What to do in Coron, The Philippines

by Ale Werner
View on the way to Kayankan Lake

There are many activities to do in Coron and its surroundings, from visiting other islands and beaches to diving in its sunken ships, trekking to viewpoints and hot springs. There are options for everyone and every budget.

In the same city of Coron there is not much to do, apart from a couple of restaurants, bars, markets and exquisite body massages. There is not even a beach, the closest one is about 8 kilometers away. Moving every day will be a necessity, but there is so much to see in Coron’s surroundings.

Island hopping in Coron

There is a lot to see in Coron, so the locals have set up these tours around. You can take group ones for affordable prices or pay for a private one, enjoying the places alone or with friends, without time limits or relying on returning to the boat when you are in full relaxation floating in the sea or just saw a turtle pass by you.

Group tour:

Like almost all destinations in the Philippines, Coron is no exception with its pre-armed A, B, C and D tours to the surrounding islands, beaches, and lagoons. This is one of the main things to do in Coron.

Group tour island hopping Coron

The prices of the tours go between 800 and 1800 pesos per person, in a shared boat with other 10 or 15 or 20 people, you will never know. These last about 7 hours and usually include lunch (fish, some carbohydrate, salads and fruits) that is generally exquisite, but not all include the rental of snorkel equipment (which costs about 150 or 200 Philippine pesos for lenses, tube and fins ). Actually, all the agencies that you find in the city center are going to offer you different things in each of the tours and at different prices, so before deciding which one to take, we recommend you to find out what places you want to visit and ask in at least 3 or 4 places.

The most recommended one is the “Ultimate Tour” that goes to the nices places, in theory. However, there will always be something not included, so it is best to take at least 2 of the tours or take the private one if you have the money.

Private Tour through Coron

There is also the option to rent your own private boat for 2 or 4 people, which can be an excellent alternative and an amazing thing to do in Coron. This has a value of about 2500 to 7000 Philippine pesos according to your negotiating ability, the hours you want to take the boat and how far you want to go. They do not include food, but many boatmen will offer to cook what you buy in the market near the port. It can be an excellent alternative if you don’t have too much time, you are with friends or you can find some more people who want to join a private tour of the islands in Coron.

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Before deciding which alternative to take, you must also have in mind the value of the tickets to the places you will visit. Many are managed by local tribes that charge between 100 and 300 Philippine pesos per person, depending on the place. The values of these tickets are included (in general, better confirm it with the agency you choose) in the value of the tours, but not in the private boat leases.

tour individual que ver Coron

The best if you take a private tour is first to visit the most striking places and that are also the most crowded on the afternoons: Twin Lagoon, Barracuda Lake and Kayangan Lake. Then you can choose one of the beaches for lunch and, finally, go to some snorkeling site to relax while watching the underwater life.

The lagoons of Coron

Some of the places to see in Coron that can be visited in these tours are:

Kayangan Lake:

Undoubtedly a must in the list of places to see in Coron. You will reach an island and enter by small canals where high stones and uninhabited vegetation (karst relief) emanate from the water, until you reach a quiet bay protected from the currents. From here the is a short walk that will take you to the highest area where there is a viewpoint. Don’t forget to take here the most typical postcard picture of Coron.

Following the path, you begin to descend some stairs to the other side of the island until you reach catwalks on the shores of Kayangan Lake, a lagoon of turquoise water hidden for centuries. Here you can swim and enjoy a mix of salty and fresh water. Do not forget your snorkel! Sometimes some fish come out to greet visitors.

 

Barracuda Lake:

One of the favorite things to do in Coron of travelers. It is a lagoon that mixes salt water with fresh water in layers (thermoclines), so the experience of swimming here is amazing and very strange to find in other countries or cities. You can also dive, but only if you visit the place with a diving tour from Coron.

Twin Lagoons:

There are two lagoons, one blue and one green, separated by a small cave that enters through the sea. The lagoons are really a bay, so the water is salty and you can float on it.

In general, the excursions form Indian ranks with tourists floating in their lifejackets, entering through the small opening to the lagoon. It is also special because cold water spots are mixed with other hot water, go a couple of meters away from where you are and the temperature may change drastically.

 

Snorkeling spots in Coron, Philippines

The views and landscapes to see in Coron are not only above the sea level, the underwater life is also beautiful. Here you can find colorful reefs and many schools of fish passing before your eyes and at a very shallow depth. The following places are ideal for snorkeling and enjoying the underwater life. The use of lifeguards is recommended, they will help you maintain your buoyancy and not hit the live coral with your fins. Read more responsible diving here.

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Snorkel en Coron

Seven Sins:

It is one of the most popular places, with anemones, clownfish and lots of marine life.

