San Miguel, Linapacan

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San Miguel on the island of Linapacan is a nice rural town located half way between El Nido and Coron. A popular tourist route in Palawan and a perfect stop to break up the long, 7+ hour journey.

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The big ferry usually leaves every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday from San Fernando (one hour bus ride east of El Nido – although some boats may leave from El Nido) to Coron, and comes back from Coron every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, always stopping at the halfway point at the main village here of San Miguel on the island of Linapacan.

From San Fernando the ferry usually leaves at 9am and you can take a bus from El Nido at 7:30am. Or in El Nido you can try to arrange this with one recommended travel agent at 09391138889. Others tell me that ferries leave every day and a good place to ask and stay is at OMP (Our Melting Pot hostel, 450p a night for shared dorm and big breakfast, staff apparently really helpful and can arrange affordable tricycle if are in a bind).

You basically want to get to this next destination, which is half way between El Nido and Coron (the ferry should cost 1,400p to get to Coron, or 600p to get to San Miguel, and then 800p to Coron).

Where to stay

As you walk off the pier you will pass Dory’s grocery store (nice accommodation above the store and overlooking the pier and ocean). Keep going and turn left at the T junction. Walk down that way for about 5 minutes (you will see the ocean on your left hand side and you will pass a hotel on the left hand side – you can check them out but I didn’t find them very friendly) until you get to BRC Hotel. The owner’s name is Ben.

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brc hotel

Ben charges 500p per person a night for a nice, clean and spacious aircon hotel room.

There is also Dustan Lodging Inn, a new place in town.

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Things to do in San Miguel

While here I can organise a local island hopping tour for you, such as to the seniorita caves (below picture). Excellent snorkeling in this entire area, declared as having the clearest waters in the world, and there are two shipwrecks for avid divers. You can also sleep on your own deserted island (52 islands in the Linapacan vicinity).

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If you do not want to take a boat tour, you can walk to the beach where the Japanese-Filipino tour guide lives, a remnant of the second world war and an interesting guy to talk to. Just keep walking along the road away from the pier, for about 30 minutes. You will walk past a bunch of suburb huts on stilts. You can wander through that and explore – the locals will love to see you. Keep walking past the stilt community and eventually you will find yourself climbing up a hill. Soon enough you will see some paths leading to the left back down to the tour guide’s beach. If you keep walking uphill you will eventually run into the town’s garbage dump.

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The tour guide lives on this beach (only house, above picture) and will be happy to meet you. You can swim across from his house to the island where the cave is (you should by entrance tickets in town), or he can organize a tour for you. Lovely snorkeling and corals near the shore of this other island. If the currents are right it will be an easy swim back to San Miguel (ask Ben if you need to rent some snorkeling gear). Follow the shoreline, you will soon pass the area’s cemetery, then drift off towards San Mig, which you should be able to see once passing the cemetery. There are interesting corals along the whole way, if you manage to find the right route. Off shore from Ben’s hotel there is a sunken big boat about 2m deep.

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At night you can check out Dory’s grocery store on the pier, as sometimes the locals howl karaoke.

During the day, if you walk past the pier from BRC (turning left at the corner, a dead end), you can walk to the end of that road to the local water well where a girl slaves all day long pulling up buckets of water with a rope to fill endless jugs for the town. A nice photo-op. About 30m before you get to this waterwell (end of the road), you will notice a road going uphill to the left. This will take you to the next two villages, where there is also a beach, if you are in an exploring mood.

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View of stroll to the next village.

Or check out the old Spanish fortress.

You can also rent a bike or bicycle from Ben to scope out the jungle path to the other side of the island:

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And lastly, you can come visit me at the kitesurfing eco nature camp I am developing (no longer, but Ben is renting some huts there) on a nearby paradise island.

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View from the top of the highest peak on our kitesurfing island,
San Miguel in the background behind the next island.

Another option is I can organise a boat tour for you between El Nido and Coron.

For other information how to get here and what else to do in the Palawan area, you can check out my itinerary suggestions.

