On our Philippines vacation in September 2017, we started from the Busuanga Island in the province of Palawan, which is an hour’s flight by plane from the capital of the Philippines — Manila. The area we started from is called Calamian Islands.
A kilometer from the island of Busuanga is the island of Coron. These places in the Philippines attract tourists with their unbelievable nature: snow-white beaches and volcanic rocks, among which freshwater emerald lakes are located.
Moreover, there are wrecks from the Second World War near the island of Coron, which in turn attract to the Philippines divers from all over the world.
Palawan is rated by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers as the most beautiful island in the world and is also rated by the National Geographic Traveler magazine as the best island destination in East and Southeast Asia region in 2007, the 13th best island in the world having “Incredibly beautiful natural seascapes and landscapes. One of the most biodiverse islands in the Philippines…”
In this article, we are going to tell you where you should go on Busuanga Island, Philippines — the places where you can have fun, have a good meal and stay overnight.
Our tips will help you make a perfect trip. This article is for those who want to get the most out of visiting Busuanga and Coron, Palawan and to have an idea of the required budget.
What is this article about?
- Budget tips — Read our tips on saving money, and get approximate prices so you know how much money you will need.
- List of the best places — Explore the unique and beautiful sights of the islands. Visit not only tourist attractions, but also enjoy the opportunity to see something unique.
- The suggested route — Use our route or a part of the route to plan your trip, so as not to waste your time on it.
- Transport tips — Find out in advance all the cheapest routes, using links to local carriers.
- Food tips — Get a list of the best places to eat delicious and cheap food.
To get to the Philippine island of Coron, tourists come to the island of Busuanga and stop in Coron Town (which is more of a fishing village). Then they rent a boat individually or take a group boat tour to the island of Coron. There are neither hotels and resorts nor airport on Coron Island!
Tourists can reach the island of Coron only by boat and only during the excursion tour. Moreover, only a part of the island with three lakes is open and equipped for tourists. The rest of the island belongs to a local tribe, and to visit it you need a special permit.
Consider this! The island of Сoron, aside from the name, has nothing in common with Coron Town. Tourists going on vacation to the Philippines often confuse these names.
Сoron Town is located on Busuanga Island, and it is Coron Town where all the hotels are, in Coron Town tourists rent accommodations and spend their free time after boat excursions visiting the island of Coron. In order to get to Coron Island and its surroundings, you need to drive up to the port of Coron Town on Busuanga Island and go by boat to Coron Island from there.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- How Much Is It to Rent a Boat?
- The rates for group boat tour packages in Coron
- Coron Island Hopping – What to Take with You on Boat? [Infographic]
🌴 Beaches, Lakes and Other Beautiful Places on Coron Island, Palawan — One-day Itinerary
🏊 The Best Beaches and Places to Snorkel Near the Island of Busuanga
- Malcapuya island
- Cheron Island
- Where Exactly You Do Not Need to Pay a Fee to Snorkel Near the Island of Busuanga
Weather on Busuanga and Coron Islands, Palawan – When Is The Best Time to Go There?
There are 2 main seasons on the Calamianes group of islands in northern Palawan, namely Busuanga and Coron.
The climate on Busuanga and Coron Islands is divided into:
- The dry season. On Busuanga and Coron it lasts from October to June. During these months there is a comfortable dry climate. Moreover, there’s also a High season from November to March. If you travel to Busuanga and Coron on holidays like Christmas, New Year or Catholic Easter – book everything in advance, because there are too many tourists and flights, vacation rentals and so on are in high demand. By the way, the prices during the High season are higher.
- The rainy season. On Busuanga and Coron it lasts from June to September. It doesn’t mean it rains all the time, but the weather is unstable, it can change up to 3 times a day with short but heavy rains. Anyway, there are advantages of visiting the Philippines during the rainy season – the cost of your vacations can be several times cheaper, because the prices for flights, vacation rentals and even island package tours are lower than the prices during the dry season.
Average minimum and maximum temperatures in Busuanga/Coron, Philippines
Average water temperature over the year in Busuanga/Coron, Philippines
Average monthly rainy days in Busuanga/Coron, Philippines
We stayed on Busuanga and Coron Islands at the end of September – the beginning of October 2017, and the weather was just perfect. All the days we spent there, the weather was sunny and we could fully enjoy the beauty of the islands.
How to Buy Cheap Flights from Manila to Busuanga in Palawan, Philippines
All domestic flights around the Philippines we bought in advance, about a month before the trip.
We planned the route of our self-planned travels in the Philippines based on the convenient transfer between the islands. It was important for us to have direct flights, so as not to lose precious vacation time.
The first domestic flight we had in the Philippines was Manila – Busuanga Island flight.
To have an idea of the flight schedules for the dates we wanted, and to choose the most suitable ones, we used the website: Skyscanner
After we chose the right time of departure, we went to the air carrier’s website. In our case, it was Cebu Pacific, and we bought tickets on their site.
✈ Always check the prices listed on the air carriers’ websites before buying tickets.
In our case, tickets on the air carrier’s website were cheaper:
- Manila – Busuanga flight cost us $37 per person
💰 In addition, Cebu Pacific’s website is very convenient, and as a pleasant bonus there are weekly discounts!
Each week they update promotional directions on the website, and as a result of the discounts it is possible to catch cheap flights around the Philippines (for example flights to Busuanga to get to Coron Island, Palawan!).
We used the discounts for our next flights across the Philippines:
- Cebu – Boracay flight cost us $17 per person
- Puerto Princesa – Cebu flight cost us $20 per person
It is important, when you buy airline tickets, to pay attention to the fact that the final cost can be higher than the specified one at the beginning, since fees are sometimes added.
There is no difference in the ticket price on Cebu Pacific’s website, the final cost is the same as the one indicated at the beginning. While on the website of Air Asia , the fees are added to the original price and the final cost is higher.
