I know it is wrong to compare but I am doing this so as so provide reference for those who haven't been to both El Nido and Coron and for those who are torn on which to choose for their first ever "wow moments" on an island getaway.
We went to El Nido on the 1st week of April this year. I fell in love with the place. If you go here and don't fall in love with it, you should have yourself checked, something is seriously wrong with you. I even told my wife, "if I go missing one day, El Nido is where you can find me. The place made a lasting impression on me. It is still my most favorite of favorites until now.
The trip sparked my eagerness to see Coron to find out which is better. We were lucky to get to see it on the same year, Oct. 18-21, a few weeks before super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) struck.
1. Both are located in Northern Palawan Philippines.
3. Both are Easy on the Budget
7. Both offer side-trip attractions you will surely enjoy.
But between EL NIDO and CORON,
Which is Better?
Traveling to and from Coron or El Nido
El Nido - 1 hour plane ride from Manila to Puerto Princesa + 6 hours land travel to El Nido Town.
It sounded like "torture" when I heard of it. Surprisingly, it was fun. The eagerness to get there, the comfort provided by van transfers these days plus the beautiful landscape along the way made all the waiting and sitting in a car worthwhile. It's part of the beauty of the experience.
Coron -- 1 hour by plane from Manila to Busuanga + 45 minutes land travel to Coron Town.
Equally beautiful landscape from airport to town and less stressful on your back.
We need to understand that time is of scarcity to many people. You re lucky if you are a bum and has a rich family to support your whims, but what about those who are in the corporate world who can only escape on weekends ----Coron is the better choice.
PS: If you are afraid of shaky plane rides, go El Nido instead, planes in Coron are small so they tend to shake more at the slightest turbulence. Napaaga ang punta namin sa Coron before rainy season ended and I was traumatized. Akala ko hindi na ako aabot ng buhay.lol
El Nido and Coron towns are almost on the same category when it comes to economic activity and size but Coron is a little bigger. Only the basic essentials--no shopping malls, no fast food chains, hardly any atm ( Oh, Coron has one, so that makes Coron more progressive) so please don't expect luxury. Both are fishing villages experiencing early stages of development thanks to tourism.
It is the physical orientation of these towns that spills the difference. Coron Town is more of a long stretch of houses and establishments concentrated along the main road constrained by the hills on one side and the sea on the other side. No wonder why they reclaimed a certain area near the public market so as to give room for future developments.
EL NIDO Town
I find El Nido town more easy to navigate and therefore more tourist friendly. It is more compact so it is more livable. The coastline also has a beachfront and although nobody swims there as sand is not that good and water is not that clear, the space provided by the beach makes for a feeling that the place could breath. I love strolling here in the afternoon as it faces the west. Corong Corong beach is where you can find breathtaking sunsets.
I also enjoy walking by the beach at night when bars and restaurants along it come to life. Tourists scatter on the chairs and tables setup in front of these establishments while music from mellow to disco tempo is being played. Not too loud and crowded as that of Puerto Galera or Boracay though so the mood is just right---not too boring but at the same time, not too loud.
At dahil me beachfront ang El Nido, me nightlife kahit panu, sa Coron, patay ang gabi.lol
Both offer a wide range of accommodations from budget inns to a little the more expensive ones. Don't expect 5-star accommodation though. At least in both towns. Luxury accommodations are on the islands. In the case of El Nido, El Nido Resorts has four (4) prime eco-resorts in Miniloc Island, Lagen Island , Apulit Island and Pangulasian Island. In Coron, Two Seasons Coron is the envy of all.
Both destinations are famous for backpackers so one can easily find budget accommodations like the Inns where we stayed at as listed below.
