Coron is both the name of the largest town on the island of Busuanga, and the name of a different, smaller island just offshore. The area is famous for its World War II wreck diving, and the site has been named in many lists of top dive spots in the world. In September 1944, a fleet of Japanese ships hiding in the harbor were sunk in a daring raid by the US navy. The result is around ten well preserved underwater shipwrecks surrounded with coral reef.
There are also attractions on Coron Island itself. There are many beautiful bleach white sand beaches, mostly tiny and surrounded by large limestone cliffs and wildlife. Barracuda and Kayangan lakes are both stunning locations, and good for snorkeling, and the island is the ancestral domain of an indigenous tribe who are managing the island in a sustainable way and keeping outsiders at a distance and offshore at night.
The first inhabitants of Coron were the Tagbanuas who belong to the second wave of Indonesians who migrated to this area some 5,000 years ago. They were a nomadic, seafaring people, living mainly by fishing and subsistence agriculture. Although they are now sedentary (with the young using cell phones, etc.), they maintain many of their old customs, traditions and beliefs. Today, the Tagbanuas remain the dominant if not entire population of Coron.
In 1902 that Coron was registered as a town and the name of the town was officially changed from Penon de Coron to Coron.
From 1939 to the outbreak of World War II, the municipality experienced the mining boom. Labor shifted from farming to mining. In July 1942, the Japanese occupied the mining camps and resumed operation of the manganese mines. On September 24, 1944, a group of Japanese ships were sunk by American warplanes in Coron waters as the ships retreated from Manila Bay. To this day, about 10 or 12 of these World War II Japanese shipwrecks comprise what is considered one of the best dive sites in the world.
In 1947, large scale deep sea fishing was introduced to Coron, and the town experienced another boom, a fishing boom. The population increased, as many people from Luzon and the Visayas came to work either as fishermen or miners.
On June 17, 1950, Busuanga was officially created as a separate municipality from Coron and in 1954, Coron was further reduced by the official creation of the Municipality of Linapacan. On September 12, 1992, Coron was finally reduced by the official creation of the Municipality of Culion.
In the past, Coron was virtually unknown outside of Palawan. It remains a small, quaint fishing town with laid back charm but with increasing media exposure it is growing, slowly but steadily, Coron has taken an important position in the tourism industry. In the past decade, there has been a rapid influx of scuba divers and other tourists coming in, making tourism the major industry player in Coron today.
There *was* a cross on the mountain above town, on Mt.Tapyas, but it was blown down by Typhoon Haiyan. You can still still climb up the path & over 700 steps to the top for a panoramic view. The climb up is worth to see the view of the small islands surrounded by glass-like water.
CORON sign Noticeable from the water is a Hollywood style sign up on a hill overlooking the town.
Mangroves, natural mangroves are abundant, with magnificent kayak paddling trails. (Local mangrove kayaking tours available through Kingfisher Park)
Kayangan Lake P200 entrance fee. Before approaching the lake, go over the cave and glimpse at the great view on top of the mountain. This view is the most photographed area in Palawan. It is also judged as the cleanest lake in the country.
Twin Lagoon. The water and towering rocks are great photos. On low tide, experience kayaking under the hole of the rock. At high tide, one can swim through the hole of the rock or a walkway can be used to get to the other side of the lagoon. P100 entrance fee.
Barracuda Lake is amazing. Entrance is P100. Bring goggles or snorkles to observe underwater rock formations.
CYC Island is nice but gets very busy. It's the only free beach in the area. Entrance fees for the other beaches aren't too steep (P100).
Banol is very picturesque with its flower trees set against the rocky island. It has sugary fine white sand in its beachline.
Beach 69 is not as good as Banol. Free if you come from Kayangan lake (as of May 2008) however seems unmaintained. Beware of jellyfish.
Head down to the Market Pier and rent an authentic Filipino bangka and captain (standardized rental costs vary by destination) Boats generally handle around 6 passengers. It costs 1500 pesos to rent a bangka - irrespective of whether you rent it for half a day or full day. Click here for the current official boat rates. Grab a lunch before you head out, as food is rarely available on any of the outlying islands. You can also buy meat, fish, veggies from the wet market and request the boat captain to barbecue or cook them for you or your group.