You can find and book flights to Coron by using the low price calendar
🎒 Pay attention to the rules of baggage allowance of different air carriers. Basically, the prices for domestic flights in the Philippines mean you can take 1 piece of cabin baggage and another piece of small personal item.
If you need to carry more, you must pay extra for checked baggage, which can easily be done when you buy the tickets – choose the number of pieces of luggage and the cost of it will be added to the final cost of the tickets.
Coron Island Paradise — How to Get There?
✈ By air
Several airlines fly daily to Busuanga from Manila Airport. Using one of the flights to Coron Palawan you choose the fastest way to get to Coron from Manila.
These are mainly:
The flight to Coron, Palawan takes only about an hour and you can choose the most suitable departure time, since this is a rather popular holiday destination of the Philippine Islands.
Our morning flight to Coron from Manila was made by a small screw aircraft for only 100 passengers, and it was perhaps the most funny flight round the Philippines – with contests, prizes and songs by stewards.
We wanted to land on Busuanga Island as soon as possible, to rent a boat and to go to our Coron, Palawan itinerary.
So, flying over another one small green island with palm trees on a snow-white beach and the only small boat near the island, we imagined how in a few hours we would land on a similar beach of Coron island or somewhere around it.
We expected the airport of the Philippine island of Busuanga (airport code USU) to be small, but Coron, Palawan airport was too small. There was a shelf, where airport staff brought baggage from the plane by hands.
In the same hall before going to Coron all tourists who land on Busuanga are given brochures with useful information, in particular about boat tours from Busuanga and Coron Island package tours, Coron city tours, Coron Island day tours, island hopping, and etc. We planned to rent the boat individually, so we took our baggage and left the airport of Busuanga Island. The only thing we took in Coron, Palawan airport was Coron Island travel guide.
- Busuanga airport – Coron Town transfer cost us – 150 pesos ($3) per person.
Our minibus made the 20 km of the way from Busuanga airport to Coron Town in 30-40 minutes. And to have more passengers inside the minibus, the driver put all the baggage on the roof of the bus.
The way from Coron, Palawan airport to Coron Town is a one-side concrete road, which constantly winds due to multiple turns.
At the same time, the vehicles do not go fast, as there are road works, so people with a weak vestibular apparatus (such as me) do not have to worry that they might get sick.
The road runs through picturesque places where you can see buffaloes in the shade of the trees.
Enjoying the views from the window, we did not notice how we drove up to Coron Town, where it was a pleasant surprise for us that all the passengers of the transfer are brought directly to the accommodations they booked.
So, immediately after arrival we agreed on a boat rental and went to enjoy our adventures in the Philippine Islands!
⚓ By water
You can also get to Busuanga Island by ferry from El Nido, Palawan island. The ferry leaves El Nido at 6.00 am, arrives in Coron Town, Busuanga Island at 9.30 am. Here you can learn the cost of the tickets for the ferry and buy them.
- Tickets for the ferry cost us — 1760 pesos ($35) per person.
We went on this ferry in the opposite direction, from Coron Town to El Nido, you can read about our trip – here.
There is also a ferry from Manila to Coron Town, which runs on Tuesdays and Fridays. Departure from Manila at 13.30 pm, arriving in Coron at 4.30 am. You can check the cost and order tickets here
- The cost of tickets varies — from 1230 pesos ($25) to 2830 pesos ($57) per person.
My opinion is that this ferry is for an amateur. It’s much easier to get to Busuanga from Manila by air, moreover it’s faster, and you don’t have to lose precious vacation time.
14 Best Coron Vacation Rentals, Apartments with Photos + Prices
You should be ready for the fact that Coron Town is certainly a tourist destination, but honestly it is difficult to call it a town. There are not many good hotels on Busuanga, basically all the accommodations have local specifics — there can be singing cocks in the neighborhood or a specific smell from the water if your hotel is near the port.
For our company of 4 people on Busuanga island during our self-planned vacation in the Philippines we chose Haisa Apartment to stay at. And it was a good choice: quiet, beautiful area, not far from the center, breakfast is brought to the room.
🏠 Two-level apartments include:
- On the ground floor there is a living room with a large table, the first bathroom and a kitchen with the necessary appliances – a stove, a fridge, a microwave and a toaster.
- On the second floor there is a bedroom with balcony and the second bathroom.
There are 2 large beds in the bedroom, enough space for a company of 4 adults, which allows you to save a little if you are 4 while being on holidays in the Philippine Islands.
In general, the apartments have no complaints, and we can safely recommend Haisa Apartment for accommodation to stay on the island of Busuanga.
💳 We booked apartments through the website booking.com, the cost was $ 74 per night.
I’d like to pay your attention on the fact that the cheapest hotels during our trip to the Philippines were on Busuanga Island, due to the fact that this is not a too popular tourist place yet.
🏠 As I mentioned above, there are no hotels and resorts on Coron Island, Palawan. Instead of it all the tourists rent accomodations in Coron Town on Busuanga Island.
Though there is not so many accommodations on Busuanga, every tourist can always find something he’d like to stay at on Busuanga Island: from guesthouses and cheap hotels for backpackers to luxurious hotels and beach resorts which offer their guests personal activities and fishing around Coron Island.
Here is the list of the most popular vacation rentals of different price segment on Busuanga
💰 Budget accommodations
From $14 per night – Busuanga Seadive Resort, with a rating of 7,5 points.
One of the cheapest accommodations to stay in Coron on Busuanga, a too popular place. The most simple hotel for unfussy tourists. Anyway, it has a perfect location and a dive center, which is comfortable if you want to go in for diving near Coron Island.
From $32 per night – Palawan SandCastles, with rating of 6,8 points.
Located on the opposite side of Busuanga rather far from Coron Island, it’s an eco-friendly and peaceful accommodation in Busuanga. Eco-lodge in Palawan SandCastles is a great place for a hideaway holiday with beautiful nature. There is a small lagoon at the island nearby – a perfect place for swimming and sunbathing.
From $44 per night – Sanctuaria Treehouses, with rating of 7,9 points.
