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Palawan Travel Guide

Travel Safely to Coron Under the New Normal

Guidelines, tips, what to expect, and list of DOT-accredited hotels and tour operators in Coron Palawan. Updated December 26, 2021.

Guidelines, tips, what to expect, and list of DOT-accredited hotels and tour operators in Coron Palawan. (updated December 26, 2021)

Palawan is one of my favorite places in the country and news of the destination slowly opening up excited me. It bids well for the tourism industry which was badly hit by the pandemic. Coron Palawan is now open to receive tourist albeit with safety protocols in place. Here’s a handy guide to help you travel safely and enjoy one of the world’s best island and destination.

Is it Safe to travel to Coron during the Pandemic?

As of this writing (December 26,2021) the municipality of Coron have recorded 10 Active cases from the most recent page update. With how things can quickly change, it is always best to monitor the situation by following the Coron Public Information Office page in Facebook for updates.

Checking the boarding time at NAIA Terminal 3
Checking the boarding time at NAIA Terminal 3

Tour operators must be accredited and hotel establishments must have a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) to operate.

Travel to Coron is generally safe as protocols are in place. For me, I’d be more worried for visitors coming in. So to minimize the risk of bringing COVID19 in the region, observe minimum safety protocols of washing/sanitizing hands, wear face mask (and face shield if needed) and keep your distance.

What do I need to travel to Coron?

To keep it simple and hassle-free, DOT and the LGU kept the requirements minimal. No quarantine (if entering by flight), no travel authority, no baranggay clearance and no medical certificates.

Taking an RT-PCR test 48-72 hours before flight
Taking an RT-PCR test 48-72 hours before flight

Here are four main requirements you need to prepare (Updated December 26, 2021):

  • Only fully-vaccinated individuals are allowed to enter Coron. A vaccination card is required to be presented.
  • Non-vaccinated minors must be accompanied by fully-vaccinated adults.
  • Round-trip tickets to Busuanga (USU). CEB, PAL and Sunlight Air now have regular flights to Francisco B. Reyes Airport.
  • Confirmed hotel booking during the stay with a DOT-accredited establishment with CAO (see list below)
  • Confirmed tour itinerary from a DOT-accredited tour operator (see list below)
  • A negative RT-PCR test 48-72 hours before flight with official receipt.
  • Coron now uses an S-PASS (As of Oct 1, 2021). So a QR Code from s-pass is required which can be obtained at www.s-pass.ph. Make sure to choose CORON as destination, not Busuanga when applying for an S-PASS permit.

Next step is to get a Coron QR Code though www.corontourism.ph.

Make sure to have both a soft and hard (printed) copy of the documents. These will be inspected when checking in. Declare that you’ll be coming in as a TOURIST, not an APOR, LSI or returning resident.

It is also possible to enter Coron by sea via 2GO. But there will be a 7-day quarantine period required upon arrival.

Francisco B Reyes Airport in Busuanga, Coron, Palawan
Francisco B Reyes Airport in Busuanga, Coron, Palawan

Getting in Coron

Make sure to download the DOT Traze app before coming into the airport.

Make sure you have the Traze App installed on your phones
Make sure you have the Traze App installed on your phones

By Air: Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines and Sunlight Air operates flights from Manila to Francisco B. Reyes Airport.

Sanitizing our hand carried bags on arrivals
Sanitizing our hand carried bags on arrivals

Upon arrival, expect your hand-carried items to be sanitized.

There’s a hand-washing station and temperature check before entering the baggage claim area. An arrivals booth for tourist and APOR is there where the Coron QR code will be scanned.

By Sea: 2Go sails to Coron Seaport. Coron QR Code will also be checked and a 7-day quarantine period will be required.

Keeping the group small
Keeping the group small

How are the tours like?

