resort, Two Seasons Coron Island Resort and Spa, and Club Paradise Palawan.

Busuanga also has several accommodations to choose from, such as Huma Island Resort and Spa, Busuanga Bay Lodge, and La Estancia Busuanga Resort. Check out our blog about Busuanga Island, Palawan’s Last Frontier to discover more about this beautiful destination and find other recommended accommodations.

Visitors can take a day trip to Calauit Island and explore the wildlife sanctuary before returning to their accommodations in Coron or Busuanga.

Things to Do on Calauit Island

Calauit Island offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the must-see attractions on the island:

Wildlife Safari

The wildlife safari is a popular activity for visitors to Calauit Island. African creatures including giraffes, zebras, and impalas have found refuge on the island since it was designated as a game reserve and wildlife sanctuary in 1976. Tourists can experience these creatures up close and personal on a safari excursion.


Island Hopping

Island Hopping to Black Island, Coron, Palawan
Island Hopping to Black Island, Coron, Palawan

The calm, clear waters at Calauit Island are ideal for exploring the surrounding islands. Renting a boat is a great way for tourists to get out and see the surrounding islands, such as Black Island, North Cay Island, and South Cay Island. These islands are well-known for their stunning coral reefs, white sand beaches, and towering limestone cliffs. Island hopping is a fun and exciting way to see more of the stunning scenery that surrounds the island.


Snorkeling and Diving

The waters of Calauit Island are excellent for snorkeling and scuba diving due to the abundance of marine life there. Many fish species, turtles, and even dugongs can be found among the reefs’ thriving corals. Rentals of snorkeling and scuba gear are available on the island.


Beach Bumming

There are several beautiful white sand beaches on Calauit Island where visitors may unwind and soak up some rays. Anyone looking to get away from the noise and crowds of the city will appreciate the island’s quiet, deserted beaches.


Cultural Experience

The Tagbanua prepare for a courtship dance.
Courtship dance practice among the Tagbanua.

Calauit Island is also a great spot to learn about the traditions of the Tagbanua people that live there. Travelers can meet the people, gain insight into their culture, and even try their hand at weaving or fishing, among other traditional pursuits.


Where to Eat?

Even though there aren’t many places to dine on Calauit Island, travelers can still locate small cafes serving tasty Filipino fare. Some of the greatest restaurants on the island are as follows:


Buluang Fishpond Restaurant

In Busuanga Island, Palawan, the Buluang Fishpond Restaurant is an absolute must. This restaurant, perched on a picturesque fishpond, provides a genuine dining experience for seafood connoisseurs. They provide some Filipino fare in addition to their fresh seafood selection, which includes grilled fish, squid, and prawns. The restaurant’s rustic decor and casual vibe make it ideal for people who want to take in the sights while they dine. Indulge your taste buds and experience something truly special at Buluang Fishpond Restaurant during your island vacation.

Buluang Fishpond Restaurant shows a bamboo-gated entrance
Buluang Fishpond Restaurant shows a bamboo-gated entrance

Small Eateries

Smaller eateries and sari-sari shops can be found all across Calauit Island in addition to the larger establishments already listed. These corner shops sell a wide variety of food, drinks, and needs. They are perfect for visitors who are exploring the island and want to stop for a quick meal or drink. In these quaint eating establishments, tourists may mingle with locals and get a feel for island life.



Picnicking is a popular activity on Calauit Island, as it offers a scenic and peaceful atmosphere perfect for relaxing and enjoying nature. Visitors can bring their own food and drinks and set up a picnic at one of the island’s many beaches or scenic spots. There are also several picnic areas in the wildlife sanctuary where visitors can observe the animals while having a picnic. The natural beauty of the island may be appreciated while spending time with loved ones.


  1. Is it safe to visit Calauit Island? Yes, it is generally safe to visit Calauit Island. However, visitors should still exercise caution and follow the rules and regulations of the wildlife sanctuary.
  2. What is the best time to visit? The best time to visit Calauit Island is during the dry season from November to May when the weather is generally sunny and dry.
  3. Do I need a permit to visit? Yes, visitors need to secure a permit from the Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary office before visiting the island.
  4. What should I bring when visiting here? Visitors should bring enough cash as there are no ATMs on the island. They should also wear comfortable and appropriate clothing, bring a raincoat or umbrella, and follow the rules and regulations of the wildlife sanctuary.


  • Respect the wildlife and their natural habitat. Do not feed, touch, or disturb the animals in any way.
  • Follow the rules and regulations of the wildlife sanctuary. Do not litter, smoke, or bring any illegal substances on the island.

Other things to know:

  • The wildlife sanctuary is open from 7 am to 4 pm daily.
  • Visitors can take a safari tour around the wildlife sanctuary, which costs around Php 200 per person.
  • There are no accommodations on Calauit Island, but visitors can stay in nearby towns such as Coron or Busuanga.

If you decide to check out Palawan, our small family operation organizes private custom boat tours through the Palawan area, voted the best island in the world, with its 52 pristine white sand beaches and some of the clearest waters in the world 

Palawan Boat Tours - Cebu - Things You Need to Know

Experience the thrill of island hopping in the Philippines.

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Plankton and Stars in the Philippines

Las Cabanas Beach Sunset before plankton and stars

Magic of the midnight sky

It can truly be a magical experience to get away from the city into the countryside, away from the city lights, to witness the abundance of stars in the sky in all their glory. This is even more so in the SouthEast Asian sky, having experienced the difference from the country of my roots, Canada. I’ve even seen the beautiful Northern Lights for a couple of summers while up in the Yukon, next to Alaska, but I do not remember ever seeing stars in such brilliant abundance as I have during my stay in the remote areas of Palawan between El Nido and Coron.


And what makes the experience even more breathtaking is that sometimes, as you wade into the warm waters of the sea during the darkness of the night, away from the bright city lights, sometimes the plankton light up around your feet, mirroring the magnificence above while dancing in the wavy waters below.