Coron Island - is a black limestone island with breathtaking cliffs cascading down to thirteen magnificent lakes (only two open to public) and powder white sand coral beaches. It is the home to local attractions Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake, Banol Beach, Twin Lagoon, and numerous snorkeling areas. Bring mask, fins, and snorkel to observe underwater rock formations. There is a pronounced thermocline, as the island's geothermal energy heats up the water as you decend into the lakes and water around the island. Ancestral home of the local Tagbanua people group.
Siete Pecados - among the best sites to snorkel in Coron. It was popularized by the shoot of a local television show of a mermaid love story. Experience swimming in an aquarium, beautiful corals and a great variety of fishes. There is a caretaker who will collect P100 from tourists. Anytime from 9 am to 4 pm is good for snorkelling. Current can sometimes be strong in the morning and i can get chilly - take an extra t-shirt to wear when snorkeling. Myth suggests that seven kids swam from the main island to escape it and follow their parents. They all drowned and the place where they drowned is where the islands are now present.
Culion Island - the former leper colony. Offers a medical museum and presentation of the old leper colony highlighting the cure of leprosy. The public boat leaves Coron town at 12 noon daily and returns at 7:30 am the next day. Fare is P175.
CYC Island - is nice but gets very busy. It's the only free beach in the area. Entrance fees for the other beaches aren't too steep (P100).
Smiths island - is a small island with white sand beach, a care taker family who stays there during the day, eatables (snacks and drinks) and stunnign views of white sands and blue seas. The fee to spend some time here is 100 pesos per head. One can reach it while island hopping on a bangka. It takes 20 minutes sailing from Kayangan lake to reach here.
Tangat Island - black limestone island with white sand beaches near most of the major WW2 wrecks in the area.
Malcapuya Island - Beautiful Island with very fine white sand beach just like Boracay (or better) but without construction. Entrance is P150-200 and is included in tour prices.
Banana Island - A longer boat trip from town is beautiful Banana Island, with it's white sand beaches and numerous Pacific Giant Clams (local accommodations recommended as it is far from Coron, but it is available as a tour along with Malcapuya)
Bulog Beach is visited as part of a tour along with Banana Island and Malcapuya Beach. It's a very small but stunning beach and you'll likely have it all to yourself.
Black Island - another limestone island with white sand beaches located far from town. Nearby are tourist attractions North Kay and Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary (local accommodations recommended as it is far from Coron)
Lots of wreck diving and some decent coral as well. There are 6 big wrecks and 2 smaller gunboats, all bombed on 24 September 1944 by the Allied Forces, and they are well worth diving on!
Coron Divers, . Is the only Dive Center owned by a Filipino, Arni is the big boss and his sons are divemasters. Everything makes you feel in a Filipino family.edit
Corto divers, ☎ +63 947 708 7304 (email@example.com), . fun dive and course in English, French, Tagalog. Accomodations available above diveshopedit
Discovery Island Dive Center (firstname.lastname@example.org), Dicanituan Island, ☎ +63 918 398 7125, . Tucked away on 'Discovery Island' a 10 minute boat ride from the pier. Visit their office on National Highway or give them a call to book diving and accommodation. edit
Dive Calamianes, Located between the Discovery Bar and downtown, . DiveCal offers a regularly schedualed live aboard trip to the Apo reef.edit
Divingworld, (email@example.com), . exclusive located in mangrovedschungel on island Popototan some 30 minutes boat ride out of town and offers ADP/CMAS and PADI in the middle of a private bay (only accessible by boat). The staff can help you arrange things to do around the island, own house reef and house wreck (35 m). It is diving base of divingwelt-group (international scuba school with German, English, Russian, Ukraine, Polish and Czech advising)edit
Neptune Dive Center, ☎ +63-921-760-7492 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 08:00-19:00. Neptune Dive Center is one of the newer dive shops in Coron, but is owned and operated by a team that has been living and diving there for years. Emphasis is on small groups and personal service. Neptune Dive Center is the only purpose built dive shop in Coron. Prices are mid-range compared to the other dive shops in the area.(11.59.56.03 N,188.8.131.52E)edit
Rocksteady Dive Center, . Rocksteady Dive Center is a German owned and managed dive shop in Coron. Employs competent German and Filipino instructors. Has 3 boats and are always small groups on each boat. Rocksteady Dive Center is located a 1 km. walk from town center, very near the hospital.edit
Sanho Diving aka coral aqua air diving, (the center of the coron town), ☎ 0927-814-2346 (email@example.com), . 7:00(am)-9:00(pm). is one of the Korean dive shops in Coron. fun dive and DSD and any course in English, Chinese, Korean. .edit
SeaDive, ☎ +63 920 945 8714, . They have the only re-compression chamber in all of Palawan onsite. The biggest dive shop in town, with divemasters who claim to have over 10,000 dives on the Coron wrecks. Priced higher than the other dive shops. Known for crowded boats and high diver to divemaster ratios.edit
Freediving,  AIDA Freediving courses. Learn how to do breath hold diving and visit the wrecks without tanks. AIDA* to AIDA*** courses available, from one to three days.
