CORON, PALAWAN 3 DAY ITINERARY – ISLAND HOPPING, BEACHES, HIKES
Add Coron, Palawan 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. Finish it with a soak in the magical hot springs. This blog post details how to make the most of your time in Coron with a detailed itinerary. You will also find my tips on where to stay before and after your island hopping tours. I hope you are staying for a week because there are so many awesome things to do in Coron.
HOW TO GET TO CORON
Coron has an airport that more or less every single visitor comes in via. However, there is another option these days which is three-night island hopping journey from El Nido with Big Dream Boat Man that combines transit with adventure as you camp at islands along the way and explore during the day while making your way from El Nido. You can click here to look at the trips they currently have on offer.
However, most people do fly in with daily flights coming from Manila and Cebu. The airport is about 30-minutes from Coron Town where you will find your accommodation. The transport from the airport is a fixed rate and shared in a van with other tourists at $3 unless you pay for a private taxi. It is quite a fair and well-organized system where you won’t have to barter or get ripped off.
WHERE TO STAY IN CORON TOWN BEFORE YOUR CORON ISLAND HOPPING TOUR
Read my full blog post: Best hotels, hostels, and resorts in Coron
Coron Town is the base for all of your adventures in Coron. In Coron Town you have the bars, restaurants, transport, places to book tours and you are close to Mt. Tapyas and Maquinit Hot Spring. It is also just a $3 shuttle to the airport. Below are my three picks plus one all-inclusive resort (I’ve stayed multiple times) that includes private island hopping.
Budget Pick: Fat Monkey Hostel – The Fat Monkey Hostel has great vibes and you can get a really cheap dorm room or a basic double room at pretty much the lowest price in Coron. It is in the city center so you are close to all the bars and restaurants.
Value Pick: Kokosnuss Garden Resort – A huge swimming pool in front of a hotel that looks like a castle. A highly-rated breakfast is included with your private room. For just $40 a night this represents about the best value you will find in Coron.
Luxury Pick: Coron Soleil Garden Resort – I stayed at this resort in 2018 and it was incredibly nice. A huge pool stretches down the length of the resort and it’s a relaxing place to chill out after island hopping. The rooms are very luxurious but this resort is actually only just over $100 per night for a double room.
All-inclusive (Includes private island hopping): Casa Fidelis Resort – I had the most amazing stay at Casa Fidelis. 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. Casa
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 you can also enjoy the luxury of having every detail taken care of.
CORON ITINERARY: DAY 1
Most people who visit Coron come for the epic island-hopping. Both TOUR A and TOUR B are equally epic with free-diving, snorkeling, and incredible lagoons of Coron Island. Both tours also include a seafood banquet lunch to eat on a beautiful island. To book either of the tours you can click below or continue reading and each location that I detail below also says which tour it belongs to so you can book the tour depending on which spots you want to visit the most. There are also TOUR C and TOUR D, which are equally as beautiful but away from the crowds and to quieter islands. They are still visited daily but not by the hundreds of tourists that flock to Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon.
In this itinerary, I will suggest doing Tour A, B and your choice of C or D. I’ve done all four and they were all great but I will detail them below.
To book your ISLAND HOPPING A TOUR you can Click Here to check the availability and book online (It’s just $20 USD)
- It includes Kayangan Lake, Coral Garden Snorkel, Cyc Beach and Lunch
Kayangan Lake is by far the most popular spot on Coron Island and for good reason. You cruise into the ‘parking lot’, which in itself is an immaculate reef with crystal clear water. After parking the boat you take a short hike up the stairs to the viewpoint before clambering down the other side to reach the famous Kayangan Lake. It’s a crystal clear freshwater lake with unbelievable underwater rock formations. It’s easily one of my favorite free-dive spots in the world. Make sure you head over the left side of the lake for the epic free-dive location.
The other locations on Tour A are beautiful beaches and snorkeling spots that will cap off an amazing tour of Coron.
After your first day of island-hopping, you will return to the town around 4 pm. If you are up for an adventure head up the steep incline to the best viewpoint in Coron.
