11 Off-the-Beaten Path Things to Do in Coron and Busuanga Island

We Were Wrong

"Kim, there aren't many things to do in Coron. Let's cut our losses and go somewhere better."

Soon after our arrival in Coron Town, on Busuanga Island in the north of Palawan in the Philippines, we looked for flights to somewhere else.

We thought there weren't enough things to do in Coron to fill nine days. It seemed people just went diving and did lousy group boat tours. The town was noisy and the island was tiny.

We thought we'd made a mistake.

We were wrong.

Thanks to the advice and amazing hospitality of the long-time Busuanga Island residents we met, our trip was non-stop action.

Don't risk making the same mistake we almost made. If you’re an adventurous traveler looking for a unique and unforgettable experience here are the best 11 things to do in Coron.


  • 11 Things to Do in Coron, Palawan for the Adventurous
  • Where to Stay (& Rest Up for Tomorrow's Adventure)

11 Things to Do in Coron for Independent Travelers

Playing around on our boat around Coron Island.
Our a private boat tour was one of our favorite experiences in Coron. We could go wherever and do whatever we wanted, which is definitely not the case with a packaged tour.


This map will give you and idea of what's wear.

To learn how to save this map to your phone for offline use, check out our guide here

1. The Absolute Must-Do

Chris riding a motorcycle by the beach with Coron Island in background
Renting a motorcycle in Coron is a must to be able to explore all the beaches and attractions of Busuanga Island.

Rent a Motorcycle

You’re missing out big time if you never escape the Coron Town / Island vortex. Most of the best things to do in Coron, Palawan are outside of town. So get a motorcycle and get outta there.

Don’t worry. Motorcycles are easy to drive, there’s almost no traffic outside of town, and the roads (with a few exceptions) are in great shape. Plus it's cheap! We paid the equivalent of $8.20/day to rent a good quality semi-automatic bike.

Practice driving with one hand because everywhere you go the incredibly friendly Filipinos will wave at you.

Boyet's hand-drawn treasure map of things to do in Coron, Palawan
Boyet's hand-drawn treasure map that will show you the way in Coron, Palawan

Nuts & Bolts:

We wouldn't have had experience we did had we not rented our bikes from a guy named Boyet. He sat us down, give you a hand-drawn treasure map, and explained all the things to do in Coron, Palawan.

The guys knows his stuff: He gets island reports from every tourist who rents from him and every month he goes with his wife and group of friends on a reconnaissance tour of the island.

But some had the opposite experience with Boyet.

Teri shared in the comments that she had a terrible experience with Boyet, Julio says Boyet tried to rip him off, and that quite a few other reviewers on TripAdvisor and Google had similarly negative experiences.

So exercise caution and go to multiple rental shops (Julio recommends Angel Motorcycles as a Boyet alternative) to negotiate the best rates and find the best, friendliest service.

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2. The Filipino Family You Didn't Know You Had

Kim cooking in a rustic hut in Palawan
Kim cooking with Guido's wife in Hikari, Palawan.

A Day (or Three) With Guido in Hikari

Guido is Boyet the motorcycle baron's father-in-law. I wish he was my father-in-law. He is perhaps the most genuinely nice guy on the Busuanga.

We did a 1000 peso (~20USD) private boat tour with him and his son (#12 he calls him because he's the 12th child)  to snorkel a shipwreck and coral gardens, dive for conch, and have lunch on his own private beach. That in its own is amazing value. But on top Guido let us stay in his extra room for free,  cooked up the conch we —  he — found into a delicious adobo appetizer, and took us on an unforgettable firefly and phosphorescence night boat tour for just the cost of gas. Amazing.

That evening we spent hours listening to his story of being an ex-karaoke kingpin and packing his whole life (and 26 family members) into two boats for a 48 hour migration from Cebu to Palawan, and more. The guy needs to write a book.

And don't overlook the firefly and phosphorescence tour. I don't want to spoil it for you, so I'll just say our very low expectations were blown away.

Kim holding five-finger conch on Guido's boat.
Guido will help you find "five-finger" conch, which he and his wife will then cook up for you.

Nuts & Bolts:

To find Guido, talk to Boyet. Guido has big plans for expansion and internet prescence, but for now he can only be found through his son-in-law, Boyet. His place is about a 1 hr motorcycle ride from Coron Town.

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3. The Coron Island Tour the Old-Fashioned Way

Kim and the kayak on a little beach on Coron Island.
If you kayak to Coron Island, you can explore the nooks and crannies and find your own little paradise like this one.

