Coron is a 689.10 sq. km. municipality in Palawan, comprised of eastern Busuanga island, Coron island, and a couple of scattered small islets surrounded by the West Philippine sea and Sulu Sea.
Blessed with plentiful white beaches, clear blue green waters, mangrove forests, lakes, and bountiful coral reefs, Coron has become a go-to destination for nature oriented-activities like snorkeling, diving, and island hopping.
Coron Town Market
Although not as awarded and acclaimed as Boracay and El Nido, Coron is regarded by many Filipinos and foreigners alike as one of the best places to visit in the Philippines. Because of the islands proximity to Busuanga airport and the number of budget-friendly inns within the town proper, Coron is considered the more-accessible and more budget friendly brother of El Nido, Palawan. Less commercial and more laid back, Coron also gets plus points for being relatively serene for the most part of the year.
Things to Do and Must-see Attractions in Coron, Palawan:
Island Hopping, Snorkeling, and Diving
Most of your time in Coron will be spent hopping to and fro the tiny islets that make up the municipality.
Coron Island – A 30 minute boat ride from Coron Town proper will take you to Coron Island, famous for towering limestone formations, blue-green shallow waters, and the following inland lakes:
a) Kayangan Lake – considered the cleanest lake in the Philippines. Kayangan can be accessed via a short 15 minute hike from the island’s dock. At the highest point of the hike, you will be enthralled by the majestic view of the towering limestone formations surrounded by clear waters. (Note: the hike can be challenging for children and the elderly.)
b) Baraccuda Lake – located just by Kayangan lake and is accessible via going down some wooden planks. The lake is famous for having thermo-clines or distinct layers of cold and hot water.
c) Twin Lagoon – From Kayangan, you will take a boat to the nearby Twin Lagoon, located at the Calis Mountain. The lagoons are divided by a limestone wall. To go back and forth the lagoon, you are to swim through a small and narrow opening or climb a ladder when it’s high tide.
Siete Pecados – means ‘seven sins’ in Spanish. But there’s nothing sinful about these islands. On the contrary, this group of seven islands clustered together is considered heaven by divers because of its bountiful reefs and colorful marine treasures.
Banol Beach – When on an island hopping tour, lunch is usually served at the Banol beach. You might also take this pit stop time to swim and take advantage of its powdery sands and shallow waters.
Japanese Shipwrecks – What sets Coron apart from other Philippine beaches are the numerous wreck sites for diving. There are at least ten Japanese ship wreck diving spots available for beginner to advanced divers. The Skeleton Wreck can be seen even by just snorkeling.
Mt. Tapyas – is a mere 30-minute trek from Coron Town. There used to be a giant cross atop Mt. Tapyas. It was destroyed when supertyphoon Yolanda passed by the town.
What to Eat in Coron, Palawan
Coron cuisine is no different from what’s available in Luzon. Restaurants around town serve the usual –silog fare and grills. Cashew nuts are produced in the island and are usually bought as pasalubong.
Recommended trip duration:
Two to three full days are enough to maximize Coron’s attractions. Add another day if you want to take a side trip to Cuilion Island or Calauit Safari Park.
Culion Island – was a former leper colony under the Commonwealth administration. When at Culion, make sure you visit the historical Culion Museum and the old Spanish fort and church made out of coral rocks. From Coron, you can take an hour and a half boat ride to reach Culion.
Calauit Island – is a 3, 700 hectare protected land area where African animals such as giraffes, zebras and gazelles roam free with Philippine animals like the Palawan bearcat, mousedeer and peacock pheasant.
From Coron, you may either ride a boat (4 hours) to Calauit or ride a van (3.5 hours).
Where to Stay in Coron
Coron Backpacker Guesthouse is located in Coron town, Busuanga Island. The guesthouse is very much like a native Filipino nipa hut, standing on pillars over the sea. Rates start at P500/night.
Two Seasons Coron, located at the Malaroyroy island offers an array of six styles of accommodation spread amongst the island’s lush tropical gardens with easy access to the beach. Rates start at P25,000/night.
How to Get to Coron, Palawan
By Plane: Pal Express and Cebu Pacific have direct flights from Manila to Busuanga Airport. Travel time is around one hour from Manila.
Upon arrival at Busuanga Airport, ride a van (available outside the airport) to Coron town proper. Sea transfers to the key islands can be arranged with your hotel. Travel time is around 30 to 45 minutes.