And imagine you have experienced this after sitting around a campfire with your loved ones, on a beautiful, remote beach, while waiting for and watching the sun set.

We specialize in private custom multiday boat tour expeditions between El Nido and Coron, as well as private custom single day boat tours around El Nido and Coron.

These are two popular tourist destinations, but most visitors take a fastcraft ferry between the two, missing all the jewels in between, instead only watching a ghost of them through the scratched up plastic windows of the ferry as they pass hurriedly by.

For a glimpse of what such a multiday tour will offer you, check out our expeditions page, or send us a note so we can send you all the information and start to work towards designing the perfect private custom tour for you.

boat tours ultimate-adventure-expedition-excursion plankton stars

Why there are more stars in the sky of southeast Asia than in Europe or North America

The night sky is a beautiful spectacle that has fascinated humanity for millennia. When we gaze up at the stars, we are reminded of our place in the universe and the vastness of space. However, not all parts of the world offer the same view of the night sky. In fact, if you travel to southeast Asia, you’ll notice that there are more stars in the sky than in Europe or North America. But why is that?

The first reason for this difference is the latitude of southeast Asia. The closer you are to the equator, the more stars you can see. This is because the Earth’s rotation causes the stars to appear to move around the celestial pole, which is directly overhead at the equator. As you move further away from the equator, the celestial pole appears to move closer to the horizon, which means fewer stars are visible.

equator-earth-map plankton stars

Another factor is the level of light pollution in different regions. Light pollution is the artificial brightness of the night sky caused by human-made sources, such as streetlights and buildings. In densely populated areas like Europe and North America, light pollution is much more significant than in southeast Asia. This excess light drowns out the light from the stars, making it much harder to see them.

Southeast Asia also benefits from its geography. The region is home to many mountainous areas that are far away from urban centers. These high-altitude locations offer a clear view of the sky without any interference from light pollution or atmospheric conditions. Additionally, southeast Asia has a warm and humid climate, which creates a stable atmosphere that allows for better stargazing.

Lastly, the lack of air traffic in southeast Asia also contributes to the region’s clear skies. Aircraft produce a significant amount of light pollution, especially during takeoff and landing, and the flight paths in Europe and North America are much busier than those in southeast Asia. As a result, the night skies in southeast Asia are less disrupted by the movement of planes and the associated light pollution.

city-night-lights darkens plankton and stars in sky

In conclusion, southeast Asia offers an unparalleled view of the night sky, with more stars visible than in Europe or North America. This is due to a combination of factors, including the region’s proximity to the equator, lower levels of light pollution, mountainous terrain, stable climate, and lower air traffic. If you’re a stargazing enthusiast, southeast Asia should be on your list of places to visit!

How do plankton generate light

Plankton, which are tiny organisms that float in the ocean, generate light in a process known as bioluminescence. This ability to produce light is widespread among marine organisms, including fish, jellyfish, and squid. Bioluminescence is a fascinating phenomenon that has captured the attention of scientists for decades, and it has many different functions in the marine environment.

plankton-light and stars in the Philippines boat tour

The process of bioluminescence in plankton is controlled by an enzyme called luciferase, which catalyzes a chemical reaction that produces light. The specific chemical reaction that occurs depends on the type of plankton involved. For example, some plankton produce light by mixing two chemicals together, while others use a protein called a photoprotein to produce light.

The most common type of bioluminescent plankton is dinoflagellates. These tiny organisms are single-celled algae that live in the ocean and are responsible for the glowing waters that are often seen at night. When dinoflagellates are disturbed, they produce a bright blue-green flash of light, which is thought to be a defense mechanism against predators. The flash of light is also used to attract prey, as it can be used to lure fish and other organisms towards the plankton.

dinoflagellates-plankton-light stars Philippines night sky
Dinoflagellates plankton.

Other types of plankton, such as copepods and krill, also produce light. These organisms have light-producing cells called photocytes that are found in special organs in their bodies. When stimulated, these cells produce a bright burst of light, which is used to deter predators or to attract mates.

plankton copepods stars philippines

Bioluminescence in plankton has many different functions, and it is a vital part of the marine ecosystem. It helps to regulate the food chain, as many predators rely on bioluminescent prey to survive. Bioluminescence also plays a role in the carbon cycle, as it helps to distribute nutrients and organic matter throughout the ocean.

In conclusion, plankton generate light through a complex chemical process called bioluminescence. This ability is controlled by an enzyme called luciferase, and it is used for a variety of different functions, including defense, attraction, and communication. Bioluminescence is an essential part of the marine ecosystem, and it plays a critical role in regulating the food chain and the carbon cycle. Understanding the mechanisms behind bioluminescence in plankton is crucial for understanding the workings of the ocean and the creatures that inhabit it.

If you’d like to experience the magic of such a light show while hopping from one beautiful white sand beach island to another, in a remote part of the Philippines, Palawan, voted internationally as the most beautiful island in the world with the clearest waters, let us organize a private custom tour for you!

boat tours ultimate-adventure-expedition-excursion plankton stars

Experience the thrill of island hopping in the Philippines.

The Ultimate Adventure Expedition Excursion Exclusive Private Boat Tour Between El Nido and Coron

Barracuda Lake, Coron Palawan, ultimate excursion expedition

The ultimate excursion expedition in the Philippines

If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, look no further than an expedition tour between El Nido and Coron in the Philippines. This tour takes you on an epic journey through the breathtaking landscapes and turquoise waters of the Calamian Islands, offering a unique blend of island-hopping, snorkeling, and kayaking.

Palawan, twin lagoon, Ultimate Expedition Excursion

If starting in El Nido, we’ll take you by private van to the other, calmer side of the peninsula, where you’ll board one of our traditional banca boats and set sail for Coron, stopping at some of the most beautiful islands and lagoons along the way. If starting in Coron, your trip would simply be the opposite way. One of the highlights of the tour is visiting the world-famous Bacuit Bay, where you’ll find towering cliffs and crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkeling and swimming.

palawan ultimate-adventure-expedition-excursion-exclusive-private-boat-tour

Next, you’ll visit the Twin Lagoons, where you’ll kayak through a narrow passageway to reach a serene lagoon surrounded by towering cliffs. The kayaking excursion is an opportunity to get up close and personal with the stunning natural beauty of the area and to observe the diverse marine life that inhabits the waters.