Kayaking Coron Island

If you're fit and the weather's nice, renting a kayak and paddling to and around Coron Island is definitely one of the unmissable things to do in Coron, Palawan.

The paddle isn't as far as it seems and the island is so much more beautiful when you can skirt it's intimidating shoreline on your kayak, exploring the hidden inlets and deserted beaches, and seeing the fish and corals through the calm, clear water. Plus you'll burn off all that rice.

Kim and I started paddling at 10:20, explored the whole northwest corner of Coron Island, had a relaxing private beach lunch stop on the island, broke up our return trip to do some people watching at crowded CYC beach, and were back by 4pm, the same time as all the packaged boat tour groupies. The difference is we were fitter, happier, more tanned, and had more money in our pockets.

Kim taking a selfie of them paddling a kayak.
Kayaking on Busuanga Island is even better when your boyfriend is doing all the paddling so you can look at the fish and take selfies.

Nuts & Bolts:

Sea Dive Resort, which we rented from for 450 pesos, apparently doesn't rent kayaks anymore, but a lot of boat stalls have picked up in their place. Use the price we paid as an anchor for your negotiations to keep it from inflating to as high as 1,000 pesos, which other outfits quoted us.

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4. The VIP Coron Island Tour (That's Cheaper than Packaged Tours)

Captains and the lunch spread the made for us.
Our boat captains proudly showing off their incredible lunch creations.

Private Boat Rental

For 1800 pesos ($37 USD) split across five people, we chartered a private boat for the day to take us to whichever beach or snorkelling spot we wanted around Coron and Dimanglet Islands.

Not only was it extremely relaxing and liberating to go where we wanted when we wanted (as opposed to the packaged tours that herd you around), but our captain Toto and his assistant had a surprise up their sleeves (or their flip flops I guess, since they were shirtless):

They were fantastic chefs!

We knew they would cook for us – it's included in the cost – but we had no idea these two chain-smoking, gap-toothed, salt-and-sun-worn men spent their free time watching the Food Network. Somehow they turned the random mishmash of ingredients we bought into a lunch spread rivaling that of a high-end hotel buffet.

While the cooking comes with the price of the boat, you buy your own ingredients at extra cost. To do so, our captain's cousin guided to the local Coron market, where we bought a cornucopia of fresh local seafood, seaweed, beer, gin, vegetables and of course, a kilo of rice. Even if you don't rent a boat, checking out the market is among the worthwhile things to do in Coron, Palawan.

While the food was certainly a highlight, the whole day was pure luxury, relaxation and decadence. Better yet, it was all for less than $12 USD each!

Nuts & Bolts:

To find a boat, head down to the pier in the morning of the day you want to go (no need to plan in advance). Be prepared to negotiate. They'll tell you 2,700 pesos is the bare minimum fixed rate. In reality it's about as bare as me walking to work in Canada in the winter. There's plenty to strip off. Getting down to the 1,800 pesos we paid may be too bare for anyone to accept these days, but it's a good starting point to negotiations.

How to find people to join you and split the cost? Head to happy hour at No Name Bar in Coron Town the night before. Kim and I spent an hour sipping 40 peso ($0.90 USD) rum and waters (with generous amounts of calamansi, the local lime) and managed to find and recruit a like-minded group to join us.

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5. The Pre-Tourism Coron Experience

Kim shells northern Busuanga, Palawan
Kim found some rather big shells during our kayak trip.

Kayaking in North Busuanga

While the islands and waters around Coron Town and Coron Island are teeming with tourists, there's nobody in the north of Busuanga Island. And it may even be more beautiful.

Indeed, our favourite beach of the whole trip was on Rock Island, a tiny paradise where Kim and I spent an afternoon resting from the long paddle over, collecting shells, and reading. There was nothing to distract us but the sound of breaking waves (… and two dogs. You can't escape the dogs in the Philippines.

Nuts & Bolts

Rent your kayaks from the incredibly hospitable Brenda, manager of .

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6. The Authentic Island Getaway

Looking back at Vicky's Guesthouse from our kayak.
Vicky's Guesthouse (red roof) is right on the water in a relaxed area on the north of Busuanga Island. It's also the perfect launching spot for kayaking explorations.

Stay With Brenda in Northern Busuanga

Kim and I came for a day trip… but didn't go back. The place was too relaxing.

And it ended up being the #1 of all things to do in Coron for both of us.