HIKE THE STAIRS TO MT TAPYAS FOR SUNSET
Mount Tapyas is the most popular viewpoint in Coron Town, Busuanga, with sweeping views over the rolling hills and a direct look towards the epic Coron Island in Palawan. The view doesn’t come easy though, to reach the giant cross at the summit, you need to climb 721 steps. In the piercing sun of Coron, this is a challenge that leaves many drenched in sweat and gasping for breath once they reach the top.
For some, the 721 steps will be a walk in the park. However, for those who aren’t very active, you may battle through the incline and the sun. Be sure to pack at least one water bottle and possibly a snack for energy if you are worried.
CORON ITINERARY: DAY 2
On day two you will head out for some epic snorkeling at some of the shipwrecks and at Barracuda Lake, one of my favorite free-diving spots in Coron. All of this will be done for a cheap price on Tour B.
To book your ISLAND HOPPING B TOUR you can Click Here to check the availability and book online (It’s just $20 USD)
- It includes Barracuda Lake, Banol Beach, Snorkel at Skeleton Wreck, Twin Lagoon
Skeleton Wreck is a 25m long Japanese supply ship that was hit by an airstrike during WWII by US airforce. The ship now rests at a depth of 5m ranging to 22m at the deepest. It is an awesome spot for free-diving or scuba diving as well as snorkeling on the surface.
Barracuda Lake feels like a dream world. The entrance to the lake leads you along a path that winds through jagged rocks that look straight out of a movie before they reveal the beautiful, expansive Barracuda Lake. The lake is huge but swimmers enjoy an enclosed area of free-diving paradise in the deep waters. Underwater cliffs will blow your mind as you snorkel or free dive in this fresh-water lake in Coron Island.
On the second night in Coron you again have another optional adventure depending on your energy levels. This one isn’t as hard as the Mt Tapyas hike.
RELAX AT THE MAQUINIT HOT SPRINGS
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 look 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.
There is actually a really interesting half-day town tour you can join for just $10 USD. It takes you to Mt. Tapyas, Maquinit Hot Springs and a couple of other sights around the town on a nice half-day town tour! It’s a great way to offset the overdose of epic island hopping you will do while in Coron. You can check the availability and book the tour by Clicking Here.
CORON ITINERARY: DAY 3
It’s your third day on Coron and now I suggest getting a little adventurous because by now, you have seen most of Coron Island on the regular tours A and B. Pick either Tour C or D and go on a bit of a boat journey to some more off-beat locations. There will still be tourists around but it will definitely be more low key. Tour D, in particular, is very low key with shipwrecks, freediving, and snorkeling while Tour C is all about beaches and sandbars.
To book your ISLAND HOPPING C TOUR you can Click Here to check the availability and book online (It’s just $20 USD)
- It includes Malcapuya Island, Bulog Dos Island, Snorkeling, Private, Banana Island Lunch
To book your ISLAND HOPPING D TOUR you can Click Here to check the availability and book online (It’s just $20 USD)
- It includes Snorkeling Lusong Gun Boat, Coral Garden Snorkel, Snorkeling, Visit Pass Island
ARE YOU KEEPING UP WITH MY CORON SERIES?
If you want to experience best island-hopping tour in Coron (4 Days & 3 Nights), which includes camping on private islands, all meals, drinks and parties then you can check out my Big Dream Boat Man Coron Tour Review.
I’ve been to Coron three times and have written a huge guide about all the amazing things you can do in Coron. The list is now up to 22 different spots which you can catch in my Coron Travel Guide: 22 Awesome Things To Do
Only have a few days in Coron and want to know how best to spend your valuable time? I’ve written a detailed Coron Itinerary for 3-4 days that will help you plan out your days and activities.
If you are wondering about where I suggest for accommodation and where I have stayed, I wrote a blog post about the Best Places to Stay in Coron. It’s a pretty detailed list with budget, luxury and value picks.
Aside from the island hopping there are two must-do activities. The first is the Maquinit Hot springs and the second is climbing up Mt. Tapyas for the best view in Coron.
Or you might want to jump to a few of my favorite spots in Coron:
Blog post about Kayangan Lake
Blog post about Black Island
Blog post about Barracuda Lake
Blog post about Lusong Gunboat