Kingfisher Park,  offering guided mangrove kayak tours (P500), trekking Mt Lunes Santo + bamboo cooked lunch (P500), and Starry Starry Night mangrove firefly/plankton cruises (P200). visit the website for tour booking details.
Maquinit Hot Spring. Offering large pools warmed by the geothermal water spring in the area. The hottest pools cascade into a large pool that empties into the ocean. Beautiful place to hang out in the evening after a long day of activities. (entrance P150, Aug 2011) Accessible by boat or by tricycle from town. Tricycle is normaly 300-400p,(4pax) including bringing you back to town after 1-3 hours.(2011)
Banol Beach Gorgeous white sand beach. Accessible by boat from Coron, about 20mns away, features limestone cliffs going down to this beautiful white sand beach adorned with numerous large Kalachuchi flower trees and tamarind trees. Nipa huts for lunch are located in the shade of the Kalachuchi trees.(entrance P100)
Skeleton Wreck is a snorkeling destination near Banol Beach off the coast of Coron Island where there is an old fishing boat wreck. Around it are beautiful corals. Beware of sea urchins. (entrance P100)
Atwayan Beach located on the backside of the Skeleton Wreck island near Banol Beach, Atwayan Beach features Nipa huts to have lunch, and a beach volleyball court. (entrance P100)
Beach 91 is not as good as Banol. Free if you come from Kayangan Lake however seems unmaintained. Beware of jellyfishes.
Mt. Tapyas hike - If you are staying in the Coron main town, you can walk to the foot of Mt. Tapyas or grab a tricycle for P8 (2011). The hike reportedly is a 700+-step stairs to the top, the entrance is found at the side of community basketball court. Experience a breathtaking view of the sunset, recommended to start setting out at 4pm.
Calauit Wildlife An island inhabited by imported African wildlife living in harmony with Palawan wildlife. Safari tours available. (local accommodation is required as it is about a 4 hour boat trip from Coron)
The Market Pier is home to shops, stalls, slaughter houses, diners and karaoke. Great for hearing early morning karaoke and picking up supplies. The smell can get pretty bad close to the slaughter houses.
Water - aquapure can hook you up with large containers of water and you can buy bottles at many olaces in 500 ml, 1 ml and 4 ml sizes.
Drugstores - plentiful. Contrary to what you may hear you can buy sunscreen, Off (bug repellant), shampoo and all that other good drugstore stuff.
Cashew Nuts - Hand roasted "kasoy" as this delicacy is called in the local language. A must try when you are in Coron. Better then what you can buy in your local supermarket.
Food can be purchased at Coron Market and numerous bakeries around town. It is also recommended to buy fruit from the town market and have them prepared free of charge at one's hotel or lodge (leave a tip if you want).
Try the local fruit such as mango, watermelon, starapple, jackfruit, coconut, starfruit and cashew fruit but they are all seasonal. The fruit in Coron is quite expensive compared to other parts in the Philippines because almost all fruit must be "imported" from Manila since the Coron soil is not good for growing, and the same is true for vegetables.
