Coron is part of the Calamianes group of islands. The island has so much in store when it comes to underwater adventures, and its unique ecological features offers other interesting things to do and see. All of these makes Coron one of the most popular destinations in Palawan.
1. Mt. Tapyas
Mt. Tapyas is a 210 meter (688 feet) tall mountain in the town of Coron, on Busuanga Island. It is the second tallest peak on the island and most visitors say it is the best spot to watch the sunset. Going up Mt. Tapyas is a major cardio workout so it is best you prepare water and wear the right footwear. From the base, which is accessed via Malvar Street, you will need to walk up concrete stairs with over 700 steep steps. It is best you take this arduous trek in the late afternoon, so that you can catch the sunset at the peak. There is a pavilion at the peak where you can sit down, hydrate, and enjoy the cool breeze. The trail does not require you to pay any admission fees and it’s open all hours,
Address: Malvar Street, Coron, Palawan
How To Access: From Coron Town proper, find signs to point you to Malvar Street. You may also ride a tricycle to take you to the mountain’s access point.
2. Soak in the Maquinit Hot Springs
A unique attraction in Coron Town is the saltwater hot springs in the small village of Maquinit. Saltwater hot springs are said to be more beneficial than freshwater hot springs because of the water’s salt and mineral content. This privately-run resort has three pools — the biggest one can accommodate up to 100 people, and the two smaller pools can accommodate up 10 people each. One can soak in one of the pools while taking in a view of the sea just several meters away. The resort is also protected by a mangrove forest, so storms will not harm it. The resort is open daily and can be reached via tricycle from the town center, which costs about 2 USD (100 PHP) per person each way.
Maquinit Hot Springs
Address: Maquinit, Tagumpay, Coron, Palawan
Opening Hours: 8 am to 10 pm, daily, but they stop accepting guests by 8 pm
Price: 4 USD (200 PHP) per person
Facebook: Maquinit Hot Springs
3. Come and discover Kayangan Lake
Kayangan Lake on Coron Island is said to be one of the most cleanest lakes in the country, and also in Southeast Asia. The water can be so blue and so clear most of the time that you can see as far as 10 meters (32 feet) down. The lake is a perfect combination of brackish and saltwater so compared to the water along the beach, it is less salty. To reach the lake, one needs to climb up a cemented trail, stop at a view deck on top of the karst mountains and then go down to the lake. This area is managed by a local indigenous group, the Tagbanuas. From Coron Town, you can book a tour with any of the tour agencies. Kayangan Lake is usually included in the itinerary of the Coron Loop Best Sties or Coron Loop A. These tours originate from Coron, where most of the tour operators’ boats are docked.
As of March 2017, however, the local government of Coron has temporarily closed the site until further safety regulations for tourists and tour operators are established.
Address: Kayangan Lake, Coron Island, Coron, Palawan
Price: Entrance fee to the lake is 6 USD (300 PHP) per person
Tip from tour guide
Most tours offered include a location where the activity is kayaking. There may not be readily available kayaks on such sites and if there are, there may be a queue before you can get one. To avoid such an inconvenience, you may rent a kayak beforehand (there are transparent ones too) at the dock where you will be departing.
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4. Swim around Twin Lagoon
Twin Lagoon is also found on Coron Island and can be included in the Coron Island Loop packages of local tour agencies. It is called Twin Lagoon because it is made up of two lagoons, an outer lagoon where most of the tour boats dock and an inner lagoon which can only be reached by swimming your way between the two lagoons. The inner lagoon is a mix of brackish water and seawater so the water temperatures and visibility in different parts of the lagoon may vary. You can choose to just swim around, or venture deeper by snorkeling. Some would also use paddle boats to go around, but the most essential equipment you need would be a life vest.
Address: Coron Island, Coron, Palawan
Price: Entrance fee to the lagoon is 2 USD (100 PHP) per person
5. Go wreck diving at one of the best diving sites in the world
Diving at Coron Bay , Coron Bay is situated in North Palawan, the most westerly part of the Philippines. It lies in...Posted by Best Destination on Monday, 22 May 2017
While Coron is known for its various dive sites, it also offers the unique experience of wreck diving, which Forbes magazine has included in its list of top diving sites in the world. A Japanese fleet of ships sunk off the coast of Coron Island in 1944 and these wrecks were slowly discovered by divers who made frequent dive trips in the area. There are 10 wrecks in all that require advanced diving skills so only accredited dive operators offer packages for these sites. For divers who are used to reef diving, wreck diving can be an altogether different experience.
