29 Best Things to Do In Coron, Philippines | Ultimate Guide
This year my family and I travelled to the Philippines for a month and Coron was one of our absolute favourite stops.
I am travelling with my 2 kids and my wife, my children are 5 and 2 and this guide is going to be geared not only to family travel but also for adventure travel in the Philippines.
It was surreal that we all loved this area of the Philippines after visiting El Nido on the tip of Palawan. Some of us really disliked El Nido for various reasons, but Coron filled all of the gaps that we found in El Nido’s fails.
We spent a full 10 night in Coron and loved every single day there. We did absolutely everything we could on the island in the time we were there, including multiple island hopping tours, private tours, diving, exploring, snorkelling, massages and ate out at the local restaurants every day. I can’t wait to share my experience with you!
Where is Coron?
Coron is an island 4 hours by boat from the northern tip of Palawan, Philippines. It is a small town community famous for its wreck diving and island hopping tours, but there is a lot more to this place than meets the eye.
What is Coron Know For?
The island of Coron used to be a quiet fishing community who’s main exports were cashews and fish. Overtime international tourism found the island and the economy here took a massive boost that has really helped to increase the standard of living of the local residents. It is best know for the island hopping tours, great beaches and wreck diving.
Famous youtube’s like lost Leblanc and bloggers like Nomadic Matt have documented and filmed about Coron causing a major influx of tourism, and the best part about this is that the infrastructure in Coron can handle the increase in tourism, unlike their counterpart El Nido.
Now don’t get me wrong when I say this, Coron is still very secluded and still really feels like you are in the Philippines unlike some other popular destinations in southeast Asia. They are just prepared for you to get there, with many hotels in all different price ranges as well as restaurants. You will never feel like it is too busy here and if you take our recommendations, you will never run out of things to do in Coron.
Top 29 Things to Do In Coron, Palawan
1. Island Hopping Tours
The island hopping tours are unbelievable in Coron. During our 10 day stay we did 6 full day island hopping tours with our kids and we all could not get enough of it. Island hopping in Coron is much cheaper than island hopping in other parts of the Philippines.
We took private boats the entire time we were there because we found that it was cheaper and much more flexible than the group tours.
The island hopping tours will take you to some of the best beaches in the Philippines, in some majorly secluded locations. The islands around Coron are limestone and the water is very blue and clear, giving the island hopping tours a dramatic memory for you.
2. Snorkelling Coron, Philippines
If you know me or anyone in my family, you will know that we love snorkelling. So much in fact that my 5 year old already free dives. The snorkelling in Coron is some of the best in the entire world.
The snorkelling spots in Coron are easily accessible right from the beaches on the island hopping tours. You can even snorkel very close to the mainland if you swim or take a small boat ride out to Siete Picados.
One of my favourite spots to snorkel in Coron was CYC beach and the wreck that you can snorkel or dive to.
The water around Coron is calm enough that my 5 year old son was snorkelling a lot, and there is little to no undertow while I was there. Most days the visibility was over 20 meters so you be able to clearly see everything in the Sea!
3. Wreck Scuba Diving
Coron is famous for its wreck dives, the dive shops here do more wreck dives than reef dives. My personal preference is reef dives, but the wreck dives are incredible and you get a sense of history when you go on one of these. Divers from all over the world flock to Coron for this very reason, that the wrecks are some of the best in the world. Further to this the conditions in the water make diving the wrecks safer than many other locations.
Some of the top wrecks to dive in Coron are Irako Maru, Okinawa Maru wreck, Irako Maru, Marazan/ Taiei Maru and Sangat Wreck. You are probably noticing a similarity here, they are all Japanese wrecks from WWII.
One thing I found really interesting after diving in Coron and talking to multiple dive shops is that they will access how comfortable you are in the water and if you are all good. You will be allowed to enter the wrecks. Its freaky as hell, but majorly exciting!
4. Shop the Local Markets
Another favourite of ours is shopping the local markets. There is one in particular that I preferred when I was in Coron. That was the tourist market right in front of the boat harbour. They had good quality stuff, the environment was safe and it is an open air shopping centre with a food court.
As a bonus this area is also where you can find all of the day tour boat captains. So you can ask around here for discount on the island hopping tours, it bypasses you dealing with a middleman and you can negotiate a better price.
