Beach paradise at any budget – Coron, Philippines

The Philippines have over 7,000 islands, and Coron is one of the most beautiful areas in the country for a peaceful getaway. The beaches are unspoiled, the hotels are generally small and spread out across a number of islands and it is still a dream destination you can go to now, without thinking “I wish I had come here 10 years ago” before everybody else found out about it…

Coron IslandsWhen you read about dream beaches or favorite honeymoon destinations, you will usually hear about Bora Bora or the Maledives, both beautiful places who earned their many acclaims. Coron does not get nearly as much digital ink or glossy magazine covers, but it can offer your a dream getaway you will remember. When you ask a Filipino about a beach recommendation, usually Boracay (reviewed here) comes up first, but usually Coron is one of the destinations that follows quickly. Coron is a municipality in the province of Palawan in the South West of the Philippines, with an island of the same name, the island of Busuanga and 50 smaller islands. With a few high-end resorts on their own islands, pristine beaches and great wreck and reef diving that earned Coron a spot on Forbes Top 10 list of scuba destinations world wide, its starting to get the attention for the beauty it has to offer.

With fewer than 50,000 people living in the area, most of the air travel is for tourists and only small propeller planes can take you to the little airport on Busuanga. It’s a short landing strip among green fields with only a small building as the terminal. You get your luggage through an opening in the wall, no conveyor belt here. We were here for a weekend and picked the Busuanga Bay Lodge (read review here) on the same island to make the most of our time. We knew we wouldn’t encounter mass tourism when our little van avoided a little bridge that might not have handled the weight and drove through the river bed instead…

Pass Island

While your choice of hotel will make a big difference on how you experience Coron, the same as for Bora Bora or the Maldives, a lot of the beauty you can experience from any of them: One of the best things to do is to go on an island hopping tour – with so many islands, many of them uninhabited, you can literally have an island all to yourself. You can go by group or organize a private boat to take you. So, even if a private island hotel is not in your budget, you can still have your lunch or some sun bathing on an island all by yourself. Just strolling along a deserted beach, resting in the sand or wading through the warm, crystal clear water are a peaceful treasure that’s more and more difficult to find on our crowded planet.

Coron Boat RideThe other thing you can explore regardless of your budget is to snorkel or scuba dive at the many great spots in the area. With a number of boats and ships sunk in the area during World War II, you can find some interesting wreck diving. If that is too creepy for your taste, you can also enjoy the many reefs with their corals and fish. And you can do that without the crowds of divers you find in other popular destinations. Even on a busy weekend, we were the only boat to enjoy our snorkeling at these sites!

Coron SunsetMany places around the world offer beaches, warm water and plenty of sun to enjoy. But if your idea of a beach getaway does not include crowds of other visitors, then Coron should be on your list. It is a still unspoiled paradise by the see. Add in the genuine friendliness of your Filipino hosts and you have a lot to look forward to. And one thing Bora Bora or the Maledives can’t offer is the option to experience a getaway at an affordable price: While an upscale resort in Coron will certainly make your stay even more memorable, you can enjoy much of the beauty on any budget! If you don’t believe it, ask me – I will show you how to have a slice of this paradise, including a nice resort, for less than a vacation on Hawaii will cost you!


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