Located at the far end of San Jose, a village so sleepy that the road through town doubles as a regulation-sized basketball court, Brenda's place is a far cry from the endless vroom-vrooming and honking of Coron Town. Her guesthouse is perched right on the water, making it a perfect spot for relaxing daytime hammock reading, tropical island beach exploring, and night-time fish viewing.

Everything is hassle-free. Your only distraction will be the local kids who hang out with Brenda and her young son, and occasionally practice zumba dancing. And when your stomach starts growling, just let Brenda know what you feel like and when (and maybe buy some ingredients at the little shops down the street) and her staff will prepare it for only $2-$3USD per meal.  

Nuts & Bolts:

The Cheeki Diver Inn is just over an hour motorcycle ride from Coron Town. Boyet the motorcycle baron (or whomever you hire from, see above) can give you all the directions you need.

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7. The Most Famous of All Things to Do in Coron, Palawan (That We Didn't Do)


We didn't dive, but we'll add it to our list since everyone says it's great especially if you're into wrecks.

Nuts & Bolts:

Brenda at The Cheeki Diver Inn (see above) is a dive master, so she is the best bet for doing dives in the north of Busuanga and giving unbiased tips for other dive sites and shops around the island.

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8. The Cheers Bar of Palawan

Aerial view of the nachos at Get Real restaurant in Coron Town
Get Real's nachos are REAL good. Those flowers are edible too.

Hang Out At Get Real Café and Bar

Get Real Café and Bar is exactly why we nominated The Philippines as the best country in the world to get to know locals in our guide to the 15 Best Countries to Visit for 15 Unique Types of Trip.

Our trip wouldn't have been the same if not for the amazing hospitality of Maui, Mike, Gerard, Daniel, and all the others that work and hang out there.

We initially went to try the tamarind-infused vodka Raul, which the owner of Pedro's Gelato recommended us. Their deep and delicious nachos (whose chips are fried to order!) sucked us in. And we were brought back every night to hang around with the gang of locals and managers who really know how to have a good time.

Just like Cheers from the TV show, by the end it was a bar where everyone knew our name.

Nuts & Bolts

Get Real Café and Bar is on Real St. by the intersection of Burgos St. in the center of Coron Town.

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9. The World's Easiest Mountain Summit

Colorful sunset from top of Mount Tapayas
The sunset view is a worthy reward for the not-so-difficult climb to the "summit" of Mount Tapayas.

Sunset Mount Tapyas Hike

Kim and I were skeptical when our friend Maui from Get Real Café and Bar invited us to join him on his daily "hike" up Mount Tapyas. What kind of mountain is only 721 steps high? How could the views be any good from only up there? And wouldn't there be too many tourists?

Our doubts were unjustified. Maui was right.

After drinking and eating all day VIP-style on our private boat tour (see above), we weren't exactly in the best possible shape for this "hike". But, with my bag packed with an icy cocktail of local gin and calamansi, and sunset just a quarter hour away, we summited the "mountain" in just under 8 min (beat that!). Most mountain peaks can't be reached that fast even by helicopter.

But as they say, sometimes great things come in small packages. Maui led us off the busy viewing platform to a secluded rock around the corner, and the view was spectacular. It really put the whole area's geography into perspective. We went our last night in Coron, which was a fitting cap to our amazing stay, but we recommend you go on your first evening to get a lay of the land and visually take in the things to do in Coron, Palawan.

Nuts & Bolts:

The stairs for Mount Tapayas are just a few minutes walk up San Augustin St. from the center of Coron Town.

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10. The Distant Destination

Looking down Ocam Ocam beach.
On Ocam Ocam beach you won't find much more than sand and the odd fishing boat.

Ocam Ocam and Black Island

Ocam Ocam is the rare place on Busuanga Island where you can actually stay right on the beach.

An isolated fishing village of 96 families at last count (which apparently they do often since it's so easy and there's not much else to do), Ocam Ocam didn't even have a road connecting it to the rest of the island up until about 12 years ago.

Not much has changed since apparently, making this a getaway from a getaway. There is one (soon to be two) small "resort" (1500 pesos or $30 USD a night for one of the 5 or 6 bungalows), one guesthouse (500 pesos a night), a few shops selling only packaged preserves, no restaurants (your guesthouse will cook for you), no cell reception, and (almost) no electricity at night.

We were the only tourists in town and spent a good deal of time wandering around seeing if there was anyone with very good English who could provide us tips (nope), anywhere we could buy beer (nope), places to eat other than our guesthouse (nope), and anyone willing to take us on a boat to Black Island the next day (yep!).