My son and I bought matching Coron tank tops in the market and I also bought some swim shorts. The tanks tops were 150 pesos and the shorts were 200 pesos….Dirt cheap!
We also met really nice people in the markets and they suggested some other cool things to do in Coron that we did not find online!
5. Rent a private Boat In Coron
In my opinion this is the best way to do the island hopping tours or to just go out to a beach for the day. We dealt with a company called Amina to book our island hopping tour and they were amazing to deal with. Before finding them we walked around getting quote and some agencies were very expensive and some fast talking agents even tried to scam us by charging our kids to visit each island as a fee.
Only adult pay for the entry fees, just so you know. The cost for us to go island hopping worked out to $2700 pesos for our own boat. That was from 8-4pm and included them cooking for us and serving our meals.
I don’t like having to go by someone else timeline or crowds so this was the best way for us to go. If you try to go on a group trip the cost is $1200 pesos per person. So if you are 2 people or more, just book the private boat.
The cooks are excellent, the boat included a kayak that is free to use and it also includes a guide and a driver. My son made really good friends with the boat captain who is related to the owner. They were excellent and I am writing a full review about this company because of how honest they were, and because of the extremely high level of care and customer service they provided.
6. Climb to the Top Of Mt. Tapyas Mountain.
You will find that this is the easiest mountain hike you will ever get the chance to do. There were young kids that were hiking up the mountain.
Actually calling it a hike is not really fair as there are paved stairs all the way up to the top. The total amount of stairs is around 700, but there are benches and scenic rest stops all the way up.
Some of the articles you will find online about this are written by people that have never been there and they make it seem hard. It is not, it only takes around 20 minutes to get to the top, and that is taking your time.
When you get to the top you will be able to see some really cool stuff including the entire town and harbour on one side, kingfisher park on the other side and chocolate coloured mountains on the other side.
I flew my drone here and took some amazing video and pictures. At the top there is a massive cross that you can see from miles away.
I would recommend doing this hike in the evening so that you can catch the sunset from the top.
7. Watch the Sunset
The sunset in Coron was on of the most beautiful natural thing I have ever seen. We watched it from multiple areas. One of my favourite was the rooftop restaurant right in coron town called sunset grill. We got a table here closest to the water, it overlooks houses that are built on the water and gives you a clear view of the ocean and mountains.
While there I met a photographer and he told me to stay after the sun sets and goes below the mountain. Well he was right, the sun went down and the reflection off of the water shot bright colours into the clouds. For a moment the sky was purple, then it moved to orange and bright red. It is really amazing, and really romantic!
8. African Safari
There is a African safari you can go on on the island. Basically someone brought a whole bunch of animals to the island including giraffes and other animals. We did not go on this because we are not into captive animals, butI did hear that it is kind of cool to see.
I also don’t trust that the animals are not abused in a place like this because their are no animal regulations on Coron that I could find online.
9. Find Nemo
There are loads of natural clownfish in many different colours in Coron. The waters here are rich with anemones that the clown fish live in. Whenever we would go island hopping, we would go clown fish hunting. It is really fun because the clownfish actually interact with you.
They are super territorial, but harmless and they will try to threaten you by darting towards you and then retreating. Just don’t touch the anemones they live in as you will get stung. It is not poisonous but it will hurt.
10. Visit Maquinit Hot Springs
The hot springs were really cool. It is a 20 min tricycle ride from town and it will cost you around $350 pesos to get there. Once you are there you will have to pay a small entrance fee.
I recommend doing this during the evening because it is way too hot during the day to go to a hot spring.
When you get there you will find multiple pools with different water temperatures. It is located in a natural mangrove and the water going into the hot spring is drained directly into the ocean.
Our kids had fun there, at the entrance there are thousands of tiny crabs with one claw that move around. They are harmless and we tried to catch one with no success. Don’t miss doing this as it is one of the top things to do in Coron.
11. Dive with the Dugongs
This is one of the few places in the world that you can do this. There are dive shops in Coron town that specialize in finding the Dugong habitats. Unfortunately when I was there the Dugongs had gone further north and were too deep to dive with. But I did hear that this is an amazing experience and that the dugongs were very gentle with divers.
