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Coron Island Hopping Guide: Tours & Itineraries

Found in the lush province of Palawan, Coron welcomes travellers into a tropical heaven. It’s one of the profoundly beautiful clusters of islands that contribute to the world-renowned reputation of the Philippines.

Surrounded by turquoise waters, mountainous landscapes covered in a layer of dense vegetation and blue skies as far as the eye can see.

Coron is a must-see for anyone during their Philippines itinerary, and for those who enjoy hopping between impossibly beautiful islands.

I’ve put together a guide on what you can expect when island hopping in this alluring destination, and all of the magnificent locations you can look forward to seeing.

Learn everything you need to know about island hopping in Coron and get ready for an enthralling journey in paradise!

Floating in the crystal clear water of Malcapuya Island

Floating in the crystal clear water of Malcapuya Island

About Coron

Nestled within the Calamian Archipelago, Coron is a municipality within the archipelagic province of Palawan.

It’s what makes up the entire eastern half of the gorgeous Busuanga Island, as well as the entire Coron Island (yes, there is an island here of the same name). It also makes up a bunch of other must-visit islets.

This municipality of magical islands has a rich history, with Coron Island being renowned for its Japanese shipwrecks from World War II.

When it comes to culture, you’ll discover a blend of Tagbanua tribal heritage and elements of Spanish influences.

Girl jumping off a boat in Coron, with limestone cliffs in the background

Enjoying our Coron ultimate tour

Coron Town is the best place for those wanting to enjoy a thriving nightlife scene. And it also has some of the best restaurants with the tastiest Filipino cuisine!

This cluster of islands has a remote feel that adds to its unique atmosphere. A visit to Coron will give you more than a taste of the island-life. It will also be an enchanting journey into a mystifying combination of coastal locations.

The deeper you explore, the more you will fall in love. You can partake in fun watersports, find incredible places to cliff-dive, see hidden lagoons and so much more.

The beach on Malcapuya Island

The beach on Malcapuya Island

General info about island hopping in Coron

When planning your island hopping tours, here are some general guidelines to help you decide which option will be best for you.

Hiring a private boat in Coron

You can arrange private island-hopping adventures whilst in Coron. However, when I was there (May 2019) the harbour authority wasn’t letting boats set off early. The earliest you could set off was 9:00 am, which is when all the tours start.

So, even if you did hire a private boat, you wouldn’t be able to get to each of the highlights before the crowds. However, you will be able to enjoy your time at your own leisure and choose your own route.

Girl walking in the clear turquoise water of Malcapuya Island, Philippines, with a typical Filipino boat behind her

Enjoying the clear water of Malcapuya Island

Prices for a private tour range from 3,000 to 5,000 PHP, depending on what islands you want to visit, and seating between 4 – 6 people.

As a solo traveller it’s cheaper to join a group tour, however if you’re travelling with a group of friends getting a private boat can work out cheaper and more fun!

Insider tip: If you really want to avoid the crowds, I suggest asking the person you’ve hired to drive your boat to go in the opposite direction of the tours.

This way, you’ll get to the places just before or after the crowds, giving you enough time to without the tours.

Kayaking in the Twin Lagoons in Coron

Kayaking in the Twin Lagoons in Coron

Entry fees

Just like when island hopping in Siargao, the islands in Coron often require an entry fee upon arrival.

It varies from place to place, but will usually cost between 150 PHP – 300 PHP. Here is a rough guide on how much you can expect to pay for entry to some of the most popular islands:

– Twin Lagoon – 200 PHP

– Banana Island – 150 PHP

– Malcapuya Island – 150 PHP

– Siete Pecados – 150 PHP

– Skeleton Wreck – 150 PHP

– Banul Beach – 150 PHP

– Kayangan Lake – 300 PHP

If you go on an organised group tour these fees are usually included in the tour fee.

The steep cliffs of Twin Lagoons in Coron

The steep cliffs of Twin Lagoons in Coron

Lunch

Private boat tours don’t include lunch, but the group tours usually do. So if you hire a private boat, it’s worth bringing your own.

