Heading to Palawan and looking for your perfect Palawan itinerary? Want to make sure you hit all the hotspots of this part of the Philippines including Coron?
Perfect! You have picked an awesome part of the world to explore and you have landed on exactly the right article to make sure you have the best Coron Palawan itinerary possible!
Get ready for some of the best scenery of your life! Gorgeous coastlines, interesting islands, great underwater life, jungles, waterfalls, ancient lagoons…. You will love this part of the world! Many people walk away from their trips in the Philippines describing Palawan as their favorite part – and now you get to explore it for yourself!
However, planning an itinerary is not easy and we have put a lot of effort into making sure that this is the best one you can follow to have your best trip.
We have written this to make it easy for you. If you are just looking for an El Nido, Palawan itinerary, you can follow just the part of the itinerary that visits El Nido. If you want a Coron itinerary 3D2N, likewise you can just follow the first couple of days. Conversely, if you want a Palawan 2 weeks itinerary, simply follow this whole itinerary step-by-step.
It’s built so you do the best things first and you can cut it down at any point of the itinerary to fit your timeframe. It’s suitable if you want a Palawan budget itinerary, Palawan backpacking itinerary or a more luxurious trip – simply book your accommodation, transport and activities accordingly.
At the end, you will find a map so you can see a quick overview of this Palawan tour itinerary.
Coron Itinerary: Palawan Itinerary 3 Days
Days 1 – 3 Coron
If you are looking for a Coron itinerary 3 days 2 nights, this is exactly for you. This Coron DIY itinerary is the perfect start to your longer Palawan adventure as well!
Whether arriving into the Philippines through Manila, Clark, Davao, Cebu or Puerto Princesa International Airport, connect with a domestic flight to Busuanga Airport to commence this itinerary for Coron Palawan.
As you emerge from the airport, you’ll be met with many offers of a ride into Coron Town. Approximately 40 minutes, it’s a scenic bouncy ride through lush fields, full of cows and goats.
Welcome to Coron Town, Busuanga Island. A rustic town, with little modern development (however, that’s changing by the year), where you’ll find a handful of Coron Town budget hostels and 3 or 4-star Coron Town hotels – all ideal if you’re looking for a Coron budget itinerary.
Wander the busy harbourside and the local markets, or discuss boat tours for tomorrow with the travel agents and dive operators. Dine on delicious Filipino food or treat yourself to a massage at one of the many spas. Whatever you do, it’s set to the constant backdrop of crowing chickens, karaoke, and motorbikes… This is the real Philippines!
If you prefer somewhere more exotic to stay or are looking for a beach-stay, select accommodation at any one of the nearby islands. There are some spectacular Coron island resorts with private beaches, easy access to world-class wreck dives, and wonderful wildlife with tropical birds, monkeys, monitor lizards and more! Keep in mind that almost all resorts will require you to first travel into Coron Town to meet your transfer boat.
If electing to stay in Coron Town, check into your accommodation and enjoy an afternoon excursion to nearby Maquinit Hot Springs to ease your tired body. From here, look out onto Coron Island (not to be confused with Coron Town), which locals call the “sleeping giant”. As the sun sets behind the island it forms a wonderful silhouette resembling a giant sleeping on his back, with nose and mouth clearly visible!
Coron Town is a great location from which to start your Palawan, Philippine adventures. Take your pick from our Coron tour itinerary ideas listed below, or, stay longer and make it an extended Coron itinerary 5d4n and enjoy all!
- Swim Kayangan Lake or Barracuda Lake to see spectacular underwater mountains
- Enjoy full day island hopping tours to Malcapuya Island, Banol Beach, Ditaytayan Island, Banana Island, Black Island
- Join organised tours to Twin Lagoon and Secret Beach
- Snorkel Siete Pecados and the WWII Japanese Skeleton Wreck
- Kayak around Coron Island
- Watersports such as parasailing, jet ski and glass-bottom kayak experience
- Visit Maquinit Hot Springs
- Climb 742 steps up to Mt Tapyas for awesome sunset views
- Dive spectacular reefs and wrecks
- Full day trip to Coron Calauit Safari Busuanga, Palawan – an African safari park
- Discover the Tagbanua, one of the oldest ethnic groups in the Philippines
- Coron Glittering Fireflies Night Tour, with dinner at a floating restaurant
- Rent motorbikes to explore the beaches and attractions of Busuanga Island
In the morning of Day 3, depending on the time your boat or flight departs for El Nido, you may also have time to do one of the above activities.
Find our full guide for where to stay in Coron here.
Coron Palawan Itinerary 5 Days: Coron El Nido Itinerary
After your first three days in Coron, it’s time to expand to an El Nido Coron itinerary.
