Captivating Coron: Tours, Activities, Itinerary, and More
Your Palawan trip isn’t complete without going to Coron.
Nestled at the northernmost part of the entire island, Coron is a top contender of many travel awards. And true to its titles of being the ‘best’ and the ‘most recommended’, Coron doesn’t disappoint at all.
The photos you see in magazines and social media don’t do Coron justice. You’ll have to get there to really appreciate just how captivating it is.
Getting to Coron from El Nido
Coron is usually the final stop of any Palawan holiday. From El Nido, there are currently 2 ways to get to Coron:
Montenegro Fast Ferry (6:00 AM, daily)
Ticket price: P1760 ($33)
Jomalia Shipping (12:30 PM, daily)
Ticket price: P1800 ($36)
AirSwift (8:40 AM, Mon-Wed-Fri-Sun)
Ticket price: Starts at P3,500 ($70)
Busuanga + Coron + Coron Island
It’s much easier to get around when you can visualize where you’re going. The names of the places can be quite confusing, especially when locals use these names interchangeably.
Most travel blogs, unfortunately, don’t shed light on this, which makes it a little confusing for those who’ve never been to Coron.
Busuanga Island belongs to the Calamianes island group, a bunch of islands at the northernmost of Palawan. It is also the biggest in the group.
Further, Busuanga Island comprises 2 municipalities or towns: Busuanga and Coron. (Remember about using names interchangeably? Don’t get confused yet.)
Busuanga town has a more rural feel, but it’s home to one of the country’s international airports. Meanwhile, Coron town is the bigger municipality, and also the bustling tourism hub of the entire island.
Coron town is also the jump-off point to the more popular Coron Island (which is not to be confused with Coron town itself). Coron Island, however, is under the jurisdiction of Coron town.
Since Coron town—and Coron Island, most especially—are the more popular places, most tourists and outsiders refer to the entire Busuanga Island as simply ‘Coron’.
What to Do in Coron
Now we got the names and locations right, here are some of the most recommended activities in Coron:
Let’s start at the busiest town, the heart of Busuanga Island.
Mount Tapyas (Trekking)
Hike 721 steps to the summit to get the best view of Coron Island. While the climb may be easy for physically active people, the heat and the incline can be challenging for others.
Trekking at Mount Tapyas is absolutely free!
Tip: Start the hike about 1-2 hours earlier before the sunset (around 4-5 PM). In this way, you won’t get sunburnt, and you get to view the beautiful sunset, too!
Maquinit Hot Spring (Watching the sunset)
One of the few saltwater hot springs in the world, locals say that a volcano heats the water that flows through the pool.
After climbing to Mount Tapyas, it’s customary to go to Maquinit for a relaxing dip. If you prefer going to Mt Tapyas early, you can watch the sunset at Maquinit instead.
Coron Town (Food trip)
When you’re in Coron proper, you’ll never get hungry. Whether you go for upscale, mid-budget, or hole-in-the-wall, you’ll find delicious food with great value for money.
You might stumble upon these places that serve awesome food:
KT’s Sinugba sa Balay (Filipino, grilled, seafood)
Santino’s Grill (Filipino, Asian, grilled)
Poco Deli Coron (Italian, German, Spanish)
Altrove Coron (Italian)
Buzz Express (Filipino, American; gastropub, vegetarian)
Rosa’s Cantina (Mexican)
Summer Cafe & Bar (Comfort food, coffee, vegetarian)
Arguably the entire island’s most prized gem. Entering Coron island is like getting into another world. Don’t miss these activities:
Kayangan Lake (Boating)
Coron Island’s most visited attraction indeed. For most tourists, the best part after the scenic boat ride is the minor trek to get a full view of Coron Island.
Barracuda Lake (Swimming)
Another of Coron Island’s gorgeous lakes, Barracuda Lake is surrounded by natural rock formations. Underwater, you get to see how deep these formations go while enjoying the different species of marine life.
Twin Lagoons (Kayaking)
Two lagoons in one destination? You’ll have to pass by the first lagoon (you can ride a kayak) before entering the second. To do this, you can either take the man-made staircase, or if you’re up for an adventure, swim through the small hole underneath it.
Coron Bay (Shipwreck diving)
While this may not be everyone, if you’re a certified shipwreck diver then trust us when we say that you cannot miss this. At first, it may be a little creepy to imagine how the Americans bombed the incoming Japanese fleet in the 1940s, but now it’s a beautiful paradise of its own.
Coral Garden (Snorkeling)
Located in Calis Point, the Coral Garden or Reef Garden is well worth the trip to the southernmost tip of Coron Island. The name says it all—expect endless acres of corals and the fish that live in them. An underwater garden indeed!
Siete Pacados (Island hopping)
The snorkeling spots at Coron Island seem endless, and you’d be right to visit Siete Pacados on a pump boat. Legend has it that 7 children went away on nighttime, and when locals searched for them in the morning, they saw 7 big limestone formations instead. Hence the name Siete Pacados or ‘Seven Islets’ was given.
Banol Beach (Swimming, kayaking)
You won’t regret swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking at Banol Beach, where the sand is powdery fine and the waters a dazzling turquoise color. This is a popular lunch stopover, so you can go early in the morning or during the afternoon to avoid the crowd.
Other awesome beaches in Coron Island include CYC Beach, Atwayan Beach, and Smith Beach.
Near the end of your trip, you may explore the local town first before heading off to the airport in Busuanga. If you have a day or two left for some last-minute (but definitely not the least) trips, we recommend the following:
Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary (Safari/Park)
Quite isolated, the trip going to Calauit can be long—but worth it. There’s an interesting history behind the safari when the Philippine government, in a rescue effort, ushered the animals to safety from war-torn Kenya.
