Paradising in Palawan
I have fond memories of Palawan from visiting Coron and El Nido for the first time in 2014. From the white sandy beaches of the little islands, the towering limestone formations above the lagoons, to the ever bewildering coral reefs underwater. It was no question to revisit these favourite places when I went back to my homeland, The Philippines. To be stunned, again and again.
Our first day in Coron was spent exploring the township, which has expanded since. There are now more hotels and restaurants lining the main road. E-tricycles out and about, ready to take the next visitor to their next destination. Tourists have been flocking to these islands with its growing popularity. The places that once seemed remote and deserted are now filled almost to the brim. My favourite back then was Malcapuya Island, which was the most pristine island I have ever set my eyes on. Waters so clear, rock formations so astounding. It was the perfect picture of serenity. We spent the whole day there. We only spent a few minutes on our return—it's still a beauty to behold but the one I had imprinted on my memory was by far the best. The halo-halo served there was heavenly though! Do not miss it when you visit.
El Nido is another township in Palawan, which can be reached by small aircraft or a four-hour ferry ride which runs about once a day. We explored the recently opened Lio Beach Resort, with its vast beach, independent boutiques, and diverse restaurants. In the evening we headed to Maremegmeg Beach as the sun set to reach The Birdhouse after climbling bamboo staircases just before dusk. The walk along the beach during sunset was mesmerising and I would consider staying in this part of the town on the next visit. There was an impending storm on our second to last day, but we were able to go out to sea and visit some stunning beaches in the nearby Cadlao Island, which is the largest in El Nido. Sunset Beach and Paradise Beach were among my favourites. For views, nothing beats Helicopter Island.
People often ask should they go to Coron or El Nido, I say visit both as they have different characters and both have a lot to offer. There are a few more activities to do in Coron, such as hiking, diving, and deep water snorkeling. El Nido is more laid-back and perfect for bumming at the beach, take in the sights, swim a little, and just be. Should you'd like to see more, check out the highlighted videos on my Instagram Stories.