Coron is among the Philippines’ most beautiful islands that have captivated the world’s attention. Its pristine white beaches, aquamarine lakes, and limestone hills have been attracting tourists to this side of the world.

Coron belongs to the magnificent Calamianes or Calamian Group of Islands located in North Palawan. It is the region’s central tourism hub and the usual jump-off point going to the other destinations in the area.

coron island

Locally, Coron is called as ‘Calis.’ The entire island and the surrounding fishing areas are the ancestral domains of the Tagbanua, the indigenous tribe which also happens to be the ancestors of the oldest people in the Philippines.

On the surface, Coron Island has high rocky formations made from Permian limestones which date back to the Jurassic period. There are 11 lakes in the islands which are uninhabited despite frequent visitors, preserving the clarity of the water.

Another interesting fact about Coron Island is that it used to be a site for sea battles during World War 2. As such, shipwrecks abound in the area, attracting divers and tourists alike.

How to get to Coron?

There are two ways to reach the island—by riding an airplane or by riding a ferry.

Plane travel will bring you to Busuanga Airport which is less than an hour away from Coron town proper. There are several flights from Manila, Cebu, and Clark going to Busuanga Airport. If coming from outside the Philippines, you may need to book a flight to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Clark International Airport, or Mactan Cebu International Airport and from there, take another trip going to Busuanga Airport. Travel time usually takes an hour to an hour and a half.

From Busuanga Airport, there are vans or shuttle vehicles that will bring you to your hotel for around 30 to 40 minutes.

There is also an option to travel by sea, for those who do not mind long travel time and would love a little sea adventure. You may want to visit Puerto Princesa, another precious tourist destination in Palawan, first and from there, take a ferry that will take you to Coron Island. The ship leaves at midnight and arrives on the island at 3:00 p.m. on the following day.

coron travel by sea

If you are coming from El Nido, another one of the Palawan gems, you may take a fast craft going to Coron Islands. Travel time is four hours.

How to get around Coron Island?

Tricycles are available in downtown Coron to take you places. Motorcycles are also available for rent.

What is there do in Coron?

Island hopping is one of the most popular tourist activities in Coron. If you are interested, several travel agencies offer Coron Island tour which may be customized for a private tour, depending on your preference. There are also joiner tours which have different sets of destinations. So, what is the best tour in Coron?

coron island hopping

Tara Lets Anywhere listed the following sets of island hopping joiner tours:

  • Coron Island Tour (A)
    • Las Islas de Coral
    • CYC Beach
    • Atwayan/Sunset Beach
    • Quin Reef,
    • Green Lagoon
    • Kayangan Lake
  • Coron Island Tour (B)
    • Barracuda Lake
    • Smith Beach
    • Skeleton Wreck
    • Reef Garden
    • Twin Lagoon
  • Island Escapade (C)
    • Bulog Dos Island
    • Banana Island
    • Malcapuya Island
  • Reefs and Wrecks (D)
    • East Tangat
    • Pass Island
    • Coral Garden
    • Lusong Gunboat
  • Coron Island Ultimate Tour
    • Siete Pecados
    • Kayangan Lake
    • Twin Lagoon
    • Smith Beach
    • Skeleton Wreck
    • Las Islas de Coral
    • CYC Beach

Prices for joiners tours usually cover lunch, entrance, and miscellaneous fees. Though there are tour packages that already include accommodations and tours, it is recommended for a solo traveler or those who travel in pair to get separate accommodation and tours. It is way more affordable as compared to an all-in package.

What is there to do in Coron aside from island hopping?

If island hopping is not your thing, Coron has a lot of other activities in store that will keep you coming back. Take note that all these activities cannot be done in just 2-3 days of staying on the island. You will probably need a week or so to enjoy what Coron Island has to offer truly.

1. Trek to Tapyas

A 10- to 15-minute hike to the highest viewpoint on the island will give you a beautiful view of the island. It will take you around 740 steps to get to the summit, but a great look at the top rewards the hard work. You will also get to see a Hollywood-style ‘CORON’ standing on a hill below a giant cross which gets lighted at night.

2. Enjoy a dip at Maquinit Hot Springs

After tiring yourself out from the various activities on the island, you need to soothe those aching muscles and recharge yourself for another round of island adventure. Take a tricycle from Coron town and go to Maquinit Hot Spring. The ride will only take 20 minutes. It is best to enjoy the spring oasis during sunset as the sky is beautiful blushing in deep pinks and purples.

3. Take a picture with the Kayangan Lake at the background

Take that Instagram-worthy picture with the cleanest lake in the Philippines—the Kayangan Lake. To get the best spot, you may need to climb to a high cliff where the trees frame the view of the lake, with an island at the center. If you are lucky, you might be able to capture boats sailing the clear, blue water of the lake.coron island hopping

4. Explore the shipwrecks

What makes Coron a unique tourist destination is the wreck diving spots on the island. The channel running between the islands of Busuanga and Culion hosts an impressive array of Japanese shipwrecks found as shallow as 10-30 feet or as deep as 60-80 feet.

5. Go on a gastronomic adventure

If you are not the adventurous type but on a continuing search for the palate satisfaction, then you should be off to a food trip, and Coron also has something for you. Please do not underestimate this small town, as it has a wide selection of restaurant serving international cuisine. You might also want to check out the Glittering Fireflies Night Tour which will take you to the largest mangrove forest in Coron town and serves buffet dinner, at the same time.

6. Bike your way around Coron town proper

There are mountain bikes available for rent in Coron, aside from the motorcycles, if you want to explore land-based attractions on the island. You may also ride your way going to Maquinit Hot Springs or go to the public market, souvenir shops, and other exciting places.

7. Go on a safari adventure in Calauit

Calauit Island is uninhabited, but its Safari Park is home to different exotic animals. Located on a small island at the tip of Busuanga Island, giraffes and zebras can freely roam around this island and graze on its green grass.

8. Explore Culion Island

Once known as the world’s largest leper colony, Culion Island is home to the La Inmaculada Concepcion Church built on the 17th century. It is also the location of the Culion Museum and Archive and the remains of Fort Culion. Though the island has been isolated for over a century, the World Health Organization declared the island leprosy-free in 2006.

This list is not, in any way, exhaustive as there are a lot more activities that you can do while in Coron. To fully enjoy what Palawan, the Philippines’ last frontier, has to offer, one probably needs to spend a month exploring the natural beauty of this island, especially that of Coron.

Other Coron travel guides as references:

Booking.com

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