Stunning underwater shipwrecks, crystal clear lagoons, and pristine white sand beaches: these are just a few of the reasons why you need to visit Coron Island. This small archipelago is slowly but surely becoming more popular as it captures the hearts of all travelers who visit for many reasons. Located between Palawan and Luzon, this island is one that needs to be added to your Philippines itinerary.
While there are many reasons to visit Coron, check out Mad Monkey’s top 10!
Underwater explorers love Barracuda Island. This crystal clear body of water is made up of layers of both salt and freshwater. Divers can experience exactly where it divides as they go further down the lake. The temperatures change drastically, as well, and divers will experience making the transition from cold to hot with temperatures reaching up to 38 degrees celsius.
The lake is ideal for snorkelers too, and swimmers can see incredible rock formations drop drastically down the ocean floor from the water’s surface. This is a must-visit destination from Coron Island.
The Twin Lagoon, as its name suggests, is made up of two stunning lagoons. Boats have to dock in the first lagoon but visitors can get to the second by swimming. After swimming through a small cave-like entrance, visitors to the Twin Lagoon are stunned with high rising cliffs on almost every side. The sight is a memorable and jaw-dropping one, so be sure to bring your GoPro! In addition to swimming through the cave, there is a ladder facing the second lagoon that provides visitors with a perfect Instagrammable shot.
You must charter a boat to get to the Twin Lagoon. There are several Coron Island hopping tours that have this natural wonder on their itineraries. These day tours normally range from PHP 1,200-1,700 depending on the number of stops and duration of the tour.
Divers simply flock to Coron Island and for good reason. Coron Bay is populated with many shipwrecks from World War II, many of which are accessible for divers and some are even shallow enough that snorkelers can get a glimpse of these historic relics.
In September of 1944, a Japanese fleet hiding around the coastlines of the island was discovered and destroyed by Helldiver bombers and Hellcat fighters. The attack has made Coron Island one of the most coveted diving destinations in all of Asia. The ships have transformed from war vessels and have become the home of some of the most interesting array of sea life. Many of them are so intact that divers can actually enter the ships and some are up to 170 meters in length! Some of the top shipwrecks worth seeing include the:
- Olympia Maru
If you are not a scuba diver, be sure to check out Lusong Gunboat, a Japanese submarine hunter that can be seen from the ocean’s surface with snorkeling gear. It is near Lusong Island.
Crystal clear water welcomes all those who visit Kayangan Lake. Upon arrival, you will have a short walk to the stunning body of water. Be sure to snag some snorkeling gear as there are plenty of underwater rock formations just below the surface. The only way to visit Kayangan Lake is by boat. This is also one of the major destinations included in a Coron Island hopping tour.
Ocam Ocam Beach
Ocam Ocam Beach on Busuanga Island is a quiet stretch of sand located about 1.5 hours from Coron Town. Some would argue that it is one of the most underrated stretches of sand in all of Asia, and we certainly aren’t going to contest them.
Palm trees line the short shoreline that is spotted with the occasional fishing and tour boat, many of which are empty or house a sleeping captain. The remote beach is near some excellent dive sites, a boat ride away from Black Island, and very close to the Calauit Safari Park, another top destination on the island. Take a few days to come here to relax, kayak, snorkel, and mingle with the friendly locals. A visit to Ocam Ocam Beach will surely be the highlight of your trip to Coron Island!
Black Island is a semi-undiscovered island that is about 45 minutes by boat from Ocam Ocam Beach. Otherwise known as Malajon Island, this landmass looks like it is straight out of a King Kong film. Palm trees and a long stretch of white sand decorate its shoreline whilst a huge rock formation standing almost entirely upright acts as its backdrop. Watching the island come into view by boat is both eerie and spectacular. It is nicknamed Black Island because once the sun starts to go down, the large rock backdrop completely blacks out the sun from shining on its beach.
There is a rock off its shoreline equipped with a rope that you can climb and jump off of. Black Island’s coastline is also home to stunning coral and marine life, so be sure to bring some snorkeling gear. Lastly, Black Island is worth a visit to see the Black Island Caves. The caves are home to two bodies of water and stand some 40 feet tall. There is a PHP 150 entrance fee onto Black Island.
Get ready to sweat at the next must-visit place on Coron Island: Mount Tapyas. This is one of the first things visitors to the island notice upon arrival, as the mountain rises high above Coron’s city center. Standing at over 210 meters tall and over 700 steps to the top, it is here you will experience first-hand some of the most stunning sunsets the country has to offer.
Mount Tapyas is also home to the island’s very own Hollywood sign if you will, with a large sign displaying the word CORON at the top. This is shadowed by a large white cross that towers over it. The hike takes about 45 minutes and you will start your climb at the intersection of San Augustin Street and Nueva Street. From there, there are plenty of signs that will direct you to the bottom of Mount Tapyas.
If you are island hopping on Coron Island (which is an absolute must), be sure to add Malcapuya Island to your itinerary. It is very close to Banana Island and Bulog Dos, two other amazing destinations. The white sand that makes up the island can’t be missed and it is a great spot for snorkeling and seeing Coron Island’s marine life.
Sway in a hammock, find shade underneath a native hut, and enjoy the stunning beach on Banana Island. Also known as Dicalabuan Island, this isolated island is adorned with stunning blue waters along its coast, and visitors can actually walk the entirety of the island – it’s that small! It is about ten minutes by boat from Bulog Dos.
Coron Island Calauit Safari Park
Located on the northwestern tip of Busuanga, the Calauit Safari Park is an attraction like no other. This wildlife reserve is home to the rarest of animals visitors wouldn’t dream of seeing in the Philippines: giraffes and zebras. They arrived at the island of Coron by boat from Kenya, along with other animals including antelopes, gazelles, waterbucks, and more. Residents on the island had to relocate and the area was made suitable for the animals. The reason for their relocation to the island remains unclear. Some speculate that it was to improve tourism in the area whilst others think it was an effort to preserve these animals. Either way, the Coron Calauit Safari Park is certainly worth a visit!
More Information About Visiting Coron Island
Did you love this article about the top things to see and do on the island of Coron? Do you want even more information about how to make the most out of your time here? Then be sure to check out these articles we have rounded up so that you can make your trip to Coron the absolute best it can be! Happy traveling!
- 15 Best Things to do in Coron (the Philippines) for The Crazy Tourist
- The 10 Best Things to do in Coron by Kristen for My Travel Muse
- 10 Adventurous Things to do in Coron, Palawan by J
- Coron Things To Do in Coron, Philippines – 2-Day Guide for Salt In Our Hair
- Top Things to do in Coron Town for Lonely Planet