El Nido vs. Coron Philippines – Which Part of Palawan is the Best?

Author Carina Klein
· 7 min read · 0 comments

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Wondering which is better: Coron or El Nido Palawan? We’ve got you covered!

Where to go El Nido or Coron? First things first: We think that you should visit both El Nido and Coron. Hear us out, we have a good reason for that:

El Nido and Coron are linked by the famous multi-day island hopping expeditions. Our island-hopping tour was our highlight in the Philippines and we absolutely think you shouldn’t miss it. Consequently, if you’re in El Nido and Coron anyway, you might as well spend some time in both places.

In case you don’t have the time or financial means to visit both, our Coron vs El Nido Palawan comparison will help you to make a decision.

El Nido vs Coron – The Similarities

Both El Nido and Coron are known for their limestone cliffs and crystal-clear turquoise waters. And both are great destinations for island hopping.

El Nido vs Coron – The Differences

This is how far the similarities go. We have listed the differences between Coron vs El Nido below:

El Nido or Coron at One Glance

Is El Nido Worth Visiting?

Is Coron Worth Visiting?

Yes! Yes!

What is El Nido Known for?

What is Coron Known for?

El Nido is most known for its picturesque limestone cliffs and turquoise waters. El Nido is known for its limestone cliffs, turquoise waters, and wreck diving.

How to Get to El Nido

How to Get to Coron

Easier and cheaper.
There’s an airport in El Nido with direct flights to destinations like Manila, Cebu, Coron, or Boracay. You’ll find cheaper flights from Palawan’s capital Puerto Princesa.
It is an easy van transfer away – and gives you the perfect opportunity to make a quick pit stop in Port Barton.
More expensive, fewer options.
Coron Town is actually on Busuanga and not on Coron Island. USU airport has few direct connections to Manila, Cebu, and El Nido.

El Nido Top Things to Do

Coron Top Things to Do

  1. Secret Lagoon
  2. Big Lagoon
  3. Shimizu Island
  4. 7 Commando Beach
  5. Las Cabanas Beach
  6. Lio Beach
  7. El Nido Canopy Walk
  1. Kayangan Lake
  2. Barracuda Lake
  3. Twin Lagoons
  4. Beach 91
  5. Balinsasayaw Reef
  6. Twin Peaks Coral Garden
  7. CYC Beach
  8. Mount Tapyas
  9. Maquinit Hot Spring

El Nidos Big Lagoon

Corons Twin Lagoon

100% worth it! We could only go with a kayak. If you paddle just a bit further than everyone else you can easily ditch the crowds. 100% worth it! You can just swim but if you rent a kayak, you can get away from the crowds and find your private piece of paradise – even if you go with a group tour.

El Nido Tour

Coron Tour

Tour A covers spot 1 to 4. The Super Ultimate Tour covers spots 1 to 7. Although we visited 7 spots in 1 day, we didn’t think it felt rushed.

El Nido Beaches

Coron Beaches

There are plenty nice beaches around El Nido. Here are our favourites from near to far:
  • Las Cabanas Beach
  • Lio Beach
  • Nacpan Beach
El Nido Beach itself is full of boats and not very nice anymore.
With more time, we would explore Bucana Beach or the extremely Instagrammable Darocotan Island.
Honestly, we couldn’t find any worthwhile beaches on Busuanga.

El Nido Scuba Diving

Coron Scuba Diving

You can SCUBA dive in El Nido but don’t expect anything exceptional. Coron is famous for its wreck dives.

Cost of El Nido

Cost of Coron

We spent an average of 40$ per person and night. We spent an average of 40$ per person and night.

Where to Stay in El Nido

Where to Stay in Coron

We stayed at SG Tourist Inn. We liked staying in El Nido Town. We stayed at Sunburn Suites and Rooftop Bar. The rooftop was amazing.

How Long to Stay in El Nido?

How Long to Stay in Coron

We would recommend spending at least 2 days in El Nido: 1 day for island hopping Tour A plus 1 day for the beaches and/or the canopy walk.
You need more time if you want to explore more off-the-beaten-path places in El Nido.
1 day for the Super Ultimate Tour + maybe 1 day for Mount Tapyas and the Maquinit Hot Spring is enough. If you want to SCUBA dive you need more days.

Where to Eat in El Nido

Where to Eat in Coron

There are plenty of restaurants along the tourist strip – many with a nice sea view. We liked Angel Wish because it had great value for money.
You can get your BBQ fix at the night market.
Around our hotel west of the pier, there were many affordable cantinas.
El Nido bakery is perfect for snacks.
Bella Vita at Corong Corong Beach has amazing pizza (and sunsets).
Kuya’s Kocina has tasty food for affordable prices. Coffee Kong has great coffee and smoothie bowls. The rooftop of Sunburn Suites and Rooftop Bar is great for (sunset) drinks.

Is El Nido too Touristy?

Is Coron too Touristy?

Yes, El Nido is touristy with a lot of infrastructure like
  • bars, restaurants, cafes
  • shops and beach vendors
  • massage parlours
and more.
The tourist main street is pedestrianized.
Many guidebooks claim that Coron is more rural but we definitely didn’t find that to be true for Coron Town.
We just found Coron Town more unpleasant because the main street with tourist infrastructure is also the main street for the traffic.

Should I Go to El Nido?

Should I Go to Coron?

Yes, if you like
  • Island hopping
  • Beaches
  • Tourist infrastructure with a pedestrian main street.
Yes, if you like
  • Island hopping
  • Wreck diving
Picture of El Nido
Picture of Coron

El Nido or Coron – Our Personal Opinion

As we said in our introduction, we absolutely think that you should visit both El Nido and Coron. If that is not an option, we would choose El Nido.

Here’s why: Both Coron and El Nido have great island hopping. In addition, El Nido also has

  • amazing beaches
  • a pedestrianized main street
  • the glorious night market.

We would only choose Coron if wreck diving is a priority for you.

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