Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa is known as the City in the Forest with impressive natural views and well balanced environmental and developmental aspects. Being the country’s ecotourism capital, Puerto Princesa sets as an example for cleanliness, good local governance, and proper conservation of the environment.With so many attractions to check out in Puerto Princesa, it’s important to find the best  tours for your specific needs. Puerto Princesa Tours will bring you to the ultimate tourist spots such as Honda Bay, Underground River, and more.

El Nido

El Nido is the gateway to the paradisaical island of Palawan, Bacuit Archipelago. It’s the star attraction of the entire island with fascinating islets surrounding the area. The limestone cliffs will surely take your breath away as you explore El Nido. It is home to many beautiful beaches and fun activities. But island hopping is the perfect way to ultimately enjoy your El Nido trip with friends and family. The breathtaking scenery surrounding the place is simply a great experience to remember.

Coron (Busuanga)

If you want to experience paradise on earth, Coron is the place to be. It has the clearest blue waters, white-sand beaches, amazing underwater marine life, and  most exciting scenery. Trekking, island hopping, swimming, diving, you name it and Coron can give it to you. The small town of Coron offers a lot of scenic views surrounding the island. Mount Tapyas offers the highest vantage point to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Coron.

Getting There

Puerto Princesa

By Plane (Puerto Princesa International Airport):

Airasia:

from Manila (daily) / from Cebu (daily) / from Clark (daily)

Cebu Pacific

from Manila (daily) / from Cebu (daily) / from Iloilo (daily)

Philippine Airlines:

from Manila ( daily) / from Cebu (daily)

By Ferry: 

2GO Ferry 

from Manila (twice a week) / from Coron (twice a week)

El Nido

By Plane (El Nido Airport): 

Airswift from Manila (Daily)

By Van from Puerto Princesa:

(Schedule : First trip 

By Bus from Puerto Princesa:

Cherry BusSchedule hereRoro BusSchedule here

By Sea from Coron: 

Montenegro Ferry (Fastcraft / 4 hours  / Daily Trip) – Php 1,76o

Big Outrigger Boat (daily)

Puerto Princesa

By Plane (Francisco B. Reyes Airport):

Skyjet from Manila (daily)

Cebu Pacific from Manila (daily)

Philippine Airlines:

from Clark (daily) / from Cebu (daily)

By Ferry: 

2GO Ferry 

from Manila (twice a week) / from Puerto Princesa (once a week)

By Sea from El Nido: 

Big Outrigger Boat (daily)

Fastcraft (Daily)

Puerto Princesa has the easiest access and most affordable flights. The airport is very near from the City Proper.

The fastest way to get to El Nido from Manila is via  Air Swift which offer flights daily but it’s quite expensive and has limited seats.  From Puerto Princesa airport, you can ride an air-conditioned van going to El Nido. Van transfers usually take four hours. If you want comfortable travel from the City you can take a bus that would take around 6 hours travel.

All major airlines fly to Busuanga daily, including Skyjet, Cebu Pacific, and PAL Express. There are vans available from the airport going to Coron Proper . Coming from El Nido, you can take the Fastcraft or Big Outrigger Boat. The only thing you need to consider when going to Coron is that, the planes are quite smaller. The perfect time to experience Coron is during the dry season which is between October to June.

Tours

 

 

With so many attractions to check out in Palawan, it’s important to find the best day tours for your specific needs.

El Nido Day Tours

El Nido Tour A (Php 1,200/pax)

El Nido Tour B (Php 1,300/pax)

El Nido Tour C (Php 1,400/pax)

El Nido Tour D (Php 1,000/pax)

Other Tours:

  • Tour E: Twin Beach (Nacpan – Calitang) and Nagkalit-kalit Falls
Coron Day Tours

Puerto Princesa Day Tours will bring you to the ultimate tourist spots such as Honda Bay, Underground River, and Puerto Princesa City, with fun activities like dolphin watching and many more.

For adventurous travelers, the El Nido Day Tours can provide great experiences such as spelunking, island hopping, and snorkeling. Some of the highlights of these tours are the Nacpan-Calitang Beach, Small and Big Lagoon, Snake Island and more.

Coron offers exciting island tours including the Coron Island Escapade, Island Tour, Town Tour , and Calauit Safari Tour. If you want to explore the city, you can book a Coron Town Tour. This will bring you to the top tourist spots in the city, such as the Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon.

Other Activities

 

 

Aside from Day Tour Packages, there are so many other activities you can do in Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and Coron such as visiting the Palawan Heritage Center, climbing Taraw Cliff, and freediving at Barracuda Lake.In the Museum Tour, you will be brought to the Palawan Museum, Heritage Center, and the Special Battalion World War II Museum. This will introduce you to the rich history and culture of the island with interesting relics and arts.The rest of the tours include beach activities, zip lining, chasing sunset, exploring caves, wreck diving, hiking, and swimming in the white sand beaches.

