Coron is a small island in the north of Palawan, surrounded by the Sulu Sea, around 1h flight distance from the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Famous for its hidden lakes, WWII shipwrecks, abundance of wildlife and beautiful landscapes, it was my favorite part of our 2 weeks Philippines Island Hopping itinerary. Coron Island also has world-class diving, and it’s also perfect for beginners as there are some small reefs with no currents. If you are an experienced diver, you might want to check out Apo Island in the North.
How to get to Coron: I booked flights from Manila to arrive to Coron and then we departed to El Nido. Each flight costed around 70$ and are 20-30 min long. I don’t recommend going by ferry, as I have heard they are not reliable, packed with locals and take 6-7 hours to get there. I used Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.
Things to do in Coron: We spent 4 days in the Island and would have loved to spend some more. There are endless things to do! Here’s a comprehensive lists of my favorite activities and things to do in Coron, Palawan.
Where to stay in Coron: If you don’t know where to stay in Coron, we stayed at Hotel Corto del Mar which is affordable, clean and conveniently located in the center. There is no beach in Coron Town, so booking a hotel with a pool is highly recommended!
ISLAND HOPPING IN CORON
There are 3 island hopping tours in Coron that are customizable, and can be done with a group or private. Joining a group is usually around 30€ per person, includes all the visits in the tour of your choice, plus drinks and lunch. A private boat is around 50-90€ per boat, and you will have to buy your own food.
Keep in mind there is no beach in Coron town because the island is quite rocky, and the port is quite dirty. I recommend doing at least 3 tours if possible. If you can only take 1 tour, I would definitely choose Tour A.
- TOUR A – CORON ISLAND TOUR
This tour will take you island hopping to the main destinations around Coron island, which include the famous lakes, some beaches and snorkeling spots, and also a stop for lunch. You will have to pay entry fee for every destination, which is between 2-5€ per location.
First stop is usually Kayangan Lake or Barracuda Lake (I recommend doing both as they are both amazing). Both require a little hike and you can swim and snorkel in the lakes. Life vests are mandatory. Plan to stay here around 2h in each, including the hike.
After visiting Kayangan Lake we went to Twin Lagoon. Here you can use kayaks and you can also jump from the rocks. Make sure to get here early, around 9am it was starting to get crowded.
When we finished at Twin Lagoon, we got to do some snorkeling. The boat crew took us to Skeleton Wreck and Coral Gardens, and they helped us finding turtles. Coral Gardens is a very beautiful snorkeling spot, very close to Coron Island. We also used the kayaks to explore the area.
Then you will head to visit some beaches, you can choose between , Atuwayan Beach, Smith Beach, Beach 91 or CYC Beach. Usually they will take you to Banol Beach for lunch, there are some huts on the water with tables and they will cook and serve the food you bought previously on the local market in Coron.
- TOUR B – ISLANDS TOUR
This tour will take you to the islands that are south from Coron Island. Expect at least 2h boat drive to get to the first stop. In my opinion this is the more chilled tour and the one I would skip if I didn’t have enough time. Although it’s perfect for pictures, it’s more about beaches and less adventure.
One of the stops will be Malcapuya Island, which is famous for its long sandy beach & crystal clear waters. Its really undeveloped and there are only a few families living in the island and selling coconuts.
Next stop usually is Banana Island where you will also stop for lunch and some snorkeling. There are seating areas and tables at the beach with some shadow, so its perfect for a stop to enjoy some food and do some swimming!
The last stop will be Bulog Dos Island, which is famous for its amazing sandbank that is only accessible at low tide. Definitely a must-do and perfect for some drone footage.
- TOUR C – REEF AND WRECKS TOUR
This is one of my favorites and I regret that we didn’t have time to do it. The boat will take you island hopping to the east of Coron, and its focused on snorkeling and finding shipwrecks in remote islands. Coron is famous for its diving spots, so I recommend not missing this tour!
The first stop will be Pass Island, again this is a tour that takes you a bit far away from Coron, so the boat ride to get here will be around 2h. The sand is white and there are coconut trees everywhere, making it the perfect place to relax. If you want some adventure, you can snorkel right off the beach as it is surrounded by coral.
On this island hopping tour around Coron, you can also visit Black Island. This island has a tropical feel and it’s full of caves and little secluded beaches. The surrounding reef is also fantastic for snorkeling and free diving, so make sure to add this spot to your list.
And finally, of course the tour would not be complete without visiting some shipwrecks. The most popular one is Lusong Gunboat, which is also next to Lusong Coral Gardens so expect the snorkeling to be amazing. The marine life around Coron is the best I have seen so far, so don’t miss the chance of snorkeling or diving in the Philippines.
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