CORON

Philippines

Coron is a first class municipality in the province of Palawan, Philippines, comprising the eastern half of Busuanga Island, all of Coron Island and about 50 other minor islets stretching as far as Tara Island in the north-east and Canipo Island in the south.

Info Coron

introduction

Coron is a first class municipality in the province of Palawan, Philippines, comprising the eastern half of Busuanga Island, all of Coron Island and about 50 other minor islets stretching as far as Tara Island in the north-east and Canipo Island in the south.  All these islands are part of the Calamian Archipelagoin Northern Palawan that separates the South China Sea from the Sulu Sea. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 42,941 people.

The main population center of the municipality is composed of PoblacionBarangays 1 to 6, where the Municipal Building, the Municipal Legislative Building, and Judicial Hall of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court are located. Its fiesta is held annually on August 28 in honor of Saint Augustine. It is the commercial capital of the Calamian Islands.

info
POPULATION : 42,941
FOUNDED :  1902
TIME ZONE :  PST (UTC+8)
LANGUAGE :
RELIGION :
AREA : 689.10 km2 (266.06 sq mi)
ELEVATION :
COORDINATES : 12°00′N 120°12′E
SEX RATIO : Male: 50%
 Female: 50%
ETHNIC :
AREA CODE : 48
POSTAL CODE : 5316
DIALING CODE :
WEBSITE :

Tourism

Coron is in the province of Palawan, Philippines on Busuanga Island. It is the largest town on the island and has the largest share of accommodations.

Coron is both the name of the largest town on the island of Busuanga, and the name of a different, smaller island just offshore. The area is famous for its World War II wreck diving, and the site has been named in many lists of top dive spots in the world. In September 1944, a fleet of Japanese ships hiding in the harbor were sunk in a daring raid by the US navy. The result is around ten well preserved underwater shipwrecks surrounded with coral reef.

There are also attractions on Coron Island itself. There are many beautiful white sand beaches, mostly tiny and surrounded by large limestone cliffs and wildlife. Barracuda and Kayangan lakes are both stunning locations, and good for snorkeling, and the island is the ancestral domain of an indigenous tribe who are managing the island in a sustainable way and keeping outsiders at a distance and offshore at night.

History

The first inhabitants of Coron were the Tagbanuas who belong to the second wave of Indonesians who migrated to this area some 5,000 years ago. They were a nomadic, seafaring people, living mainly by fishing and subsistence agriculture. Although they are now sedentary (with the young using cell phones, etc.), they maintain many of their old customs, traditions and beliefs. Today, the Tagbanuas remain the dominant if not entire population of Coron.

In 1902 that Coron was registered as a town and the name of the town was officially changed from Penon de Coron to Coron.

From 1939 to the outbreak of World War II, the municipality experienced the mining boom. Labor shifted from farming to mining. In July 1942, the Japanese occupied the mining camps and resumed operation of the manganese mines. On September 24, 1944, a group of Japanese ships were sunk by American warplanes in Coron waters as the ships retreated from Manila Bay. To this day, about 10 or 12 of these World War II Japanese shipwrecks comprise what is considered one of the best dive sites in the world.

In 1947, large scale deep sea fishing was introduced to Coron, and the town experienced another boom, a fishing boom. The population increased, as many people from Luzon and the Visayas came to work either as fishermen or miners.

On June 17, 1950, Busuanga was officially created as a separate municipality from Coron and in 1954, Coron was further reduced by the official creation of the Municipality of Linapacan. On September 12, 1992, Coron was finally reduced by the official creation of the Municipality of Culion.

In the past, Coron was virtually unknown outside of Palawan. It remains a small, quaint fishing town with laid back charm but with increasing media exposure it is growing, slowly but steadily, Coron has taken an important position in the tourism industry. In the past decade, there has been a rapid influx of scuba divers and other tourists coming in, making tourism the major industry player in Coron today.

