5 Top Coron Palawan Tourist Spots
If you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path Palawan tourist spots, forget the Disneyland that is El Nido and head to Coron and the island of Busuanga.
In our post “Things to Do in Coron” we listed all of our favorite activities from our unforgettable two weeks on this island paradise.
Now Kim and I each rank our top 5:
Chris’ 5 Top Coron Palawan Tourist Spots
Vicky’s Guesthouse & North Busuanga Kayaking
I wish we had escaped Coron Town and come here sooner. It’s the perfect “all-inclusive” getaway. Super relaxing, right on the water, amazing staff, new friends, local experience, decent food prepared fresh every day.
Ok, it wasn’t really all-inclusive — we paid for the accommodation, activities, and food separately — but since we did it all though Vicky’s, it was essentially the same thing.
The best part for me was kayaking to the secluded islands. Sure, it was hard work paddling to them (especially when your girlfriend in the front of the kayak decides to use the paddle more as sun shade than a propulsion device) but that made it all the more rewarding when we got to each beach. And the water along the shorelines was so clear we could snorkel without a snorkel.
The Guido Experience
Guido is the man. This super fit ex-karaoke baron was the friendliest, most interesting guy we met on the trip. Ask him how he got to Palawan and be prepared for an amazing story.
Speaking of amazing, the night time firefly and bioluminescence trip blew me away. And just in general the amazing hospitality of Guido and his family, the experience of staying in a small village, snorkelling Coral Gardens and the Shipwreck, and diving for conch was beyond compare.
This is closer to 1B than number 2 on the my list of top Coron Palawan tourist spots. I 100% recommend it to all my friends visiting Palawan.
Coron Island Kayaking
I can’t believe this isn’t more popular . The Boat Tour Mafia must be keeping it buried to protect their business interests. Well screw them and their packaged tours (one of the 5 things we recommend you avoid). If you’re fit, this is the best way to tour Coron Island.
Coron Island was so much more beautiful when we could explore it’s little nooks and crannies and veer away from the hordes of tourists in their bangkas. And we were the only ones doing it. It’s always special to be the only ones.
Coron Island Private Boat Tour
A day living the VIP lifestyle of chartering a boat, enjoying good food and drinks, beautiful scenery, and going wherever we wanted really hit the spot. And it didn’t hurt that it cost less than $15 each.
Maybe we were lucky to find a fun group to split the cost with. And maybe we got the only captains who turned out to be wannabe Cordon Bleu chefs. But hey, you only get lucky if you try.
Our Ocam Ocam experience was more memorable than fun or beautiful, but it still deserves a spot on my Top 5.
The drive in and out of town was an adventure in itself (I feel like a motorcycle pro now for having successfully survived the last few kilometers into town). Black Island was cool. It was nice to actually be staying on a beach (nowhere else aside from expensive resorts is that possible). But more than anything what I won’t forget is wandering around town looking for someone (anyone!) who could help us get a boat, some food, and a beer. We didn’t find beer, but the home-brewed coconut wine we got instead was an even better experience.
Maybe the experience is a bit different in the high season when the one (and soon to be two) resort in town is open, but I’d still recommend it to those staying in Coron for more than a two or three days and looking for really off the beaten path Palawan tourist spots.
Kim’s Top 5 Coron, Palawan Tourist Spots
Vicky’s Guesthouse & North Busuanga Kayaking
We stumbled across Vicky’s Guesthouse late morning of a day trip to the North part of the island and were immediately drawn to its laid back and friendly vibe. At Vicky’s we ended up renting kayaks and paddling (okay, Chris did most of the work) to two secluded private white sand beaches, enjoying fresh fish, and having fun roaming the town for ingredients for our first Blending In smoothie (the Hello Hello!). Brenda, the lady who runs the show at Vicky’s now, was great. She is a Dive Master and has tons of travel and diving experience from having lived abroad for a number of years. We didn’t go out to see the Dugongs but if these sea mammals are your thing, we highly recommend doing the tour with Brenda. Come here for a day or two of relaxation by the sea. You won’t be disappointed!
The Guido Experience
Guido and his family took us in with open arms and showed us a real, local Filipino experience. Some of the highlights during these two days were: cooking lunch with Guido’s wife in her very basic kitchen, snorkelling and hunting for Five Fingers, and seeing the fireflies and bioluminescence in the evening. Ask Guido about his story – he likes to talk (especially after a Red Horse) despite his quiet demeanour.
Coron Private Boat Tour
We were lucky to bump into some friendly Canadian tourists at a bar on one of our last nights on Busuanga Island. We were looking for others to split the cost of a boat so we could do our own tour of the islands but hadn’t really met anyone! Did we smell? Anyway, the three Canadians ended up being a great group and we only spent $15 each for food, drinks, crew and chefs (same 2 guys), and of course the boat which took us to some secluded spots that weren’t flooded with Filipino tourists. Don’t get sucked into the packaged tours, do some exploring on your own!
Motorcycling Busuanga’s West Coast
I’ve only motorcycled (okay scootered) in Thailand and Indonesia a few times and only on paved roads. So when the paved roads turned into bumpy, rolling hills with wet mud, I was worried. But, I have to say Chris did a great job on the semi-manual bike, and we wouldn’t have got to some of the more remote places without being on bike. If you have any experience riding a bike, this is a great option for exploring.
Sunset at Levine’s
Levine’s is one of the only places in noisy and hectic Coron Town where you can get a great view of the sunset, incredibly cheap Red Horse beer and some tasty food. It’s a friendly, family-run place with good service. We ordered the spicy eggplant dish at least three times and thoroughly enjoyed taking in the views after a hard day out touring around the island.
What Do You Think?
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions, or if you have other favorite Coron Palawan tourist spots we didn’t mention.