Remembering that boat ride from hell in Palawan (El Nido to Coron to Mindoro vv route)

I am recalling my challenging boat experience when I was in beautiful Palawan. People always remember the beautiful side of travel, I recall both beautiful and scary experiences.. not to make you scared but just to have a reality check for you. Well, I’m still alive, not sure if it will be your case if it happens to you so good luck.

palawan tourist spots

Last December, when my trip to Palawan was about to end, I decided that my route should be boat travel from El Nido to Coron to Mindoro to Batangas then finally Laguna.

el nido coron mindoro trail


I was browsing the internet for blogs with a similar route and I only read very few mentions about it. Now I know the reason why it’s a route less travelled..

The boat ticket was not that cheap. In fact, an airline promo ticket was much more cheaper. But then I just want to try the route since very few people have documented it in the internet.

I thought it will be just another fun ride.. besides the journey is just 8 hours. I regularly ride ships from Luzon to Visayas for more than 8 hours so I was thinking it will not be a problem.


During the first few minutes while lovely dotted islands in El Nido are becoming smaller, everything was all calm.. in fact, it was really very calm for the first few hours.. until waves begun to get bigger.. and bigger.. until the waves were as big as the boat itself.

I thought I will be fine.. but some people started puking.. the pungent smell made me puke too!

The next few hours was a horrifying ordeal.. a few people inside the boat are laying on the floor while someone wailing that she can’t take it anymore and feels like she’s gonna die. There were around 30 people on boat, some are kids that are puking too.. Halfway thru the ride, the engine got busted, good thing boatmen fixed it despite huge waves.

It was a delirious situation for 8 hours. After that, I just spent the night in Coron and the next day, I have to go to the same drama again for another 8 hours from Coron to Mindoro!

Sorry no pictures of the ordeal. I actually don’t want to remember the scenario. But then, I also would like to warn you of what might happen if you take the similar route on a rainy season. There was no typhoon but still the waves were so high. Thank God we didn’t sink.

That incident made me not want to travel for a very long time..

Now after 3 months, I have recovered a bit. In fact, I bought tickets to a new destination, and is at the planning stage again..

During travels, I might take boat trips again but I must remember to check on the weather before going so I won’t encounter such horrors again.

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8 thoughts on “Remembering that boat ride from hell in Palawan (El Nido to Coron to Mindoro vv route)

  1. I could imagine your ordeal, I was also traveling from Negros Island to Manila via Cuyo Island, Puerto Princesa, and Coron last january of this year on a small ferry boat. Weather during this month makes it more difficult for a small boat to cross Coron-Mindoro Strait…glad you made it safely.

    Nice blog by the way.

    1. the name of the boat is Bunso but I think all other boats will have the same experience when passing thru this route.. just avoid this el nido to coron or vice versa route on a rainy season

  2. Hi !
    We would like to do the same but from Mindoro to Coron. in December as well… Is it difficult to find the boats?
    Because I don’t see any other way to reach Palawan from Mindoro…

    And what did you think of Mindoro, does it “worth” it?

    1. i experienced very high waves too.. if you can fly directly to Coron, I think it is much better.. or fly to Puerto Princesa then traverse Palawan until El Nido if you are into long rides.. December is monsoon season so be careful and always monitor weather

  3. Good thing I read your blog just in time. I’m planning for a trip from El Nido to Coron this week, and given that September is a rainy season (I kind of forgot the weather because of seat sale!) so I’m not betting my life on the Pacific Ocean. I’ve already watched Castaway and that’s a plane situation, even!

    Thanks for the tip!

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