Encompassed by a number of picture-perfect islands, Island Hopping in Coron is the number 1 thing to do. However, with so many boat tours in Coron to choose from, how do you pick the right one for you? That’s where we come in. This is our ultimate guide to Island Hopping in Coron.
When it comes to Island Hopping in Coron, you’ll find that most of the boat tours take place around Coron Island. That’s the mysterious, jawdropping, ‘King Kong’ looking island that is impossible to miss from Coron Town.
Coron Island is the easiest island to reach by boat tour in Coron. It also boasts a series of turquoise lagoons, enchanting lakes and pristine beaches, so you can see the appeal. However, with Island Hopping in Coron becoming increasingly popular over the years, this spot can get extremely crowded during peak times.
The good news is, we have done a lot of Island Hopping in Coron and there is far more to discover past Coron Island. In this article, we will share the details of our 5 favourite tour experiences, that allows you to discover one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. We’ll also share our top tips for escaping the crowds at popular locations.
Whether you are feeling adventurous, looking to explore the unexplored, or even get involved in a booze cruise, we have got you covered. So let’s get to it.
Heading to Coron? Check out these articles to help plan your trip:
A Guide to Island Hopping Boat Tours in Coron, Palawan
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1. The Ultimate Island Hopping Boat Tour in Coron
On this adventurous tour, you will visit the most popular spots on Coron island. You will swim in blue lagoons, snorkel among a shipwreck, and hike to an epic viewpoint. Every tour organiser will offer a version of the ultimate tour, and although the locations and order may vary slightly, this is what a typical itinerary looks like.
- 8.30am – Pick Up from Hotel
- 9.30am – Boat Departs
- Siete Pecados
- Kayangan Lake
- Twin Lagoon
- Smith Beach – Lunch
- Skeleton Wreck
- CYC Beach
- 5.00pm – Arrive back at port
Kayangan Lake is one of the most famous locations on the Ultimate Island Hopping Boat Tours, and not without good reason. Here you can dive into a crystal clear freshwater lake, encompassed by beautiful limestone formations both above and below the water. Honestly, it’s one of the most beautiful locations in South East Asia and very well looked after by locals and tourists alike. Let’s hope it stays that way.
Siete Pecados is one of the most popular snorkelling spots in Coron. Its name translates to “Seven Sins,” and legend has it that seven sisters once drowned here, forming the seven islets you see today. When we snorkelled here 2 years ago, the area was teaming with tropical marine life and healthy coral reef. Although, I’ve heard some negative reviews recently that a lot of the coral is damaged from boats and tourists. Nevertheless, be wary of jellyfish and sea snakes in these parts – Charlotte was stung here. But would we do it again? Absolutely!
Twin Lagoon Coron
Next up on the Ultimate Tour is Twin Lagoon – another breathtaking swimming spots made up of 2 dazzling lagoons. A narrow tunnel connects the two lagoons, and it feels quite adventurous passing through. There are also fewer people in the second lagoon, so if you’re confident in the water I definitely recommend you check it out.
Skeleton Wreck is one of the coolest spots to explore on an island hopping tour in Coron. Here you’ll find a 25m long Japanese ship that was hit by an airstrike during WWII. The highest point of the ship sits at just 5 metres below the surface, so you can easily see it by snorkelling. Or the freedivers among you can dive down to get a closer look. The entire wreck is encrusted in coral, so you’ll get an eyeful of some beautiful fish at the same time.
Your final stop on the Ultimate Boat Tour Coron will generally be on CYC Beach, or another of the pristine beaches surrounding Coron Island. Either way, it’s the perfect end to a day of adventurous island hopping, where you can relax and reflect on the day.
Is the Ultimate Island Hopping Tour for me?
The Ultimate Island Hopping in Coron tour is a great choice for anybody who may have limited time in Coron and wants to tick off all of the popular spots. It is also suited for adventurous travellers who enjoy being active.
The tour isn’t for you if you are looking for a relaxing experience away from the crowds. It is a full-on day of moving from place to place, and each stop tends to be very busy.
Furthermore, if you are an Instagrammer and what to bag some shots for the ‘gram, this tour is definitely not for you either. To avoid the crowds you can organise a private boat tour which I cover further on down the article.
How much does the Ultimate Tour cost?
The price varies depending on the tour company; however, you shouldn’t have to pay any more than 1500PHP/pax. This should include a buffet lunch & use of snorkelling equipment, so be sure to check this in advance.
*Tip – We recommend hiring a private boat to beat the crowds! Read our section on private Island Hopping Boat Tours in Coron below.
2. Island Escapade Island Hopping Boat Tour Coron
A far more laidback experience in comparison to the ultimate, the Island Escapade island Hopping Tour includes a visit to 3 of the most beautiful islands within the Coron archipelago. We absolutely loved this tour as we had never seen such immaculate beaches in our lives at this point. It was also far less busy than the Ultimate Tour, with fewer boats at each of the stops.
