Daracotan Island travel guide
Luzon,  Travel Guides,  Travels

2024 Daracoton Island DIY Travel Guide

There are just these places that my heart and soul yearn to see and experience all over again; not because they have appealed to my senses big time but they just had a way of making me feel and realize a lot of things that matter to my being. Palawan is among those places for me. Recently, I came back to El Nido and decided to take the path less traveled; to see the beauty that others often miss out on. There’s this place that I fell in love the moment I laid my eyes upon it. More so, I found a home to this island – in Daracoton island.

Meet Daracoton

Daracoton island is seated off the coast of Teneguiban, El Nido in the northern east part of Palawan. It boasts a stretch of pristine white sand and rocky beaches around a dense flora. It is a humble abode as well to a local community of Cuyonin who mostly were employed by the few resorts in the island itself. Other than its local community, the island houses interesting terrestrial and sea creatures that you get to meet during your stay.

How to Get There

From Puerto Princesa City to Daracoton Island

  1. There are shared vans going to Sibaltan from Puerto Princesa City Grand Terminal. From the airport, you can take a taxi to the grand terminal. These vans going to Sibaltan pass by Teneguiban port. Tell the driver to drop you off the port. Fare is at Php 900.00.
  2. Take the boat from Teneguiban Beach/ Port to Daracoton Island. Boat trips are usually coordinated with the management of the resort in the island that you are going to stay into. The trip takes 10 to 15 minutes depending on the condition of the ocean. Take note, though, that boat transfers can only be held between 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM.

From El Nido Town Proper to Daracoton Island

  1. Hail a tricycle, tuktuk, private car or van to Teneguiban Beach. The land trip takes an hour to an hour and thirty minutes of partly a bumpy ride especially when you reach Teneguiban. You may also opt to take a motorcycle if you have rented one to Teneguiban Beach.

Isla also arranges transfers from El Nido and/or Puerto Princesa to Daracoton island v.v. You just need to Below are their updated rates:

Isla to El Nido v.v.

  • Tuktuk – Php 1,000.00
  • Car – Php 1,500.00
  • Shared Van – Php 1,800.00

Isla to Puerto Princesa v.v.

  • Shared Van – Php 900.00
  • Private Van Rental – Php 6,500.00
  1. Take the boat from Teneguiban Beach/ Port to Daracoton Island. Boat trips are usually coordinated with the management of the resort in the island that you are going to stay into. The trip takes 10 to 15 minutes depending on the condition of the ocean. Take note, though, that boat transfers can only be held between 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM.

Where to Stay

There are only four campsite/ resorts in Daracoton. These are located in separate beaches around the island. These resorts are as follows:

  1. ISLA the Island ExperienceBook here
  2. Backpacker Island El NidoBook here
  3. Dryft CampBook here
  4. Tao Base CampBook here

Where I Stayed

The big huts of ISLA – The Island Experience

After few days of exploring the well-known and top tourist attractions of El Nido with Northern Hope Travel and Tours, I decided to take the off-the-beaten path and found myself on the bumpy road of Teneguiban. After an hour of land trip and some 15-minute boat ride, I set foot into this hidden gem at the north called the island of Daracoton.

I stayed at ISLA – the Island Experience during my visit. I was initially drawn to the elevated, glorified nipa by the beach that I saw from an online booking website. That’s maybe how it felt to be falling in love in a heartbeat. Imagine waking up to the singing of balinsasayaw and the waves softly crashing to the shore; walking to a balcony with a bamboo coffee table and a view of a pristine beach right in front of you. This is exactly how my mornings were like during my stay.

The lounge at the beach area

The Huts

I stayed for days at the Bohol hut. The huts, however, do not have electricity so expect no lights, electric fans nor any air conditioner. I was here to live the island experience, anyway. Each big hut has a double bed with mosquito net, cotton linens, blankets and pillows; towels, a rack for staff and a bamboo coffee table by the balcony.