A Black Island tour is the one thing to do besides relaxing on the beach or a hammock. With its impressive ragged cliffs (guess what color?), big soft sand beach, and easily accessed cave with an underground swimming hole, it's a nice, albeit somewhat expensive day trip (2,500 pesos for four people, plus 500 if you want to visit a second island).

Looking over the bow of our boat with Black Island in the distance
Riding the boat towards Black Island from Ocam Ocam.

Nuts & Bolts

Ocam Ocam is about 75 kilometres from Coron Town, which will take roughly 3 hours. The last 4 kilometres are rough, especially during or just after the rainy season, so only go if you're reasonably comfortable with your motorbike.

Black Island is a 30 minute boat ride from Ocam Ocam. Renting a boat to take you there is about 1,500 pesos and the entrance fee for the island is 200 each.

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11. The Perfect Final Thing to Do in Coron, Palawan

Funny Lion Pool
The Funny Lion Din 'n' Dine is a perfect departure day activity.

Funny Lion Dip n' Dine

Pay 500 pesos (just over 10 USD) to get all-day access to The Funny Lion's serene mangrove-encircled pool and get 400 peso credit to their fantastic restaurant (one of our top food choices in Coron). It's an unbeatable way to enjoy a relaxing day before heading on to your next destination.

Close up of Tagbuana coffee
Try a traditional Tagbuana coffee at the Funny Lion, which comes with a cup of cashew milk.

Nuts & Bolts:

When the hotel is fully occupied, they don't allow walk-ins, so call (+63 905 395 5445) or email (inquiries@thefunnylion.com) the Funny Lion to confirm availability before you go.

Getting to the Funny Lion is easy: it's a 4 minute, 20 peso tricycle ride out of town. Ask the receptionist of the hotel to coordinate your shuttle to the airport (150 pesos), which will pick you up on the way from Coron Town to the airport (30 min).

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Where to Stay in Coron

View from Levine's in Coron Town, Palawan

For A Waterfront Oasis Conveniently Located in Town:

Grounds and building of the Bay Area hotel in Coron

The Bay Area Coron

Since you're staying on an island, you ideally want to be by the water. Unfortunately, most waterfront hotels in Coron Town take too much advantage of their location and don't bother providing great service or maintaining comfortable rooms. The Bay Area Coron is an exception.

This bed and breakfast has excellent staff and an absolutely perfect location for travelers who want the relaxing island vacation feel but still close to the restaurants, activities, and action of town.  With rooms as low as $39 USD, it's great value.

Check availability and reserve without a credit card and with free cancellations by clicking here.

For A Very Low-Cost Island Getaway:

The Cheeki Diver Inn

Chris reading on a hammock while a little girl looks on
The north of Busuanga is more relaxing than the south of the island.

We already gushed about Brenda's, the manager of Cheeki Diver Inn, hospitality at #6 in our list of favorite things to do in Coron, above.

The Inn is a two-room cottage with a small kitchen and nice sunny terrace overlooking the bay. You can book a stay with her on.

If you've never used Airbnb before, get $45 off your first stay by booking through our link. Airbnb's not perfect, as we explain in our pros and cons of Airbnb versus hotels, but when you have a surefire dynamo host like Brenda, it lives up to the hype.

For A Friendly, Social, Vibe:

Coron's New Breed of Hostels

A bunch of hostels have opened up since we visited. Even though we can't vouch for them personally, the stellar reviews they've been getting make them worth mentioning.

Happy Camper's outdoor courtyard.

Happy Camper Hostel: I couldn't find a single negative review for Happy Camper Hostel. As an ex-hostel owner myself, that's incredible. The owner obviously knows what he's doing. If I were to visit Coron again by myself, this would be my choice.

Hop Hostel: Hop Hostel is a big, modern, hostel up the hill behind Coron Town. Most people love it (especially the big comfy beds, views, and facilities), but some complain about overly strict policies and nickel-and-diming.

For Couples and Friends on a Tight Budget:

Mommita's Lodge

Mommita's Lodge is a cross between a homestay and a hotel and is smack dab in the center of Coron Town—i.e. it can be noisy but it's convenient and affordable. Esther "Mommita" Reyes lives up to her name by being your host mom for your trip, helping you sort out everything you need to have an awesome stay.

Our friends from the private boat tour stayed here. They didn't rave about it, but were happy with the price, location, and AC.

Mommita is old-school, so to book you have to email her at mamitaslodge@yahoo.com.

How to Have an Awesome Coron Adventure

Discover what else we most (and least) enjoyed around town and around Busuanga:

Coron's Best Food

The best foods we had in Coron Town and around Busuanga Island.

