Magical Coron, The Philippines

Magical Coron, The Philippines

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When the temperatures start to head for the high 30s and the hot, dry air of the city becomes dangerously stifling, that’s when you know it’s time to get away and spend the rest of your summer at the beach. Coron, a sleepy little town in the Calamianes Group of Islands in northern Palawan, an hour’s plane ride from Manila, is your gateway to both adventure and relaxation. Steeped in history and languishing in an otherworldly beauty, Coron has a charming and relaxed vibe that caters to the thrill-seeker and the escapist, the budget traveler and the worldly tourist.

What to do in Coron

Underwater explorers and marine life enthusiasts flock to Coron to dive into its ship wrecks and behold its unparalleled offering of marine species. Visit the Skeleton Wreck, a popular dive site and one of a handful of wrecks in a graveyard of Japanese ships sunk during World War II. Snorkel or shallow dive to the Lusong Gunboat, a wreck so shrouded with corals it looks like an underwater garden. Frolic in the fine white sands and crystal blue waters of Malcapuya Island, swim with a bounty of fish species on Banana Island and at the Siete Pecados Marine Park, and dive into the pristine water of Barracuda Lake. And don’t forget to visit the majestic Kayangan Lake, the cleanest one in the country, its waters so clear you can see right down to the lakebed.
Take a walk around town and discover its nooks and crannies. Rent a mountain bike and head to Maquinit Hotspring, where you can take a dip in waters rumored to possess healing powers. Go mangrove kayaking in Kingfisher Park. Climb the 708 steps to the peak of Mt. Tapyas at sunset for a magnificent view of the town and the bay.

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Where to stay in Coron


Stay at Mt. Tapyas Hotel, conveniently located 10 minutes from the main street. It’s a budget hotel with first-class service and a commanding ocean view from the restaurant and bar. Coron Eco Lodge, a newly-opened boutique hotel offers well-designed rooms starting at $47. It’s on one of the town’s main roads, close to shops and cafes.

If you want a place that’s a bit more isolated, stay at Sophia’s Garden Resort. It’s a quiet little bed-and-breakfast with a sprawling garden located 15 minutes from town. For a more upscale and truly luxurious experience, stay in Club Paradise, a private resort on Dimakya Island, for world-class accommodations and tour options. If you’re more of a back-to-nature kind of traveler, you can pitch your tent on one of the surrounding islands – Malcapuya, Banol, and Banana charge a minimal camping fee.

In Palawan, there is an old phenomenon locals believe in known as Kambak-kambak. They say that if you visit the islands, you will fall so in love and be so enchanted that you will keep coming back. And so it will be with Coron, where you wake and sleep to the sun, the sand, and the sound of the sea – a rhythm you will hear in your dreams when you go back to the city.

/// Written by Jackie Villegas, The Philippines