Another must-visit spot is Kayangan Lake, often referred to as the “cleanest lake in the Philippines.” This stunning body of water is surrounded by towering cliffs and is only accessible by boat, making it a true hidden gem. You’ll have the opportunity to swim in its pristine waters, where you’ll find vibrant coral reefs and a variety of exotic fish.


In addition to the natural wonders, you’ll also get to experience the rich history and culture of the Calamian Islands. You’ll visit the WWII shipwrecks in Coron Bay, which have become popular dive sites, and take a tour of the WWII Museum, where you can learn about the role that Coron played during the war.

Wreck diving in Coron Bay ultimate-adventure-expedition-excursion-exclusive
Wreck diving in Coron Bay

Finally, you’ll reach Coron, where you’ll be able to unwind and relax after your epic adventure. This charming town is surrounded by lush jungles, white sand beaches, and turquoise waters, making it the perfect place to end your journey.

The ultimate adventure tour expedition between El Nido and Coron is a journey that will take you to some of the most breathtaking places on earth and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. So pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready to experience one of the most amazing tours in the Philippines.

Things to do and see in Linapacan, Palawan, Philippines


Linapacan is a beautiful island located in the Calamian Islands of Palawan, Philippines. It is a popular destination for tourists seeking a tropical getaway filled with stunning beaches, clear waters, and an abundance of marine life. From island hopping and snorkeling to hiking and exploring the local culture, there is never a dull moment in Linapacan. Here are some of the top things to do while visiting this island paradise.

  • Island hopping – Linapacan is surrounded by 52 small islands, each offering its own unique beauty and adventure. Take a boat tour to explore some of the nearby islands and beaches, such as Araw Beach, and the famous Banana Island.
  • Snorkeling and diving – The clear waters surrounding Linapacan are home to an abundance of marine life, including colorful fish, corals, and sea turtles. Snorkeling is a popular activity for visitors, allowing them to get up close and personal with the underwater world, such as what locals refer to turtle island, where you may occasionally see some.

turtle-diving-palawan-snorkeling ultimate-adventure-expedition-excursion-exclusive

  • Star gazing – now that you are away from the city lights of El Nido and Coron, you will be amazed at how many stars you will see in the sky. And if you are lucky, sometimes you will witness this in the ocean in the form of plankton which light up and activate as you wade into the warm waters of southeast Asia.
  • Explore the local culture – Linapacan is home to a vibrant culture that is rich in history and tradition. Take a walk through the local villages and get a feel for the local way of life, or visit a traditional dance performance to see the local music and dance.
  • Hiking and trekking – The lush forests and hills surrounding Linapacan offer plenty of opportunities for hiking and trekking. Take a guided tour to explore the local flora and fauna, or venture out on your own to see what you can discover.
me-tarzan-in-jungle ultimate-adventure-expedition-excursion
Yours truly when I used to live in the area in my Tarzan mode exploring the jungle. Built my own bamboo hut too!
  • Relax on the beach – Of course, one of the main draws of Linapacan is its stunning beaches. Whether you want to soak up the sun, go for a swim, or simply relax with a book, there is a beach for everyone on this island paradise.

In conclusion, Linapacan is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a tropical escape filled with adventure, beauty, and culture. From island hopping and snorkeling to exploring the local villages, there is something for everyone on this beautiful island. So pack your bags and head to Linapacan for an unforgettable vacation.

Benefits of an exclusive private excursion expedition boat tour between El Nido and Coron, Palawan, Philippines


El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Philippines are renowned for their breathtaking beauty, stunning beaches, and abundant marine life. If you’re looking for an exclusive and intimate way to experience these two iconic destinations, a private excursion expedition boat tour is the perfect choice. Here are some of the many benefits of this type of tour.

  • Customizable itinerary: With a private excursion boat tour, you have complete control over your itinerary. This allows you to visit the destinations that are most important to you, and to spend as much or as little time at each location as you prefer.
  • Intimate and personal experience: With a private excursion boat tour, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the beauty of El Nido and Coron in a more personal and intimate way. Your tour guide will be able to provide you with in-depth information about the area and its history, as well as share their local knowledge and recommendations.
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We also organize proposal tours for budding romantic couples.
  • Privacy and comfort: A private excursion boat tour offers a more relaxed and comfortable way to explore the region compared to larger group tours. You’ll have plenty of space to relax and enjoy the scenery, and you won’t have to worry about the noise and crowds that can often accompany group tours.
  • Access to remote locations: With a private excursion boat tour, you’ll be able to visit some of the more remote locations in the area that are not accessible by land. This includes secluded beaches, lagoons, and snorkeling spots, where you can enjoy the beauty of the region without the crowds.

excursion-exclusive-private-boat-tour beach

  • Quality time with loved ones: A private excursion boat tour is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with friends and loved ones. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to spend some time together, this type of tour provides a unique and intimate experience that you’ll never forget.
  • Unforgettable memories: With a private excursion boat tour, you’ll have the opportunity to create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. From exploring the stunning beaches and waters of El Nido and Coron, to learning about the local culture and history, you’ll experience the very best that this region has to offer.

In conclusion, a private excursion expedition boat tour between El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Philippines offers a unique and exclusive way to experience these two iconic destinations. With its customizable itinerary, intimate and personal experience, privacy and comfort, access to remote locations, quality time with loved ones, and unforgettable memories, this type of tour is the ultimate way to experience the beauty of the region. So book your private excursion boat tour today and experience the best that El Nido and Coron have to offer!

