Coron – just the mere mention of it can make many Filipinos, and even foreigners, think about the beautiful islands, pristine waters, white-sand beaches, historical shipwrecks, and charming lagoons surrounded by lush greenery. It is easy to get lost in time and just lay by the beach for hours on end. Hence it is completely understandable when people keep on returning to this small town, and those who haven’t been here are eager to visit the place one day.
Before we delve into the itinerary and attractions, it is best that we understand the town’s structure first since there are two Coron in Palawan – one is the Coron town proper in Busuanga Island and the other is the Coron Island 30-minutes from Coron town. The Coron town proper is the center of tourism and business. It is easy to find tour operators, transportation, accommodations, and restaurants in Coron town proper. To sum it all up, Coron town proper is not located in Coron Island, but in Busuanga Island.
This brief guide to Coron will let you know how to get there, what to do, eat, and drink, where to stay, and must-see spots.
Best Time to Visit
It’s best to visit the Philippines during the dry season. Dry season in the Philippines spans from November through April. These are the summer months in this country.
Be aware that temperatures and humidity levels are particularly high in April and May.
The best time to be a beach bum and explore the islands is from March to May.
TIP: Booking for summer trips should be done as early as possible, at least a month before your travel dates, since resorts get fully booked early.
The period from June to October is the rainy (wet) season and is best avoided due to the high possibility of typhoons. The typhoons can not only be destructive, but most tours and activities are cancelled under such circumstances. Transportation via plane and boat is also seriously impacted as well. This happens frequently so beware!
This guide recommends traveling to Coron in April-May or in November-December, just before and just after the rainy season. This will likely bring fewer crowds, yet pleasant weather, and is also a great time to score a travel deal.
Plug commonly used is Type A but Types B and C are used as well. Bring A to B adapter(s).
There are many ways to get here depending on your starting point. This guide recommends using the following online tools to identify all the available options and cost for each: Rome2Rio and PHBUS. We have provided the major ports of entry for this destination below.
The following are the modes of transportation available in Coron.
SEE & DO
The following are popular places to see and activities to enjoy while in Coron.
1 | Mt. Tapyas
The foot of Mt. Tapyas is easily accessible by foot or short tricycle ride within the town of Coron. From the foot, you have to hike the 700+ steps stairs that will take you to the top where you can enjoy the panoramic view of Coron town, Coron Island and the neighboring islands. It’s also the best place to watch the sunset.
2 | Maquinit Hot Spring
Soothe your tired body with a soak in the therapeutic water of Maquinit Hot Spring. The two circular pools, with water that is said to be between 37℃ to 40℃, have walls and flooring covered in pebbles. The beach and mangrove forest nearby make the spring more magical.
3 | Kayangan Lake
Kayangan Lake is probably the most photographed attraction in Coron. Don’t miss out on the viewpoint where you will be treated with a magnificent view of the lake and its crystal clear turquoise water, tall cliffs, and the Coron Bay. It’s recognized as the cleanest lake in the Philippines so you really have to go and see it when in Coron.
4 | Barracuda Lake
Though there’s only a few marine life in Barracuda Lake, it’s still a popular site for snorkeling among family and group of friends. You’d get to meet and greet prawns and catfishes. What makes the lake interesting among divers is the opportunity to experience thermocline, a layer of water between a warmer water above and cooler water below.
5 | Twin Lagoon
One lagoon inside the other – this best describes Twin Lagoon. The outer lagoon which is surrounded by karst cliffs is where the boats dock. In one of those cliffs, you will find a hole leading to the inner lagoon. The hole is big enough to allow two or three persons to swim through during low tide. During high tide, it is completely submerged in the water thus the need for people to climb the wooden ladder over the rock to reach the inner lagoon. Twin Lagoon is one for the books not only because of the thrill it takes to get there but also because of its charm and beauty.
6 | Skeleton Wreck
This sunken Japanese ship is called Skeleton Wreck since it really is just the skeleton of the ship encrusted with corals. Though it’s approximately 40 meters deep, non-divers can still enjoy the underwater spectacle since it is visible from the surface. With wreck houses fishes of all sizes and colors.
7 | Lusong Coral Garden and Shipwreck
Another Japanese ship sunk by the US Navy during World War II, the shipwreck is located in the southern part of Lusong Island, hence the name. The shipwreck is encrusted with sponges and soft corals therefore creating what appears to be like a huge coral garden. Aside from corals, fishes such as butterflyfish, pufferfish, and batfish can also be seen.
8 | East Tangat Wreck
This Japanese shipwreck close to the shore of Tangat Island is ideal for snorkelers and novice divers because it is shallow and has mild current and very good visibility. The site is teeming with various marine life including colorful corals, sponges, clownfish, angelfish, parrotfish, and other reef fishes.