Off the beaten path Coron things to do pin.

Disclosure: Whenever possible, we use links that earn us a cut if you pay for stuff we recommend. It costs you nothing, so we'd be crazy not to. Read our affiliate policy.

59 thoughts on “11 Off-the-Beaten Path Things to Do in Coron and Busuanga Island”

  1. Hey, great post! I’m in Coron at the moment and want to do a private tour to the lakes. Did you visit them on your private boat tour? And was it the port in Coron Town that you arranged the boat at? Thanks ✌

    • Hey Jaymi! Sorry for the delay but we were out exploring an internet-free, Coron-like destination here in Colombia. On our private boat tour we didn't go to the lakes, but went right by them. The captains will gladly let you off there if you want. They're on the near side of the island, so it's no further or extra cost. And yeah we arranged the boat right at the main Coron port. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  2. Hello. Thank you for this great great poat! Im heading to Coron in a fortnight and has booked a place to stay in ocam ocam. Your post has made me manage my expectations. Where did you do the bioluminescence tour? It was not mentioned and i wanted to include it in my itinerary. Thanks

    • Hi Amor. Thanks for the compliment. To do the bioluminescence tour with Guido you have to talk with Boyet at the motorcycle rental shop in Coron Town (the #1 item on our list). And just to be clear, the bioluminescence tour we did was not near Ocam Ocam, but by Hikari, which is where Guido's house is.
      Have a great time in Coron!

    • Thanks Aia. To book our private boat tour we just went down to the dock and asked around. If you want the same captain/chef as we had, ask for Toto and maybe you'll get lucky and find him.

    • Hey Erika. Sorry, we don't have their phone numbers or emails. You just have to pop by Boyet's place to chat with him about renting a bike. As for the captain, all we have is his name, Toto. You'll have to ask around for him by the pier. Maybe print off the picture of him above (the guy in the back missing a tooth) and ask around like you're looking for a lost cat, haha. Sorry we couldn't be more helpful!

  3. Hey Chris,
    We are heading to coron this winter and found this article really helpful. Awesome info :o)
    I am curious about the kayaking as its something we really want to do but am not sure we are as fit as you guys :o) How long did it take you to paddle across to coron island. Is it doable for moderately fit people or is it pretty hard going?
    Also in terms of the motobike rental do you need a license or is it like renting a scooter where they will let you do it without one. Is petrol available throughout the island of busuanga?

    Thanks again for awesome info


    • Hey Brian — lucky you guys for having the chance to go to Coron.

      If you don't exercise at all at home, I'd definitely advise against kayaking. But if my active 60-year-old parents or siblings who don't do much but hike and the odd jog here and there were to go I'd tell them to 100% do it. (For whatever that's worth.) Going out is a slog; it took us maybe 2 hours max to cover what Google Maps says is 4.3 km to the island . From there, it was a breeze. Going along Coron Island was fantastic then going back was made easier by stopping along the way at CYC and going alongside Uson.
      Obviously the weather is important. Pick a calm day and set out early when the water's normally calmer.

      As for the motorbikes, a driver's license is all you need and farmers and shopkeepers all around the island will sell you pop bottles full of gas. A bit overpriced compared to the gas stations in the bigger towns, but whatever.

  4. Hey Chris,

    Thanks for the respons :o)

    2 hours is probably a bit long for for us so will have to try and come up with something else. Do you know if its possible to rent kayaks at Coron island it self so we could just do the scenic part without having to cross the bay?

    We dont have motorbike licenses but thought you could get away with it as you sometimes can in other countries. Might have to hire a car which is not as cool i guess :o)


    • Hey Brian — By driver's license I meant a license for driving a car, not a motorcycle. Even if you've never been on one before, you'll have no problem renting one and shouldn't have a problem driving it.

      On the kayaking… come on! You have until the winter to prepare yourself. Get on the rowing machine in the gym if you're really uncertain, then get to Coron and kayak over in not 2 hours, but 45 minutes! Unless something's changed since we were there, you won't be able to rent a kayak on the island. Some of the boat tours have a kayak or two that guests can paddle around for a few minutes during lunch and snorkel breaks, but that's not a comparable experience.

      • Hey Chris,

        Hahahaha i dont have time going to the gym as renovating the house in my spare time :o) will ask around if anyone does them on Coron island when we get there.

        Great news on the motorbike will definitely give that a go. Are they strong enough to carry 2 people? The problem being that my girlfriend doesn't drive so dont have a license. Wouldn't trust her on a bike even if she did, it wouldn't be safe for the locals hahaha.


