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Top 5 island getaways in Coron and El Nido

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Nov 30, 2020 6:20 am

Two of the country’s banner tourist destinations in Palawan—El Nido and Coron—are slowly but surely reopening as they start to welcome tourists this week.

This year, Travel+Leisure readers voted Palawan as the No. 1 “Best Island in The World” (together with Boracay at No. 14). It was also the No. 4 spot in Conde Nast Traveller’sBest Islands in Asia” category (alongside Cebu and Visayan Islands, No. 1; Siargao, No. 5; and Boracay, No. 6) recently.

Today, El Nido entered its second phase of reopening with 22 hotels and resorts now authorized to accept tourists.

Meanwhile, Coron, with 10 hotels and resorts that are DOT-certified, will welcome local tourists (between 15 and 65 years old) to the island starting tomorrow, Dec. 1.

Those who are traveling to either of the two destinations are required to follow strict guidelines and protocols.

Among the requirements for El Nido travelers include booking accommodations at a hotel or resort that are Department of Tourism-certified (click here for the full list), getting an RT-PCR test within 48 hours before traveling to El Nido, and booking tours with one of the travel agencies or tour operators with DOT accreditation and a local government unit local seal of compliance.

For those traveling to Coron, tourists are required to acquire a negative RT-PCR result within 48 to 72 hours before entering the municipality. For accommodations, one needs to book with a DOT-certified establishment (see the complete list here). Also note that only tour packages arranged by DOT-accredited tour operators will be allowed.

A health declaration form should be accomplished and registered at www.corontourism.ph. A QR code, which will serve as a pass going to Coron, will also be released once the registration has been approved. (Click here for the complete list of requirements.)

For those who are ready to embark on a journey with the new realities of travel, PhilSTAR L!fe lists down down Top 5 island getaways in Coron and El Nido.

Club Paradise

Wake up to a screensaver-like view of the beach and calm waters at Club Paradise.

Club Paradise is an exclusive island resort located in Dimakaya Island in Coron.

A member of the Discovery Hospitality group of resorts, the award-winning resort assures its guests of a delightful stay with its signature warm service that makes it a perfect getaway.

Guests can choose from its villas with a great view of either the sunrise or sunset, and suites that are in the middle of lush greenery or with a view of a pristine private beach (which spans 700 meters) and azure waters.

The resort offers a myriad of activities like kayaking, paraw sailing, island hopping or hiking. It also has tours to Coron’s famous destinations like the Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon.

If you’re interested in diving or snorkeling, the resort has several house reefs that surround the island, which has been protected for the last 15 years. It also has a clam garden around the waters of the resort where Giant Clams can be found. A World War II wreck Kyokuzan Maru is just half an hour away, and the majestic Apo Reef is about an hour and a half away from the resort.

Two Seasons Island Resort and Spa

Two Seasons Island Resorts' Island Tip Bungalows are adjacent to the resort's famed sandbar. Photo from Two Seasons Island Resort and Spa

The Two Seasons Island Resort and Spa is known to be the first eco-friendly luxury island resort in Coron.

This five-star resort is one boat ride away, 22 kilometers south of Coron town, and is located in the Malaroyroy Peninsula in Bulalacao Island.

While in the resort, guests can enjoy the natural wonders surrounding it, including a sandbar that connects to an islet, its turtle and giant clam sanctuary, and lush tropical gardens. It also has a 200-meter, west-side beach; and a 200-meter, east-side beach with mangroves.

Two Seasons boasts accommodations that are thoughtfully furnished and carry distinct Filipino tropical design, all of them have a wonderful view of either the beach or lush tropical gardens.

Pangulasian Island

Inviting waters surround Pangulasian Island in El Nido. Photo from elnidoresorts.com

One of El Nido Resorts’ properties is Pangulasian Island, an eco-luxury island resort in Bacuit Bay. It is known as the “Island of the Sun” because it is blessed with fantastic views of both sunrise and sunset. Its 750-meter white-sand beach is set against a backdrop of a tropical forest.

Guests are endeared to this luxury island hideaway because of its bespoke service that butters up even the most discerning of travelers. Want to take a sunset cruise? How about a romantic dinner by the beach? Or dine at a private island? All of these may be had when you are in Pangulasian Island.

The resort has 42 accommodations that are built in contemporary architecture. Tree-top villas are perched on stilts above the forest, beach villas and pool villas are relatively close to the beach. There is also Kalaw Villa, a cluster of four private villas, located in a secluded cove at the west end of the island.

Pangulasian Island is a 25-minute private boat ride from El Nido Resorts’ Jetty Lounge.

Lagen Island Resort

Lagen Island Resort is cradled by karst mountains, a lush forest, and a calm and shallow lagoon. Photo from elnidoresorts.com

Those who are seeking a relaxing time in a private and tranquil island will enjoy Lagen Island Resort, an eco-sanctuary resort that is cradled by karst mountains, a forest and a calm lagoon. The resort is 40- to 50-minute boat ride from El Nido Resorts’ Jetty Lounge.

The resort’s charming quiet luxury is echoed in its accommodations, all of which have been incorporated with timber recycled from old Filipino homes for its floor and furnishings.

There are rooms and suites located in the forest, water cottages on stilts, and beachfront cottages with a panoramic view of the cove.

As the surroundings of the resort are home to a diverse variety of birds (and mammals), birdwatching is one of the activities available for guests. The resort also offers to guests mangrove exploration, island hopping, snorkeling and dive courses.

Charlie’s El Nido 

Charlie’s El Nido is a cliff-side resort located in Barangay Villa Libertad, about 10- to 15-minute drive from El Nido town.

Guests may choose from its neat and spacious accommodations from Superior Queen (perfect for solo travelers or couples) and Deluxe Room with direct pool access, to a four-bedroom villa with a private pool and deck. It also offers long-stay options that start between P60,000 and P65,000 per month.

The resort’s panoramic view of the ocean and El Nido’s famed sunsets are the perfect backdrop for sundowners at the terrace bar with family and friends.

Though the resort is a few minutes away from the beach, it arranges trips to El Nido travel staples like Bacuit Bay, Bulalacao Falls, Corong-Corong Beach and Lio Beach.