Wreck Diving in Coron
Address: Coron Bay, Coron, Palawan
6. A deep swim at Barracuda Lake
Barracuda Lake is also found on Coron Island. Although situated near Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake has a different jump-off point because of the limestone mountains that surround it. It is said that this lake used be connected to the sea and even if it is found inland, seawater still makes up for some of the lake’s water. Unlike Kayangan, however, Barracuda Lake is deeper and features a thermocline, where water temperature changes from very cool to very warm as you go deeper. Snorkeling and swimming are the usual activities but diving gives you a better appreciation of the lake’s uniqueness. As you are diving, you may just encounter the lone barracuda that is said to inhabit the lake’s underwater cave. The lake is included in the Coron Loop Best Sites tour. If you want to arrange for a dive, several dive operators can help you.
Address: Coron Island, Coron, Palawan
How To Access: For diving tours, check Rock Steady Dive Center. For island tours, check out local tour operators such as Coron Island Loop or Coron Island Tours. Price per person starts at about 10 USD (500 PHP) per person for a group of 8 to 10 people.
7. Visit the historic Culion Island
Culion Island is also part of the Calamian group of islands, the same as Coron. This smaller island has a dark past because aside from being a seat of the Spanish government during the Spanish period, it also was host to a leper colony established by the American colonial government. In 2005, leprosy was completely eradicated in Culion and nowadays, visitors can enjoy the island’s natural wonders as well as its rich history. A visit to the Culion Museum and Archives and the centuries-old church on the island should be on your list.
Culion Museum and Archives
Address: Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital, Culion
Price: admission fee, 5 USD (250 PHP)
Operating Hours: 9 am to 12 pm; 1 to 4 pm. Mondays to Fridays.
8. Island hop to Linapacan Island
Home to the clearest waters in the province, Linapacan Island is the place to go for some snorkeling. The island is found among the Calamian Island group towards the south. A day trip to the island may not be enough for you to enjoy what is has to offer, as it is about 4 hours away via motorized boat from Coron. It is best you stay the night — there are resorts that offer accommodations on the island. The best place to snorkel is right in the island center of San Miguel. There is no beach in this part of the island but there is a marine reserve where you can find so much marine life underwater. You can also arrange with the locals to take you the smaller islets surrounding Linapacan, where you can find beaches and snorkeling.
9. Island hop to Pass Island
This tiny island is a favorite day trip destination from Coron. It is also a nice spot for a hearty seafood lunch after a morning of island hopping. The island is endowed with fine white sand that is said to rival that of Boracay. Kids and non-swimmers will also love the island’s shallow waters along the beach, perfect for wading and splashing around. An entrance fee of 4 USD (200 PHP) per boat is charged as well as a cottage rental fee of 2 USD (100 PHP). The island is a 1.5 hour boat ride from Coron Town.
Address: Pass Island, Coron, Palawan
10. Island hop to Malcapuya Island
Malcapuya Island is usually bundled with the island hopping package of Bulog Dos and Banana Island. Located two hours away from Coron Town, the ride to this island may be a little rough. Your boat will dock at the back beach of the island, so you need to walk to the other side of the island where you will also enjoy fine white sand, as fine as the famed Boracay. While on the island, you can find some snorkeling sites not far from shore. Or you can do what is best done on islands like this — bum around. It’s possible to have the beach all to yourself, especially if it’s not peak season. There are no resorts on the island but an overnight stay is possible if you have your own camping gear.
Address: Malcapuya Island, Coron, Palawan
Price: Entrance fee to the island is 5 USD (250 PHP) per person.
Coron travel tips and more
Coron Town is found on Busuanga Island, so you can fly to Busuanga Airport from Manila. The town is a 30 minute ride from the airport and Coron can be reached via van for 3 USD (150 PHP). Coron has many resorts and hotels in town so be sure to arrange for accommodations before your trip.
The town is surrounded by islands and islets that have so much to offer its visitors. Come and see Coron for yourself.
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