Puerto Princesa vs. Coron

Choosing between the captivating Puerto Princesa and the enchanting Coron can feel like a puzzle. These two gems of the Philippines, each shimmering with unique allure, offer rich cultural tapestries and histories to explore. Will you find yourself drawn to the historical corridors of Puerto Princesa or the vibrant cultural traditions of Coron? Only time, and a little insight, can tell.
Puerto Princesa vs. Coron

Table of Contents

Can you imagine yourself walking the historic streets of Puerto Princesa, or immersing in the colorful local traditions of Coron? Each destination holds its own charm, waiting to be discovered and cherished. Why not dive in and explore the allure these unique Filipino gems have to offer?

History & Culture

Both Puerto Princesa and Coron are known for their rich histories and vibrant cultures. Their pasts are as diverse as the people living there, each telling its own fascinating story.

The city of Puerto Princesa has been the heart of Palawan for centuries. Being a melting pot, it has been influenced by various cultures, from the indigenous tribes that first inhabited the region to the waves of migrants that have shaped its current society.

Today, Puerto Princesa is a city where the old and the new coexist. You can feel its history pulsating in its streets, and its culture is alive in its traditions, festivals, and local way of life.

On the other hand, Coron has a more indigenous past. The Calamian Tagbanua, one of the oldest indigenous groups in the Philippines, still inhabits this area. Their way of life, traditions, and practices significantly influence Coron’s cultural landscape.

Unlike Puerto Princesa, Coron has managed to preserve its ancient heritage, offering a closer glimpse into the lives of the early Filipinos.

Interestingly, while Puerto Princesa presents a beautiful blend of old and new, Coron tends to lean towards keeping its indigenous roots alive. Each place offers a unique view of Philippine history and culture.

In summary, if you’re looking to immerse yourself in a multicultural cityscape where tradition meets modernity, Puerto Princesa might be your pick. However, if you are more drawn towards indigenous cultures and the traditional ways of life, Coron could be the perfect destination for you. Whatever you choose, rest assured, that both places will offer you a rich and fulfilling cultural journey.

Attractions & Activities

The wonder of the Philippines is not just its scenic beauty but also the exciting activities and attractions it offers. Whether it’s the majestic Puerto Princesa or the serene Coron, both destinations serve up a myriad of experiences that are hard to resist.

Puerto Princesa is a city of wonders, with its foremost attraction being the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This natural marvel, featuring an 8.2-kilometer (5.1 mi) navigable underground river, is a sight to behold. From the stunning stalagmite formations to the flutter of bats, it’s a trip into nature’s secretive side.

In addition to this, the city offers delightful strolls through the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, which is home to numerous crocodiles, along with other local wildlife.

Coron, on the flip side, offers a different but equally fascinating range of activities. A key highlight is Coron Island. It’s a natural treasure trove, known for its limestone cliffs and breathtaking lakes, like the Kayangan and Barracuda lakes. The island is also a popular destination for wreck diving, with several Japanese shipwrecks from World War II resting under its waters.

While the Subterranean River in Puerto Princesa offers an exciting journey into an underground wonder, Coron’s lakes and shipwrecks provide a different but equally thrilling exploration. Each destination promises a unique encounter with nature and history, making them both worthy of consideration.

In summary, Puerto Princesa, with its renowned underground river and wildlife rescue center, provides a blend of adventure and wildlife. Meanwhile, Coron, with its beautiful lakes and historic shipwrecks, offers a unique mix of tranquility and underwater exploration.


When it comes to sun, sea, and sand, both Puerto Princesa and Coron promise idyllic retreats. Their beaches, known for crystal-clear waters and pristine sands, provide a perfect backdrop for a relaxing or adventurous holiday.

Puerto Princesa’s Sabang Beach, located roughly 1.2 miles (approximately 2 kilometers) from the city, is a haven for beach lovers. This golden-sand beach, surrounded by lush vegetation, is a wonderful place to soak in the sun or dip into the warm water.

Coron, on the other hand, is surrounded by smaller islands boasting their own beautiful beaches. Banul Beach, a 20-minute boat ride from Coron town, is a must-visit. Its fine white sand and clear turquoise waters are the stuff of postcards, perfect for a serene day of relaxation.

Both destinations have stunning beaches that provide a different vibe. Sabang Beach in Puerto Princesa offers a more accessible retreat with its proximity to the city, while Banul Beach in Coron provides a more remote, island-hopping experience.

Summing up, if you’re looking for a beach experience close to city amenities, Puerto Princesa’s Sabang Beach is an excellent choice. But, if you’re up for a more secluded beach getaway with a touch of island adventure, the beautiful Banul Beach of Coron is just the place. Whichever you choose, unforgettable beach memories are guaranteed.

Eating, Drinking & Nightlife

When it comes to food, drinks, and after-dark enjoyment, Puerto Princesa and Coron each present their unique flavors and styles. They cater to different tastes, making the choice between them as exciting as it is challenging.

