I had always wanted to go to Coron in Palawan. It’s a diver’s dream with its numerous dive sites, and it’s any water-lover’s paradise as well. I did buy a return ticket there once; I made hostel reservations, contacted tour agencies, all the works—only to realize that the really cheap ticket I had bought was for a year later. #fail
I was really happy, then, to accept this guest post from a fellow blogger who has previously published two well-received articles on Puerto Princesa. Wendi Garcia, a Palawan local, gives you the lowdown on things to do in Coron.
Coron is one of the must-visit destinations in Palawan and for good reason. From hills and hot springs to lakes, beaches, coral gardens and shipwreck sites, there is so much to see and experience in Coron that deciding on where to go and what to do in three days can be a challenge. To help you out, here’s a sample itinerary for a three-day, two-night trip.
(For places to stay, look for hostels and hotels in Coron via Agoda.)
Day 1 in Coron—Climb Mt. Tapyas + Swim at Maquinit Hot Springs
Unless you reach Coron particularly early, you’ll probably be able to start going around in the afternoon. Go around the town for an hour or so. Try to pass by Lualhati Park, St. Augustine Church, Harbor Center, the tourism office, and the municipal hall.
If you’re reasonably fit, climb the 725 steps to reach the summit of Mount Tapyas, the second-highest point in Coron. From there, you can see the whole of Coron town and the outlying Calamianes islands. You can also wait for the sun to set for an even more stunning panoramic view.
Also consider watching the sunset from the infinity pools of Maquinit Hotspring (which is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.). With temperatures ranging from 38 to 41 degrees Celsius, dipping in the saltwater hot springs is a perfect way to relax after a tiring hike and on a cold night.
Day 2 in Coron—Swim at Kayangan Lake + Beach Hopping + Diving
Reserve this day for exploring the beaches and islands of Coron. Boat tours usually start between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. You can join pre-arranged tours or hire a private boat to take you around. If you’re traveling solo, ask to just join a group so you can save on fees.
Expect the tours to end at 5:00 p.m. at the latest. Which spots you’ll “hop” to will depend on what you feel like doing or seeing on that day. If you would like to swim and snorkel, your tour could cover Siete Picados and Kayangan Lake.
With its clear waters and abundant sea life, Siete Picados is perfect for snorkeling. Kayangan Lake, which can be reached by climbing 100 or so steps up and then down, has been considered the cleanest lake in Asia. So make sure to take a dip in its waters!
Have lunch in any of these beaches: Atwayan Beach, Smith Beach, Banol Beach, 91 Beach, Vivian Beach, Kalachuchi Beach or Bulungan Beach. Their beauty will definitely take your breath away.
In the afternoon, explore Skeleton Wreck (the tip of the sunken ship is only 10-feet deep), the Twin Lagoons (which has a small underwater cave that you must swim into to reach the inner lagoon), and the Twin Peaks (known for its rich and colorful coral reefs and fish).
Feel free to switch out one or more of these destinations with the following sites: Barracuda Lake, CYC Island, Lusong Gunboat Shipwreck, Coral Garden and Pass Island.
You could also dedicate the day to beach hopping. For fine, powdery white beaches, venture into Malcapuya Island, Banana Island, Malaroyroy Island, and Bulog Island. You even can camp or spend the evening at Malcapuya. But do try to get to the beaches early, as the waves can get pretty big late in the afternoon.
Day 3 in Coron—Go Shopping Around Town
Your activities on this day will depend on the time of your flight. If you’re on a mid-morning flight, you can probably squeeze in some shopping. Head to the local souvenir stores and buy cashew nuts and goods (preferably at Coron Harvest Factory). Drop by the public market as well for some dried fish you can take home.
If you’re scheduled to depart late in the afternoon, you could even book a half-day island-hopping tour or rent a bike or motorcycle to see more of Coron town. If you have even more time to spare, you can go on another whole-day tour and still catch your evening flight.
A three-day vacation may not be long enough to enjoy all the places you want to visit in Coron, but with careful planning and plenty of research, you can come up with a great itinerary and make the most out of your trip.
About the Author
Wendi P. Garcia is a writer, a mom to a six-year-old curly top and a newborn, and an avid traveler as well. She runs Pencil Head Creative Studio from her home in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
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Aleah Taboclaon is a freelance writer and editor. She likes running (completed one marathon, training for the next!), diving (PADI open water diver), and traveling with her Kindle. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. You can also email her; she would love to hear from you!