Days 3 – 5 El Nido
On this adventurous Coron and El Nido itinerary, day 3 means that it is time to depart Coron for the world-famous karst islands of El Nido, Palawan.
Travel approximately 4 hours by fast boat from Coron Port to the El Nido Ferry Terminal. Along the route you’ll pass through the unspoilt Calamian Islands archipelago and look out for Linapacan (voted No 1 in American news site Daily News Dig’s “35 Clearest Waters in the World to Swim in Before You Die”). Check ferry schedules here.
Alternatively, if your Coron itinerary and expenses permit, take a quick 40 minute flight direct to El Nido by AirSwift.
From the airport or the ferry terminal, it’s a 15 minute tricycle ride into El Nido Town Proper. Here, you’ll find the famous El Nido coastline, with its limestone karsts, robinson-crusoe paradise islands and exotic ocean views.
Check into your accommodation, and enjoy dinner and drinks in the lively town.
No Palawan El Nido itinerary would be complete without exploring the jaw dropping Bacuit Bay. On Day 4 join one of the four official tours – labelled Tour A, B, C and D. Check out the different banca and speed boats on offer, and barter a good deal for you and your fellow travellers.
Grab your sun lotion, snorkel and fins, and it’s time to discover beautiful uninhabited islands, clear water lagoons, world-class white sand beaches, snorkelling sites and hundreds of fish and colourful corals.
- Tour A – lagoons and beaches
- Tour B – caves and islands
- Tour C – snorkelling and a shrine
- Tour D – island beaches
Each tour is unique, but on all you’ll explore islands, beaches and snorkelling points. …and in this tropical paradise, they are all breath-taking!
If following our Palawan itinerary 4 days schedule, on day 5 you may choose any one of the following activities prior to flying out of the small airstrip that is El Nido Lio Airport (AirSwift connects through to Manila, Cebu, Clark, Boracay or Bohol).
If you’re staying on for the full 14 day itinerary you have the whole day to enjoy all of the below activities.
- Swim at local beaches Corong-Corong, Caalan or Nacpan
- Hike to a waterfall: Nagkalit-Kalit or Bulalacao
- Las Cabanas Beach Zipline
- Bird watching
- Climb Taraw Cliff
- Rent motor bikes and discover inland El Nido
Find our full guide to where to stay in El Nido here.
Coron Palawan Itinerary 7 Days: Coron, El Nido, Puerto Princesa Itinerary
After your first five days in El Nido and Coron above, days 6 and 7 expand this into a Puerto Princesa/El Nido/Coron itinerary.
If you are only looking for a Palawan itinerary 6 days, simply fly out of Palawan from El Nido or when you hit Puerto Princesa.
Day 6 El Nido To Puerto Princesa
It’s time to say goodbye to El Nido. Today’s destination is Puerto Princesa, the capital and transport hub of Palawan, and home to the Puerto Princesa International Airport.
Depending on your budget, there are a couple of ways to reach Puerto Princesa.
By Road: taking 5+ hours, drive south through coconut groves, banana plantations and rice fields, passing sugar cane farms and local villages, until the road hugs the stunning coastline down to the city. Hot weather, sometimes uneven roads, but unforgettable scenery. Travel by shared van or arrange privately.
By Air: fly El Nido to Puerto Princesa.
Upon reaching Puerto Princesa, if not flying out, check into your accommodation and take a well-earned rest!
Day 7 Puerto Princesa
Day 7 and you should be waking up fresh and recovered! Not flying out this morning? Then, it’s time for a Puerto Princesa Palawan itinerary highlight – the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Puerto Princesa Underground River National Park.
Recently named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, enjoy a full day tour where you’ll be dropped at Sabang Wharf to catch a boat to the Underground River National Park. This national park is a haven for local and some endemic wildlife, and home to many exotic birds.
However, the highlight for most is the 45 minutes tour exploring this deep river, admiring the stunning rock formations which have made the site so famous. Stalagmites and stalactites shaped as vegetables, dinosaurs and more! And watch out for the thousands of swallows and bats that sometimes swoop about the tunnels and caves.
Finish the day with a delicious buffet late lunch at Sabang Wharf, before returning to Puerto Princesa.
That ends our Palawan 1 week itinerary. Time to fly home or on to other Philippine adventures!
Palawan Itinerary 10 days:
For your extended Palawan trip itinerary, follow days 1-5 above. Then on day 6, start following the below!
Days 6 – 9 Port Barton
On Day 6 it’s farewell to El Nido and hello to Port Barton, Palawan’s sleepy seaside town. A serene mix of quaint fishing village, empty west coast beaches surrounded by rainforest jungles and calm bays littered with floating buoys, the sign of working pearl farms.