In Puerto Princesa, you can indulge in a variety of local and international cuisines. The city is known for its seafood, with eateries like Ka Lui Restaurant serving up fresh and delicious dishes. For drinks, Palaweño Brewery is the spot. As the first and only craft brewery in Palawan, it offers a variety of unique, local beers.

Coron also has its share of mouthwatering dishes. One standout is Lobster King, which, as the name suggests, specializes in lobster, among other seafood options. For a local drinking experience, head to the Coron Sunset Grill and Restaurant, where you can enjoy local brews with a side of magnificent sunset views.

As for nightlife, Puerto Princesa has a lively scene, with places like Tiki RestoBar offering live music and a great selection of drinks. Meanwhile, Coron is quieter after the sun sets. The town’s nightlife is more laid-back, with a focus on relaxed, beachside bars like the Hippie House, where you can enjoy a peaceful evening under the stars.

In summary, if you’re a foodie who enjoys a variety of cuisines and vibrant nightlife, Puerto Princesa may be more your speed. On the other hand, if you prefer fresh seafood in a relaxed, beachside setting, Coron might be the place for you.


A trip is never complete without some shopping, and both Puerto Princesa and Coron offer their distinct shopping experiences. Each place has a unique offering, whether it’s locally made crafts, traditional souvenirs, or even fresh produce.

Puerto Princesa is known for its pearls. Shops like the Pearl Market offer a vast selection of pearl jewelry, a perfect memento of your trip. Additionally, the city’s public market is a bustling center where you can find local produce, fresh seafood, and even local handicrafts.

Coron, while smaller, also has its charm when it comes to shopping. Coron Souvenir Gift Shop is a popular stop for visitors looking to bring home a piece of Coron. Here, you’ll find handcrafted goods made by local artisans, from woven products to carved wood items.

Both places offer a variety of shopping experiences. In Puerto Princesa, shopping ranges from local markets to specialized shops like the Pearl Market. Coron, however, offers a more laid-back shopping experience focused on locally made crafts and souvenirs.

In conclusion, if you’re keen on a diverse shopping experience, including a vibrant local market and specialty shops, Puerto Princesa might be the ideal choice for you. But if you’re more interested in unique, local souvenirs, Coron’s handcrafted goods might just be what you’re looking for.


Lodging options in Puerto Princesa and Coron cater to various budgets and preferences, adding to the charm of these beautiful destinations. Whether you’re looking for a cozy budget inn or a luxury resort, both places have something to offer.

In Puerto Princesa, a wide range of accommodations await. Budget travelers can enjoy comfortable stays at places like Sheebang Hostel, while those seeking luxury have options like Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa. This resort boasts spacious rooms, a massive pool, and stunning sea views.

Coron also provides a variety of choices. For budget-conscious travelers, Happy Camper Hostel offers a comfy stay. Luxury seekers can head to Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel, which offers panoramic views of Coron Bay right from your room.

Both destinations cater to different tastes and budgets. Puerto Princesa offers a more urban experience with the availability of city amenities, while Coron provides a more island-like, serene environment.

In summary, both Puerto Princesa and Coron have a wide array of accommodations, from budget-friendly to high-end. The choice depends on whether you prefer the city-like ambiance of Puerto Princesa or the calm, island vibe of Coron.

Family-Friendliness & Children’s Activities

Whether it’s a fun-filled family holiday you’re planning or a trip packed with activities for the kids, both Puerto Princesa and Coron are well-equipped to provide memorable experiences.

Puerto Princesa boasts a range of family-friendly activities. You can take your kids to the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, where they can learn about local wildlife, or visit the Butterfly Eco Garden for an educational and fun experience.

In Coron, families can enjoy a day of island-hopping. Coron Island, with its inviting turquoise waters, is a great place for snorkeling with kids. There’s also the Maquinit Hot Springs, a perfect spot for a relaxing family soak.

Both places are family-friendly but offer different types of experiences. Puerto Princesa offers more structured and educational activities, while Coron’s offerings lean more towards nature-based, relaxed activities.

In conclusion, Puerto Princesa, with its educational centers, may be more suited for families seeking an enriching experience for their kids. Coron, with its natural attractions, could be more appealing for families looking for a laid-back and nature-centered holiday.

Getting There & Getting Around

Traveling to and around Puerto Princesa and Coron is an integral part of the adventure. Both destinations offer different modes of transportation, each adding to the unique experiences these places provide.

Getting to Puerto Princesa is fairly straightforward, with the city having its own airport. Direct flights from Manila take about 1.5 hours. To get around the city, tricycles, local jeepneys, and taxis are available.

Coron, on the other hand, is accessible by plane via the Francisco B. Reyes Airport, about 40 minutes by tricycle from the town proper. Direct flights from Manila take around an hour. Once there, you can travel around by tricycle, or hire a motorbike for more flexibility.

In essence, both Puerto Princesa and Coron are accessible by air from Manila, but the in-city commute differs. Puerto Princesa offers a wider range of local transportation options, while Coron provides a more adventurous mode of transportation with motorbike rentals.

