Discover the islands, beaches, lagoons, and diving spots of Coron in Palawan. Find out what makes it a top destination by checking out its various beaches, diving spots, inland attractions, and activities. Read on to learn everything you need to know when planning the ultimate travel itinerary.
Being one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, you will often see Coron painted as a tropical paradise like no other. Coron enchants every visitor that steps foot on this charming island town with its clear waters, sunny hues, white sand beaches, private islands with Philippines luxury resorts, some of the best beach resorts in the Philippines, and island hopping in the Philippines.
Find Coron tours and activities you can add to your travel itinerary
Coron is located at the northern tip of Palawan and forms the Calamian group of islands along with Busuanga, Culion, and other islands.
Unlike El Nido that’s famed for its island-hopping experiences and Puerto Princesa for its Puerto Princesa underground river tours, Coron is more known for its unique tourist spots.
Under its azure waters, Coron has includes breathtaking World War II shipwrecks, bright coral reefs, and abundant marine life. But it also has stunning island-hopping adventures, as well as hot and cold spring experiences.
If you’re planning a trip to Coron, this article has got you covered. Take note of all the things that you can do in Coron from this list when planning your itinerary.
1. Swim in Kayangan Lake
You know you’re in Kayangan Lake when you find yourself in awe with the lush scenery, along with the clear and healthy waters where you can jump in.
It’s one of the island’s most recognizable attractions and a part of Coron island-hopping tours that regularly take place from the town. It’s also one of the cleanest bodies of water in Asia.
When your boat docks at the entrance, you’ll be doing a short trek before you can reach this stunning tourist spot in Coron. Take note of the towering limestone formations and turquoise waters as you approach the bay. This view is what makes Palawan so beautiful.
When you reach the cove, walk up a staircase to a viewpoint where you can see the most iconic photo of this attraction. It's the best-known spot in the area and where you can take pictures before going to the lake.
It’s the highlight of the ultimate tour in Coron. Take as many images as you want and don’t forget to ask someone to take a photo of you!
From there, you will walk down to the lake whose brackish water is quite refreshing. The mix of saltwater and freshwater makes the surface of the lake seem mirror-like. It looks deceptively shallow, and you can almost see the bottom from the walking platform.
You can take a dip in its turquoise waters, go freediving, and try to get as close as you can get to the bottom when you try Kayangan Lake excursions. The clearness of the water allows you to see as far as you can above and below when you dive.
2. Take a Dip in Barracuda Lake
Located on the other side of Kayangan Lake is the Barracuda Lake. It’s famous for its diving spot where you can see barracuda fish skeletons on its depths. The bluish-green waters and scenery complement with the melding of salt and fresh water, which is the perfect temperature to swim in.
Barracuda Lake is often included in an island-hopping tour in Coron that leaves town daily.
The boat ride to the lake is scenic; you will see limestone formations towering over the ocean until you reach the docking area. It’s one of the enchanting experiences you can have during your trip to Coron.
Take plenty of photos and videos during your visit before diving into the azure waters. Go freediving to feel the lake’s thermocline or bring scuba gear to dive deeper. The formations surrounding the lake create a magnificent experience.
Barracuda Lake is similar to Kayangan Lake in one aspect — its waters are a mix of fresh and saltwater. However, the difference between the two lakes is that Barracuda Lake is a thermocline.
It means that the temperature of the water changes as you swim up and down. Swimming to as far as you can go to the lake is quite an experience because you will feel the difference in temperature.
3. Explore Siete Pecados
Contrary to its name, which means seven deadly sins in Spanish, Siete Pecados is the nearest and the best snorkeling and diving site in Coron. What’s great about this marine park is that all small seven islands have corals that are still bustling with life along with multiple marine animals.
The area is famous for the vibrant marine life, immediately immersive as you plunge into the water. Siete Pecados is the closest dive site to Coron town proper (Busuanga), and the boats take you all the way to right in the middle of the islets in minutes.
They only need to lower a ladder for you to reach the water or you can jump off and snorkel straight out. This convenience makes Siete Pecados a major part of a Coron day trip, so it is advisable to sail very early in the day.
When you go, the morning sun should showcase the colorful reefs. Tints of apricot, plum, fire red, and velvet green are visible from above water. One can even clearly glimpse the sea bed 30 meters down.
In shallower water, the corals look like a miniature fossilized forest.
