Solo Travel Guide to Coron, Palawan

Solo travel guide to Coron, Palawan

Looking for a solo travel guide to Coron, Palawan? Look no further than this one.

Last November, I headed alone to Coron, Palawan. I am in no way exaggerating when I say that this place is simply mesmerizing. In fact, it’s probably my best travel this year. For foreign tourists, if you only have a week or somehow a limited schedule in your visit here in the Philippines, I suggest going to Coron, Palawan.

One of the good things about Coron is that, aside from the great views and water activities, it’s budget-friendly even to solo travelers. Even though tour rates aren’t standardized compared to El Nido, overall the prices for accommodation, tour and even are still reasonable. In fact, I liked it way, way better compared to El Nido for a variety of reasons. Maybe I’ll expound on that another time.

For now, let’s begin on this solo travel guide to Coron, Palawan.

Solo travel guide to Coron, Palawan

I was here for 5 days. I initially thought this was a long time considering the activities are mainly island hopping but I was proven wrong. There were some spots I wanted to go back to there and then, and I missed going to the Calauit Safari or Cuyo Island.

5 Days itinerary to Coron, Palawan

Day 1 – Flight from Manila to Busuanga; start with Tour A
Day 2– Tour B, head to Maquinit hot spring
Day 3– Tour C
Day 4– Tour D
Day 5 – Buy souvenir and tour around town; flight back to Manila

For the Coron town tour, you can join a packaged tour for P500-700 or just do it DIY, communting via tricycles with P10 minimum fare.  Town sights include souvenir shops, cashew shops, Coron Bay walk, Mount Tapyas and Maquinit hotspring. I did it DIY because I wasn’t interested in visiting all stops and I didn’t have all day for a packaged town tour.

Island hopping tours normally begin at 9AM or later, especially for joiner tours. If your flight will be arriving in Busuanga airport at 7:30AM or earlier, you can still make it to a tour. I actually planned on bumming on the first day but found that the guesthouse I’ve reserved a room with doesn’t accept check-ins earlier than 2AM. It’s a good thing the Seahorse Guesthouse allows guests to leave their bags at the reception for cases such as this one.

For the tours, most likely the agency will ask a service to fetch you from your accommodation to the port. Similarly, on the day of your flight back, you can ask your lodging receptionist to schedule a van pickup to the airport.

Island hopping tours

One of the first things you have to know is that it’s cheaper to avail of the island hopping tours and accommodation separately. Joiner tours start at P750-P1200, and accommodation for solo travelers can be availed at P400-800 per night.

These are the rates for joiner tours, which are suitable for solo or couple travelers. Rates are updated as of November 2016 and may have a higher markup during summer.

  • Tour A – P750 per person
    – Las Islas de Coral, CYC Beach, Atwayan/Sunset beach, Quin Reef, Green Lagoon, Kayangan Lake
  • Tour B – P950
    – Barracuda Lake, Smith Beach, Skeleton Wreck, Reef Garden, Twin Lagoon
  • Tour C – P1200
    – Bulog Dos Island, Banana Island, Malcapuya Island
  • Tour D – P1200
    – Also called the shipwreck tour
    – East Tangat, Pass Island, Coral Garden, Lusong Gunboat
  • Tour E – P2400
    – Calauit Safari Sanctuary, Black Island, Lusong Coral Garden, Lusong Gunboat

There’s also a tour called Coron Island Ultimate Tour, which covers the best island hopping spots.

  • Coron Island Ultimate Tour – P1500
    – Siete Pecados, Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, Smith Beach, Skeleton Wreck, Las Islas de Coral, CYC Beach

Lunch is included in the island hopping tours as well as entrance fees to the islands.

During island hopping, you can rent a snorkel and pair of aqua shoes for P150 each. If you’re going to be in Coron for a few days, I suggest buying your own snorkel. There are cheap ones for P700-850 and better-fitting snorkels for P1500.

