Are you looking for the ultimate adventure in Palawan?! Well, I can tell you now, Island Hopping from El Nido to Coron is the definition of ultimate adventure, filled with sunshine, remote beaches, snorkeling coral reefs, epic sea caves, picturesque sunsets and much more!
The best part about the 3D2N El Nido to Coron Island Hopping is that it’s far away from the crowds that you’ll find on the other El Nido Island Hopping Tours.
I have put together this complete guide of my island hopping experience from El Nido to Coron with Buhay Isla Ecotour whose motto is ‘Expect the Unexpected’.
Have you got travel insurance for Philippines? I know that nobody likes to talk about this stuff but accidents can happen and having World Nomads Travel Insurance can save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong.
WHERE TO BOOK YOUR EL NIDO TO CORON ADVENTURE
The best way to book your El Nido to Coron Island Hopping Tour is to head to the Buhay Isla Ecotour website at www.buhayisla.com to see more detailed information and to book online ahead of time.
Buhay Isla also operates the same Island hopping expedition in the reverse direction from Coron to El Nido, so if you want to do it this way it’s possible.
EL NIDO TO CORON – THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Island hopping from El Nido to Coron is a 3 Day’s and 2 Night’s expedition on a traditional ‘bangka’ boat stopping at a number of remote islands to explore deserted beaches, snorkel the colorful coral reefs, soak up the sun on deck and camp out in beachside bungalows under the stars.
The day before our El Nido to Coron expedition we had a meeting at Buhay Isla’s office in El Nido town. The staff were super friendly and they briefed us on the things to take along on the trip and what we could expect for the next 3 days.
It became quickly apparent that there wasn’t going to be an agenda or timetable but that instead, we were simply going to cruise through the archipelago of islands between El Nido to Coron guided by weather and sea conditions.
Do note that there is no electricity during the expedition, so conserve your battery on your phones and cameras for the most beautiful beaches.
Heading to Philippines? ∼ Philippines Packing List
EL NIDO TO CORON – DAY 1
On day 1 we met at 9:00 am at the El Nido Bay Port to embark on our El Nido to Coron island hopping tour. We were a group of 8 travelers from the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Scotland and Australia. It was a good mix of likeminded people from all over the world!
The Buhay Isla crew are a team of 8 people which included our tour guides, chefs, deckhands and of course the captain!
I’d like to give a big shout out to all of the Buhay Isla crew Archie, Jeprie, Jordan, Mark, Jonie, Roldan, Richard and Captain Ronel. You guys are absolute legends and I can’t thank you enough for the most memorable experience onboard the El Nido to Coron tour!
El Nido to Coron Island Hopping with Buhay Isla
PASANDIGAN BEACH & CAVE
Our first stop on the El Nido to Coron expedition was the Pasandigan Cave. Aqua Shoes were essential for this adventurous stop as the rock formations are quite sharp and the limestone rocks tend to be very slippery.
The tour guides lead the way into the cave and even laid lifejackets down on the ground where we needed to crawl across the rocks to reach the inside of the cave.
Rays of sunlight peaked through the top of the cave which made the whole place light up on the inside and appear like a magical place out of a storybook.
Next to the cave is Pasandigan Beach which is a great place to swim and snorkel. There was no other boat around, so we had the whole beach to ourselves and enjoyed simply strolling around the beach and going for a dip into the water.
Pasandigan Cave – El Nido Coron
Pasandigan Cave – Coron Palawan Tour
Inside Pasandigan Cave – El Nido to Coron
Right around the corner from Pasandigan Cave is Cadlao Beach which is a picture-perfect stretch of sand that showcases shallow waters lined with coconut trees.
With the calmest and inviting waters, the beaches of Cadlao are perfect for snorkeling and swimming. The corals and fishes here are amazing. Buhay Isla will provide you with a mask and snorkel for the entire three days to make sure that your El Nido to Coron exploration is fully taken care of.
WANT TO SAVE $$$ ON AIRBNB? GET MY AIRBNB MONEY SAVING GUIDE
Picture-perfect Cadlao Beach
So much sunshine – El Nido to Coron Tour
Dreamy landscapes – El Nido to Coron Island Hopping
DAROCOTAN ISLAND SHIPWRECK
Before heading to the next stop, we enjoyed a delicious lunch on board the boat. In fact, the Buhay Isla expedition includes 3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with light snacks in between. There is also filtered water, various types of soda and alcoholic drinks for you to enjoy onboard.