You can either get snacks and sandwiches from one of the many shops in town, or try getting fresh fish and see if your private boat leader is willing to cook it for you.

A lovely grilled fish lunch served on the beach during our Coron ultimate tour

A lovely grilled fish lunch served on the beach during our Coron ultimate tour

Group Coron Tours

Whilst touring Coron we went on a couple different group tours. It was an unforgettable experience, and besides saving money we we also got to meet some pretty cool people.

An added bonus of going on a group tour is that lunch is included, as well as entry fees and activities. Everything is planned for you, so all you have to do is show up and have a great time exploring.

There are seven standard day island hopping tours, sometimes marked with the lettering system, like El Nido (eg. Island Hopping tours A, C, D). I’ve listed them all below and gone into more detail for the most popular tours.

Girl sat in the crystal clear turquoise water of Malcapuya Island

Enjoying the clear water of Malcapuya Island

Coron island hopping tour itineraries

We did the Coron Island Ultimate Tour and the Coron Island Escape (Tour C). They were 1500 PHP each. I’m going to dive into the itineraries of these two tours a bit more, since they are the most popular.

Coron Island Ultimate Tour

Our adventures in Coron, Palawan were remarkable. We created memories of a lifetime and can reminisce about the stunning beauty of the islands.

The Coron Island Ultimate Tour is a special treat, and I highly recommend it to first-timers, as it covers all the main highlights that you can see when island hopping in Coron.

These are the wonderful places we got to visit during our Coron day tour.

Click here to book your Coron Island Ultimate Tour!

The iconic view over Kayangan Lake that you can see during the Coron Ultimate Tour

The iconic view over Kayangan Lake that you can see during the Coron Ultimate Tour

Siete Picados

Found near the Maquinit Hot Springs is a cluster of seven islands called the Siete Picados, meaning ‘Seven Chopped’. They are sometimes referred to as the ‘Isles of the Seven Sins’ and they carry a lot of mystery and legend.

It’s one of the most popular places to see in Coron, and it’s most renowned for its excellent snorkelling and diving. The marine life in the water is incredible, with colourful coral reefs and fish decorating the sea.

If you’re searching for one of the most amazing underwater worlds, you’ll find it here. On this tour, we got to snorkel and see it for ourselves.

Island hopping in Coron

Island hopping in Coron

Kayangan Lake

Kayangan Lake is another one of the most frequently visited gems, with a famous viewpoint you’ll actually have to queue for.

But, this amazing viewpoint captures Coron Bay from a unique perspective that is truly breathtaking, so it’s worth the wait.

When it comes to swimming in the tranquil lagoon, you’ll have to wear a lifejacket on. This is a standard safety procedure, and although it means you can’t dive under, it’s alright. The lake has the cleanest, clearest water.

Even just floating on the surface of the lake and gazing through the water is a brilliant way to see marine life and absord the beauty of the place.

Just be mindful that although this magnificent lake in Coron is beautiful, it’s also incredibly busy. We were lucky in that our tour set off late as we had to wait for a latecomer.

While it seemed an inconvenience at first it actually meant we were slightly behind schedule on the tours, and we arrived at Kayangan Lake as the crowds of the other tours were leaving.

Exploring Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan

Exploring Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan

Twin Lagoon

The Twin Lagoon is a must-see when in Coron, as it’s an authentic tropical haven. Your boat will dock in the first lagoon, and then you’ll move over to the second lagoon.

The second lagoon is hidden from sight, and only accessible through a small crevice. You’ll either squeeze through the crevice, climb over on a ladder or swim over during high tide.

It’s not as busy as Kayangan Lake, so you can have the freedom to explore and even swim without a life jacket. If you want, you can also hop on a kayak and cruise the waters to get an even better look at this famous location.