Best of all, Siete Pecados is richly populated with tropical angelfish, sea turtles, and squid. Frequently expecting some bread from divers, the fish marvelously swarm around you as though you have entered their current.
Octopi and baby sharks are often seen here as well, with more species coming in and out of their home reefs! There is a rather strong current that pulls along Siete Pecados, so a rope is set along the water to guide snorkelers.
4. Snorkel and Dive in Malcapuya Island
Two hours away from Coron town lies this white sand wonder! The standard island-hopping package that includes Malcapuya is a combination of Coron’s pristine and mostly uninhabited beaches. The other two islands are Bulog Dos Sandbar and Banana Island.
Located an hour from Coron town proper, Malcapuya is one of Culion's best beaches often included in a Coron day escapade. The boat ride can be rough as you sail out through Coron Bay, but the waters surrounding the island will be surprisingly calm.
Privately owned, Malcapuya offers only its western beach for boats to dock. From here, visitors must continue on foot to reach the southern shore.
You will first go up a trail under a grove of cashew trees until the south of beach peeks through. The hike takes mere minutes.
This beach is the island’s longest shoreline comparable to Boracay Island’s White Beach. It also boasts powdery-soft creamy sand. It can get swelteringly hot, though, so for shade, there are a few huts and a line of coconut and palm trees.
The water remains shallow for several meters, suitable for a long swim. Some parts of the beach can be rocky, so it is advisable to wear aqua shoes still.
You can dive or snorkel about 100 meters out and find a large bed of corals with a variety of marine life, including giant clams and clownfish.
If you want to see a panoramic view of the island, there’s a hill you can climb where you can also see the nearby islands. This vantage point also reveals the abundant growth of corals around Malcapuya.
5. Discover the Beauty of Twin Lagoon
There’s more to Twin Lagoon, a popular attraction in a Coron island-hopping package, that meets the eye. Located further inland of Coron Bay, their turquoise waters famously feel alternately warm and chilly as the fresh underground water intermingles with saltwater.
The Tagbanua, which are the caretakers of this tourist attraction, is one of the oldest ethnic groups in the Philippines; their lineage traces back to 16,500 years. They have an official ancestral domain over 22,000 hectares of land and sea in Coron.
It grants them the sovereign right to manage the natural resources in the Calamianes archipelago, including trips in Kayangan Lake, as well as beaches and corals.
The first lagoon is where boats will be parked so prepare for a crowd or go early to avoid the traffic. The second lagoon is where the magic happens: majestic underwater views and crystal-clear waters that are relaxing to swim in.
An ultimate adventure in Coron will get you to the different lagoons.
When low tide, swim through a rocky wall to discover the Hidden Lagoon, the Twin Lagoon’s magical secret spot. There’s a special feeling that comes when you swim here.
The combination of saltwater and freshwater creates a mixture of cold and warm making it the ideal temperature to dive in. As beautiful as the lagoon is, the waters can get very deep, so it’s advisable to wear a life vest for safety.
6. Relax in Maquinit Hot Spring
After hopping from one island to the next, there are attractions in town you can visit to take a break from the beach and islands. One of these destinations is the Maquinit Hot Spring. You can find the springs along the southern area of Busuanga Island.
Soak in this relaxing hot spring in Coron. Joining a Maquinit Hot Spring and town trip is the ideal refuge to relax your muscles and nerves after a tiring day full of island hopping and swimming.
Locals say the volcano heats the water, which then circulates in the pool you see in the premises.
The walkway is rough with pebbles of varying sizes and its walls rugged with a bundle of rocks. The area has a mangrove forest giving it a relaxing ambiance.
Take a dip in the spring to relax your mind and body. The heat will soothe your muscles and loosen your nerves allowing you to de-stress and forget your worries even for just an hour or so.
Some of the benefits of dipping into a hot spring include improved blood circulation, better sleep, and alleviates some skin problems.
Locals recommend visiting Maquinit Hot Springs after ascending Mt. Tapyas. The waters of the spring help soothe the aching muscles of your legs after a walk up the mountain.
Revitalize your body here and prepare for another day of seeing Coron’s other top attractions.
7. Travel to Culion Island for a Historical Day Tour
An hour and a half away from Coron lies another island destination called Culion, and is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors. But what most people don’t know is that this once leper colony is now a quiet town rich in history and adventures. Here are some sites in a Culion day trip you shouldn’t miss:
Culion Museum and Archives
Built-in 1997, the Culion Museum was first formed to be a leprosy laboratory. In the entire building, you can view the history of leprosy patients, the beginnings of Coron, religion paraphernalia, and many more.