Other Activities in El Nido

Climb Taraw Cliff

Other Activities in Coron

Freediving at Barracuda Lake / Photo by freediving-coron.com

Accommodations

 

 

If you’re planning to visit Palawan with any of these tours, you won’t find problems in terms of accommodation. There are lots of options that are perfect for solo travelers, backpackers, and luxury travelers. In fact, there are affordable inns available in the area. Here’s the list of top 5 luxury resorts:

In Puerto Princesa, you can check in the hotels and resorts such as the Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa, Dos Palma Island Resort and Spa, Blue Palawan Beach Club, and more. Cheaper accommodations are offered by Ysabelle Mansion Inn, Balay Inato Pension, and many more.

Same goes for Coron and El Nido accommodations. There are premium resorts for luxury travelers, and there are also lodging houses and inns for budget travelers. These local hotels and inns offer comfortable rooms and convenient amenities for an affordable price.

Dining

 

 

Of course, your Palawan trip won’t be complete without trying their local dishes and exotic foods. The best dining places in town are the Badjao Sea Front in Puerto Princesa, Cadlao Restaurant in El Nido, and KT’s Sinugba Sa Balay in Coron.Good food means delicious food that’s worth your money. So if you’re dining in a local restaurant, make sure they offer hype-worthy foods with authentic taste. There are pizzas, Chao Long, Filipino dishes, lobster, grilled food, and other delicacies offered by cafe. Whether you want to try scrumptious seafood or eat some local food, there are so many options to choose from so you can satisfy your cravings. Lobster King, Haims Chicken Inato, and Kawayan Grill are only some good choices to try.

Below is the list of all must-try restos in Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and Coron:

 

Dining at Puerto Princesa

Seafoods at Badjao Seafront

 

Dining at El Nido

Cadlao Resto best-seller

Dining at Coron

Kinilaw at KT Sinugba sa Balay

Nightlife

 

 

Bar and Grill restaurants are widespread in the island of Palawan. The top three choices for tourists are Tiki Bar with live band, Puka Bar for reggae night, and No Name Bar for some chilling hours.

It’s more fun to travel to Palawan with friends for a more memorable night out. Aside from the cool breeze and spectacular views in the island at night, the lively nightlife near the beach is simple relaxing and worthwhile.

 

Nightlife in Puerto Princesa

Live Band at Tiki Bar

Nightlife in El Nido

Reggae Night at Puka Bar

Nightlife in Coron

Chilling at No Name Bar

Beach Wars

 

 

Since Palawan is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, it has the most beautiful beaches with white sand and crystal clear waters. In Puerto Princesa, the most visited beaches are the Sabang Beach (swimming not allowed though), Luli Island, Starfish Island, and Nagtabon Beach. If you’re in El Nido, you are literally surrounded by islands with white sand beaches. If you want a place to relax and enjoy serenity, you can visit  Malcapuya Island, Banana Island and Bul-og Dos Island in Coron. Other beaches are mostly crowded, especially during the summer season.

Beaches in Puerto Princesa

Cowrie Island

Sabang Beach (No swimming allowed)

Luli Island

Starfish Island

Nagtabon Beach

Beaches in El Nido

Coron Town Beach

Talisay Beach

Secret Beach

Papaya Beach

Nacpan – Calitang Beach

MORE BEACHES HERE: 18 Must-See Beaches In El Nido, Palawan

Beaches in Coron

Banana Island

Malcapuya Island

Cyc Beach

Pass Island

Bul-og Dos Island

 

If you’re looking for the white and finest sand for your beach trip, El Nido can give you that kind of experience. Being one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, El Nido will surely blow your mind. It is surrounded by awe-inspiring limestone cliffs that look like a heavenly backdrop.

The best way to explore the beaches is through island hopping. Usually, you will take a motorized outrigger boat to go around the islands. Swimming and basking in the sun are the most common activities done in the beaches. Malcapuya Island is the nicest beach in Coron. In Puerto Princesa, the best island destinations are located in Honda Bay.

Town Vibe

Puerto Princesa Town Vibe

Puerto Princesa is one great place for its spectacular baywalk. However, since this is a city, you can’t really enjoy tranquility and relaxation with so much going on around you. It’s a big city and the lifestyle is already urbanized for the laid-back vacation trip you want to relish while in the island.

El Nido Town Vibe

El Nido is pretty much similar to the vibe that Coron has. The town is perfect for long beach walks. In the afternoon, you can check out Corong-Corong beach and see the beautiful sunset. There are friendly folks hanging around the beach so you’ll feel really safe. The island lifestyle here offers a refreshing viewpoint of how it is to live near the beach.

Coron Town Vibe

Coron has a laid-back vibe that most travelers like about though the place is starting to get busy compared to previous years. The town is relaxing and less crowded compared to other islands. Also, you can walk safely along the streets and enjoy a sunset view at the baywalk. You can find local souvenir shops on the sidewalks as well as street foods for some tasty snack while touring around.

