Marked by a plethora of breathtaking natural sights, it is no wonder why Coron -- a small island in Palawan province -- is flocked by tourists every month.
The wonders of Coron are both big and small — hidden islets and secluded beaches amaze just as much as the more popular attractions such as Calamian Islands and Kayangan Lake. For a small place, Coron has it all — coral gardens, saltwater hot springs, postcard-worthy views, attractions with cultural and historical significance, and it even has its own African safari! With fewer establishments than Boracay, Coron is still a well-preserved paradise in the Philippines, a place for anyone who wants to seek refuge through nature.
Coron is known among tourists as a must-visit destination especially if you’re more interested to see natural sights. Coron’s beauty isn’t contained entirely in its beaches — the place also boasts of stunning lakes and lagoons that are perfect for swimming and diving. Kayangan Lake with its interesting rock formations both above and underwater and Barracuda lake with its limestone towers and thermocline waters are a must see. Diving aficionados can embark on a one-of-a-kind diving experience in Coron Bay by exploring the many sunken World War II Japanese warships that are now home to various corals and fishes. Palawan’s take on an African safari can be seen firsthand by visiting the Calauit Safari Park where tourists have the chance to interact with giraffes and zebras. Though Coron’s beaches are known around the world, they still surprise many — beyond the popular resorts are hidden and secluded beaches that feature the whitest sands, the bluest waters, and a picture of nature undisturbed.
The fastest way to get to Coron from Manila is via plane. Major airline companies such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia offer daily flights to Busuanga Airport, an hour drive away from the Coron town proper. Another airline that offers flights to Busuanga is Sky Jet, which most often offers the cheapest fares. From the airport, there are shuttles and vans offering services to Coron town proper. Travel time takes 1.5 hours and fare costs around PhP 150 to PhP 200 (USD 3 – USD 4) per person.
Currently, there are ferries that cater to tourists coming from Puerto Princesa and El Nido. 2Go ferry boats from Puerto Princesa to Coron leave every Wednesday and Saturday. Fares range from PhP 1200 to PhP 1500 (USD 24 to USD 30). Those coming from El Nido can avail of Montenegro Fastcraft’s services. The boat leaves El Nido at 6:00 in the morning. Travel time is 3 hours and fare starts from PhP 900 to PhP 2800 (USD 18 to USD 56).
Establishments within Coron generally accept Philippine Peso which comes in currencies of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000. It’s ideal to always have money ready since not a lot of establishments accept cards, save big hotels and restaurants.
Banks around town also offer ATM services. However, tourists must be aware of the daily limits and the frequent power outages around town that render these machines useless.
Establishments offering reliable money-changing services are available around Coron town proper.
The Philippines is known for its hot and humid weather that often plays around 28 to 32 degrees Celsius. If you’re planning to go island hopping, wear comfortable apparel and put on sunblock.
The country has two seasons — dry and wet. The cooler dry season starts from November to February while the hotter dry season starts from March to May. Wet season usually begins in June.
Best time to visit Coron is between January and March. Weather around this time is not too hot and rain showers that could affect island tours are few.
You can get around Coron town proper via tricycle. The fare for tricycle trips cost PhP 10 (USD 0.20).
However, if you’re planning to tour around the islands, you have two options: joining an organized group tour or chartering a private boat. Note that if you charter private boats, rates can be too expensive and often do not include entrance fee and food.
In Coron town proper, you will find restaurants serving Filipino, Western and even European Dishes. Head over to Altrove Restaurant and take a bite of their delicious wood-fired pizza (note: they open at 17:00). Winnie’s Restaurant is a place that serves European-inspired dishes such as crab meat curry, samosa, creamy pasta, and mixed green salads. If you can’t wait to sink your teeth into some juicy, fresh seafood, make a stop at Sinugba sa Balay. Their wide array of grilled seafood — think blue marlin, lobsters, mahi-mahi, and shrimps — will surely make you come back for more.
Coron, Palawan is one of the solid proof that the Philippines is indeed a place filled with breathtaking natural sights. Locals and tourists alike will get the chance to see spectacular landmarks that will surely leave a mark. Coron is for everyone — it’s for those who want to relax, explore, and go on adventures.