The hotel is located in Concepcion, Sanctuaria Treehouses ia an unique place with a garden and terrace. This is a good location to run out of the city and get into the nature. All the rooms are unique, for example you can rent a treehouse or a house of a hobbit!
From $47 per night – Casa Coron Hotel, with rating of 8,0 points.
💰💰 Mid-range accommodations
From $60 per night – Coron Hilltop View Resort, with rating of 7,0 points.
The hotel is located not far from Coron Town but you have to take a tricycle to get there. You can have a rest in hotel near the pool. The staff of the resort will help you to arrange all the tours across Busuanga and Coron Islands.
From $72 per night – Cashew Grove Beach Resort, with rating of 8,5 points.
Located on the opposite side of Busuanga 40 km away from Coron Town, Cashew Grove Beach Resort with private beach offers accommodations on Busuanga. There’s a swimming pool, guests can enjoy meals at the restaurant or have a drink at the swim-up pool bar. Very good choice for family or couples who want a perfect vacation with nature.
From $88 per night – La Natura Resort, with rating of 8,7 points.
The hotel is just a 10-minute drive from Coron Town and it’s popular with tourists. Located in a very quiet place with beautiful nature around, La Natura Resort offers the guests massage services or rent a motorbike to explore the area around Coron. Island hopping tours and dives can also be arranged at additional charge.
From $93 per night – Coron Westown Resort, with rating of 7,9 points.
A hotel with 2 large outdoor swimming pools. Guests can have a barbeque or a karaoke session or simply lounge by the outdoor gazebos at the poolside. A wide spread of international and local dishes can be enjoyed at Coron Westown Café. Cosy rooms with with a great view of the sea and mountains from the window.
💰💰💰 Luxury accommodations
From $122 per night – Coron Soleil Garden Resort, with rating of 8,6 points.
Situated in Coron Town, Coron Soleil Garden Resort is close to all the activities. The resort has an outdoor pool and views of the pool, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar. Actually it’s a gorgeous lovely accommodation.
From $169 per night – Ekhaya Busuanga Island Palawan, with rating of 9,2 points.
Located in Barangay Concepcion, Ekhaya Busuanga Island Palawan features a private beach area and an outdoor infinity pool overlooking Busuanga Bay and the surrounding islands. The accommodation offers barbecue facilities on site, along with a poolside private kitchen and bar. Guests can enjoy activities such as island-hopping, canoeing, diving and snorkelling during their stay.
From $279 per night – Club Paradise Resort Palawan, with rating of 8,3 points.
Situated on a separate small island near Busuanga Island, it’s a really paradise resort. This beachfront property offers a 24-hour outdoor pool and water sports. The resort can arrange Coron island tours and beach activities, while Dugong Dive Centre offers diving courses.
From $300 per night – Busuanga Bay Lodge, with rating of 8,8 points.
It’s an extremely popular hotel – 2017 Tripadviser Traveller’s Choice. Though it’s located in south-western part of the island 1 hour drive from Coron Town, the guests have many entertainments here. In Busuanga Bay Lodge the guests can enjoy fishing, diving, motorized watersports like jetskiing, water skiing, wake surfing, banana boating and non-motorized watersports like stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking. The staff of Busuanga Bay Lodge helps to organize Busuanga Island Tours to Calauit Safari Park, Pass Island, Lusong Gunboat and etc., Coron Island Tours and In-land Hopping including Maquinit Hotspring, Concepcion Falls, Coron Town and Sunset Cruise. If you prefer active sports you can go in for walking and jogging near the resorts, mountain biking, trekking.
From $496 per night – Paolyn Floating House Restaurant.
The closest to Coron Island accommodation. Actually this is a floating house for 10 people which is located near Coron Island. At least this is unusual, and I guess people who stay here will remember this experience for a long time.
See All Busuanga Island Vacation Rentals, Apartments (with Photos + Prices)
If you do not like any of the above listed accommodations – you can find a hotel or resort to stay in Coron, Busuanga here:
✓ Please note that in the Philippines you pay an additional tax of about 20% for accomodation, so the total cost will often be higher than the cost per night indicated on the sites.
How to Rent a Boat to Visit Beautiful Places of Palawan Near Busuanga Island
To go to Coron Island adventures itinerary and to visit all the bays, lakes, beaches and places for snorkeling near Busuanga Island in the Philippines, you need a boat.
To go to Coron you can join the group of other tourists and enjoy the group package tours with the established itinerary. Tourists can get booklets with a description of group boat tours in Busuanga airport. You can also get the information about group island hopping tours from Busuanga at every step on the central street in Coron Town.
The second way to get a boat tour – is to drive to the port of Coron Town on your own and to rent a boat to Coron, Palawan with your own itinerary.
Individual boat costs more than to go with a group. But for us individual trip seems to be optimal — impressions from the beauty of the Philippines will be much brighter, because you can make a Coron Island itinerary based on your own interests and change it depending on the circumstances (for example, you can change the order of visiting the attractions, if the guide sees that in the place you are going to, there are too many tourists).
How Much Is It to Rent a Boat?
So to get to Coron Island, Palawan we took an individual boat, but not in the port. We agreed about a boat right at the reception of our apartments. It was even more expensive, but the lunch was already included in the price. Below are the rates of Coron Island hopping by the end of 2017.
To rent a boat for Coron Island hopping day tour with your own itinerary cost us 6800 pesos ($136) for 4 people:
- rent a boat with a guide — 3000 pesos (60$)
- lunch — 700 pesos (14$)
- rent masks for snorkeling — 300 pesos (6$)
- entrance fees — 2800 pesos (56$)
To rent a boat for a long distance to Malcapuya Island cost us 7050 pesos ($ 141) for 4 people:
- rent a boat with a guide — 4500 pesos (90$)
- lunch — 700 pesos (14$)
- rent masks for snorkeling — 350 pesos (7$)
- entrance fees — 1500 pesos (30$)
Boat tours from Busuanga Island usually last until 4-5 pm, so if lunch is not included in the boat rental price, be sure to take the food by yourself, because you will swim a lot and you will have to return your energy.