The next stop on the El Nido to Coron expedition was Daracotan Island Shipwreck. It was amazing to snorkel around the shipwreck, marveling at the beautiful corals and an abundance of other marine life.
There were always new underwater creatures to discover at every spot we went to. We then jumped back on board to make our way to the first beach camp for the night.
Lunch on the boat! – El Nido Tours
The shipwreck on Darocotan Island
Darocotan Island Shipwreck – El Nido Coron
Darocotan Island – El Nido to Coron
When we grabbed sight of our beach camp as we were pulling into the cove, we were able to gather our essentials into our daypacks and put them on the kayak for the Buhay Isla crew to transfer them to the camp.
We then jumped into the water and swam to shore. Once we made the distance, we were greeted by the loveliest family who lives on the island and operates the camp.
The beach camp features bamboo and straw-thatched beach huts with mattresses, pillows and mosquito nets. It’s basic but it’s all you need for a comfortable night’s sleep. There’s also 2 toilets and 2 cold water showers at Camp Paru Paru.
After we dropped our bags into our room, we witnessed a beautiful sunset spraying an array of colors across the sky. We enjoyed a couple of sundowners before another delicious meal. The night ended with the whole group sitting around the table playing cards.
On Camp Paru-Paru we witnessed one of the clearest night skies and listened to the crashing waves lull us to sleep. It was the perfect end to a perfect day on the El Nido to Coron expedition!
Camp Paru Paru – El Nido to Coron
Our beach camp for the night
Our private island for the night – El Nido to Coron
Incredible first sunset – El Nido to Coron Island Hopping
Dinner is served at Camp Paru Paru
EL NIDO TO CORON – DAY 2
# TAKLING ISLAND
On day 2 of El Nido to Coron island hopping our first stop was Takling Island. This gem of an island has one of the best coral reefs. It was a great way to start the day in crystal clear waters and an excellent snorkeling opportunity.
We also had the opportunity to spend some time on the white sandy beach. We were all entertained by looking for the most beautiful shells along the shoreline.
Must Read → 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
Takling Island – El Nido to Coron
Snorkeling at Takling Island
Aerial shot of Takling Island – El Nido to Coron
The essentials! – El Nido and Coron
# COBRA ISLAND
Our next stop was Cobra Island which was low-key my favorite island on the El Nido to Coron island hopping expedition!
Cobra Island features a long white sand bar, azure waters, glistening white sands and coconut palm trees which makes this place the ultimate Instagram-worthy location. The snorkeling here was pretty damn awesome too!
By the time we went back to the boat a delicious lunch was already served on the table. The meals on the Buhay Isla Expedition were some of the best tasting foods I had in the Philippines!
Cobra Island sandbar – El Nido To Coron Island Hopping
Azure waters at Cobra Island – El Nido to Coron
Not a bad spot for a swim! – El Nido Itinerary
Yeah team! – Things to do in El Nido
# CAGDANAO ISLAND
After yet another delicious meal, we made our way to Cagdanao Island for the next stop on day 2 island hopping from El Nido to Coron.
Cagdanao island is surrounded by a coral reef which makes it a perfect snorkeling spot. On the beach of Cagdanao Island, there’s a volleyball net, some sheltered beach huts and a small jungle of coconut palm trees and other lush greenery.
Another boat tour arrived at the same spot so we decided to challenge them to a volleyball competition on the beach. It was a pretty even match but I’m going to go ahead and say we won the battle haha!
The vibes on Cagdanao Island were awesome and we could have stayed at this slice of paradise all afternoon long. There were also a couple of local kids playing soccer on the beach so I went and had a kick around with them.
Read More ∼ El Nido Island Hopping – Tour A
Beach volleyball on Cagdanao Island
Putting on some kilos between El Nido and Coron
# CAMP DAYO
The second beach camp on the El Nido to Coron expedition was called Camp Dayo. We arrived right in time to witness another beautiful sunset over the horizon.
Stepping foot on to the shores of Camp Dayo, we felt as if we had arrived at a tropical paradise with hammocks hanging all around the campsite, timber huts dotted along the beach and swaying coconut trees. Ahh, just bliss!
