What to Do in Coron, Palawan

After spending 4 days in El Nido, we headed to Coron for more island hopping and adventure. We chose Coron because well, we couldn’t choose! After much online research both El Nido and Coron were said to be “not missed” so we decided to do both! (Keep reading to see our verdict!) Plus my sister, Becca, was traveling with us and she wanted to see more than one spot in the Philippines. We ended up staying here for one week, and here’s the breakdown of what to do, where to stay, and where to eat in Coron.

Getting to and Around Coron

We took the ferry to Coron from El Nido and it was super simple. It took around 4 hours and was surprisingly smooth. You can also fly to Coron. It’s only 45 min from Manila. Once in Coron you can take cheap tricycle tuk tuks everywhere.

Where to Stay in Coron

We stayed at two hotels in Coron. We started at the Corto del Mar which was more of an upscale resort when my sister was with us. She wasn’t traveling as long as us so it was more vacay vibes plus we were splitting it 3 ways. The Corto del Mar is very nice and in a great location. We could walk everywhere. The downsides are the lack of wifi (all of Coron has poor wifi but at this hotel it was especially horrible) and the proximity to the local shanty town. The contrast in wealth is striking and you can’t help but feel guilty staying at the resort and looking down at the shack houses. And in true Coron fashion there are lots of roosters crowing and dogs barking at all hours. Aside from that, Corto del Mar is really nice and had great food.

After Becca left for the US, we switched to a smaller, more affordable place out of town, Bella Vita Guest House. The manager is super sweet and gave us great recommendations. It is a very simple spot but we had everything we needed. Again, her wifi was poor but the tip of the century was when she told us that the resort next door, Coron Westown Resort, had incredible, fiber wifi that we could buy a day pass to use. While we wish we could be snorkeling everyday, having an online business does mean we have to work sometimes. After being “out of office” all week we totally took advantage of this!

When deciding on the location of your hotel, decide if you want to be near town. While the town is nothing compared to El Nido, it still is nice to be able to walk everywhere. If you want to be away from the noise and chaos in town, no worries. A tricycle will only cost you $1 or so to get back and forth.

What to Do in Coron

Go Island Hopping

Island hopping is a must-do in Coron. It is the best way to see the island’s beautiful mountians, reefs, lakes, and lagoons.

Ultimate Tour

Coron has a few different tours, but the Ultimate Tour is the best! With 6 stops, you get to see a variety of stops. The snorkeling at Coral Garden was unreal. The reef is so alive and we saw so many fish! Twin Lagoon and Kayangan Lake are really beautiful and unique as well. The tour includes a yummy traditional lunch and our guides were so fun! Keep an eye out for sea turtles from the boat. We saw a few!

Ours cost around $30 and I booked it through Klook online beforehand. There are several tour shops in town where you can book too.

Ulimate Tour Stops:

  • Beach / little snorkel
  • Shipwreck
  • Coral garden
  • Lunch beach
  • Twin lagoon
  • Kayangan Lake

Private Boat

My friend had visited Coron a few weeks before and she suggested we book a private boat since it is about the same price. While our Ultimate Tour cost the 3 of us $90, renting a private boat only cost around $60! That doesn’t include your food, snorkel gear (we always bring our own), or environmental fees. After those costs we spent around $90 so we basically broke even but we had the perks of choosing where to go and how long we wanted to stay.

Head to the docks right behind the tourist office and tricycle terminal in town and you can chat with someone about renting a boat. On our private tour we went to green lagoon and had it all to ourselves! Afterwards we went to a beautiful public (yet super uncrowded) beach with palm trees and crystal clear water.

We later booked a private boat on Siargao for even cheaper! Read more about that trip here.

Soak in the Hot Springs

Visit the Maquinit Hot Springs. These are legit hot springs, some of them were super hot! It was the perfect way to relax after a fun boat day.

Snorkel Siete Pescados

One day we didn’t have a tour booked but wanted to do something offshore for a few hours. We hopped in a trike and headed to Siete Pescados, an awesome snorkel spot not far from land. Once you arrive you can rent a kayak or hire a little boat. They are the same price, about $10, and it was a little windy (let’s be real we were feeling lazy) so we rented the boat. The captain was super nice and he dropped us off to snorkel between these seven islands. Since it was so close to shore I thought the snorkeling would be average but it was great! There were literally starfish gardens and we saw a lionfish!

Funny story: There was a minimum amount of time you had to rent the boat. We were tired from swimming for hours but the captain insisted we finish snorkeling!

Relax by the Pool

When traveling long-term, some days you just want to chill! We enjoyed relaxing by the pool at Sofia Garden Resort.

Walk around the Town and Get a Massage

The town of Coron isn’t as cute as El Nido, but it’s still fun to walk around. And you know we love our massages! There’s great, cheap ones on every corner.

What We Didn’t Do in Coron

Hike Mt. Tapyas

While this is on every what to do in Coron list, we decided to skip it. While I love a scenic hike, it was a little too hot and we prefer to be in the water rather than looking at it!

Scuba Dive

I regret not diving in Coron. There a lot of WWII shipwreck dives that are supposed to be amazing, but we didn’t have our advanced certification (the requirement for most dive shops) and I was honestly intimidated. We talked to French Kiss Dive Center for a while and they seemed like a great choice. We will have to return to dive!

Where to Eat in Coron

I’m not going to lie. The food options in Coron kind of suck. I had the worst quesadilla of my entire life here. Think pink canned chicken and black olives… They are quite limited and while we managed while there, it wasn’t until we went to Siargao, aka food heaven, that we realized the lack of options and quality in Coron.

Here’s a few spots we recommend:

  • Sirena – Cute spot for sunset photos. My sister, who is a big mermaid lover, definitely got a kick out of it. Ambiance is nice, cocktails are average and this is where we ate the aforementioned quesadilla. Skip the meal and stick with a beer.
  • Pedro’s Gelato – Great spot in town for gourmet gelato! Perfect spot to cool down after a hot day.
  • Sharky’s – Fun atmosphere with live music and bar food. We had a mix of western and Fillipino food. Their hot wings are actually great. We ate here twice and while their bar food is great, it is still bar food. Not saying much for Coron!
  • Trattoria Alcove – Nicer pizza restaurant. We ate here twice as well.
  • Lobster King – This is a fun spot for fresh seafood.
  • Coffee Kong – Nice coffee shop
  • Pedro’s Gelato – Yummy gelato!

El Nido Vs. Coron

While the Ultimate Tour and the snorkeling in Coron was slightly better than El Nido, the overall vibe was off. If you have to choose between the two, I recommend El Nido. Read about our El Nido trip here.

Content in Coron,


Note: We visited Coron in March 2019.

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