Coron Island Hopping Guide: Kayangan Lake, Beaches & Lagoons, How to Book, Itinerary

Coron Island Hopping Guide: Kayangan Lake, Beaches & Lagoons, How to Book, Itinerary

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Twin Lagoon and Bulog Dos Island

Coron is a tropical paradise located in the province of Palawan, Philippines. It is one of the world-famous islands in the world, one of the best islands in the Philippines that you should add to your itinerary of the best places to visit in the Philippines. Coron is surrounded by turquoise seas and hilly terrain covered in a layer of lush flora. It is a must-see destination for anybody visiting the country, especially if you prefer island hopping in the Philippines. If you want to visit prime Coron tourist spots like Kayangan Lake and shipwreck diving, Coron is the best place to go.



From the main island of Palawan, Coron is a distinct set of islands. The Calamian Archipelago in Northern Palawan includes all of these islands. When it comes to Coron vs El Nido, another top Palawan destination, Coron is more known for its shipwreck diving sites and vacation packages for couples on their honeymoon in the Philippines.

 

 

Aside from enjoying the amenities of the best 5-star hotels in the Philippines, Coron Palawan resorts or dining at the best Coron restaurants, one of the most popular Coron tours are the Coron island hopping tours. In this guide, you will learn more about booking a Coron island hopping tour, the different Coron island hopping itinerary attractions including Palawan beaches and lagoons, and helpful Coron island hopping tips that you should take note of for a hassle-free trip. 

Read more about Coron travel requirements, how to get to Coron, best time to visit Coron Palawan, where to stay in Coron, places to visit in Coron, and more detailed information for first-time visitors in our Coron Palawan travel guide.

 

 

How to Book Coron Island Hopping Tour

Boat docked in a lagoon in Coron

Travelers can either pre-book an island hopping tour in Coron with an accredited tour operator and guide, via the hotel, or at one of the many vendors at the town that offer Coron Palawan island hopping tours. For a hassle-free vacation once you fulfill Philippines travel requirements, we recommend booking in advance to get the best deals on Philippine tour packages and all-inclusive vacation packages, hotel pickup/dropoff and lunch included. Coron island hopping tour is also a popular Philippine honeymoon package, so consider them in your itinerary.

There are two categories for a Coron island tour: private and shared/joiner. When you join a shared/joiner Coron tour package, you will be surrounded by fellow travelers who have already booked the same tour. This means you will be traveling together in the same car or boat and on the same schedule on Coron tour packages.

On the other hand, you get exclusive use of your own car and boat with guide on Coron private tour packages. You can also set the pace of the tour and book add-ons to your current Palawan tour package. This also applies to other Luzon tourist spots with tours. Guide to the Philippines also has private luxury boat tours if you want to experience unique Philippine travel packages,

 

 

Coron Island Hopping Itinerary Attractions

Boat docking area by Kayangan Lake

There are different types of Coron island hopping tours, and the itinerary will depend on which Coron island hopping tour package you will avail of. After all, Coron is one of the reasons why you should visit the Philippines. Luckily, there are many Coron Palawan tourist spots to choose from. Lunch is usually included in the packages, usually, these are seafood picnic style or boodle fight style at one of the stops. 

Below are some of the attractions in Coron you can add to your island-hopping itinerary. This includes some of the best beaches in the Philippines:

 

 

Kayangan Lake

People swimming in Kayangan Lake

Kayangan Lake is one of the most well-known attractions on the island and part of Coron island-hopping tours that frequently take place from town. It's also one of Asia's cleanest lakes.

Take a plunge in what is regarded as the country's cleanest lake when joining a Kayangan Lake Coron tour. Kayangan Lake's water is a mix of salt and fresh water, making it excellent for swimming and snorkeling in 30 percent saltwater and 70 percent freshwater. You can already see the beautiful rock formations beneath the surface since the water is so clear. Kayangan Lake has also become a popular destination for freedivers.

You will have to trek for around 15 minutes to get to the lake so make sure to wear comfortable footwear. Take a break midway during the trek to Kayangan Lake to see the famed viewpoint that overlooks the spectacular panorama of stone islands and cliffs surrounded by soft blue seas. This is arguably one of the Philippines' most photographed landscapes. 

