Add Coron to your bucket list, because I’m about to share with you an epic adventure itinerary, which was so breathtaking it blew my mind! What to do in Coron? A small warm-up hike followed by two days of island hopping amongst the most breathtaking scenery and the clearest water I have ever laid my eyes on.
THE WARM UP AT MT. TAPYAS
Arriving in a new place, it’s sometimes tough to get your bearings to begin with. One of the best ways to figure out the layout of the town or city is to get to the highest viewpoint and take it all in. Coron has a great little trek that leads you up 742 steps to the summit of Mt. Tapyas. A hollywood-style ‘CORON’ sign is perched on the hill below a giant cross. The cross is covered in lights and is quite impressive at night. The hike will only take 10-15 minutes and the view is worth the effort.
From the summit we could spot the port, hundreds of homes built only a few feet above the water and we also had a great view of the ocean and surrounding islands. The highlight of the Mt. Tapyas hike was the back side of the view point. Rolling hills transported me out of the Philippines to a far away countryside for a brief moment. I never knew the Philippines would have landscapes like this.
Okay short hikes out of the way now it’s time for the island hopping.
CORON ISLAND HOPPING DAY 1
We teamed up with Casa Fidelis Resort for a fun day out on the long boat. Breakfast on the boat while the sun rose, was I dreaming? I felt like a celebrity. We cruised for about twenty minutes before gliding in towards Kayangan Lake. The water was so clear I could see every detail and every fish just by peering over the side.
KAYANGAN LAKE CORON
Kayangan Lake has a short hike up a couple hundred stairs to a little viewpoint hidden in the cliffs. It’s a view I won’t forget and even after El Nido this one blew me away. Philippines is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth.
From the viewpoint you walk down the other side of the cliff for a few minutes and reach Kayangan Lake. We arrived before any other tourists and enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere of the idyllic lake. I’m not going to keep going on about how clear the water is I promise. I will let the photos do the talking about the water clarity from here on in.
SIETE PECADOS MARINE PARK
Next stop was a snorkel at Siete Pecados. The coral was like an underwater fossilized forest. Each snorkel is always different and this was no exception. Starfish, hundreds of different fish and fluorescent coral.
Lunch wasn’t going to be a packed sandwich with Casa Fidelis, a full seafood and barbecue spread was conjured up on the grill at the back of the boat. We ate in a small hut on Atwayan Beach while looking out over the glistening bay.
SKELETON WRECK CORON
Something I was quite excited about was free diving at Skeleton Wreck. It’s a mostly intact WWII ship that found its resting place in Coron. Thousands of fish surrounded the wreck and swarmed us as we swam. To get down deep enough at the level of the wreck you will need to dive about 15ft but you can still get a great view from the surface. One of the guides managed to free-dive into the cabin of the ship and out of the window.
We threw down the kayak and paddled a whole hundred yards to Cyc Beach. A reggae crew drank, sang and played music on the shore. We chatted for a while before exploring the mangroves and rocky coastline.
CORON TWIN LAGOON
Our final stop of the day was Twin Lagoon, a stunning pool of water hiding amongst the breathtaking cliffs. Through a small gap, you can swim under the cliff and into Twin Lagoon. A vast lagoon, our own giant, private swimming pool for half an hour.
CORON ISLAND TOUR DAY 2
I didn’t think it would be possible for our second day on the boat to live up to the adventure we had on Day 1. It was definitely slower but equally as impressive. The first island was Bulog Dos but it was actually several islands.
BULOG DOS ISLAND
Depending on the time of day you visit will depend if the sandbars connect. I climbed to the top of the hill and almost destroyed my camera in a tumble down the rock face after my handhold crumbled. I knew I wanted a better vantage point of the whole scene and in the end I think it was worth it.
A higher-end resort lays claim to most of the land on the island but it is a great place to visit. I have a thing for sandbars too so I was in heaven.
BANANA ISLAND CORON
Lunch was at Banana Island which might need to be renamed ‘The Hammock Island’. We enjoyed another amazing spread for lunch including oysters, squid, grilled pork, salads and fruit. After lunch everyone got into the hammocks and had a mini siesta in the shade. I am terrible at relaxing and switching off but even I hung out in the hammock for twenty minutes. The awesome part of touring with Casa Fidelis was the lax schedule. If we wanted to hammock for an hour it would have been fine.
MALCAPUYA ISLAND CORON
Our last island to visit on our adventure was Malcapuya. A stunning stretch of sand, lined with coconut trees made the perfect spot for our afternoon chill session. There is a little viewpoint on the left side of the beach and caves to explore on the right. Coconuts are harvested by locals who free-climb the trees and cut the coconut. It doesn’t get any fresher.
For some reason on this Philippines trip I keep meeting white dogs on beautiful white sandy beaches.
THE FINISHER: MAQUINIT HOT SPRING
Only a 20 minute drive from Coron town in a tricycle is a hot spring oasis in the mountains. Amazingly the hot spring also has a view of the ocean and it is a salt-water hot spring. The sunset was beautiful and lit the sky up with deep pinks and purples. I enjoyed it too much to get my camera out quick enough but this is what the hot springs looks like. It is busy but there is enough space for everyone to chill around the edge. Sometimes I prefer places to be empty but the Maquinit Hot Spring had a really chill vibe with everyone enjoying their bath under the stars.
WHERE TO STAY IN CORON
I had the most amazing stay at Casa Fidelis. After spending one night in the busy Coron city I packed up and headed out to Casa Fidelis. A 20 minute drive from the city, the rustic resort has a genuine family atmosphere. We were greeted by workers, family and friends upon our arrival.
Our room was huge, I think we could have slept six or more. Three big beds and a spacious bathroom area made us feel right at home. The villa had a large patio area that looked out over the garden. Stepping stones led you from the room to the dining area, where we had decadent spreads of gourmet food for every meal. One night we even enjoyed a great sunset from the garden at the resort.
Breakfast was always over the top with pancakes, bacon, eggs, vegetables, coffee, bread and fresh fruit. Lunch and dinner were either out on the boat grilled on the barbecue or beautiful local style meals.
The best part by far about Casa Fidelis is the activities you will get to do, which are otherwise not possible if you stay in the city. The resort is situated a short walk from the dock, so leaving at sunrise before all of the tour boats is very simple. This made our island hopping tour much more special as we were able to enjoy each location with no or very few people around. You can customize any tour with Casa Fidelis to suit your needs.
I highly recommend this resort if you are looking for an entire Coron experience. You won’t have to worry about what to do in Coron. It is a perfect resort if you want to see the best of this beautiful region and also enjoy the luxury of having every detail taken care of. We immediately felt welcome and at home at Casa Fidelis and will return one day soon. Book directly through their website CasaFidelis.com for the best rates.
Travel to Coron from El Nido? Click Here to find out how I traveled with the cheapest available mode of transport from El Nido.