If you’ve already been here and want to go to selected islands only, including those normally not covered in tours, you can rent a private boat in the ports in Coron for P1500-2000, excluding food and entrance fees. There’s a port beside Sea Dive restaurant.

Hiring a private boat is recommended if you’re in a group. You have to buy your own food in the market for cooking later on and even dictate what time to visit the islands.

Tip: Visit Kayangan Lake during lunch time and at sunset, time slots when there are the least tourists.

Travel agencies with joiner tours

There are various travel agencies offering similar rates. Just walk around Coron town proper and you can easily spot them. Here are some travel agencies in Coron that provide joiner tours:

For island hopping services, I went with JY Travel and Tours. Kuya Henerson is hands down the best tour guide here.

Favorite stops in island hopping

I can’t remember if we were able to see all the islands included in our itinerary, but here are my favorites: the viewdeck in Kayangan Lake (which is also the most photographed spot in Coron), Green Lagoon, Twin Lagoon and the Barracuda Lake.

View deck in Kayangan Lake, Coron
View deck in Kayangan Lake, Coron. (Photo by Xiao)

There’s also a lot of snorkeling spots in Coron.

Most people overlook CYC Beach because they stay in the shore; try to go a bit far on the beach and snorkel. It has one of the best coral and marine life I’ve seen during my stay here. The Reef Garden and Malcapuya Island are also great choices, and you can actually swim with numerous — perhaps hundreds at a time — of fishes.

Malcapuya Island, Coron.
Malcapuya Island, Coron. (Photo by Katherine)

On the other hand, I was looking forward to the Coral Garden (different from Reef Garden above). Friends have gushed about it. To me, it was disappointing. First, it was rushed. There was no time to stop and admire the corals below. We had to continuously paddle to reach the boat, which had moved to the other end of the garden after dropping us off. The underwater view lacks color. I didn’t see any turtles, but our guide said there was one.

Budget accommodations in Coron

There’s actually a lot of budget accommodations in Coron, and these are just a few of them.

I stayed in Seahorse Guesthouse, which offers dormitory-type rooms with 2 double-decked beds, good for 4 people. I was with my Chinese roommate Xiao, whom I’ve first met on tour. Staying in the dormitory room wasn’t awkward at all, and even though it wasn’t spacious it was comfortable. There are other lodgings with the same price, but at least this one was airconditioned with hot/cold shower. There’s a thick comforter for the night and a locker for securing items.

Seahorse Guesthouse accommodation in Coron, Palawan
View from the rooftop restaurant of the Seahorse Guesthouse. Taken by my lovely, world-weary Samsung Galaxy S4. (Photo by Katherine)

Breakfast is free on the fourth floor, which also has a nice view of the town and the sea. I also love the playlist in the mornings, some feel-good jazz or indie songs. Plus, the Seahorse Guesthouse is at the heart of Coron town — it’s about a 5-10 minute walk to the port and market and surrounded with souvenir shops.

Here are some of the recommended budget accommodations in Coron, Palawan:

Seahorse Guesthouse
– P600 per person
– Dormitory type, air-conditioned with hot and cold shower, with free breakfast
– 0927 4977 559;
– Check current room rates here

Patrik & Tezz Guesthouse
– P500 per person / P550-650 per 1-2 persons
– Fan room, minimum of 2 nights stay
– 0927 953 1407 / Facebook page / Official website

Luis Bay Travellers Lodge
– P500 per person
– Fan room, with own toilet
– Check current room rates here

Coron Backpacker GuestHouse
– P500 per 2 persons
– Double bed, fan room, shared toilet
– 0916 4004 871/ 0919 3886 028, Official website

RB Transient House
– P315 per person, dormitory / P550 per 2 persons, double room or twin room
Check current room rates here

Coron Paradise Bed & Breakfast
– P800-900 per 2 persons
– Twin room or double room, fan
Check current room rates here

Give back? It takes time for us to right these travel guides. As such, we’ll appreciate if you can show support through booking using our affiliate links, where we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. 🙂 You can check out the lowest prices of accommodations in Coron here.