I’d like to pay your attention, that entrance fees are common everywhere in the Philippines, and you have to pay for visiting all natural attractions, including beaches, places for snorkeling, etc.
During the island hopping from Busuanga Island the entrance fees were:
- the 1st day — 700 pesos (14$) per person
- the 2nd day — 375 pesos (7,5$) per person
If you go on a group boat tour, these expenses are already included in the tour price, if you rent a boat individually, please note that entrance fees are charged separately.
The rates for group boat tour packages in Coron
Below are the rates for group boat tour packages. It’s cheaper to join the group of other travelers with established Coron itinerary. The mentioned prices are per 1 person:
Coron Island and Lakes Tour (Tour A) – CYC Beach, Coral Garden, Atwayan Beach (lunch), Hidden Lagoon, Quin Reef, Kayangan Lake – PHP 1,025 ($ 20)
Coron Ultimate Tour – Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, Siete Pecados Marine Park, Banul Beach (lunch), Snorkeling at Skeleton Wreck, Malwawey Reef & Coral Garden, CYC Beach – PHP 1,950 ($ 39)
Coron Island Escapade Tour (Tour C) – Malcapuya, Bulog Dos, Banana Island – PHP 1,650 ($ 33)
Coron Reefs and Wrecks Island Hopping (Tour D) – Bulog Dos Island, Pass Island (lunch), Lusong Coral Garden, Lusong Gun Boat Shipwreck – PHP 1,600 ($ 32)
Coron Adventure Package
There’s also an opportunity to book Coron Adventure package, for a company of at least 4 people for at least 3 nights to stay on Busuanga. It’s a convenient option for those who do not want to worry about the days on Busuanga. Those who choose Coron Adventure package, are met in the airport and taken to the accommodation, within the next few days tourists enjoy tours to the most famous Coron destinations – Siete Pecados, Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon and etc. The price of the package includes:
- Coron Island tour
- Coron Islands Escapade tour
- Airport transfer
- Daily breakfast and lunch
Coron Island Hopping – Tips on What to Take with You on Boat? [Infographic]
It doesn’t matter if you take the boat individually or go with a group boat tour, here is a small reminder of what you should take with you to feel comfortable during Coron Island Hopping:
- Drinking water. If you rent individual boat and order lunch – make sure you have enough drinking water.
- Waterproof cases / bag
- Masks for snorkeling, aqua shoes
- A set of extra clothes. The weather is changeable, so if you get wet under the rain it’s better to change your clothes, because it might be cold to continue traveling in the wind.
- Memory cards
- Money. If you go on island hopping individually, you have to pay entrance fees + you need money to buy fresh coconuts and etc. on the beaches
Palawan: Best Places to Visit Near Busuanga Island on the Map
Where to Go and What to See in the Palawan, Philippines Near Busuanga Island
🌴 Beaches, Lakes and Other Beautiful Places on Coron Island, Palawan — One-day Itinerary
The main idea of this article of our blog is to help you make a perfect trip to Coron Island, so below is the list of Coron Island destinations.
We suggest such an itinerary of Coron Island hopping:
From this place we began our trip to the surroundings of Busuanga Island and acquaintance with the Philippine nature in its classical sense. And since we left Busuanga for Coron Island day tour much later than all the group boat tours, we were lucky to be in Twin Lagoon alone.
Twin Lagoon is an extraordinarily beautiful place in one of the Coron Islands coves in the Philippines where majestic cliffs, covered with greenery, tower above the emerald water. A feature of the lagoon is the mixing of fresh and seawater inside of it.
Lagoon is one of the most famous attractions on Coron Island, and perhaps in the Philippines, so Twin Lagoon is always in the TOP among what is worth seeing on the island of Coron.
Our boat stopped on the shallows 50 meters away from the first lagoon.
- Entrance fee at Twin Lagoon — 200 pesos (4$) per person
We put on life jackets, took masks and went to swim and snorkel in the first lagoon, accompanied by our guide.
You can get to the second lagoon either by the stairs or at low tide you can swim under the rock under the stairs.
If you decide to swim – you need to be extremely careful not to hit your head with stones – the rock is quite sharp!
The area for swimming in the second lagoon is much smaller.
Thanks to the clear water, you can see the bottom, corals and fish, which makes the lagoon pleasant for easy snorkeling.
Snorkeling in the Philippines is rich for impressions, Coral Garden is one of such wonderful places. Coral reef near the coast of Coron Island is surprising with its diversity and variegation.
After you dive from the boat and swim a couple of dozen meters, you will find yourself in an underwater fairy tale and understand why this place deserved so many enthusiastic reviews.
We were surrounded by corals, colorful fish, sea urchins, anemones and during the snorkeling time flew by unnoticed!
- Fee for snorkeling in Coral Garden — 200 pesos (4$) per person
After snorkeling in Coral Garden and swimming in Twin Lagoon we felt a little tired and so we decided to have lunch.
Staying on a boat near Coral Garden we were served a classic Filipino lunch:
- grilled fish
- grilled chicken
- rice with sauce
Lunch with such a scenery around left bright impressions on us. It would seem ordinary fish and ordinary fruits, but we kept remembering it for a long time.
A popular place for snorkeling and diving in Coron Bay in the Philippines, interest in which is caused by one of the sunken Japanese ships of the Second World War.
- Fee for diving and snorkeling at Skeleton Wreck — 100 pesos (2$) per person
The water is so clean and transparent that the skeleton of the ship, which is at a depth of 5 to 22 meters, is visible from the boat, if you bend slightly to the surface of the water.
Skeleton Wreck is the perfect diving place in the Philippines for beginners. There is a rope from the buoy on the surface of the water to the ship, which you can use to get to the depth.