Where to eat

You can ask them to cook you something at the BRC hotel, or at Dory’s. Otherwise, the restaurant shown in the map near the top of this page has a nice view and pleasant atmosphere, although their cuisine can be the worst imaginable.

One trick I came across is to pick up some veggies at the shop next to BRC hotel and ask the restaurant to grill it up for you, but they first charged 30p to do so, the second time 60p, and the last time 100p. They don’t sell beer so ask if you can bring some if you want that with your meal. Otherwise, Dory also sells some veggies, or you can ask if you can bring more and get them to stir fry it up for you instead.

Internet

As shown on the map near the top of the page, continue from the pier past BRC hotel and take a right at the intersection. Go up the hill to the last house on the right. They also have a printer and a bunch of computers, although recently they’ve had problems with their internet and cannot seem to figure it out. In which case you can try Dory’s, possibly the BRC hotel.

Or get a Smart sim card with a dataplan, as there is no Globe signal in San Miguel (perhaps a weak one on the roof of BRC).

Hope you enjoy this wonderful area!

Book a tour

To get here you can join or book one of our private custom Palawan boat tours between El Nido and Coron. Tons of paradise beach islands to see along the way, excellent snorkeling in crystal clear waters, caves to explore, Spanish fortress and much more. Completely off the beaten path!

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Path to the local caves.

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Scenes of San Miguel:

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Rock formations past the beach around the Japanese dude’s house:

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Little family house on the way to the village north of San Miguel.

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Local well of adjacent village, with its beach (below).

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Some pictures of other islands in the area:

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Back to suggested itinerary for the Palawan area.

