Planning to visit Coron, Palawan this 2019? Here are my suggestions for a smooth and worth-the-money kind of excursion:
Any travel (international or domestic) must be planned sensibly, that includes booking ahead your accommodation. You can use booking channels (Booking.com, Traveloka, Trivago, etc.) or contact the lodge directly, in our case, I was able to reserve a room at Divine Castle Travelers Inn through Agoda.com.
I have to say, Divine Castle Travelers Inn surpassed my expectations (Note: I’m not getting paid to write this review nor a co-owner, just want to give you an impartial write-up). First and foremost, it’s affordable, roughly Php 800.00 to 900.00 per night for every person, and breakfast is already included. Next, the room, parlor, reception are sparkly clean. The staff was amiable and accommodating, they even arranged our transportation going to the airport. Lastly, the location is ideal, it’s just a 5-minute walk to the public market and restaurants but secluded enough from the bustles of late night parties.
The very basic is NO LITTERING, and speaking of, Coron observes a plastic-free environment. Aside from that, I implore beachgoers to use REEF SAFE SUNSCREENS. The ocean has been plagued already with industrial waste and pollution, we should spare them from toxicants brought by chemical sunscreens. The use of mineral sunscreens (contains Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide in lieu of destructive chemicals like Oxybenzone, etc.) with non-nano particles to avoid being ingested by the coral reefs is safer for both human and marine life. Here’s my recommended list of Reef Safe Mineral Sunscreens.
BOOK A TOUR PACKAGE
For solo travelers, couples or small groups (3 to 4 persons) trying to save especially on boat rentals, I suggest to avail tour packages where you will be sharing the cost with other tourists. Plus, all are arranged by the agency including van transfers, lunch, snack, and environmental fees. In our case, we booked the following tours with Calamian Islands Travel & Tours:
Coron Island Tour – 7 Highlight Destinations (Php 1, 600)
- Kayangan Lake
- Twin Lagoons
- Balinsasayaw Reef
- Beach 91
- Skeleton Wreck
- Malwawey Reef & Coral Garden
- CYC Beach
Island Escapade Tour (Php 1, 700)
- Malcapuya Island – snorkeling and fish feeding is a must!
- Banana Island
- Bulog Dos Island
- There are other travel agencies offering almost the same arrangements at a lower price.
- If you opt to avail the Coron Island Tour, I suggest to skip the CYC Beach (just an average beach, nothing fancy) and stay longer at the Malwawey Reef & Coral Garden where you can revel in the various species of coral and fish.
- But if you desire to hire a private boat and freely manage your time, I recommend to leave early (8:00 am or earlier) for the tour to avoid the flock of tourists, especially during weekends and holidays.
DIY CORON TOWN TOUR
Travel agencies, like Calamian Islands Travel & Tours, offer town sightseeing for a fee of Php 700.00, but I suggest to do it on your own and spend less. Two of the town’s highlights are the sunset in Mt. Tapyas and the Maquinit Hot Springs. You can actually hire a public tricycle for both destinations and pay only Php 500.00. And please don’t forget, do the hike in Mt. Tapyas first then wallow in the hot springs afterwards (ugh, the feels!).
DANGGIT LAMAYO & CASHEW NUTS
We first enjoyed the fried Danggit Lamayo in one of our breakfasts at Divine Castle Travelers Inn, and I got to believe in love at first taste. I normally think of Danggit as the salty dried fish sold in Taboan Public Market in Cebu, but Danggit Lamayo tastes different since it’s marinated with vinegar and garlic.
Cashew nuts as souvenirs are quite pricey but certainly delectable, especially the garlic flavored.
GLITTERING FIREFLIES NIGHT TOUR
I booked this tour with Calamian Islands Travel & Tours, and to speak candidly, I haven’t appreciated it much since we only saw a speck of fireflies and an iota of plankton. Our guide informed us earlier that it was hard to see them since the moon braved its way to the clouds and shined brightly at us. So they say, it was worth the try, besides the included dinner buffet at Panget Floating Restaurant was dainty.
RECOMMENDED DINERS & CAFES
Try the seafood platter at Kawanayan Grill, splurge on Italian dishes at Trattoria Altrove, rollick on grilled recipes at KT’s Sinugba sa Balay, and chill out with a cup of coffee at Coffee Kong & La Morena Cafe.
Well, that sums up my two cents on how to make your Coron trip enjoyable. And to guide you more, here’s our itinerary:
Day 1 0820H - 0930H Departure from Francisco Reyes Airport (Busuanga) to Coron Town Proper 0930H - 1400H Lunch. Check in at Divine Castle Travelers Inn 1400H - 1600H Rest 1600H - 1800H Sunset at Mt. Tapyas 1800H - 2000H Maquinit Hot Springs 2100H - 2200H Dinner at Trattoria Altrove Day 2 0830H - 0840H Pick-up by van to Coron Port 0900H - 1700H Coron Island Tour - 7 Highlight Destinations 1700H - 1800H Back to Divine Castle Travelers Inn 1800H - 1810H Pick up by van to Coron Port 1810H - 2130H Dinner Buffet at Panget Floating Restaurant. Fireflies Watching. Day 3 0715H - 0725H Pick-up by van to Coron Port 0800H - 1700H Island Escapade Tour 1900H - 2000H Dinner at KT's Sinugba sa Balay 2000H - 2200H Chill at Coffee Kong Day 4 0800H - 1000H Shop for souvenirs (Danggit Lamayo & Cashew Nuts) at the public market or stores near the pier. 1230H - 1340H Coron Town Proper to Francisco Reyes Airport (Busuanga)
To show you a glimpse of what Coron has to offer, watch my travel video here Paradise Beaches in Coron, Palawan.
(All of my photos and videos were captured by the super handy DJI Osmo Pocket)
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” Gustav Flaubert
Coron is now a famous tourist destination in Palawan along with Puerto Princesa & El Nido. Those seeking for a more tranquil and slow-paced vacation, check Port Barton in San Vicente, Palawan (adding it to my wanderlist too). Still, Coron has the gem, and I hope the visitors as well as the locals will continue to safeguard it.