Paradise island with blue water and palm trees Island Hopping Coron Philippines Coron

WIT: 14 Awesome Coron, Palawan Tourist Spots

Coron, Palawan has more tourist spots than you would believe. On Busuanga Island alone there are gorgeous white sand beaches, jagged green peaks, and overwhelmingly friendly locals. There’s certainly enough to keep you entertained during your time there!

These are our 14 favourite tourist spots in Coron, Palawan, including a very special road trip around the island itself.

There are hidden lagoons and jaw-dropping coral reefs, world-class shipwrecks and turquoise waters. The Coron region is spectacular – so are the islands surrounding it.  After touching down, you’ll quickly discover why the tourist spots in Coron, Palawan are a highlight on any visit to the Philippines.

The largest and most developed of the Calamian Islands, Busuanga Island is where your Coron adventure is likely to begin.

Confusingly, Coron Town Proper is the capital of this island and of the region: Coron Island is one of the many beautiful islands located off the coast of Busuanga. Busuanga Airport, the fast-ferry port and most of your accommodation options are found here.

We’ve included 8 of our favourite Coron, Palawan tourist spots in our dedicated WIT post: the Busuanga Island Road Trip. You’ll find the rest of them here.

Getting There

AIR

The easiest and quickest way to get to Coron is to fly into Busuanga Airport (USU). Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines & Sky Jet all have daily flights from Manila for decent rates. The small airport (you’re in for a treat in baggage reclaim) is only around 30 minutes from Coron Town proper. It’s easy to pick up a transfer for P150, even if you have not arranged this with your accommodation beforehand (we hadn’t).

Flying over islands when arriving into Coron Airport Busuanga Philippines
Arriving into Busuanga Airport (iPhone)
BOAT

Coron is also accessible by boat, with daily ferries from El Nido (Montenegro Lines; 4 hours). There are longer overnight ferries available from Manila and Puerto Princesa (both around 15 hours).

Another option is to sail from El Nido on a 3-day/2-night (or any extension) excursion. These sailing adventures will take you to deserted islands, secret lagoons and all of the hidden highlights of the Calamian Islands. Some nights you camp on the beach under the stars, some nights are spent in tiny beachside huts and all of your food is included.

We had neither the time nor the money to take part in one of these trips, but people we spoke to absolutely loved it. There’s also an option to sail from Coron to El Nido. Just stock up on motion sickness pills! They saved us so many times in the Philippines.

Coron Town Tourist Spots

You can reach all of the following Coron, Palawan tourist spots without a pair of wheels. If you’re looking for an adventure, there are 8 more amazing things to do on our Busuanga Island Road Trip.

Island Hopping

The best way to see what Coron has to offer, island hopping is one of the top things to do. You’ll find that even though there are a huge amount of tour operators, there are only a certain number of tours to choose from.

Most tour operators charge roughly the same price for the joiner tours. The prices don’t include snorkel hire – so if you want to see the fish you’ll need to rent one. Another option is to rent a private boat for up to 6 pax (we wish we had gone for this option!)

We recommend shopping around to check numbers in the groups – our joiner boat was WAY too packed and this had a big impact on our experience. The majority of tours take in the main sights of the surrounding islands including:

  • Siete Pecados
  • Hidden Lagoon
  • Barracuda Lake
  • Twin Lagoon,
  • Isla Bulungan
  • Calachuchi Coral Eden
  • Kayangan Lake
Blue water on Banana Island Coron Island Hopping
The water was crazy at Stop 2: Banana Island

We actually opted for the Island Escapes tour (Bulog Dos, Banana Island & Malcapuya Island) with Twin Travel at P1300 per person including lunch.

The islands are around 1.5 hours away by boat, which is a lot further than the other tours. However, they’re beautiful and the stops aren’t too crowded. We wouldn’t recommend going with this particular operator – the boat was packed to capacity to the point there wasn’t enough space for everyone and the quantity of food at lunch was ridiculously small.

Arriving onto Bulog Island during Island Hopping Trip Coron Philippines
Stop 1: Bulog Island

WEE TIP: All entrance fees are covered if you are on a group island hopping tour, however, if you opt for a private you will need to pay these additionally.

Palm trees on Malcapuya Beach island hopping Coron Philippines
Stop 3: Malcapuya Beach
Kayak to Coron Island

Looking for a cheaper, less crowded island-hopping option? Do it yourself! Rent your kayak from Sea Dive Resort (around P600) and set off towards Coron Island – ask in Sea Dive resort and they will be able to explain the route.