Home » Palawan » San Miguel, Linapacan

C RC R
05:51 03 Apr 24
I give 5 stars because they actually helped me to arrange the tour to Balabac in last minute. However, because the money wired through the local bank in my country took time to be processed, so i missed the boat due to peak season as many people paid before my money was received by the tour guide.As most of people usually feel, once your money has been transferred out to someone you do not know, you probably frustrated that your money would not be able to be refunded.But not in my experience. I dont need to be worry, the owner refunded me the money he has received (minus the bank fees). He promised to refund me and he did it. It was around 18.700 Pesos.So, eventhough i didn't manage to go with the tour, but i am really satisfied with their legitimate and great business practice. Hopefully, people will try their services and not worry about their legit business!Thanks a lot!
Chloe BlanchardChloe Blanchard
13:38 27 Mar 24
The most wonderful experience from booking to beach! Karel and Mel were so fast and responsive to my very last minute trip over the holidays. We booked a private boat for two and could not have been happier with our four day trip! We didn’t think about anything other than snorkeling the entire time. Linda, our captain, cooked wonderful meals and took us to totally empty beautiful beaches. We loved staying the night in Pical especially! Wonderful to experience the Philippines this way! Will come back again and would recommend to anyone!
hotel luci del farohotel luci del faro
08:13 31 Jan 24
We booked the 3 day 2 night expedition, from Coron to Sibaltan.First of all the booking part was really simple. I organized this trip to the Philippines last minute for my family (my parents and my uncles) but Karel answered all my questions very quickly and really made everything easier for me. It was an incredible experience. Albert, our tour leader, is a wonderful guy, always smiling and ready to help us. They assisted us in everything and really took care of making everything go smoothly. The accommodation on the islands is as spartan as you expect but the location of each hut alone is worth the trip. The wonder of nature was then added to the goodness of cuisine. It's really difficult to argue how you can cook all that goodness on a boat.If you are looking for an authentic experience, in contact with nature, off the beaten track, this company's private expedition is certainly for you.
Kate BrownKate Brown
00:22 27 Oct 23
What an unforgettable experience! We did a two night (3 day) island hopping tour from Sibaltan to Coron. Everything was so well organized and the boat crew were amazing and really made sure we had a great time. The accommodation was rustic, but added to the authentic experience of the Philippines. Karel always responded to any queries we had promptly. Our boatman, Albert, was the most amazing chef and we enjoyed every meal. The crew taught the kids how to fish with a line which was their highlight of the trip. They took us to the most unbelievable snorkelling spots along the way. Would highly recommend this trip.
Ian PascualIan Pascual
02:43 10 Aug 23
One of the most amazing, unforgettable things you can do in your life
Lou PrataliLou Pratali
11:04 25 Jul 23
This is a must to do!!Super ultimate tour is the best with Kayangan and barracuda lake, twin lagoons (my favorite), coral garden (blue fabulous coral) were the best. It’s really worth it to pay for private tour (3500 to 4000 PHP). You will also have to pay for entrance fees (150 to 200PHP by location) and eventually shopping at the market - must do (count 300 for 2 for fish, pork, fruits and vegetables, water).
Gérard BENOITGérard BENOIT
16:11 07 Feb 23
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the stunning Bacuit Gulf.Based on the comments, I contacted Mel.Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization.The on-board staff were very friendly and very helpful.And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel.In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I cannot recommend Mel and his team highly enough.A big thank-you.
Alyse TarbottonAlyse Tarbotton
23:48 30 Aug 22
This tour went well above all our expectations! I couldn't recommend this enough! The boat crew, captain and tour guide were nothing but amazing, everyone was so kind, helpful and friendly. The crew knew the best spots to visit that weren't overcrowded with tourists, 3 times we were lucky enough to have whole islands to ourselves! It was my partner's birthday while away and everything went above and beyond, bonfire, cake, birthday card, singing and celebrating with us.If you love camping this is definitely a tout you should do, it has been the highlight of our trip!!
Danish KayaniDanish Kayani
10:24 31 Oct 19
Coron is the best place i have ever seen.. picturesque. Beautiful. Peaceful
We booked a 4 days/3 nights private boat trip from Coron to Sibaltan. The organization went very well from the beginning, the owner answered to all my questions, and we were able to choose which islands to visit and where to sleep. The first night we slept in a bungalow in Banana Island, the second we camped in Araw beach and the last we slept in a seafront bungalow builded on a tree in Pical on Iloc Island.The islands in that area are the most beautiful islands I have ever seen, with clear water, lots of coral reef and fishes to see, white sand and almost deserted. The crew was very friendly and polite and they organize every single meal and for camping they give you a tent which was just perfect! This was our highlight in our 2 weeks in the Philippines and I wish I had booked a longer trip. A private trip gives you the freedom to decide where and when to go.
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Gérard Benoit
Gérard Benoit
2023-02-08
recommends
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the beautiful bay of Bacuit. Seeing the comments, I contacted Mel. Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization. The crew were very friendly and very helpful. And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel. In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I can recommend Mel and his team highly enough. A big thank-you.
André Mardoñal
André Mardoñal
2019-10-22
recommends