A traditional Filipino boat at the twin lagoons in Coron

Island hopping in Coron

Skeleton Wreck

Skeleton Wreck, Coron is an incredibly cool snorkelling spot. You’ll be able to dive and see the notorious site of one of twelve Japanese ships that sank in this spot during WWII. It’s an exciting way to appreciate the history of Coron.

Las Islas de Corals

Otherwise known as the Coral Garden, this unbelievably beautiful and unique snorkelling area provides one of the most glorious coral reefs. You can see it as a part of this Coron island tour.

The abundance of strikingly coloured coral and fish species is bewildering. Sea turtles are also occasionally spotted. Jellyfish might join the party, so be on guard when you’re soaking in the wonders of Las Islas de Corales.

Snorkelling during the Coron ultimate tour

Snorkelling during the Coron ultimate tour

Sunset Beach / Atwayan Beach

Enjoy one of the most scenic coastal lunch spots, set with white-sand shores and lapping ocean waters. Enjoy a delicious barbecued fish on the beach and hit pause from all the activity.

Atwayan Beach, where we stopped for lunch during our Coron Ultimate tour

Atwayan Beach, where we stopped for lunch during our Coron Ultimate tour

CYC Beach

End your day off at one of Coron’s most famous beaches, the Coron Young Club Beach. It’s an amazing place to chill on the beach and soak in the sunshine.

While we were there many local vendors cruised past us on their boats offering cold beers, ice creams, and all sorts of snacks and drinks.

The beach is on a tiny island but still boasts idyllic features of a tropical beachscape, with mangrove trees scattered throughout the shoreline. It’s the perfect place to end off an unforgettable day of island-hopping in Coron.

Click here to book your Coron Island Ultimate Tour

One of the local vendors who sell drinks and snacks to tourists on the tour boats in Coron

One of the local vendors who sell drinks and snacks to tourists on the tour boats in Coron

Coron Island Escape (Tour C)

One of the most fun and exquisite tours to take in Coron, Tour C is sure to leave you with sandy feet and a big smile. This is what we got up, and what you can expect to enjoy, during this Coron island hopping tour.

Malcapuya Island

The enchanting Malcapuya Island is nothing short of absolutely stunning. It’s not as busy as you may expect, due to its distance from Coron.

It’s 1.5 hours away, so it takes a while to get to the island, but you can marvel at many coastal sites along the way.

Here, snorkelling and diving are the order of the day and you will be immersed in natural beauty and tropical vegetation.

The beach has fine white sand, and the water is an incredibly clear turquoise. There are palm trees lining the beach where you can relax in the shade, or soak in the sunshine by lying on the fine white sand.

The beach on Malcapuya Island

The beach on Malcapuya Island

The crystal clear water of Malcapuya Island, Palawan

The crystal clear water of Malcapuya Island, Palawan

Banana Island

Close to Malcapuya Island sits the magical Banana Island. Its name captures the laid-back feel and simplistic natural beauty of its white-sand shores.

There are a few trees here for you to lounge under, or you can swim and snorkel in the calm ocean waters. We did our lunch stop here and enjoyed some lovely barbecued fish on the beach.

It’s a great destination that makes this one of the best Coron, Palawan tours.

Underwater GoPro shot of a girl swimming in the crystal clear water of Malcapuya Island

Swimming in the crystal clear water of Malcapuya Island

Bulog Dos Sandbar

The last stop on this relaxed tour of Coron is the Bulog Dos Sandbar. Its powder-smooth white sand will be the first thing you notice.

It’s a place of serene beauty, and although it is rather small, it’s larger-than-life character shines through in the tranquil setting.

Bask in the stunning scenery and gaze out at the ocean as you enjoy the ending to this mesmerizing, 3-part island hopping tour.

Be sure to pack your camera! You’ll want to take plenty of pics for your Instagram feed.

Click here to book a Coron Island Escape Tour

The Bulog Dos sandbar (at high tide) that you visit during Coron Tour C Island Escape

The Bulog Dos sandbar (at high tide) that you visit during Coron Tour C Island Escape

Tour C doesn’t do as many stops as Coron Ultimate Tour, since the islands are located further away. However that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just makes for a different kind of island hopping day.