9 | Malcapuya Island
A few minutes from Banana Island is the Malcapuya Island. Often compared to Boracay because of its long stretch of white powdery sand, the beach boasts of its pristine water with varying shades of aquamarine and green. It is ideal for swimming and dipping, even to non-swimmers because of its shallow water that stretches for a few meters from the shoreline.
NOTE: The Kasadyaan Festival occurs annually in Coron every 28th of August.
EAT & DRINK
The following are flavorful foods to enjoy and restaurants to try while in Coron.
1 | Altrove
Just like in El Nido, Altrove in Coron is a favorite among tourists – both local and foreign because of the great food they serve. Try their firewood brick oven pizza for that authentic Italian pizza experience. It gets busy during peak hours that you may need to wait in a queue for at least 20 minutes to be seated. Come early to avoid the crowd.
2 | Brujita Bar and Restaurant
This is the place to be for vegetarians when in Coron. They serve reasonably-priced tasteful dishes made with good quality ingredients. This, too, gets crowded by 7:00 PM so make sure to come early to avoid the queues.
3 | Lobster King
Meal fit for a king? Try the lobster king! You get to choose fresh lobster from the water tank and they will cook it based on your preferences – steamed, grilled, spicy garlic butter… you name it!
4 | Winnie’s
Satisfy your seafood cravings at Winnie’s Restaurant. From steamed lobster to crab meat curry, crab rice, and shrimp fried rice, they have them at this humble restaurant. Even their service is great that you can call in advance for your order to minimize waiting time.
5 | Sinugba sa Balay
Since the word “sinugba” is the local term for grilled, this restaurant may be the best option if you are looking for grilled dishes. Aside from grilled, they have other Filipino favorites like seafood noodles, sizzlers, curry and many others. Best to come early to avoid the long wait.
KNOWN FOR: Cashew
WHERE TO STAY
There are many different types of accommodations available in this destination ranging from hostels to luxurious resorts. The following is your guide to our top choices for each range in Coron.
1 | Coron Visitors Hotel (Budget)
2 | Coron Gateway Hotel and Suites (Mid-Range)
3 | Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel (Luxury | Resort)
When doing research online of where to stay for specific destination, we use the following sites to conduct our research:
Book your room with these trusted online booking sites. Booking online in the Philippines almost always guarantees the best price and a room when you arrive. We use these sites frequently to get the best prices and enjoy convenient bookings. Click each of the buttons below to find the best place for you at the lowest rates:
TIP: Coron Gateway Hotel and Suites is the best property to experience this destination
This chart is your guide to get an idea of how much to budget daily in Coron. Actual amounts will depend on YOUR travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages … some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less. Prices are in USD.
A bed in a hostel dorm costs from 350 PHP ($7 USD), but smaller dorms can cost from 500 PHP ($10 USD). For a private double, prices start around 700 PHP ($14 USD).
Most budget hotels begin at 700 PHP ($14 USD) per night for a double room and usually include free wifi and breakfast. For a three-star hotel, prices begin around 1,400 PHP ($28 USD) per night. AirBnB is also widespread throughout the country, with private rooms starting from as little as 500 PHP ($10 USD) per night. For entire apartments, expect to pay at least 1,400 PHP ($28 USD) per night.
Resorts and luxury accommodations vary greatly from 1,400 PHP ($28 USD) to 5,000+ PHP ($100+ USD). However, there are some really nice resorts and luxury accommodations which are surprisingly affordable.
Local food is extremely cheap, with street food costing under 50 PHP ($1USD). For an inexpensive meal at a local restaurant, prices start around 100 PHP ($2 USD). For a meal at a mid-range restaurant with drinks and table service, expect to pay from 200 PHP ($4 USD). Knowing that their target customers are primarily tourists, Western food venues can be pricey compared to Filipino food. Also, some of the ingredients need to be imported, which contributes to the higher cost. Western food (burgers, pizza, pasta, etc.) is much more expensive but is still relatively affordable at around 200 PHP ($4 USD) for a meal and drink.
Fast food like McDonalds will cost around 200 PHP ($4 USD). A beer at the bar will cost around 50-100 PHP ($1–2 USD).
A week’s worth of groceries will cost between 300-600 PHP ($6-12 USD) per person. However, food in this country is so inexpensive, and kitchens & refrigerators are hard to come by, I don’t recommend cooking your meals here since there is plenty of delicious street food to eat at very cheap prices. You won’t make it as good as they do and the food is too delicious to miss!
There are many modes of transportation available in the Philippines and each varies greatly.
Public Transportation is cheap. Bus services on the islands are inexpensive. Local buses (called jeepneys) are the most common type of transportation in towns and cities. The fare is usually between 7-25 PHP ($.20–.50 USD).
