Fast Ferry from El Nido to Coron
Annoyingly there was only one ferry that could get us over to Coron and this left at 6am. The alternative was a very expensive flight.
The ferry we had was full to the rim, and booked up for the entire week, so booking in advance is essential, and make sure you get a return ferry, otherwise you’re stuck with forking out on a flight.
As a tip, we actually left our 2 large rucksacks with our previous accommodation in El Nido and collected 2 days later on the return journey. This meant we only took 2 small bags with us across the waters, which made life easier.
Prepare yourself with sea sickness tablets, it’s the most scariest experience both me and Kelly have had on ANY mode of transport.
The ferry bombs through the harsh waves, making water cover the whole entire boat. At one point I actually thought we were in a submarine.
Along with constant rocking, diving through waves and loud creaking noises it was a daunting experience, and I’ve never seen so much fear on Kel’s face. I was even scared for my life at one point.
It was a massive shock to everyone 10 minutes into the journey, and people were throwing up left, right and centre.
The only thing to make it worse, would be to enter the toilet on board, where you would witness a massacre of sick, shit and piss spread across all 6 sides of the small room.
Luckily the trip got a little easier from there on (it was impossible to get worse) and we arrived at Coron in one piece four and a half hours later.
See, travelling isn’t all fun and games guys!
On arrival we had entered a scene out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where the port gates were flooded with local tuk tuks drivers fighting for our attention, we felt like celebrities!
The return journey on the ferry wasn’t that much better, but we knew what to expect.
Where to stay in Coron
The Yellow House Coron (double room, £11 per night)
This was a lovely little room in a homestay. Kelly originally walked right into the family’s living room, which was quite amusing.
Yellow House felt very homely and came with all the required amenities and facilities. The showers were shared, but with only a few guest here, it didn’t become noticed.
It’s location was great, being about 10 minutes from the centre of Coron. They also supply tours from various operators that worked out cheaper than what we paid on Klook.
Things to do in Coron
Walking around Coron Town
On arrival we noticed the roads to being very small and no paths for pedestrians. The roads got busy too, and it didn’t seem as touristy as El Nido. It seemed more of a locals town, rather than resort area.
Climb Mount Tapyas
It was nice to have Kelly by my side on this climb, even if it was over 700 steps high. But steps make it easier, right?
Fortunately we made it to the top with very little complaints and at the top we got our reward.
Not only was there a chance to pose in front of a large Hollywood styled Coron sign, but the panoramic views of Coron were incredible.
We sat on the hill for a romantic sunset, watching the sun hide behind the limestone island formations out at sea.
Coron Ultimate Day Trip Tour (£23, Klook)
A similar setup to the El Nido tours, this tour was due to show us all the main beautiful spots surrounding the town of Coron. We brought from Klook, to later find the same tour cheaper in the area.
The tour started with a hotel pickup, and of the 11 people on our boat, 2 were actually from Colchester, it’s a small world!
1. Twin Lagoon
Getting here was a very scenic journey, as we passed by high limestone rocks and beached islands.
We docked in one lagoon and jumped off, making our way through the rocks to a second lagoon.
The water was 70% salt, so not the clearest, but pretty surroundings.
2. CYC Beach
Another clean, white sanded beach with crystal turquoise waters. We are in paradise here. Those photos you see in brochures are real guys!
3. Coral Garden
This is the place that has haunted me for the rest of the trip. Having technical issues with my goggles I was last off the boat, and as I made my way to Kel and the Colchester couple I heard some loud gargling, as Kel screamed through her snorkel.
It just so happened, that the word she was gargling was ‘turtle’, and by the time I got there it was an opportunity missed. I was gutted, but so happy the guys witnessed the turtle, apparently it’s rare in this location.
The coral garden was nice to explore and there were plenty of fish in sight, actually more than we found in El Nido. Snorkeling just gets better from here I guess!
4. Atwayan Beach
In this beautiful setting we had our included lunch, prepared on the boat. Me and Kel both tried seaweed, but not convinced.
5. Skeleton Wreck
This place was awesome and the site of a sunken ship that is now several metres deep. Nature has taken over and the ship’s skeleton is covered in coral and marine life.
I got pretty close to the ship by free-diving, but hadn’t learnt about ear equalising at this point. It was later on the Barrier Reef I did!
Our tour guide had flippers, so I handed him my GoPro for some up close footage, and I’m grateful I did. He was a pro!
6. Kayangan Lake
This was definitely the highlight of the trip and the view from the high viewpoint rivalled those we had witnessed in Halong Bay.
The lake itself was brochure material. The water so clear you can see the limestone rock formations mirrored underneath the waters.
The entire lake is surrounded by a wooden walk way, giving ample spaces for photos.
Where to eat and drink in Coron?
No Name Bar (2 beers, 120 peso)
Located in the town this seemed to be a quirky bar that addresses the tourist trade, with happy hours and lots of continental food on offer.
Tribu Kurodas (2 beers, 120 peso)
We found this cool reggae bar also in the town and had a great vibe. There was even a tattooist on site, possibly not a good idea after happy hour!
Altrove Italian Restaurant (960 peso for two)
Rated No.1 on TripAdvisor, there was an obvious reason why we’d need to queue for 30 minutes to eat here.
The wait was so worth it… the pasta we had here was the best of the trip so far. The portion sizes were massive, the service was prompt and the restaurant was beautifully presented. It was that good, we went back for pizza the next day!
Coron worth a visit?
Coron can be expensive and awkward to get to from El Nido, so it all depends on the time you have in the Philippines. The 4-5 hour ferry journey can really take it out of you, and you may even need a day to recover.
The tours are very similar to those at El Nido, but they still offer something different. The wreck was awesome, and there are lots more wrecks to see in Coron if you are into scuba diving. Kayangan Lake was also a worthy experience.
There is a debate between El Nido and Coron, and personally we would choose El Nido – but this may have been because we had more time there. Try both!