It’s been around 2 months since I came back from my Coron trip and though my tan has faded, the memories of our wonderful adventure still resonate fondly in my head. Today in this post, I’ll try my best to be a decent blogger and give ya’ll the lowdown of everything you need to know about getting to Coron, what to do while you’re there and my personal takes on everything. ENJOY! (AND SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE BEFORE I GET DEMONITIZED!)
How To Get There:
Let’s be honest, we’re all about that promo fair life. Having said that, we probably booked our December flight somewhere between July- September giving us enough time to plot our leaves, save, research & book our accommodations and packages. Back and forth tickets at the time cost a good P3,627.00. If you’re flying from Cebu like us, we took a propeller Philippine Airlines plane to Busuanga which is an 1 hour and 7 minutes away from the Coron town proper. Our transportation was done via our hotel accommodations, which I’ll talk about in a little bit, where we had to pay P150.00/ person without any extra charges for luggage, etc.
Busuanga to Coron map
WHERE TO STAY:
I’m going to be honest with you- I didn’t love our hotel of choice but I got it at a decent price at P 9,000.00 for 4 nights for 2 people making it around P 2,250.00/ night (including taxes). I bet you’re wondering why I don’t speak so highly of it (Kawayanan Heights Inn) and I’ll tell you why.
Other than the fact that it was a walking distance from the town proper, it was on top on a hill (literally seconds away from Mt. Tapyas) which made it a tad difficult to get tricycle drivers to agree to dropping us off during the evenings which left us having to walk uphill on most nights. Aside from this, because of its close proximity to Mt. Tapyas, a popular tourist destination, our pick up area was always jam packed which left us getting dropped off ahead because of the congestion. This is so fucking annoying especially after having spent the entire day walking and swimming and you just want to get from point A to B.
Other than this, the hotel promises of internet but since our Standard Room was located in the basement floor and without a router in sight, internet was a moot point. This frustrated me because 1. I paid for internet and 2. I need internet to work.
Lastly, there was always some sort of wildlife lurking around our room. Mosquito’s were constant, some weird bug, lizards and cockroaches as well. So honestly, if I could go back in time, I would not book there again.
But you know, if you’re on a budget and you don’t mind the sleepless nights from their staff who were by the way, celebrating their Christmas party ’til 5 in the morning and constantly screaming in the hallways, slamming doors and screaming drunk in the halls then go ahead.
I’m still mad about it.
WHAT TO DO:
To paint you a picture, Coron is a small town by the tip of Palawan that is surrounded by lots of beautiful islands, lagoons, mountains and etc. In order to get to these islands you can either travel by bangka or speedboats which are offered by a dime a dozen traveling agencies around the island. After much research on our end, we settled with JY Travel & Tours as they seemed to offer the best packages and rates which I am sharing with you below.
Here was our itinerary and some points from my end:
Day 1 (ARRIVAL)
Travel from Busuanga to Coron – Lunch at Kawayanan Grill – Coron Town Proper Tour – Climbed Mt. Tapyas – Dinner at Island Boy Grill
Our first day was more on settling in, stocking up on supplies and basically getting friendly with the locals. We explored most of the town by foot and took quick stops inside convenience stores, coffee and ice cream shops whilst taking notes of places and restaurants we would want to visit while we were there.
During the mid afternoon, we decided to tick climbing Mt. Tapyas off our list and took and afternoon hike which last about 2- 3 hours for us to climb. It probably takes less than that considering it’s only 700+ steps but we were so out of shape and it was so painful to climb. But believe me, if you catch the sunset, it is soo worth the climb!
Day 2 (CALAUIT SAFARI TOUR)
Calauit Island is a 3,700 hectare island game reserve and wildlife sanctuary that is home to mainly giraffes, mice deer, zebras and other animals who are mostly free range. It’s roughly a 2 hour road trip from Coron town proper plus a 15 minute boat ride from the dock to the island and though it sounds long, if you’re into animals and you especially appreciate that they’re free range AND you get the pet and feed them then a long road trip really feels like nothing.
There aren’t a lot of food options along the area, other than what is provided by your tour group, so I suggest to pack up on water and light snacks if you want to survive this trip. And also, insect repellent.
The Calauit Island Safari tour is 2-3 hours long which is followed by lunch and some island hopping, waterfalls chasing and visiting of local churches. As fate would have it, we were only able to visit Ocam- Ocam island, Concepcion Falls and Malbato church instead of Pamalican island and the Busuanga town proper.
I’m just going to be very real with you- I did not care for the falls and I was asleep for the church visit but Ocam- Ocam beach was pretty but you wouldn’t want to stay too long as there’s no food available in the area.