The Ultimate Coron Tour is an action packed itinerary, whilst Tour C is a leisurely beach chilling day. Both have their beauty and appeal to different kinds of travellers.

Cruising during our Coron Island Escape Tour (Tour C)

Cruising during our Coron Island Escape Tour (Tour C)

Other popular tours in Coron

Coron Islands and Lakes Tour (Tour A)

Explore a multitude of the islands and see some of the most popular coastal attractions on the Coron, Palawan tour A.

Cost per person: 1025 PHP

Itinerary:

– CYC Beach

– Coral Garden

– Atwayan Beach (picnic lunch)

– Hidden Lagoon

– Quin Reef

– Kayangan Lake

Click here to book a Coron Islands Tour A

Kayangan Lake without the crowds

Kayangan Lake without the crowds

Coron Calauit Safari and Beach Tour

If you want to enjoy the biodiversity of Coron, Philippines then this is the best tour for you. Enjoy stops at two of the most amazing places to see wildlife and enjoy the vegetation of the island.

Cost: 3000 PHP

Itinerary:

– Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary

– North Cay or Pamilacan Island

Click here to book a Calauit Safari and Beach Tour

Girl walking in the clear turquoise water of Malcapuya Island, Philippines

Enjoying the clear water of Malcapuya Island

Coron Reefs and Wrecks Island Hopping (Tour D)

If you’re a history-lover who’s looking for a way to satisfy your wanderlust, then Coron Tour D is a great option for you.

Cost: 1600 PHP

Itinerary:

– Bulog Dos Island

– Pass Island (picnic lunch)

– Lusong Coral Garden

– Lusong GunBoat Shipwreck

Click here to book Coron Island Tour D

Snorkelling during our Coron island hopping tours

Snorkelling during our Coron island hopping tours

Coron Town Half-day Tour

Although this tour doesn’t include island-hopping, it is a wonderful way to enjoy the inland treasures of Coron Town – which in itself is an island!

Cost: 1500 PHP

Itinerary:

– Mt Tapyas View Deck

– Maquinit Hot Spring

– Public Market

– Town Plaza

– Lualhati Park

– Souvenir shops

– St Augustine Church

– Cashew Harvest

Click here to book a Half-Day Coron Town Tour

Island hopping in Coron

Island hopping in Coron

Where to stay in Coron

During our time in Coron we stayed at Hop Hostel and I couldn’t recommend it more.

Hop Hostel is a modern hostel with clean and spacious rooms, and lots of communal areas, amongst which a restaurant, a mini cinema room and a rooftop bar with sunset views.

It’s a short walk away from the main streets of Coron Town. I loved my time there and it’s the perfect place to base yourself during your island hopping days in Coron.

Click here to see the latest prices and availability at Hop Hostel!

The sunset view from the rooftop bar of Hop Hostel in Coron

The sunset view from the rooftop bar of Hop Hostel in Coron

Final thoughts on island hopping in Coron

Coron is a picturesque place that will leave you with so many memories and give you a chance to truly immerse yourself in the island lifestyle. 

This paradise is full of so much wonder, with stunning shorelines, astounding landscapes and beautiful aquatic creatures. There is no better way to experience all that Coron has to offer than by going on an island hopping tour.

While in the Philippines I also went island hopping in El Nido, while does tours were more fun because of the crowds, the Coron island hopping tours were more beautiful from a natural point of view.

With this guide, you can see exactly what you will be doing and how many tours there are to partake in.

I hope I’ve given you a good indication of what to expect from each Coron island hopping tour, and that I’ve helped you decide which one is best suited for you!

You can now pack for the Philippines and get ready to have the journey of a lifetime in one of the world’s most gorgeous, tropical treasures!

Looking for more Philippines travel tips? Check out my guides:

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