A 3 day boat tour (3D/2N) from Coron to El Nido with 2 nights on the island of Linapacan is one of the best things to do on a Philippines trip. On this island hopping tour you will experience islands, bays and beaches that you would never get to see otherwise. The boat tour from Coron to El Nido is a perfect way to bridge the distance between Coron and El Nido and still see countless beautiful things. What you have to consider when you do a Coron to El Nido Island Hopping tour and which provider we recommend for the boat tour you can read in our travel report.
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers
3 Day Boat Tour El Nido – Coron | What To Expect
At first I was a bit skeptical when Sabrina suggested the 3 day boat tour between Coron and El Nido. I have never spent more than one day on a boat. What if the boat is much too small for the many people or if I get seasick or just no relaxed atmosphere prevails on board? Thank God Sabrina booked the tour and what can I say? It was one of the most beautiful things we have ever done while traveling.
Just the feeling of always being on the sea and no matter when and where you look over the railing to always see hundreds of green overgrown islands made this trip so incomparable. But let’s start at the beginning:
We booked this boat tour from Coron to El Nido after a long research with the provider El Nido Paradise*. This has many, very good reviews and also the price was very good compared to other similar providers.
After the booking and completing all the formalities, we arrived at the port of Coron at the agreed time. There our passport was checked again, we paid a fee and waited until everyone was ready. But then the tour finally started. After we got acquainted with the super friendly crew, the other passengers and of course the spacious boat, it took a while to switch to relax mode.
Because everything was still different, everything new and exciting. You chat with the other people, marvel at the passing Philippine islands and then comes the first snorkeling spot of the day.
The Days on Board
Actually all the days of the three-day boat trip are a completely individual mix of activities such as snorkeling, kayaking or beach visits, relaxing on board and delicious food. There are new activities offered almost every hour (sometimes even more frequently) in which you can participate or not. It is up to each person to decide. In the course of a day you go to different snorkeling spots, lonely beaches, sandbanks or even beautiful islands.
The great thing is that under normal circumstances you would never get to these great places. Because the usual 1 day tours that you can take from El Nido or Coron never go that far out. This means that the beaches and islands that you can experience on a three-day boat tour, you can only see on such a multi-day boat tour.
At the beginning of each day we will discuss the day’s destinations, so that you can prepare yourself for what is coming up today. But if you don’t feel like snorkeling or swimming, you can just stay on board and let the sun shine on your belly. That’s what I often did. While Sabrina discovered the underwater world while snorkeling, I stayed on the ship or spent the time with head jumps from the boat into the sea.
Or I flew around with my drone in the area and captured the incredibly beautiful Philippine island world photographically. Besides the incredibly beautiful nature of course, we really loved the relaxed atmosphere on board. Everything was really totally chilled out, the crew was totally sweet and accommodating and you felt like you were spending a relaxing day on a beautiful beach.
Only that the beautiful beaches (and the impressive island world) pass you by like in a huge panoramic cinema.
We just felt totally comfortable and could not believe what a beautiful landscape we drive through. And then there is of course the incredibly delicious food with which the crew of El Nido Paradise* has spoiled us over the 3 days.
Food on Board
Besides the spectacular nature, we found the food to be another highlight of the 3 day boat trip from Coron to El Nido. We were treated to 3 really incredibly delicious meals per day. And the food was not only delicious, it was presented in a way that you would otherwise probably only expect to find in a Michelin-starred restaurant.
And the crew created this delicious meal in a floating kitchen on a boat! We were really completely positively surprised and have looked forward to the next meal every time like little children.
The meals we have taken either directly on the boat or as for breakfast or dinner on a beach where we have spent the night. We sat then with 14 people at a huge table, which was filled to the last square centimeter with delicious things.
There was always an abundant selection of meat dishes such as the Filipino chicken adobo, pork, but often also freshly caught fish or even squid, which was caught by the crew during a snorkel stop. In addition, of course, there was always the famous Filipino Power (rice) and for dessert a huge fruit buffet. We were all always stuffed and have never eaten so well again on our trip to the Philippines.
For breakfast we had eggs, pancakes, coffee and of course fruits again. Between meals, there were also always small snacks on board, such as fried bananas or cookies or something else. Culinary the boat tour was a real hit!
Overnight Stay during the Boat Tour from Coron to El Nido
We were a bit worried beforehand because of the overnight accommodations. However, these worries were completely wiped away during the trip. The accommodations during the boat tour are really fantastic. The first night we stayed on a beautiful beach in simple tents.
Sounds uncomfortable at first, but through thick mattresses and cozy pillows it was really very comfortable.
The beach was located on a small strait where other boats have passed every now and then. The wonderful thing about this beach was the orientation, because we could experience both a beautiful sunset and a great sunrise from here.
Our second night was on an island that belonged to the Linapacan archipelago and there we also had real bamboo huts right on the beach. This was really super romantic and also comfortable again, because we had mattresses, pillows and a mosquito net. From our hut we had a super cool view of the beach and the night sky, which was teeming with stars.
Shower and Toilet on the Islands
Of course, you can’t expect luxury or anything even close to comfort here. The toilets on the islands were just simple outhouses and the showers were separate cabins with a large rain barrel and a small bucket in it with which you can then pour the water over your body. Sounds now not super tingly, but for us during the trip totally sufficient.
Tips for Island Hopping from Coron to El Nido
For us, the island hopping tour was really the highlight of our entire trip to the Philippines. We felt super comfortable, saw incredibly great nature and experienced things we couldn’t have imagined before. But here are a few things we really didn’t know before, but would have loved to know. So here is a list of the most important tips to help you plan your multi-day tour between El Nido and Coron.
