April 01, 2018

PALAWAN | Coron Travel Guide, Budget and Itinerary

Coron is one of the most famous destination in the Philippines. Coron is an easy pick for families, couples and vacationers simply because of its beauty. Pristine beaches, magnificent lagoons, towering rock formations, rich coral gardens and diverse wildlife are the things you will encounter and experience when you visit Coron.


Coron is located in Northern Palawan and is part of Calamianes Group of Island. Coron as a destination can be divided into major islands namely Busuanga where coron town and the airport is located, Coron Island where Kayangan Lake is located and Culion Island which was a former leprosarium and where an old church can be visited. Another major Island which is now gaining popularity because of the Safari is Calauit Island which is located in the Northwest of Busuanga Island. Other Islands which are commonly part of Island hopping tour packages are Banana Island and Malcapuya Island - these islands has a world class beaches. 

Busuanga Island is the main island where the airport, hotels, cafes, restaurant and tour operators are located. Unless you have a hefty amount of money to splurge in some island accomodation in Coron, you are most likely to stay in Coron Town in Busuanga. Coron town has a number of cafes where you can dine, drink or work.



How to Go to Coron

As mentioned above, the airport is located in Busuanga Island. There three airlines, as of writing, flying to Coron from Manila, Clark and Cebu. 

Via Manila
Cebu Pacific flies to Busuanga 4 times daily while Skyjet flies 2 times daily from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Manila) 

Via Cebu 
Philippine Airlines flies to Busuanga 3 times daily from Mactan International Airport.

Via Clark
Philippine Airlines flies to Busuanga 4 times daily while Cebu Pacific flies 2 times weekly from Clark International Airport.  

If you are from Manila, you can also choose to fly via Clark. There are times that fares via Clark is much cheaper going to Coron. Clark is just two hours away from Manila so if you have time to spare and especially if you are from northern Manila like Quezon City, you can consider this routes. I have a guide on how to travel from Trinoma to Clark using Genesis P2P Bus.

From Francisco B. Reyes Airport (Busuanga Airport) there are vans offerings transfer to Coron town for Php150.00 each. Your hotel can also arrange this for you. The driver will drop you in front of your hotel or your own designated place within the town. Going back to the airport, they will also pick you up in your hotel. 

Where to Stay in Coron
There are a lot of accommodation in Coron ranging from budget to luxurious hotel. You can choose from pension house, hostels, guest house, luxurious hotels and island accommodation depending on your budget. Most of the accommodation are in town or within the town. You also would want to stay in the town or within the town because the night life, restaurants and other services are there. 

Lan Bless Pension House
We stayed in a pension house about 10 minutes walk away from the town. We stayed in Lan Bless Pension House. 

Lan Bless Pension House has basic accommodation with air conditioning units in all rooms. As of writing, they do not have WiFi yet (Mar 2018). I failed to ask them how much is their rooms but ours cost Php1,500.00 per night and is good for two with heavy breakfast. Note that they do not provide toiletries. 

Steps away from our pension house is Dayon Hostel where I saw a lot of foreigners staying. Dayon Hostel has a nice interiors (at least in the lobby) and lighting.



Best Time to Visit Coron
Generally, March to May is the best time to visit not only Coron but all other destination in the Philippines. These months are summer vacation thus expect high volume of tourist plus prices will surely escalate during these months. You can expect less tourist from June to Feb. Be sure to check weather forecast though because these months are rainy seasons. Coast Guard is very strict in Coron, tours will immediately be cancelled if there is a typhoon signal warning.   

Banana Island

Touring Coron
You must extend your weekend or long weekend when you visit Coron. To maximise your stay, you need at least 2 or 3 full days in Coron. Tours can be classified as Tour A, Tour B, Coron Ultimate Tour, Island Escapades, Reef and Wreck, Calauit Safari Tour and Coron Town Tour. 

Tour A - Php900/Pax
  • Kayangan Lake
  • Siete Pecados
  • Quin Lagoon
  • CYC Beach
  • Coral Garden 
  • Taraw Beach
Kayaking in Twin Lagoon
Tour B - Php1,200/Pax
  • Baracuda Lake
  • Twin Lagoon
  • Atwayan Beach
  • Skeleton Wreck 
  • Reef Garden
Diving in Baracuda Lake

Coron Ultimate Tour (Tour C) - Php1,300/Pax
  • Kayangan Lake
  • Twin Lagoon
  • Siete Pecados
  • Skeleton Wreck
  • CYC Beach
  • Coral Garden
  • Taraw Beach
On the way to Kayangan Lake

Island Escapades (Tour D) - Php1,300/Pax
  • Bulgos Dos Island
  • Banana Island 
  • Malcapuya Island
Approaching Bulgos Dos Island

Reef and Wreck (Tour E)- Php1,300/Pax
  • Pass Island
  • Lusong Shipwreck
  • Lusong Coral Garden 
  • East Tangat Wreck

