CORON TRAVEL GUIDE: 12 AWESOME THINGS TO DO
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 all of my favorite things to do in Coron and how to beat the crowds.
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12 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN CORON
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. Don’t be intimidated, you can make it! 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. My tip is to walk out the back for 30 minutes exploring the hill trails as it is quite beautiful out there too!
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.
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.
CORON, PALAWAN ISLAND HOPPING DAY 1
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
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
KAYANGAN LAKE CORON
Kayangan Lake has a short hike up a couple hundred stairs to a little viewpoint hidden in the cliffs. From here you can fully appreciate the crystal clear water you have cruised in on. As you can see from the photo below there are hardly any boats in the harbor. This is because we were the first ones there. If you take a normal tour you can expect at least 20 boats parked here. (Scroll down a few photos and you will see the packed harbor full of boats from a drone shot I took when I visited two years later. It’s a view I won’t forget and even after El Nido this one blew me away. The 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.
I returned to Coron a second time and did the same tour but during peak hour. It was still great but definitely much more peaceful. This time I had my drone and sent it up for a fly. I also filmed this short video that somehow went viral and had over 100 million views on Facebook!
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 just 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 one of the most popular things to do in Coron for free-divers. It’s a mostly intact WWII ship that found its resting place in Coron, Palawan. 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. As you can see in the photo below, we are once again the only ones in the lagoon. However, these days if you go at peak time, there could be hundreds and hundreds of tourists in life jackets. I don’t want to discourage you from visiting Coron, Palawan. It is an amazing place. But the tourists packed into lagoons like sardines is a bit of a killer at times.
CORON ISLAND TOUR DAY 2
To book your ISLAND HOPPING C TOUR you can Click Here to check the availability and book online (It’s just $20 USD)
- The tour includes Malcapuya Island and Bulog Dos Island
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.
If you want to just cruise out to Malcapuya Island for a day trip there is a tour purely dedicated to getting you to this magical land of palm trees. You can book the Malcapuya FULL DAY Island trip by Clicking Here.
For some reason on this Philippines trip I keep meeting white dogs on beautiful white sandy beaches.
THE FINISHER: MAQUINIT HOT SPRING
Now that the island hopping was over, it was time to relax with a nice warm (public) bath!
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, Maquinity 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.
WHERE TO STAY IN CORON TOWN 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 you can also enjoy the luxury of having every detail taken care of.