When I needed to charge my gadgets, I just had to walk to the restaurant & bar where the outlets are. Since it would often rain during my stay, I had to wait for the solar panels to activate so I could charge everything. After doing so, I would often work at the balcony or by the restaurant but the only problem I had is the mobile network signal is poor to sporadic most of the time. Tip: If you’re gonna visit there and you have deadlines, might as well submit everything before your stay.

Where to Eat

There are no other restaurants in the island that I’ve known of but that of ISLA’s. They offer breakfast at Php 180.00 per serving (fruits and pancakes) and Php 380.00 for lunch and dinner (“buffet” style, but mostly of two to three viands). The management caters to the food preferences and restrictions of the guests but they should be given heads up prior to visit.

During my visit, I decided to cook my own food since as per my inquiry, they said they allow the use of their kitchen with their staff’s assistance. During my stay, it was Ate Eloisa, Ate Emma, Kuya Romeo, Kuya Roy and Kuya Mik who assisted me. Prior to this though, I bought everything I needed at the market. Take note that Isla doesn’t have a refrigerator but they have this ice box where they store the frozen and wet goods. I spent less than a thousand peso for it and was able to prepare and eat what I have been craving for.

Things to Do in Daracoton Island

The white beach in front of ISLA – The Island Experience

There’s honestly not much to do in Daracoton Island but to enjoy and romanticize the island life. But shall you find yourself bored, here’s a few things that you can do during your stay:

  1. Swimming – One of the best ways to enjoy the stay in Daracoton island is to swim into its clear, turquoise waters. However, take extra precaution when doing so. Since it’s a mix of a rocky and sandy bottom, there are lots of sting rays and stonefish camouflaging everywhere. When, I said “lots”, I mean a lot lot. There have been a lot of sting cases at the resort where I stayed so might as well take an extra precaution.
  2. Snorkeling – You can enjoy snorkeling around a shallow, coral-wrapped ship wreck by the beach near Tao Base Camp and Backpackers Island Resort. The side of the wreck often sticks out of the water during low tide (usually in the afternoon) since it’s tilted.
  3. Diving – The island, as per the resort staff and caretakers, is a spot where pods of dolphins and manta rays are often spotted especially by the wall in front of ISLA – The Island Experience.
  4. Beach Volleyball – Backpackers resort has set up a volleyball net by the beach that their guests can enjoy in their visit.
  5. Beach bumming – The beach of Daracoton Island is among the prettiest bone-white beach I’ve ever seen (probably bias by the thought that it is never crowded compared to the other beaches in El Nido). They are often cleaned and maintained by the resorts’ staff in the island. So, never miss out on sunbathing and beach bumming on your stay.
  6. Watch the sunrise and sunset – the island is also quite a spot to admire the golden sunset and sunrise. Though the weather has been bad for days, we’re thankful that the sunset showed up on our last night and it was indeed lovely.

Things to Remember When Visiting Daracoton Island

  1. The island resorts are either generator or solar-powered.
  2. They have a good source of deep-well fresh water.
  3. There are no convenience stores but small variety stores with limited goods in the island only. Hence, make sure that you are going to pack everything including food or snacks that you’ll need especially if you decide to stay a little longer.
  4. Be careful when swimming at the beach of this island. There are stingrays and stonefish even at the shallowest of the waters.
  5. The showers and toilets are shared and at times, far from the huts.
  6. Bring mosquito repellent lotion.
  7. Bring flashlights or small lamps.
  8. Only Smart/Sun/Talk N’ Text has a good mobile network signal in the island.

My Daracoton Island Experience, In a Nutshell

It isn’t and will never be convenient – it’s the point of the island experience. It’s raw, basic and beautiful all at the same time. This is what Daracoton has offered and I did not and won’t even complain. We all need some time off in this fast-paced and convenient world to make us realize that it has been like that for us. In this way, we get to appreciate what we have in hand. Also, it makes us realize that even the simplest things are beautiful, too.

You may also want to read more about Palawan:

Anne Elizabeth Gumiran, also known as Queenie, is a 20-something, full-time public school teacher, a part-time travel blogger and a freediver. She started putting her stories of adventures and misadventures into words and pictures in 2017 and continues to do so as she shares her advocacy, Sustainable Traveling.

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