El Nido to Coron 5D4N Itinerary: Tourist Spots & Activities, How to Get Around

El Nido to Coron 5D4N Itinerary: Tourist Spots & Activities, How to Get Around

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Shimizu Island and Mt. Tapyas

Palawan, the country’s last frontier, is home to two of the best islands in the Philippines: El Nido and Coron. These two top destinations in Palawan are both famous for crystal-clear waters, towering rock formations, white-sand beaches, and diving spots. 

El Nido is known as one of the best islands in the world because of the many white-sand beaches, pristine lagoons, and islands with towering limestone cliffs that you can explore in El Nido island hopping tours.

Meanwhile, Coron is known for shipwreck diving sites, breathtaking lagoons, beaches, and islands that are included in Coron island-hopping tours

Both El Nido and Coron are accessible from Manila via direct flights. The quickest way to get to El Nido is via Lio Airport. You can also opt to fly in via the Puerto Princesa Airport and travel for around 5 to 6 hours or 260 km by land. For Coron, there are direct flights to Busuanga Airport. From the airport, you can get to Coron Town via Coron transfers. You will travel less than an hour, covering around 20 km. 

For travelers who want to explore both El Nido and Coron, there are direct flights connecting the two destinations via AirSwift. You also have the option to ride a ferry to travel between each Palawan destination. This is why some travelers choose to explore one of the two destinations first. You can read our comprehensive comparison of Coron and El Nido to help you decide which Palawan destination to travel to first based on your budget and interest. 

If you're planning to go on an El Nido and Coron tour package, you can refer to this article for a 5D4N (5 days and 4 nights) El Nido and Coron Palawan itinerary. Learn how to get around Palawan or how to get to Coron from El Nido Palawan and see the best places to go, things to do, where to stay, and the best El Nido restaurants and Coron restaurants to dine in. 

Day 1: Flight to El Nido and Land Tour 

Aerial shot of Big Lagoon in El Nido

To get to El Nido, board a plane from Manila to Lio Airport or to Puerto Princesa Airport and travel by land. Before your arrival, you may opt to take pre-arranged El Nido transfers as an add-on to your El Nido Palawan tour package. From there, you will ride El Nido transfers to your hotel.

On day 1 of your El Nido itinerary, you can explore top inland attractions like Taraw Cliff or lounge at Nacpan Beach or other El Nido Palawan beaches. During your stay, make sure to check out some of the best El Nido restaurants. You can spend your first night at one of the best resorts in El Nido, some of which are renowned as some of the best beach resorts in the Philippines

Here are some of the El Nido Palawan tourist spots you can visit on your first day:

Nacpan Beach

Drone shot of Nacpan Beach

Set foot on the 4-km deserted golden sand of Nacpan Beach. You can climb up to its peak to capture panoramic view of the adjacent Calitang Beach. 

Las Cabanas Beach

Las Cabanas beach in El Nido

Thanks to its gorgeous sunsets, one of the most romantic places in the Philippines is Las Cabanas Beach, also known as Marimegmeg Beach. There are several bars and restaurants lined along the shore where you can grab something to eat or drink.

Taraw Cliff

View from Taraw Cliff

Among the must-see hiking attractions in El Nido’s town proper is Taraw Cliff. Prepare to step on steep and sharp limestone rocks to reach the panoramic summit overlooking Bacuit Bay.

Nagkalit-kalit Waterfalls

Take a refreshing dip after a 20- to 45-minute trek to the Nagkalit-kalit Waterfalls. It is usually part of the inland El Nido tours.

Day 2: El Nido Island-Hopping Tour 

Boat docked at Payong-payong beach

With its majestic islands and scenic beaches, it's no wonder El Nido is hailed as one of the best places to visit in the Philippines. On day 2 of your Palawan itinerary, prepare for an exhilarating island-hopping in El Nido. You can pre-book your El Nido private island hopping tour with an accredited tour operator with Guide to the Philippines.

Here’s an overview of what to expect in an El Nido island-hopping tour:

Premium El Nido Island Hopping Tours

Drone shot of Shimizu Island

Here are three premium Philippines island-hopping tours in El Nido. Make sure to add these to your El Nido itinerary to get the most out of your vacation in the Philippines.