This night we were able to have a bonfire by the beach which is always an epic experience to have with your mates while camping on a remote island.
To end the picture-perfect day, we all seated together at the long wooden table for another delicious dinner and multiple glasses of Tanduay Rum.
Camp Dayo – El Nido to Coron
The beach at Camp Dayo – El Nido to Coron
Beach huts at Camp Dayo – What to do in Palawan
Camp Dayo – El Nido Coron
Bonfire with the team at Camp Dayo
EL NIDO TO CORON – DAY 3
# CLIFF JUMPING
To begin our 3rd and final day of the El Nido to Coron island hopping, we anchored at an epic cliff jumping location.
It was a short swim from the boat to the rocky cliffside to where there was a rope attached to help assist with climbing up to the top.
You can either jump off the rocky cliffside from a height of 1 meter, 5 meters or 8 meters. If you don’t like cliff jumping you can go swimming and snorkeling around the boat. Once everyone had made their jump from the cliffs we continued on to the next spot.
Search All ∼ Hostels / Hotels / Resorts in Coron
Cliff jumping – El Nido to Coron
Lining up for a jump!
Sending it from 8 meters!
# ARAW BEACH
As our journey continued from El Nido to Coron I was feeling a little desensitised because every spot we visited, although beautiful, was alike in some way. And then we arrived at Araw Beach… the definition of tropical paradise that looked like something straight out of a postcard!
Like other islands, there are coconut palm trees, glistening white sands, small beach huts and turquoise waters. But there was just something so special about Araw Beach that stood out from the other islands between El Nido to Coron. The layout of the palm trees, the huts and the rounded beachfront are as idyllic as it gets!
We swam to the beach with our snorkel gear and walked all the way to the tip of the sand bar. There were few local fishermen hanging out in their huts, so I gave them a wave as we passed by.
We jumped into the ocean at the tip of the sandbar and I was in complete awe the most beautiful underwater scenery here. An impressive coral wall lined the outer edge of the sandbar and we were able to drift with the current whilst marveling at the outstanding corals and vibrant reef fish.
By the time I got back to the boat, I was gassed and decided to hang up the mask and snorkel once and for all.
Arriving at Araw Beach – El Nido to Coron island hopping
Araw Beach – Coron Island Hopping
Picture-perfect scenes at Araw Beach
El Nido to Coron Tour
# DITAYTAYAN ISLAND SANDBAR
Ditaytayan Island sandbar was our last stop on the El Nido to Coron expedition. This epic island hosts a long white sandbar surrounded by shallow crystalline water. It was one of the most vibrant beaches we visited and made for another perfect snorkeling spot.
We spent around 1 hour at Ditaytayan Island before making the final stretch across to the channel to Coron. Unfortunately, the sea conditions worsened with the wind and it was a bumpy ride back into Coron Bay. That was the only time we had rough seas on the entire journey from El Nido to Coron so we weren’t complaining!
Upon docking the boat in Coron Bay, it was time to say goodbye to the Buhay Isla crew and our new friends. It was hugs and hi-fives all around and we jumped in the back of a tricycle to get a lift to our accommodation in Coron town.
I seriously had the most amazing time on this El Nido to Coron expedition and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone on their Palawan trip!
Search All ∼ Tours in the Philippines with Klook
Ditaytayan Island – El Nido to Coron Island Hopping
Incredible sandbar at Ditaytayan Island Coron
Aerial shot of Ditaytayan Island – El Nido Coron
WHERE TO STAY IN CORON
Coron has countless accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Coron to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers and everyone in between
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Bacau Bay Resort Coron
Bacau Bay Resort is a 4-star accommodation close to the town. Featuring an outdoor swimming pool, on-site restaurant, bar, fitness center, kids club, relaxation spa and free wifi throughout the property. Choose from a deluxe room or premier suite which are fitted with air conditioning, flat-screen tv, seating area, wardrobe, kitchenette, private bathroom, spacious living and large comfortable beds. Breakfast is also included for all guests. Perfect place to stay in Coron for couples, families and friends.
Mid Range: Vienna Hotel
One of the best mid-range accommodations in Coron is Vienna Hotel. Centrally located in Coron town, featuring a swimming pool, massage services, in-house restaurant, bar, free wifi and a rooftop terrace overlooking Coron Bay. The rooms are fitted with a desk, flat-screen tv, fridge, seating area, private bathroom, outside balcony and large comfortable beds. American, Asian, Continental, English or buffet breakfast is included for all guests. Recommended for couples, families and friends.
