The name ‘Coron’ refers to a municipality, an island and a town. The Coron Municipality is part of the Calamianes, a cluster of islands in Northern Palawan known for their karst landscapes, exquisite beaches and deep seas. It comprises both Coron island which looks like a jagged arrowhead in Google Earth and Coron town where most of the accommodations and dive shops are located.
I am confused myself by all these names. But whether you are referring to the municipality or the island or the town, rest assured that you will have a good time at Coron.
This post however, is all about the clean and laidback Coron town, and what you can do there. If you have time on your hands, you could cover the small town on foot – from Mt. Tapyas to Maquinit Hot Springs and the many places in between.Mt. Tapyas: catching your breath to catch the sunset
The typical ‘Coron Day 1’ would involve Mt. Tapyas since there is not much to do after you check in at your hotel. The reason for that is because most island hopping tours will start early morning the following day.
Tapyas is merely 210 MASL. Even so, it still poses a challenge especially for those who have never climbed anything in their life. Perched at the top of this hill is a metal cross that is visible even at sea.
How fast you could get to the top depends on the number of selfies and rests you take along the trail. But the view at the peak – the sunset, the nearby islands and the bay would definitely more than make up for the buckets of sweat and your tired knees.
Take a relaxing dip at Maquinit Hot Springs
If you still have the energy after climbing up and down the 718 concrete steps at Mt. Tapyas, then walk the long way to Maquinit Hot Springs, located at the eastern portion of the town. But trust me when I say that you are better off if you hire a trike in getting to and from the hot springs.
Pay the Php 150 entrance fee and then choose which pools you’d like to dip into. The smaller ones nearer the grotto are hotter than the large one near the sea. Soak yourself in both and allow the warm water to refresh and sooth your sore muscles. This is indeed the appropriate finish to all your Coron adventures.
And the places in between
A typical Coron town tour starts with Tapyas and ends at Maquinit. Scattered in between these two famous tourist spots are restaurants and eateries, your hotel and other backpacking accommodations and the many homes of Coron’s friendly locals.
In most of my travels, I am drawn to these stops including the market, the museum and yes, the cemetery even. I think that these places allow us to take a peek as to how the locals get by everyday, with or without the rowdy tourists or that jaded backpacker in sight.
Around Coron town, my friend and I chanced upon Lita Escarda’s Coron Harvest, a backyard cashew factory and the PAGASA weather station that has the Hollywood-esque signage.
I did not plan these stops by the way. This shows that sometimes, aside from researching or googling what you can do in a new place, it pays to simply ask around. I learned from my few travels, that most of the time, the locals are more than willing to answer your curiosities.
So ask nicely and engage in a genuine conversation. And if the rare occasion calls for it, be game to drink with them, even if that means downing a of shot of their favorite moonshine.
If that is not your idea of a good time, you won’t go wrong with just walking around Coron. From Tapyas to Maquinit, and the places in between, you’d be surprise at what this town has in store for you.
The Coron series ends with this post. If you missed the other entries, here are they:
coron in 7 questions | a travel guide
our coron adventures: on and off the beaten paths and destinations
coron island loop tour
l. escarda’s coron harvest: the best cashew nuts in coron
sunset and sunrise watching at mt. tapyas | coron, palawan
calauit: a delightful anomaly
busuanga: a ruggedly beautiful, off the beaten adventure