Philippines

Coron Travel Guide 2018 – Philippines

Coron is well known across the world for being one of the few un-touched places that are just teaming with beautiful corals and marine life. You’ll be surrounded with colorful fish, watch blue or red starfish move ever so slowly from one place to the next, and at at every turn be amazed at how clear/turquoise-blue the water is.

If Coron is not yet on your bucket list of places to go, you have got to add it today!

I made this guide after visiting there recently and it’s officially one of my favorite destinations…. Check out the photos below and you’ll know why.

How to Get to Coron, Philippines

Coron is located along the wonderful chain of islands in the Philippines called Palawan. Palawan consists of 3 major tourists areas including Puerto Princessa, El Nido, and Coron. Some tourists like to venture from one to the next, so i’ll provide you a few different options in case you’re hitting all 3.

Direct Flight to Coron 

International flights dont go to Coron, so typically you have to fly into the Philippines and then jump over to Coron. You can fly to Coron from 3 major Philippine Airports including the following:

  • Manila -> Coron
  • Cebu -> Coron
  • Clark -> Coron

When flying into the Philippines internationally, I highly suggest picking Manila as your entry as it’s the largest city in the country and it has some really awesome places to explore. You can read my guide on everything you need to know before coming to Manila.

  • Coron’s Airport Name is: Coron (Busuanga) – Airport Code USU
  • Airlines: Skyjet, Cebu Pacific, and Philippine Airlines

Each flight should be direct and only takes around 30 minutes to arrive.

Coron From Above Philippines
Flying into Coron gives you an amazing view of the untouched landscape of Coron

How to Get from Coron Airport to Coron City

When you fly into Coron which is on Busuanga Island, the airport is not actually in Coron city so you’ll need to take transportation into town. As soon as you walk outside of the airport you’ll be barraged with people asking you where you’re going.

Make sure to pick one of the guys who are in uniform and inform them of your hotel name. That will decide which van they place you in.  The travel time from the airport to Coron city is just 30 minutes.

Fare per head: P150 ($3 USD)

Traveling By Boat to Coron

You can also opt to take a boat to Coron if you are already in Palawan. There are 2 different routes to Coron via boat

  • Puerto Princessa -> Coron: The company 2Go Travel offers ferries for passengers from Puerto Princessa to Coron leaving every Wednesday and Saturday at midnight and arrives the next day by 3pm. This is a very long trip, but it’s a fun way to spend the day traveling across the ocean. Cost aprox P1,500 ($30 USD)
  • El Nido -> Coron: Montenegro Fastcraft is offering fast ocean transportation from El Nido to Coron which takes only 4 hours to arrive leaving daily at 6am from El Nido. Cost approx P,1700 ($34 USD).

Where to Stay in Coron

his little harbor town is packed full of street busy with life and action, and down every little small side street hides one great hotel after another. There are hotels that range from affordable budget hotels all the way up to luxury island resorts.

Some of the best hotels as well can be found just outside of the city as well, so it’s good to know a bit about the city before you pick a hotel.

I’ll give you a few of the inner city budget hotels first, and then we’ll talk about some of the fancy-pants places as well which are all around Coron in hidden corners/islands.

Budget Accommodations in Coron City, Philippines

I highly suggest to stay inside Coron City as you’ll have easy walking access to different restaurants, shops, stores, and travel agencies for booking your water tours.

These are all of my favorite budget accommodations within Coron City for between P1,000-P2,000 ($20-40 USD) per night.

One Averee Bay Hotel Coron Philippines
One Averee Bay Hotel
  • One Averee Bay Hotel: This was my favorite place to stay because it’s very clean, has great breakfast and it’s right next to the port so you can walk over and jump on your boat every day. Approximately P2000 per night.
    Click here for pricing.
  • Divine Castle Travelers Inn: Located just at the entrance of Coron City on the way out, it’s close enough to all the great restaurants but still in a quiet area of the city.
    Approximately P1400 per night. Click here for pricing.
  • Zuric Pension House: This is a prime location in the heart of the city surrounded by restaurants and travel agencies. It’s also very affordable at just P1300 per night.
    Click here for pricing.

Luxury Resorts in Coron City, Philippines

For those of you looking for a romantic getaway, there are many really high-end places to stay in Coron. These are all outside of the city and most are on islands of their own.

Here are some of the best luxury resorts in Coron.

  • Huma Island Resort and Spa: One of the most famous resorts in the world is the Huma Island Resort and Spa which features 81 villas and suites, 6 dining options, and a spa located on top of the water. This is the ultimate getaway from the concrete jungles we live in.
    Average price per night: P19,000 ($350 USD)
    Click here for pricing.
  • El Rio Y Mar Resort: This private island resort features 31 different accommodations around the island. It also has a fitness center, infinity pool, restaurants, bar, wifi, and so much more.
    This is an ultimate getaway place if you want to chill for the weekend. And it has both affordable and luxury options if you’re traveling with groups of people.
    Average cost per night between P5,000-15,000 ($100-300 USD) per night.
    Click here for pricing.
  • Coron Soleil Garden Resort: This luxury resort is located on the mainland, but about 5 minutes outside of Coron City. It isn’t the island type luxury resort, but rather the clean concrete and white linen type. The rooms surround a beautiful pool with fountains.
    They also have a nearby sister resort called the Coron Soleil Express resort which offers more affordable accommodations  but still gives you access to the main branch’s amenities.
    Average cost per night between P5,000-9,000 ($100-180 USD) per night.
    Click here for pricing.