Palawan-speedboat-tours ultimate-adventure-expedition-excursionExperience the thrill of island hopping in the Philippines

Coron Island: Everything You Need to Know

Coron Island, Palawan

Coron Island

Coron Palawan is one of the Philippines’ most spectacular islands, boasting massive limestone peaks, vibrant lagoons, and excellent opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Coron Island, like many other Philippine islands, is an affordable vacation spot with stunning scenery, including white sand beaches and some of the best coral reefs in Southeast Asia.

Ships from World War II are permanently entombed in the waters off the coast of Coron, making this group of islands famous for its historical significance. Coron is no less gorgeous above water and is home to one of the Philippines’ most photographed landmarks. It’s true that the more you explore Coron, Philippines, the more stunning its hidden treasures become.

This travel guide to Coron, Philippines, will tell you how to get there, what to do once you get there, and where to stay so that you may fully enjoy this Philippine treasure.

Coron Island, Palawan


Coron, which forms a portion of the Calamian Islands (also known as the Calamianes Archipelago), may be found in the province of Palawan in the far western Philippines.

The town of Coron, as it is commonly known among tourists, can be found on Busuanga Island, the largest island in the Coron Archipelago. What adds to the confusion is that most day trips from Coron go to Coron Island, a magnificent unspoiled island.

Coron is a Philippine island located 60 miles (100 km) to the north of the more oversized island of Palawan.
Many of Coron’s most popular attractions may be found on Coron Island, which is a half-hour boat ride from the town on Busuanga Island. Twin Lagoons, Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake, and many beautiful beaches and smaller lagoons can all be found in this area.

Day Trips in Coron Island


You can fly or take a ferry to get to the town of Coron.

Busuanga airport (USU) is Coron’s airport, but it isn’t connected to the rest of the world; to get there, you’ll need to go to Manila or Cebu first. Skyscanner is a great place to look for airfare to the Philippines.

Taking the ferry between El Nido and Coron is the most convenient and economical option to see both destinations. The trip takes a few hours, costs 1,800 pesos, and is well worth it.

As I’ll elaborate on below, you may also embark on a four-day sailing excursion from El Nido to Coron in Palawan to visit some of the region’s spectacular uninhabited islands.


Busuanga Island is the best option for setting a camp in Coron Town. However, the town itself doesn’t offer a lot of entertainment options. While the main island’s beaches are a bit of a drive away, the town itself has all the amenities you might need, including restaurants, tour companies, and even some late-night action.

1. Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel

Photo by Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel
Day Trips in Coron Island

Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel is one of the greatest resorts in Coron and one of the most gorgeous beach resorts in the Philippines. This Coron hotel is near the town center and the beach, making vacations more enjoyable. Coron Port is 300m distant, while the stunning Maquinit Hot Spring is 3km away.

Bayside Infinity Pool visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Coron Bay. The BAYA Resto Lounge, Skydeck Jacuzzi Lounge, gym, and 100-person conference room are also top-notch. Vacationers can stay connected with free WiFi throughout the resort.

2. The Funny Lion

Photo by The Funny Lion
Photo by The Funny Lion

Coron’s Funny Lion boutique hotel resort showcases nature. Sea vistas and lush greenery surround this 3-star home. The resort’s eco-chic exteriors—concrete structures with natural material detailing—and sleek, snug rooms reflect its contemporary safari motif.

The Funny Lion is a serene retreat on Coron Town’s outskirts. The resort is 1.6km from Mount Tapyas and 2km from Bayside Plaza.

At Pride Rock Deck, their rooftop bar, guests may enjoy amazing ocean views. Watch the sunset here. The outdoor pool has sun loungers and two jacuzzis. The Funny Lion has a Sea Tree Spa and on-site restaurants.

The Cub, King, and Pride rooms provide air conditioning, LED TVs with cable channels, coffee and tea makers, in-room safes, refrigerators, and private bathrooms with hot and cold showers. Staying at The Funny Lion in Coron is an adventure.

3. Two Seasons Coron Island Resort & Spa

Photo by Two Seasons Coron Island Resort & Spa
Photo by Two Seasons Coron Island Resort & Spa

Two Seasons Coron Island Resort & Spa, a luxury eco-friendly resort, has become a Coron icon. Guests can enjoy magnificent bungalows, a full-service spa, a restaurant, and two beautiful Palawan beaches at this 5-star hotel in the Philippines. This stunning Bulalacao Island resort is a short boat ride from Coron Town.

Two Seasons Coron is a wonderful blend of luxury and nature, offering top-notch facilities and unmatched service. This Coron resort has high-ceiling bungalows with contemporary Filipino tropical design, air conditioning, soft lighting, flat-screen TVs, and sofa seating. Suites have baths and showers. Bungalow balconies offer panoramic vistas.

Two Seasons Coron Island Resort & Spa is a natural playground. Turtles and gigantic clams nest there. The island has two private beaches on the west and east sides, as well as a sandbar that links to an islet.

The resort’s Molokini transparent kayaks and HydroBOB submersible scooters let guests explore the underwater world. Sulu Restaurant and Bahura Bar serve gourmet food. Narra Spa treatments at the resort will complete your fantastic vacation.

4. Club Paradise Palawan

Photo by Club Paradise Palawan
Photo by Club Paradise Palawan

Club Paradise Palawan tops most Coron hotel lists. Its history, location, and service make it a must-visit for visitors seeking seclusion, tranquillity, and elegance.

It is a 19-hectare private island resort in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with unspoiled beaches, diversified flora, and abundant marine life.

Club Paradise Palawan has 50 accommodations, including beachside thatched villas with individual balconies. They are thoughtfully located to display nature’s wonders: wake up to stunning views from the Sunrise Villas, experience beautiful sunsets from the Sunset Villas, immerse in panoramic beauty from the Ocean View Suites, or relax to humming tropical birds from the Garden Suites. All rooms have air conditioning, smart TV, mini-bar, refrigerator, electric kettle, safety deposit box, and en-suite bathrooms with hot and cold showers.