Sadly the weather/sea conditions weren’t on our side so we weren’t able to do this, but those who did were raving about it.

Shipwreck Diving

It seems like half of the most famous tourist spots in Coron & Palawan are underwater!

The shipwrecks of Coron are a massive draw for divers and one of the top things to do on the island. Most dive shops in town proper offer 3 dives including lunch for around P3500 (you’ll need to haggle). Certified divers have a huge selection of wrecks to choose from. Non-divers can also do discovery dives without too much difficulty, as a few of the wrecks are only 10m deep.

Be aware that the boat journey to the wrecks can be quite far and we heard reviews of dive group sizes being big (sometimes there were 8 divers to x1 Divemaster!) In our Busuanga Island Road Trip article, you’ll find more detail about scuba diving in Conception and whether you should yourself there or in Coron Town.

Scuba diving girl Pirate Divers Concepcion Coron
Before our first dive with Pirate Divers Concepcion (iPhone)

Recommended operators in Coron Town:

  • Neptune Divers
  • Corto Divers
  • Umali Divers

WEE TIP: We actually opted to dive from a town further up the West coast – Conception. Here you’re only 15 minutes boat ride away from the main wrecks and dive in much smaller groups. Check out Pirate Divers Conception (prices around P4300 for 3 dives).

Hike Mt Tapyas

Don’t miss out on a visit to Coron’s version of the Hollywood sign! Best done at sunset, climb 700 steps to the viewpoint for unrestricted views of the town. The entrance is next to the port that the island hopping tours leave from. This is one of the best things to do in Coron if the weather is on your side!

Coron Town port with view of Mount Tapyas sunset climb
Coron Town Port with a view of Mt Tapyas

WEE TIP: your accommodation has likely recommended the thermal springs as one of the things to do when in town. Most people we spoke to were pretty nonplussed about them, and it makes sense. Why sit in boiling hot water in 30C+ temperatures? Spend your time on the beaches instead.

Explore the Local Side of Coron Town

After hearing and reading negative reviews about Coron Town, it actually surprised us. Sure, it’s not the prettiest place and there’s not a huge amount of things to do, but look past the Coron Town façade and it’s actually quite charming.

Be sure to check out the market area around the sports centre for cheap street food and you might be lucky and catch a local game of basketball (Filipinos are OBSESSED with basketball!) This is a side of Coron Town that not many people venture to, but it’s certainly a refreshing change from the more touristy areas.

People playing basketball in Coron Town
Local side of Coron Town
Get On Your Bike

Literally! The island of Busuanga is just waiting to be explored and we were surprised by how many people limit their visit to only Coron Town. The road around the island may be bumpy, but it’s well worth the journey. We took 4 days to explore the full island on our rented semi-automatic (Angel Bikes, P450 per day) – read our full blog post on it HERE. We really believe this is one of the best things to do when in Coron.

Where to Stay in Coron Town

Coron Town is scruffy and developing, but it is undeniably entertaining. It still manages to retain much of the old-school charm and authenticity that neighbouring El Nido seems to have sacrificed.

The town proper has a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. Most are located in and around the small centre. We found that the majority of hostels are not online (probably due to the patchy WiFi) so unless you want to stay at Hop Hostel or Happy Camper, we would recommend just turning up!

Fat Monkey Hostel our choice

Cheap and cheerful, Fat Monkey Hostel has a great backpacker vibe and an amazing owner in Don. We stayed in a double bed in the new(er) building for P600 a night with a shared bathroom. There are also outdoor showers, a few dormitory rooms and loads of hammocks and tables as part of the social area.

While we were able to sleep comfortably, arrange tours and socialise with other travellers (only on the second night – the first night was dead), we didn’t think this place was worth the ride out of town. The 10-minute tricycle was 15-30P during the day, 50P after 8PM one way and it all adds up. We also thought the free breakfast (two pieces of toast and a fried egg) was a little stingy, forcing you in to buying a more substantial breakfast from them. Since you’re a little remote, you have little option but to head in to town if you don’t fancy eating at the hostel.

That being said the rooms are cheap, Don is perhaps the friendliest guy on the island, and there’s not a lot they can’t help you out with… also, there are pretty adorable pups.

Mommitas our other choice

Central and affordable, this no-frills pension house is across from the popular Tratoria Altrove and round the corner from No Name Bar. We recommend staying here if you’re looking for something affordable in the heart of the action, and if noise from the main road isn’t a problem!

Privates from P800

Happy Camper Hostel the one that got away

We actually tried to stay here twice… tried! The owner, Jun, seemed lovely and the reviews speak for themselves. It may a short walk out of town proper, but this place sells out quick; book in advance or be disappointed like we were.