And if you choose snorkeling, it will give you no less pleasure. The ship’s skeleton is overgrown with corals and, in combination with the surrounding reef and rich underwater world, will surely surprise you with its beauty.
But unfortunately we didn’t have a stop near Skeleton Wreck. Coming to this place, we saw a large number of tourist boats, and accordingly a large number of people swimming near Skeleton Wreck.
We thought that it would not be a pleasure for us to spend time in a crowd. So after a discussion with our guide we decided to skip Skeleton Wreck and continue our Coron Island cruise overtaking all these groups to go to the next place in our program.
The beach of Coron Island with breathtaking views, which is required to visit, if you are going on vacation to the Philippine Islands near Busuanga.
Crystal clear warm water, fine white sand, volcanic rocks that seem to grow out of the water, as well as inviting Coron Island beach huts to have a rest, where you can relax in shade — all this offers you to spend a couple of hours on Banul (Banol) beach.
- Fee for staying at Banul beach with breathtaking views — 100 pesos (2$) per person
Enjoy 11 Coron, Palawan images from Banul Beach
For even more enjoyment you can buy the freshest coconut for 50 pesos ($ 1) or have lunch, and since there are a lot of tables on the beach — probably this is a popular place where group boat tours are taken for lunch on Coron Island.
But our company here, as well as almost everywhere where we were on the first day of traveling around the surroundings of Coron island, was fortunate to be in absolute solitude, and we could enjoy the time.
⭐ Banul (Banol) beach — a paradise place to spend time on Coron Island.
The lake was the final point on our list “what to visit in the Philippines near the Busuanga and Coron islands in one day.”
Video from Kayangan Lake
To continue Coron Island exploration we arrived at the lake at about 4pm, when mostly all of the group boat tours had already left. Our guide advised to make Kayangan Lake either the first or the last point in the route along the island of Coron to avoid crowds of tourists.
An incredibly beautiful lake lies among volcanic rocks, and to get to it you have to overcome the path in 367 steps, the path goes first up, and then down.
- Entrance fee on Kayangan Lake — 300 pesos (6$) per person
⭐ At the top point of the path there is a place where you can take a photo of the landscape of the bay. Photos from this place are often used to show the beauty of Coron Island.
Kayangan Lake is perhaps the most famous attraction of Coron Island and one of the most famous landmarks in the Philippines.
Near the shore for the convenience of tourists the wooden walkways with benches are equipped. You can leave your things there while swimming in the emerald waters of Kayangan Lake.
To the left of the entrance to the lake, at the end of the wooden path there is a cave where you can swim inside. Please note that you will have to swim in the life jacket (or at least to keep it in your hands), this is an obligatory rule of visiting the lake.
Also, at the time of our visiting Kayangan Lake in September 2017, a large part of the water was surrounded by buoys, and it was forbidden to swim behind them.
But this didn’t disappoint us, it was a complete pleasure to swim and snorkel in the lake. Kayangan is considered to be the cleanest lake in the Philippines!
It was necessary to overcome 367 steps of the way back to get from the lake back to the boat, it sounds not so difficult, but believe me, it was a good workout.
In conclusion, I’d like to say that due to its relief and the surrounding rocks of indescribable beauty, Kayangan Lake produced one of the strongest impressions on our company and we strongly recommend Kayangan to a compulsory visit!
After swimming in Kayangan Lake, we, inspired by the impressions of what we saw in the Philippines during the day, went back to Coron Town on Busuanga Island.
We were glad to have Coron Island hopping experience, we got an incredible amount of pleasant emotions during the day!
Our boat came to the port of Coron at about 5 pm. Group boat trips usually finish earlier.
That’s how on the first day of our stay in the Philippines we realized that we need to get up as early as possible, since the light-day can simply end when we still have many more plans for it.
Barracuda Lake is another must-visit place on Coron, Palawan, but due to certain circumstances we could not get to the lake.
On all sides Barracuda Lake is surrounded by high usual for this region cliffs. Nevertheless, it is much easier to get to Barracuda than to Kayangan Lake — you should overcome only about 30 steps up and 40 down.
The water in the lake has a beautiful blue tint and the depth in some places reaches 30 meters. This is a favorite place near Busuanga for both divers and tourists, who like to swim and snorkel. That’s why it is recommended to visit Barracuda early in the morning, at this time there is a chance not to catch a crowd of people on the lake.
🏊 The Best Beaches and Places to Snorkel Near the Island of Busuanga in Palawan
The second day of our trip to the Philippines near Coron Island we decided to spend enjoying the beaches on the farthest islands, the main destination was Malcapuya Island (one of Calamian Islands) with it’s beach.
The day before in the evening we agreed with the hostess of the apartments about renting a boat.
To rent a boat for a long distance to the island of Malcapuya cost us 7050 pesos (141$) for 4 people:
- rent a boat with a guide — 4500 pesos (90$)
- lunch — 700 pesos (14$)
- rent masks for snorkeling — 350 pesos (7$)
- fees — 1500 pesos (30$)
We left port of Coron Town at 9 o’clock in the morning and spent about 1.5 hours sailing.
Coming to Malcapuya island, we were cheered up, because there were no tourist boats near the island yet. It meant that we would be alone on the island at least for a while.
Boats usually stop not on the main beach, but on the other side of the island, so for us it was an intrigue – how does Malcapuya beach look like?
We left our boat and found ourselves on a small beach – a typical picture of the Philippines could not but rejoice us – the purest emerald water, white sand and palm trees, so we went further to the beach of Malcapuya.
Enjoy images from Malcapuya beach – Coron, Palawan
After we overcome only about 100 meters of palm grove, we were at the beginning of Malcapuya beach.
💘 And I do not lie if I say that this beach immediately won our hearts and our love for the Philippines increased many times.
A wide strip of snow-white fine sand, clear warm water, picturesque rocks on the sides of the beach, palm trees with fresh coconuts being taken from them — all this made us stay longer.
The beach of Malcapuya is quite long, so even if group tours come to the island – I guess there is enough space for everyone.