For a complete Club Paradise Palawan experience, this Coron beach resort provides many recreational activities. Kayaks, paraws, and hiking gear are available. The resort offers snorkeling and diving, and its beautiful house reef is home to over 500 aquatic species.

5. Huma Island Resort and Spa

Aerial View of Huma Island Resort and Spa
Aerial View of Huma Island Resort and Spa

The picturesque Huma Island Resort and Spa offers an island of pure enjoyment, private luxury, and endless adventure. From Manila or Busuanga, a private seaplane takes guests to this Coron resort on Diciligan, one of the numerous untouched islands. Guests arrive at stunning views of white-sand beaches, crystal-clear ocean seas, and verdant rainforests. One of the Philippines’ most luxurious resorts.

Huma Island Resort and Spa boasts 81 over-water and beach villas with unobstructed views of the ocean and sky. Each room features flat-screen TVs, private Jacuzzis and bathtubs, WLAN, and indoor and outdoor showers. The beach villas have their own courtyards and access to the pristine beach, while the thatched roof water villas have private sun decks.

Huma Island Resort and Spa has 8 themed gourmet dining stations with the best global cuisines, a unique glass-floored spa complex with the Philippines’ first and only authentic Arabic Hammam, a yoga pavilion, a dive center, fitness facility, a conference room, and library. Having 24-hour “Villa Hosts” adds to its elegance.

You can also take a boat to another island, but you’ll need to bring all of your food and be content with not doing much exploring.


The population of Coron town is only around three thousand people.

You can get around on foot to get to restaurants and other necessities, but if you want to venture outside of town, you’ll need transportation.

Scooter rentals cost around $10 USD per day or 500 pesos. A tricycle taxi can be hailed for 100 to 200 pesos, but the scooter can save you money on longer journeys or those with several stops.


Raft Rides in Kayangan Lake
Raft Rides in Kayangan Lake


This precious jewel and the island it resides on are among the most breathtaking locations on Earth, as they are among the few of their kind in all of Asia. It’s likely that you’ve seen pictures of Kayangan Lake or the neighboring overlook before.

Most visitors to Coron Island don’t know that the island’s most popular vantage point isn’t of the lake, but of the bay on the opposite side of the island. There are sections of the lake that have been roped off for conservation purposes.

The lake is busiest in the afternoon, so plan your trip accordingly. To maximize your time, plan an early morning or afternoon departure. Since many of the more popular trips follow the same pattern, the attraction is typically crowded in the afternoon.

When there are no clouds in the sky and no shadows in the harbor, however, the famous perspective at the top of the hill at Kayangan Lake is at its best. The ideal time to see the lake and the viewpoint is first thing in the morning before the crowds arrive.



Wreck diving in Coron Bay
Wreck diving in Coron Bay

The sunken fleet of Japanese warships near Coron is a popular attraction for tourists. Twelve World War II wrecks, all of which are at diveable depths, are remarkably well preserved here. As part of the requirements for the Advanced Open Water Certification with Corto Divers.


The island of Coron, not the island of Coron Town, is home to many of the city’s most interesting attractions. Some of the best stuff is only accessible by boat. While in Coron Palawan, you must take many day trips.

Island Hopping in Coron
Island Hopping in Coron


Barracuda Lake is another crystal-clear lake in the area, and it’s very next to Kayangan Lake. Barracuda is a quieter alternative to the more crowded Kayangan Lake. This lake contains a number of unique features, like thermoclines and underwater mountains, and it is also less crowded than others. Although not as well-known as Kayangan Lake, this body of water is equally as clear, if not clearer.

Barracuda Lake, Coron Palawan

Kayangan Lake is widely regarded as Asia’s purest lake. Barracuda Lake is a place that those individuals have obviously never visited. The Lake is a popular diving destination in Coron because of its many interesting characteristics.


Picture of Sunken Japanese Wrecks, The Lusong Gunboat
Picture of Sunken Japanese Wrecks, The Lusong Gunboat

Fortunately, there is at least one shipwreck that is shallow enough for snorkeling. The Lusong Gunboat is situated just below the surface. After seven decades in the wild, it is now colonized by corals. Swimming in the water all the way around it is a blast.


In addition to its stunning Palawan beaches and shipwreck diving spots, Coron town has become famous as a culinary mecca. Seafood, along with Filipino and international fare, is particularly delicious here because of its proximity to the seaside. Sunset dinners at a restaurant with a view of the ocean are a wonderful way to round off a perfect day.

1. Trattoria Altrov’é Coron

Trattoria Altrov’é Coron
Photo by Primer

If you’re looking for a place to eat pasta amid the tropics, look no further than Trattoria Altrov’é in Coron. Regulars attest that the wait is worthwhile because the pizzas are made to order and baked in a brick oven, so the cheese and toppings are nice and melty. This Rosario Street patio is known for serving the best pizza and spaghetti in all of Coron.

In addition to the fantastic pizzas, the Gamberi Olio D’Oliva, a pasta dish of sautéed shrimp mixed in olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, and crushed pepper, and topped with fresh parmesan cheese, is a fan favorite. Beef Lasagna, Risotto with Funghi Porcini (rice with mushrooms cooked in white wine and herbs), and the Italian appetizer carpaccio are among the popular choices.

2. Manggis Restaurant

Manggis Restaurant

Manggis Restaurant, the hotel’s in-house eatery, is nestled on the slopes of Mt. Tapyas, barely 500 meters from the mountain’s famous view deck. It is located close to the heart of town on Calle Nueva in Poblacion, Coron. Delicious Filipino-inspired meals, as well as Italian, American, Mediterranean, and Asian fare, may be found on the menu with other world favorites.

Filipino Boodle Fight at Manggis Restaurant
Filipino Boodle Fight at Manggis Restaurant

Their take on the Filipino party staple known as “boodle fight” is always a hit with guests. Meals are served “military style,” with the food spread out on banana leaves along a long table and eaten with bare hands. Manggis is an excellent choice because dining there is a unique and unforgettable experience. Pizzas, pasta, and novel desserts like the hibiscus sorbet made with white wine are also popular.