Which Provider do we Recommend?
We really looked at many of the numerous providers of boat tours between El Nido and Coron in advance and searched for the one that suited us best. The price differences are sometimes considerable, although the offer is actually quite similar. We then got stuck with the provider El Nido Paradise*. This really had the best reviews and also a good price.
Also, the communication in advance was very pleasant. We had to pay a deposit and also get an S-PaSS to be able to start the tour at all. El Nido Paradise also supported us in this. Also, the crew on board was really super accommodating and really made our stay on board an unforgettable experience. We can highly recommend this provider. You can get more information about the tour directly from the provider:
How Much Does it Cost and are there any Alternatives?
For us, the 3D/2N boat tour cost just under 300 Euro per person (16.900 Pesos) and was really worth every single Euro. There are also other providers who charge similar prices or sometimes up to 500 Euro per person.
Alternatively you can do the same route in 4 days (4D/3N*) or even 5 days (5D/4N*). You will then see many more highlights and can collect even more experiences. But 3 days are the shortest duration in which you can overcome the route.
If you really just want to cover the distance between Coron and El Nido as fast as possible and you don’t want to take the plane, you can also just take the ferry between Coron and El Nido*. This will take you to the other island in 4-7 hours. You will see the beautiful island world pass by, but you won’t have any great experiences on the way like on the 3 day boat trip.
What do I have to take with me?
Since you will be fully catered for on the boat tour between El Nido and Coron, you do not need to take any food or water with you. You should only bring a water bottle. By the way, plastic bottles are forbidden on the islands, as well as other disposable plastic. If you have your own snorkeling equipment, you should take it with you, although there is plenty on the boat.
Then we always recommend swimming shoes on any water adventures. These are incredibly practical if you don’t want to hurt yourself on the many corals or rocks. Other than that, you really don’t need to take anything with you that you wouldn’t have anyway.
Hungry Dogs on the Islands
We want to pay special attention to the many many hungry dogs we encountered during the boat tour on the (sometimes uninhabited) islands. Often these were really super thin, as they probably rely on spendy tourists, which must have been absent in the last 2 years.
If we ate on the islands then these sweet dogs always came directly and sweetly waited for you to share a bit of the food. So thin as these sometimes looked we could not deny it and have fed among other things the many rice (Filipino power) that was leftover, to the dogs.
They ate it with joy and we hope we could satisfy their hunger at least a little bit. Our appeal to you, if you stay overnight on the lonely islands (or are otherwise on the Philippines) where a dog’s life does not mean as much as here in Germany, then give something of your rich food. The dogs will thank you!
How Big is the Boat?
Our boat was designed for up to 25 people, but was only occupied by 14 people + crew. This means that we really had enough space. The boat was about 30 meters long and 6 meters wide. There was a lower deck where you could sit protected from the sun and also eat and an upper deck, which was protected with a sun awning.
On the left and right side of the boat there were areas where you could walk back and forth and also sit or lie down. You see the boat is really big enough that everyone finds his place and you do not step on the feet.
Is there Cell Phone Reception on the 3 Day Boat Tour?
We were also surprised, but almost all the time we had reasonably good cell phone reception during the boat tour from Coron to El Nido. But there are big differences between the 2 available providers in the Philippines. Sabrina got a sim card from Smart and always had consistently better reception than I did with my Globe sim card.
Most of the time, of course, the reception is only enough to send photos and maybe videos via Whatsapp. Netflix or Youtube tend not to work, but you also have other things to watch during the boat trip.
Beim Klick wird Youtube.com aufgerufen (Datenschutzerklärung) | By clicking, Youtube.com opens (Privacy)
Is there Electricity on the Boat?
Thank God there is electricity on the boat, but this is not the case with all providers (but with El Nido Paradise* it is). We had already stocked up on full powerbanks and fully charged all batteries beforehand. But at least with my drone, I would not have been able to continue on the boat tour.
So I was very relieved when I discovered a fully equipped charging station with numerous sockets and USB ports on the boat. Charging the drone, camera etc.. during the trip was no problem at all. But don’t forget your international socket adapter.
Can you get Seasick?
If you are very susceptible then probably yes. But during the entire boat trip, the Philippine Sea was extremely calm and often even completely flat. There was almost no swell and so the risk of getting seasick is very low. If something should happen, there is a medicine box on board with all the pills you might need.
Is the tour the right thing for me?
If you want to experience a real adventure and not only bridge the distance between El Nido and Coron, then you are exactly right with such a multi-day tour. Of course you won’t have the comfort of a 3* hotel and the showers and toilets will take some getting used to, but the experiences during the tour will be unique.
Do I Need a S-PaSS for the Boat Tour?
Currently (April 2022) in any case. How difficult or complicated it is to apply for the S-PaSS unfortunately changes almost daily. But as for all other trips within the Philippines, you need to apply for an S-PaSS before starting the trip from El Nido to Coron (or the other way around). How to do that exactly we have described in a separate article Philippines 2022 | Entry, S-PaSS, Corona Rules
Does it make a difference in which direction I take the Boat Trip?
No not at all. It depends on your personal travel planning whether you go from El Nido to Coron or from Coron to El Nido. But of course you should also check when the tour operator offers the respective tours at all. Check the website of El Nido Paradise* or contact the provider by mail to find out the available times. Especially now during COVID not as many tours are offered as before the pandemic.