We spent about 4 hours on the beach, and probably we were lucky again, but during that time no group boat tours came to the island. I do not take into account two small companies, because they came to snorkel, and they were taken by boat a little further from the island.
By the way, if you have a lot of time on Malcapuya Island and you want to snorkel – just go forward along the shallows, then swim a little more and you’ll open a colorful underwater world.
There are no waves on Malcapuya beach, and when there are some – there are no tourist tours here, so those who like to swim on waves will be upset on Malcapuya. Like all popular beaches on the Philippine islands, Malcapuya has beach huts where you can hide from the sun and have a snack.
The beach is quite long, so if you prefer not to sit still but walk along the beach – there is an excellent opportunity for this on Malcapuya.
In conclusion, I would say that Malcapuya beach will satisfy many interests, so if you stay on Busuanga Island for more than one day, it’s definitely worth coming here!
After visiting Malcapuya island, we planned to visit Ditaytayan island, but the boatman with the guide refused to follow our route, saying that Ditaytayan is far away, and we may run out of fuel.
We didn’t believe them but there was nothing to do but to offer another route.
And then we offered to go to the island which was opposite Malcapuya.
We went to Cheron after the island of Malcapuya and it was an improvisation in the route of our trip to the islands.
Cheron Island is directly opposite Malcapuya Island. We were attracted by a plat of white sand, outgoing into the sea. After we came to the island, we did not see anybody at all. In 10 minutes, there appeared a man who said that we need to pay fee.
- Fee for a stop on Cheron Island — 500 pesos (10$) for 4 persons
Cheron island is another one of the many places for snorkeling.
The seabed is dug by moray eels – and therefore there is a great chance to meet these not very attractive fish.
We saw the moray eels several times, they got out in surprise when someone brought the GoPro to the holes where they live. Note that if you are going to walk on the bottom – it is better to do it in coral shoes.
We were happy to snorkel while our lunch was being prepared on the boat. For lunch we had:
- grilled fish
- rice with sauce
🍣 And a spontaneous dessert.
The fact is that while we were snorkeling, our boatman also dived with a mask, at first we did not pay any attention to it. Later, we noticed that he moved to the boat with his catch.
The boatman opened large seashells using a knife, took out mollusk and ate them immediately.
When he noticed our interest, he suggested us to try mollusk also. And we, the girls, agreed 🙂
The boatman opened the next shell, took out a mollusk and Veronika and I cut it into 2 pieces. The mollusk was practically tasteless, semi-solid, with a slight smell of the sea.
We did not have any negative consequences from such a delicacy and we had unforgettable impressions!
After lunch we walked along Cheron Island a little bit, and it was also better to do it in coral shoes, because it’s not very convenient to walk along the stones and broken corals.
There is a beach hut on the island, beyond which is a path up to the hill.
There are 2 houses on the hill, and due to the fact that they look very different compared to typical Filipino houses, we decided that these houses are for tourists to rent.
There is a beautiful view of the sea through the green bushes of the island from the hill.
Where Exactly You Do Not Need to Pay a Fee to Snorkel Near the Island of Busuanga
On the way from Cheron Island back to Busuanga we asked the guide to stop the boat on the shallows so that we could just swim in the open sea.
We stopped in front of the already familiar Malcapuya Island, and it seemed that it was a stone’s throw away, but in fact we were far away.
We jumped from the boat, snorkeled with masks again, examining corals and colorful marine inhabitants, it was interesting to spend time in the Sulu sea quite far from all the nearby islands.
A pleasant bonus of swimming in the open sea was, of course, the absence of all kinds of fees, so popular in the Philippines.
Calauit Safari Park
Coron Calauit Safari and Beach Tour – Calauit Safari, North Cay or Pamilacan Island – PHP 3,000 ($ 60)
If you stay on Busuanga for more than 2 days, Calauit Safari is worth visiting. Calauit Safari Park is a game reserve and wildlife sanctuary located in Calauit Island. It is known for its wildlife sanctuary with a substantial population of African animals from Kenya, including giraffes, zebras, and antelopes, as well as local fauna that all roam freely in a game reserve created in the 1970s.
The Calauit island safari park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Philippines. The climate in the Philippines almost similar to that of Kenya and because of that the animals have flourished in the park. Among the animals there you can watch giraffes (you can also feed them), antelopes, zebras, deer, crocodiles and etc.
You can either arrange an individual tour at the accommodation you stay or join a group tour to Calauit Safari Park.
Maquinit Hot Springs
It’s a popular and unique place on the island of Busuanga. To get to the Maquinit Hot Springs from Coron Town you need to rent a tricycle. I advise you to take tricycle immediately for the road in both directions, since it might be a problem to find a tricycle back after staying at the Hot Springs.
The cost of renting a tricycle to Maquinit Hot Springs starts at PHP 300 ($6). It takes about 30 minutes to get to Hot Springs from Coron Town.
Entrance fee to Maquinit Hot Springs – PHP 200 per person.
The waters of Maquinit Hot Springs are especially popular in the evening – tourists come here to relax after day Coron island hopping and sunset climbing the mountain Tapyas. The Springs are called hot, because they are really hot – the water springs drain from the nearby Dalar mountain, which is a dormant volcano. That’s why the water of the Maquinit Springs is not warm, but hot, with a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius.
The working hours of Maquinit Hot Springs are from 6 am to 10 pm.
You can stay after 10 pm, as many, people do. It’s pleasant to stay at Hot Springs at a later time – when the coolness of the night air contrasts with hot water. The only difference is that after 10 pm they turn off the lighting at the territory of the Springs.
710 Steps and Worth It — Mt. Tapyas, Coron Traveller Reviews
Before our trip to the Philippines, we certainly heard about the beauty of the Philippine sunsets. And after we arrived on Busuanga in Coron Town, we asked where the best place to watch the sunset is — this place is mount Tapyas.
To get to the viewpoint of Mt Tapyas you must overcome 710 steps.
