Coron is considered one of the best places in Philippines, its iconic magical lagoons surrounded by lime mountains are always on the lists of best places of the world.Being known all of the world, Coron Island is still not overcrowded with tourists. Is spite of being popular among adventurers and divers from all parts of our world, Coron still has untouched nature with the most beautiful white sand beaches and abundance of underwater life. Pristine nature and marine life are the reasons that make people go there.
- Lime rock formations;
- Beautiful lagoons with super-clear water of an incredible emerald green colour;
- Pristine untouched beaches with powdery white sand;
- Abandoned marine life with colorful coral reefs and a wide variety of species;
- Best diving and snorkeling spots.
How to get there
Coron is a part of Palawan island, the province in the western Philippines. The fastest, most convenient but at the same time most expensive way to get to Coron is by air. From Manila or Angeles you should take a domestic flight to Busuanga International Airport.
We flew to Busuanga from Hong Kong via Clark International Airport, Angeles city. Flight time from Clark to Busuanga is less than one hour.
Another way to get to Coron is by ferry from Manila or Puerto Princessa. This is the cheapest but longest to go there. The ferry from Manila goes twice a week and the journey takes you 15 hours. The ferry from Puerto Princessa is only once a week and also takes 15 hours.
Of course if you are on a tight budget and want to have some cultural experience, that's your option. Otherwise, we highly recommend going by air.
Tip! So it was not a long journey - just 6,5 hours including 2,5 hours connection time. But even you choose the longer connection flight, that's won't be exhausting. Clark Airport is very close to the huge shopping mall. On our way back we had 6,5 hours connection time, so decided not to stay at the airport and went shopping to SM City Clark. It took us 15-20 minutes by taxi to get there.
Tip! Take Grab taxi to avoid being cheated by local taxi drivers. There is a Grab counter just outside the terminal building, near taxi stand. Just go there and ask the guy at the counter your destination. Great option if don'thave local sim card.
Try to exchange money not in Coron Town, but somewhere in Manila or Angeles. As it turned out the exchange rate in CLark International Airport was better than in Coron.
Tip! Have enough cash with you as many restaurants and shops don't accept credit cards and there are no so many ATM machine in the whole island.
From Busuanga International Airport you have to go to Coron time. The most common way is shuttle buses from your hotel. The Price is 150 pesos per person.
Coron has a wide range of accommodation - guest houses, home stays, mid range hotels and even large resorts. But don't expect too much. Coron is an undeveloped place. In spite of being popular among tourists, Coron remains somewhere in the middle of nowhere. That was my impression of this island - no fancy restaurants, no trendy beach clubs, no crazy night life. Coron is somewhere far from civilization, so be ready to a very low WiFi signal in your hotel (if you are lucky, it will be low.), to no air-conditioned restaurants, with no hot water in a shower and no light in streets. After sunset the absolute darkness covers the island. But come on, if you go to Coron, you go back to nature. Coron is all about untouched nature with the most beautiful places in the world.
Our hotel was the Ridge Coron. It is a mid range hotel, newly renovated with a modern design. The price was 70 USD per night for a double room with sea view and breakfast included. As the hotel is located on the top of the hill, there is a free shuttle from the main road up to the hill. We were pleasantly surprised that there was a free shuttle for us to any destination in Coron town. That was a nice compliment and we didn't spend a peso for taxi. Except transfer to and from the airport.
The staff in the Ridge was very welcoming and friendly. This place is highly recommended.
What to do in Coron
- island hopping
The easiest way to explore beautiful nature of Coron is by boat. You have two options - to join an organised tour or book a private boat with a local captain. First option is a cheaper one and it is an easy way to see all the famous attractions. The disadvantage is that your time in each place is limited and you can't stay longer or skip some place. Private boat gives you freedom to choose any beach or island to go, and spend there as much rime as you want. As it's only for you, no other people will disturb you. This option is more expensive. Keep in mind that from 2018 all islands, beaches, lakes are not free for visiting. You have to pay an entrance fee for each place you want to go. The price varies from 150 pesos to 300 pesos. So if you hire a private boat, you have to pay all fees by yourself. That's a great disadvantage. While in an organised tours all entrance fees, lunch and transfer to and from the pier are included in the price.
Choosing a tour
How many days do you need to spend in Coron to see all the main attractions? Our experienced showed us that three days are more than enough to get the full impression of Coron islands, beaches, lagoons, reefs and lakes.
First day you should definitely choose a tour around Coron Bay which includes famous Kayangan lake, the clearest lake in Asia, Barracuda Lake, the famous diving spot to explore underwater life, twin lagoons with their iconic lime rock formations and emerald green water, and beautiful small beaches with powder white sand and stunning views. The most famous beach for all boats to have lunch is Banul beach.
For us the highlights of the Coron Bay were Kayangan Lake with its famous lagoon surrounded by lime mountains, an twin lagoon with the jumping point.
On your second day we highly recommend you to take island hopping tour. This tour includes amazing paradise islands with pristine untouched beaches and colorful marine life. The beaches are located pretty far from Coron Town, so expect about two hours boat ride till the first beach.
Our itinerary included three paradise islands - Ditaytayan Island, Coco Beach, and Malcapuya Island. Main activities were relaxing on the beach and snorkeling. The marine life in Ditaytayan Island is very rich and colorful.
Last day tour, Coron reefs and wreck tour, was all about snorkelling and diving with the last stop in the paradise Pass island.
Lusong Coral Garden
Lusong Gunboat is an anchored Japanese ship which sank during the Second World War. The boat is easily seen when snorkeling and now it is the home to corals and fish.
Lusong Coral Garden is considered the most beautiful snorkeling spot in all Philippines with abundance of corals of all colors.
Pass island is a powdery white sand beach with great scenery. Snorkeling there is always worth it.
When coming back from a day tour, you can meet a sunset on the top of the Tapyas Mountain. It's a popular hiking spot in Coron with iconic letters of Coron.
One thing is always the same... Incredible sunsets...