Ultimate Coron Island Travel Guide
The Palawan Islands in Philippines have certainly become a trending hotspot for adventure seekers on a budget. Above all, choosing which accommodations along with searching for an excellent rated boat tour operator in Coron and El Nido is time consuming. Given that I spent many hours of research, I wanted to share with you my Ultimate Coron Island Travel guide and recommendations in order to get a better idea on how to plan your trip.
Back in 2018, after exploring Manila and Cebu, my heart was set on returning to the Philippines. With this in mind, I strategically planned an ultimate 6 day trip starting in Coron and then to El Nido.
Best Time To Travel To Palawan
October through May is dry season however, with climate change who knows that the weather will be like? Given that June through November is rainy season, there’s a fair chance it can develop it into a typhoon. Expect to find cheaper accommodations and tours during this time.
$1 USD = 50 php. The majority of restaurants and bars are CASH only. In this case, exchanging money at Manila airport during your layover is the best solution as since ATM machines are scarce on the islands.ultimate palawan island travel guide
Notably, the Wi-Fi on the islands are a bit spotty. In fact, picking up
a SIM card at Manila airport during your transfer is highly recommended. There are 2 major companies: “Smart vs. “Globe.” In general, the “Globe” SIM card works performs better in Palawan. The cost is approximately $12 USD for 8gb of data.
Ultimately, during some point of your trip, a brownout will occur. A brownout is an intentional or unintentional drop in voltage in an electrical power supply system. Intentional brownouts are used for load reduction in an emergency. The reduction lasts for minutes or hours, as opposed to short-term voltage sag (or dip) per Wikipedia.
Drink From Bottled Water Only
Check the CDC website. Definitely consult with your physician. ultimate palawan island travel guide
Essential Packing List
- Large dry bag/waterproof bag with cell phone case (Size 20L bag should suffice) $17 USD
- Water Shoes – around $14.00 USD ultimate palawan island travel guide
- Snorkeling Equipment (you can rent….but sharing mouth pieces….no thanks!)
- Price depends on what quality you want to get. I also carry with me a bottle of the Anti-fog spray $7.00 USD
- Environmental friendly sunscreen ultimate palawan island travel guide
- Mosquito repellant – a high quality repellant preferably with DEET. Mosquitos love
my blood so as an extra precaution, I bought mosquito bracelets and the mosquito plugins for my hotel room.
Previous to arriving to Coron, we were in Hong Kong during the protests. Under those circumstances, we arrived at the airport extremely early due to public transportation shutdowns.
Travel Cost Breakdown
(HKG) Hong Kong –> Layover in (MNL) Manila –>(USU) Coron
CebuPacific Airlines: $135 USD including 20kg check-in bag
Hotel ultimate palawan island travel guide
Coron Bancuang Mansion: $76 USD/night + tax
There are NO taxis in Coron. In that case, the usual method of transportation is riding a tuk tuk however airport pickups and drop-offs are not permissible.
How To Get From USU Airport To Your Hotel
Drive time approximately 45 minutes from the airport to the town center. With this in mind, arrange a pickup through your hotel. Furthermore, the rate is 150 php (about $3 USD). Upon exiting the airport, look for drivers holding whiteboards with your hotel name. The cost of transportation was added to my tab. Just tip the driver.
How Much Does A Tuk Tuk Ride Cost?
The cost of a tuk tuk ride around town is usually 10 php per person. While this vehicle comfortably seats 3 people, it’s possible to squeeze a 4th person.. Rather than jumping into a tuk tuk and telling where the driver to go, PLEASE agree on a price up front or you may be charged an exorbitant price after reaching your destination.
Rent a scooter for 500 php/day ($10 USD.) Certainly bring your Driver’s License & passport. From experience, the rental company did not ask for an International Driver’s Permit.
Booking Your Boat Tour Excursion
Group Boat Tours
Certainly you’ll soon find a plethora of brochures in your possession. After all, the most popular tours are Coron Island Tour, Island Escapade Tour, Reef & Wrecks Tour, etc. These typically costs around 1600 – 1700 php ($33 USD.) Furthermore, this includes pickups, entrance fees and food. Not a bad deal, huh? It’s important to realize that these tours will be packed with 15-20 random strangers. In conclusion, these tour operators will follow a specific route hence major crowds in all locations.
Private Boat Tours
What if I told you that you a private boat for hire is achievable for a reasonable cost? Above all, you can choose your destinations, avoid the crowds and go at your own pace. With this in mind, here are the details below.
Calamian Tourist Boat Association +63 920 403 7965 (Office closes at 5pm?)
This is where you will need to go in person to book the tour. With this in mind, DO NOT go to any other tour companies. Since I had initially walked into the wrong tour office with a similar name, I was quoted $75 per person for a private boat!
The Calamian Tourist Boat Association is located at the pier across from the market. Upon arriving, we were welcomed with a warm smile from a local named Kirt.The group chose to do the most popular tour – Coron Island Tour which includes Kanyangan Lake, Skeleton Shipwreck, Banol Beach, and Twin Lagoon. Altogether with a 500 php cash deposit, we were all set for an early start at 7am for grocery shopping. To point out, this is CASH ONLY. To emphasize, please make sure to bring enough money for the boat tour, tip for captain and crew, entrance fees and groceries.
