The Rock Islands of Coron, Palawan, Philippines
Where is Coron?
Coron is one of the first class municipalities in the Province of Palawan. It is also part of the Calamianes Group of Islands in the northern part of Palawan, Philippines. From the capital of the Philippines, which is Manila, one can choose from several local airlines, such as Philippine Airlines/Airphil Express, Cebu Pacific, Zest Air, who regularly offer promo fares to Busuanga, Palawan, which is the nearest airport to Coron.
Upon reaching the airport of Busuanga, you can easily take a van that will take you to Coron proper which is about an hour ride from the airport with the fare of only about P150.00/person.
Where to stay in Coron?
There are several places where you can stay in Coron. If your flight is early in the morning it is best that you book in a place that best suits your taste and budget. You can find a lot of places to stay in the internet from backpackers inn to first class accommodation, but still it is different to see the place with your own eyes as pictures can also be deceiving. No need to worry about incurring additional expenses for the tricycle (the only public transport available in the area) to bring you to each and every place you want to see because Coron proper, where most of the hostels and hotels are located,is a very small place and you can practically walk around to scout where you want to stay.
What to do in Coron?
For Divers, there are a lot of dive sites identified in Coron. There are a lot of Dive Shops available and you can also scout which offers the best service at a least cost. It is always good to read some review on blogs and other sites available on the internet so you will have a bench mark of what you want to cover for your dive tours.
For beach goers there are a lot of boatmen who offer island tours. But before you book a tour be sure to see first the boat that you are renting so you will know its seaworthiness. They have different packages for island tours and the cost depends on the distance of the islands you want to go and the number of islands/islets you want to see. Please take note: Since most of the islands have already been turned over by the local government to the natives an amount ranging from P100 to 200 will be collected per person for each island that you go to except in CYC where it is free. The farthest island that we went to is the Black Island which is almost 3-hours boat ride from Coron. It has a cave and rock mountains where you can climb. The beach area is really nice and there are not much people going there as it is really very far so you can have the place to yourselves.
From the Black Island you can pass by several other islands. You can ask your boatman to bring you at the Fishermen's village where you can find fresh fish at a very low cost that you can bring to the mainland and have it cooked for you for a minimal cost.
Other islands/islets you can go too are the Siete Pecados, Banol Beach, Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoons, Coral Garden, and Malcapuya Island which is good shoreline with a long stretch of white sand. It is close to Culion, another municipality of Palawan which used to be a leper colony.
The Municipality of Culion has already been transformed into a tourist destination because of an old church that is still standing in the place and a nice hotel named Maya Hotel which is run by the Jesuits. The Leprosarium or hospital has already been restored and has been made a museum that will inform tourists of the history of the place.
Now, after you are done with the island hopping one can explore the mainland of Coron. You can visit Mt. Tapyas. At the peak of Mt. Tapyas, which is about 700 steps from the ground is a park where you will have a very nice view of the island of Coron. There is also a landmark which is the big steel cross that can be seen from way way below even if your are at the sea of Coron. Note: It is best that you climb up Mt. Tapyas after your island hopping because not unless you are into regular exercising the climbing will really make your muscles sore and it can really be a killjoy when you go up and down your boat for a swim and go up the Kayangan Lake which is also a steep climb.