Coron, Philippines is a mesmerizing place with lagoons, lakes and beautiful underwater life as well as Second World War shipwrecks. How cool! Coron is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to and it’s truly a place you have to see. In Coron, you must do tours, since most of the important sights are located in the nearby Coron Island. When you stay in “Coron” you actually stay at Busuanga Island, and most likely in Coron Town which, despite of its name, isn’t actually on Coron Island. To see the main sights, you need to take either a group or a private tour.
There are group tours to all of the main attractions or you can choose to rent your own boat with a crew. The regular tours are approximately 800 PHP to 1700 PHP including lunch. The private tour is closer to 4000 PHP and you have to buy your own lunch items. Possible environmental and entrance fees are included in the group tours but you might have to pay those on top of rent, food and drinks if you’re going private, so be sure to check that out beforehand. If you want to do a private tour, I would recommend using it for the main sights which are close to each other. That way you can spend as much or as a little time in each spot and beat the crowd!
Must-sees in the Coron tours
The must-sees in Coron are Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake, Twin Lagoon and Green Lagoon. In addition to these, you can go and experience CYC beach, Banul beach, Skeleton wreck, Malcapuya Island, Siete Pecados, Lusong Coral Garden and Lusong gunboat.
My favourites out of all the must-sees were maybe a bit surprisingly Twin Lagoon, Lusong Coral Garden, Lusong gunboat and Skeleton wreck. I do agree that Kayangan Lake is a beautiful place to see as well as Barracuda Lake but I still thought that Twin Lagoon was even more stunning.
Lusong Coral Garden was without a doubt one of the most beautiful coral reefs I’ve ever seen. Skeleton wreck and Lusong gunboat were cool wrecks to see and they were shallow enough to have a free dive near them. I’m not even good at free diving but basically a 2-3 meter dive was enough to see them up close.
Be careful when you’re in the water and always avoid stepping on corals whether you have fins or wet shoes! You can hurt yourself but you will definitely hurt the corals. Some parts can be really shallow and within touching distance even when floating.
I would also like to emphasize the beauty of Green Lagoon which can be a bit of an underrated sight in Coron. After Twin Lagoon, it was my favourite place to visit out of all the above-water activities.
Buying a group tour in Coron
When buying a tour, always remember to ask what is included in the package. Usually they only promote their delicious lunch that is included in the price. Remember to also ask about the boat size because it varies by agency. Some boats are only for 10 people and some up to 40 people. In general, it’s nicer when there are less people.
You can also ask about what kind of boat it is. The usual type is that there’s a sunshade on the roof and no “walls” but there’s also another boat type which is more closed and has curtains to cover the windows. For me, this is important because I wouldn’t choose the covered boat if I want to warm up under the sun after snorkeling.
Prices are more or less the same so don’t waste too much time comparing them. Smaller agencies sell seats to the actual tour operators, so you might not be traveling with the same company that sold you your ticket. Calamian Island Travel & Tours and JY Travel and Tours are the biggest operators judging from the amount of boats.
I tried three different tours and three different companies including JY which first picked up the wrong customer and left me waiting. Fortunately, I still got in to the tour that I wanted and had a great time thanks to the tour guide. In the end, it’s really the guide that sets the mood so hopefully you are lucky with your guide.
If you don’t have your own snorkeling gear, you can rent them from the agency. Masks are generally provided in the price but fins are extra. Just remember to ask in advance so that they know to offer you one on the morning of the tour.
Coron group tours
There are different kinds of group tours depending on the agency. I recommend that when you arrive at the airport, take a bunch of leaflets from different tour agencies. Then you’ll see what is approximately the price level for the tours and what is the variation between the tours from different agencies.
The regular tours that everyone in Coron should do are Tour A and Tour B. They consist of all the most important sights such as Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake and Twin Lagoon. If you don’t have much time in Coron, you can do an Ultimate Tour which is a combination tour of all the most popular sights. The downside of an Ultimate Tour is that you won’t have that much time per one place because you will visit so many during the day.
Reef and wreck tour
Love snorkeling? Then the reef and wreck tour is like made for you! As the name says, on this tour you will see two ship wrecks and a couple of snorkeling spots. You will have a lunch under the palm trees at Calumbuyan Island.
The main things to see on this tour are the Lusong gunboat and Lusong Coral Garden. Lusong gunboat is a really cool ship wreck because it’s in shallow waters so you get to see the wreck already from the surface. If you want to take a closer look at the wreck, you can free dive. Just go 2-3 meters under the surface and you get to see the wreck really close! The wreck is turned sideways so you get to see both the bottom and the deck of the ship.
Lusong Coral Garden is a place not to miss on your visit to Coron! I really mean it! It is a stunning coral reef and one of the most beautiful ones I’ve ever seen! It’s also nice that on this tour you will have enough time to snorkel around the reef.
If you are lucky, you can see a turtle on the reef. I saw my first ever wild turtle here! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it and started to follow it by free diving. It was truly a magical moment!
Lusong Coral Garden as the name says is also a beautiful coral reef so it’s worth to go there just to see the colorful corals. It was a bit cloudy when I went there so the photo below doesn’t do justice to how beautiful and vibrant this place is.
Private tour in Coron
Private tour is a good option if you are not traveling on a tight budget. It means that you rent your own boat with the crew for the one day. The prices are somewhere between 3500-4000 PHP. If you are traveling with a bigger group, a private tour could even be the best option to you.
If I was able to do only one private tour and I had to choose where I’d go, I would definitely use it for seeing the Coron Island main attractions such as Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake and Twin Lagoon. They are close enough so you can go and see them during one tour. But remember to start your private tour early! Otherwise you will be stuck with the same crowds as with the group tour.
I wouldn’t recommend using a private tour for instance to visit Lusong Coral Garden and the gunboat. Just take a Reef and Wreck Tour and you will have a good size group to go with. They are further away so the price for the private tour will be quite high.
Whether you decide to go on private or group tours, you will enjoy your time in Coron for sure! It’s such a unique place and a must-add to your bucket list. The best time to visit Coron is from November to June which is the dry season.
Hope you found my article helpful and now have an idea what tours to make in Coron!