1. El Nido: Paradise Found in Palawan
El Nido, located in the Palawan province of the Philippines, is a breathtaking paradise that leaves visitors speechless. With its crystal clear turquoise waters, towering limestone cliffs, and pristine white sandy beaches, El Nido is truly a tropical paradise. The town is surrounded by beautiful islands and islets, offering a myriad of activities and attractions for travelers of all interests.
1.1 The Beaches of El Nido
El Nido is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world. One of the most popular is Nacpan Beach, which boasts a long stretch of powdery white sand and clear blue waters. Another must-visit beach is Las Cabanas Beach, known for its picturesque sunset views. For those looking for a more secluded experience, Duli Beach offers a tranquil and untouched setting.
1.2 The Hidden Lagoons and Caves
El Nido is famous for its hidden lagoons and mesmerizing caves. The Big Lagoon is a must-see, known for its emerald waters surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. The Small Lagoon is equally enchanting, with its calm turquoise waters perfect for kayaking or swimming. The Secret Lagoon offers a unique experience, with its hidden entrance leading to a hidden oasis. For adventurers, exploring the cathedral-like caves of Cudugnon Cave and the breathtaking rock formations of Snake Island are not to be missed.
1.3 The Marine Life and Coral Reefs
El Nido is a haven for marine life and coral reefs, making it a paradise for snorkelers and divers. The Bacuit Bay is teeming with vibrant coral gardens and diverse marine species, including colorful tropical fish, sea turtles, and even dugongs. The underwater world of El Nido offers a mesmerizing experience for those who appreciate the beauty of the ocean.
Top Things to Do in El Nido
El Nido, located on the island of Palawan in the Philippines, offers an abundance of activities and attractions for travelers to enjoy. One of the top things to do in El Nido is to visit the beautiful beaches and go island hopping. With its crystal-clear waters and picturesque limestone cliffs, El Nido is a paradise for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts.
In addition to beach hopping, El Nido also offers opportunities for snorkeling and diving. The waters surrounding the islands are teeming with vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life. Snorkeling and diving tours are available for both beginners and experienced divers, allowing visitors to explore the underwater wonders of El Nido.
Another must-do activity in El Nido is to hike up to Taraw Cliff. This challenging but rewarding hike offers breathtaking panoramic views of the town and the surrounding islands. The summit of Taraw Cliff provides the perfect vantage point to watch the stunning sunset over El Nido.
Explore the Enchanting Big and Small Lagoons
A visit to El Nido is incomplete without exploring the Big and Small Lagoons. These natural wonders are known for their emerald-green waters and towering limestone cliffs. A kayak tour is the best way to explore these lagoons, allowing visitors to paddle through narrow passages and marvel at the enchanting beauty of their surroundings.
Within the Big Lagoon, there is a secret entrance that leads to the Secret Lagoon. This hidden gem offers a serene escape from the crowds and allows visitors to swim in a secluded pool surrounded by lush vegetation and towering limestone walls.
Island Hopping from El Nido to Coron: A Must-Try Experience
El Nido and Coron, two stunning destinations in the Philippines, are known for their breathtaking natural beauty and rich marine life. One of the most popular and exciting activities for tourists visiting these islands is island hopping from El Nido to Coron. This must-try experience allows you to explore the hidden gems scattered across the sea, showcasing the region’s diverse ecosystems and jaw-dropping landscapes.
During your island hopping adventure, you will have the opportunity to visit several picturesque islands and lagoons, each offering its own unique charm. One of the highlights of this experience is the chance to swim in the crystal-clear waters surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. You can also explore hidden caves, snorkel in vibrant coral reefs, and relax on pristine white-sand beaches.
El Nido to Coron: The Itinerary
When planning your island hopping trip from El Nido to Coron, it’s important to have a well-designed itinerary to maximize your time and ensure you don’t miss out on any must-see locations. Your journey will typically begin in El Nido, where you’ll board a boat and set sail towards Coron. Along the way, you’ll stop at various islands and attractions, such as the iconic Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon. Your itinerary may also include visits to other notable spots like the Secret Lagoon and Siete Pecados Marine Park.