On islands without a bus system, a taxi or tricycle is the only form of transport with fares starting at 50-500 PHP ($1-$10) USD for short trips.
Taxis are everywhere, and they’re very cheap. Most fares shouldn’t cost you more than 500 PHP ($10 USD) around town.
To get between islands, you’ll need to take a boat or to fly. There are ferries that connect the island together since they aren’t too far apart but, generally speaking, flights are the most realistic option.
Flights between islands usually cost about 2,000-3500 PHP ($40-70 USD). However, this isn’t the cheapest way to travel. It’s only recommended if you have limited time.
Attractions & Activities
Most attractions and activities in the Philippines are pretty cheap. Most attractions throughout the area are FREE to enter, though some of the more well known and popular ones cost 5-100 PHP ($.10-$2 USD) to enter.
Depending on the activity, most day tours only cost around 1,000-1,500 PHP ($20-30 USD), oftentimes less. You have more bargaining power if you go with a group. If you are expecting to do some climbing, remember to pack some warm layers. It gets cold at the top!
Other activities such as Island Hopping, scuba diving, helmet diving, swimming with whale sharks, jungle trekking, canyoning, ATVs, jet skis, wakeboarding, cruises, parasailing, horseback riding, cultural experiences, and tours can cost as much as 1,250-5,000+ PHP ($25-100+ USD).
The Philippines is one of the least expensive places to learn how to scuba dive. Learning to scuba dive usually costs about 15,000-20,000 PHP ($300-400 USD), but often includes FREE accommodation for the duration of the course, which lasts three or four days.
Always book your tours and activities when you arrive. Stick to travel agents who are selling on the ground. If a travel agent won’t negotiate with you, move on to the next until you find one that will. Booking tours online is almost always more expensive.
Typical Costs in Coron in 2020:
- Hostel Dorm Bed: 250-350 PHP ($5–7 USD) night
- Budget Hotel: 700 PHP ($14 USD) night
- Mid-Range Hotel: 1500 PHP ($31 USD) night
- Street Food: 50-150 PHP ($1–3 USD) meal
- Restaurant Meals: 200-300 PHP ($4–6 USD) meal
- Local Beer: 50-100 PHP ($1–2 USD) bottle
- 1.5L Bottle of Water: 38 PHP ($.75 USD) bottle
- Jeepney Ride: 7-25 PHP ($.20–.50 USD) ride
- Tricycle Ride: 20-100 PHP ($.5-2 USD) ride
- Long-Distance Bus Ride: 400-500 PHP ($8–10 USD) ride
- Public Ferry Ride: 200-300 PHP ($4–6 USD) ride
- Domestic Flight: 2,000-3,500 PHP ($40–70 USD) flight
- Island-Hopping: 1,000-1,500 PHP ($20-30 USD) trip
BEST NO-FEE INTERNATIONAL DEBIT & CREDIT CARDS
The following is some of our best advice on traveling to this destination. Learn what you need to know BEFORE you go!
Tips & Hacks
The following are our Top 10 Tips when visiting this destination in the Philippines:
- Be aware that a tourist VISA is only 30 days. You can extend it upon arrival, or within the first 30 days, for an additional 30 days for a fee of approximately 3,000 pesos.
- Don’t buy into the fear factor. The Philippines has an unjustified reputation of being a dangerous place. It’s true there are security guards everywhere, but that is to deter theft.
- Manila is NOT the Philippines. Get outside of the cities to see the real Philippines.
- Don’t over plan. Boats, buses, and even airplane schedules are notoriously unreliable. Be flexible.
- Check the weather. The weather varies greatly throughout the Philippines daily.
- Typhoons can have a huge impact on your plans. Account for this when planning your trip.
- It’s not cool to raise your voice or show outward frustration in public.
- Be polite at all times. Realize that your country’s sense of humor may be different from Filipino humor and take this into account when interacting with Filipinos and while in public places.
- Things move at a slower pace. Accept it … don’t get frustrated … but do account for it.
- Don’t drink the tap water… but stay hydrated! Save money by buying large bottles (6-10 liters) of water and using it to fill your water bottle or hydration bladder in your backpack.
For a complete list of our travel tips & hacks, check out the following guide and be sure to download a FREE copy for yourself.
The Philippines has its own currency called the Philippine Peso. Banks, ATMs, and money-changers can be found in Coron. If you are exploring the neighboring islands or provinces, make sure to bring enough cash that will last until the next time you get to an ATM or bank since most tours, transportation, and budget accommodations only accept cash.
Health & Safety
While overall the Philippines is a safe country to visit, as is Coron, you need to use common sense just as you would in any country, especially when traveling, and in a city, town, or area you are unfamiliar with.