Coron Activity Guide

Coron has a wealth of beautiful islands to discover but the true beauty is underwater where the marine life is full of color and activity. I was also very surprised to know that the Philippines has it’s own safari including giraffes and zebras!

If you’re headed to Coron, here’s an overview of all the great activities they have to keep you busy.

How To Book Tours in Coron?

While you can always just go there and walk around finding different tour operators, you’re never fully sure what you’ll get.

My suggested tour boat operator is Expeditions Eco-tours which you can call at+63 917 552 6766 or their website here: corongaleri.com.ph.

All of the tours we booked through Expeditions were great – especially the food! Most tours come with free lunch and snacks throughout the day. Make sure to ask when you book if it does or not so you know to get food ahead.

If you want to book everything online, the best place too book is via Klook. Although typically they run about 200 Peso higher ($4 USD), it’s worth it to have everything ready so you can just enjoy your vacation.

I’ll link to each of the Klook tours below.

Coron Island Hopping Activities

By far the most exciting activities in Coron are on (and under) the water! There are hundreds of different islands to explore. You can choose from different packages that go island hopping, or those that focus more on snorkeling. They  even have tours that focus on shipwrecks if you want to do more snorkeling, free diving, or scuba diving.

The tours are lettered tours A, B, C, D and “Ultimate.” If you only have 1 day I suggest doing the Ultimate Island tour. If you have multiple days then the best tours are tour A and C.

Coron Ultimate Island Tour

This tour includes the famous Kayangan Lake, Big Lagoon, Siete Picados Marine Park, Malwawey Reef and Coral Garden, and of course a few different beach areas. At each location you have a choice to either spend your time on the beach or in the water.

Klook.com

You’ll spend your lunch time on a remote island with a couple other tour boats. The lunches on the tours was my favorite part of the day. They have grilled fish, shrimp, chicken or pork, rice, salad, fresh fruit, and later for a snack they have banana friend in sugar.

Coron Island Hopping Food

Coron Tour C

Tour C package is also really popular because it explores all of the beaches around Coron. You’ll spend the day bouncing from one beautiful beach to the next including Malcapuya Island, Banana Island, Bulog Dos Island, and others.

As you tour around you’ll notice many private resorts also have their own island which you can ask your guide about each (or if you have the means, book at those private islands!).

While on this tour, you’ll have the ability to do plenty of snorkeling too!

Klook.com

Coron City Tour

Usually on the first day of your trip to Coron you won’t arrive early enough to go on a water tour, so I suggest to do the Coron City tour.

Included: Quick tour of the small town, stop at the public market so you know where to buy anything you forgot, stop at the St. Augustine Church, hike up 700 steps to the top of Mt Tapyas which overlooks Coron City, and end it with relaxing in one of the few saltwater hot springs in the world!

Klook.com

Busuanga Calauit Safari Tour

To finish, the most surprising and exciting part of a trip to Coron is the Busuanga Calauit Safari trip. I heard about this place, but I never imagined it would be so wonderful.

The Calauit Safari was first started by the former President Marcos in 1976 as a conservation effort. The animals were brought from Kenya and amazingly enough, although brought in from a completely different area of the world, many of them flourished. While not all of the antelope breeds survived, the zebras and giraffes did.

When we were last there in 2017, there were 23 giraffes and 38 zebras, and over 100 Calamian deer which are endemic to Palawan.

All of the animals live on a private island and there are no cages. They are free to roam the entire island. That is also why sometimes you may have to walk around the large island to find some of the animals.

To get there you can book through a travel agency for a tour, or you can rent motor bikes from the city center and travel 2 hours north to the port. Once at the port, you take a boat over to Busuanga Island and begin your journey.

Klook.com

Where to eat in Coron

We all know that one of the most important and most difficult things about any travel destination is deciding WHERE TO EAT.

Luckily if you’re staying in Coron City, there are so many good options for dining just around the city center. No need for you to have to walk very far to get some BBQ, Pizzas, Pastas, or authentic Filipino food.

I will make note that eating in Coron is expensive compared to most places in the Philippines and thats because it’s a remote island and most of the food is brought in from the nearby island of Mindoro.

You’ll likely spend between 250-400 per meal unless you eat the bbq every day 🙂

Here’s a few of my favorite places to eat in Coron

Island Boy Grill

Island Boy Grill Coron Philippines

Right in the center of town, you can miss this place especially the smoke coming from the grill at the front gives it away. This is a very traditional Filipino restaurant with so much grilled seafood, pork, and chicken option. They also have live music every night.

Santino’s Grill

Santinos Grill Coron Philippines

This restaurant is a little ways outside of town, but just grab a tricycle and you’ll be there in less than 5 minutes. Their best seller and my recommendation is RIBS! They are so juicy and melt right off the bone! Of course there’s alot of other food, but get the ribs!

Trattoria Altrove Coron

Pizza Trattoria Altrove Coron Philippines

This is a very unique place to go because they dont let you wear any shoes inside! Their specialty is pizza and pasta, and it is to die for! Located at the middle of town at the second floor. Go early because it can get packed really fast!

Corto Del Mar

Corto Del Mar Coron Philippines

For those of you looking for a fancy place to eat, the Corto Del Mar is absolutely beautiful. This is a resort with a beautiful roman style archways and the restaurant is located just next to the pool. It’s quiet here and meant for romantic getaways.

Hangover Bar and Restaurant

There aren’t too many party places in Coron, but the Hangover Bar is a really fun one. Typically full of foreigners and tourists getting drunk and singing until late at night.


 

That wraps it up….

See you again Coron… You’re one to add to my travel destinations again!

Coron Mt Tapyas Sunset

 

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