Sift through the thousands of articles on the “best beaches in the world” and a pattern will emerge: Out of the over 7,000 islands in the Philippine archipelago, tourists and locals alike marvel over the beauty of Palawan—especially Coron. Compared to other popular islands like Boracay and El Nido, Coron is more laidback and definitely less commercialized. If you want to disconnect and immerse yourself in lush forests and pristine waters, spend a few days exploring everything the island has to offer:
1. Kayangan Lake
Kayangan is said to be the cleanest lake in the Philippines. You’ll have to work a little harder to get to it, though; the lake is hidden behind towering limestone cliffs. But at the peak of your short hike, you’ll be rewarded with an unobstructed view of the surrounding islands. No exaggeration, it’s straight out of a postcard. Kayangan boasts an unrivaled underwater ecosystem filled with thousands of fish and corals, which is why it deserves to be at the top of this list.
2. Barracuda Lake in Coron
Barracuda Lake is one of the most famous dive sites in Coron mainly for its changing temperatures; it has layers of fresh and salt water. Like Kayangan, you’ll have to endure a short hike to get to the lake except this time you’ll be carrying all your diving gear. Don’t fret: Barracuda is worth the effort. The water is also incredibly clear so it’s snorkeler-friendly.
3. Skeleton Wreck
What sets Coron apart from other places, however, are the shipwreck sites. There are several well-preserved Japanese ships anchored in Coron Bay dating all the way back to World War II. We suggest starting with the Skeleton Wreck because it’s the easiest to get to. Located near the shores of Atwayan Beach, you could even choose to get to it by just swimming from the coastline.
4. Mount Tapyas
Mount Tapyas is about 200 meters above sea level, and it’s walking distance from the main road. Of course, if you’re staying at a hostel or resort far from the town proper, you’ll have to hire a tricycle to get there. To get an unrivaled view of the town, you’ll also have to climb 700 steps to the top.
5. Maquinit Hot Springs
End your trip with a relaxing dip in Maquinit Hot Springs. It’s found near the town proper so it’s pretty accessible should you decide to go before or after an early dinner. The entrance fee is P200 per hour—and to be honest, that’s enough time to appreciate the place.
There’s a reason why Coron has been lauded as one of the best islands in the world. It’s won the hearts of both backpackers and luxury travelers. With enchanting lagoons, a diverse ecosystem, and beautiful coral reefs, it’s no wonder people are constantly dreaming of visiting Coron someday.