Consult your hotel or resort front desk as they are more likely to give you reliable information than a random stranger on the street. Be careful when approaching strangers and selective about who you approach. Always pay attention to your gut feeling and follow it.
There are many things to consider when traveling in order to stay safe … things that we may not be accustomed to during our normal everyday lives. The following are articles about tips on how to stay safe while traveling in the Philippines:
- 6 Common Accidents to Avoid
- How to Beat the Heat in the Philippines
- Taxi Safety Tips: Dos and Don’ts
- Motorbike Safety Tips
- Beach & Ocean Safety Tips
- Sun Safety Tips
Staying fit & healthy can be challenging when traveling in the Philippines.
The tropical Philippines climate requires you to prepare for illnesses that you may not normally be accustomed to.
The following are our Top 10 Tips for Staying Healthy while Traveling in the Philippines:
- Maintain a Balanced Diet
- Stay Hydrated but Only Drink Bottled Water
- Get Plenty of Rest
- Allow Your Body Time to Adjust
- Keep Active
- Sanitize Often
- Be Aware of Food Safety Concerns
- Take Your Vitamins
- Practice Safe Sex
- Be Prepared Should You Get Sick
You need to have a local-based SIM card in order to stay connected when in the Philippines. Network giants such as Globe and Smart have SIM cards you can use to make calls, send text messages, and also to connect to the Internet. A SIM card costs around 50 PHP ($1 USD) and usually comes with a FREE load worth 50 PHP ($1 USD). You can buy a card containing a code you can enter on your phone to replenish your load or buy an electronic load that is available almost anywhere in the city.
While you may not have problems with signal strength when in the city, it is not always the case when on islands or in remote areas of a province. So when arranging for transportation pick up, say when renting a boat to take you to and pick you up from the island, it would be best that you make it clear what time you need to be picked up before the boatman leaves.
Recommended Travel Apps
Apps for smartphones and tablets can be useful both before you leave and while you’re traveling. Most are available for iPhones and Android phones.
- Grab (taxis/ride shares)
- Angkas (motorbike ride-hailing)
- WhatsApp (phone calls)
- Skyscanner (flights)
- Rome2Rio (transportation)
- Agoda (accomodations)
- Booking.com (accomodations)
- AirBnB (accomodations)
- Traveloka (flights, accomodations, activities)
- Klook (attractions & activities )
Be certain to download and set up apps BEFORE leaving on your trip to make certain each is installed and working properly.
For our complete list of travel apps that we use and recommend while traveling in the Philippines, checkout our checklist below.
Trying to decide what to do when traveling to a destination for the first time can be a bit overwhelming given your lack of familiarity with the place along with all of the available options.
We’ve created the following itinerary to help simplify the process and ensure that you get the most out of your trip. Although we provide a 7 day itinerary for this destination, it can always be adjusted to fit the length of your trip.
The secret to a successful and stress-free trip is to start by using a packing list. This will reduce anxiety from the start and ensure that nothing important is forgotten when packing. To make this process easy for you, we’ve created a detailed packing list. Click the link below to download it for FREE now.
Carrying your checklist with you during your travels can be useful when repacking, by helping to ensure that you do not leave anything behind.
Things to Remember
There is a nationwide ban which prohibits smoking in public places including indoors, the streets, on sidewalks, in restaurants , and on public transportation, requiring smokers to use designated smoking areas. Selling tobacco to and purchasing from or for minors is also prohibited. Violators are subject to fines (up to 5,000 PHP | $100 USD) and even 4 months in prison.
The minimum legal drinking age is 18. Alcohol such as beer and hard drinks can easily be bought in grocery and convenience stores. The most common alcoholic beverage is beer, generally served cold. Local alcoholic drinks include tuba (coconut wine which is usually very strong) and potent moonshine-like clear liquors made from sugar or fruit. Imported beer, wine, and name brand hard alcohol are available but expensive.
Drugs are illegal in the Philippines. Don’t use, buy, or sell any non-prescription drugs while in the Philippines … not even marijuana. It is considered an especially heinous crime to buy from, for, or sell drugs to children. The penalties are severe … up to and including death.
Public nudity is illegal in the Philippines and is not tolerated. Most locals consider it offensive. There are laws which prohibit provocative and erotic clothing and swimwear, therefore carefully consider your clothings and swimwear choices to make certain they are not too revealing.
Foreigners & Expats
If you are not a Filipino citizen, remember that you are a guest when visiting this country … be certain to act accordingly. Respect the people, their customs, and the environment and wlidlife. You can be deported and banned … so behave … but have fun and enjoy all that this wonderful destination has to offer.
Don’t Forget …
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