3. Poco Deli Coron

Sausage Platter with Wine at Poco Deli Coron
Sausage Platter with Wine at Poco Deli Coron

At Poco Deli Coron, you may have Italian food with a Spanish, German, and Irish twist. The restaurant, which can be found in the middle of the hip Real street district, serves only the highest quality meats, such as Angus Beef, Japanese Wagyu, and French Pork, seasoned with the finest Italian spices and absolutely none of the fake fillers or flavor enhancers that are so common in other restaurants.

Their sausage platters are much sought after for special occasions, and their brick oven pizza and pasta dishes are favorites among regulars. The charcuterie is also excellent, as it’s created in-house without the use of any preservatives. The half-inch wood-smoked pork slab cooked to your taste and the Wagyu sausage sampler is also must-tries.

4. Santino’s Grill

PALAWAN | Santino's Grill Baby Back Ribs in Coron
PALAWAN | Santino’s Grill Baby Back Ribs in Coron

The baby back ribs at Santino’s Grill are widely considered to be among the best in Coron. These pork ribs slide off the bone and are served with a side of salad and your choice of mashed or fried potatoes. The open-air restaurant’s laid-back vibe is reflected in its quirky wooden furnishings and authentic island decor.

While visiting the Philippines, tourists should indulge in some authentic Filipino fare, such as sinigang (meat and vegetables in tamarind soup), a hog barbecue, or kare-kare (oxtail in stewed peanut sauce).

You can also count on great quality from their seafood offerings. All seafood, including fish, squid, shrimp, and more, is purchased fresh from local fishermen and brought directly to your table. Fruit smoothies and coconut juice are two examples of refreshing drinks that may be purchased to satisfy your thirst.

5. KT’s Sinugba Sa Balay

Glimpse of KT's Sinugba Sa Balay
Glimpse of KT’s Sinugba Sa Balay

San Agustin Street in the heart of downtown Coron is home to KT’s Sinugba Sa Balay, a popular restaurant known for its innovative takes on traditional Filipino comfort food. Mi Goreng (an Indonesian-style stir-fried noodle dish), shrimp in red curry, and beef curry are all highly recommended by regulars as some of the best items on the menu.

Other common orders include smoked barbecue items served with rice and house specialties like adobo (pork marinated in vinegar and soy sauce), crispy ‘pata’ (deep-fried pork knuckles), and sisig (minced pork in a sizzling platter).

Visitors can serve themselves complimentary water from a huge jug and cutlery at a self-serving station located in the alfresco restaurant’s casual, no-frills environment. Noodles and sourdough and ciabatta bread are baked fresh daily.


Tropical landscape and island hopping have made Palawan Island famous, but which is better, Coron or El Nido?

The two provinces in the Philippines are separated by 100 kilometers of sea, so if time is of the essence, you may have to choose between the two amazing destinations.

There are pros and cons to El Nido’s greater development and popularity compared to Coron. Coron is a more peaceful island with fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving. Amazing islands and beaches can be found in both El Nido and Coron.

El Nido is a must-see, as is Coron in Palawan.


Is there an ATM on Coron? Indeed, several fully functional ATMs with high withdrawal limits have just become available in Coron. In the neighborhood of 250 pesos, the pull cost is standard.

Is there 24-hour power? Yes. Power outages and brownouts have become far less common in recent years thanks to upgrades to the electrical grid.

Is there WiFi? Most Coron hotels have poor WiFi. The best option right now is to get a local SIM card and use your phone as a hotspot. Globe delivered fast speeds in Coron.

What language should we speak? Palawan, like much of the Philippines, speaks English. So you don’t need to learn Tagalog to visit.

If you decide to check out Palawan, our small family operation organizes private custom boat tours through the Palawan area, voted the best island in the world, with its 52 pristine white sand beaches and some of the clearest waters in the world 

Palawan Boat Tours - Cebu - Things You Need to Know

Experience the thrill of island hopping in the Philippines.

Busuanga Island, Palawan’s Last Frontier



The Php150 (approximately $3) hot spring is open everyday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.  The Philippines’ Palawan province is home to the Calamian Group of Islands, the largest of which is the island of Busuanga. Having both a rich World War II history and thriving coral reefs, the island attracts many people looking for aquatic experiences.

Interesting fact: the American navy sank twelve Japanese ships along the Busuanga coast during World War II.

Coron Town in the south is the main tourist hub, as it serves as access to other popular areas such as Twin Lagoons and Baraccuda Lake. Despite the island’s reputation as a great place to go diving and island hopping, the town is often overlooked by visitors. The northern part of Busuanga is less well-known to tourists, making it a pristine paradise ideal for canoeing, swimming, and other outdoor pursuits.

The first question is, though: Busuanga or Coron? I’m confused.

Don’t worry; I thought the same thing at first. In a Google picture search for Busuanga Island, 90% of the results are actually of Coron Island. The authors don’t exactly make things simple, so allow me to explain.

LOOK | Coron Town and Busuanga Island Map
LOOK | Coron Town and Busuanga Island Map

Coron is a town, a municipality, and an island off the southeastern coast of Busuanga. It’s also where all those stunning Instagram photos are taken. If you book a hotel in Coron Town, you will actually be staying on Busuanga Island and not Coron Island. To get from Coron Town to Coron Island, you’ll need a Bangka (Filipino boat).

History of Busuanga Island

Busuanga Island, Palawan
Busuanga Island, Palawan

As the main entry point to one of the Philippines’ most rapidly developing and well-liked tourist hotspots—Coron—the recent history of Busuanga has revolved around the hospitality industry.

This stunning region of the country has been a destination for visitors for centuries, but it has a rich history that dates back millennia to that.

The indigenous Tagbanua people of the Calamianes Islands trace their ancestry back to the legendary Tabon Man.

Courtship dance practice among the Tagbanua.
Courtship dance practice among the Tagbanua.