Small Lagoon Premium: Small Lagoon, Payong-Payong Beach, Secret Lagoon

Aerial view of Small Lagoon

The El Nido Small Lagoon island-hopping tour features a visit to a small water inlet with an enchanting landscape, crystal clear waters, and towering rock formations.

One of the must-try activities in El Nido Palawan is snorkeling. Small Lagoon is one of the best spots to snorkel in El Nido. You can rent snorkeling gear from your island-hopping tour operator.

Aerial view of Secret Lagoon in Palawan

Another stop in this tour is the white-sand shore of Payong-Payong Beach on Miniloc Island. Your last stop is Secret Lagoon, where you need to pass through a hole in a limestone cliff.

Big Lagoon Premium: Big Lagoon, Shimizu Island, West Entalula Beach

Tourists kayaking in Big Lagoon

The Big Lagoon Tour in El Nido is one of the main highlights of this destination. This tour includes a stop at Shimizu Island and West Entalula, which are also great dive spots aside from offering postcard-worthy views.

Matinloc Island Premium: Matinloc Shrine Area, Secret Beach, Hidden Beach

Drone shot of Matinloc Island

Considered as one of the best island tours in El Nido, Matinloc Island Premium island-hopping escapade showcases Matinloc Historical Shrine, which comes with an abandoned convent and an old school.

Hidden Beach

One of the stops in this tour is the Hidden Beach, an off-the-beaten-path spot kept hidden by two large rocks. Your last stop is the Secret Beach, which can be reached by going through a small hole between huge limestone formations. 

Regular El Nido Island Hopping Tours

If you’re looking for other Philippines island-hopping packages, here are some of the El Nido Palawan island-hopping tours to consider:

Cave Exploration Tour: Cudugnon Cave, Snake Island, Cathedral Cave

A boat docked on Snake Island

Photo by Department of Tourism

This tour showcases an archeological burial site known as Cudugnon Cave. At the Snake Island El Nido tour, a curvy sandbar awaits you. You will also visit the Cathedral Cave, a large dome of limestone with large stalagmites.

Cathedral Cave

Tapiutan Strait Tour: Talisay Small, Talisay Beach, Star Beach

Talisay Beach

On this tour, you will see a wide variety of starfishes at Star Beach on Tapiutan Island. Then, you will visit two powdery white sand beaches, the Talisay Small and Talisay Beach. 

Clear waters of Star Beach

Cadlao Channel Tour: Helicopter Island, Cadlao Lagoon, Pasandigan Beach

Aerial view of Cadlao Lagoon

The El Nido Cadlao Channel island hopping tour features Cadlao Island, Helicopter Island, and Pasandigan Beach, which boasts cream-colored beaches, cliffs, and rainforests. 

Drone shot of Helicopter Island

History Islands Tour: Pinagbuyutan Island, Sandbar, Seven Commandos Beach

Pinagbuyutan Island

In this island hopping tour, you will be able to visit some of the best beaches in the Philippines, including Seven Commandos Beach, a white sandy shore lined with coconut trees, Pinagbuyutan Island, and a pristine sandbar.

Seven Commando Beach

At the end of your tour, you will head straight to your El Nido hotel. Prepare for your ferry trip to Coron early morning of the next day.

Day 3: Travel to Coron and Land Tour 

From El Nido, you will travel to Coron by direct flight or by ferry to Coron. Upon arrival at Busuanga port or airport, you will transfer to your Coron hotel.  After checking in, feel free to explore the town proper and visit the top Coron Palawan tourist spots.

Here are the best land attractions included in a Coron land tour:

Mt. Tapyas

Mt. Tapyas' summit

Capture panoramic views of Coron after climbing 724 steps to the view deck of Mt. Tapyas. The best time to go here is during the golden hour, so you can catch stunning sunset views overlooking the sea and the rolling hills from afar.

Maquinit Hot Spring

Tourists in the Maquinit Hot Spring

Photo by Department of Tourism

Take a soothing warm bath at the Maquinit Hot Spring. It’s a great retreat to calm your muscles after a hike to Mt. Tapyas. The best time to go here is from 6 PM to 8 PM, so the temperature won’t be too hot for you to enjoy the spring.