Climate

Climate data for Coron

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)37
(99)
37
(99)
33
(91)
35
(95)
36
(97)
35
(95)
36
(97)
33
(91)
32
(90)
33
(91)
33
(91)
37
(99)
37
(99)
Average high °C (°F)30
(86)
30
(86)
31
(88)
31
(88)
32
(90)
30
(86)
30
(86)
29
(84)
30
(86)
30
(86)
30
(86)
30
(86)
30.3
(86.5)
Daily mean °C (°F)27
(81)
27
(81)
28
(82)
28
(82)
29
(84)
28
(82)
27
(81)
27
(81)
27
(81)
27
(81)
28
(82)
28
(82)
27.6
(81.7)
Average low °C (°F)25
(77)
25
(77)
25
(77)
26
(79)
26
(79)
26
(79)
25
(77)
25
(77)
25
(77)
25
(77)
25
(77)
25
(77)
25.3
(77.5)
Record low °C (°F)20
(68)
21
(70)
21
(70)
22
(72)
22
(72)
20
(68)
22
(72)
22
(72)
22
(72)
22
(72)
22
(72)
20
(68)
20
(68)
Source #1: World Weather Online
Source #2: Weatherbase 

Economy

The main industries of Coron are fishing and tourism. Former industries include manganese mining at Singay Mines in Barangay San Nicolas during the Japanese Occupation period. This was followed by the fishing industry boom during the 1970s up to the 1990s which gradually dwindled due to illegal blast and sodium cyanide fishing. Almost along with fishing boom was the rattan and basket-weaving industry which also gradually declined due to the ensuing depletion of raw materials.

Currently tourism is the top industry in Coron and is a location of beaches, dive sites, and other natural tourist spots. A Dozen of sunken Japanese warships at depths between 10 and 40 metres (33 and 131 ft) off Coron Island is a diving destination,  listed in Forbes Traveler Magazine’s top 10 best scuba diving sites in the world.

Subdivisions

Coron is politically subdivided into 23 barangays.

  • Banuang Daan
  • Bintuan
  • Borac
  • Buenavista
  • Bulalacao
  • Cabugao
  • Decabobo
  • Decalachao
  • Guadalupe (also called Binalabag)
  • Lajala
  • Malawig
  • Marcilla
  • Barangay I (Pob.)
  • Barangay II (Pob.)
  • Barangay III (Pob.)
  • Barangay IV (Pob.)
  • Barangay V (Pob.)
  • Barangay VI (Pob.)
  • San Jose
  • San Nicolas
  • Tagumpay
  • Tara
  • Turda

Internet, Comunication
  • Calamian Planet OnlineBGY. POB. 3 (in the center). 8AM to 9PM.An Internet Cafe you may check your mail and print document, pictures & other. P 30.00.

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

  • Flights from Manila: Fly into Busuanga-Coron Airport with Airphil Express, Cebu Pacific.
  • Busuanga-Coron Airport to Coron Town: Van transfers P150/person, P1500 for the whole van
  • Flights from Puerto Princesa/Boracay(Caticlan) and v/v: Fly into Busuanga Airport with Air Juan