Landscape of Coron in Palawan, Philippines

Twin Lagoon

Drone shot of Twin Lagoon

Coron has its fair share of must-see places for the visiting traveler, and Twin Lagoon is high up on that list. This top destination, situated on one of the many islets belonging to the Calamian Archipelago in Palawan, is a lagoon that consists of two bodies of water separated by beautiful limestone cliffs. It possesses some of the most striking geological features in the region, reaching iconic status with its spectacular scenery and unsurpassed natural beauty. 

The lagoons can be reached via an outrigger motorboat that can be rented privately or with a group in Coron island hopping tours. After going past towering limestone cliffs and clear blue water, you will enter a maze of karst formations where the twin lagoons slowly unfold before your eyes. The jagged cliffs serve as a barrier against the strong currents, turning the water calm and clear, perfect for a dip on a hot summer day. 

The twin lagoons are where fresh water from the underground river converges with the warm water from the open sea. When you jump off the boat, you’ll feel the warm saltwater in your skin, and then feel it get colder as you get deeper into the lagoon, when fresh water flows.

 

 

Malcapuya Island

Aerial shot of Malcapuya Island

Malcapuya Island, on the other hand, is considered as one of Coron’s well-hidden wonders, having one of the best white sand beaches in the Philippines. Aside from swimming, visitors can enjoy their time here by snorkeling to see the giant clams and the wide variety of fishes underwater. This white sand wonder is part of the beautiful and largely uninhabited beaches of Coron. The other two are Bulog Dos Sandbar and Banana Island.

Malcapuya offers docking only on its western beach. Travelers will proceed to travel to the southern coast. You will first go up a trail under a cashew trees grove until the beach peeks through the south. The walk takes around 5 minutes and you'll be rewarded with a view of the powdery-soft creamy sand. While it can get swellingly hot, there are a few huts and a line of coconut and palm trees for shade.

Over a few meters, the water stays shallow, which is ideal for long swimming. Some beach parts can be rocky, so wearing aqua shoes is still advisable. You can dive or snorkel 100 meters out and find a large coral bed with a variety of marine life, including giant clams and clownfish. 

It is recommended to climb a hill at one end of the beach to get a panoramic view of the island as well as the nearby islands. The abundance of coral development near Malcapuya may also be seen from this vantage point.

 

 

Barracuda Lake

A rock formation inside Barracuda Lake

Barracuda Lake in Coron is renowned for its diving spot where you can see fish skeletons on its shores. Bluish-green lakes and landscapes accompany salt and freshwater, which is the perfect temperature to dive in. Barracuda Lake is also included in a regular island-hopping tour in Coron.

The boat trip to the lake is scenic; you'll see calcareous cliffs looming over the ocean before you hit the pier. Take plenty of photos and videos before diving into the azure waters. Go freediving to feel the thermocline of the lake or bring deeper scuba gear. The lake's shapes create a beautiful sight.

Barracuda Lake is similar to Kayangan Lake in that it has both fresh and saltwater. The difference is that Barracuda Lake is a thermocline, whereas the other lakes are not. As you swim up and down, the temperature of the water varies. Swimming in the lake is a thrilling experience because of the temperature difference.

 

 

Black Island

Black Island's shore

Black Island, known to locals as Malajon Island is located northwest of Busuanga Island, the largest in the Calamian Group of Islands in Palawan.  It may have been dubbed as Black Island because from afar, its gigantic limestone rock formation on the center of the island appears to be dark and intimidating. But contrary to its name, Black Island is a refreshing oasis of pristine white sand and azure sea. It’s for travelers who love adventures, hiking, exploring caves, snorkeling, or just a laid-back time at the beach.

The reef surrounding Black Island is perfect for snorkeling and free-diving. Travelers can enjoy the beautiful corals and bountiful fish species of the island. The massive limestone rock formation on the center of the island leads to a network of caves to explore. There are a lot of tunnels and caverns but only a few are accessible from the beach. There is a huge cave with a refreshing body of freshwater where travelers can swim or even cliff jump if they wish. 