Having a pre-booked or pre-arranged tour itinerary is required. DIY and joiner tours are no longer allowed for safety reasons. All of the tours will be exclusive or private for the group or the individual. Group tours are more cost effective as the expense for the tours are shared. Solo travelers will have to pay more as they will solely cover the cost of transportation and other tour expenses.

If you’re a first-timer in Coron, the accredited tour operator can recommend an itinerary for you depending on how long you’ll stay. If you however have preferred places to see or activities to do, Coron is more flexible since tours are exclusive and private. Do coordinate with your tour operator as they can tailor-fit an itinerary for you.

To have an idea on what to see and do in Coron, check out the Coron post archives here.

Tourist registration at Calauit Island
Tourist registration at Calauit Island

What to Expect

(Update December 26, 2021) In just almost a year from my last visit in January 2021, tourism is already in a roll in Coron. We were there when Typhoon Odette was ravaging other parts of the country. Central Palawan, Puerto Princesa, Roxas, Araceli and San Vicenter were hard-hit. Fortunately for Coron and the rest of Calamianes islands, it wasn’t heavily affected.

There are more tourist now than last I visited but not to the point of overcrowding. More establishments are now open. Curfew has also been lifted.

Coron is still in MGCQ and follows IATF safety protocols. Establishments require both face mask and face shields. Curfew is still in place so expect most establishments to be close by 9-10 PM.

My room at Sunlight Guest Hotel where we stayed for 3 nights
My room at Sunlight Guest Hotel where we stayed for 3 nights

No more buffets in hotels

Guest are required to undergo temperature checks upon check-in. Some hotels even have automatic sanitation booths guest can pass through.

Buffets are still available but staff would be helping out filling your plate. In the case of Sunlight hotel where we stayed, you can choose which viands you like and staff would help out serving them.

To minimize the risk of COVID19 infection, hotels no longer offer buffets. Ala carte meals are offered for breakfast and are recommended to be pre-ordered the night before.

Travel to Coron in the New Normal
Our Travel Bubble in Coron

Local Interaction

Tourist can still interact with locals as long as you wear face mask and observe social distance. Since Coron is COVID19-free you may occasionally see locals not wearing masks or being care free. As a visitor, we suggest you keep wearing your face masks when interacting. It is best to think of not infecting others instead of others infecting you.

While interactions are fine, try to keep within your group travel bubble.

Skylodge Coron
The Skylodge resort is up on a hill. Perfect for chill nights with Craft Beer and MMA fights on some evenings.

Leaving Coron and Assessing Risk

When leaving Coron, the QR Code will be checked with the other requirements. Again, state that you are leaving as a tourist.

There’s no need to take a COVID19 test before leaving. The tourist are free to to do so if they are willing. If, however the test turned out positive, tourist will have to quarantine on the island for 21 days. Quarantine expense will be shouldered by the tourist.

TAG Resort Coron
The TAG Resort is a huge property with lovely villas and pools.

DOT Accredited Hotels

Here are the DOT-accredited hotels with Certificate of Authority to Operate in Coron and Busuanga (updated January 23, 2021):

The Funny Lion Coron
The safari-themed The Funny Lion has eclectice rooms in a quiet and serene location.

DOT Accredited Tour Operators

Here are the list of DOT-accredited tour operators (as of January 23, 2021). For this recent trip we used Coron Blue Lagoon Adventure Travel and Tours.

  • Blue Lagoon Adventure Travel and Tours
    (Globe: 09178581799 / 09567205690
    Smart: 09999983421 / 09994108807)
  • Calamian Island Travel and Tours
    (+63961 740 0586, +63926 628 1959, +63961 771 1007)
  • JY Travel and Tours
    (Smart: 09205532361, Globe: 09063370077 )
  • Nature’s Way Travel and Tours
    (0917-9652414, 0917-1869309)
Darayonan Lodge
The Darayonan Lodge is one of the most established and long-time accommodation in Coron, Palawan. A good-value lodging. If you’re into Birding, this is the place to stay.

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