Coron has been called by many as the most beautiful island in Palawan and the Philippines. You will fall in love with its lush green mountains, white sand beaches, clear aquamarine waters, and colorful coral reefs. Coron checks all the boxes for a tropical paradise and even offers some extra surprises. Like, you can go on a safari here to see African animal…what?! Comparing to its sister islands El Nido and Puerto Princessa, Coron is still relatively less visited by tourists! When I travelled here with my aunt for a week, we both did not want to leave. If you are a first timer wondering what to do in Coron, I hope this guide will help answer all the questions you have. Make sure to check out my sample 5 days Coron Itinerary and Budget Guide as well for more trip planning inspirations.
*This post contains affiliate links. All opinions expressed are my own.
When is the best time to go to Coron
The Philippines has two season: the dry season and the wet season. The best time to visit Coron is from January to May during the dry season, when rainfall is low. But of course, that also means that more tourists come during this time, so hotel and flight prices are likely to be higher. If you book well in advance however, you may still be able to save on these expenses. Play around on Skyscanner (my favourite travel tool) to look for the best deals. Heading to other destinations in South East Asia? Check out this useful article that breaks down the best time to visit each South East Asian country.
How to get to Coron Island
There are two ways to get to Coron island: by air or by sea.
Airline such as Sky Jet, Cebu Pacific Air, and Philippines Airlines fly to Coron daily from Manila or Cebu. The Busuanga Airport is about half an hour drive to town proper. You can hire one of the vans once you exit the airport. The standard rate is 150 php.
If you are coming from the neighbouring island El Nido, there are daily ferry services to Coron. The average travel time is 3.5 hours and cost 1,760p. Check this page here for schedules and details.
How to get around Coron
Coron town itself can be walked around on foot. It can be quite hot and dusty so leave your fancy clothes and foot wear at home if you don’t want them ruined. For farer away destinations like the Maquint Hot Spring and Cabu Beach, you can hire a tricycle. Talk to the driver about how much it will cost before you get on. If you like a particular driver, you can get their phone number and hire their service again next time. For the adventurous souls, you can also rent your own scooters to get around. Beware though the roads are pretty bad and bumpy.
If you are going on island hopping tours, you will be picked up and dropped off from your hotel by your tour company, so no need to worry there.
Where to stay in Coron
For travelers on a budget, this little Airbnb is where we stayed while in Coron. Be warned that it’s not a choice for everyone. The location is far from town, accessible by tricycle but you won’t be able to get picked up by tours. There is only cold water for showers and forget about getting wifi connection. So why might you want to stay here? First of all, it’s cheap! At only 1500 PHP or 30 USD per night, the room is huge. You will be away from the hustle bustle of town and be surrounded by beautiful nature. The host Amie is a very kind grandmother who speaks English well. She can cook you breakfast for 100 PHP a day. If you are looking for a local experience, consider staying at this Airbnb.
First time AirBnB users, make sure to use my referral link here to get $36 off your first trip! If you do, I can get $20 travel credits as well. Yay win win!
Coron Villa has a good reputation amongst travelers. It’s located conveniently in town, easy for pick up and drop offs. The restaurant on site, Wild Fern, offers delicious food and awesome atmosphere. The room cost is very reasonable as well.
This hotel proudly showcases their sun terrace with mountain views. You can enjoy the incredible sunsets and sunrises of Coron from your balcony with a tea or coffee. Sounds serene? I think so too.
Category: Mid Range
Another popular hotel choice in Coron is Pearl Vista. The hotel staff are reputed to be very friendly. There are several options from dormitory rooms good for solo travelers to big family suites.
Category: Mid Range
Chill by the outdoor swimming pool, get a massage, have breakfast delivered to your room, Coron Westown Resort is one of the best hotels in town for those seeking a totally relaxing and luxurious vacation.
What to do in Coron
Travelers come to Coron after the promise of a tropical paradise and Coron never disappoints. It truly is the crowning jewel of Palawan, one of the top places to visit in the Philippines. There are several ways to see everything this Palawan gem has to offer.