The Tabon Man was unearthed on the island of Palawan, and his bones are thought to be the Philippines’ oldest modern human remains.

Tagbanua civilization flourished there for millennia, and even after the Spanish colonial empire began to control the Philippines, this territory remained on the empire’s periphery.

When the Japanese took control of the region during World War II, they transformed the numerous bays into safe havens for their navy.

Many Japanese vessels were sunk by American bombing, however, and these vessels are today popular diving locations.

Mass immigration from islands like Cebu and Luzon after the war pushed the indigenous Tagbanua to the periphery of Busuanga. Since then, the island’s economy and infrastructure have flourished thanks to the influx of tourists.

The Best Way to Get to Busuanga Island

The quickest and most convenient method to get to Coron is via plane. Francisco B. Reyes Airport, located near Busuanga, is less than an hour away from the town of Coron.

Busuanga (Coron) Airport PAL Express flight
Busuanga (Coron) Airport PAL Express flight

The following airlines fly from Manila to Busuanga and return.

  • Cebu Pacific Airlines
  • The PAL Express (Philippine Airlines)
  • SkyJet AirAsia Zest (Zest Air)

PAL Express also flies to Puerto Princesa from Busuanga and vice versa.

You can take a van from the airport to Coron for P150 per person or P1500 if you book the full van.

Where Can I Stay in Busuanga?

There are a number of options, and you can’t go wrong with any of them while planning your visit.

Sanctuaria Treehouses

Unique among treehouse resorts in Palawan, Sanctuaria Treehouses offers travelers a taste of the island’s rich history and culture. Set in a remote part of the jungle, you’ll feel like you’ve left the bustle of Coron Town far behind.

When you reach the top of the treehouses, you can look out over the surrounding mangroves, rivers, and Busuanga Bay. The sky is filled with stars at night, and the lights of Coron Town can be seen off in the distance. Refresh in the pool (one of the only pools in the area), kayak or paddleboard through the mangrove forests, or let Buhay, Sanctuaria’s four-legged tour guide, take you to Concepcion Waterfall.

Garden of Eden

This simple farmstay is ideal for minimalist travelers.
This simple farm stay is ideal for minimalist travelers.

Located on Busuanga’s eastern coast, close to the quaint village of Santo Nio, lies the eco-friendly Garden of Eden farm stay. It’s just a simple bamboo hut in the shape of a triangle, with a loft that goes up two stories.

Guests are welcome to tour the farm at will, taking in the beautiful scenery and interacting with the free-range pigs, goats, dogs, cats, turkeys, and ducks. A pet of any species will approach you with its own unique characteristics and seek affection. Horseback riding (about 1,000 PHP), bay kayaking, scuba diving, and island hopping are just a few of the adventures that may be arranged with the help of the innkeepers, Eden and Gunther.

Best Activities on Busuanga Island

1. Climb Mt. Tapyas’ 721 steps.

Mount Tapyas viewpoint in Coron
Mount Tapyas viewpoint in Coron

Most visitors to Coron Town visit Mount Tapyas, one of its two primary attractions. Another is Maquinit Hot Springs. As you explore Coron Town, you may see a large white cross with the letters “C.O.R.O.N.” on a hill. Mount Tapyas. This view of Coron Island and the landscape is popular. If you add this to your itinerary, be prepared to walk 721 steps in broad sunlight. The 30-minute walk to the top has little cover. The sunset view from the summit is amazing. The trail begins at K-Heights Inn.

2. Take a Hike Up Mount Darala

Mount Tundalara (sometimes spelled Mt. Dalara) is an excellent option if you want to walk somewhere a little more difficult than the stairways of Mt. Tapayas. Mount Darala, at an elevation of 600 meters, is the island’s highest peak.

The trail begins near a little cemetery and, after a brief stint in the trees, emerges onto an exposed section of the trail proper. The heat can be scorching, and there is no shade to escape it. You should bring a hat, sunscreen, and lots of water.

The day-long journey from Coron Town is strenuous, but once you arrive, you’ll have the place to yourself.

3. Take a dip in the Maquinit Hot Springs

Maquinit Hot Springs at Dusk
Maquinit Hot Springs at Dusk

On the island of Busuanga, the Maquinit Hot Springs are among the most appealing attractions. After a long day of island hopping, relax in the natural hot springs just a short tricycle ride from Coron Town and take in the intense and flaming sunset.

It’s possible to purchase refreshing beverages before kicking back in the warm waves and taking in the natural beauty of the mangroves and surrounding countryside. Whatever you do, just let yourself completely unwind in the soothing warmth of the water. The hot spring is available daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the cost to enter is Php150 (about $3).

4. Take pictures on top of Mount Talapay

At Mt. Talapay in Decabobo, Coron, Palawan, experience life and environment.
At Mt. Talapay in Decabobo, Coron, Palawan, experience life and the environment.

Mt. Talapay is an artificially constructed lookout point in eastern Busuanga. The grounds may still be under development, but there are many picturesque backdrops for your Instagram posts. You may relax in a human-sized bird’s nest or swing from a tree, and there’s even a fanciful seating area shaped like a windswept heart.

There is a little restaurant there where you may try some of the local dishes and drink some of the fresh coconut wine. To get away from the throng and take in breathtaking views of the sea and other islands, spend the afternoon atop Mt. Talapay.

5. Swing at Concepcion Falls

Concepcion Falls, Coron

The trail leads to a gorgeous natural pool surrounded by enormous trees, damp moss, and greenery. The bluish-green river shimmers as sunlight shines through the trees. Erosion exposes trees’ winding roots in the water. A little cave with an orange rope swing sits left of the waterfall. I swayed here listening to water dripping for a few minutes. The surrounds make Concepcion Falls worth visiting, not the falls themselves.