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The island world of Linapacan between Coron and El Nido with the clearest waters in the world is truly a dream for itself! Without a boat you won't be able to see it! But what this boat trips makes so amazing is the crew! Once you come on board they might be shy in the beginning but will make you feel welcome and home from the first moment. Not only that they are looking that you sit comfortable all the time, they will prepare fresh and delicious food what the buy from local markets. They know the best spots and most beautiful islands and will bring you to places where you get this "Robinson Cruisoe feeling". Every day you visit 3 to 5 spots for snorkeling, enjoying a beach or exploring a little island. The accommodation we had was good and simple. We slept in bungalows and tents right at the beach. Sheets and towels were always provided and sometimes towels. After a while you feel like a family on board. We loved living the boat life didn't wanna leave! If you doubt take a longer than shorter trip! For any questions please message me.
Sarah Uhan
Sarah Uhan
2019-01-31
recommends
All in all it was a really great experience. It's a once in a lifetime thing to do and you won't get more authentic and basic Philippino experiences anywhere else. We were not so lucky with the wind and waves so we couldn't do all the stops we wanted to unfortunately. So be aware that especially the months from January to May can be very rough on water. But we still saw some great places Benji took us. Benji and his family was very nice and they did everything they could. The food was amazing - always freshly made in authentic Philippino style and way too much for the 2 of us. Make sure to bring enough cash - many of the islands cost extra (entrance fee) and be aware that any kind of accommodation and food (200php per meal) is not included in the boat fee. Also the deposit and commission fee for the agency are a little over the top, especially since the crew does not get any of it. The costs all in all are rather high for phillipino circumstances especially given the basicness of it all. However if you think about that all 5 boat people (in our case) live off of the boat fee alone, you spent the money willingly. Be aware though that accommodation and sanataries are very basic if even existant. So you gotta have the right mindset. Bring tissue, sanatiszer and earplugs to get some better sleep. Another feedback I have concerning the size of the boat. I don't think it is sufficient for more than 4 people. If the weather is like it was these days, you always have to sit on top and it was already a little squeezy with us 2 and 5 boat people. So I guess 4 guests can be fine but more than that won't have the space. There is different boat sizes but make sure to talk about that with Karel in advance. Other than that it was really worth it and we got to see so many great beaches and reefs which we could have never been able to visit without the tour.
Eric Liu
Eric Liu
2018-03-15
recommends
It was scary to book a 5 day trip with no places to stay confirmed or a strong itinerary. And in the Philippines, communication is difficult. But that is part of changing mindsets to a rural island mindset. In the end, everything worked out. We had some tough moments with bugs. But we also had some amazingly beautiful secluded beaches, the best snorkeling in the world, relaxing on the beach, and freshly made food on the boat while docked at beautiful places (better than being on land). Note, we went with Benji. Recommendations: - you must get a local SIM when you arrive to make sure pickup and everything works out - some islands have bugs - use bug spray! Pros: - a fraction of the cost - away from the crowds - can customize what you want - just ask! - a truly local experience - saw a REAL rural town Cons: - locals aren't really polished tour guides - if you don't ask for it, you won't get it, need to be pretty proactive - pretty simple "activities" - no frills like bathrooms or kayaks etc.
Ángela Deand
Ángela Deand
2017-04-26
recommends
We can't be more grateful to have had the opportunity of experience the peace in Patoyo Kitesurfing Camping! Spending two weeks in Dimancal Island, gave us the chance to experiment the rural and traditional way of life, in touch with the nature and people. We have learnt how to cook with fire, how to open a coconut and how to survive in an environment where for a time we forget about unnecessary needs, just to focus on enjoy the small details and pleasures of life. Mentioning too the amazing snorkeling and beautiful islands around this place, which make it unique​ and special. It is a lovely option if you are running away from tourists and overcrowded places in the Philippines. You will find yourself in the middle of virgin beaches and nature, surrounding​ by charming people. We will definitely come back!
Caroline Danielle
Caroline Danielle
2017-02-13
recommends
We haven't done a Tao tour, but I would suspect that this is a cheaper version of the same thing. Our boat operator (Benji) and the entire crew were were fun, friendly and made an effort to ensure we had a good time. If you get a large group of people together it can be a really inexpensive alternative to other Coron-El Nino and vice versa island hopping tours. The food was good, but more expensive than as advertised by Karl. The price quote we got was 100 php a meal, but the boat charged us 200. Since the food was good we didn't mind the extra expense, but it is important to keep in mind if you're on a budget. Definitely plan for some incidental spending. Our boat did have some mechanical issues and as a result we ended up being stuck in the same place for longer than we wanted to be. That being said, little could have been done about it and the trip was fun nonetheless.
Hauk Are Fjeld
Hauk Are Fjeld
2017-01-01
recommends
If you believe that doing the touristic tours in El Nido and going to "The hidden beach" takes you off the beaten path, you are wrong. There are lots of beautiful places in Palawan, but few of these places are without any other tourists. If you want to spend some extra effort on getting away from the tourist places, and don't mind a little "primitive" living, Island Hopping in the Philippines is definitely something you should check out
Arnold Cabiguen
Arnold Cabiguen
2015-05-08
recommends
The snorkeling in this area is phenomenal. Clearest waters in the world. I guess it's because there is relatively such lower tourist traffic through here, and the locals really protect the reefs!
Karel Kosman
Karel Kosman
2015-05-08
recommends
Love it so much, just had to say it twice!