Admittedly, we spent quite a long time on the boat moving from island to island on this tour; however, we enjoyed kicking back and taking in the astonishing views. Besides, it’s not a bad life cruising around on a boat, is it?
Although most tour companies will offer their own version of the tour, here is an example of what the itinerary will look like.
- 8.00am – Collection from hotel
- 9.00am – Depart from port
- 10.30am – Arrive at Bulog Island/Sandbar
- 12.30pm – Arrive at Coco or Banana Island – Lunch
- 2.30pm – Arrive at Malcapuya Island
- 5.30pm – Arrive back at port
Bulog Island Sandbar
The first stop on our Island Escapade Tour was the mesmerising Bulog Island sandbar. A sandbar was another first for us, and boy, we weren’t disappointed. Thankfully, we were the first to arrive before any of the other boats. We strolled hand in hand along the dazzling white sand bar snaking through turquoise waters like we were the only people in the world. It’s one of those places that makes you wonder how nature could possibly be so beautiful. There’s also a viewpoint on the actual island which is worth a climb too.
Banana or Coco Island for Lunch
After spending some time on Bulog Island, you’ll take the short journey to Banana Island or Coco Island for lunch. I don’t think it matters which one. Both are equally beautiful. But we can personally vouch for Banana Island which was possibly one of the most stunning lunch views we’ve ever had. Our guides prepared a delicious feast for us including seafood, veggies, fruit and other treats.
After lunch, we made our way to Malcapuya Island, which we both agreed is one of the highlights from all our time Island hopping in Coron. Picture a palm-fringed white sand beach, nestling dazzling clear waters, and you’ll get an idea of how idyllic this beach. Combine that with the fact it’s almost secluded, and you have right there, the epitome of Paradise.
Is the Island Escapade Tour for me?
If you want a taste of ‘real’ island hopping in Coron, it doesn’t get much better than this! The islands on this tour are exactly what you envision when you think of the Philippines… Paradise. Therefore, if you’re a sun worshipper seeking a chilled out day on the beach (or 3), this tour is for you.
This tour isn’t for you if you are looking for something a little more adventurous. Other than relaxing on the beaches and the boat, you won’t find much else to do on the islands.
How much does the Island Escapade tour cost?
Price varies depending on the company; however, if you shop around, you shouldn’t have to pay anymore than 1800PHP/pax. This should include a buffet lunch & use of snorkelling equipment so be sure to check this in advance.
Tip – We recommend hiring a private boat to beat the crowds! Read our private boat tour section below.
3. Black Island Boat Tour in Coron
The most spectacular in all of Coron and our favourite island by far cannot currently be reached by an organised tour. Black Island is so incredibly pristine and untouched that we were in two minds whether to tell anybody about it. BUT we love you guys, and we know you will respect the island, so here we are.
Have you ever heard the saying that the toughest of roads lead to the most beautiful destinations? Well, Black Island is proof that it’s true. From the tremendous black cliffs that dominate the landscape to the world-class snorkelling among flourishing marine life, everything about the island is truly extraordinary; however, you should be prepared to go out of your way in order to get there.
To learn more about this incredible island, and the details of how to get there, be sure to check out our article: A Guide to Black Island in The Philippines
4. Hop Hostel Groove Crewz Boat Tour in Coron
To enjoy your slice of paradise with some good tunes, cold beers, and new friends, join Hop Hostel on their infamous ‘Groove Crewz‘. The resident ‘sea-hopper‘ will whisk you away to a beautiful secluded spot, while the DJ pumps feel-good tunes through the groundbreaking sound system.
With the sun shining, the drinks flowing, and paradise awaiting, you are guaranteed a fantastic time. For details on how to make a booking, you can message the team on Instagram @groovecrewz. Tell them we sent you and they’ll definitely hook you up!
5. Private Island Hopping Boat Tours in Coron
Island Hopping Boat Tours in Coron has become increasingly popular in the past couple of years; therefore the organised tours can be very busy.
We personally preferred to hire a private boat, especially for the busier islands. This allowed us to leave earlier in the morning to miss the crowds, and we could pick and choose the locations we wanted to visit.
If you can find a group of 4-6 people, we found it to be very cost-effective. You only need to ask around at your hotel or hostel and you can quickly make up the numbers.
How to Book a Private Island Hopping Boat Tour in Coron
To book a private boat tour in Coron couldn’t be any easier. If you walk toward the boat port in Coron Town, you will be inundated with offers from local boat owners. However, we personally recommend using the official office listed as ‘CALAMIAN TOURIST BOAT ASSOCIATION’ on google maps.
How Much is a Private Island Hopping Boat Tour in Coron?
The price of the boat will depend on the locations you want to go to and how many people are in your group; however, we have attached an image of the rates card below so you can get a rough idea.