12. Eat meat on a stick from a street vendor
I had bbq pork skewers almost every night, it is one of my personal favourite things to eat in the Philippines. They are 20 pesos each and they are delicious. The street vendors sell all sorts of meets on a stick including chicken and beef as well. There is a pink sauce that tastes like pickled onion that you can get with the meat on a stick that is the icing on top of the cake!
13. Get a cheap oil massage
When I am in the Philippines, i get tons of oil massages because it is dirt cheap. Coron was a little more expensive than El Nido or Manilla but it was still cheap. Most places charged $500-600 Pesos for a full body oil massage in a clean air conditioned environment.
Trust me, I am frugal and shopped around all over Coron town for the best price. If you head closer to the top of the hill in town. There is one place that will give you a full body oil massage for $400 pesos. This was the best deal we found and the massage was amazing!
14. Get drunk at the reggae bar (with kids!)
There is a reggae bar right in Coron town that is really fun. They have a live band every night from 6 to close that sings Bob Marley beats and they are really good.
I brought my kids here one night and they set up a table right in from of the band for us. The kids liked it, but we loved it because it was a safe chill environment that we could have a few drinks in with kids. There is no smoking in here and we left pretty early before people really got hammered.
15. Eat at Trattoria
If you want the best pizza in Coron then this is the place. It is also the cleanest eating establishment we found in Coron. The pizza was actually one of the best I have ever had.
There are some cool seats in here called bar seating, where you sit on pillow on the floor with a short table. We did this twice during our 10 day stay.
There will be a lineup to get in, so I recommend going around 6 the latest. They will serve you beer and wine while you wait if you ask them.
16. Kingfisher park
Kingfisher park is heavily advertized in Coron. I did not think it was that awesome. It is a place that you can see a lot of wildlife like birds and light bugs at night. It is in the mangroves and costs around $400 pesos for a tour here.
17. Dive or snorkel in Barracuda Lake
Barracuda lake is also heavily advertised in Coron and the best way to experience it is to dive it. There are no Baracuddas in the lake, and actually very few fish. It is something cool to see though.
It is located right in a mountain area cut off from the ocean. The water is a brackish mix of salt water and fresh water.
In the lake you will see underwater mountains and it is cold on the surface and it gets hot as you go lower. It is a really cool experience to dive or snorkel.
18. Snorkel Siete Pecados
Siete Picados is 3 small islands with a coral reef around them. It is very close to the mainland and you can go here on island hopping tours or by getting dropped off from the mainland by small boat hire.
This place is popular for island hopping and also a popular snorkel spot. I am going to write a full review of this place because it is very dangerous. The current here is really strong and I saw most of the tourists struggling in the water here. I always venture off further than I should and it took me to some extremely strong currents. Most people would have been swept out to sea if they snorkelled in that spot.
Lucky for me I am a very strong swimmer. I enjoyed it and I did sea a lot of beautiful sea life. Definitely go if you are comfortable in the water. Do not go if you are a child or if you are not a strong swimmer. It will just be frustrating for you.
19. Twin Lagoons
The twin lagoons are another must see and do thing when you are in Coron. The most popular tours will take you to the twin lagoons, Kayangan lake and a few other places. I will do a full review so you know exactly what’s up.
Twin lagoons are located around a 20 minute boat ride from mainland Coron. It is a part of the same mountain range as Kayangan lake, but it is totally separate from the lake.
The twin Lagoons are 2 lakes separated by a limestone cliff. There is access to both sides through a tunnel that you swim through. It is one of the most beautiful places you can see in Coron.
20. Swim in Famous Kayangan Lake
I really loved this place, Kayangan lake is a must do thing when you are in Coron. I don’t care what tour you go on, you must go here as it is one of the most picturesque places you might see in your entire life.
When you go on a private boat, you will get there before the massive crowds and will have the place to yourself.
Upon arrival you will climb up some stairs to the top. There are some epic picture taking spots at the top that look down at the clear blue water and mountains below. On the other side there are more stairs that go down to the lake.
The lake itself is freshwater and nice and cool, it is great for a nice swim and the water is crystal clear.
21. Visit the local fish market
Our private boat tour guide took us into the local fish market by the boat docs to pick out our food for the day. This is where the locals buy their food so it is really cheap. You can buy beer here for 50 pesos each.