The stalactites and rock formation in the cave are spectacular. From the huge cave, it leads down to the other end of the beach that will lead through another smaller cave. As travelers explore this smaller cave, they will emerge onto a private beach which is perfect for swimming or snorkeling.

There are no restaurants or stores around the island. However, there are a few bamboo huts and coconut trees lined on one strip of the beach where guests can stay to relax and enjoy their own packed food and drinks.

 

 

CYC Beach

Boat infront of CYC island

Separated from Coron Island, CYC Beach, or Coron Youth Club Beach, is a public beach island. This beach attracts a lot of locals who come here to relax. The beach is surrounded by mangroves and boasts excellent white sand. Because it is a public beach, there is no charge to stay here. You may even camp here for the night.

It is quite near Coron Town proper, where most of the restaurants and hotels can be found. It’s the perfect place to unwind and have a quiet time. At CYC Beach, you may take Instagram-friendly photoshoots in addition to being a terrific lunch place with the smooth azure waves. 

Explore the mangrove forests on the right side of the island and a broad beach on the left side of the island where people normally swim after you get at CYC. On this island, there are also food sellers rushing to reach the guests in their little boats.

Banana Island

Banana Island

Coron's Banana Island is one of three islands south of Busuanga that make up an island-hopping trip departing from the town of Coron. Its name derives from the curvature of its shape.

For an overnight stay, it has additional amenities. There are also tables and shelters where guests may have their meals for the day. There are comfortable hammocks under the coconut palm trees, which is one of the main highlights on the island.

The beach is tranquil with a soothing ambiance. There is only one shop on the island, so if you didn't bring food or snacks, you might be limited in what you could buy.  Coron's Banana Island is a little white sand beach situated against a mountainous background of forested mountains. Swinging on the hammock, covered by the shade of large palm trees, is a must experience.

Skeleton Wreck

Diver exploring the Skeleton Wreck

​Located on the northwest corner of Coron Island, Skeleton Wreck particularly provides a fun and easy diving experience. Resting at a depth of 5 meters to 22 meters at the stern, it is very friendly for snorkeling. In fact, the entire shipwreck can be seen from just off the coast.

Skeleton Wreck is also perhaps the least eerie. Among the Imperial ships sunk by US forces in World War II, all that remains of this 25-meter-long Japanese supply vessel are its steel keel, ribs, and stringers, hence its name. 

Many of the shipwrecks in Coron Bay resulted from the surprise air assault by the US on the Imperial Japanese Navy on September 24, 1944. The ships were sunk by bombing, torpedoes, or strafing by Grumman aircrafts carried by the USS New Jersey and USS Lexington.

The Japanese fleet of 24 ships, which included a supply convoy, was first attacked in Manila Bay a few days earlier. The surviving vessels fled to Coron but were tracked and reengaged to their devastation. Skeleton Wreck is one of the top diving spots in the Philippines.

 

 

Ditaytayan Island

Aerial view of Ditaytayan Island

Ditaytayan Island is one of the islands surrounding the region of Culion, Palawan. It is among the most popular destinations in Culion as travelers and locals find the place quiet and relaxing since the whole of the island is mostly untouched.

One of the highlights of Ditaytayan is its long white sandbar which the locals refer to as Long Beach. This is the guests’ favorite spot for unwinding and among the most photographed areas in the island. Ditaytayan also features two other pristine beaches located on its sides.

The island is yet to be developed, so expect only nipa huts and coconut trees to provide the shade. Travelers visiting the island best enjoy sunbathing on its beaches, particularly on the extensive sandbar. Guests can also explore the short stretch of white sand in the area without burning under the sun as the beach is lined with plenty of trees from end to end.

The island is surrounded with crystalline water that boasts of its sandy bottom. The sand stretches out to a few meters from the shore before hiding under the rocks. Travelers can also enjoy snorkeling near the coast where there is plenty of marine life. Ditaytayan Island is not usually crowded, so there are times when visitors can have the place all to themselves.

Bulog Dos Sandbar

Aerial view of Bulog Dos Island's sandbar

Bulog Dos Island, also known as Waling-Waling Island, is famous for its powdery white sand and clear sky-colored waters. The site is a favorite photo backdrop and a snorkeling spot.