        • Hola Brian – Yeah, the bikes are made for 2 people. You'll often see whole families on a single bike there. And I 100% know where you're coming from for not wanting your gf to ride a bike. Kim's good, but my mom's like that. The first thing she did when she got on a bike in Indonesia was confuse the brake for accelerator and put a big dent in the side of a van across the street (and her wallet and her ego).

  5. Compliments: Thanks so much Chris for this top tier travel advise to Busuanga. I like your approach and humor. This was just what I was looking for. I am an old backpacker from the 80- and 90. When I was on Palawan a couple of times in the beginning of the 90-ies we wanted to go to Busuanga, but it was too difficult and inconvenient at the time, besides it was pretty ok in El Nido etc. at the time with no organised trip 1, trip 2 etc. Now I am coming back with my kids 12 and 15 years old and I want to give them a real experience. It will never be at the level I had in the 90-ies, it would not even come close, but now after your travel blog I can at least try. We are starting at Vickey´s and take it from there.
    So big thanks, Peter from Norway

    • Hey Peter, Hopefully in 17 years or so I can be in the same position as you: taking my mature kids on a trip to show them how to really travel. You're an inspiration! Coron's a good choice, especially if you're able to get motorbikes to explore the island and go to places like Vicky's. All the best and thanks for the comment.

  6. love how you described Coron. I was all set in not going but you've changed my mind. I'll be going by myself do you recommend kayaking alone? Thanks

    • Hey David. I'd definitely recommend going with someone else for safety reasons, but let's put it this way: If I were to go back to Coron without Kim and couldn't convince anyone else to join me kayaking, I'd go myself for sure. Tell your hotel manager or somebody your plans before you set off so that if worst comes to worst and say a huge storm comes through that leaves you stranded, they'll know where to go to rescue you. In all likelihood, you'll have no problems just like us. Have an awesome time!

  7. Hi! Do you still have the contact numbers of the boatmen? Heading to Coron this Sunday and just like you, we don't want to avail any of the tour packages. Any reply would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Howdy Jen. No, we don't still have Toto's contact number. Actually, we never had it. We just found him down by the pier. We negotiated well and got lucky that he was a master chef.
      Good luck and have an awesome time in Coron.

  8. Hi, I was hoping to get exclusive tour for my fam on our vacation to Coron. And this article is a great help.
    I hope I could also find those boatmen you hired.

    • Hey Richie. Like I wrote in response to the previous comments, all I have (and ever had) was the name, Toto. And the photo here. If you do find him while in Coron, it'd be awesome if you could help us all out by sharing his number here. But maybe Toto has moved on to a more lucrative career running a 5-star restaurant in Manila or something, haha.
      Thanks for reaching out and have a super time in Coron with your family!

  9. About how long did it take to get from Busuanga to Coron Island? I'm interested in doing this but is there a point when you see no islands or is everything still close together at that point. Also, how rocky does it get? I like kayaking but Ive gotten very sick kayaking in oceans like in Hawaii or California.

  10. Hello,

    I just want to ask how did you rent a private boat in Coron for a cheap price? Was it through a tour company?

    Thank you!

    • Hey Eunice – Definitely avoid tour companies if you want the cheapest price. We just went down by the pier, asked around, and negotiated a price the day before.

  11. Take Boyet off of here. He is a professional scammer. Look at the trip advisor reviews. We got ripped off and stranded on the other side of the island. Not sure why you would reccomend this horrible shop.

    • I'm really sorry to hear you had a miserable experience with Boyet, Teri. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. We too read the bad reviews before we rented but, as we wrote, had an extremely positive experience. In any case, I've updated the post to share your feedback and warn future readers to exercise caution. Thanks again and hopefully the rest of your trip goes amazingly well.

      • Hi! We are a couple that are going to coron for 10 nights in January and are not sure where to stay on the island, as it seems that the motorcycle rides takes a long time. We will mostly do kayaking/private boat tours to empty islands/beaches and stay away from the crowd!


    • Wow, I went off their recommendation too and got something completely different then what they described! I wonder how careful they are vetting these places.

  12. Hello
    Next to the boyet Bike which was close to a write-off and had us woried the whole time, please also deleted Happy Lion. We went there, excited to chill at a pool as its hard to find a place to swim when you're not on a tour or rent a boat. When we arrived at Happy Lion, they told us "today its only for our guests"
    Thank you

    • I'm sorry to hear that Andi. Thanks for sharing. I've emailed the Funny Lion to get an update on what their dates and policies are for the Dip 'n' Dine and will update this post as soon as I hear back from them.

