Planning Your Palawan Itinerary
Palawan is a remote region to access and travel through. We suggest that 7 days is the minimum number to stay in the Palawan including the Tao trip. But 10 -14 days is a better allowing time to see El Nido and Coron and a buffer for delays due to any bad weather.
Palawan is a long thin Provence so it’s perfect to travel through from Coron in the North to El Nido and beyond in the South or Vice versa. We have put together our General travel guides for El Nido and Coron for you to plan what to do before and after your Tao Trip.
Palawan- An Overview
Palawan is a long thin province situated on the west side of the Philippines. Up until the 1970’s it was sparsely populated, covered in thick jungles and teaming coral reefs. Since then fishing communities from the Visayas [ the central belt of the Philippines] have settled here for the rich fishing. Since 2000 Palawan has become famous amongst travellers as a destination to see some of the last natural wonders of the Philippines as many of its natural habitats remain intact.
Coron town is located on Busuanga island in the very north of the province. This is popular for wreck diving and the healthiest coral reefs in Palawan. To get here you will need to look for flights to Busuanga.
Heading south from Coron is Culion and Linipacan group of islands. These are the most remote islands and should only be accessed on licensed expedition with experienced guides and crew.
Further South is mainland Palawan, with El Nido in the North. The stunning Bacuit bay is situated here and offers some of the best, if not touristy, island hopping in the Philippines. Port Barton is south of El Nido and reminds travelers of the undeveloped days of El Nido.
About half way down Palawan is Puerto Princessa, the capital city. From here there are many flights available for your onward adventures.
How long to travel with Tao, 3, 5 or 7 days?
We [obviously] recommend to spend as much time as possible with Tao. All you have to do is decide between our 3, 5 or 7 day itineraries. 3 days is the minimum to travel the 200km between El Nido and Coron. But this is mostly travel and lots of action, so the 5 day itinerary includes some no travel days to chill in some of our best spots and really absorb the beauty of the islands. Then the 6 and 7 day itineraries include 2 more days to jump onboard our traditional Paraw to sail through the limestone islands of the Bacuit Bay in El Nido. Traveling with Tao maximizes your time spent in Palawan, just decide how long you want to spend in the islands and leave the rest to us!
Spending time in El Nido and Coron Town.
Coron Town is the jump off point to see the stunning Coron Island and Diving in the region is some of the best in Palawan. The reefs are healthy and there are 17 WWII shipwrecks to explore. So lots of Islands hopping and Diving in Coron. Read our Coron and Around guide.
El Nido is famous of island hopping in the Bacuit Bay and there are several beaches in and around the Town to relax and people watch. If you are looking for more remote and less visited spots then Rent a motorbike and explore the many beaches north of El Nido in our travel guide.
El Nido Town and Coron Town can be hectic and crowded with Tourists in peak season. Use them as entry and exit points to see the islands, beaches and activities around.
You are not missing out by spending the minimum amount of time there as possible. One or Two nights enough. Don’t make the mistake to book a shorter Tao trip to spend more time in town. [ NEEDS BETTER WORDING !!!!!]
Which Direction is best for Expedition – Coron to EL Nido or EL Nido to Coron?
It does not matter, both are special. From EL Nido going north the underwater gets better and better. From Coron going south, the islands and beaches gets more stunning every destination. Just depends on your travel plans, if you want to relax after the trip then end in EL Nido. If you want to go diving after the trip, then end in Coron.
Traveling south of El Nido to Puerto Princessa
If you have time, continue by road south of El Nido. Beautiful 4 hour drive through the jungle and rice fields. If 2 of you traveling then book 3 seats in the van for a bit more space.
Port Barton is a cute beach town on the west coast, popular with backpackers, locals say it’s like El Nido 20 years ago. Beautiful island hopping from here also.
San Vicente is 2 hours drive south of El Nido. Cheaper flights from here.
Puerto Princessa Airport has cheaper flights than El Nido for your onwards travel.