After landing at the small airport in Coron I jumped into one of the shared taxi vans and arrived, just before midday, to an almost empty town.

Coron aiport

Most travelers to Coron are there for the island hopping.  They leave on boat tours in the early morning and are gone most of the day.  I think it’s important to be aware that a fair number of the restaurants and shops (of which there aren’t that many to begin with) close at this time, especially the ones that cater to tourists, as most of the tourists are elsewhere.  Some of the restaurants that are open may only be open for drinks or limited menus.  My first day arriving in town I walked past three closed restaurants and one just serving drinks.  Then I got lucky and found one serving a limited menu… drinks and desserts, lol; which is how I came to have my first Halo Halo.  A rather unique dessert of the Philippines I was very excited to try. 

halo halo dessert

Halo halo is a colorful crazy concoction of different things and I was skeptical as to whether such an eclectic array of ingredients would actually taste good but was excited to try it all the same.  Did I like it? Well, yes and no… lol, but for the most part yes 🙂  

boat heading towards islands

As most of the boat tours leave early in the morning, when arriving on ones first day it will undoubtedly be too late to join any of them.  Exploring the town itself will likely be short and uneventful with many places closed at this time.  Although at least two of the main souvenir shops appeared to stay open; Aramintas Arts and crafts and the larger but further away Coron Souvenir gift shop.  I bought a delightful carved wood and seashell wind chime from the Aramintas shop. Aside from the small town itself there is an epic view at the top of a nice hike up Mt. Tapyas, which rises up right behind the town.  The climb up is actually a stairway, apparently 721 steps up, but I didn’t count them myself 🙂  The start of the climb is located right at the back of the little town.

Coron sign on top of Mt. Tapyas
stairs up
view from MtTapyas

A little further out from town are the Maquinit hot springs.  The hot springs are easily reachable as long as you have transportation which most hotels should be able to help arrange.

Island Hopping ~ What It’s All About 

prow of boat on its way island hopping
Heading Out
fishing hut Coron
cliffs and water in Coron

Just about any hotel should be able to set the boat tours up for you.  The hotels will have pamphlets or brochures from tour operators and they will familiarize you with the available options. It’s often part of the hotel check-in process.  It’s a pretty straightforward affair in Coron as that’s what everyone is here to do.  Here are some examples of brochures to give you an idea of how the island hopping destinations are typically grouped together and a general idea of their cost (prices are in php). 

Of course you can arrange tours on your own.  I very often do, as in a lot of other places the quality of group tours is often lacking.  But Coron isn’t like other places, it’s a beautiful paradise for one and it’s also small.  All the boat operators and guides seem to know each other and listening to them and talking with them they appear to work together to try and rotate through the most popular sites.  Also the boats themselves are all small boats so there’s never going to be that many other people on the same boat as you, there can’t be.  Still, you can also, very easily charter your own boat if you want.  Again, just about any hotel will be able to set it up.

Kayangan sign of rules
Kayagan Lake
Kayangan Lake
Kayangan view coron

This is probably the most well know and most photographed vista point in Coron. This is the view looking out from Kayangan Lake. Kayangan Lake would be behind you here and further down the trail. What the photos don’t usually show is the line for the photo op, lol, 🙂 ~ Actually it’s not that bad at all, especially considering this may be the most iconic photo op while Island hopping in Coron.

the line for photo op
new friends iconic photo op
Tour Companions & New Friends

the ladder up and over or the entrance under
The Twin Lagoons ~ Going over or under?
lake entrance under we go
Under it is 🙂
new friends

Coron Island Hopping ~ Exploring Paradise

boat skiming aqua clear water
view out towards water from lunch stop
lunch stop beautiful beach and hut
rocky mangrove beach clear blue water at cyc beach
CYC Beach

view up of us snorkling coron
coral seen while snorkling in Coron
fishes and coral snorkling
lots of fishes and coral snorkling
clear water snorkling coral reefs
aqua blue water and sheer rock clifs

guide barbaque cooking lunch on boat
Barbeque Lunch Anyone?
wooden ladder stairs up to barracuda lake
Stairs up and over to Barracuda Lake
wooden plank walkway to Barracuda lake
clear blue water of Barracuda lake
Barracuda Lake
lunch hut over blue water

From the moment I stepped off the airplane in Coron I found myself letting go of any desire or need to control anything and just going with the flow.  As did, it appeared, everyone I encountered and all the new friends I made on my tours.  We all seemed to be under the same magical spell.

Island Hopping Paradise ~ Coron, Philippines