Budget and other expenses

I spent about P8000 for the necessities in my 5-day stay in Coron. Aside from the island hopping tours, here are the other expenses I could remember:

  • Van from airport to Coron, vice versa: P150 x 2
  • Private tricycle to Maquinit hot spring + entrance: P300 + P200
  • Food (mainly dinner): P500

There seems to be a misconception that food is expensive in Coron. This isn’t true. There are the usual carienderia in Coron where you can buy meals for P60-100.

For restaurants, one of most recommended places to visit is Santino’s Grill for its baby backribs. I don’t eat pork so I wasn’t able to try this one out. For sunset viewing, try to go Sea Dive Restaurant or La Sirenetta, which is at the end of a pier. I liked the ambience in La Sirenetta and the food is also good.

Planning your own solo travel to Coron

I recommend at least 5 days of stay in Coron. Aside from the island hopping tours, there are other things to explore — the Calauit Safari, the town of Culion and a few treats in Busuanga (falls, a low-key treehouse accommodation and more).

Like every other vacation spots in the Philippines, the best time to go here is the summer. It’s the only time good climate is guaranteed. I prefer going during off-peak season to avoid the summer crowd and get discounted rates, but this isn’t something that I recommend especially to foreign travelers who aren’t familiar with the fickle weather in the country.

P.S. Heading to Palawan soon?

Here’s a related travel guide to El Nido and a travel guide to Balabac, including an island hopping guide to Balabac.

 

Did you find this solo travel guide to Coron, Palawan, helpful? Any other suggestions to future travelers?

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Budget travel guide to Coron, Palawan (Philippines)

40 Comments

  1. Hi! Im really glad i came across this blog, this is helpful, we’ll be in coron on the 31st of October to the 3rd of November and we’re booked at SeaHorseguest house (me,my hubby and our son) i want to know the most practical tour we can get since we’re traveling with our 12y/o kid. Thanks! And can we just book it with seahorse?

  2. Hi. I happened to leave a comment in this post some few months ago, and since then i’m receiving notifs that I’m not even involved in.
    Ummm, how can I unsubcribe po? I need to know po sana. Thanks.

      1. Please don’t get me wrong, I love this blog & and it helped me a lot during my trip.. Maybe I only need to adjust notification settings. 🙂
        Thank you po..

  3. Hey, I‘m also heading to Coron as single traveler and I‘d like to do some of the tour packages you have mentioned in your blog. However, I cant find a link or name of the agency that provided exactly these Tour A etc. packages. Can you name it? Many thanks!!

    1. I was in Coron just last week, travelled solo as well. Booked my tour from Alherini Travel Services in facebook, and I must say, they are Legit, accomodating and very smooth to transact with. Hope that helps.

    1. I’m not sure if it’s going to be “perfect.” 🙂 June-November is the rainy season so it really depends on the weather, but the good news is Palawan doesn’t really experience strong typhoons. You might still get a lil bit of rain here and there tho.

  4. Hi! I’d like to ask for advice on how I can have a worthy vacation to Coron for 3D2N only. I want to travel solo and as much as possible not to join groups. Thank you so much!

    1. We don’t know the timetable for the vans, but take note that Coron is a major attraction in Palawan and so with the influx of passengers, there are always public vans outside the airport. If unsure, you can always contact your resort/accommodation; they are affiliated with those doing airport transfers.

  5. Hi Katherine we’re planning to go there with my partner.
    Is there any boat to rent in the pier area? I want to DIY my travel and i dont want to book tours. Which is more cheaper DIY or TOUR Agency?

    1. Yep, you can go to the pier but I’m not sure about the availability during summer.

      DIY or tour agency — it depends. If there are only 2 of you I’d go for joining a group tour instead.

