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.
Update (January 2015): I’ve gone to Coron, Palawan already. Will post my write-ups soon!
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.
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.
Book your Coron Town Tour with Maquinit Hot Springs via Klook.
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
For Day 2, you can book Coron Tour A via Klook, covering CYC beach, the Coral Garden, picnic lunch at Atwayan Beach, Hidden Lagoon, Quin Reef, and Kayangan Lake.
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.
As an alternative, you can do the Coron Tour B, covering Barracuda Lake, Skeleton Wreck, picnic lunch at Banol Beach, the Twin Lagoon, and Reef Garden.
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.
Another tip: Shuttle vans from Busuanga airport to Coron costs P200. Save P50 and pre-book via Klook!
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Thank you for such a wonderful informational post. We will go to Coron this summer with my kids. I found out that UltimateCoronExperience.com/ 09184659010 offered special rates for kids:
2 years old and below are free of charge (No Bed and Breakfast),3 years old to 6 years old – 50% off per person rate, 7 years old to 12 years old – 30% off per person rate. I’m glad they have something like that. I was able to save more for our pocket money.
Hi leah…manythanks from you blog.next year I will visit coron w/ my wife.also plan to stop to elnido…any suggestion or advice.thank u xo much…god bless….boyetcruz
Thank you for your informative blog. You’ve listed all the must-see places for the island/beach hopping experience. I’m having difficulty planning our itinerary since we only 2 full day for our trip. I would like to allot a day for this, and it’s good to know that all these places can be seen in a day.
Where can we find boats/groups to join in for the beach hopping? I haven’t been there yet so I’m unfamiliar with the places. Some resorts I find online are far from the beaches and I haven’t read any post mentioning the name of the area where there boats for beach hopping. I checked for packages online and they are quite expensive. I also need to consider where we will be staying or else we will be spending more for the fare expenses.
You mention about agoda.com
just wanna know if its legit? Im here in kuwait and i would like to make a reservation to them.
we will be going there with my favorite wife (lol) this dec 10 and stay there for 4 days , i want to thank you for this guide
Bear: Hope you had fun!!
cooll….dami nyo na adventure mam! 🙂
ano po camera gamit nio dito ang ganda ng shot’s?
Salamat, Rendel. I use Nikon D3100. It’s years old but still okay 🙂
Hi! Just wanna here an opinion from you. Which do you think is better? Arranging a package tour or just go there having our own itinerary considering the money and time as well as the convenience. I need any recommendation from a traveler like you. Thank you!
Sorry for the late response! Just arrange everything yourself. There are tours there you can join.
Hello, I would like to ask how to book the tours/island hopping in Coron? Can you recommend a reliable tour agency?
I can recommend Nice in Paradise Tours. They have fliers in the airport and in your hotel probably. I also took a day tour via Coron Galeri but half of their snorkels were defective, at least in our group. Loved their free coffee at their office, but with defective snorkels, I wasn’t too happy with them.
How much is the total expense? 🙂
Hi Marie! Excluding airfare:
Roundtrip transfers — P300
Hotel for 3 nights — P3000
2 day tours + Mt Tapyas — P1800
Food — P700
You can cut down on hotel expenses. Take a look at my suggestions on where to stay in Coron: http://solitarywanderer.com/2015/03/stay-in-coron/
Just one omission from the Coron Island post is kayaking. Paddling from and back to Coron town lowers your carbon “footprint”, helps with fitness, and gets the most out of the experience: you can enter lagoons that you would otherwise not enter and you can experience the peace and quiet away from motorised bancas, the mainstream island hopping vehicle. And yes, we at Tribal Adventures, operating in Coron since 1999, offers daily sea kayak trips to Coron Island on sit-in AND sit-on kayaks. Your guide is the incomparable Julius Villamor and yours truly, when I’m not at Busuanga adventure retreat Camp Calauit. Feel free to visit Tribal Adventures at Tribal Cafe, National Highway, Bancuang, Coron town.
Hey Greg. I would love to go kayaking when I get the chance to visit Coron again. Thanks for the idea!
@ Dennis: Yeah, even in El Nido, they turn off the electricity during the day. Glad to hear you enjoyed your Coron vacation!
My wife, cousin and I had a great time in Coron last year. There were great views from Mt Tapyas, the hot springs were great and island hopping was a lot of fun. There was beautiful scenery, especially on the hike to Kayangan Lake. Plus, our island hopping tour included lunch on the beach cooked by our tour guide Bong. The only bad things were that they shut off the electricity a few times a day and our flight back to Cebu was cancelled due to rain.
@ Freya: I would also love to soak in the hot springs!
ooh I would love to do the hot springs and go snorkeling there? It looks amazing.
Beautiful photos as well.
@ Photo Cache: Palawan will always be an excellent choice for chilling. 🙂
@ Dana Carmel: No idea how deep but the water looks marvelous!
I’d love to use this itinerary whenever I finally make it to Palawan. This looks like the perfect place to escape from it all, and Lake Kayangan is absolutely gorgeous! It looks so serene. I wonder how deep it is.
This would be my #1 place to visit in PI. I’d do a lot of chilling and sightseeing 🙂
@ Mike: I, too, would love to swim in Kayangan Lake. The water’s so clear!
@ Winston: I answered in the other post. Check it out. 🙂 http://solitarywanderer.com/2012/02/backpacking-solo-in-europe-for-70-days/
Hi Aleah, I’m Winston from Sarangani/GenSan. You are an inspiration to all the newbie-traveler like me. Keep inspiring Youngbloods! 🙂 I would like to ask how much did it cost you re Eurotrip? I am planning to do the same (max of 30 days) soon enough. Thanks and Appreciate it!
Terrific guest post and thank you for sharing her with us, Aleah! I’m all in for Kayangan Lake! Oh my gosh the swimming and beaches…yes please! 🙂 I would also like to do some shopping in Coron as well! 🙂