Last but not the least is…. Port Barton

Port Barton Travel Guide

A small yet interesting village, Port Barton is another must-visit destination in Palawan. It’s a more relaxing place than other nearby tourist spots because it’s more quiet and laid-back. This is much different from Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and Coron in terms of crowd and lifestyle. Sometimes, Mother Nature’s own hidden gems – places to visit — are cloaked under the veil of simplicity and least modernization such as the small barangay of Port Barton at San Vicente, Palawan.

Getting There:

Going to Port Barton within the municipality of San Vicente is quite impossible by land without ever dropping to other places from Palawan itself first, unless you are directly heading to the area by boat from elsewhere within the province or nearby provinces which seldom happens, if at all. As such, the following are the route you can take to get to Port Barton:

By Plane:

 San Vicente Airport  was recently inaugurated, flights will be offered direct to San Vicente very soon.

From Puerto Princesa:

For a fare of only 12 pesos per person, you can ride a multicab which should drop you at the San Jose Terminal. The distance to cover may not be that long as hinted by the fee to pay on the multicab whose travel time will only take 10 minutes from the town proper, basically some walks away. From the terminal, you can ride a Bus (SBE Bus) or Van(Recaro van or SBE van) to take you to Port Barton at an average travel time of 4 hours. Visit Portbarton.net for updated schedule.

Van from El Nido:

There’s a Van Transfer from El Nido to Port Barton, it will leave at 8:00 AM and 1:00PM in the afternoon.

 

Places to Visit

There are literally many named places you can visit at nearby areas of Port Barton, the following however are some of the most popular of them:

Bigaho Water Fall

After 20 minutes of boat ride from Port Barton to Bigaho Village, a 1 km walk from there should take you to the cascading water fall of Bigaho named after the village itself. Its pool is wide enough for people to swim on.

Inaladelan Island

Also know as German Island. Getting into this private island is surprisingly free despite being a hotspot for snorkeling, if not as a place to eat your packed lunch.

 

Fantastic Reef

If you are into corals and yet have not seen the green corals, then going to the Fantastic Reef should be one of your priorities when in the area.

Luli Island

When you do island hopping never miss Luli or Lulubog Lilitaw Island. The island is only visible during low tide.

Port Barton Town Beach

Just like El Nido, Port Barton has white sand beach that the tourist really like. The long stretch of white sand beach in Port Barton is a perfect place for  hammock experience, refreshing dip, and many other beach activities.

Exotic Island

Looking for a “Cast Away” island? Exotic island is the place to be. The island can be reach by 34-Min boat ride from Port Barton proper.

 

Long Beach, San Vicente

Pieter-Jan Van Schalkwyk

Long Beach is a 14.1-kilometre undeveloped white beach in San Vicente. A day trip from Port Barton will cost ?2,500 for three to four people (exclusive of food.) The trip takes about two hours per way. Now is the best time to visit Long Beach before this becomes a busy tourist destination.

 

Where to Stay in Port Barton

As now a popular tourist destination somewhere in Palawan, it does not come as a surprise that Port Barton may have become a hub for business with accommodations. Unlike other places in Palawan, Port Barton has no luxury resorts. Photos from Booking.com

Ausan Cottages (RATES HERE)

Theresa’s Place(RATES HERE) Hotel Oasis(RATES HERE) JBR Touris Inn (RATES HERE)Eashanti’s Place(RATES HERE)Rubin Resort(RATES HERE)

Activities in Port Barton

Below are the top things to do in Port Barton:

Island Hopping

Enjoy the Beach

Chase Sunset

Swimming/Snorkeling

Port Barton Tips

  • Electricity supply is only available between 5 to 12 pm.
  • Internet connectivity in most areas in Port Barton is not as steady as in touristy areas like Puerto Princesa and El Nido. But you can still use your phone here with some signal to catch for Globe and Smart users. WiFi connection is bad so you can bring a portable WiFi.
  • Bring enough money as there are no ATMs on the island.
  • Tourism fee is 50 pesos good for 1-10 days, 100 pesos for 11-6 months, and 200 pesos for 6 months to 1 year.
  • No hospital nearby.  The nearest hospital is in Roxas, (30 km) but a better one is in Puerto Princesa.
  • Many stray dogs along the beach. Be Careful!

Tour Packages

Summary

 

 

Rating each island destination in Palawan can be hard because they all have a unique offer to tourists, both local and foreign. But if you will break it down and consider each factor that makes Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Port Barton, and Coron a great choice for your next vacation, it would be easier to decide which is which.

In terms of accessibility, Puerto Princesa is the easiest to access and the most affordable accommodations. For island tours, you’ll enjoy much better in El Nido. For other tours and activities, the best options are Coron and Port Barton. If you’re looking for an exciting underwater experience, Coron is the place to be. If you don’t want large crowd and just want to relax, Port Barton is the place to be. But for overall beach experience, views, and town vibe, El Nido is the ultimate destination to visit.

Each island destination is a good option depending on your expectations and needs. So before you decide which among these top three travel destinations in Palawan to check out on your next trip, make sure to do your homework. But don’t worry, WayPH.com is here to help you plan your vacation well!