Nov 30, 2009

Coron Overview : A mini travel guide

Coron is located in the northernmost part of Palawan and considered a 2nd class municipality. Together with Busuanga, Cullion and Linapacan, they form what is popularly called the Calamianes Group of Islands in Palawan. The indigenous people of Coron are referred to as Tagbanwas and the Philippine government have granted them the Ancestral Domains (Land and Water) of this territory.

Getting There :

The easiest and fastest way is by air. PAL Express and Cebu Pacific regularly fly to Coron via Busuanga Airport. Other options are Seair and Zest Air.

Watch out for Cebu Pacific's promo fares as round trip fares can go as low as 500 pesos. Worry no more for flight delays, my current experience with Cebu Pacific is very commendable. They are obviously trying to beat the clock, and trying to give us a brand new impression. Kudos Cebu Pacific! I'm impressed! Our pilot was gorgeous too!!! :)

Who needs to travel for 14 hours by ship if you can get there 45 minutes or earlier via Cebu Pacific on a cheaper rate.

From Busuanga, aircon vans ply to Coron town for 150 pesos per head (one hour or less of travel time).

Where we Stayed :

We stayed at Darayonan Lodge located within the town proper and had a nice experience. Check my Darayonan entry here. There are other lodgings around the area that also offer reasonable rates or you can choose to stay at a more expensive place like Club Paradise with white sand beach front, perfect for honeymooners but quite far from the town.

Our Itinerary :

Our limited 3days/2nights stay allowed us to explore the following itinerary as per arranged by Coron Wonders.

DAY 1 - Coron Inland Tour (PM)

DAY 2 - Coron Island Tour (Whole Day)

DAY 3 - Departure
  • Tour around town (Coron Market, Tagbanwa Office, Municipal Hall)
  • Souvenir Hunting
  • Harvest of Coron (Beef, Crab, Cashew Nuts)
  • Departure
3 days is definitely not enough to see the diversity of this place' flora and fauna, amazing limestone formations, natural white-sandy beaches and outstanding coral reefs ideal for diving and snorkeling.

Other Must See Sites to visit next time :
  • Banana/Malcapuya Island
  • Lusong/Sangat Gunboat and other WWII Shipwrecks
  • Cayman Islands
  • Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Cullion, former Leper Colony
Where to Eat :

Not really much opportunity to check out the different restos in the area. Our package comes with free meals and we took advantage of that. We just tried one popular resto in the area called Sea Dive Resort. Located in the bay area, it offers a spectacular view of the bay and the sunset. We had our dinner there and the place is packed with foreign diners, which I believed are also billeted in this resort, pretty popular for their diving services.

What I had, is just ok, not outstanding but more than enough to fill my rumbling stomach. This full meal costs me 375 pesos.

What to Bring :
  • Digital Camera and lots of charged batteries - so many beautiful sights to capture, you'll be sorry if your batteries went dead during the middle of the tour.... my cam for underwater shots did, sigh :(
  • Buy a dicapac for your underwater shots, marine life is amazing.
  • Insect Repellant - Mosquitos are huge and stings like hell and left me with so many insect bites.
  • Aqua Shoes or Trekking Sandals - its a must when you trek Barracuda Lake
  • Sunblock - you'll be staying the whole day under the sun
  • Snorkels and Swim Mask - its better to own one for hygienic purposes and besides 150 pesos rental cost is quite steep.
Getting Around :

Tricycles are popular mode of transport in Coron town. They are bigger in size compared to the regular trikes here in the metro. Rates range from 8-10 per trip.

How much we spent :

You'll be surprised to find out, this trip does not cost me that much. I can consider this as one of the cheapest trips I've had but the extent of awesomeness is worth 5 times. All-in except for the souvenirs and "pasalubongs", I only spent 4,934 pesos.... Isn't that WOW!!!

My Breakdown of expenses goes like this :

Cebu Pac Round Trip fare : 950.00
Airport Terminal Fee : 220.00
Darayonan Lodge 2nights : 1,164.00
(with breakfast)
Coron Wonders tour : 2,000.00
Extra Meals : 500.00
Tricycle Fares : 100.00
Total PhP 4,934.00

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