You will also need to consider entrance fees for most locations on top of the price of the boat, which is included in the price when you book an organised tour. Further down I list the entrance fees for the most popular locations so you can get an idea of how much your tour will cost in total.
You should also bear in mind that lunch and snorkelling equipment is not included with private boat tours unless you pre-organise with the captain. There are, however, plenty of places by the pier where you can pick up everything you need.
Entrance Fees for Private Island Hopping in Coron
Remember you’ll need to pay each entrance fee on the day of your tour, so be sure to have the cash on your otherwise you won’t be able to enter.
|Kayangan Lake||300 PHP|
|Siete Pecados||100 PHP|
|Twin Lagoon||200 PHP|
|Barracuda Lake||200 PHP|
|Black Island||150 PHP|
|Skeleton Wreck||150 PHP|
|Dimanlet Beach||150 PHP|
|Coral Garden||150 PHP|
|Malcapuya Island||150 PHP|
|Barracuda Lake||200 PHP|
How to Book an Island Hopping Boat Tour in Coron
To book an island-hopping boat tour in Coron, you can organise through the dozens of tour operators in Coron Town. Alternatively, you can sometimes organise through your hotel or hostel. It does, however, pay to shop around in order to get the best price.
What do I Need to Bring?
1. Reusable Water Bottle
It is no secret that single-use plastic is causing irreversible damage to our ecosystems, it is therefore imperative that as travellers, we try to minimise our consumption as much as possible.
We always carry a reusable water bottle and you will find that most hotels or hostels have a refill station. Not only is it better for the planet but you’ll save cash too!
We Recommend: Stainless steel Insulated Water Bottles
2. Versatile Walking Shoes
When going on any backpacking adventure, we always carry some versatile walking shoes with us. We personally love the 2 in 1 shoes by Aleader as not only can we wear them hiking, but they act as water shoes too!
We Recommend: Aleader 2 in 1 Hiking Shoes.
3. Go Pro Adventure Kit
If you want an action camera that is durable and safe to take in the water, then look no further than the Go Pro. Small, lightweight, and easy to handle, you really ought to carry one of these with you on any backpacking adventure. Check out our full photography travel kit.
We Recommend: GoPro Hero 7 (White) Action Camera + Adventure Kit
4. Quick Dry Microfiber Towel
They really do dry fast! Ultra-compact and lightweight so you can take to the beach easily. Not just the beach, this item is great for hiking, swimming, any outdoor adventure!
We Recommend: Microfiber Travel Towel
5. Waterproof Bag
To keep your phone, camera, and any other electricals safe and dry.
We Recommend: Waterproof Dry Bag-10L/20L/30L
Responsible Island Hopping in Coron
It should go without saying; however, when enjoying your boat tour in Coron, it’s important to be mindful of the environment. It is no secret that some of our planets fragile ecosystems are at risk of extinction.
There are many small steps you can take to becoming a responsible traveller. In the meantime, here are some tips for your boat tour.
- Be careful with any rubbish that it doesn’t fly overboard. Keep it secure until you can dispose of it properly.
- Do not leave anything on the islands, or take anything away – unless you’ve purchased it from a local supplier.
- Wear Reef Safe Sunscreen.
- Try to avoid touching coral, marine life or anything underwater… unless it’s plastic, help keep our oceans clean.
Where to Stay in Coron
Hostel – Hop Hostel – Hop Hostel isn’t only the best hostel in Coron, it is the best hostel we’ve stayed in throughout our entire travels. The dorm beds are more comfortable then our bed was at home and the facilities are top-notch! Another highlight is the rooftop bar boasting the best sunset view in town.
Budget Private – Ecocio Eco Hostel – If you don’t mind simple accommodation, Ecocio Eco Hostel offers super cheap private rooms in the heart of Coron Town. This eco-resort boasts a garden, private hammocks, and a bbq area.
Luxury – Sophia’s Garden Resort – For a touch of luxury in Coron, Sophia’s Garden is our top choice. Our friends treated us to a couple of nights here for my birthday and we loved the onsite swimming pool and restaurant!
For more places to stay in Coron, you can check the latest prices HERE.
If you plan to continue your travels in the Philippines, you’ll want to check out this 3 week Philippines itinerary.
More on Philippines
Planning a trip to the Philippines? Check out some of our other articles to help plan your trip:
- ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE TO EL NIDO
- ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE TO BORACAY
- 8 ADVENTUROUS THINGS TO DO IN LEGAZPI, PHILIPPINES
- ETHICALLY SWIM WITH WHALE SHARKS IN DONSOL
- A SIMPLE GUIDE TO THE PHILIPPINES
Did you enjoy our guide to island hopping boat tours in Coron in Coron, Palawan?
Let us know. That concludes our guide to island hopping boat tours in Coron, Palawan. We hope you enjoy your time in this magical city. If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below, through our contact us page. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here, where we share further travel advice & inspiration.
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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