Cashew Nut Factory

If you’re looking for souvenirs and treats to give your loved ones back home, don’t forget to drop by the Cashew Nut Factory. The locals produce different variations of cashew nut products, so you can enjoy them whether you like them fresh, roasted, salted, or caramelized! 

Lualhati Park

Lualhati Park

Also known as Coron’s Baywalk, Lualhati Park serves as a recreational area and the main harbor for boats and ships traveling in and out of the region. Coron’s only zipline is also found near the end of the park. 

Before heading to your next destination, don’t miss taking a memorable selfie beside the park’s iconic I am Coron signage. 

San Agustin Parish Church

San Agustin Parish Church is the only Catholic Church in Coron. It is located at the center of Coron’s town proper, where locals go to attend mass every Sunday.

Day 4: Coron Island-Hopping Tour

Coron is famed for its enchanting islands and limestone formations, not to mention the world-class Coron diving spots in its vibrant seascape.

To help you compare Coron vs El Nido, here’s an overview of the best Coron Palawan island-hopping tours:

Coron Ultimate Island Hopping Tour 

People swimming in Kayangan Lake

See the breathtaking Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon in this Coron Ultimate island-hopping tour. Kayangan Lake, considered one of the cleanest freshwater lakes in Asia, is one of the places you shouldn’t miss in your Coron tours. After a short trek, stunning limestone formations covered in lush greenery will welcome you.

Drone shot of Twin Lagoon

Featuring majestic underwater views, Twin Lagoon is also a must-visit destination where cold freshwater meets warm seawater. It has two lagoons, one of which is accessible by entering a small hole between high karst cliffs. 

Coron Super Ultimate Island Hopping Tour 

Aerial view of Barracuda Lake

Similar to the Kayangan Lake Coron tour, the Coron Super Ultimate island hopping tour also takes you to the famed freshwater lake and lagoon. Adding to the main highlights of this island-hopping tour in Coron is a visit to Barracuda Lake, which features a thriving marine ecosystem. 

Diver exploring the Skeleton Wreck

Then, you will head to Atwayan Beach to have a seaside lunch. Other spots included in this tour are the Skeleton Wreck Diving Site, CYC Beach, and Coral Garden.

Boats docked by CYC Beach

Coron Best Beaches Island Hopping Tour

Shoreline of Malcapuya Island

Escape to the picturesque islands in Coron and visit the most beautiful beaches included in your Coron Palawan itinerary when you join a Coron best beaches island hopping tour. Malcapuya Island is one of the best white beaches in the Philippines.

Ditaytayan Island

Off the coast of Culion Island lies Ditaytayan Island, a white-sand beach with azure waters. The last spot is Coco Beach, an idyllic and unspoiled spot on Bulalakaw Island.

Coron shipwreck snorkeling tour 

Diver in Lusong Island

Snorkeling and diving are the best things to do in Coron. For this Coron shipwreck and snorkeling tour, have a chance to navigate natural wonders underneath Coron’s turquoise waters.

Diver swim by coral

The first stop is Pass Island, home to colorful coral reefs. Next is Lusong Gunboat Shipwreck, a popular wreck dive site and artificial reef in Coron. Adjacent to it is Lusong Coral Garden, home to clownfish.

Coron Calauit Safari & Black Island tour 

Giraffes in Calauit Safari Park

Embark on a wildlife journey at the Calauit Safari, a haven of African animals such as giraffes, deer, and zebras. When you book a Coron Calauit Safari tour, from the park, you will go to a church perched on top of a hill.  This is Malbato Church.

Malbato Church

Then, you will head to North Cay, where sea turtles lay and hatch their eggs. The last spot is Black Island. Contrary to its name, it features a lovely white sand beach.

Day 5: Departure 

Pasandigan Beach

After having a hearty breakfast at your Coron resort, you can take the time to buy souvenirs before officially ending your El Nido - Coron itinerary. You have the option to travel back to El Nido by ferry, fly to Manila, or to Cebu.

Discover the hidden wonders of Palawan

People jumping in Kayangan Lake

Book an exhilarating trip to Palawan at our travel booking website. Check out our Philippine tour packages for the best Palawan island-hopping and El Nido lagoon tours to add to your Palawan itinerary.


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