Coron Palawan on a Budget

In Philippines, Travel Guides
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Coron, Palawan, Philippines.

When you are in the Philippines, Coron is one of the places you must see. It boasts on its island-hopping experience offers, stretches of white sand beaches, it’s famous lakes and a real rich underwater world.

background banol beach

As new travel junkies, my then fiancé, now my husband and I agreed on planning our trips ahead of time to cut down some costs plus learn more about the places we want to go to prior to the actual visit. When we booked Coron, it was mainly for my out-of-town birthday celebration. But when the schedule was near, we were swamped with a thought of what it’s like to have our prenuptial photoshoot right there and then.

I mean, voila! Look at that backdrop! Isn’t it indeed a pleasant haven?

Kayangan Lake

Mis-haps

One thing we learned about flying is to never ever be late for check-in. Yes, you read it right! We were departing from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and we arrived at the bag drop counter 15 minutes late from check-in deadline. Though our plane was still there and its flight schedule was delayed, they didn’t allow us in. Manila traffic has really gotten worse nowadays and it’s hard to beat, so better mind your travel time allowance going to the airport.

We were quick to think about switching to a backup plan which we never chalked out. We were cramming and actually caught up in a thought of where our plan B would be. The nearest beach is about 3-4 hours away. But as we bet, it would never be as beautiful as Coron.

The Waiting Game

We felt like losers while we stayed as chance passengers. Queueing, just for us to get on a plane routing to Coron on that same day. It was terrible! Needless to say it way my birthday. My husband, who was then was my fiance, was so calm. I was in a panic. I cried out silently inside the comfort room being sorry for what was happening. I prayed. And then, instead of wearing a sour face, we patiently waited.

But God is good all the time. The staff who was shooing us away from a while ago confirmed that we can be accommodated on the next scheduled trip, which was after lunch, though we had to pay almost twenty-three thousand pesos for our rebooking. Believe it or not, to have that chance to still go on that day, felt like winning on sweepstakes! So, off we go since my ex-boyfriend wanted to put back the smile on my face and well, I shall admit that he’s just always loving and supportive.

NAIA Domestic Flights Reminders

So please note for NAIA domestic flights:

  1. Present yourself to the airline check-in counter not less than forty-five (45) minutes before your time of departure.
  2. You can also verify the web check-in options of your chosen airline. With the online check-in service, you can go to the web and check-in for your flight 72 hours up to 4 hours before your departure time. For PH Cebu Pacific flyers, read more about their Web Check-in policies here.

 

The Arrival

Arriving in Coron via Francisco B. Reyes Airport (formerly Busuanga airport) was a breeze. The view of the islands from the airplane as we came to land gave me back my lost energy from the waiting game. The airport is small, nothing fancy but it surely holds the door to taste the island’s daring experience.

coron airport

Upon airport exit, awaits travel operators and pick-up transfers from different hotels and guesthouse. If you do not have any reservations, you could still hop into any van routing to Coron Town proper. Travel time is around 30 minutes at PhP 150 per pax. Everyone’s excited to go on for the next couple of days of island hopping adventure to see the treasures of the place.

Since we’re doing a D.I.Y. photoshoot, we got fresh flowers with us from Manila courtesy of Dangwa Florist. So we had to shoot ASAP or else the flowers will not look good in the pictures anymore. It was about 5 pm (1700 GMT+8) when we arrived in our guesthouse. Our photography crews were far beyond amazing! They did what they can to save what’s left on our bridal bouquet. Surprisingly, the flowers were still lively the next day.

Accommodations

Traveling around the country has been made affordable these days by promo fares from local airlines.  But some people may be still scared to travel to Coron thinking that island resort accommodations would be so pocket-draining. Although five-star resort hotels are great options to consider, affordable accommodations are also available.

Since we’re out for the whole day and our luggage just needed somewhere safe to stay at, it is smart to choose a budget-friendly hotel. Rudy’s Place is one among the backpackers’ choices around the town, which offer great deals to those who are on a tight budget. The hotel is 20-minute drive by private car from the airport. For budget conscious travelers, Rudy’s Place offers the best rates and perfect location.

Where to Book?