Discovering the Hidden Gems of Coron
Coron is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world. One of the must-visit beaches is Kayangan Lake, known for its crystal clear waters and stunning limestone cliffs. Another popular beach is Banol Beach, which offers pristine white sand and picturesque views. For those seeking a more secluded and tranquil experience, Malcapuya Island is a hidden gem that boasts powdery white sand and turquoise waters. Whether you’re looking to swim, snorkel, or simply sunbathe, Coron’s beaches have something for everyone.
2. Dive Sites
Coron is a diver’s paradise with a rich marine ecosystem waiting to be explored. One of the top dive sites in Coron is the WWII Japanese shipwrecks, where divers can explore the sunken remains of Japanese warships and planes. Barracuda Lake is another popular dive site known for its unique thermocline, displaying a dramatic change in water temperature. Divers can experience warm water at the surface and cool water at the bottom. Other notable dive sites include Skeleton Wreck, Smith Coral Garden, and Maquinit Hot Springs, offering diverse marine life and underwater landscapes.
3. Hidden Lagoons
Coron is famous for its hidden lagoons that offer a sense of tranquility and serenity. One of the most sought-after hidden lagoons is Twin Lagoon, where visitors can swim between two limestone cliffs and witness the stunning underwater rock formations. Another hidden gem is Barracuda Lake, known for its unique combination of freshwater and saltwater. The lake offers incredible visibility and is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, creating a surreal atmosphere. Other hidden lagoons worth exploring include Hidden Beach and Siete Pecados, each showcasing their own unique beauty and charm.
LGBTQ-Friendly Accommodations in El Nido and Coron
Traveling as a member of the LGBTQ community can sometimes pose challenges when it comes to finding accepting and inclusive accommodations. However, in El Nido and Coron, you can rest assured that there are several LGBTQ-friendly options available. Whether you’re traveling solo, with a partner, or in a group, these accommodations provide a welcoming and safe environment for LGBTQ travelers.
El Nido and Coron boast a range of LGBTQ-friendly resorts that cater to the needs and preferences of LGBTQ guests. These resorts not only provide comfortable and stylish accommodations but also offer inclusive and accepting spaces where you can truly be yourself. From luxury beachfront villas to budget-friendly boutique hotels, there is a wide selection of options to choose from.
In addition to resorts, there are also several gay-friendly hotels in El Nido and Coron. These hotels understand the unique needs and preferences of LGBTQ travelers and strive to create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. With their knowledgeable staff and understanding of LGBTQ issues, you can feel confident that you will be treated with respect and acceptance during your stay.
If you are looking for a more intimate and personal LGBTQ-friendly accommodation, consider staying at one of the gay-owned guesthouses in El Nido and Coron. These establishments are owned and operated by members of the LGBTQ community, ensuring a comfortable and inclusive experience. These guesthouses often provide a sense of community and offer insights into the local LGBTQ scene.
Travel Tips for a Memorable Trip from El Nido to Coron
1. Packing Essentials
When embarking on a trip from El Nido to Coron, it is essential to pack wisely to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. Make sure to bring lightweight and comfortable clothing suitable for the tropical climate. Don’t forget to pack your swimwear, as you’ll be spending plenty of time exploring the pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters of both destinations. Additionally, bring insect repellent to protect yourself from pesky mosquitoes, and don’t forget sunscreen to shield your skin from the sun’s rays.
2. Booking Transportation
To travel from El Nido to Coron, you have various transportation options. One popular choice is taking a ferry, which offers a scenic journey between the two islands. Make sure to book your ferry tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your spot. Another option is to hire a private boat or join a guided island-hopping tour that includes transportation between the two destinations. These tours often provide a more immersive experience, giving you the chance to explore hidden gems and picturesque spots along the way.
3. Exploring Local Cuisine
Both El Nido and Coron boast a variety of mouthwatering local dishes that you must try during your trip. Sample traditional Filipino favorites such as adobo, sinigang, and crispy pata. Don’t forget to indulge in fresh seafood, including grilled fish, shrimp, and squid. For a unique culinary experience, try the popular «boodle fight» – a meal where an assortment of dishes is served on a banana leaf, and everyone eats with their hands. This communal dining tradition is a fun way to bond with friends and experience the local culture.