Transportation - Get In

By boat

  • 2GO Travel [From Manila and Puerto Princesa]. Leave Manila on Friday afternoon (4:15PM) and arrive in Coron early Saturday morning (5:30AM). Departs Puerto Princesa on Saturday night (board at 9:00-10:00PM) and heads back to Coron, arriving 3PM Sunday, and then continues on to Manila. Cost for PP-Coron leg is appx p1250 economy (non a/c), p1450 tourist class (open bunks with a/c), p1550 cabin class.
  • Atienza Shipping Lines has two ships from Manila stopping in Coron and other Palawan destinations. They transport cargo and passengers. M/V April Rose departs Wednesdays at 18:00 and the journey takes about 18 hours. Economy class ticket P1000, AC class ticket P1150. The bunks are the same in both classes, but AC class is out of the wind and engine noise. M/V May Lily also sails. The Atienza website is inaccurate, so call them to confirm the schedule on +63 9998817266 (Manila). Departs in front of their office (green container): 1st Street Muelle del Rio corner Tacoma, Port Area, Manila
  • Motorbancas Larger Motorbancas depart most days of the week from El Nido to Coron and v/v. The day trip takes 7-8 hours and bookings can be made at various tourist offices or just drop by the Port Area (Philippine Ports Authority) as early as 6:00AM to catch the trip. The costs vary from p1200 to p1400 and departures vary between 730-900AM, depending on the carrier. The fare includes a hearty hot meal. These are larger comfortable bancas, built for ferrying passengers. The scenery during this daytime trip is beautiful. Motorbancas Wave & Hannah: El Nido to Coron/Linapacan - Sun/Wed/Fri 9A. From Coron to El Nido/Linapacan - Tue/Thu/Sat 9A. p1400 0949-144-1677 0916-543-5146. Motorbanca Island Commander. (120pax - two stories): El Nido to Coron Tues/Sun 830A. Coron to El Nido Mon & Sat 830A. Overcomer Motorbancas: El Nido to Coron - Mon 8A, Weds 730A Thu 8A. Coron to El Nido - Tue 8A, Thu 730A, Fri 8A. 0999-978-8564
  • Montenegro Shipping Lines A daily ro-ro vessel trip started service March 2015 from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro to Coron catering both passenger and rolling-cargo. The ship departs daily (Wednesday to Sunday) from San Jose at 6:00AM and arrives Coron at around 10:00AM. Trip back to San Jose will depart Coron 4:00PM and arrives San Jose at around 8:00PM. San Jose to Cubao, Quezon City buses await passengers going to Metro Manila via Calapan-Batangas City ro-ro travel. The Coron to Cubao trip and vice-versa will cost at least P1,599.00.

 


Transportation - Get Around

  • Tricycles are everywhere downtown. P10 for rides around town (per person)
  • Motorcycles and vans are available for rent.
  • There are no taxis in Coron
  • There is only once a day trip for buses or jeepneys Coron going to Busuanga and other areas.

Hotels

- BEST RATED -

Hotels

- BEST VALUE -

Shopping

The Market Pier is home to shops, stalls, slaughter houses, diners, and karaoke. Great for hearing early morning karaoke and picking up supplies. The smell can get pretty bad close to the slaughter houses.

  • Water - aquapure can hook you up with large containers of water and you can buy bottles basically anywhere in 500mL, 1L and 4L sizes.
  • Drugstores - plentiful. Contrary to what you may hear you can buy sunscreen, Off (bug repellant), shampoo and all that other good drugstore stuff.
  • Cashew Nuts - Hand roasted "kasoy" as this delicacy is called in the local language. A must try when you are in Coron. Better than what you can buy in your local supermarket!

Restaurants

There is food available for purchase at Coron Market and numerous bake shops around town. It's also recommended to buy fruits from the town market and have them prepared at the lodge you stay at free of charge (feel generous to provide a tip). Recommended to try local fruits such as mango, watermelon, starapple, jackfruit, coconut, starfruit and cashew fruit but they are all seasonal.

  • La Sirenetta Beautiful waterfront restaurant on stilts offering international food with entrees ranging from P200-400. Recognizable on the water as sculpted mermaids adorn the posts supporting the roof of the open air dining area. (accessible through alleyway beside Coron Divers and Coron Reef Pension House and also by boat). Entrees from 150-1400p.
  • Bistro Coron Owned by Bruno (who can be seen in the kitchen wearing nothing but a towel and a scowl in the mornings) it is home to French food at prices well above the local average. Entrees go from P155-270 for the most part, mains are more but crab and lobster meals are available for even more. Get the onion soup, the apple pie, the coq au vin, the basquaise, the salade nicoise, the cordon bleu. San Miguel will set you back about P50. The good pizza would be excellent if the cheese was better. Clearly coasting due to their Lonely Planet mention, service is slow, staff are rude and the place is full of only foreigners.

