Several travel websites like Travel & Leisure and CNTraveler are raving about the Philippines’ natural world wonder, Palawan. This year 2017, Palawan Island is dubbed as the No. 1 Best Island in the World by Travel and Leisure scoring 93.15 beating 9 other equally unique places from all the over the world. Well, Palawan just stands out. ?
Highlighted in the scene is the ultra famous Coron Island, in northern Palawan. With the hype it’s getting from people around the world, who wouldn’t be curious? Actually, it’s my 2nd attempt to visit Coron and I intend to fulfill it this time. ?
Welcome to Coron Island!
Finally! Last June, me and my friends immersed on a 7-day trip to Palawan covering Coron, El Nido and Puerto Princesa. But let me first share with you our very own experience with this exquisite piece of beauty called “Coron Island”.
Arrival at Francisco B. Reyes Airport, Busuanga (Coron)
Their airport is quite small and could use a lot of improvements considering the tourism industry has tripled since the world-wide recognition the place has received and thousands of tourists arrive monthly. It is located in a tuck away rural area that would take less than an hour drive to the main attraction. Public vans are available that costs Php 150 per person.
Here’s an aerial view of Busuanga I took using my phone as we land in Francisco B. Reyes Airport. Watch in HD.
Don’t book your tours online, in advance. I repeat, DON’T.
When you arrive at the airport, various travel agencies will welcome you the moment you step outside the arrivals hall. Prepare yourself to receive a pile of flyers as you walk pass them. In our case, I talked to some of them and asked about the inclusions of their package and what not. We only have one day for an Island Hopping activity so we chose Coron Ultimate Tour Package which only costs P1200 from Be Cool Travel and Tours agency with free lunch and use of Kayak(2 only).
I was so glad we found this deal because I was expecting the tours would cost Php1500 minimum. Our tour went well so far.
Where to stay in Coron?
In my opinion, as much as possible stay near the base of Mt. Tapyas so you can save your transpo going back and forth here. And if you can, book accommodation with free breakfast so the only thing you’re gonna be worrying when you wake up is what outfit you should wear. Trust me, saves a bunch of time!
In our case, we stayed in NCB Homestay for 2 nights which only costs P779 per pax with free typical breakfast. The staffs were also helpful! Overall, our stay was comfortable.
Sunset in Mt. Tapyas – Must not miss when you are in Coron!
The 700+ steps going up the hill, although extremely tedious, will definitely give you an incredible bird’s eye-view of Coron town and the nearby islands. The sunset situation here is pure bliss.
However, the distance between Mt. Tapyas and our hostel is quite far but still “walkable” if there is one such term. It took us around 20 minutes to reach the base and from there the calvary started. Haha just kidding. I had a long stressful week in the office before this trip and climbing 700+ steps just after we settled our things in the hostel is certainly not acceptable to my body. Or I’m just old perhaps. I had muscle cramps after. I can’t walk straight up & down the stairs anymore. I’m dead serious. It was awful. So guys, do some stretching before climbing Mt. Tapyas!
Relax your body and soul at Maquinit Hot Spring! You deserve it.
This famous saltwater spring is said to be the go-to place by tourists after their tiring trek in Mt. Tapyas. And I couldn’t agree more. There are two large pools, surrounded by mangroves, that can accommodate pretty much everyone! The temperature runs between 37° to 40° celsius which would totally take some time for our body to adjust but it’s more soothing as you go along. Just don’t soak in the water for too long.
It’s a 30-minute ride from Coron Town and there are many tricycles available to take you there. P400 for 4 people back and forth is already a good deal. Negotiate the driver properly. ? In our case, we hired a van for P1500 back and forth shared by 13 pax. The place is open from 8AM to 10PM. So staying overnight is not possible. Last visitor acceptance is at 8PM. Entrance is Php200 per pax as of this writing. There are cottages available for rent if you plan to have a picnic. Their toilets are pretty basic as well.
For more info, please call this number: +63 918 344 4633
Where to eat in Coron?
We only got a chance to try two famous restaurants in Coron and I must say, their food was really good. No wonder they are highly recommended by the locals! I’m talking about Lolo Nonoys and Kawayanan Grill. We had our take-away dinner from Lolo Nonoys as we head to Maquinit Spring. We bought the “ready-to-eat” food because we were in a hurry. The serving was enough and the food was good. Plus it’s affordable. I remember I only paid Php 110 for my food.
And as for Kawayanan Grill, we had the chance to sit and dine here. The place was pretty cozy! We seated inside because aircondition is life! While we wait for our food, my friends were playing billiards to kill the time. Their menu price ranges from P200 to P350 per order but at that time they have a promo, a budget (roasted)chicken meal with rice that costs only P99 pesos. IT WAS SO GOOD we ordered again the next day for our lunch! And the best thing I love about them is that they accept credit card. ?
I am a Globe subscriber and I got 4G LTE network with decent internet speed in town. Signal during island hopping is not guaranteed. Furthermore, I’m not sure if it was just my friend, but she hardly get any mobile data signal using her SMART sim. So I think it’s better if you have both sims just to be sure.
I failed to notice if there are other banks available but one thing is for sure, there is BPI and we were able to withdraw some cash to survive the next few days. ✌️
Snorkels and Fins
If you have and if you can, I really recommend that you bring your own. In our case, only 2 people brought their own snorkel set so the rest of us settle to renting goggles and snorkels. The standard rental price is P150 per gear(whether it’s snorkel, aqua shoes or fins). There are many “for-rent” gears in Pantalan/Wharf.
Wear Aqua Shoes as much as possible
I’m not sure if you are already aware of the death of a tourist from few years back due to “sea urchin” (they say). I mean, our feet could touch anything, who knows if it’s poisonous or not. Just better be safe than sorry.
Come in Low Season as much as you can.
No doubt that Coron is beyond beautiful! No one can argue with that. However, it can get really crowded! And I guarantee that you won’t enjoy the place as you are supposed to if there’s too much people. We went there last June and it’s considered low season already but my God!!! There are still many people especially in the iconic Kayangan Lake. We still had to line up on this famous instagram spot! So how much more if you go during summer? GOOD LUCK!
This is basically our itinerary in Coron. I didn’t include our airfare because it will surely vary. The cost is per person. I hope it will give an idea on how to plan your Coron getway. Soon!
Palawan squad 🤘 . . . . . . . #laagankaayo #southeastasia #digitalnomad #roamtheplanet #travelawesome #traveldiaries #beautifuldestinations #wonderful_places #lonelyplanet #bestintravel #natgeotravel #passionpassport #tlpicks #jetsetter #globetrotter #neverstopexploring #wearetravelgirls #welivetoexplore #travelblog #travelphotography #traveladdict #fotografiaunited #huaweip9 #wanderlust #exploringtheglobe #worldtraveler #traveldeeper #coron #palawan #cebtravels
At last! My looong over due summer vacation ❤️🏖️🌊👙 . . . . . . . . . #laagankaayo #southeastasia #digitalnomad #roamtheplanet #travelawesome #traveldiaries #beautifuldestinations #wonderful_places #lonelyplanet #bestintravel #natgeotravel #passionpassport #tlpicks #jetsetter #globetrotter #neverstopexploring #wearetravelgirls #welivetoexplore #travelblog #travelphotography #traveladdict #fotografiaunited #huaweip9 #wanderlust #exploringtheglobe #worldtraveler #traveldeeper #palawan #coron #cebtravels