PARADISE! – How to get from El Nido to Coron
If you are backpacking from through Palawan in the Philippines then you will undoubtedly be travelling to El Nido and Coron.
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El Nido is situated on the northern coast line of Palawan island. Coron is located further north on a separate island, Busuanga.
Both of these destinations are visually stunning – carved out of magnificent towering limestone cliffs. A truly impressive Karst fortress with sharpened rocky daggers sticking out the top.
El Nido is the ultimate backpacking chill out zone. Its cheap, beautiful and humbled people. Alex Garland’s book “the beach” was based in An Thong Marine Park near Koh Samui in Thailand (The movie was set in Koh Phi Phi) BUT – It was here in El Nido which inspired the Author to write the novel.
Coron on the other hand is busier – more tourists but less atmosphere. It has however, the most impressive collection of World War 2 shipwrecks that can be found anywhere in the world. Diving these amazing wrecks is cheap, an adventure and bucket list material!
But.. How can you travel between these great Northern Palawan tourist hotspots?
Well there is the option of flying – you could travel back down to Puerto Princesa on a six hour bus ride, then take a flight to Manila, finally forwarding to Coron island. But this is time consuming and leaving one hell of a carbon footprint.
You can also take a ferry for 8 hours – which is cramped – uncomfortable and weather permitting. (for the budget backpacker this is probably the only reasonable option)
There is another way if your budget allows.
You can take one of the 5 day “Tao Expedition” camping and sailing trips which visit some of the most remote tropical islands in the Philippines. This is what i chose and it turned out to be one the best, most adventurous 5 days of my life.
If you close your eyes for a minute and imagine paradise. Then you are probably seeing what i whiteness in the philippiens. The whitest most powdery white sand, lapped gently with the deepest turquoise waters, on a backdrop of emerald green jungle lined with coconut trees and steep towering limestone behind surrounding the beach with its mystical might. — all this and the only trace of human life is the footprints on the beach and out boat mored up in the lagoon.
Five days of travelling though this incredible seascape occasionally seeing the odd fishing boat and wooden shack – No concrete – No Plastic – No western culture – No worries
This trip was something i never wished would end.
Snorkelling through pristine reefs and discovering sunken shipwrecks encrusted with coral to finding a vertical cliff face with easy access to jump from. There is no place i’d rather be.
The food on this trip was excellent – Simple yet complex enough not to get bored of it. And it never stops coming. After every single activity or stop the boat makes, there is more delicious food waiting on the table.
The crew are fantastic and really make the trip that extra bit special – all of them love their job and are very outgoing and sociable. Compare this to Indonesia for example – the crew on most of the trips I’ve been on in indo are usually rude and will rip you off at a moments notice. Citing “park fees” or some other made up lie. On this trip however the crew sincerely deserved a generous tip at the end.
The trip is not cheap. over €100 per day. But absolutely worth every single penny – There is no other way to exepience this find of trip anywhere else on earth right now – unless you want to pay Bill Gates & Richard Branson prices.
You also get to see where the money goes. Its not going to some fat greedy westerner or some businessman in Manila – all the money is being used to develop the local economy – building their houses, giving them jobs, growing food and raising livestock. Such a great project and a rewarding business for the owners.
Please watch the video below for a full rundown of the trip!
And to find out more and to book – http://taophilippines.com