Coron on a Budget: Travel Guide

It was like a giant bucket of paint spilled into the water that morning. Dazzlingly, the sun showered the world with a whole lot of gold and red. Half-awake, we got up and watched  our boat made futile attempts to scratch the mirror-like surface of the sea. The sun, bursting into full glory, just snatched us out of slumber completely. The day had officially begun and if the view was any indication, it would be an unforgettable one.

We were on the way to Calauit Safari Park on an island-hopping tour around Busuanga that morning. It was the start of a long, long day as it would be filled with hours of great experiences. You see, the islands of Coron and Busuanga have so much in store for adventure-hungry tourists.

Understanding Coron and Busuanga

With Culion and Linapacan, the municipalities of Coron and Busuanga make up the Calamianes, a stellar group of islands that speck the waters of North Palawan. Busuanga Island is the largest and is divided into two municipalities: Busuanga and Coron. The town of Busuanga harbors the airport but Coron is the biggest and the main tourism hub of the region. Nestled in one of the nooks of the southern edge of Busuanga Island, Coron town has the most accommodations and tours, and is the usual jump off point to the surrounding destinations including Coron Island, Culion, Linapacan, and even as far as El Nido. Confusing, eh? Here’s a map to help you digest it better.

Map of Busuanga, Coron, and Culion
Map of Busuanga, Coron, and Culion

How to Get to Coron and Busuanga

Flying is the easiest and fastest way to reach Coron. The main gateway to the region, Francisco B. Reyes airport is located in Busuanga and is less than an hour away from the town of Coron.

PAL Express plane at Busuanga (Coron) Airport
PAL Express plane at Busuanga (Coron) Airport

The following airlines operate Manila-Busuanga flights and back.

  • Cebu Pacific Air
  • PAL Express (Philippine Airlines)
  • AirAsia Zest (Zest Air)
  • SkyJet

Additionally, PAL Express flies to Puerto Princesa from Busuanga and vice versa.

From the airport, you may take a van to the town of Coron for P150 per person or P1500 if you want to hire the entire van.

 

Where to Stay in Coron

Check Rates and Availability Here

There are so many lodging options in Coron but you might still want to strongly consider booking in advance specially during summer (April-May). Here are some accommodations that my blogger friends recommend but I have tried only Tameta Pension House and Coron Village Lodge, which are both okay (not great but just okay).

Coron Eco-Lodge
Coron Eco-Lodge

Coron Village Lodge
Coron Village Lodge

Patrik and Tezz Guesthouse
Patrik and Tezz Guesthouse

Tameta Pension House
Tameta Pension House

Palanca Guesthouse Coron
Palanca Guesthouse Coron

Coron Backpacker Guesthouse
Coron Backpacker Guesthouse

Where to Eat in Coron

While plenty of restaurants plank the roads of Coron, you’ll be surprised that most of the well-known establishments are quite expensive with meals ranging from P150-P300. (Based on experience, it’s much easier to find cheap meals at a decent restaurant in El Nido than in Coron.) But if you’re not too picky, you’ll find many eateries that serve food at P50 per order.

If you have the budget, here are some of the more popular dining places in Coron.

Bistro Coron
Bistro Coron

La Sirenetta Coron
La Sirenetta Coron

Foodtrip Coron
Foodtrip Coron

Pink Salmon Coron
Pink Salmon Coron

WG Diner Coron
WG Diner Coron

Helldivers Bar Coron
Helldivers Bar Coron

Places to Visit in Coron

There are so many interesting and unique destinations in Coron and in nearby towns of Busuanga and Culion. They are usually grouped together in tour packages that are offered by travel agencies and resorts. You’ll find them all throughout the town. They usually require a minimum of 5 pax per trip.

You may also charter a boat for private trips, which is best if you are with a big group. To hire a boat, just visit the office of Calamian Tourist Boat Association at Lualhati Park. They have standardized the rates of boat trips depending on the size of the boat needed, the number of passengers, and your destination.

The following are some of the most popular tours in Coron with the usual destinations covered. Inclusions vary so please confirm with the tour or boat operator first before you seal the deal. I also indicated the usual rates as of March 2013 but bear in mind that these might have already been outdated, and that these prices vary from tour operator to tour operator.