      UPDATE: The Funny Lion responded immediately. They say that when the hotel is fully occupied they do not allow walk-in guests so they recommend you call or email them before going to check. I've updated the post accordingly.

    We went because of this blog called The Unconventional Route posted about Vicky's Guesthouse, RAVING!!! We decided to stay there but…

    Vicky, the caretaker of the house is a bit bossy. We went on a day excursion and had so much fun out on the water that she annoyingly called up asking where we were… and we were actually headed back. When we got back, she remarked about us not being back at the time she discussed. We paid for an all day excursion, we're traveling.. we are on no one's watch. If it was about safety and making sure we were okay, that's awesome but it wasn't. There is nothing wrong with escaping and enjoying ourselves, getting lost in paradise.

    She also overpriced the meals she would prepare for us. Some of the meals, boxed pancake mix, a far cry from an organic farmed community with fresh fruit, veggies and fish. It was probably the worst food we had on the islands. The blog said it was $2-3 USD per meal but Vicky took advantage and charged $6-7 USD per meal. It was crazy to get the bill at the end of our 3-day stay. She took advantage and she overcharged, she even charged to boil some eggs. We bought the eggs from the market ourselves.

    Be careful with how relaxed you are with having her take care of everything, she will take advantage.

    Her guesthouse is worse than a shack, no plumbing – we would have to pump our own water through the toilet. There were ants and bugs that would come onto the bed and eventually.. we didn't care. The common areas weren't clean, she had dishes with bugs everywhere. No garbage cans or dish soup to sanitize. The trash just sat around, so it wasn't taken care of daily.

    It was definitely an experience. The biggest bummer was being overcharged for everything. Brenda is the awesome one and the one you want to discuss everything with. Still, I would watch out for how they charge you.

    • What a shame to hear you had a negative experience because of taking our advice! We're sorry about that. Maybe we were fortunate to never come across Vicky and only spend time with Brenda, who, as you say, is awesome. From other, more recent reviews, it looks like most other guests have had a great stay there, so maybe you were unlucky? Whatever the case may be, sorry to hear about your bad time, thanks for sharing anyway, and all the best with the rest of your travels.

  14. Thanks for your article that really gives a different view on things to do in Coron compared to the typical touristy things other blogs mention! Just wanted to know (as couldn't see this mentioned anywhere in the article or comments), were you actually able to snorkel on your private boat tour i.e. did Toto have all the snorkelling gear or do we need to hire these elsewhere? Do you also remember what time you finished roughly? As we plan on "hiking" Mount Tapyas afterwards then head to Maquinit to end the day. Thanks!

    • Hey Rose. It's always nice to hear from fellow unconventional route-ers! Thanks for the comment and questions.

      Yes, Toto provided the snorkeling gear. Definitely a good idea to confirm that during negotiations, though. I don't remember if snorkels were automatically thrown in or not. We were back in Coron Town at 4:30 and, like you, hiked Mount Tapayas after. Throwing in the hot springs at the end sounds like a good idea! Enjoy!

  15. Wow! You guys are seriously fit. My partner and I followed your lead today and did the kayak trip from Coron Town–>Coron Island, and it seriously kicked our butts! Haha but still a great experience. We looked it up afterward and it's about 10 miles. This blog is awesome, thanks for the inspiration!

    • Hey Andrea. I'm so glad you too kayaked to Coron Island, enjoyed yourselves, got some exercise, and didn't drown. 10 miles sounds about right. 3 miles as the crow flies to Kayangan Lake from Coron Town but if you're like us you need some practice on paddling "like a crow flies", so it's much more. Adding on detours down the nooks and crannies of the island you'd get to 10 miles easy. Enjoy the rest of your trip and thanks for dropping by with the much-appreciated comment.

  16. Hi! We are a couple that are going to coron for 10 nights in January and are not sure where to stay on the island, as it seems that the motorcycle rides takes a long time. We will mostly do kayaking/private boat tours to empty islands/beaches and stay away from the crowd!


    • Hey Thibault. The motorcycle rides are part of the fun, though! And they're not that long anyway. Have a great trip and let us know if you make any discoveries worth sharing here!

  17. Hi, I'm headed to Coron this December. Lots of people have recommended to rent a scooter. Do you know if you need a motorcycle license to rent one? Been hearing mixed opinions of whether or not you need one!

