Coron Travel Guide
Located a couple hours by sea north of El Nido, Coron boasts many of the qualities of the former destinations, but with markedly fewer visitors. Limestone karsts, deserted islands with perfect beaches, and secret lagoons? Check, check, and check.
If you are not on a tight schedule after your visit to El Nido, book a trip here for at least a few days – it will be a decision you won’t regret!
Coron is well-known by travellers in the know for its dream beaches. If you are looking to spend an unforgettable day on one of its best, make sure you don’t miss Malcapuya Island during your visit. Most often visited on the island-hopping tours offered from Coron Town, it is hard to believe this place hasn’t been overrun by mass tourism outfits yet.
Don’t delay in checking this place out, though – rumour has it the island is about to be sold to a developer who will transform it into a private resort of some of the wealthiest people in the Philippines (and the world), so experience its Boracay-caliber beaches before it is too late!
This destination is also an excellent place for divers to explore. In Coron Bay, you’ll find plenty of World War II-era wrecks to explore, along with numerous sites with colourful coral and diverse marine life.
Others will experience this place when they are on a private boat tour – with plenty of limestone karsts, beautiful blue-green water, and vibrant snorkelling grounds located in the many lagoons which abut Coron Bay, even those who don’t have enough SCUBA certifications to dive wrecks will be able to enjoy this amazing highlight of Coron.
Divers who are looking for a spot that will make their trip to Coron will not want to pass up the chance to check out Coral Garden. Located in a shallow coated in some of the most colourful, intricate corals you’ll find in the Philippines (and perhaps, the world), it is a relatively low risk, high reward descent with little to no current, and plenty of amazing sea life to behold.
Not all of the highlights in Coron can be found at sea, as you’ll discover when you make it to Kayangan Lake. Situated on the main island of Coron a short distance from the coast, this placid lake is brackish, with a mix of fresh and salt water.
Protected from the relentless tides of the nearby ocean, the water here is some clearest in the world, a fact that will delight swimmers, snorkelers, and divers. Those wanting to stay dry will still be able to experience the lake up close, as bamboo raft tours are offered, and there is a cave which can be partially explored without having to get wet.
Note: be careful going to and from the lake, as grades are steep, making it easy to slip if you aren’t wearing proper shoes.
Looking for other beaches to hit during your time in Coron? Make sure the tour you are on includes Banana Island in your itinerary. While it boasts similar sand to Malcapuya, its beach is shorter and has a bit of a drop-off, potentially making it problematic for families with small children.
Despite this, it is a great place to have on your itinerary due to it having just enough development to make your stay here a comfortable one. Stocking common snacks and plenty of cold beer, you may have trouble getting back on the boat when it is time to move on.
Back on Coron Island, Banol Beach is a great place to spend a lunch break while you are on a boat tour. A thin strip of sand cut off from the rest of Coron Island by tall limestone cliffs, it is home to a number of cottages. These will provide badly-needed shade as you eat the lunches given to you by your tour or resort.
After eating, enjoy some snorkelling in the waters off the beach, as it will help to burn off some of the calories you’ll ingest dining on some of the Filipino specialities to which you’ll be treated.
Ready to take on another activity which doesn’t involve getting on the water? Set aside a morning to challenge Mt Tapyas. Standing a modest 210 metres high, it is lofty enough to grant spectacular views of the area, while being low enough to not require mountaineering experience to conquer.
You won’t even need to scramble up steep slopes, as stairs have been built into the side of this peak, making access much easier, if a bit sweaty.
Reward yourself for the effort you put in by taking a soak in the Maquinit Hot Spring shortly thereafter. Situated a half hour south of the town of Coron via tuk-tuk (tricycle in Filipino terms), this spring is one of the few saltwater hot springs you’ll find in the entire world.
With temperatures nearing 39 degrees Celsius, this is no tepid bath – if you are aching all over, you’ll find relief here.