Coron Island Tour
Private boat: P1500 per 4 pax, P2000 per 8 pax, P2500 per 15 pax
Group tour: P650 per pax
This tour may also include Atuayan Coral Garden and Maquinit Hot Springs

Coron Island
Twin Peaks and Hidden Lagoon (NOT IN THE PIC)

Kayangan Lake
Kayangan Lake

Barracuda Lake
Barracuda Lake

Siete Picados
Siete Picados

Coron Town Tour
Group tour: P550 per pax
Other Destinations include Cashew Nut producers and Coron Gallery
Alternatively, you might want to do this by yourself because all these are accessible by tricycle and even walking (except Maquinit)

Mt. Tapyas
Mt. Tapyas

Maquinit Hot Springs
Maquinit Hot Springs

Lualhati Park Zipline
Lualhati Park Zipline

Calauit Safari Park Tour
Private boat: P7500 per 4 pax, P9000 per 8 pax, P15000 per 15 pax
Group tour: P2400 per pax

Calauit Safari Park
Calauit Safari Park

Black Island
Black Island

Lusong Wreck and Coral Garden
Lusong Wreck and Coral Garden

Pamalican Island
Pamalican Island

South Cay (Pagbinit Island)
South Cay (Pagbinit Island)

North Cay (Pagtenga Island)
North Cay (Pagtenga Island)

Culion Island Day Tour
Private boat:  P3000 per 4 pax, P3500 per 8 pax, P6000 per 15 pax
Group tour: P1150 per pax
You might also want to check out my Culion Travel Guide if you want this trip Do-It-Yourself (DIY) style.

Culion Town Tour
Culion Town Tour

Culion Museum and Archives
Culion Museum and Archives

Fort Culion and Culion Church
Fort Culion and Culion Church

aguila culion
Aguila Viewpoint

 

Sangat Shipwreck Tour: Sangat Gunboat Wreck, Decalve Marine Park, Sangat Hot Sprints, Kalitang White Beach
Private boat: P3000 per 4 pax, P3500 per 8 pax, P6000 per 15 pax
Group tour: P950 per pax

Malcapuya Island Tour: Malcapuya Island, Malaroyroy Island, Banana Island
Private boat: P3000 per 4 pax, P4000 per 8 pax, P6000 per 15 pax
Group tour: P950 per pax

Sample Coron Itinerary

The best thing about Coron is that the neighboring islands — all equally mesmerizing — are just a boat ride away. Thus, a trip to Coron will never be complete without a visit to the other destinations surrounding it. Because boat rides and tours are all organized into day tours, it is very easy to build an itinerary.

Below is a sample itinerary if you will be spending 4 days and 3 nights in Coron. For this sample, I’m assuming that you will be taking PAL Express.

Day 1: ARRIVAL, CITY TOUR
07:30 am – Check-in NAIA Terminal 3
08:30 am – ETD NAIA Terminal 3 – Busuanga (via PAL Express Flight 2P 31)
09:30 am – ETA Busuanga Airport
10:30 am – Arrival in Coron by van, check in at hotel
11:10 am – Lunch
12:00 pm – Start CITY TOUR
04:00 pm – Climb to Mt. Tapyas Viewdeck
06:30 pm – Maquinit Hot Springs
08:30 pm – Dinner

Day 2: CORON ISLAND TOUR

Day 3: CALAUIT SAFARI PARK TOUR or CULION TOUR

Day 4: DEPARTURE
06:00 am – Wake up call
07:00 am – Breakfast
08:20 am – ETD Coron (travel by van)
09:20 am – ETA Busuanga Airport
09:30 am – Check in
10:45 am – ETD Busuanga Airport (via PAL Express Flight 2P 32)
11:45 am – ETA NAIA Terminal 3, Manila

As always, please make the necessary adjustments to fit your flight schedule, duration of stay, or tour preferences.

Coron Travel Guide
Photo by Irene Ladignon

Budget Breakdown

Here’s a sample budget breakdown for a 4D/3N stay in Coron. Note that this computation is based on 2 people sharing the cost of accommodations and some fares. This sample also uses a fan room for 3 nights. This does not include airfare and terminal fees.

  • P300 – Van fare from airport to Coron and back (P150/way)
  • P1050 – Tameta Guesthouse Fan Room (P700/night, 3 nights, divided by 2 pax)
  • P150 – Maquinit Hot Springs Entrance Fee
  • P150 – Trike to Maquinit Hot Springs (P300 divided by 2 pax)
  • P650 – Coron Island Tour
  • P1150 – Culion Historical Tour
  • P1250 – Food Budget
  • P4700 – TOTAL

Of course, you can reduce this cost further, specially if you are part of a bigger group and you opt with small eateries instead of mid-range restaurants.