Budget: Hop Hostel
Hop Hostel is one of the best and most popular hostels in Coron. Perfect for couples, friends and solo travelers on a budget. Centrally located in Coron town and walking distance to Mt Tapyas, cafes, restaurants, bars and public markets. Choose from either a Dorm room, Queen room or Quadruple room with air conditioning and comfortable beds. The private rooms are fitted with a fridge, microwave, coffee machine and wardrobe. There’s also free wifi, a shared kitchen, lounge area and rooftop bar/terrace with incredible views of Coron Bay. Breakfast is also available for all guests.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN CORON, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
WHERE TO STAY IN EL NIDO
El Nido has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in El Nido to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Lagùn Hotel
Lagùn Hotel is one of the best and most modern hotel in El Nido featuring an outdoor swimming pool, terrace, restaurant, bar and free wifi throughout the property. The rooms are fitted with a flat-screen tv, wardrobe, work desk, fridge, kettle, private bathroom and some with a balcony. A buffet breakfast is also included for all guests. Recommended for couples, families and friends.
Mid Range: Sea Cocoon Hotel
I personally stayed at Sea Cocoon Hotel and can’t recommend this place enough! Located right in the heart of El Nido town and just minutes walk to the beach. Sea Cocoon Hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, terrace, restaurant, bar and a shared lounge. The rooms are spacious and modern with air-conditioning, large comfy beds, wardrobe, balcony and private bathroom. A buffet breakfast is also included for all guests. Affordable place to stay for couples, families and friends!
Budget: One Hostel El Nido
One Hostel is one of the best budget accommodations in El Nido with great reviews! Centrally located and walking distance to the bus terminal, shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and beaches. There are dorm rooms, double rooms and quadruple rooms available with air-conditioning. The Hostel also has free wifi and a shared lounge area for guests to hang out. Perfect place to stay in El Nido for solo travelers, couples and friends!
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN EL NIDO, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
NORTH PALAWAN MAP
Want to travel full-time? ∼ Click Here To Learn How!
CORON ISLAND HOPPING TOURS
Another option for accommodation in Coron after your El Nido to Coron Island Hopping expedition is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals in Coron.
WANT TO SAVE $$$ ON AIRBNB? GET MY AIRBNB MONEY SAVING GUIDE
JOIN MY FACEBOOK TRAVEL TRIBE
Do you have any questions about this El Nido to Coron Island Hopping Tour?
Join my Facebook Travel Tribe and send a message at any time for a quick response!
LONELY PLANET – PHILIPPINES
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Philippines Travel Guide!
BUY NOW ON AMAZON → LONELY PLANET PHILIPPINES
MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES
- Philippines Travel Guide: 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
- Cebu: 15 Things To Do In Cebu
- Bohol: 31 Epic Things To Do In Bohol
- Siargao: 15 Things To Do In Siargao
- El Nido: El Nido Island Hopping
- Coron: Coron Island Hopping
- Boracay: 15 Things To Do In Boracay
- Siquijor: 3 Day Siquijor Itinerary
- Bantayan: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
- Malapascua: 11 Things To Do In Malapascua
- Camiguin: 13 Best Camiguin Tourist Spots
- Romblon: 12 Epic Things To Do In Romblon
- Tablas: 10 Things To Do In Tablas
- Carabao: 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao
- Dumaguete: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots
- Sumilon Island: Sumilon Island Itinerary
WHAT TO PACK FOR EL NIDO TO CORON
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 year worth of content.
ONLINE ENGLISH TEACHING
Do you want to travel full-time and get paid along the way?
Teaching English online is one of the easiest and most flexible jobs out there! Become a Digital Nomad today where you get to choose your own hours and work remotely from anywhere in the world by teaching English online. All you need is a laptop, good WiFi connection, a TEFL certificate and you’re good to go!
Before you go from this El Nido to Coron post, don’t forget to check out My Online Shop!
I’ve got a wide range of digital products for sale and I’m sure you’ll find something that will come in handy during your travels!
SEE MORE → MY SHOP
FINAL THOUGHTS OF EL NIDO TO CORON ISLAND HOPPING
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about island hopping from El Nido to Coron, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.