Things to Avoid in Coron, Palawan, Philippines

These things we recommend not doing (or at least to think twice about doing) in Coron are Part 3 of our 4-part Coron Getaway Guide in which we share our top tips for fellow independent travelers.

After this, don’t miss Part 1: 11 Adventurous Things to Do, Part 2: Where to Eat, and Part 4: Ocam Ocam Tips.

Save Your Time and Money

Are you traveling to the Philippines? If so, these are the things to avoid in Coron, Palawan. Save your time and money.

Kayanagan Lake

Kayanagan Lake is overdeveloped, overpopulated, and overpriced.

Sure it’s beautiful. If it were cheaper, less built up, and/or less busy it’d be a must. But it’s not.

Watch Youtube videos to see what you’re missing, then decide yourself.

Packaged Island Hopping Tour

Island hopping is THE thing to do in Coron, Palawan (one of our favorites!). But packaged island hopping is one of THE things to avoid in Coron.

All the island hopping tours follow the same itinerary, so your views and pictures of beautiful Coron island and its surroundings are guaranteed to be stained by hordes in their ubiquitous bright orange lifejackets.

But you want to see the islands, right? Then do your own tour instead (or rent a kayak). It can be cheaper and you’ll avoid the crowds. Read more about these alternatives here. 

Marley’s Guesthouse

More like Marley’s dreadlocks. That’s how dirty the place was.

Marley’s Guesthouse’s kitchen had two pots. Inside both was food from back when Bob Marley was alive that had gone so disgustingly mouldy and fuzzy it looked like a dead rabbit. The rest of the place wasn’t any cleaner.

And it was staffed by a couple of kids so shy they seemed standoffish. This guesthouse definitely didn’t make us feel like we were valued guests.

For the same price, stay at the very well-run Coron Guapos Guesthouse right next door.

Marley’s Place’s compelled us to quickly “Exodus”

Manquinit Hot Springs

If Manquinit Hot Springs were free we wouldn’t go. Even worse, they cost more than an entree at a good restaurant to visit. Forget that.

The Philippines is hot enough. Even worse, Manquinit Hot Springs are salt water, so you’re not even rinsing off from your day of island hopping.

But if you absolutely must go, at the very least don’t take a tricycle. Rent a scooter/motorcycle instead for almost the same price (read here where to get your bike from). That way you can minimize your loses by taking advantage of the bike to explore better parts of the island as well.

Distant Islands

If you could somehow rent a speedboat, then it’d be worth it to head to distant islands like Malcapuya or Banana. But it’s not worth it to spend over and hour and a half puttering there in a bankga, then another hour and a half back. Three hours is one third of your daylight.

Stick to beaches that are only 20-30 minutes from Coron town, or head up north and check out the equally beautiful, less crowed, and more affordably accessed beaches there.

banka picture
This is a bangka. You do not want to spend 3 hours and tons of money to be in one. (Photo by Jun Acullador)

What Should I Do Instead?

Discover what else we most (and least) enjoyed around town and around Busuanga by completing our 4-part Coron Getaway Guide:

Disclosure: Whenever possible, we use links that earn us a cut if you pay for stuff we recommend. It costs you nothing, so we’d be crazy not to. Read our affiliate policy here.

Chris and Kim

Kim and Chris are on a mission to eradicate boringness by feeding their curiosity and fighting complacency. Discover the extraordinary and join thousands of others every month with The Unconventional Monthly.

17 thoughts on “Things to Avoid in Coron, Palawan, Philippines”

  1. Interesting take. I find it contradictory that you’d be willing to paddle 2 hrs each direction on a kayak to Coron island, but find that the 1 1/2 hour trip both ways to Malcapuya,Banana and Bulog Dos a waste of valuable daylight/beach time. Different strokes for different folks.

    That stated, thanks for your info on Coron. While, we may do something mostly different than your ‘to-do’ suggestions, it is nice to have your personal experience(s)/insight to compare with.

    Did your privately booked tour take you to any of the stops that the package tours do(IE. did you do any snorkeling, stop at any beaches?), or did you simply motor around the shores of Coron island?

    • Different strokes for different folks indeed. We don’t find it pleasant to speed along in a boat for hours, but really enjoy kayaking. Around Coron Island, in particular, it’s really nice because the water’s so clear you can see the fish swimming below you as you paddle. I’m glad you’re able to appreciate that everyone has different perspectives instead of trolling like most people do online these days.

      With our captains we could go wherever we wanted during our day with them. We went to some of the popular snorkeling locations, but at different times than the fleet of other organized tours, which is one of the major advantages of getting a private boat. And yes we went to a beach on Uson Island too. Can’t remember the name though, sorry.


  2. Haterrrrrrr. Been living in Coron for 10 years. This person is not an expert and frankly comes across a little uptight and antisocial. This article is nonsense. Should take this with a grain of salt. They will call this trolling because they can’t handle criticism. It just another person’s honest opinion.

    • Hey Kristiana. You’re totally right that people should take all recommendations (positive and negative) with a grain of salt, since we all have different tastes.

      I’ll take your feedback with a grain of salt too.

      … actually I won’t because your feedback’s not constructive in any way. Next time, please be helpful to other readers by sharing your own opinions—not of who I am, but of the topic at hand: things to do (and avoid) in Coron.

    • Which bits of the article didn’t you like Kristiana?

      I’m in Coron now with my family. Everything above is correct although Ocam Ocam now has beer and a restaurant and three developments so above is slightly out of date. That’s natural of course but the info above is all 100% accurate.

      I think you calling someone a haterrrrr and uptight and antisocial is a bit rich and mirror like, especially as you haven’t met them.

      Maybe you run one of the packaged tours he rightly slates?

  3. Also to validate you Kristiana, I’m in Coron for the next few days so could meet to prove you arent a troll. The column was fine and helpful and your comments were unnecessary and with the wrong spirit.

  4. I plan to visit in June / July for a week or maybe a little more . Im going with a view to see some houses and hopefully buy a place , any insights or helpful local willing and able to help would be greta to hear from you .
    Thanks for the article certainly some things to consider though not especially applicable to me as im looking for place to live not just a holiday. Fuzzy pots in restaurants don’t sound good though I need to be well and healthy to return to work and pay for the new place so il defo be avoiding Marleys . Any one genuinely local and with some years experience of living there (expat British or American for language purposes ideally, or Filipino speaking good english) itd be great to here from you –

    • Hey Jimi. The only people who come to mind are the super friendly guys at Get Real, which we recommend in our post on our favorite things to do in Coron. You could ask Brenda, too, another friend me made who lives there. She may no someone who could help out. Best of luck. And get a big place so we can stay with you next time we visit!

  5. I haven’t yet been to Coron but I find your writing to be completely tone def. You called Filipino food bad. I get that taste is subjective because, Canadian food can be bad. Is it all bad? Probably not. But you’re a “blogger”. Sweeping statements like that offend an entire culture. Secondly, to call Bob Marley’s dreads filthy is downright racist. So I agree, take this review with a grain of salt. I’m just annoyed that Google’s algorithms marked this tone def piece at the top of my search.

    • I’m pretty sure there are people from all nationalities and races that have dreads… some of which, I discovered on a quick Google search inspired by you, are actually quite clean. Good to know! Thanks Bob.

  6. Contrary to the haters in these comments, I actually appreciate the advice here. As someone giving advice and reviews, you have to be critical and practical. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks John. Yeah, I wrote this because I got tired of reading only fawning info on blog posts. Others are free to disagree with my opinions, of course! Enjoy the Philippines!


What do you think? (Leave a Comment.)