Bistro Coron Owned by Bruno, who can be seen in the kitchen wearing nothing but a towel and a scowl in the mornings, serves both French and international food at prices well above the local average. Starter dishes cost from P155-270, mains are more but crab and lobster meals cost even more. Recommended are the onion soup, the apple pie, the coq au vin, the basquaise, the salade nicoise, the cordon bleu. San Miguel costs about P50. The good pizza would be excellent if the cheese was better. Appears to br coasting due to their Lonely Planet mention, service is slow, staff are rude and the place is full of only foreigners. Although others report the bistro is excellent and the staff are friendly and work hard as the restaurant is so popular because of the wide selection of amazing food. Breakfasts, fresh baked baguettes, homemade jam, fish and meat dishes with superb French sauces, great pizzas and salads. It is worth the steeper prices.
Blue Moon Restobar, National Highway (near center of Coron), . 7.30 to 2am. Cold beers, good wine, cocktails, friendly staff and a late night watering hole for locals. Filipino specials, international dishes plus hams, spicy salami, pastrami, gruyere, emmental etc meat and cheese platters plus amazing thin crust pizza. Only opened March 2014 but already earning a good reputation. * Brujita, (The main road towards the airport, on left hand side after Angel motorbike rental and Coron Backpacker Guesthouse). Serves western, local and vegetarian food. Also a nice place to have some beers. Some foods, such as the Hummus has to be ordered a day in advance.100-250. edit100-250. edit
KokosNuss Resort has a good kitchen. They offer a Palawan-style all you can eat BBQ. 6 or more people required at P475 each. They also have a Christmas feast on Dec 24 which is the BBQ and definitely worth going to if you are around (tell them in advance if you are going) San Miguel is P32. Breakfasts are good as well. Their wienerschnitzel is highly recomended.
La Sirenetta Beautiful waterfront restaurant on stilts offering international food with entrees ranging from P200-400. Recognizable on the water as sculpted mermaids adorn the posts supporting the roof of the open air dining area. (accessible through alleyway beside Coron Divers and Coron Reef Pension House and also by boat)Their service varies so be patient, its a bit pricey but the breeze and view is great.
Lolo Nonnoy's, Coron (Main road near coron's center). Coco Lonnoy's is a local restaurant serving filippino food and variations. It is operated by a crew of local women who make some of the best cost-quality food in Coron. You can choose from the menu or from the dishes of the days (cheap). Also, their Leche Flan is amazing.60-300. edit
Seadive Resort Overpriced continental variety of food. Slow service. Situated Over the water, seafront view. People only go because of a mention in very very outdated information from Lonely Planet.
Trining Bacsa Locally owned and operated restaurant located around the corner from Coron Market. Offers authentic Filipino cuisine.
Winnies Locally owned Swiss and Filipino operated restaurant with a kitchen that you watch all food preparation being done. Reasonable prices, extensive menu, and some would say it is the best restaurant in Coron. Recently opened in early 2014.
WG Restaurant The owner William gives free tourist advice with your meal, and is extremely helpful and friendly. You'll get local prices if he is helping you. He also has accommodation (LM & Pe Lodge 2).
You can camp on several of the (somewhat) deserted islands. A couple of islands are worth checking out. Ask around.
Few budget options exist in Coron town itself, but a few listed below are for those on a budget. Warning: "Brownouts (periods of no electricity)" occur in Coron. Many hotels have a backup generator, but be sure to ask when booking your room. Otherwise, you'd have to get used to waiting around for the lights to work.