Travel south from El Nido, passing sugar plantations and waving farmers, and an increasingly lush green vegetation as you finally reach Port Barton. A hot and often bumpy 3 hour ride, the relaxed atmosphere will have you chilled out in no time!
Small guest houses and hotels are increasing in numbers as tourism reaches the town, and a handful of trendy cafes offer a respite from the daytime sun but for now, the village has a laid back charm that is much quieter than El Nido.
Vast stretches of empty beach await your exploration, along with endless trails of palm trees and jungle-clad hills. Spend a few days relaxing on the golden beaches or choose from any of our Port Barton itinerary ideas:
- Island hopping tours: set tours A-D, similar to El Nido, take you to different stops including Twin Reef, Wide Reef, Inoladoan or German Island, Turtle Place, Exotic Beach and Starfish Sandbar.
- Snorkel, visit waterfalls, local villages and enjoy beach bbqs.
- Hike 1.5km to Pamuayan Falls, stopping off at Pamuayan Beach
- Watch the blazing Port Barton sunsets from one of the beachfront cafes
- Rainforest treks
- Relax in hammocks at White Beach or Coconut Beach
- Sunbathe at Long Beach, the longest stretch of sand in Palawan
- Rent motorbikes and visit Bigaho Waterfall and nearby Nao Nao Beach
- Enjoy a local reggae band at the Jungle Bar found in the middle of the jungle near to White Beach
Day 10 Puerto Princesa
Follow day 7 up above in the one week Palawan itinerary and explore Puerto Princesa Underground River.
Palawan Itinerary 2 Weeks
Lucky you, 2 weeks is a great length of time for a Palawan travel itinerary.
First of all, follow the ten day Palawan itinerary but add one extra day to Coron and one extra day to El Nido, so you do and experience more in each of these great spots. This means that you will do the following:
Days 1 – 4 Coron
Days 4 – 8 El Nido
Days 8 – 11 Port Barton
On day 11, instead of heading back to Puerto Princesa, as described above, this Coron Palawan DIY itinerary takes you on to Sabang.
Days 11 – 14 Sabang
Goodbye to sleepy Port Barton and time to travel on to Sabang.
Weather dependent, travel by boat to Sabang – taking anything from 3-5 hours! In high season it’s relatively simple to rent a pump boat (banca) for the trip. Negotiate a good price and ensure to view the boat and its supply of life jackets. The larger bancas make for a more pleasant and drier journey. Only choose this option if you are completely confident about the boat and sea conditions. There are no passenger ferry services on this route.
By road, the journey is not as straightforward as the map would imply. Both towns are on the west coast, but without a direct road you need to travel over to the east coast, following the road down to Honda Bay before turning north west again and back up to Sabang.
There are dail y commuter vans between the towns or you can choose to book a private trip, taking approximately 3 hours, and break your journey with a stop half way at the Batak Visitor Centre and Cultural Village.
Sabang is famous for being the entry point to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, but there’s much more to this little village. Namely the Subterranean River National Park, home to many species of wildlife and caves. Heaven for outdoor enthusiasts!
Despite the heavy tourism draw of the Underground River, Sabang retains an off the beaten track feel. The town is small and basic, where simple daily life continues with locals playing basketball on the pier and fishermen selling their daily catch. Wander off on any dirt path to discover caves, waterfalls, rice paddies and rainforests. Stunning scenery abounds, literally on the town’s doorstep.
Day 11, having made the journey, check into your accommodation and laze away the afternoon, grab a cocktail and wait for the gorgeous sunset.
Across the following days, enjoy any of the activities listed below in our Sabang itinerary.
- Sabang Beach – wide expanse of fine golden yellow sand, over a kilometer long – ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
- Sabang X zipline
- Karst mountain elephant cave
- Trek the Jungle Trail, a scenic 6km path, spotting monkeys, monitor lizards, ancient trees, vines, limestone cliffs
- Beach massage
- Sabang Waterfalls
- Mangrove Paddle Tour
- Rent a mountain bike and head to Ugung Rock Adventures for caving, spelunking, zip biking, base jumping, rock climbing and more
Sabang is a magical hub for naturalists with its rich natural landscape and variety of flora and fauna, some endemic to the region.
Day 14 Puerto Princesa
Exhausted from all your Sabang activities, and on your final day of this Palawan island itinerary, it’s time to head to the capital, Puerto Princesa. Take a shared van or taxi, for this short two hour journey. Check land travel options here.
You can then head to Puerto Princesa Airport for your onward flight after a fabulous two weeks in Palawan!
Map Of Full Palawan Itinerary
We hope you found this Coron Palawan itinerary 2020 useful and that it helps you have a great trip to this great part of the world. Feel free to ask any questions below and find all our Palawan travel guides here. You can also read our full itinerary to 3-4 weeks in the Philippines here.