Tip: Rent a private boat over joining a group boat tour

Tip: WiFi in Coron is super spotty, I recommend getting your own SIM card

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Looking for the best things to do in Coron, Palawan? I’ve got you covered! 

If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines, be sure to add the beautiful Coron to the list. Located in Palawan, Coron is the gateway for island hopping in some of the Philippines most beautiful waters. (Palawan is) often described as the most beautiful island in the world, it is a destination that you absolutely do not want to miss. Clear blue waters, striking limestone formations, and beautiful boat adventures – what is there not to love? Coron offers the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure for your next getaway. 

Island hopping in Coron, Palawan
One benefit to renting a private boat is that you have more day over where the boat goes
sunny boat days in coron
Island hopping in Coron, Palawan

Before we dive in, here are some of the top-rated boat tours on Coron:

Popular tours in Coron

In this guide I’ll share the best things to do in Coron, plus everything you need to know about when to visit the Philippines, how to get there, and where to stay.

Best time to visit Coron

Technically Coron can be visited year-round, but most tourists visit during the dry season. The typical dry season in Coron stretches from October/November to mid-June. This is when you can expect the most dry, sunny days.

If you’re traveling on a budget it is totally possible to visit during the rainy months, but be prepared for mixed weather and know that some things may be closed during these months.

clown fish when snorkeling in coron
Rent or bring along snorkeling gear for your trip to Coron

How to get to Coron

There are a number of ways to get to Coron of varying lengths depending on budget and time.

By boat 

A common way to reach Coron is by ferry boat, however travel times can be extremely long depending on where you are traveling from. Here are some popular routes:

El Nido > Coron: 4 hours

Puerto Princesa > Coron: 16 hours

Manila > Coron: 11 hours (only runs twice per week)

By airplane 

The fastest and most convenient way to reach Coron is by taking a flight to Busuanga Airport, previously known as Francisco B. Reyes Airport.. The nonstop flight from Manila to Coron is around an hour and is serviced by tons of regional and international airlines. You’ll also find flights from Cebu City, which takes around 1.5 hours for a direct flight.

The airport is located a 30-45 minute drive from Coron. You can reach the town by van or tricycle.

Flights between islands in the Philippines can be pricey during the high season, so I recommend booking in advance.

To find the cheapest flight options from your city, you can use the search form below:

coron blue waters and girl on boat
Coron has the clearest waters I’ve ever seen
girl in bikini on private boat in coron
Renting a private boat is a great way to escape the crowds in Coron

Getting around

The majority of the best things to do in Coron are only accessible by boat, either via a private boat trip or a group boat tour.

If you’re staying in the center, you should be able to walk to anywhere else you need to visit.

If you want to explore the villages or beaches around Coron then I recommend renting a scooter.

Things to do in Coron

Island Hopping in Coron 

By the far the best thing to do in Coron is to explore the area by boat. There are so many incredible nearby islands, so it is no surprise that island hopping is by far the most popular thing to do in Coron. 

If your budget allows, I highly recommend renting a private boat to explore the nearby beaches and lagoons, rather than a group tour. Island hopping is not the most affordable activity. You should expect to pay around $30-50 to join a shared boat trip, depending on the tour operator and what is included. Alternatively, we paid $38 per person (in November 2018) in a group of four for a full day private tour with lunch included.

Because island hopping is such a popular activity in Coron, hiring a private boat will allow you to leave the harbor early to beat the crowds.

boat tour in coron palawan
The most popular thing to do in Coron is to island hop via a boat tour

Book tours can be booked in person or ahead of time online, depending on your travel preference. There are tons of tour companies and agencies scattered throughout Coron, but I recommend booking through Jonathan Batiancila! I have linked his Facebook page so you can message him here or through Whatsapp at +639661832298 to arrange a tour. Booking through Jonathon you are guaranteed to have an excellent day out at sea!

Swimming in the bluest waters in Coron, Palawan
Swimming in the bluest waters in Coron, Palawan
Exploring the islands around Coron by private boat
Exploring the islands around Coron by private boat

Here are some popular areas to check out: 

  • Kayangan Lake
  • Twin Lagoon
  • Barracuda Lake
  • Siete Pecados

Visit the viewpoint at Kayangan Lake 

Accessible only by boat, a hike up to the viewpoint of Kayangan Lake is easily one of the best things to do in Coron. The view from the top offers panoramic views of Coron Bay. If you’re joining any of the group boat tours, your boat is almost guaranteed to visit this stop. One downside however, is that most boat trips visit at the same time. This is one of the benefits of visiting with a private boat tour to arrive before all of the crowds.

After a quick, and relatively easy, 360 step climb, you’ll reach these amazing panoramic views. You’ll want to hike down to the other side for one of the best swimming spots in Coron. 

Note: it is mandatory to wear a life vest in the swimming area here. This has become more common in a number of swimming areas around Coron. 

viewpoint at Kayangan Lake 
Viewpoint at Kayangan Lake 

Hike Mt Tapayas for a view of Coron 

If you’re looking for a great view of Coron, head to Coron’s own Hollywood sign, or shall I say ‘Coron sign’. Up a 750 step staircase you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of the island. 

Enjoy a pizza at Altrove 

I am so not the person to typically eat a ton of Western food while traveling in Asia, but to be honest I wasn’t a big fan of the local cuisine in Coron. My stomach had a tough time digesting a lot of the oily entrees. 

The pizza and pasta at Altrove, however, was some of the best that I’ve ever had, and I’m from NYC (and have lived in Italy)! You’ll want to arrive early because there is a line everyday!

Pizza from Altrove
Pizza from Altrove
Sweet banana Toron
Sweet banana Toron

Try a ’toron’ 

If I could eat torons every day I would. We happened across this delicious local treat and I immediately fell in love. They are warm, crispy, spring roll-like desserts filled with bananas! The best ones that we had are located at a stall right across the street from Winnie’s Restaurant!

Rent a motorbike to explore 

Once you’ve explored the area by boat, I recommend renting a scooter or motorbike to explore by land. There are tons of great nearby beaches to visit. Having your own bike will also help you to escape the busy crowds on the island. 

Where to stay in Coron 

There are so many places to stay in Coron, depending on your budget. From budget to luxury, you’re sure to find something that works for your travel plans.

Check out hotels in Coron

The Funny Lion 

The Funny Lion is a great hotel option for anyone with a mid-range budget looking for a relaxing stay, a bit away from the crowds! From the moment we checked in, every detail was perfect! Fresh fruit in the fridge, sunset views from our beautiful room, and a gorgeous infinity pool. Plus, the hot tub at the rooftop sunset bar was a great touch. 

Infinity pool at the Funny Lion, Coron, Palawan
Infinity pool at the Funny Lion, Coron, Palawan

Hop Hostel 

If you’re traveling to Coron on a budget, a stay at Hop Hostel guarantees the best sunset view on a budget. Hop Hostel is easily one of the best hostels in Coron. With both private rooms and dorms available, you’re sure to enjoy a social atmosphere at the beautiful rooftop deck.

Sunset view from Hop Hostel, Coron, Palawan
Sunset view from Hop Hostel, Coron, Palawan

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