The journey to Coron Town was rough, but I had finally arrived. The town was different from El Nido. Whereas that town was small and devoted to tourism, Coron Town was bigger, and mostly Filipino. It had a gritty, frontier feel to it.
The streets of El Nido were packed with foreigners. There were foreigners about in Coron Town, but not nearly as many. There was only one street of restaurants and dive shops catering to visitors.
There is some world-class diving available, which is what brings many of the visitors here. I would not be diving. I would be doing the other big activity: touring Coron Island by boat.
Exploring Coron Island
On my first day in town, I organized this. Adding to the frontier feel of the town, there were only a few shops offering tours.
Unlike in El Nido, where dozens of “same same” shops offered the identical boringly-named A, B, C, and D tours, each shop in Coron Town offered different tours going to different places, at different prices. Internet connectivity was poor and Lonely Planet wasn’t helpful, so I was on my own.
I ended up choosing well, and had a blast. The key was having snorkeling gear. At first I was nervous about snorkeling in open water, because it’s been year. But I jumped in, and really enjoyed myself.
We stopped at six sites. There was a reef, which was incredible, and I swam in a school of fish. There was a WWII wreck. The bow was shallow enough to see while snorkeling.
At one of the stops there was a really long swim through open water to a cave, which we had to swim through to get to a lagoon. I’m glad our guide didn’t warn us about the long swim, because I would have been afraid to try. Fins would have been nice, though. The lagoon was quite scenic.
This was one of my best days in the Philippines.