This is an addition to the above review: May 26, 2012-Bruno's bistro is excellent and the staff are super friendly and work hard as the restaurant is so popular because of the wide selection of amazing food and cool vibe. Breakfasts, fresh baked baguettes, homemade jam, awesome fish and meat dishes with superb French sauces, great pizzas and salads, cannot rave enough about this gem in a one horse town. It is worth the steeper prices. Also, Bruno is a fun and hard working guy himself and is the extra spice to his restaurant.

  • Trining Bacsa Locally owned and operated restaurant located around the corner from Coron Market. Offers authentic Filipino cuisine.
  • KokosNuss Resort has a good kitchen. They have a Palawan style all you can eat BBQ deal. 6 or more people required at P475 each. They also have a Christmas feast on Dec 24 which is the BBQ and definitely worth going to if you are around (tell them in advance if you are going) San Miguel is P32. Breakfasts are good as well.
  • Singapore Restaurant & Bar Located in the Sea Breeze Lodge. Has Singaporean and Asian food at reasonable prices. They currently have P140 dinner specials.
  • SeaDive Resort. Continental variety of food. Situated Over the water, seafront view. Offers inexpensive seafood and a nightly special. Entrees from 150-400p
  • Trattoria Altrov’é - Coron Italian Restaurant and Pizza Place serves wood fired pizza, pasta and tasty appetizers in a place like home.
  • "WG Restaurant" - the owner William gives free tourist advice with your meal, and is extremely helpful and friendly. You'll get local prices if he is helping you. He also has accommodation.

Sights & Landmarks

  • There is a cross on the mountain above town, Mt.Tapyas. You can look at it from below or climb up the path. The climb up is worth to see the view of the small islands surrounded by glass-like water.
  • CORON sign Noticeable from the water is a Hollywood style sign up on a hill overlooking the town.
  • Mangroves, natural mangroves are abundant, with magnificent kayak paddling trails. (Local mangrove kayaking tours available through Kingfisher Park)
  • Kayangan Lake P200 entrance fee. Before approaching the lake, go over the cave and glimpse at the great view on top of the mountain. This view is the most photographed area in Palawan. It is also judged as the cleanest lake in the country.
  • Twin Lagoon. The water and towering rocks are great photos (e.g. for posters.) On low tide, experience kayaking under the hole of the rock. At high tide, one can swim through the hole of the rock or a walkway can be used to get to the other side of the lagoon. P100 entrance fee.
  • Barracuda Lake is amazing. Entrance is P100. Bring goggles or snorkels to observe underwater rock formations.
  • CYC Island is nice but gets very busy. It's the only free beach in the area. Entrance fees for the other beaches aren't too steep (P100).
  • Banol is very picturesque with its flower trees set against the rocky island. It has sugary fine white sand in its beachline.
  • Beach 69 is not as good as Banol. Free if you come from Kayangan lake (as of May 2008) however seems unmaintained. Beware of jellyfishes (me and my companion had individual encounters).
  • 7-Islands an excellent snorkeling spot with one of the liveliest reefs in the area. (P100).

Things to do


Island hopping

Head down to the Market Pier and rent an authentic Filipino bangka and captain (standardized rental costs vary by destination) Boats generally handle around 6 passengers. It costs 1500 pesos to rent a bangka - irrespective of whether you rent it for half a day or full day. Click here for the current official boat rates. Grab a lunch before you head out, as food is rarely available on any of the outlying islands. You can also buy meat, fish, veggies from the wet market and request the boat captain to barbecue or cook them for you or your group.