 


Follow us on Instagram!


Comment via Facebook!



Comment via Disqus!

  • john obrien

    hello
    thank you for the informative posts.can you fly from coron/busuanga to el nido?
    what airline if possible.?

    • No flights from Coron to El Nido. Boat only. The other option would be to fly to Coron to Puerto Princesa and then land travel (5 hours) to El Nido. 🙂

  • ohhh.. missing coron…

  • Hi Ronald! None. Haha. But thanks for giving us an idea. 😀

  • Peter

    Hi, what does ‘1500 per 4 pax’ mean? Does it mean that each would pay 1500 (total of 6000), or would this mean that if you are a group of 4, it would cost you 1500 for the entire group? Thanks!

  • Jadd

    Hi. If you could email to me your contacts for the tours? We are 4 in the group and we would really want to reduce our costs. Thanks!

    • Renz

      Hello Jadd! I know a tour provider na very affordable and pwede ka pa mamili for your package just like what we did. We are scheduled to have our vacation next year sa Coron and thanks to them, kinaya ng budget namin! You can email them at ultimatecoronexperience@gmail.com o kaya message them at 0918 465 9010. Happy trip!

      • Natalie

        I agree! We had the same tour provider last November and we are planning
        to go back to Coron on May and we are going to choose them again. Super
        accommodating kase nila sa requests and the fact that standard rates
        sila pero hindi mo na kailangang mastress sa paghahanap ng boat when you
        get there. Thumbs up for affordable price and great Coron trip! 🙂

  • ruffa

    Hi, updated ba ang price ng tours?? we’re going to coron this oct. 2014. and as much as possible dapat makabudget kami.. Mas okey ba na dun sa coron na kami mismo magpabook ng mga island tours (joining other group) or dapat ahead magpabook na kami? Dalawa lang kaming magtra-travel..Thanks

    • Rich

      Hi! I went to Coron last September with my girlfriend. We booked with Ultimate Coron Experience for the 2nd time already.. I reserved a month prior to our trip but didn’t go for joining tours. They have a great team in coron. Their boats were neat and all their bangkeros were super friendly and service oriented, they cook delicious dishes too! 🙂 Leigh was the one who booked for us 🙂 Her number is 09184659010 if you’d like to inquire 🙂 Enjoy!

  • Samantha

    We recently went to Coron last May. Sobrang ganda talaga! I’m gonna come home every year just to see how beautiful the Philippines is! I just want to share our experience (me and my boyfriend) while planning for our trip. Actually, I read this post before going there so we will have an idea of what to expect. I saw this number below posted by Renz and tried to contact them. They were really accommodating, though I had a lot of questions and clarifications, di sila nagsawa sakin hehe. They also gave an advice to rent out a private boat to enjoy Coron more in a private setting. We had a total control of our time and the boatmen are really accommodating as well! Sobrang maalaga sila 🙂 We will come back next year and we will get their services again. Thanks for this post! It was really helpful! Special mention to @Renz for providing their contact information. Visit Coron! You will never regret anything! 🙂
    -Sam

    • Ralph P.

      hi Samantha, me and my gf are going to Coron this Nov 2015. Can I ask for your contact person there? Thanks

  • DanniTwoPeasinaPack

    Hi I just came across your blog doing some research for our backpacking trip to the Philippines for next January. Love the look of the site. I’m dying to go to Coron, Bohol, and Siargao Island. I’m so happy I found your site. We’ve been on the road for 5 months and are traveling for 5 months more. I’d love to see what you think of my little blog. It’s leftnleavin.blogspot.com. I’m not making any money off of it or anythign but I’m just curious what another blogger thinks 🙂

  • Sayang I wasn’t able to stay longer in Coron but that’s a good budget guide as usually I only spend an average of 1k pesos per day when travelling around Palawan

  • Pingback: Why Manila Is The Best Place To Be An Expat()

  • ginger

    Hi, we’re planning to visit Palawan, and we decided to book in Go Hotels Puerto Princesa, any suggestion about Go hotel?

  • Pingback: Why Manila Is The Best Place To Be An Expat | VisaExpat.com()

  • Pingback: How to Pick the Best Palawan Destinations for Your Vacation - My Resorts Palawan()

  • Pingback: Unfamiliar with the Philippines – Memento Vivere()