I have to admit, when I first visited Coron, Palawan, I was too unprepared. I didn’t do much research. Maybe because I wanted this trip to be a spontaneous one. It worked for me. There’s that thrill of discovering about the island without any expectation.
But if you are the type who just needs to be prepared and know what to expect, what to do and where to go, here’s my little set of tips for you. Being prepared will help you estimate the budget you will need for your vacation. And if you are on vacation for just two days or so, then you have to make the most of it.
Transport from airport
Some hotels will offer transport services from the airport at reasonable rates. But there is a better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or inn. There are vans that will take tourists to their hotels. Fee is around 50 pesos per person. This is a good rate compared to maybe around 300 pesos charged by hotels.
Coron is a must-see for its underwater beauty. It is best for snorkeling and diving. The many islands, called Calamian Islands, are home to thick corals and diverse species of fish and underwater creatures. There are many island hopping tours available from different tour agencies.
Many of the island tours require a number of people. If you are traveling alone or with only a few friends, you can join group tours. The tour agencies would schedule tours that are in demand. This would be a great way of meeting new people, who could potentially be good friends.
It is an advantage if you are traveling with a big group. You can easily choose the tour you want even if not enough people are signing up for it. For example, if there are not enough people signing up for the Culion tour, you can avail this for your group. Note that if your group is small, the per person fee would be higher.
Island hopping tour rates range from 900 pesos to 1500 per person, depending on the type of tour you want to join. Rates will usually depend on the number of people joining the tour. The fewer the number of people for the tour, the bigger the rate per person.
DIY Island Hopping Tours
You can organize your own island hopping trip in Coron. A DIY island hopping trip will definitely cost less than a tour arranged by a travel agency. But you have to be prepared. You will have to find a boatman to take you to the islands. You also have to negotiate the price.
The boatman and his companion will prepare the food for you, but you need to buy ingredients from the market. If you are a market junkie, then this would be a great experience for you. You’ll enjoy the low prices of fresh fish.
ATMs, Credit Cards
Coron town was not what I was picturing in my mind. I thought it would be something like Puerto Princesa, which took about a day to tour. Coron town is very small. There is one ATM at the center of the town. Credit cards are not yet accepted in many stores and restos, so bring cash.
Other Things to Do in Coron
Coron is such a pleasant place that you may want to stay for many days. You can go up Mount Tapyas one morning, preferably before sunrise, to get a breathtaking view of the islands.
There is also a hot spring facility here called Maquinit hot spring. It would be great to end a day of a tiring island hopping tour with a dip in the hot spring. Maquinit hot spring closes at 8 pm, so don’t wait until too late in the night to go there. Tricycles will be willing to take you there.