Island Hopping in Coron – the Best Spots to Visit
Coron is a spectacular destination of the Philippines. It is known for its impressive natural beauty, secluded beaches, mountains set on the water covered with lush green vegetation and lagoons with water so clear it looks like it was just poured out from a tap. You can see all that just in one day with this island hopping experience from Coron town. Read on to find out what places you should visit for an epic adventure!
The Classical Tours
Island hopping is the most popular activity in Coron. Similarly to El Nido, there are 4 tours to choose from: A, B, C and D. While tours A and B cover the most popular and interesting spot, tours C and D will take you to remote locations of idyllic beaches and secluded islands.
On this tour you will get a chance to relax on the beautiful white sand of Cyc Beach and snorkel in between stunning coral at Coral Garden. Later on you’ll have delicious lunch at Atwayan Beach followed by a trip to Hidden Lagoon and Quin Reef. You will end the day with a visit to the most spectacular spot in Coron, the Kayangan Lake, known as the clearest lake in the Philippines.
↬ Read : Coron Guide – the Gem of the Philippines
Tour B will start at the impressive Baracuda Lake, where you can free dive in crystal clear waters. Later on you will get a chance to snorkel next to Skeleton Wreck. After the refreshing swim, you will have lunch at the stunning Banol Beach. In the afternoon you will visit the incredible Twin Lagoon and finish your day snorkeling at Reef Garden.
Tour C covers some of the most beautiful islands and beaches around Coron. It will be a full day of relax spread over Malcapuya Island (where you will have lunch), Bulog Dos Island and Banana Island.
On tour D you will start your day by a trip to Bulog Dos Island for relaxing strolls on white sand beach. Later you will head to Pass Island, where you will snorkel over a beautiful reef and have delicious lunch. In the afternoon, you will head to Lusong Coral Garden for some more snorkeling and Lusong Gunboat, where you will be able to see a sunken ship wreck from WWII.
↬ Note : If you are planning a trip to Coron make sure to read our Philippines complete guide to paradise ?
How to Island Hop
There are 2 ways of Island hopping in Coron: joining an organised tour or by private tour.
Joining an organised tour
Joining an organised tour is a great idea if you are alone or two and travel on a small budget. The price for the tours vary from 1200 PHP to 1700 PHP (20-30 EUR) per person. All organised tours include lunch and hotel pick up in the price. But remember that you will share a boat with 20+ other people and arrive at the locations at the same time as many other boats. No alterations or changes can be done to the schedule.
We think that it’s the best way of island hopping in Coron and it gives you one massive advantage: you can leave earlier and arrive at the locations before anybody gets there. We can assure you: this is worth all the money (private boat will costs around 3500 PHP, 60 EUR; lunch included). Plus you can choose which places you can visit and do only those on your tour. Which means that even if you have just one day or even less, you will still be able to see the most stunning parts of Coron.
Which tour to choose
We highly recommend you to do a private tour. And the crucial part is starting as early as possible.
↬ Note : Remember that Filipinos are very relaxed people, they do not hurry or stress. It’s kinda beautiful, but hard when you want to get things done. ? Have in mind that if you’ll ask to start the tour at 7.30 AM, you will probably leave after 8 AM… the boat man will be just finishing his coffee and watching a match of football…(this happened to us). Nevertheless we loved the vibe and atmosphere all over the Philippines and in Coron.
The Places you Must Not Miss
Choose the locations you want to visit depending on how many days you have to do island hopping. We did only one (actually even a half day, as our flight was leaving at 6 PM), and decided to do a tour of this places (which we highly recommend):
The most amazing location we have even been in. Kayangan Lake is a stunning lake with a crystal clear freshwater and unbelievable underwater rock formations. It’s surrounded by lush green vegetation and a great place to practise your jumps.
Your boat will dock to a small pier and from there you must climb some steps to the other side of the mountain to reach Kayangan Lake. Make sure to stop at the view spot for the most recognizable picture of Coron.
↬ TIP : Arrive early! As it’s the most popular spot in Coron, it will be the first to get crowded. We arrived to Kayangan Lake at around 8.15 AM and were the only ones on the site! Thanks to that the guard didn’t mind us swimming without life wests which are mandatory. When we were leaving around 9 AM there were already plenty of people coming in.
The second stop of the day is located just a few minutes boat ride from Kayangan Lake. As those two spots are similar you can choose to do just one. We however loved doing both. The way to Baracuda Lake is very cool as well, as a small wooden staircase passes through stunning rock formations and at the end opens up to this incredible natural gem. Baracuda Lake is a perfect spot for free diving and the visibility is insanely good. You can also scuba dive in its fresh waters.
Twin Lagoon is an incredible pool of water surrounded by amazing cliffs. To enter the lagoon you have to cross a gap in the mountain. You can do that by either walking on the small wooden staircase, or swimming underneath the rock. We highly suggest the second option, as the queue on the stairs is gigantic, but mind your head. Once you are inside the lagoon, you will be swimming in between stunning limestone cliffs in tranquil waters.
↬ TIP : If you have a whole day of island hopping, come to Twin Lagoon at the end of the day. There is a chance the place will be less crowded then during the day.
Snorkeling next to Skeleton Wreck is one of the most popular attractions in Coron. It was a thrill even if the day before we scuba dived next to another ship wreck.
The Skeleton Wreck is an almost intact ship from WWII sunk at only 10-15 m dept. Even from the surface you can see the impressive bow covered with hundreds of colourful fish and corals. Its the perfect place to try out your free diving skills!
↬ Read : Scuba diving next to ship wrecks in Coron
Smith Coral Garden
Smith Coral Garden is a mind-blowing snorkeling spot. It’s one of the few places where the corals are full of colours and not bleached yet. It’s just incredible to swim around huge corals & hundreds of fish.
We visited those 5 spots and were back in the town at 2 PM. If you have a full day, the lunch will be included in the boat rental price and served at one of the stunning beaches. We would recommend spending the afternoon relaxing on the white sand of Cyc Beach, Malcapuya Island, Bulog Dos Island or Banana Island. Each of this incredible places look stunning and we think you can’t make a bad choice going for 2 or 3 of those.
How to book?
It is important to book the tour at least a day in advance. Most of tour operators share the prices, but you might be able to bargain 100-200 PHP down. The easiest way is going down to the port and to look for signs with boat rentals.
You can also book you shared tours here.
↬ Note : Remember to insist of starting the tour early with the private boat. Try to leave already at 7.30, meaning meeting the crew around 7.00-7.15.
What to bring
- A swimwear and a towel ?. Wear flip-flops as you will walk barefoot on the boat anyways and wont need to walk a lot: you’ll be mostly swimming.
- Biodegradable sunscreen, a hat or a scarf for your head and sunglasses.
- Camera with spare batteries and plenty of memory card.
- Go pro for beautiful underwater shots.
- Light rain coat (the weather might change unexpectidly)
- It’s good to have your own snorkeling gear. If you don’t have it make sure that the company will provide it.
- If you do full day island hopping you will have lunch at the beach that will consist of fresh grilled fish, chicken, rice, vegetables and fruits. It will be sufficient, but you can bring extra snacks if you wish. The boat will be equipped with drinkable water, but you might like to take your own in a reusable bottle (please don’t bring any plastic on island hopping).
Island Hopping is not the only activity Coron has to offer. Make sure to read Coron – the gem of the Philippines to discover more about this incredible island.