Join a standard group tour
Most tour companies in Coron operate the same routes. The most common tour options are:
Firefly and Plankton Watching Tour
By joining group tours, you don’t have to worry about planning as the tour group will take care of everything from picking you up at the hotel, bringing you to the destinations, providing lunch and water, etc. You can enjoy plenty of activities like snorkeling, swimming, and napping on beaches. If you love meeting other people when traveling, group tour is a great opportunity. This was the way we saw most things while in Coron. Read my 5 days Coron itinerary for detailed descriptions and photos of each tour.
For group tour bookings, I highly recommend Klook, AKA K-Tours in Coron. The tours are well organized and the guides are thoughtful in taking care of the guests. We enjoyed our time while using their service in the Philippines.
Hire a private boat for a day
If you are traveling with friends and family, it may be worth it to hire your own boat and guide for a private experience. You can customize your destinations and how much time to spend at each. It’s a smart way to avoid tourists as you can go as early and late as you please. Note that entrance fees to lakes and islands are not included when you hire a private boat as they are when on a group tour. If this option interests you, ask around the tour company offices when you are in Coron, and they will point you in the right direction. Or you can check Get My Boat online here.
Go on a diving trip
For diving enthusiasts or those looking to try, Coron offers many unique diving sites and ample companies willing to take you there. Reggae Dive Centre is a popular choice that also offer PADI courses. There are daily trips to visit the colorful coral reefs around Coron and fascinating underwater ship wrecks that are remnants from WWII.
Head on a total expedition
For a completely unique experience from the regular tourist activities mentioned above, go on an expedition with Big Dream Boat Man. With BDBM, the guest can stay overnights on the beautiful islands, fall asleep in native cottages under the stars and wake up early to enjoy the white sand beaches before the crowds arrive. I regrettably came across this secret gem too late in my research and booked all the standard group tours already at that point. While we enjoyed the group tours, staying in Coron town meant we had to spend a lot of time traveling to the islands and back each day and share the destinations with many other people. I had a chance to speak with BDBM and the co-creator Oli. I found the crew to be extremely warm people and passionate about what they do. On my next trip to Coron, I will definitely be heading on an adventure with Big Dream Boat Man. If you would like to try out BDBM, make sure to use my code BLESSINGBUCKET10 during check out to receive a 10% discount.
Things you need to know about Coron
There are a couple things to note about traveling in Coron before you go.
Wifi is weak
You’ll find that even the good hotels in Coron town will have poor wifi sometimes. I was told that after a tsunami on the island, the connection has been bad ever since. So be patient if you can’t post that beach selfie on Facebook right away. Hey, take it as an opportunity to disconnect from technology and enjoy the present moment for a while.
Restaurants close in the afternoon
Most restaurants and cafes close after 2 pm and re-open at 6 pm. If you are in town looking for grubs in the afternoon, you will run in to limited options.
The hot water system is iffy
There is limited hot water on the island so water may turn cold suddenly during your shower. It’s just how things are here. You may find it refreshing though after a day under the hot sun.
You may be stared at and hit on
If you are a female, you may be stared at and asked by men if you are single. I always laughed it off casually and told them no. They always followed with a disappointed “ahhh” and would say no more. I never felt unsafe while in Coron. The people here are generally kind and friendly so no need to worry too much. Exercise common precaution if you are a solo traveler.
You can haggle before you buy
Common to many South East Asian countries, you can haggle when you make purchases in the Philippines. Sellers like tricycle drivers will often offer higher prices expecting you to haggle, so try your hands at it! Do not be too harsh though. People have to make a living too.
Going to the Philippines soon? Plan your trip in 4 easy steps
Book A Flight: Find the cheapest flights on Skyscanner, my go-to search engine.
Find A Hotel: Score affordable accommodation on Booking.com. Receive $16 off your first booking with my link here.
Buy insurance: You never know what may happen on the road. Protect your trip & gear with World Nomad, the best travel insurance company ever. Get a quote here.
Read up on the best advice: Love a good old fashion guide book. Suggested reading: Lonely Planet: Philippines Travel Guide