At the beginning of the stairs there is a parking, where tricycles bring new tourists who want to get on the viewpoint and take those who have already come down from the mountain.
If you have no desire to go to the bottom of the mountain on foot – you can always drive up on a tricycle. But from the beginning of the mountain to the viewpoint you can get only by yourself on foot.
🚶 There is no way to get to the mountain except on foot. There are no cable cars and trains in Coron, Busuanga which you can often use in more developed countries.
You do not need to pay fee to enter the Tapyas viewpoint, this is one of the few entertainments in Crown, the price for which is 0 pesos. And so, we began our walk.
The stairs is quite wide, during our way it was almost sunset, so it was quite lively, but with no crowds and it was comfortable to go up. I mean, as far as it could be comfortable, considering that at 5 pm it was still quite hot and especially stuffy.
On the way up, the stairs now and then is interrupted by the areas, where enterprising Filipinos trade the usual tourist assortment — hydro backpacks and waterproof covers for phones.
But not everywhere, in some places there are benches where you can take a breath, rest or just stay to watch the sunset, just like our friends did.
At the very last area, the stairs become a bit narrower and higher.
Overcoming the last steps, we had only one thought “finally”, we felt like after a good workout. To the right of the stairs at the top of the mountain there is a viewpoint.
At the time of our stay, there were quite a lot of people, all photographed themselves and the sunset.
But if you turn left after the stairs – it is quite possible to stay alone there, the main thing is to take a plaid on which you can sit and even have a small picnic.
We stayed on the viewpoint, not far from the entrance, and at the same time watched the sunset and behind the faces of those who had only climbed the viewpoint — tourists’ reaction was very interesting!
😎 Some fell prostrate and started shouting “Hallelujah”, some were laughing hysterically, some were crying, but all people were united by one thing – they were just as tired as we were
After that, we thought that the idea of organizing a shower near the viewpoint would certainly have been successful 🙂
But back to the sunset, after it the sky turned pink and orange, creating an incredible view of Coron Town and the surrounding islands.
We did not regret that we climbed to the top of the Mt Tapyas and for sure we will remember this evening for a long time.
We went down when it was already dark, but there was no problem, because the stairs is illuminated, by the way, in the Philippines it gets dark after sunset very quickly.
Halfway we met our friends and went to dinner, discussing the beauty of the sunset, but they saw it not with such a wide panorama, rather than we saw it.
At the bottom of the stairs, at the parking, we were suggested to go to hot springs, but we preferred to take a tricycle and just go to have dinner.
Where to Eat Delicious and Cheap Food in Coron Town on Busuanga Island?
The story about where to have meal in Coron, Busuanga I’ll begin by confirming the fact I read before our trip — the Filipinos are very bad at cooking.
Those who like to taste local cuisine will have to accept the fact that there is simply no local cuisine in the Philippines. Therefore, many advise to eat in cafes with European cuisine.
You can get cheap food in Coron Town practically at every step, but it is a big question whether it will be tasty and cooked in cleanliness. So we visited so-called tested places – which had positive reviews.
We had breakfast in our apartments, from the menu we chose:
- pancakes with syrup
- fried eggs with bacon and rice
- fruits – bananas or mangoes
- tea or coffee
In the afternoon we sailed on a boat tour from Busuanga island, so it was convenient for us to take a boat with lunch included in the rental price. We only discussed preferences in food and the guide bought the products by himself, we did not have to worry about it.
A typical lunch on the boat for us was:
- grilled chicken and fish
- rice with sauce
- bottled water
What about dinner – we had it in a cafe. It was a big question for us – where to go?
Yes, it may seem that there are a lot of cafes in Coron Town on Busuanga, but the way they look and especially the kind of kitchen with obvious unsanitary conditions is unlikely to lure you inside.
For choosing a cafe for dinner, we used Trip Advisor
. And we started with the third place among the cafes in Coron Town.
🍷 Reviews and Prices of the Cafes of Coron Town in the Philippines:
KT’s Sinugba Sa Balay cafe.
There is no building, just kitchen and tables under the roof. Right next to the entrance there is a chalkboard with a menu where you need to make an order.
We were hungry, so we quickly decided on the order and sat down at a table. The waiter brought the drinks quite quickly.
- coconuts — 40 pesos (<1$)
- fruit shakes — 100 pesos (2$)
Then we had to wait for the food. There were few visitors, but our expectation lasted about an hour.
We even managed to see the rat running near our table, which of course could not but embarrass.
And finally, the waiter brought us the dishes:
- pasta with seafood — 180 pesos (3,5$)
- grilled fish with rice and vegetables — 380 pesos (7,5$)
Everything seemed quite tasty to us.
But there was one nuance, the Filipinos are not very neat, and this cafe was no exception.
A little distracting from the topic – I advise to have wet wipes with you all the time — in addition to their direct purpose, it can be useful to wipe out cutlery, and such a need arises in the Philippines quite often.
Altrove Coron cafe
Cafe is on the second floor and after we climbed the stairs, there was the first surprise — before entering the main hall, all visitors take off their shoes and leave it on the shelves, yes, all the visitors stay without shoes in Altrove Coron, so the floor is clean 🙂
There were not many tables in Altrove, and when we entered, we took the last free one. There is Italian cuisine in Altrove, so we ordered not only cappuccino ($2,5) but also pizza and fruit shakes.
The atmosphere in Altrove is cozy due to the muted light, waiters are attentive, and we liked the food, so we definitely decided to come back here for dinner the next day.
And the day after we climbed the already familiar stairs and left the shoes on the shelves at the entrance to Altrove. Since we came earlier than the day before, about half of the tables were still free and we had the opportunity to choose a place cozier than in the middle of the hall.
Feeling hungry after a long snorkeling during the day, we quickly decided on the order:
- pizza with tuna — 350 pesos (7$)
- risotto with seafood — 350 pesos (7$)
- pasta with crab — 350 pesos (7$)
- pasta with seafood — 350 pesos (7$)
- cappuccino — 120 pesos (2,5 $)
While we were making the order, all free tables got occupied, what shows the popularity of Altrove in Coron.
