Definitely one of the true “remote island paradises” of the Philippines! From wreck diving, majestic lakes, to uninhabiated islands in the Calamian archipelago this place has it all! If you’re coming from Manila you can pick up a cheap flight to Busuanga Island where Coron Town is located. Here you can sort out your exploring /diving/adventuring in the area. It is cheap to stay in Coron town but there are definitely more idyllic locations so we recommend you use it as a jumping point only.
Where to stay in Coron
- Sea dive is a popular choice featuring rooms with shared bathroom for 400P, ranging to aircon rooms with views over the bay for 1400P.
- Next door L&MP resort has 600P rooms, basic, but bathroom in the room. Bear in mind that there is no power until 1pm in Coron town. Power shuts down at around midnight. Some places around town do have generators.
- Kokonuss is just out of town and has cheap garden rooms with shared bathroom.
On the islands
If you want to wake up out of the city then stay on one of the nearby islands. The closest is Uson island which has budget rooms in Dive Link resort. Even better make the extra journey to Malcapuya and Banana Island to the south for budget style island accommodation. If your budget allows it pay around $50US/person, for all inclusive 3 course meals and transfer out to the quiet Coral Bay resort. You’ve got to be a flashpacker to love it, but the free kayaks and trekking opportunities to deserted beaches are definitely appealing.
What to do in Coron
Oh so much!
- Coron Island: Probably the most popular haunt in the area for daytrippers is Coron island, where you see the postcard shots of Kayangan and Barracuda lakes. The turquoise waters surrounded by a backdrop of steep limestone cliffs make you feel like a true adventurer when you dive in. The twin lagoons are great for snorkeling. The thermal layers in the lakes means that you can find warm water at depths, pity you have to come up for air sometimes!
- Island hop: There are plenty of banca boat men more than willing to break away from their previous role as fisherman and take some tourists out to see the islands. It is probably best to find a crew to explore with as the charges to some of the islands on the edge of the archipelago can be expensive. It can be over 2 hours in a Banca to get to some of the more remote islands so make sure you grab a fish and some veggies to grill on your banca bbq for lunch!
- Check out the Maquinit hot springs: In a peaceful setting on the outskirts of Coron town (accessible by both road and sea) are the hot springs. You may think going to the hot pools in the tropics is a bit weird, but it’s actually a great place to take a dip after a day out on the water, or if you’re a bit nippy from all that diving.
- Wreck diving: In WWII an entire fleet of Japanese ships cruising in the Coron waters met a massive air strike from the US. Eleven ships now lie on the seabed in the bays adjacent to Coron town, all of them with their unique characteristics creating sensational diving opportunities for beginners and experts alike. Read more about Diving in Southeast Asia here.
- Kayak: Kayaks are available for rent from many of the resorts in Coron town, as well as the islands. This is one of the cheaper ways to get around, albeit slow!
How to get there
The easiest way is by plane from Manila to Busuanga, but you can also catch an overnight ferry. From the airport it is around 30-45 minutes to Coron town. Vans wait at the airport to take everyone into town. You may also catch a large banca from El Nido or a ferry from Puerto Princessa.
Where to next
- El Nido: Think cute town set around sheer Marble Cliffs and a base to explore the famous Bacuit archipelago. An 8 hour trip by large banca boat will get you from Coron to El Nido or vice versa. There are a few different boats that travel the route, and this ensures that on any day a boat will be going. But beware, if the weather is bad the boat may not sail.
- Puerto Princessa: Think Subterranean River, island hopping around Honda Bay or staying in peaceful Sabang. If this sounds like a bit of you jump on a boat straight to Puerto Princessa, but honestly it’d be rude to miss out on El Nido!
- Back to Manila: If you can face going from pristine lakes to the big smoke, or if you have to fly home then the trip back to Manila is less than an hour by plane or an overnight boat trip away.