Rudy’s Place Lodge
Address: Poblacion 3, Coron, Palawan
Website: http://www.rudysplacelodge.com
Air-conditioned Room Rates: PhP 1000-1500 good for 2 pax

Sophia’s Garden Resort
Address: Sitio Jolo Brgy, 5 Coron Palawan
Website: http://sophiasgardenresort.com/
Room Rates: PhP 4,500.00 Inclusive of Breakfast & Airport Transfer

We stayed in Sophia’s Garden for our shoot and they brag about their Spanish-inspired resort designs and facilities. We enjoyed our first dinner at their El Comidor Restaurant. Their multicolor swimming pool with jacuzzi and kiddie pool was so pleasing to the eyes while dining. The mood was just relaxing. Take a look at these greens.

Part of Sophia's El Jardin.

Part of Sophia’s El Jardin.

A glance at the poolside.

A glance at the poolside.

Sophia's Poolside

 

Coron Island Hopping

I personally saw Phuket, Thailand and I was challenged to see Palawan tourist spots specifically El Nido and Coron to check which one among them is the best. We are yet to see El Nido soon! Meanwhile, Coron is the largest town on the island of Busuanga and also, according to Wikitravel, the name of a different, smaller island just offshore.

But, you’ll never see it all in just one day! There are lots of different tour packages to choose from, so your day is good for one tour. You can have your own private tour for your convenience but you can also join a group if you’re up to meeting people and of course if you want to lessen your expenses. We booked for our own boat to go on island hopping for the next day with our photo and video crew.

Our Photoshoot Tour Destinations were the following:

  • Banol Beach
  • Twin Lagoon
  • Barracuda Lak
  • Kayangan Lake
  • Coron Youth Club (CYC) Beach

Let me share below some more of our photos with these breathtaking places.

Banol BeachBanol Beachbarracuda

On our way to Twin Lagoon

On our way to Twin Lagoon

Coron Twin Lagoon

Nightfall at the CYC Beach

Nightfall at the CYC Beach

Kayangan

Bridgeway at Kayangan Lake

 

Getting Around the Town

The best way to get around the Coron town proper is by a tricycle. The place where we stayed is 1.5km away from Coron town which makes it a convenient choice. It is like 5 minutes away from local grill houses, souvenir shops, local plaza, public market and even the public health care center.

The best in town is, of course, their seafood! We found affordable choices at “Lobster King”. They serve crocodile meat, clams, and oysters among others.

We customized our personal town tour and we did it on our own when our crew team has left. We reserved our last 2 days for our own family leisure. But every hotel offers same rate group town tour package for only PhP 700 per pax.

Inclusions:

  • Air Conditioned Van Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Boat Transfers
  • Local Tour Guide
  • Permits
  • Entrance fees
  • Lunch / Snacks / Dinner (on selected tours)
  • Cottages fees

Climb up to 700+ steps on Mount Tapyas at the crack of dawn and enjoy the sunrise with the panoramic view of the sleeping giant and the islands nearby.

mt tapyas coronsleeping giant

After the descent, you may want to soak and relax your aching joints and muscles in their famous Maquinit hot springs. Otherwise, you may opt to go visit Escarda’s Coron Harvest Shop to take home some cashew nuts toasted in different flavors.

cashew nutscashew variants

The Verdict!

We shall return because it’s all worth it! For outgoing couples, it is an opportunity to connect with nature. You can DIY your own trip at a reasonable cost. The secret is your strategy in planning your trip. The photos we got were all amazing and so memorable for us. We are very happy to have these memories not just within our hearts, but they are all saved on a disk.

To see more about Coron in a video, you may watch our PALAWAN PRENUP VIDEO on Vimeo. Special thanks and credits to CSG Photography Team. Carlo and James have done a great job! We feel very blessed to share this with our family and friends. Hopefully, this blog can inspire anyone out there, that anything is possible. Just believe and pray for it. Plan ahead of time, sprinkle a heap of faith then choose the travel style that works best for you. Consider D.I.Y. if you must! You can do it!

Hopefully, this blog can inspire anyone out there, that anything is possible. Just believe and pray for it. Plan ahead of time, sprinkle a heap of faith then choose the travel style that works best for you. Consider D.I.Y. if you must! You can do it!

We recommended Coron to our foreign friends who visited Manila a few months ago. I showed our prenup photo to one of my friends and she was awed. She even asked me if it’s photoshopped because the background was amazing. This might have convinced her that it’s indeed a place worth paying a visit at. When they went there, they absolutely loved it!

We will definitely go back to Coron to experience the other tour packages which we were not able to do so during our visit. See you along the road! 😉

Kayangan Lake Coron

Photo credits ©enjoyinglifetoitsfullest.com™ & CSG Photography
All rights reserved. 2016. Disclaimer: All the information above is correct upon published & is subject to change without further notice.

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