  • Coron Island - is a black limestone island with breathtaking cliffs cascading down to thirteen magnificent lakes (only two open to public) and powder white sand coral beaches. It is the home to local attractions Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake, Banol Beach, Twin Lagoon, and numerous snorkeling areas. Bring mask, fins, and snorkel to observe underwater rock formations. There is a pronounced thermocline, as the island's geothermal energy heats up the water as you descend into the lakes and water around the island. Ancestral home of the local Tagbanua people group.
  • Siete Pecadoes. Among the best sites to snorkel in Coron. It was popularized by the shoot of a local television show of a mermaid love story. Experience swimming in an aquarium, beautiful corals and a great variety of fishes. There is a caretaker who will collect P100 from tourists. Anytime from 9AM to 4PM is good for snorkelling. Current can sometimes be strong in the morning and i can get chilly - take an extra t-shirt to wear when snorkeling. Myth suggests that seven kids swam from the main island to escape it and follow their parents. They all drowned and the place where they drowned is where the islands are now present.
  • Culion Island - the former leper colony. Offers a medical museum and presentation of the old leper colony highlighting the cure of leprosy. The public boat leaves Coron town at 12 noon daily and returns at 7:30AM the next day. Fare is P175.
  • CYC Island - is nice but gets very busy. It's the only free beach in the area. Entrance fees for the other beaches aren't too steep (P100).
  • Smiths island (- is a small island with white sand beach, a care taker family who stays there during the day, eatables (snacks and drinks). ' and stunnign views of white sands and blue seas. The fee to spend some time here is 100 pesos per head. One can reach it while island hopping on a bangka. It takes 20 minutes sailing from Kayangan lake to reach here.
  • Sangat Island - black limestone island with white sand beaches near most of the major WW2 wrecks in the area.
  • Malcapuya Island - Beautiful Island with very fine white sand beach just like Boracay (or better) but without construction. Entrance is P150-200 and is included in tour prices.
  • Banana Island - A longer boat trip from town is beautiful Banana Island, with its white sand beaches and numerous Pacific Giant Clams (local accommodations recommended as it is far from Coron, but it is available as a tour along with Malcapuya)
  • Bulog Beach - Visited as part of a tour along with Banana Island and Malcapuya Beach. It's a very small but stunning beach and you'll likely have it all to yourself.
  • Black Island - another limestone island with white sand beaches located far from town. Nearby are tourist attractions North Kay and Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary(local accommodations recommended as it is far from Coron)

Diving

Lots of wreck diving and some decent coral as well. Discovery Divers (on the beautiful 'Discovery Island') and Sea Dive are the big ones, and Coron Divers the cheapest one in the island. There are 6 big wrecks and 2 smaller gunboats, all bombed on 24 September 1944 by the Allied Forces, and they are well worth diving on!

  • Coron Divers. Is the only Dive Center owned by a Filipino. Arni is the big boss. Everything makes you feel in a Filipino family (even more if you stay at Chinette's Coron Reef Pension , just 10m away in front of Coron Divers). Reported to use broken equipment and some boats not built for diving. It's the only dive outfit in town run by Filipinos and also the cheapest.
  • Discovery Divers. Tucked away on 'Discovery Island' a 10 minute boat ride from the pier. Talk to Vivian in Coron town located at the Discovery Bar or get to the pier around 8AM to catch the boat out.
  • Dive CalamianesLocated between the Discovery Bar and downtown. DiveCal is the only dive shop in Coron offering a live aboard trip to the Apo reef.
  • Rocksteady Dive Center. Rocksteady is professionally run by a friendly and very competent German instructor. Rocksteady is located almost a kilometer from the town center, very near the hospital.
  • Neptune Dive Center,  +63 921-760-7492, e-mail:. 8:00-19:00. Neptune Dive Center is one of the newer dive shops in Coron, but is owned and operated by a team that has been living and diving there for years. Emphasis is on small groups and personal service. Neptune Dive Center is the only purpose built dive shop in Coron. Prices are mid-range compared to the other dive shops in the area.
  • SeaDive,  +63 9209458714. They have the only recompression chamber in all of Palawan onsite. The biggest dive shop in town, with divemasters who claim to have over 10,000 dives on the Coron wrecks. Priced higher than the other dive shops. Known for crowded boats and high divemaster to diver ratios.
  • Divingworld, e-mail: . exclusive located in a mangrove swamp on Popototan Island, some 30 minutes' boat ride out of town and offers ADP/CMAS and PADI in the middle of a private bay (only accessible by boat). The staff can help you arrange things to do around the island, own house reef and house wreck (35 m). It is diving base of divingwelt-group (international scuba school with German, English, Russian, Ukraine, Polish and Czech advising).
  • Chindonan Island Resort & Divecenter (Chindonan Divecenter), Chindonan Island, Coron Bay, Palawan (45min from Coron to Chindonan Island),  +63 9477 8538 76, e-mail: .Located in Coron Bay & known for its great location towards all shipwrecks. It takes 10-20min to get to your favorite shipwreck. A dive team there is known for its great service.

