This post will highlight a few things we wish we would have know before traveling to Coron Palawan.
Coron Palawan was the first stop on our three week journey through the Philippines. This post is part of our “The Philippines Travel Guide” Blog post series. Be sure to check out the other posts on amazing locations like El Nido, Puerto Princesa, Boracay and Manila. Coron Palawan is small island off the northern tip of Palawan. Palawan itself has been noted in the top 10 places to visit by the CNTraveler and has stunning beaches, amazing food and wonderful culture.
Even though this post is part of my “The Philippines Travel Guide” I want each post in the big guide to work as kind of a mini-guide. A one stop insider perspective into Coron. Therefor I made sure to construct every post on the same foundation – 5 points that are important to me.
1. Getting to Coron Palawan and getting around
How to get to Coron in the Philippines:
Coron in Palawan can easily be reached either by a non-stop flight to Coron Palawan from Manila and a few other surrounding islands, by the 2go travel Ferry or by speed/normal ferry of the Montenegro Shipping Lines should you be coming from El Nido. Flying to Coron is by far the most comfortable way to get there. If you are only traveling with carry on (which I highly recommend) the flights don’t cost that much more than taking the ferry.
One huge point of advice is not to just stick with your regular booking sites. We booked our flight to Coron Palawan with a airline from the Philippines I previously had never heard of. Skyjet offered the cheapest flights to Coron by far and you can only book your flight via their website. If for what ever reason that doesn’t work for you, be sure to check out my guide for finding the cheapest flights by following this link -> HOW TO FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS
How to get Cash in Coron:
Make sure you bring enough cash for your time in Coron including any trips you have planned and some money for emergencies. A lot the blog posts on getting money in Coron and getting money in the Philippines are quite old but the problem still remains today. If you have a Master Card or Visa Card your chances are better but if you are from Europe and you have Maestro consequently in Coron you will have problems.
As a matter of fact the only places I have been able to use Maestro in the Philippines has been in Manila and in Boracay but also here only a few ATM’s would accept Maestro. Also, if you get caught without cash you can wire transfer money via Western Union within minutes but the fees can be heavy. In addition if you have other currency on you (Dollars, Euro, Thai Baht) you can exchange it in Coron but be aware that the exchange rates might not be in your favor.
Getting around in Coron Palawan:
You will find tricycles riding around all over town. Prices range from 20 to 50 Pesos depending on the distance and time. Be aware that the price is always per person and not per tricycle. The condition of the tricycle varies but the drivers always seemed to be careful on the roads. Don’t be fooled, even thought the bikes look small they can easily transport 2 people including two cases and hand luggage. Uber is not available in Coron Palawan. You can rent a scooter or a bike which will be cheapest and a lot of fun to explore the island by yourself – but for the daily commute I would would stick with the tricycles.
There are a lot of hostels and backpacker hotels in and around town. Hence, if you want to be adventurous and travel there without a confirmed booking, you might find a guest house for cheap. There are very few luxury hotels. We stayed at the Coron Soleil hotel which was beautiful and offered plenty in the luxury department! If you are booking online make sure to read the ratings and look at pictures taken by travelers. If you can cancel for free – ask to see the rooms before checking in.
3. Food & Drink
Food & Restaurants:
The Filipino Cuisine is very diverse and ranges from freshly prepared seafood to expertly prepared pork and stir fried beef and chicken. Make your pick. Here are our favorite restaurants in Coron Palawan:
Slowly but surely there are a few coffee shops popping up in town. The two coffee shops I got to try and can recommend are located just opposite of each other. Coffee Kong & Fika are located in the center of town on the main road.
4. Staying connected
We bought our Data SIM-Card at the Airport in Manila – DON’T DO THIS!!! They overcharge you and you can get a Data SIM at any shop in Manila for half the price. Even the small street vendors in Coron Palawan sell Data SIM’s. So yes you can have internet on your Smartphone and yes every hotel and almost every restaurant offers Wifi. But don’t expect Google-Fiber grade internet speeds. The internet you will get whilst on the island is just about enough to send/receive emails and research places on google maps. Our iPhones had sporadic moments of strong signal but these cases where rare. So at the same time if you need music, videos, ebooks come prepared.
You can book an Island hopping tour at your Hotel or anywhere in town. We did the Ultimate Island Hopping tour (also known as Tour A) and it was stunning. Our tour guide was fun and helpful. He even took me out to a hidden lagoon and secret beach that wasn’t even part of the tour. Just check out this video of our Island Hopping Tour in Coron Palawan:
Climbing the mountain in Coron Palawan:
Walk the 742 steps to the top of mount Coron and enjoy the amazing view of surrounding islands and mountains. See what you can expect in this vlog:
Explore the island:
Something we didn’t get to do due to bad weather was exploring the island by motorbike or scooter. This is highly recommended by several people. But again we didn’t have the opportunity to do it ourselves therefore take this advice with a grain of salt.
You are welcome to add any points I might have missed in the comment section!