Amphibi-Ko Resort, Brgy. 5, Bancuang, Coron, Palawan, . checkin: 2 p.m.; checkout: Noon. Amphibi-Ko Resort Lodge offers budget accommodation and island tours in Coron. The lodge has clean rooms with a cozy ambiance and has an in-house restaurant that serves Japanese cuisine. Php1,350.00. edit
Apartelle de Gabrielle, ☎ 09495614901. Ten-minute walk from the market and seaport. Lots of room options. Nice restaurant with a view of Coron Bay.edit
Coron Backpacker Guesthouse, ☎ +639164004871 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . From town center, follow Coron-Busuanga Road toward the airport and follow the signs on the left after a short walk. Fan rooms with double beds, kitchen, common area and two shared showers and bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi, fresh water and coffee.PHP 500/double room. edit
Coron Ecolodge Hotel (coron ecolodge), ☎ 0906.455.6090, . Located in a quiet area near the town center, near stores, banks, restaurants and bars. Offers 22 air-conditioned rooms with en suite hot and cold shower and cable TV. Wi-Fi available at reception area and dining lounge. Also offers tour packages.1,898. edit
Coron Gateway Hotel & Suites, Barangay Poblacion 1, ☎ (+63 2) 887 7107, . All rooms are equipped with private balcony, 32-inch LCD TV, reverse-cycle air conditioning, Wi-Fi connectivity, plush beds adorned with the softest feather-down quilts and pillows, and hot and cold shower facilities. Facilities and services include a restaurant, coffee shop, safe deposit boxes, room service and airport transfer.Rates start at 3,465.00 PHP. edit
Coron Hilltop View Resort, Brgy. Poblacion 6, Sitio Dipulao, . checkin: 2:00pm. Coron Hilltop View Resort offers fully-air conditioned deluxe villas. It also offers tour packages for island hopping and scuba diving. Restaurant serves Asian cuisine and authentic Philippine food.Php4,000. edit
Coron Reef Pension,  is a few steps from Coron Divers. Air-con rooms for two guests with toilet and bath seaside Php900, other rooms Php600, Php 100 for an extra bed. A single can be had for 300Php if they're not full. Mobile phone number 09198877151 and 09194501606
Coron Village Lodge,  twin room 950Php, triple 1,200Php, deluxe room 1,300Php, extra bed 200 (all rooms can accommodate one extra bed). They are all air-conditioned, with hot and cold shower, TV, private toilet and bath.
Discovery Island Resort & Dive Center, Dicanituan Island, Barangay 5 Poblacion, ☎ +63 918 398 7125, . Quiet Island resort just five-10 minutes from Coron town via boat. Modern air-con rooms and native fan cottages on the hillside available. Bar and excellent restaurant on the island resort. Private island hopping tours and scuba diving for all levels. Email us for room rates or tour packages at email@example.com
First Oriental Lodging, Brgy. Don Pedro St., Poblacion 3 (in front of Coron Tourism Centre near Mt. Tapyas Point and Maquinit Springs.), . Aircon and fan rooms for travelers on a budget. All rooms are equipped with basic hotel amenities.Php1,127. edit
GMG Hotel Coron, National Highway, Cor. Don Pedro St., . checkin: 1:00pm; checkout: 11:00am. In the town proper. The hotel has a swimming pool and offers scuba diving and island hopping packages. Php2,550.00. edit
Into The Wild, San Doval Building, San Augustine St, Barangay 2 (Historical center of the town), ☎ +63 918 447 4702 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . First concept hotel in all Palawan, 4 luxury rooms, 1 garden room, 1 penthouse, sky spa swimming pool resto & bar, free Wi-Fi₱1,490-2,990. edit
KokosNuss Resort,  is outside of town a 10 minute walk up the main road. The rooms all surround a beautiful garden great for lounging around on less adventurous days. Double is 600 peso. The staff can help you arrange things to do around the island but it may be cheaper to arrange elsewhere.