El NIDO--we stayed in Blessed Inn
Patrick & Tezz Guesthouse
PATRICK & TEZZ GUESTHOUSE Coron: The Best $10 you"ll ever spend
CORON ECOLODGE: for budget conscious travelers who don't want to compromise quality
TOWERING ROCK FORMATIONS
Both Coron and El Nido are characterized by Giant Rock Formations, towering cathedral limestones formed millions of years ago. The distinction is that El Nido is composed of many islands scattered around Bacuit Bay and extends as far as in the area of Tanay Palawan. Most of the islands are so high I call them "mountain island". Mangangawit leeg mo sa kakatingala.
Coron Island on the other hand is one Massive Island with only a few small islands around it. Most of the main attractions are located on the side facing Busuanga Island.
Both El Nido and Coron Island are have amazing sights when it comes to towering rock formations but the ones in Coron pales in comparison with the Grandeur of the rock formations in El Nido.
Siete Picados Coron
Blue Lagoon Coron
Atuayan Beach Coron
island hopping in Coron
If you are after beaches, go to El Nido, there's beach everywhere there. Magsasawa ka.
This is what El Nido is well known for. Yes, sand may not be as white and fine as that of Boracay but the GRAND SCALE white sand-clear water-grand rock formations combination is something only El Nido can offer.
I give it to El Nido when it comes to beaches.
Be warned though, the reason why Coron doesn't have many beaches is that most of the water bordering the island are deep, and I mean very deep. A creepy experience each time you set your sight on these dark sections of the sea. I felt that when we were in Coral Garden and Baracuda Lake. Look a little far and you will notice the sudden dark portions underwater. Pretty scary, para kang lalamunin ng dagat sa lalim.
Speaking of Baraccuda Lake, Coron is famous for it's lakes, something that El Nido cannot offer. Kayangan Lake is the most famous attraction in the island and Baraccuda is not far behind when it comes to popularity. The two lakes are enchanting and should not be missed. Looking at the satellite map of Coron Island, you will notice a giant lake on the Southern section which is not yet open to tourists. That is a cause of wonder. I am really curious how it looks like and if ever it is accessible because seeing the giant cliffs on the western and southern sections of the island, I reckon that access to that lake could be quite a feat.
One striking similarity of these two destinations is that they provide you a taste of what to expect the next day for island hopping, a mental mapping of some sort of where you are headed with the islands from these vantage points seemingly inviting you to come and enjoy their beauty.
In Mt. Tapyas, you can see how close Coron Island is from Coron Town and how massive the island is. On the hill in Nacpan-Calitang you will notice the many islands of El Nido spread in the horizon. Blue hues dominate tyhe scene before sunset. Astonishing scene.
It depends on what you are looking for. They have so many similarities but they are also unique in many ways. I am personally 50/50 about it although El Nido still has my heart. I want to give Coron another close look though because it is less time consuming and at the same time, I felt that the weather didn't give Coron a fair trial because it was stormy during our visit there while it was all clear and sunny when we were in El Nido. I think that spills a lot of difference. El Nido is my first love and you know what they say, first love never dies but Coron is there ready to take that love away. Haha
Above Water--El Nido is the winner with its Giant Cliff formations and beaches.
Underwater --Coron Island will give El Nido a run for the money with its coral formation and enchanting lakes.
Again, why choose one if you can have both. I have explored both El Nido and Coron barely on the surface, I will definitely be back to explore more of these places. Isa lang masasabi ko, I am so glad I live in this country, yung kantang sabi ay "ang swerte kaya ng tsinelas mo, naka-apak ka sa paraiso", totoo!
Asked my companions too, my wife hearts El Nido more and our friend Rupert also said El Nido won his heart. We were unanimous on our choice ---EL NIDO!
PS: I know many have already wrote about the topic CORON vs El Nido and I noticed that just tonight. Glad I officially made my take on this public though, ah, the perk of having a personal website.
What about you? Coron or El Nido?
Feel free to share your thoughts
All my El Nido posts here:
All my Coron posts here:
OUR PERSONAL CONTACT IN CORON
who took us on a 2-day Island Hopping Tour
Red Red -- 0927.595.8446/ 0918.448.6645
Ate Neriz: 0939 902 2216