Coron Town: A Gateway to Marine Adventures

In a nutshell

Nestled on Busuanga Island, Coron Town is a captivating destination known for its brooding limestone cliffs, unfinished buildings, and remarkable wreck diving opportunities. It serves as a perfect base for exploring the marine wonders that lie just offshore.

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Why go to Coron Town?

Coron Town, while still retaining its fishing village charm, has experienced a surge in tourism in recent years. With its abundance of beach and sea activities, it’s no wonder that scuba divers flock to this destination. The presence of sunken Japanese ships has turned Coron into a world-class wreck diving hub, attracting diving enthusiasts from around the globe. Additionally, the surrounding islands offer incredible opportunities for island hopping tours, allowing visitors to explore the pristine beauty of the region.

Within Coron Town itself, there are activities to keep you engaged, including shopping at the bustling public market, browsing through souvenir shops, and strolling around the town plaza. Although the town may not offer an extensive array of attractions, its strategic location as a jumping-off point to nearby activities makes it an ideal place to spend a few days. Take advantage of half-day tours to delve into the town’s history, culture, and local traditions. Don’t miss the chance to unwind at the saltwater Maquinit Hotsprings or witness a panoramic sunset from the Mount Tapyas view deck. Combined with diving and snorkeling adventures, a visit to Coron Town promises an unforgettable and enriching experience.

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When to go to Coron Town

The ideal time to visit Coron Town is during the dry, summer season, which extends from October to mid-June. Not only does this period offer pleasant weather, but it also provides the best visibility for exploring the nearby dive sites. May to November is especially favorable, as the absence of plankton in the waters enhances visibility. In contrast, the rainy season occurs from mid-June to September, during which coastal water visibility may be reduced.

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Where to stay in Coron Town

Coron Town offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re seeking a budget-friendly room for the night or a luxurious resort with indulgent amenities, you’ll find plenty of choices. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak seasons or holidays such as Christmas, New Year, Easter, and Chinese New Year. Additionally, note that power outages are common in Coron Town, so consider confirming if your chosen accommodation has a backup generator to avoid any inconveniences.

Where to eat in Coron Town

Dining at restaurants in Coron Town requires patience and understanding. The laid-back lifestyle of the town often means that service is relaxed and slow. As many ingredients are imported, menus may not always be fully available, and the prices may be slightly higher compared to other cities in the Philippines. While popular American fast-food chains are not prevalent, you’ll find a decent mix of local and European dishes to savor.

For those looking to save on meal costs, the bustling Coron Market is a must-visit. Here, you can purchase delicious and fresh food daily. Don’t miss the opportunity to try seasonal local fruits such as starfruit, cashew fruit, star apples, coconut, jackfruit, and juicy mangoes. Additionally, you can grab delectable pastries from one of the town’s numerous bakeries to enjoy as snacks throughout the day.

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How to get around Coron Town

Transportation within Coron Town is easily accomplished through tricycles, which are widely available throughout the city. These affordable three-wheeled vehicles are perfect for exploring the town’s streets and reaching your desired destinations. Walking is also a convenient option for independent exploration within Coron Town. Alternatively, you can rent a motorcycle or scooter for more freedom and flexibility. Rentals are available fora few hours or even a couple of days. The rental prices are reasonable, and locals typically hold onto travelers’ passports as a deposit. If you prefer, you can arrange van rides to and from the airport through your accommodation.

How to get to and from Coron Town

You can reach Coron Town by air or sea. Several domestic airlines, including Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and Sky Jet Airlines, offer daily flights from Manila to Busuanga Airport. From there, it’s a 40-minute transfer ride to Coron Town.

For those seeking an alternative to air travel, a ferry ride from Manila to Coron Town is an option. The journey takes approximately 12 to 14 hours, providing a more affordable but lengthier travel experience. 2Go Travel Ferry operates this route every Tuesday and Friday. Similarly, you can travel from Coron Town to Manila on Fridays and Sundays. Ticket prices range from PHP780 for a Super Value Class ticket to PHP1,540 for a Tourist Class ticket. Private rooms are available for added comfort and privacy. Tickets can be conveniently booked online through the 2Go website.

To reach Coron Town from El Nido, you have three options: ferry, fastcraft, or a passenger/cargo ship. The ferry is a popular choice, accommodating 60 to 80 passengers and taking between 5 to 9 hours, depending on weather conditions. Bunso and Jessabel are the two ferry companies that operate this route, departing daily between 7:30 am and 8 am. Ticket prices are around PHP1,400 and can be purchased at the port, your accommodation, or one of the booking agencies in town.

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Montenegro Lines operates a fastcraft boat that departs from El Nido to Coron Town every morning at 6 am. This faster option takes approximately 3.5 hours, but the ticket price is slightly higher at PHP1,800 per person.

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The cheapest alternative is the passenger/cargo ship, costing around PHP1,000 to PHP1,150 per person. However, this option is available only on Wednesdays at 7:30 am and takes approximately 8 hours. MV May Lillies (Atienza Shipping) operates this ship, offering the journey from Coron to El Nido every Monday at 7 am.

If you’re traveling from Boracay, Air Juan Airline provides charter flights with a small 9-seater aircraft. Flights operate on Tuesdays and Fridays, taking around 45 minutes to reach Coron Town. Air Juan also offers flights from Puerto Princesa to Coron on the same days. Ticket prices typically range around PHP6,500.

Safety in Coron Town and Busuanga

Coron Town and Busuanga are generally safe destinations with friendly and hospitable locals. However, as with any travel destination, it’s advisable to take necessary precautions and remain vigilant. If you plan on renting a motorbike, ensure that you have the necessary driving skills and always wear a helmet.