Last month, I went on a very spontaneous trip to Palawan. To those who don’t know it yet, it is the most beautiful part of the Philippines – to me at least. That was already my fourth time visiting the island province but unlike the first three where I visited only Coron, this time I went to El Nido.
It’s always the better option to book a beachfront room.
Coron to me is the most beautiful portion of Palawan and I’d been satisfied with going back there and just there whenever I thought of going to the province. But I guess the universe just didn’t want me to be biased like that without first experiencing what other parts of the province have to offer.
And I couldn’t be more thankful for I think I visited El Nido just in the nick of time. Although it is a major tourist destination, I still got that provincial feel while I was there. However, it also felt like it’s growing too fast – new hotels and inns being built, night life getting more alive (Riz told me that there were barely any bars when she used to go there), and what not. It felt like the place was in the midst of transitioning to an urban beach hub just like the infamous Boracay which I have never been enticed to travel to by the way. So really, just in the nick of time for El Nido for this travel junkie here.
Palawan is known for its limestone formations. This is a regular scenery whilst on a boat during an island tour.
My major impression of El Nido: island romantic. It’s the kind of place where honeymooners go to experience its wondrous islands and majestic limestone formations, explore the very rich underwater natural resources, watch the sweet cotton candy colored sunset, and dine by the beach together. I loved the town center where cafes and restaurants, whether fronting the beach or not, were ubiquitous and diverse. I also liked that internet was so damn slow there that time because it made me check my phone less and that means I was more present.
Who will not fall in love with this sunset? Las Cabanas Beach offers visitors this too stunning a sunset while you sip on your favorite drink.
If I have Kayangan Lake and Malcapuya Island as my two favorite spots in Coron, I have Nacpan Beach and Pinagbuyutan Island for El Nido.
Nacpan Beach is a very long stretch of cream colored shore that is still very pristine. It would be nice to stay there overnight and experience the beach at different times of the day. It is a potential surfing spot but I hope it can be kept as untouched as it is now.
Pinagbuyutan Island to me has this character of a mammoth yet protective creature. Aside from the perfect snorkeling area around it, I loved this one portion of the island with coconut trees just magnificently swaying though the winds.
If I had to join the debate about which is better between El Nido and Coron now that I have traveled to both places, I’d say it was both “love at first trip” but my heart truly truly belongs to what Riz and I call our second hometown – Coron. Sometimes in life, we already know what we want without having to try every option there is. But if we’re allowed to explore every possibility, who are we to refuse? For sure, El Nido didn’t surpass my love for Coron but I think what matters here is that it touched me nevertheless. Hence, I say go to both if you ever plan to visit Palawan.
About the Author:
Rafsanjani aka Reyfi is an online freelancer from Cotabato City, Philippines and has lived in different parts of the country. Although this wanderer claims that he was bitten by the travel bug when he first visited Coron in 2011 (reason why he is so fond of the place), he has always loved discovering new places and taking long bus rides since childhood.