A bed of seagrass and brilliant corals, including stingrays, may be seen a few meters beyond the sandbar. The water here is devoid of sea urchins, so swimming, snorkeling, or plainly lounging will be a breeze. You may even hire a kayak if you want to go further out.

 

 

Smith Beach

Smith Beach, despite its modest size, is a great place to rest for travelers. It is like a little oasis in the middle of Coron. It is a great area to swim and relax, with a gorgeous white sand beach and crystal-clear waters. Several huts have been constructed across the beach, providing guests with a spot to have lunch while taking in the stunning views of the sea and rock formations. 

Because of the nipa huts at one end of the beach, it is also a popular place to have lunch. You may take a brief plunge in the gorgeous waters of this public beach after lunch before embarking on another island-hopping trip.

Green Lagoon

At Coron's Green Lagoon, you can swim and snorkel to see the vibrant corals. There is a floating nipa hut with tables that you may stop at. Fresh fish and vegetables from the local wet market will be used by the boat crew to prepare a delicious meal for you.

Don't miss the chance to take lovely photographs of this enchanting lagoon, which is bordered by limestone cliffs with trees. The lagoon doesn't have much marine life, but it's a great place to learn to swim for the first time as the waters are calm and perfect for a quick dip.

 

 

Las Islas de Coral

Enjoy the Coron snorkeling spot known as Las Islas de Coral. The spectacular underwater garden will reward you with colorful underwater sights. The majority of the Las Islas de Coral is made up of sand and sea, with a few rocky outcroppings.

You can snorkel in Las Islas de Coral from CYC Beach, which is just a short swim away. There are a lot of sea urchins on the floor, so be careful when swimming in the snorkeling area. It is also a popular rest spot, so indulge in the relaxing ambiance by lounging or unwinding in the area.

Malwawey Reef

Malwawey Reef

One of Coron's most popular island-hopping and diving sites is the Malwawey Reef. Beautiful coral reefs with fish and other aquatic life are waiting to be discovered here. According to some estimates, there are 20,000 different kinds of fish in the waters of Malwawey Reef.

The fish you can sight here come in a variety of forms, sizes, and colors, and they dwell at a variety of levels and conditions. Some examples of underwater species in Malwawey Reef includes cephalods, shellfish, crustaceans, corals and other invertebrates, clown fishes, anemone fishes, needle fishes, and more.

 

 

Coron Island Hopping Tips

Woman kayaking in a Coron lagoon

  • What to bring: sunscreen, towel, hair band, comb, drinking water, aqua shoes, essentials such as medicine kit and plastic bag, waterproof cellphone case, underwater camera, spare clothes, rash guard for protection, extra money, and more.

  • Unless you're on a group or private tour that includes lunch, make sure to bring snacks and water with you. Cashews and dried mango may be found at little stores along the pier. On the islands, you can also buy coconuts and snacks, but they're not plentiful, so it's preferable to carry food from town with you.

  • Life vests are provided in the boats, so there is no need to bring your own during your island hopping tour.

  • Snorkeling gears are not always part of the package and are usually availed as an add-on. Guests are highly encouraged to bring their own

  • Kayaks are also add-ons. Ask the tour operator for more information on this fun water activity.

  • For each attraction, the stop is usually 1 hour so guests should make the most of their stay in each destination. 

  • Itineraries might change depending on the season or water condition for that day. If there are warnings from the Coast Guard, tours might get canceled.

  • Reminder to don’t litter, help keep the tourist attraction clean and take your trash with you.

 

 

Plan Your Island Hopping Tour in Coron Palawan

Boat sailing from an island in Coron

Coron is a beautiful spot to visit that will reward you with a lifetime of memories and a chance to genuinely experience the island lifestyle in the Philippines. With breathtaking shorelines, stunning vistas, and lovely sea creatures, this paradise is awe-inspiring. Going on an island hopping trip is the best way to see some of the best spots that Coron has to offer.

Plan a once-in-a-lifetime vacation in the Philippines by going to one of the world's most beautiful tropical gems. After all, there are plenty of activities to do in Coron, from island hopping to kayaking, diving, and camping. Book your tours and activities now and enjoy this piece of paradise when you tour the Philippines.