To get to Coron, you can either fly into Francisco B. Reyes Airport or come in by boat. We got the 8 am boat from El Nido port to Coron port. It took around 2/3 hours. Make sure to sit at the back of the boat and stock up on travel sickness tablets. Headphones are also advisable to help block out the sound of people retching into bags.
In terms of costs: We had a private minibus pick us up from Nacpan Beach El Nido and drop us off at the port. That including our boat transfer tickets came to around 1,500pesos each (25GBP/ $35AUD).
Make sure to book your transfer boat from El Nido to Coron a few days in advance. Head into the main town of El Nido & you’re spoilt for choice for options of companies.
10KG BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE!!
We discovered this fantastic bit of information only after our flight booking company – KIWI (Avoid like the plague) sold us 20KG luggage allowance. Despite the airport having a strict 10kg policy and the airport as a whole being the size of your nan’s living room.
You know that classic airport joke? The one where you have to put on all your clothes at the airport because your bags are overweight? Yeah. That – it’s not fun. Cue us looking like the Michelin men/bucking donkeys with shoes and bags looped within bags hanging off carry on bags.
Plus, to make this hilarious situation even better, we were five hours earlier than we needed to be. Sitting in the worlds smallest airport with no aircon, no wifi, and wearing 7kg worth of clothes. All because KIWI had emailed to tell us the flights had been changed when they hadn’t. Thank the travelling luck it was earlier and not later, otherwise, we would have missed our flight to Cebu.
Lesson= don’t use KIWI.
Award for making at 17kg rucksack 10kg……. It goes to fucking me.
You can’t miss Mount Tapyas, coming in by boat or driving into Coron, it’s the first thing you see. The Philippines version of the Hollywood Sign.
724 Concrete steps later, you finally reach the top. Prepare to stay there a while. Only so you can recover/die when you fully realise you’ve been excessively abusing your body on filter country beer of choice for the last four months.
Best time to go has to be sunrise or sunset! One of those options was only really going to be the feasible one for my travel gang.
It’s about a 45-minute smooth drive from the centre of Coron town to Concepcion Falls. The roads on Coron are really easy, with plenty of petrol stations along the route. We hired our bikes from the boy’s hostel: Fat Monkey, at around $5 a day. Three bikes and six of us ready to go, we headed to explore our first waterfall experience in the Philippines.
There’s no real announcement of making it to the falls, just look for the parked bikes on the side of the road and you can easily find the path that leads to the waterfall. That or follow google maps (again pre-download offline maps of the area!). I am grateful that this was our first experience of Waterfalls because it could only go up from here! It had been raining heavily the past few days, which had led to the water colour being far from the blue we were expecting from the Philippines. The waterfall is worth the visit, you have lots of jumping, diving points & it is a good spot to spend a morning or afternoon in the water. It had a few local kids diving off the surrounding enclosed rocks and tree’s, but other than that, we had it to ourselves.
You have the option of giving a donation on the entrance or exit of the falls. There is a lady sitting in a wooden hut with drinks you can purchase etc. we opted to each donate around 20pesos ($1.00).
Maquinit Hot Springs
Basically, a really hot bath, in a really hot country, where realistically a bath is the last thing you want. You also can become really dehydrated and pruney quickly. I don’t really know why I thought I would enjoy it, I hate being hot and I don’t like baths……
For those of you who like baths/being hot when already hot – heres the deal:
1. It costs 200pesos per person for the day = around 8GBP.
2. Bring your own towels.
3. Remember to bring your swimming stuff – unlike Bean and Rhys, who despite the name Hot Springs and bath, they somehow didn’t realise and came without any swimmers.
4. It’s nice to go in the evening when its a little bit cooler.
5. The sun doesn’t set in any view of the vicinity – so don’t go expecting to see any pretty sunsets.
6. Good for loosening up muscles and having a good stretch.
Where to Stay
We pre-booked our hotels & hostels for the majority of the Philippines. Our reasons for doing so was mainly money, so we could get it out of the way and not worry about spending once we were there. Secondly, because this was when I was a planner, that has gone out the window since travelling.
We stayed at Sea Horse Guest House: it was a small room with 4 beds in bunk beds inbuilt into the wall with our own ensuite. There were only three of us girls in the room. Luckily we had it to ourselves the whole time we stayed.
It cost us a total of 156GBP for three people for four nights.
Well you’ve read this far, so thank you for that! Now make sure to read my Go With Gabbs blogs for other Philippine’s islands!