6. Swim with the sea mermaids, Dugong

Dugong of Busuanga Island
Photo Credit: World

Dugongs, long assumed to be mermaids, are herbivorous mammals found in warm coastal waters from the western Pacific Ocean to the eastern coast of Africa. Sea cows, often known as manatees, are gentle and fat. Fishing-related mortality, habitat degradation, and killing have gravely endangered the species. Some conservation organizations are trying to save this species. Dugongs, the first Philippine marine mammal to be protected, are still found in Northern Busuanga.

The eco-friendly North Busuanga Dugong Dive Center is the greatest place to see these gentle critters. This team of conservationists and Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary personnel lets you see Dugongs in their natural habitat.

7. Discover the Busuanga River

Located to the north of Coron Bay, Busuanga River is a popular local destination that receives fewer tourists. The river meanders through the island’s interior, passing via settlements and mangrove groves at the northwest corner. In addition to exploring the river on your own, many hotels along the northwest coast also provide tours of the Busuanga River. The River House will transport you upstream on a tiny bangka, stopping at the village of Panggawaran, and the Busuanga Bay Lodge will take you on a relaxing twilight cruise along the river.

Busuanga River
Busuanga River

Would you like to visit Busuanga Island? What exciting experiences have we failed to have? Share with us in the comments your experiences on Busuanga island.

Read more about Calamian Islands of Palawan here.

If you decide to check out Palawan, our small family operation organizes private custom boat tours through the Palawan area, voted the best island in the world, with its 52 pristine white sand beaches and some of the clearest waters in the world 

Palawan Boat Tours - Cebu - Things You Need to Know

Experience the thrill of island hopping in the Philippines.

The Calamian Islands of Palawan, an Absolute Must-See Paradise

​Calamian Islands - Travel Palawan

Explore the Calamian Islands

The allure of the region’s picturesque lakes and lagoons, incredible rock formations, and plethora of marine and wildlife were too great to ignore. Calamian Islands is a series of islands in Palawan that is home to some of the province’s best-kept secrets. Islands and islets like these should be on everyone’s travel wish list.

Busuanga Island

Busuanga Island, Calamian, Palawan

The largest island in Calamian and the second largest in the Palawan archipelago is Busuanga. Busuanga and Coron are the two separate municipalities that make up the whole. Busuanga Airport (USU) is the primary access point to the Calamian Islands and is located in Busuanga. On the other hand, a pier may be found at Coron Town.

Although Busuanga Island is rarely mentioned, it serves as the starting point for many regional journeys.

It’s also worth noting that Busuanga is rich in attractions. It doesn’t have to serve as your sole point of entry into the island; there are many fascinating destinations and exciting pursuits to be had throughout the island.

Check out our Busuanga Island, Palawan’s Last Frontier.

Coron Island

Coron Island, Calamian, Palawan

The town of Coron is on a different island than Coron Island. It’s the third largest island and the main tourist attraction. From the picture-perfect lagoons to the stunning beaches, the area’s natural splendor is beyond description. Island hopping, snorkeling, and diving are all extremely well-liked pastimes.

Culion Island

Culion Island, Calamian, Palawan

People call Culion an isolated island because it’s hard to get to, but getting here is worth the trouble. It has a long history, which you can learn about at the museums and churches nearby.

Despite its size, Culion Island in the province of Calamianes receives far fewer visitors than its neighboring islands of Coron and Busuanga. While the more well-known sites in Coron may have better beauty, the landscape here is almost as impressive, and the local history and culture are intriguing.

Few tourists visit Culion Island, which may be related to the island’s past as a leper colony over much of the twentieth century. But now is an excellent moment to visit Culion, since it has evolved into a fascinating off-the-beaten-path destination.

Calauit Island

Calauit Island, Calamian, Palawan

The island is like a safari straight out of a movie. Animals as diverse as zebras, giraffes, deer, and monkeys await visitors to Calauit’s Safari Park. From the center of Coron, you will need to take a boat to reach here.

Malcapuya Island

Malcapuya Island, Calamian, Palawan

It takes some effort to get to Malcapuya island. To reach its white sand beach, you must first brave the choppy waters. Once you’ve had your fill of the beach, head to the island’s highest point for a panoramic look at your surroundings. It is possible to see other islands in the distance.

Check out more about Malcapuya Island in our last blog post here.

Banana Island

Banana Island, Calamian, Palawan

While you won’t find any bananas or other yellow fruits on this island, you’ll go nuts for its beauty. A primary attraction is the abundant marine life that may be seen while scuba diving or snorkeling in its deep waters. If you time it right, you can also reach the sandbar at low tide.

Check out more about Banana Island here


Calamian Group of Islands
Calamian Group of Islands


Plane tickets to Busuanga can be purchased on the Cebu Pacific website (Francisco B. Reyes Airport). A van will take you to Coron Town from Busuanga. There is an estimated 30-minute travel time.

Busuanga + Calauit

Coron Town was the jump-off place. At Calamian Islands Travel & Tours, you can arrange a trip. Transportation in a van, sightseeing excursions, and lunches were all planned for us. Two and a half hours is how long the journey takes from Coron Town.


Both Coron and Busuanga have many places to stay. Located in the center of Coron Town, Balai Binda Lodge is a cozy little inn with a focus on inland travel. The pier, market, and souvenir shops, as well as the restaurants, are all within walking distance from this lodging option.


Throughout the area of Coron, you may find a wide variety of dining options. Ask a resident for recommendations on places to eat. It truly depends on your desires and financial situation. Fish, squid, crab, shrimp, and the pricier lobster are all on the menu at nearly all of them.

Plan Your Coron Getaway Today

You can go island hopping, kayaking, scuba diving, and camping, just to name a few of the activities available in Coron. This famous Palawan island needs to be on everyone’s travel itinerary. You only need to put some thought into your trip and familiarize yourself with the various lodging, sightseeing, and activity options available to you.

If you decide to check out Palawan, our small family operation organizes private custom boat tours through the Palawan area, voted the best island in the world, with its 52 pristine white sand beaches and some of the clearest waters in the world 

Palawan Boat Tours - Cebu - Things You Need to Know

Experience the thrill of island hopping in the Philippines.

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