    • Hey Erika, No motorcycle license is needed for a smaller-CC scooter, which was plenty powerful enough to haul Kim and I around the Island. Rather not go too fast anyway since, like you, I'm no expert. Enjoy your trip!

  18. Hey guys, love your write up. I just wish I’d found it a bit earlier! I’m here in Coron right now with my family (me + husband and our 2 kids aged 7 and 4), with just a couple of days left. (I’m hoping I’ll get a reply from you within the next 24 hours!)
    We love getting off the beaten track too and we’re really not into the whole mass tour thing (even though we’ve been on s couple already).
    I’m keen as to charter a private boat tour like you did, and get to some cool snorkeling and swimming spots for the kids, away from the crowds. Any tips for where we should direct our boat captain- or should they know where to go? Also, what time do you recommend we get down to the port if we want to go that same day (allowing time for buying food at the markets)?

    • Hey Liz, Sorry for not getting back to you in time! (We check comments once a week.)

      The captains know all the spots, but will prioritize saving gas if you give them carte blanche. We just cruised along and asked them to stop when we saw a cool-looking spot.

      And no need to get started super early. We met around 9am to sort out the boat, get food, and go.

      If you can, please share your advice by letting us know how it went.

  19. Hey hey, thanks for all the informations! Great job. One question: how long did it take you from north busuanga (brendas) to the rock island by kayak?
    Greetings from
    Laura and Juan

    • Hey Laura and Juan. It took us 1h45min of non-stop paddling. Well, 1h45min of non-stop paddling for me in the back. Kim took some time to relax and enjoy the scenery up front, haha. Happy paddling!

  20. While I was in Coron for 6 days, I was referring to this blog for ideas, etc. I also got the idea of getting a private boat tour from here. I wished I could find Toto but I doubted I could find him just by asking around, so I just resorted to walking and haggling around the pier.

    On the last day when I was supposed to go on a private boat tour, around lunch time, I asked the name of our boat captain. Lo and behold! It was Toto Avelino! In the flesh! I was so surprised that we met serendipitously… that I somehow unknowingly chanced upon him without meaning to. Until now I am amazed by how fate has led us to him.

    I showed him this blog, his picture and asked to take pictures with him. I also told him I will post his number here to help his business. He is indeed a very good guy. He exudes a very positive energy and you can definitely feel his good nature. You can see it in his smile, the way he laughs at our jokes and how he cares for Carlo, his companion.

    So if you want to get the best boatman in Coron, please call Kuya Toto! His number is +63 975 267 9109. Tell him you got his number from this blog because it was posted by Det Zabat, the daughter of Gerry Zabat.


    PS. Chris and Kim, I took a picture with Toto. I would love to send it to you.

  21. I was wondering when you visited? I see comments from 2017 but the blog posts says it posted on dec21, 2019.
    Im actually in Coron now and can attest to Boyet being pretty sure. They tried to upcharge and were rather rude too. I ended up going with Angel motorcycles and it was fantastic.
    I hope to go kayaking tomorrow per your advice. Oh im also a fellow travel blogger at travel world heritage

    • Hey Julio. We visited late 2016 and update regularly based on input from emails, contacts in Coron, and comments like yours. I've added your negative experience with Boyet and endorsement of Angel to the post so people can find the best motorbike rental in town. Thanks for the input. Enjoy the kayaking!

  22. Hey Chris,
    such a helpful post – thank you very much!

    My financé and I are going to Coron in March and we really want to try kayaking around Coron. We are planning to stay at the Two seasons hotel in Coron. Since this hotel has a beach access, do you know if we could start our tour directly from there? And if so, what route would you recommend? Could you make it to the CYC beach?
    Since you are on the open sea, how do you orient yourself and don´t get lost? 🙂

    I really appreciate your support!

    Thank you so much,

    • Hey Denise! Looks like your hotel's even closer to the islands than town, so if you're about as fit as we were, I don't see why not. Everything's within eyesight, so you'd be hard-pressed to get lost. But definitely only go out far if you're confident.
      Please let me know how it goes! Also it's been a long time since we published this post, so please let me know any suggested updates.

  23. Hello. Could you please tell me – if you kayak to Coron Island, is there a way to visit any of the famous lakes? Or are the logistics/distances too great/challenging and/or is it not possible to leave the kayaks safely tied up, etc? Thanks.

  24. we (me are going to Philippines next week and we were supposed to stay in coron for a few days … so i was searching for ideas and so i found your story …
    i am very happy to realize that you are two beautiful people leaving and traveling together
    keep on like this !


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