Coron on a Budget

Banol Beach

Planning a trip to Paradise? Whoever said a trip to Coron is expensive may or may not be correct. However, if you know where to stay and where to eat, you'd probably save a lot more money and make this vacation possible. Here are a few tips from our trip to Coron.


To get to Coron, there is a direct flight from Manila via Philippine Airlines, PALExpress, Cebu Pacific, AirPhil. The peak season is during summer time in the Philippines which is from March-May, although there are quite a number of promotions these airlines have every now and then so better keep an eye on those! The flight is approximately one hour. When you land at Coron (Busuanga Airport), you still need to travel by land for about 45 minutes to get to Coron Town. It is advisable to arrange a pick up before you arrive.


Since Coron is more popular for island hopping, we needed to have a guide to sort out the rental of boats. We met Elmer through one of my good friends. He is absolutely really cool and one of the most humble people I have ever met. Here is the *breakdown of our tour. Some say it is more expensive, but having searched through other tour operators in the internet, this is way cheaper in my opinion.
Elmer doesn't do internet advertising. He gets his clients from recommendation of friends of friends. You may contact him by sms at *+639194417721. To get around town, you can walk since Coron town is so small. There are a lot of tricycles that you can ride too. The price varies on how far you will go but it's really cheap.


Coron offers a lot of options in terms of lodging - from beautiful hotels, to backpackers guest houses, B&Bs, inns, name it - they all have it! But if you are on a tight budget and want to save more money, you can check out Coron Backpacker Guesthouse. It is owned and being managed by a Filipino-British guy. It gives you all the basics - bed to sleep on and drinking water, a big kitchen where you can cook as well. It is a nipa hut type of house and so you will feel homely. They also have a lounge area with free Wifi where you can hang out and meet other guests. The only problem in Coron is electricity. It goes off once in a while especially in the afternoons so it could get hot and they don't have a generator. But if you're always out anyway and don't mind not having electricity then this should work. You can get a room with a fan for as low as *Php 500 (USD 13) per night. 

Some cons of staying here are: 1) Mosquitoes - be sure to have some insect repellent lotion with you. 2) Noise - we could hear all sorts of noise from different animals from the neighbours - pigs, rooster, dogs and the noises of children playing and adults chitchatting. The walls are so thin, you can actually here everything from the outside. I didn't mind at first but since we needed to sleep and rest coming from a red eye flight from Singapore, it was inconvenient. If you want a quieter place to stay at, this may not be suitable.

We stayed here for a day and decided to move onto another guest house. If you can ask around, the locals actually do rent out some rooms of their houses for a cheaper price. We found one house with a room good for 2-3 people and it has an aircon. It was a bit pricey compared to Coronbackpacker guest house (Php 800/night) but we didn't mind. The area is quieter and more accessible to shops and food places. They are not being advertised so you have to ask the locals of these kinds of houses.


There are a lot of food options Coron has to offer. There are various Western restaurants available in the town. If you want to have a taste of the local Filipino dishes, there are a lot to choose from. But for me, who has been living abroad, I always take this opportunity to eat Filipino dishes that I have missed so much and couldn't cook or buy from abroad. Majority of our stay in Coron, we have dined out, literally under the stars.

This got to be my favourite food place on the streets of Coron town! Street Food at its finest! And it's really cheap! For about *Php 30, you'll already have a full meal! Its amazing to see a lot of foreigners trying out the local dishes too.

Local Dish "Goto"

My favourite "Isaw" (Chicken Intestine) 

Chicken Head

For our third day, which is actually our rest day, we explored the town and ventured on some food trip. We tried out a Western restaurant (forgot the name!) and had pizza and pasta for lunch. It was over all OK but it was pricey! We spent around *Php 700 for this meal.


 And we got a little crazy for dessert! We had "sorbetes" (ice cream) for *Php 10 , 3 scoops and one sweet cone.  And "halo-halo" (which means 'mix' of ice, milk, sweet beans and fruits) for *Php 15 for one whole bowl.


"Taho" (Sweetened soya milk) good for breakfast at *Php 10
One of the most popular food in Coron is a type of dried fish (Danggit). It is marinated in vinegar and salt. What I like about this is it's not too salty for my taste unlike the other dried fish in the Philippines. This is best served with fried rice and egg. This costs around *Php 35.


Coron has a lot of local markets, so if you want to be adventurous with food and cook your own, you can! For our two-day island hopping activities, we bought our own food and lots of fruits. If you can use your bargaining skills, you can get them cheaper. The market is pretty much complete - they have different variety of fresh fish, pork, beef, vegetables, fruits, even condiments and canned goods are available as well. 

Dried Fish ("Danggit")

Freshly caught fish during our boat ride and grilled pork belly

Grilled Bangus (Milk fish)

Indian Mangoes and "Bagoong"

Recalling the total cost I spent for this 5D4N Trip was roughly around 
*Php 8,880 which included flights (Manila-Busuanga;Busuanga-Manila), Accomodation and Tour for 3 People. Overall, we had a fantastic time in Coron without really compromising our budget. 

All prices/figures (*) were from last February 2013.