Just a warning for parents, if your kids are sensitive to animals or smells don’t take them in here. Filipinos eat most parts of the animals, so there were large pigs nicely chopped up and their heads just sitting on a table.
The smell is also really fishy and my daughter kept gagging. But she is a bit of a drama queen, so you might be ok.
22. Take Epic Pictures
The pictures you will get in Coron will be amazing, the place is absolutely stunning and the water is so clear and blue.
We are on a 2 mth trip through Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore and this was one of the most beautiful places we saw on the entire trip.
Your picture from Coron will be on pristine beaches with clear blue water and limestone mountain backgrounds. Or even on the super cool Philippines style boats like this picture.
23. Spend some time On CYC Island
Cyc island was incredible for the entire family, it is one of my favourite places to go in Coron. So much that I went to this spot multiple times and once for a half day trip.
The beach is soft white sand and my kids loved playing on it. The water is perfectly still, and it is the perfect place for kids to learn how to snorkel and swim. In the water, there is a large reef with all types of coral and fish, a drop off where you can see larger fish like barracuda, and a mangrove where you can see some really neat species.
I spent literally hours in the water and snorkelled around the entire island. It was some of the best snorkelling I have ever done and I took some amazing videos here on my gopro. I will have a full review of CYC beach in another article, but you definitely have to check out CYC beach.
24. Rent a moped and drive around the island
Renting a moped or motorcycle is really cheap in the Philippines. You can get one for $400 pesos and this will allow you to drive all around the island and see and do everything here.
There are bike shops all around the main area in Coron town.
25. Hiking around Coron, Palawan
I would go on hikes almost every day while I was in Coron. It is safe and really beautiful here. Sometimes the hikes would be on the island when I do the island hopping tours.
Going hiking here gives you a different perspective of the island and gets you some great landscape photo opportunities.
The morning jogs were a great way to stay fit in Coron, it also gave me the opportunity to explore local culture.
I went on one jog that was so fun it ended up lasting around 4 hours. I set off jogging from town towards the ferry port. From there I kept jogging through villages. It was amazing to see how the local people live. With many houses on stilts in the water. It really shows that this was in fact a fishing village, before the tourism started.
You will see basketball courts in every small village and the locals don’t mind if you join them for a game. Just be carful if you are joining a basketball game. Filipino basketball is a contact sport and you will get bodychecked!
27. Chill out at Banul Beach
Banul beach is a cool island spot located on a tiny beach beside the limestone cliffs. It is picture perfect with Cabana style huts with tables that you can eat in. The sand is soft here and the water is shallow and still.
We hit Banul a couple of times during our visit and it was really relaxing and there was not a lot of people here. There are locals to Banul beach selling soft drinks and light snacks.
This beach is a great place to get some really pretty pictures, to the right of the beach there are 2 huts that are on stilts in the water and under one of them there are 2 swings that are in the water. We hung out and took a bunch of pictures here.
In the water there is a coral reef that is really healthy also to the right of the beach. You can go Nemo hunting here as there are lots of anemones and blowfish here.
My son and I took out the Kayak from our private boat here and went on an adventure to some other tiny beaches in the area.
28. Smith Coral Garden
The Smith coral garden is located a 30 minute boat ride from Coron town port. When you get there you will see loads of fish and coral on a healthy reef.
You don’t need to scuba dive the smith coral reef to see the best the reef has to offer as most of the good stuff are in the shallows. You will see triggerfish, baracudda, tang fish, Jacks, small gobies, pufferfish, crabs and many other species when you snorkel here.
Common Questions About Coron, Palawan
What language do they speak in Coron?
They speak English, Tagalog and Cuyonon a local dialect. You will notice there are different dialects all over the Philippines.
How much money should I bring to Coron?
If you are going for 5 days or less then I would bring $300 USD to cover you island hopping tours, food and scuba dives. For 10 days bring around $600 USD. It is really cheap to do things here.
Where should I eat in Coron?
There is around 40 different restaurants right in Coron town. Our favourite that we went to a few times was Trattoria, and Island Boy grill. Island boy grill had a live band every night and had amazing BBQ. It is right in the centre of Coron town by times square.
How do you get to Coron from Manilla?
You can fly on Cebu Pacific or catch a ferry from Manilla.