Skeleton Wreck:

Of the wrecks from the Second World War to see in Coron this is the best one to see doing snorkeling because the bow is only 5 meters deep. The fish have generated real ecosystems around the remains of the ship; corals and animals love these places to take shelter from the currents.

Twin Peaks:

Here you can see everything. Corals, giant clams that open and close and lots of colorful fishes.

Hacer snorkel en Coron

Beaches visited in the tours

Smith Beach:

In general, the excursions stop for lunch in this small beach of white sand. There are tables and even a couple of bathrooms (don’t picture something too fancy). Relax, eat delicious and enjoy.

Smith Beach

Banul Beach:

Also very beautiful, but it gets quite busy during lunchtime on the high season.

Banul Beach

More distant areas to visit in Coron

The above are the most popular places to visit because they are close to Coron Town and don’t take you much time to transfer in boats; also because they are close, will not hurt your wallet as much. But if you have the budget and time, there are many other beautiful places and islands to see in Coron:

The area of Culion

  • Banana Island: Here are some cabins on a beautiful white sand beach. Some excursions include staying in the place.
  • Malcapuya Island: Beautiful paradisiac beach with white sand, where in general you will be alone.
  • Bulog Dos: Here a sandbar links two islands. It is possible to walk along it enjoying the turquoise sea that you will have around you in 360º.
  • Ditaytayan Island: Very few boats reach this point. The biggest attraction is a sandbar that emerges from the island giving the impression that it has a “tail”.

The Busuanga area

An area on the west of Coron Town and much closer to other cities of Busuanga. Here few tourists arrive, and the islands are small with huge sandbars that will make you feel in a paradise. You can visit places like:

  • Pass Island
  • North Cay
  • South Cay
  • Maltatayoc Island

Diving in Coron, the best in the Philippines

If you like diving and enjoy underwater life, then this is something to do in Coron that you can not miss.

Coron was home to one of the many battles that took place during the Second World War. Given its geography with hundreds of islands, the Japanese thought it was the ideal place to hide their warships.

On September 24, 1944, the Americans attacked the area and sank 25 of these ships. Of these, 12 have been found. You can dive in all because they are at depths that not exceed the 40 meters. Not many years have passed, so they are in very good conservation if you like old things. In some, you can even see the engine rooms and rudder.

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Barco hundido buceo en Coron

Fishes love sunken ships. They are the perfect place to protect from the currents, so you will always see schools of all kinds in them. Also, it is very common to see Scorpion Fishs (beware, they camouflage themselves between metals and are poisonous) and other beautiful and amazing fishes.

Another diving option that travelers love is Barracuda Lake. The thermoclines make the experience strange and at the same time very entertaining. There are very few places in the world where you can experience these temperature changes in the water while diving.

Requirements to dive in Coron

Diving in sunken ships should not be taken lightly. Although it can be very dangerous for someone without experience diving, the agencies and diving centers will not have a problem to take as long as you pay, so it is your responsibility to make an informed decision about what you can and can not do whit your diving experience.

We recommend you to be vaccinated against tetanus in case of cuts with oxidized metals. If you are going to dive in Coron on more than 20 meters depth you need to have a specialized Advance Diver license and excellent buoyancy. If you want to enter the rooms of the shipwrecks you need it too. There are crossed currents, there is a lot of sand, the visibility is quite bad and many corridors and rooms are quite dark.

Buceo en Coron

Underwater life is something you need to see in Coron, do not miss the opportunity to dive here if your visit Coron.

Other attractions near Coron Town

Maquinit Hot Springs:

Another activity to do in Coron. It’s about 20 minutes by tuk-tuk from Coron Town. Here you can find saltwater baths at more than 40º of temperature. The entrance costs around 200 Philippine pesos per person and the round trip transportation (the tuktuk will wait there for a couple of hours) about 150 Philippine pesos.

Kabu Beach and Bali Beach:

They are the closest beaches to Coron, about 7 or 8 kilometers from the city. If you already visited the hot springs you can go a little further and get here. They are beautiful and mostly frequented by locals looking to relax after work or on weekends with their children.

Coron Viewpoint in Tapyas Hill.

The climb involves more than 700 steps and you can reach a nice viewpoint over Coron Town. The view is nice, but if you have only a few days in the area we will not give this hike too much relevance. They say that the sunsets here are spectacular… but did not see it so we do not promise anything.

Visit on your own to 7 sins.

Although it is included on some tours, you can also visit this place on your own. It is completely worthwhile to go by yourself with time. Ask a tuk-tuk driver to take you to a business in front of the reef where they rent boats or kayaks and suit yourself to enjoy snorkeling among these 7 small islands.

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