Krystal Lodge, ☎ Kryz: +63-908-357-3309 / +63-915-546-0574, . A humble lodge situated over the water in the mangrove area of Coron Town. It has 8 cottages in total and 10 rooms. Single rooms are from P400-P500. Other rooms are from P600-P1300 (2pax). Cottages starts from P1000-P1600 (2pax) depending on number of people, P250 additional person. They offer breakfast & drinks only. Email:email@example.com edit
Marleys Guesthouse, National Highway (On the main road, big orange guesthouse), ☎ 09297725559. A Backpacker Style Guesthouse, 2mins from Town Center. All rooms are fan rooms with a double bed, 500 per room per night, good for 2. Free Kitchen to use, Large Balcony, Large Dining and Coffee Area, Outside Area, own Shop, Wifi. Shared facilities, 3 Showers, 3 Bathrooms.Pesos 500. edit
Nici Island, . Private island with a private beach including a sand bar, swimming pool, tennis court and cook a few minutes from historic WW2 shipwrecks diving sites.edit
Patrik & Tezz Guesthouse, Coastalroad, Brgy 5, ☎ +639279531407, . Swedish owned and managed guesthouse. No 1 at Trip advisor, 3 min walk from town proper. The Guesthouse is built on stilts on the water. 2 double bed rooms (queen size bed) - 600p/night, 2 twin bed rooms (2 single beds) - 500p/night. 2 shared cr´s with hot shower, living room w ref and TV, Wi-Fi, veranda with tables/chairs and a small pool, standby generator until 11pm. Motorbike rental - 400p/24hrs(11.999156,120.201336)edit
Princess of Coron Resort, Nueva Street, 6, Barangay 1, Coron Town, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. Princess of Coron Resort offers airconditioned guestrooms from Standard to Family hotel rooms furnished with complete amenities. The resort is located in Busuanga Island near El Nido, Sabang Beach and Estrella Falls.Php1,800.00. edit
R n R Hotel, ☎ 09287609453. Near the town proper. It's a basic clean hotel with shower/AC/without AC room. Free Karaoke/TV. Another option if other hotels are full. They will offer for travel package but you can still bargain. Just rent a boat for 2000 a day and you can go to different islands for a lower price instead of per head (1000).Php1,500.00. edit
Sea Dive Resort,  on the water overlooking bay. Fan rooms on the ground floor with shared bathroom are 450p. Rooms are basic but spacious, with a fan and double bed, and there is a generator. Air-con rooms cost either 1,300 or 1,600. Bookings can be made through website or phone. Be careful. Quite often Seadive will book a cheaper room only to have the more expensive room when you arrive. They have 32 rooms, dive shop, restaurant and bar.
Sunnytimes Pension, on the main road opposite the Blue Moon Cafe. Just walk in to get a room. Basically a very nice local woman has opened the upper floor of her house out to backpackers. A 'dorm' (2 beds) fan room is 400P and basic, but very clean and comfortable. Towels are provided. Showers are cold water only, bucket and ladle, and there is no generator.
Seabreeze pension, at the beggining of Don Pedro Street, follow the path going down near the travel agency in front of GMG hotel. This budget family pension has single rooms with fan and share bathroom for as low as 140P after bargaining. Double rooms also available, just bargain. Free water refill.
Villa Hermosa Bed and Breakfast, San Agustin St. Brgy 2, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. In the heart of Coron. Continental or Filipino breakfasts are served.Php650. edit
Coron is also a gateway to some of the other islands in Palawan.
A ferry banka offers a daily trip to Culion.
A cargo/ferry banka makes regular trips between San Jose, Mindoro and Coron. As of January 2014 there were 4 trips weekly, departing Coron on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday by bangka for 800pesos. A larger boat departs at 8:00am Saturdays.
2GO ferry boat offers a 14 hour ride to Puerto Princessa and Manila weekly.
Tourist banka boats (Jessabel, Overcomer) have scheduled trips to El Nido. There is a boat scheduled for every day of the week supposedly at 08:00 (but expect it to be delayed by the coastguard, often by up to 3hours). It may also be cancelled if, for example, the boat's engine needs a service. The price is the same everywhere in town, 1,800 pesos one way. The trip takes 7-9 hours depending on the weather and includes a local style meal (fried chicken, chicken adobo, rice, etc). If you are a big eater bring your own food and drinks. You can buy the tickets pretty much anywhere in town - you'll see signs up everywhere advertising them. Departure and arrival is the port in Coron, it's located at the other end of the town towards Maquinit Hotsprings. From the port to Coron center (and vice versa) with a tricycle costs 10p/person, and 10p extra if you have big luggage. Be wary if the boat does not leave from the town pier, these are not regulated by the Coast Guard. Unregulated boats have been known to drop the guests 1 hour outside of El Nido to avoid the fines for operating an unlicensed boat. The sea can be rough in in the Linapacan strait. The luggage is stowed either in the hull of the boat or on the roof of the cabin if they run out of room. To be safe, package important items in plastic to keep them dry.