Calauit Safari Tour (Tour F - Land Tour) - Php2,500/Pax
  • Calauit Wildlife Safari
  • Busuanga Town Proper
  • Black Island or Pamalican Island
Calauit Wildlife Safari

Coron Town Tour (Land Tour) - Php550/Pax
  • Mt. Tapyas
  • Cashew Factory
  • Souvenir Shops
  • Lualhati Park
  • St. Augustine Church
  • Maquinit Hot Spring 
St. Augustine Church

All tours mentioned above is the average package price. Tour companies in Coron offers the same packages but has different rates. When you walk around the town or when you get out of the airport, you'll encounter people selling their own tour packages.You can choose from there using this list as your guide. Your hotel can also arrange these tours for you. All tour packages above includes Lunch except from the Coron Town Tour. Calauit Safari Tour includes not only lunch but also breakfast and snack. 

Where to Eat in Coron
I don't know if we are the same, I allocate my fix budget for food before I go out of town. For instance, in this trip our food budget was Php250.00 per meal per person. But you can budget less or more than Php250. Its just I think Php250 is a decent budget for a vacation in Coron. Most of the time, breakfast is included in the hotel accommodation while Lunch is included in the tours thus we did not allocate a budget for that.


Boat crew preparing our lunch while we swim in Twin Lagoon
Food is everywhere in Coron. If you want to splurge, eat in one of the finest restaurants in Coron. You can just grab a barbeque in the heart of the town and buy some rice if you don't have enough budget to stretch. There are also some small eateries in the town.  

Souvenirs
You won't have a hard time to look for souvenir shops in Coron. They are everywhere! Your challenge is to find the best deal. A souvenir shop where I found a good deal was in front of Mt. Tapyas jump off. On our last night we decided to go back to Mt. Tapyas when we realized that souvenirs there are much cheaper compared to town. Fare from town to Mt. Tapyas jump off is just Php15.00.



Buy some cashew nuts from Kasoy factory and get some free taste. 

Sample Budget and Itinerary
This is our expenses and itinerary when we went to Coron last March 2018. I made some adjustment so that you can maximise your itinerary. Note that the cost is divided by two and do not include the airfare. 

Day 1 - Manila to Clark to Coron/Coron Town Tour
  • Manila to Clark - P2P Bus Php500
  • Terminal Fee - Php300
  • Van Transfer from Busuanga Airport to Coron Town Proper - Php300
  • Check-in Lan Bless Pension House - Php6,000 (Accommodation for 4 nights)
  • DIY City Tour
    • Lualhati Park
    • St. Augustine Church
    • Mt. Tapyas - Tricycle from town to Jump Off - Php30
    • Bought Souvenirs in front of Mt. Tapyas - Php500
    • Tricycle to Maquinit Hot Spring - Php 200 (Good for 4 pax)
    • Maquinit Hot Spring Entrance Fee - Php400 (Php200/Pax)
    • Tricycle from Maquinit Hot Spring to Town - Php 200 (Good for 4 pax)
    • Kasuy Factory  - Php500 (From Maquinit Hot Spring you can ask the tricycle driver to stop for a minute at Kasuy Factory)
  • Dinner - Php500
  • Tricycle back to Lan Bless Pension House - Php20
Total Day 1 - Php9,450.00

Day 2 - Coron Ultimate Tour
  • Breakfast  - Free Pension House
  • Ultimate Tour - Php2,600 (Php1,300/ pax. This depends on the tour company. Tours also includes transfer to/from your hotel, snorkel and lunch)
    • Baracuda Lake
    • Twin Lagoon
    • Skeleton Ship Wreck
    • Akwayan Beach
    • Coral Garden
    • Kayangan Lake
    • Siete Picados
  • Lunch - Included in the tour package.
  • Allowance for extra food in the island and tip for the guide - Php200
  • Dinner - Php500
Total Day 2 - Php3,300

Day 3 - Island Escapades
  • Breakfast  - Free Pension House
  • Island Escapades Tour - Php2,600 (Php1,300/ pax. This depends on the tour company. Tours also includes transfer to/from your hotel and lunch)
    • Bugos Dos Island
    • Banana Island 
    • Malcapuya Island
  • Lunch - Included in the tour package.
  • Allowance for extra food in the island and tip for the guide - Php200
  • Dinner - Php500
Total Day 3 - Php3,300

Day 4 - Calauit Safari Tour 
  • Breakfast - Included in the Tour
  • Safari Tour Tour - Php5,000 (Php2,500/ Pax)
  • Lunch - Included in the Tour
  • Allowance for extra food in the island and tip for the guide - Php200
  • Dinner - Php500
Total Day 4 - Php5,700

Day 5 - Coron to Clark to Manila 
  • Breakfast - Free Pension House
  • Transfer from Lan Bless to Airport - Php300
  • Bus from Clark to Manila - Php500
Total Day 4 - Php1,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Total - Php22,750.00
Individual Cost - Php11,375.00