    2. Hi Duke. I recommend Jon for private boat in Coron. You can ask them how much is the rate. This is worth considering if you want to enjoy the place on your own and you can choose which tourists spots you can visit. Though you have to shoulder the entrance fees and you have to buy your own food in the market for cooking later on.

      We hired JON, ARMAN, & STANLEY our boatmen/tourguide for 2 days island hopping. They’re helpful, kind and they made our Coron trip worth remembering ❤️

      For private boat:
      ■JON(Boatman in Coron): +639955287803
      +639218139568

      For solo or couple travelers it’s more cheaper if you get a tour at local travel agency, you dont need to think about your food and entrance fees since it is included in the package.

  6. Hi, I just want to ask. Is solo travelling to Coron safe? I want to assure my mom that it’s safe, or else she won’t allow me to go. And I already have tickets for April.
    Hoping to hear from you soon. Thanks.

  7. Hi! I’m visiting Coron on april 30 to may 4 2018, i will traveling alone is it not really that bad? it will be my first solo travel. Will I still be able to enjoy the tours and have an overall great time?

  8. Hi! I’m thinking of going to Coron this March, it will be 3D2N. Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Island and Maquinit Hot Spring are the places I want to visit. It would be my first time to travel alone. Just want to ask for help in planning my itinerary or how do I get there without joining tours.

      1. Hi! Nice blog, i enjoyed reading it. We will be travelling as a couple on Feb 27 to Mar 3. We plan to rent a private boat instead of joining a group. The cheapest rate provided to me is 3700/pax for the Coron Island Tour. And 4800/pax for the Malcapuya, banana and bulog beaches. Rates included all entrance fees, food, licensed tour guide. Do you think the rate is reasonable? Or i can find better deal once i arrive at Coron?

        1. I think the price is reasonable because there are only two of you. You can also try looking for a travel agency/boat owners who’ll agree on a rate per boat (not per person) and see if it’ll be cheaper. Last time I was there boat rental is 2000-2500, entrance fees and lunch not included. Not sure if the rate is the same for the three beaches you mentioned because those are a bit far.

  9. Hi! I’m visiting Coron on July 2018, so I’ll be expecting some rain 🙁 Given it rains, is it really that bad? Will I still be able to enjoy the tours and have an overall great time?

    1. We love to travel during the rainy season because of fewer crowds, lower rates. 🙂 If it’s just a little bit of rain, you’re still good to go. But if there’s a strong typhoon, tours might get cancelled. In general though, Palawan rarely experiences strong typhoons as in other parts of the PH… so you’d be terribly unlucky to be stuck in one. Good luck!

  10. Good day, Ask ko lng po if anu masuggest mo maam. Me and my cousins will be going this coming august, we are 4 in the group, is it ideal and cheaper if we will do DIY or avail a package for the whole tour? Thank you for your response

      1. Hi! Do travel tour agencies allow grouping solo travellers for private tours instead of letting them join with the group tours? This is to allow more flexibility on the itineraries instead of feeling rushed.

  11. Coron looks lovely. I have not been to the Philippines yet, but it is on my bucketlist!
    I see you did 4 tours? Would you recommand that? Did you meet loads of people on those tours?
    x

    1. Yes and yes. 🙂 I liked the first three tours. I wasn’t impressed with tour D, but I heard it’s a popular choice because of the coral garden. I did meet lots of people because I joined group tours. Hope you decide to visit here!

  12. I love solo travel and I’m looking at Coron for next year. Is it possible to request for a budget breakdown of your 5-day stay? 🙂 Thank you so much and i wish you more travels today, onward!

  13. Hello,
    I’m planning for a solo trip this September. Do you have to book the tour in advance or you can just get book then and there on a cheaper price. Also, I’m going on a weekday, there might be no group tours available.
    Thank for the help.

  14. Hi! I’m going to Coron this January and I’m also booked at Seahorse Guesthouse! I just wanted to ask if they provide the guests with free towels? Also, do guests need to bring their own padlock for the locker or do they also provide them?

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