2019 CALAMIAN TOURIST BOAT ASSOCIATION PRIVATE TOUR RATES
(All Prices Are Total For The Group Not Per Passenger)
|Destination||2-4 People||5-8 People||9-15 People|
|Banana / Malcapuya Island||P4350||P5450||P7100|
|Culion Municipality Island||P4350||P4900||P7100|
|Calumbuyan / Pass Island||P4900||P5900||P7650|
|Coral Bay / Evergreen Resort||P6000||P7100||P8200|
|North Cay or South Cay||P6000||P7100||P9300|
|Calauit National park||P9300||P10400||P17000|
|Panlaitan / Black Island||P7100||P8200||P11500|
|El Nido / Taytay Municipality||P14400||P19800||P28000|
- Additional 500 php for Tour Guide, and tip extra 500+ php for the crew
- Coron Public Market is a 5 minute walk from the pier
Entrance Fees: Approximately $2-$4 USD Per Person
- Banol Beach: P100/ person
- Banana Island: P200/ person
- Barracuda Lake: P100/ person
- Bulalacao Island: P200/ person
- Calauit Wildlife Safari: P250/ person
- Calumbuyan Island: P150/ person
- Coral Garden/ Lusong Sangat Gun Boat: P50/ person
- Culion Museum: P250 local/ 350 foreigner
- CYC Beach: no charge
- Dalawang Isla: P100/ person
- Ditaytayan Island: P200/ person
- Kayangan Lake: P200/ person
- Malaroyroy Island/ Bulog Island: P100/ person
- Malcapuya Island: P150/ person
- Maquinit Hot Springs: P100/ person
- Pulang Lupa: P100/ person
- Sangat Island: P200/ person
- Siete Pecados: P100/ person
- Skeleton Wreck: P100/ person
- Smith Beach: P100/ person
- Twin Lagoon: P100/ person
What To Get At The Market?
Meeting your captain is suggested before going grocery shopping. For that reason he was able to help us with all of the purchases. We bought meats, fish/seafood, fruits, and vegetables. Don’t forget to pick up rice, limes, ice and alcohol. Lastly, get the rum that’s usually 50php ($1 USD.) The boat should provide re-usable cups along with plates and cutlery.
What To Do Besides The Boat Tours
Mt. Tapyas (free admission)
As shown below, Mt. Tapyas is one of the most stunning sunsets. Prior to this experience, be sure to check when the sun sets. In this case, 1.5 hours should be enough time and don’t forget to bring water. The entrance to the hike can be reached by a short tuk tuk ride. All in all, 721 steps later and you’re at the top of this hill. Bring water!
Maquinit Hot Springs (8am – 7pm; 200 php – $4 USD entrance fee)
This natural hot spring accessible by tuk tuk. A round trip typically costs around 450 php ($9 USD for the entire ride, not per person.) After 30-40 minutes, you will arrive at your destination. In the meantime, the driver will WAIT 1 hour for you to return. Although towels can be rented for an extra charge, I suggest bringing your own. The ground surface of the hot springs is a bit rocky so bring water shoes if your feet are sensitive. For fear of water run off going back into the ocean, no showers exist for these environmental reasons. Ultimate Coron Island Travel Guide
Night Tour with Fireflies & Bioluminescense Plankton – 950 php ($18 USD)
To begin, this tour includes a pickup from the hotel. After a 45 minute ride in a large battery operated golf cart, we finally arrived at the mangrove. The guides handed out life vests and without delay we hopped into the double seat kayaks. At least one guide accompanies the group so don’t worry about venturing out too far in the dark. As soon as we kayaked to the spot, I put my hands in the water and watched in delight as the water glowed. In short, 20 minutes went by quickly. Now it was time for dinner and a ride back to our hotel. Ultimate Coron Island Travel Guide
Bookings available on Klook.com
Or contact Asriel Roan via Whatsapp: +63 975 114 9824
Massages – Kalipay Spa
First, this place is a gem! Second, don’t make the same mistake I did wasting time trying to find the cheapest place. As a result, I experienced a crappy massage place with dirty beds and no air conditioning. Not only is Kalipay Spa is by far the best massage, but also reasonable prices starting at 600 php ($12 USD).
Kalipay Spa Coron
Where To Eat
Lolo Nonoy’s Food Station – outstanding & inexpensive meals in a cafeteria setting. This place gets packed during dinner time really quick.
Buzz Express – superb place for brunch and dinner
Trattoria Altrove Coron (accepts credit cards) In reality if you need a break from Filipino food, try the best pizza on the island. For one thing, there is a no shoes/sandals policy, hence there are cubbies in the entrance way.
I hope you enjoyed reading my Ultimate Coron Island Travel Guide. Ready to move on to the next destination? You can check out my Ultimate El Nido Travel Guide next.