Everything you need to know about traveling to Coron.
Coron is an island located North of Palawan gifted with dramatic landscapes that shouldn’t be missed when traveling to the Philippines. The stunning limestone cliffs that form the island hide charming lagoons and picturesque lakes that boast very clear waters. On other parts of the island, there are small fine, white sand beaches whose backgrounds are the towering limestone formation. The coral reefs are healthy and teeming with aquatic life.
Oh, one must not forget the World War II shipwrecks that are scattered at the bottom of the sea surrounding the island, which are perfect for wreck divers. I can confidently say that Coron Island has the best landscape I’ve ever seen so far whilst traveling the Philippines; just great for my photography.
Top things to do
The Main town of Coron has little to offer but shops, restaurants, and accommodation. The best things to do in Coron are definitely out in the sea.
Coron Island Tours
There are plenty of agencies in the main town that offer tours for 900 to 1500 pesos per person to go to 5 to 6 per tour out of 14 spots on Coron Island. So they usually offer Tour A and B. Some agencies offer highlights/ultimate tours, which take you to the best spots in Coron. The group could include 6 to 15 people. The payment already includes lunch on one of the beaches; although, it may or may not include entrance fees which could cost 600 pesos each for all the sites.
Coron Island Private, Customized Tour
For our trip, my partner and I decided to get a private tour. We hired a boat operator at the pier for 2200 pesos for the boat plus 500 pesos for the guide (no tour boats are allowed to go without a guide). The entrance fees totaled to 1200 pesos for the both of us. We also had to buy our own food. By doing the math, I’d say we spent 2000 pesos each, a little over than what you will pay in tour agencies.
Is it worth it? Definitely! With just the two of us on the boat plus the 2 boatmen and the guide, we were able to decide which ones we want to visit, and for how long we want to stay. The guide led us to the spots that are not packed with tourists yet. Coron as a popular tourist destination can be very, very crowded. Needless to say, we were able to enjoy the lagoons, the lakes, the wreck, and the beaches for ourselves for a long time before it got crammed with other sightseers.
Definitely, one of the best dives I’ve had. Dive in and out of the eerie but beautiful World War II shipwrecks. Sign up with Corto Divers (where you’ll get to use their resort pool for free) or with Neptune Diving Center. Spend a few days in Coron if you want to see more of the wrecks. Some wrecks are only available for those with Advance Open Water certification. There are more than 10 wrecks in Coron.
Drive east to Cabo Beach
When you’re not out island hopping or wreck diving, Cabo Beach offers its golden sand beach and cool water, located 15 minutes east of Coron town. It’s the closest beach to swim in Coron town. Not a lot of tourists there since most are out on tours. At night, the Milky Way is clearly seen from the beach. Nearby is the Maguinit Hot Spring and the lighthouse.
In the northwest corner of the island is the Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can see zebras, giraffes etc. It’s about a 2,5 hour ride and requires a 10 minute boat ride. Along the way you’ll pass the gorgeous Busuanga Bay, see here below.
How to get to Coron
From El Nido by ferry
There are boats going from El Nido to Coron daily. There are two options: The Slow boat takes you to Coron in 9 hours for 1300 pesos; the Fast boat (Fastcraft) takes you there in 4 hours for 1750 pesos. We opted for the fastcraft. However, the tickets sell very fast. You need to book the ticket at least two days before leaving. Boat leaves at 6 am daily.
From Manila by plane
There are direct flights going from Manila to Coron daily. However, these are very expensive, one-way ticket could amount to 7000 pesos approximately.
From Manila by ferry
From Manila, 2go Travel shipping company has ferries leaving for Coron twice weekly, every Tuesday, and Friday. Going from Coron to Manila, the schedule is twice a week, every Sunday and Thursday. The trip takes around 13 hours. The ticket price varies daily but could be around 2500 pesos for the cheapest accommodation on the ship.
Where to Stay in Coron
There are a plenty of hostels and high-end hotels. We took a room in Luis Bay Travelers Inn, which was only 600/pesos for a room for two.
If you opt for a high-end resort, I’d recommend The Funny Lion. The room could cost 6000 pesos a night. They have pools nestled amongst Mangroves. They also have two rooftop Jacuzzis perfect for sunset viewing.
Where to Eat in Coron
Here are our recommendations:
No Name Bar – try the No Name Burger, their Nacho Snacks, and their cocktails
Café Kong – good coffee and breakfast
Blue Moon – Asian and Western dishes
A Little Bit of Reminder
Don’t forget to bring insect repellents as mosquitoes there could harbor malaria. There were only 2 ATMs that I noticed in Coron town, so withdraw money when you can.
Conclusion & Rating
Coron is definitely beautiful. It might beat El Nido on my list. There’s so much to see in its waters – limestone cliffs, lagoons, lakes, white sand beaches, shipwrecks! It’s totally worth the visit after your El Nido trip. For the island tour, I’d totally recommend that you have a private tour with a few people on the boat, so that you can thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the experience. And definitely, don’t miss the wreck diving.
Rating (out of 10):
OVERALL EXPERIENCE: 9
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK: 8
EASY TO TRAVEL:8
Links to check out!
If you’re going to Coron, you’re likely to go to El Nido as well, right? Check out my El Nido Travel Guide! Going down further south as well? Then have a look my other Palawan posts of Long Beach, Port Barton, Underground River, Honda Bay and especially the off the beaten track trip to South Palawan.