Day 3 (ISLAND ESCAPADE TOUR C2)
As mentioned on the vlog, day 3 was the official start of bikini day as we headed to Malcapuya island, Banana island and Bulong Dos. These islands are great for snorkeling and relaxing but since they take about an hour to get to, you’re not really allowed on the island for too long which eventually leaves you feeling a little cut short. Ultimately, you’re just jumping from island to island (it is an island hopping trip, after all) and taking whiffs of the sand before having to jump to the next stop.
Could I have had things my way, I would’ve wanted to stay at Banana island and/ or Bulong Dos a lot longer.
During the evening, we took a quick trip via tricycle (P100.00- P150.00 back and forth) to Maiquinit Hot Springs to relax in the naturally warm and soothing waters whilst being surrounded by lots of locals and tourists. Entrance was P200.00 and there are lots of cottages for you to leave your belongings at.
Day 4 (CORON ISLAND ULTIMATE TOUR)
Our last day of island hopping ended with a bang. We went to 7 different tourist spots and lemme tell you, they did not disappoint. To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed with our previous tour as honestly, after a while, islands are just islands and no matter where the boat takes you, you ultimately end up in the same water. Our ultimate Island tour saved my island hopping experience as it didn’t take too long to get to these destinations and each one was such an amazing adventure.
Disclaimer: I might have mixed up some islands but I’m trying to remember as much as possible. Our guide did not follow the islands in order so now I have to rely on memory and research.
Siete Picados or the 7 sins is a cluster of limestone islets which you basically just pass through. It’s really beautiful to look at is great for drone shots and is hard AF to shoot. lol
Kayangan lake was our last stop for the tour and required lots of climbing. Just when we thought that we were done climbing for the trip (Mt. Tapyas), we simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to swim in a lake and get a great aerial view of the Siete Picados. Fun fact: Professional free divers died in the area. Ok, it’s not a fun fact but it teaches you na di lagi mag pinamay.
The Twin Lagoons were definitely my favorites because 1. getting there is like entering a whole new world, 2. you go under rock formations to get there and 3. it was just so freaking pretty to look at. It was a completely different experience as compared to the beaches we were almost getting used to.
You have to wear life vests at all times though and try to keep afloat but I’m telling you, it’s completely worth it!
In case you didn’t know, Coron is also popularly known for their presence of WWII Japanese ships wrecks scattered around the area. Although it’s a lot better experience through scuba diving, we were able to catch a glimpse of 1 wreck at the Skeleton Wreck. It’s a lot different when you’re looking at it from above but it was fun trying to free dive as far as you could to get a better glimpse of whatever was down there.
Las Islas de Coral & Sunset Beach
If you’re into snorkeling, you will really enjoy swimming from one point to another at Sunset beach. They have such a rich sea life with lots of thriving corals and underwater life. You can choose to swim from point a to b or have your guide drag you. If you enjoy just floating around and taking your time, I suggest jumping in the water and going at your own pace.
Las Islas de Coral was mostly just sand and sea with rocks you can climb on and a this branch I attempted to walk on. More of a filler island if you ask me.
During the evening on our last day, we decided to go Firefly & Plankton Watching which was offered to us by the same tour group for P900.00, including dinner. This activity allows you to witness fireflies residing in mangroves and to paddle in open seas in complete darkness to enjoy the plankton. I loved it so much and though I don’t have any photos or videos of it as proof, there is some comfort i knowing that I got to experience is completely technology free. It’s truly something you need to experience on your own. P.s. The food was not enough for us. -_(0_0)_-
Day 5 (Pasalubong shopping)
Dropped by L. ESCARDA’S Coron Harvest Brittle Cashew to check out their famed cashews and a local tourist shop for shirts and trinkets before heading home. Transportation was provided by our hotel, as well.
PLACES TO EAT/ DRINK IN CORON:
Since most tours and packages already include breakfast and lunch, dinners were always such an adventure for us. Although we weren’t really able to go to each one, here is a quick list of places you might want to check while you’re there. I’ve marked the names of the restos in red for the ones we were actually able to go to. Yer welcome.
Famous among tricycle drivers and since I am still pissed at K Heights, I believe each tricycle driver who sends over people gets a cut. But having said that, the food was not bad.
ISLAND BOY GRILL
Island Boy Grill was one of the most worth it meals we had on our trip. A stick of barbecue only cost P 70.00 and it was more than enough. The seafood was fresh, the prices were good and the ambiance was very island-y.
Altrove’s was a must go to on our itinerary as everyone who we asked and watch on the online world insisted that we went there. Popular for their selection of Italian food, expect a waiting list but 5:00 and 9:00 pm are great times to go to if you want to skip the lines.
SKY RESTAURANT (Japanese food)
Hang Over Bar & Grill
So that’s basically all I’ve got for this post. Is there anything you can add to this?
Please show me some love, I spent my entire Monday writing this. lol.