We were pleased with the dinner, everyone liked the food and, closing our eyes to such shortcomings as broken edges at the plates, we recommend this place to visit.
What about broken dishes – believe me, this is nothing compared to the shortcomings of other cafes in Coron Town.
Prices in Altrove are above average in Coron, approximately:
- pasta — 300-350 pesos ($6-7)
- pizza — 320-645 pesos ($6-13)
Ice cream at Pedro’s Gelato
After dinner in Altrove, we wanted an Italian follow-up, and we found in Coron a popular place with Italian ice cream — Pedro’s Gelato.
And we were a little disappointed, having tasted a few tastes. Nothing special, to say the least.
As for the price of ice cream:
The Market in Coron Town, Busuanga
The market in Coron Town is located near the port, from where all the excursion boats depart and where they come back.
Сloser to the port they sell vegetables, meat, then fruits and at the most distant rows – non-food items, among which are clothes, phone cases, hydro backpacks, swimming and snorkeling equipment and even car goods!
The price in Coron Town for full face masks for snorkeling was the lowest in comparison with those we saw later in El Nido, Cebu and Boracay:
- full face mask for snorkeling — 1800 pesos ($36)
But back to the products, during our first visit to the market we went through the vegetable row and to be honest at the end we stepped intensely, holding our breath – the smells in the market were hideous.
We did not stop to make a purchase, because in addition to the smells, the appearance of the goods was also poorly attractive, solid unsanitary.
But the next day we wanted to buy fruit, so we made another attempt to visit Coron market.
We did not walk there for a long time, we bought:
- fresh mango — 180 pesos ($3,5) per kilo
- сушеный манго — 180 песо ($3,5) for a pack of 200gr
About dried mango – the best, of the ones we tested, is 7d cebu mango.
Summarizing the story about the market – it’s worth going, if you want fruit or if you prefer to cook yourself, but you need to be ready for indescribable feelings.
Fast Ferry from Coron to El Nido, Palawan: Story and Impressions of the Trip
The ferry to El Nido leaves the port of Coron Town at 12 pm. We thought that we wouldn’t have time to rent a boat one more time to go to the islands and come back till that time, so we decided to get a good sleep, take a slow breakfast, pack the bags and take a tricycle to the port.
We had to come to the port before 11 am, so that to get our tickets in the office of the carrier’s company.
💳 We bought the tickets on the website 2 weeks before our trip to the Philippines.
Here is the link .
- The cost of tickets in October 2017 during our self-planned trip to the Philippines was 1760 pesos ($35) per person.
After we checked out from Haisa Apartments, we ordered a tricycle, loaded the bags and went to the port.
As it turned out on the way, our driver did not know where the office of the Montenegro boat company was, so a couple of times we drove in the wrong direction 🙂
The office was just near the port, we got tickets, drove up a little more to the entrance to the port and said goodbye to the driver of tricycle.
Since we had to spend almost 4 hours on the boat and we did not have any food with us – we went to buy snacks and water in shops next to the port.
There is no place to buy food in the port and in the waiting hall, so it’s better to have a snack with you.
When entering the port, you must show the ticket and pay entrance fee. There is the announcement “no fee – no entry”.
- Entrance fee to the port of Coron Town — 20 pesos ($0,4) per person.
After the payment there was the baggage inspection. And then we went to the waiting hall.
There were only chairs in the waiting hall, no place even to buy coffee. Fortunately, there was at least wi-fi 🙂
At the appointed time, with no delay, the departure of the boat was announced, and everybody went to the boat. Frankly speaking, it was rather unusual to see a good high-speed boat after small self-made boats of Coron Town.
We were also pleased by everything inside of the boat – two areas with soft seats and air conditioning promised a convenient trip. The undoubted advantage was that the boat was only half full, so we could take comfortable places and relax.
The trip was really comfortable, the boat went quite and I did not need any nausea tablets, which made me happy.
During the boat trip it was possible to buy coffee and biscuits. In general, we spent 4 hours of the trip with benefit – someone was asleep, and someone was cleaning the camera’s and GoPro’s memory cards from the mass of bad photos (:
🎫 The schedule of Montenegro ferry:
- Coron Town 12 pm — 3.30 pm El Nido
- El Nido 6 am — 9.30 am Coron Town
Conclusion of Our Trip to Busuanga Island
Summarizing the story of our days on Busuanga and Coron islands in the Philippines, I can say that these places are incredible and that they immediately won our hearts.
We started our journey across the Philippines from Busuanga and Coron Islands and the surrounding area, and these places made the most impression on us, the memories of which still cause a pleasant smile.
And since it was the beginning of our trip to the Philippines, we compared all the following islands to Busuanga and Coron (Busuanga / Coron vs El Nido – Palawan, Cebu, Boracay). As a result, we came to the conclusion that:
- There are the fewest “benefits of civilization” on Busuanga, as the infrastructure on the island is less developed than on other islands (such as Palawan, Cebu and of course Boracay).
- Busuanga Island is the least developed for tourism.
- At the right time, you can visit the attractions near Busuanga and Coron islands in perfect solitude. Just imagine: you can snorkel among the colorful corals with only your fellow travellers, or spend a few hours on the beach with snow-white sand under palm trees with the freshest coconuts. No one else is around, only your friends. This is a dream that is unlikely to come true on Boracay, but you can easily make it real on Coron.
- The cost of renting accomodations, buying food, renting a boat and more on Busuanga is lower than on the other islands we managed to visit.
⭐ In conclusion, I would like to say that we strongly recommend visiting the Philippines’ Busuanga and Coron islands and the surrounding areas!
You will surely leave a piece of your heart with these landscapes, just like the thousands of tourists who have already been here.
We wish you an unforgettable self-planned vacation in the Philippines! Nastia & Andrei