La Immaculada Concepcion Church
Standing the test of time since the 1700s, the La Immaculada Concepcion Church was a former Spanish fort turned to the church. As of this day, reconstruction and restoration efforts are made to preserve its sacred beauty.
Next to the church is another historical site built by the Augustinians. At present, you can see defense weapons such as cannons at Fort Culion. There’s also a great viewpoint where you can see the entire town and the sea from afar.
8. Get a Panoramic View of Coron in Mt. Tapyas
From chasing corals to chasing sunsets, a trip to the viewing deck of Mt. Tapyas is a must. Despite the 724-step climb, all the sweat will be worth it because you’ll be seeing the stunning view of Coron that gets better as you go higher.
When you reach the top, you’ll see a big white cross, which you can also spot anywhere when in town. The best time to try this Coron activity is during sunrise or sunset.
Mt. Tapyas is easy to access from the town center, you can walk to the base, join an inland tour or just a hire a tricycle to take you.
The mountain is easy to climb because you’ll mostly walk on concrete steps, and there are several platforms and benches where visitors can stop and rest before continuing.
There are approximately more than 700 steps before you reach the top. There are also rails to hold onto during your way up.
Feel the fresh air and see the town from a bird’s vantage point as you slowly make it to the summit. Once you reach the peak, you will see a giant cross and overlooking views of the sea and rolling hills. Take pictures of the surroundings and selfies as souvenirs.
Rest for a while before making the descent; if you have time, wait until sunset to watch the blue sky turn to red and then dark. Mt. Tapyas is an ideal half-day trip for those who are looking for another activity during their visit. The effort takes to reach the top is worth it.
9. Try Overnight Camping in Busuanga
Go on an overnight trip to Busuanga, Coron. It's the best way to see enjoy this idyllic destination! Unbeknownst to many, it's the second-largest island in the province. It's a popular choice for camping and overnight trips.
An overnight camping experience in Busuanga often includes three popular attractions: Black Island, Pamalican Island, and North Cay.
It is known to locals as Malajon Island. It's in the northwest of Busuanga Island, the largest in the Calamian Group of Islands in Palawan. The reef surrounding Black Island is perfect for snorkeling and freediving. Travelers can enjoy the beautiful corals and abundant fish species of the island.
This island is perfect for those looking for some quiet time. Laze around or sunbathe! Its clear waters make snorkeling enjoyable. For those who don't want to snorkel, just soaking in the water when the sea is calm and warm is equally satisfying.
It's one of Palawan's best-kept secrets that boasts of its crystal-clear water ideal for snorkeling. Just off the shore, scuba divers or even non-divers can enjoy a spectacular view of corals and its colorful marine life.
10. Visit Calauit Safari Park
Away from the sea, you can have a wildlife encounter and escapade by joining a Calauit Safari Park adventure. The Calauit Safari Park is a game reserve and wildlife sanctuary that spans 3,700 hectares in Calauit Island off the coast of Palawan province.
It boasts African giraffes and zebras brought over through a supposed translocation habitat experiment between President Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya and President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines. The wildlife sanctuary was established on August 31, 1976.
Formerly known as Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, the conservation center has since also housed critically endangered animals endemic to Palawan’s Calamianes group of islands.
From the 1980s onward, Calamian deer, pheasant peacock, the Balabac mouse-deer, and the local bearcat shared the sanctuary with more than 100 different species of African giraffe, eland, zebra, impala, bushbuck, gazelle, and waterbuck.
Today, only 2 African species remain with six endemic species. The migrant species are the reticulated giraffe, also known as the Somali giraffe, native to the Horn of Africa, and Grévy’s zebra, the largest extant species of zebra.
Only as few as 25 when they were brought here, the Calamian deer now number between 1,200 and 1,300 — indeed the sanctuary’s best success story.
There is also the Palawan bearded pig, one of 4 wild pig species endemic to the country. They also have the Philippines' porcupine and the Binturong (bearcat). All are considered vulnerable under the Philippine Red List of Threatened Wildlife.
There is also the critically endangered freshwater Philippine crocodile. Only four adults currently exist in the park, but breeding efforts are underway.
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