How do you get to Coron from El Nido?
You can take a sketchy ferry ride from El Nido to Coron of the Montenegro. We took the ferry, it took 4 hours and it was a rough ride. Many people on board were puking their guts out, so I would not recommend it if you get sea sick.
What is there to do in Coron at night?
There are clubs in Coron but they are pretty dead from what I saw. For us the best thing to do at night was the places that had live bands. There is a reggae bar and several other chilling spots that had the bands and there are people dancing there. Check out island boy grill.
Coron is all about the day time and the island hopping so you will find that the nightlife is not great here. You will definitely not find a red light district here. You can stay in Manilla for that type of thing.
How many islands does Coron Palawan have?
There are 50 island in Coron. Coron is on the eastern half of Busuanga Island.
What is the weather like in Coron?
Coron is hot and humid. Most day will be 25 degrees celsius and above making it perfect for island hopping and swimming.
Is Coron Expensive?
Coron is more expensive than Manilla, but less expensive than El Nido. The hotel pricing is similar to US pricing making it hard for many Filipino people to travel to. The food and entertainment is cheap compared to US standards.
Is there an airport in Coron?
Yes there is an airport 40 minutes from Coron town that flies direct to Manila. It is very small and the best way to get to the Coron airport is in a shared shuttle.
What is the population of Coron?
The population of Coron is 51, 803 people.
Should I Scuba dive in Coron?
Yes Coron is one of the best places to scuba dive in the Philippines. There is great visibility and the wrecks are beautiful here.
How much does it cost from the airport to Coron town?
The shuttle is 200 pesos per person.
How much does it cost from the ferry port to Coron town?
You should only be paying 250 pesos maximum, I got scammed when I got to the ferry port. There was a lineup of drivers and they fought for our business. they charged me 400 pesos.
Is there an ATM in Coron?
Yes there are 3 ATM in Coron. There is a BPI right on the main strip that was really convenient. They let us take out $20 000 pesos at a time.
Where should I stay In Coron?
I would stay right in Coron town so that you are close to the action. If you want to be secluded there are places you can stay for that to.
How many days should I stay in Coron?
Minimum stay would be 3 nights. I would recommend 5 nights to really properly experience the place.
Does the power get shut off in Coron at night?
Not everywhere, some of the hostels shut the power off at night. It sucks for the people staying there because there is no AC when this happens. We are not backpackers and stayed in a mid range hotel called Casa Coron and the power went off for a few hours on 1 day of our 10 day trip.
Should I go to Coron or El Nido?
If you are in the area I would go to both. They are both very beautiful and different. If I was to choose one, I would choose Coron. It is cleaner and cheaper than El Nido. The water is better for diving and snorkelling and the island hopping is similar. There is a better party scene in El Nido, but if you don’t care about that choose Coron.
Is there Malaria in Coron?
Yes Coron is in a Malaria Zone. You need to get malaria pills before you go to El Nido, Coron or anywhere in Palawan.
Is Coron fun for kids?
Coron is great for kids and the locals are family type people. There is a lot for kids to do here, the food is good and it is clean!
Is there a gym in Coron?
Yes there is one gym in Coron that I went to every couple of days. It is called spartan gym and you can jog there in 15 minutes from Coron town. They will charge you 60 pesos and there is a lot of equipment here.
Can I fly a drone in Coron?
Yes, there are lots of people flying drones in Coron. Just be careful around the limestone cliffs as they screw with your GPS. I crashed my drone here and many other bloggers write about the same experience here.
Are the locals nice in Coron?
The locals in Coron are so nice and helpful. Unlike El Nido, I never felt unsafe in Coron, even when I jogged through local neighbourhoods alone.
Is the internet good in Coron?
The internet in Coron is really bad. We had a globe sim card and the reception was bad. Coron is a great place to disconnect and enjoy the natural beauty around you.
Where do they have good coffee in Coron?
There are some really great coffee shops all over Coron. They cater to Europeans, westerners and Australians so their coffee game is high in Coron.
Are there hostels in Coron?
Yes there are several hostel in Coron and they are priced very fair.
If you have any more insight or questions about Coron Palawan, please shoot us an email or comment. We want our Philippines Travel blogs to be the most comprehensive source of information about Corn on the internet.
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