Coron Travel Guide
I still have Coron fever, after practically living there like a local for three straight weeks I still can’t get over the sunrises and sunsets that bound my daily activities in that paradise island- mostly diving and beach bumming.
As I always tell my friends, I wanted to somehow share my life by bringing people along with me. But I realize that most people don’t have a schedule as flexible as mine, so I would make travel guides that hopefully would help everyone dreaming to go to this place or that.
So here’s another Travel Guide for your Coron, Palawan trip preparations.
Before we start let me thank Reiza of Wander If You Must for taking time to create this short guide CORON TraVEL GUIDE with me.
1. Describe Coron, Palawan.
Reiza says: Clichés are inevitable when you talk about Coron. It is no less than paradise on earth with its azure waters reflecting clear skies, white-sand shores outlining private coves, limestone cliffs and red mountains against the blue sky, miles and miles of coral gardens, abundant sea life, add to that the mystery of sunken war ships and of its native inhabitants, the Tagbanuas.
James says: Paradise. A small town in the Calamianes group of islands north of mainland Palawan. It’s 12-hour ferry from Manila and 8 to 9 hours boat from El Nido. Speak of palm-fringed powdery white beaches, crystal clear lagoons, stunning lakes and towering limestone karst and you are brought to Coron. But wait there’s more. If you think what’s above is enough, you are just scratching the surface. Coron boasts of its world-class dive sites- of WWII Japanese Shipwrecks, Thermocline lakes, Cathedral cave, Coral gardens and more. Whew!
2. What do you like most about the Coron?
Reiza says: It is a very unassuming place that is just full of beautiful surprises! Coron is, in fact, underrated, which is good in the sense that it still keeps a simple small town vibe. The islands are not as commercialized as its counterparts in Puerto Princesa.
James says: I like Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoons and Diving its shallow wrecks. I always find something new and interesting whenever I dive CYC, Twin Peaks and Skeleton Wreck. I love its sunrise viewed at the end of Lambingan bridge and sunset spent on Mt. Tapyas. I also like spending a cold night at Maquinit hotspring.
3. Is there anything the local government can do (or stop doing) in order to make the place more tourist friendly.
Reiza says: I love the fact that the local government is making efforts to be environmentally conscious. They encourage shops to use paper bags instead of plastic. They train the local tour guides on environmental issues, i.e. protecting the corals while snorkeling. But they should step up efforts as well to train fishermen on proper fishing methods that will not harm the corals. While we were snorkeling, we found fish traps anchored on live corals! It was a disappointing sight.
One big issue that the government should address though is the constant power cuts that inconveniences not only hotels and business establishments, but also the tourist themselves as it is not fun exploring the town in pitch dark.
James says: I think its high-time to limit the visitors, I don’t know how they would do this because this is already becoming a boom town because of tourism. I think Coron has limited carrying capacity. Add to that, the power cuts that Reiza is saying. I think Coron is not prepared to the influx of tourist- it can’t provide power and water supply.
You see, because a lot are building hotels, pension houses and tourist establishments power is poorly distributed and most rely on generators to provide electricity. So what happens is that only those who can afford a generator do have power. The locals on the other hand suffer the lack of electricity. I don’t know but there should be a way to fix this perennial problem. They must act now.
Can I also add that the Tagbanuas lessen their entrance fees to the beaches and lakes? And also clean the tourist spots regularly.
4. Don’t go home without seeing, visiting, experiencing ____________.
Reiza says: Talking to the Tagbanuas and listening to their stories. They are warm gentle people and surprisingly conversant on social issues, politics, business, and what-have-yous. When you coax them, they can tell you about their rich history and culture with a sprinkle of magical tales to boot.
James says: Conquer your fear and try wreck diving. All-year round you can visit any shipwreck because visibility is great. I suggest you visit Taei Maru and Olympia, if you are not into big wrecks, you can check out my faves- East Tangat Gunboat and Skeleton Shipwreck. Also adding, sitting down at Mt. Tapyas to wait for the sunset. This is my fave spot in all of Coron.
5. Don’t go home without trying/eating ____________.
Reiza says: Seeing the sunken ships that hold secrets of forgotten heroes and villains. Dive (or free dive) if you can. It’s an out-of-this-world experience that you just can’t pass up.
James says: Wreck diving for those who can afford it. If you are planning to do this, contact me so I can refer you to my friends at Coron Divers. If you are not into diving, go to Calauit Games Preserve and Wildlife Safari. This is not in Coron but in Busuanga, about 4 hours land trip and 40minutes by boat. It’s the only legit safari in the Philippines.
For a night-out, go to Hell Divers Bar at Sea Dive. Best chill-out place in town, beer at Php50.
6. Traveler’s Tips:
Reiza says: If you have extra money to spare, tip the boatmen and tour guides. Most of them go out of their way to ensure you have an unforgettable experience. They get a small commission from the tour companies, so any amount you give will put a big smile on their faces, at the end of a long exhausting day.
James says: Ask for discounts. Most establishments give discounts especially during off-peak seasons (May-September). Saying that, I suggest you visit Coron during those months so you have the islands all for yourself. Bring your barkada with you as Coron is best enjoyed with friends, not to mention that saves you a lot too.
If you are on a budget, try to eat dinner at the town square or Arbour Plaza. It is near the public market. Barbeques and goto for as cheap as Php10.
7. Recommendation Hotel, Inn?
Reiza says: Coron Ecolodge never failed to impress me from the airport pick-up to the accommodation and tour packages. The hotel is clean and well-kept. Breakfast is tasty and filling. Staff are fun and accommodating. Tours were efficiently organized. I couldn’t have asked for a better deal.
James says: The cheapest is at Coron Divers at the end of Lambingan bridge at Php300/night- common bathroom, fan room. I stayed there for three weeks, backpackers style. Lovely sunrise and sunset every single day.
— — — end — — —
Again, thanks Reiza for collaborating with JourneyingJames for this Coron, Palawan post.
You can read my past articles about Coron, Palawan below:
- Coron, Palawan Quickie
- Experience Coron Tour (Part 1)
- Experience Coron Tour with Itinerary (Part 2)
- Coron Palawan Photo Album
How to get to Coron?
Cebu Pacific Air flies daily to Busuanga (Coron) from Manila and every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from Cebu. For bookings and inquiries, go to www.cebupacificair.com or call (02)7020-888. The latest seat sales and promos can be found on Cebu Pacific Air’s official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook pages (/cebupacificair).
Form Busuanga Airport, you just take any AC van parked outside the terminal to bring you to Coron Town (45mins travel time). Fare is Php150/person.
If you want to join the Travel Bloggers Collab, please do email me at journeyingjames(AT)gmail(DOT)com together with the place you want to talk about. I want to learn from you and see from your perspective. 😉