Other activities

  • Freediving,  +63 917 432 4911, e-mail: . AIDA Freediving courses. Learn how to do breath hold diving and visit the wrecks without tanks. AIDA* to AIDA*** courses available, duration from one to three days.
  • Kingfisher Park. Offering guided mangrove kayak tours (P500), trekking Mt Lunes Santo + bamboo cooked lunch (P500), and Starry Starry Night mangrove firefly/plankton cruises (P200). visit the website for tour booking details.
  • Maquinit Hot Spring. Offering large pools warmed by the geothermal water spring in the area. The hottest pools cascade into a large pool that empties into the ocean. Beautiful place to hang out in the evening after a long day of activities. (entrance P150, Aug 2011) Accessible by boat or by tricycle from town. Tricycle is normally 300-400p,(4pax) including bringing you back to town after 1–3 hours.
  • Banol Beach Gorgeous white sand beach. Accessible by boat from Coron, about 20mns away, features limestone cliffs going down to this beautiful white sand beach adorned with numerous large Kalachuchi flower trees and tamarind trees. Nipa huts for lunch are located in the shade of the Kalachuchi trees.(entrance P100)
  • Skeleton Wreck is a snorkeling destination near Banol Beach off the coast of Coron Island where there is an old fishing boat wreck. Around it are beautiful corals. Beware of sea urchins. (entrance P100)
  • Atwayan Beach located on the backside of the Skeleton Wreck island near Banol Beach, Atwayan Beach features Nipa huts to have lunch, and a beach volleyball court. (entrance P100)
  • Beach 91 is not as good as Banol. Free if you come from Kayangan Lake however seems unmaintained. Beware of jellyfishes.
  • Mt. Tapyas hike - If you are staying in the Coron main town, you can walk to the foot of Mt. Tapyas or grab a tricycle for P8 (2011). The hike reportedly is a 700+-step stairs to the top, the entrance is found at the side of community basketball court. Experience a breathtaking view of the sunset, recommended to start setting out at 4PM.
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain bike tours
  • Jungle Treks
  • Calauit Wildlife An island inhabited by imported African wildlife living in harmony with Palawan wildlife. Safari tours available. (local accommodation is required as it is about a 4 hour boat trip from Coron)
  • Kawayanan Resort* Relaxing and quiet place to have peace on the sand. Tree house is way better to experience facing the Coron Reef. 6 km away from Coron town.. 200 metres away from Hotsprings

Nightlife

  • Bistro - you can also drink and play billiards at this amazing eatery.
  • Discovery Bar - chill on the beautiful balcony over the water and overlooking the bay. Relaxing atmosphere complete with hammock. Great place to get your dive theory out of the way at. One billiard table.
  • Ottos - Rock out to some AC/DC and enjoy spying on the hustle and bustle of Coron's main street.
  • The Old House - happy hour 5PM-7PM all you can drink rum and Coke for P50. Beer comes with a coozie. Nice view of Coron's main street from the balcony. It is also a good place to just watch the world go by from the outside seating. One of the best prices you will find outside of the local liquor stores. Laid back atmosphere, interesting clientelle, and warm staff.
  • Helldiver's Bar" (SeaDive Resort) - Their signature drinks are great for the adventurous drinker, all for reasonable prices. They have a billiard table and relaxing music beat. You can ask for free popcorn at the bar.
  • Kuweba - on the national highway, near Angel motorcycles is hidden a bar run by some Rastafarian locals, they play their own music and sell hand made jewelry and carvings upstairs.

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