At 210 MASL, Mt. Tapyas in Coron, Palawan offers a panoramic view of Coron’s harbor, the jagged karst formations and some islets nearby. It is located right at the Coron town proper, which makes it very accessible not only for weekend tourists but also for the town’s many residents.
But for those who want an extra challenge, there is Mt. Darala (~600 MASL), the highest point in Busuanga island, where Coron is part of. Its prominent features are the cell towers which are visible if you are at sea. Mt. Tapyas on the other hand, has a tall cross at its view deck which lights up at night. This landmark can easily be seen anywhere in town and you only need to look for the cross to guide you if you lose your way in Coron.
The trail leading up the Tapyas hill is well-developed with 718 wide concrete steps and metal railings on both sides. There are also covered areas along the way where you can rest and catch up with your breath. It may probably take just under 30 minutes to reach the top, but that may vary of course depending on your own stamina or the number of times your group takes photos along the way.
Since not all of the pathways are covered, it is advisable to climb Tapyas during the first few hours in the morning to catch the sunrise or the few remaining hours of the day for the sunset. In both instances, the sun casts a different color all over the landscape, the intensity of which varies every minute.
Climbing Mt. Tapyas was the first and last thing that my good friend and I did when we visited Coron a few months ago. Due to the late arrival of our flight at the Busuanga airport, we were able to do only this trek during our first day in Coron. It was already nightfall too when we finished the trek so we bumped our walking tour and Maquinit Hot Spring to another day.
Catching the sunrise at Mt. Tapyas, however, was not a part of our initial itinerary. We got the idea after hearing a catchy song by Tribu Calamianen which was played in one of the restaurants at Coron. The chorus suggested that we should climb the hill in the morning, at noon and in the evening. On our final day in the island, we woke up earlier than the usual not only to see the sunrise at Tapyas but also to accomplish the challenge set by the song.
We were unable to do the lunchtime trek though, which is a mad yet interesting undertaking. Not many are crazy enough to trek under the scorching midday sun, so you would probably have the entire hill to yourself. But looking back now, I am still glad that we listened to that local song. All our adventures began and ended at Mt. Tapyas, and this is definitely one of the highlights of our stay at Coron.