Hop Hostel for the ‘flashpacker’

With a mini cinema, DJ, rooftop bar, free dinner and hotel-standard dorm beds, Hop Hostel is a popular choice in Coron Town. This one also sells out in advance, so if you want to stay here, be sure to book ahead. It’s also got a popular bar that anybody can rock up to. We never set foot on the property, but those we spoke to raved about it.

LHT Hostel super budget option

At P600 for a basic double room, this seems like the most affordable option in the centre of town for those tight on cash. It’s found down a dingy alleyway next to Argamosa Bayside Inn, but close enough to the centre not to care.

Where to Eat in Coron Town

Levine’s

Sunset views? Bargain dishes? One-litre Red Horse beer for P100? Levine’s has it all and it’s easy to see why tourists flock here. It’s the perfect place to relax over dinner and P50 rum & coke after a day of island hopping. The spicy aubergine dish is particularly tasty.

Mains from P200

Lolo Nonoy’s

Cheap, cheerful and fairly local, come here if you’re after reasonably priced Filipino dishes like sisig and longganisa.

Mains from P150

Coffee Stops

Epic

The only coffee roasters in town, prices are higher here but we think it’s worth it if you’re in need of a decent caffeine fix. Breakfast is much cheaper elsewhere, as are the cakes – try the bakery next door for brownies at P6 compared to Epic’s P120!

Touchwood Café

Coffee here is nothing special, but the breakfast combos (either sandwich set or waffles) are pretty cheap at P200 including a hot drink.

Bars

No Name Bar

Lives up to the hype! With P50 rum and cokes, this backpacker favourite is popular with both tourists and locals alike. We wouldn’t blame you if you spent every night here! A great place to find other stragglers for a private boat tour.

Bottle of beer in No Name Bar Coron Philippines
Two icons: SML plus No Name Bar
Ala-e Hippie Bar

You’ll probably be flyer-ed into this chilled out reggae bar by the owners, but don’t let this put you off visiting. It’s a great place to relax with a beer, especially at sunset.

Blue Moon

Blue Moon is a sports bar with pretty reasonably priced drinks. Check with them beforehand if you want a specific game/channel on and they’ll try their best to accommodate.

And there it is – our Guide of the Top Things to do in Coron. Check out our WIT article Busuanga Island Roadtrip for full information on why we extended our time in Coron to check out the rest of the amazing island! Looking for a story? Then check out Daniel’s RAG about scuba-diving. Enjoy!

Coron, Palawan Tourist Spots Summary

Example Plan:

Day 1

  • Arrive and check into your accommodation
  • Hike Mt Tapyas for sunset
  • Drinks at No Name Bar – perfect to meet other travellers and arrange a boat tour for the following morning

Day 2

  • Island hopping tour or DIY kayak tour
  • Sunset dinner at Levine’s

Day 3

  • Coffee at Epic followed by street food lunch at Coron Market
  • Arrange motorbike hire with Angel Bikes and set of on your Busuanga Island Roadtrip
  • Alternatively, head to El Nido by ferry or boat expedition
Accommodation:
  • Fat Monkey Hostel
  • Mommitas
  • Happy Camper Hostel
  • Hop Hostel
  • LHT Hostel
Restaurants:
  • Levine’s
  • Lolo Nonoys
Cafes/Bars:
  • Epic
  • Touchwood Cafe
  • No Name Bar
  • Ala-e Hippie Bar
  • Blue Moon

Coron, Palawan Tourist Spots Budget Breakdown

Getting There:
  • Fly: SkyJet Manilla – Busuanga

Total: P8200 ($155)

Accommodation:

Fat Monkey Hostel

  • Double room (shared bathroom)
  • P800 price per night (x2 nights)

Mommitas

  • Double room (shared bathroom)
  • P800 price per night (x1 night)

Total: P2400 ($38)

Attractions:
  • Island Hopping: P1300 per person
  • Island Hopping snorkel hire: P100 per person

Total: P2600 ($50)

Local Transport
  • Transfer from airport P150 per person

Total: P300 ($5.70)

Moving On:
  • Ferry to El Nido: P1760 price per person

Total: P3520 ($67)

Total for 3D/3N: P17,570/$320

The above budget is for x2 people. Food and drink is not included.

This budget breakdown isn’t meant to be an exact record of what we spent, but should give you a rough idea of what you’re likely to spend.

*all currencies accurate at the time of writing*

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Our guide to Coron Palawan Philippines

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