HIKE UP MOUNT TAPYAS STAIRS IN CORON, PALAWAN – PHILIPPINES
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.
WHERE IS MOUNT TAPYAS IN CORON?
Mount Tapyas is one of two hotspots in Coron Town that most tourists visit with the other being Maquinit Hot Spring. Both are quite close to the town center and Mount Tapyas is within walking distance of most hotels near the town-center although you may opt for a cheap tricycle ride.
The pin on the map below marks the summit and you will see a green dotted line below that red pin. That green dotted line is the trail and you can, therefore, find the trailhead, which is right next to K-Heights Inn. At the bottom of the trailhead is a basketball court and you can see the stairs.
MOUNT TAPYAS ENTRANCE FEE
There is no entrance fee for Mt Tapyas, which is great as it encourages tourists and locals to get out, get active and enjoy the view.
MOUNT TAPYAS STAIR HIKE
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.
I suggest starting the hike about 1-hour before sunset or maybe a little bit earlier. That way you can reach the top and see the view in daylight and hang out up there for about an hour as you enjoy the daylight turn into the sunset and get the full experience.
I’ve done the hike three times now and each time the view is still impressive. On the hike up there isn’t too much to see as you focus on making your way up the stairs. At about the halfway mark you start to get glimpses of the view, the ocean, and Coron Island. However, knowing what the view is like at the top, I wouldn’t spend much time taking photos till you reach closer to the summit. (In the photos below we are carrying bags of trash that we collected on the way up in case you are wondering what we are hauling up to the summit.)
Just before you reach the top you can cut to the right on a new path so you can look up the hill towards the summit. Here you will be right in front of the ‘C O R O N’ sign, similar to that found in Hollywood. It is very recognizable and you can see it from Coron Island while you are out island hopping. This is a great spot for photos in both directions. We took photos here years ago before the path was placed here but now it is very easily accesible.
Continue up to the summit where you will see the towering cross. It actually lights up at night and looks over the Poblacion of Coron Town. It’s beautiful at night and a very iconic feature of Coron Town. From the cross, you can head up behind the hill and explore the rolling hills. There is a trail that actually goes all the way down to the road. You can hike up from this trail if you like and it is visible as the ‘other’ green line reaching Mt Tapyas on Google Maps.
There are lots of bunkers and viewpoints strewn across the top of Mount Tapyas so find your spot, settle in and wait for the sunset show. I love how the layers of the mountains really come to life as the sun goes down. The Summit of Mount Tapyas does get busy at sunset but as the number one viewpoint of Coron Town you can expect it to be a hotspot. Luckily there is a big hill and room for everyone to enjoy the view!
MT TAPYAS CLEANUP – ADVENTURE BAG
Coron is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. It was my third time returning to Coron but my first visit back since I started the Adventure Bag Movement. I decided to organize a quick clean-up of the most popular sunset spot on Coron, Mt. Tapyas.
A small but determined group, the twelve of us set off up the stairs. There had been reports that the trail was clean and that there was daily maintenance of the trail. I wasn’t worried because we hear these nervous comments before every cleanup only to collect thousands of pieces of trash. This hike was no different.
We immediately found a little dump site off to the side of the stairs and filled 5-6 huge garbage bags within minutes. After clearing this site we headed up the stairs.
Krish was our tour guide on our Big Dream Boat Man tour and went beast mode collecting 12 huge garbage bags of trash in 1.5 hours. The rest of the crew combined for another 10+ bags to total almost 25 giant garbage bags of trash on a short hiking trail.
WHERE TO STAY BEFORE YOUR CORON ISLAND HOPPING TOUR
Coron Town is the base for all of your adventures in Coron. It is a little bit more expensive than some areas in the Philippines but there are still budget options. 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. Just 1.2km from the direct town-center it is close to lots of bars and restaurants. 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. We spent the nights at the bar here and chilling in the pool before heading out to dinner. 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. 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.
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.
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.