You’ll see giraffes, antelopes, zebras, as well as native animals that have thrived well in the safari such as the Calamian deer and the Palawan bearcat.
Black Island (Island hopping)
Not so far from Calauit Sanctuary, this secluded island bears a striking contrast to the popular Coron Island. Explore Black Island to see unique black rocks (hence the name), shipwrecks, and an eerily beautiful swimming cave.
Dugong Dive Center (Dugong watching)
Seeing a dugong or sea cow is a heartwarming experience. One of the most gentle creatures, the dugong is the first marine mammal to be protected in the country. The professionals at Dugong Dive Center ensure that the dugongs’ safety is prioritized while you get to see them in the flesh (if you’re lucky!).
Where to Stay in Coron
Check out some of our favorite hotels:
Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel (Coron Town)
Modern, spacious, and accommodating.
TripAdvisor Rating: ⬤⬤⬤⬤◐
Start at P6,800 ($136) per night
The Funny Lion (Coron Town)
Charming, comfortable, and conveniently located. Best for families and small groups.
TripAdvisor Rating: ⬤⬤⬤⬤◐
Start at P6,000 ($120 per night)
El Rio y Mar Resort (Northern Coron)
Very private yet affordable. Not too far from the airport. Best for couples and honeymooners.
TripAdvisor Rating: ⬤⬤⬤⬤◐
Start at P4,950 ($99) per night
Club Paradise Palawan Island Resort (Northern Coron)
Secluded, serene, and sophisticated. Best for couples, honeymooners, and intimate functions.
TripAdvisor Rating: ⬤⬤⬤⬤◐
Starts at P17,000 ($340) per night
Busuanga Bay Lodge (Busuanga Town)
Relaxing and luxurious. Great for families.
TripAdvisor Rating: ⬤⬤⬤⬤◐
Start at P8,500 ($170) per night
Tour Packages in Coron
Unlike El Nido, tour packages in Coron are way more flexible and the regulations less rigid.
Availing a Coron tour package is not required, but highly recommended, especially if you don’t have much time.
Here are some of the most recommended tour operators/agencies, and the common packages (including private tours) they offer:
KGC Travel N Services TripAdvisor Rating: ⬤⬤⬤⬤◐
Calamianes Expeditions & Ecotours TripAdvisor Rating: ⬤⬤⬤⬤
Nice in Paradise Tours TripAdvisor Rating: ⬤⬤⬤⬤
Coron Town Tour (half-day)
Starts at P700 ($14) per person
Highlights: Mount Tapyas, Maquinit Hot Spring
Coron Island Tour (whole day)
Starts at P1,700 ($34) per person
Highlights: Siete Pecados, Coral Bay, Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake, Twin Lagoons, Coral Garden, Banol Beach
Calauit Safari Tour (whole day)
Starts at P2,500 ($50) per person
Highlights: Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary, Black Island
Tip: Traveling in a group? Avoid the hassle and book a tour. This is more cost-effective and time-saving. The more people who join, the cheaper the rates.
You can also check out the tours offered by the following hotels:
Coron Island Super Ultimate Tour by Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel
Starts at P1,750 ($35) per person
Coron Island Ecotour by The Funny Lion
Starts at P2,000 ($50) per person
Dugong Watching Program by El Rio y Mar Resort
Starts at P3,500 ($70) per person
Not fond of pre-arranged tours? No problem—book a private tour instead. For a higher price, you’ll only visit the places that you want to go to.
Private Coron Island Day Tour (check with tour operator)
Starts at P3,000 ($60) per person*
*rates vary depending on the itinerary
Tip: A private tour to Coron Island is worth it if you want an exclusive trip. You get the whole boat to yourself, dictate an itinerary, and go anytime. Your tour guide can pick you up from your hotel in Coron Town. The boatman will be happy to take you to the best places in Coron Island, but the best part is that you get to avoid other group tours.
Entrance fees, van transfers, boat transfers, lunch/snacks, tour guide*
*may vary per operator
- While there are ATMs in Coron town, it’s still best to bring enough cash.
- Tour rates change without prior notice. Check with your hotel and tour operator for updated rates.
- Pack lightweight and quick-drying clothes, rashguard, walking shoes, flip-flops or sandals, and your medicine kit.
- During tours, don’t forget two bottles: one for water, and one for sunblock. With the scorching heat of the sun, you’ll be needing lots of these!
We prepared a quick 6D5N Coron itinerary that you can refer to:
Day 1 – Coron Town
Arrive at Coron port.
Check-in at hotel.
Trek to Mount Tapyas.
Watch the sunset at Maquinit Hot Spring.
Days 2 – 3 Coron Island
Swim and trek at Kayangan Lake
Snorkel at Coral Garden.
Kayak at Banol Beach (or simply relax).
Swim at Barracuda Lake.
Lunch at Atwayan Beach.
Go wreck-diving at Coron Bay.
Kayak at the Twin Lagoons.
Days 4 – 5 Busuanga Town (optional, if you have time)
Check-out from Coron hotel.
Head to Busuanga proper, check-in at hotel.
Visit Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary.
Dive with dugongs.
Shop for souvenirs, explore the local town.
Day 6 – Going home
Check-out from Busuanga hotel.
Head to the airport.
Note that you can simply book a tour package for one full day, or you can mix and match any of these places if you prefer a private tour.
You can do Busuanga on the first day, or you can skip it altogether. You can skip the souvenir shops, or spend the entire day at Black Island—it’s all up to you!
There’s so much to do in Coron that will leave you captivated. All you have to do is simply grab the opportunity to try them all. Everything seems picture-perfect, and the entire experience unforgettable.
Coron may be the last main stop in your Palawan itinerary, but it’s true what they say: save the best for last.