In conclusion, the choice between Puerto Princesa and Coron could come down to your preference for getting around. If you like the convenience of taxis and jeepneys, Puerto Princesa may be more your style. But if you’re up for a bit more adventure, the motorbike culture of Coron might just be what you’re seeking.


When planning your vacation to either Puerto Princesa or Coron, understanding the weather patterns is key to getting the most out of your trip. Each place boasts a tropical climate, with variations that could sway your decision.

Puerto Princesa’s weather can be classified into two main seasons: the dry season (November to May) and the wet season (June to October). Temperatures during the dry season range from 75°F to 95°F (24°C to 35°C), making it ideal for outdoor activities.

Coron, on the other hand, also experiences a dry season (December to May) and a wet season (June to November). Temperatures are similar, ranging from 77°F to 93°F (25°C to 34°C). It’s worth noting that Coron can receive more rainfall compared to Puerto Princesa.

Both locations offer sunny, warm weather for the majority of the year. While Coron can be a bit rainier, both places are fantastic tropical destinations with their own unique weather patterns.

In conclusion, the weather in both destinations is comparable, with slight differences in rainfall. Your choice might depend on how much a bit of rain would impact your vacation plans.


Ensuring safety during your trip is paramount. Both Puerto Princesa and Coron are generally safe destinations, with unique considerations for each.

Puerto Princesa, being a larger city, has an established police presence. General safety measures, like keeping an eye on personal belongings and avoiding poorly lit areas at night, are encouraged.

Coron, though smaller, is also considered safe. The town has a local police station, and its island nature provides a generally secure atmosphere. However, when island hopping, it’s essential to pay heed to safety guidelines provided by tour operators.

Natural hazards are a consideration in both places. Weather changes can affect sea conditions, so it’s always important to check the forecast if you plan to venture out on the water.

In summary, both destinations are generally safe, with standard safety measures applied. Puerto Princesa’s urban setting offers a different kind of safety profile compared to Coron’s island environment.


Budgeting your trip is essential, and understanding the cost of things in Puerto Princesa and Coron can help manage your expenses better.

In Puerto Princesa, a typical meal can cost around 200-300 Philippine Pesos (4-6 USD). Accommodations range from budget options at 500 Pesos (10 USD) per night to more luxurious stays at 3,000 Pesos (60 USD). Tricycle rides within the city are about 10-20 Pesos (0.2-0.4 USD).

On the other hand, meals in Coron can cost approximately 250-350 Pesos (5-7 USD). Lodging ranges from budget stays at 600 Pesos (12 USD) per night to high-end resorts costing around 5,000 Pesos (100 USD). Tricycle rides in the town are about 10-20 Pesos (0.2-0.4 USD).

Both destinations are fairly affordable, with Coron tending to be a bit pricier, especially for accommodations. However, the unique experiences each location offers can certainly justify the cost.

To sum up, while both destinations are budget-friendly, Coron can be a tad more expensive. It’s always wise to plan your finances ahead for a worry-free holiday.

Which Is Better – Puerto Princesa or Coron?

Choosing between two stunning destinations like Puerto Princesa and Coron can be a daunting task. Each place offers unique experiences and appeals to different types of travelers.

The vibrant history and culture of both locations are distinct yet equally fascinating. If you’re a history buff with a preference for UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Spanish-era buildings, Puerto Princesa would be an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you’re more intrigued by local indigenous cultures, Coron’s Tagbanua community and their traditions might resonate more with you.

In terms of attractions and activities, both cities have plenty to offer. If you’re after a more diverse range of attractions that span wildlife encounters, eco-tourism, and spelunking, Puerto Princesa has the upper hand. However, if your focus is primarily on underwater exploration and island hopping, Coron is a veritable paradise.

As for the beaches, both destinations promise sandy stretches and turquoise waters. But if you’re dreaming of secluded white-sand beaches and stunning reefs, Coron could be your ideal destination. Puerto Princesa, though it also offers beautiful beaches, has a more urban feel to it, with city amenities closer at hand.

Regarding food and nightlife, both cities offer a wide array of local and international cuisines and fun nightlife experiences. Yet, if you’re seeking a more bustling city vibe with a wider choice of dining and partying options, Puerto Princesa might be more to your liking.

When considering accommodations, Puerto Princesa offers a wide range, from budget-friendly options to upscale resorts. Coron, though slightly pricier, delivers on high-end resorts and unique island stays.

In terms of family-friendliness, both destinations offer activities suitable for children. However, Puerto Princesa’s city-based attractions like the Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village may appeal more to families with kids.

Concerning transport, getting to and around both cities is relatively straightforward. Puerto Princesa, as the bigger city, offers more direct flights and public transportation. Coron, though a bit trickier to get to, presents a more compact layout making it easy to navigate once there.

When comparing the weather, both cities are tropical and warm. Yet, if you prefer less rainfall during your beach holiday, Puerto Princesa is typically drier.

Safety-wise, both cities are generally safe with their own unique considerations. Natural hazards like sudden weather changes can occur in both places, hence always keeping an eye on the forecast is crucial.

Finally, cost-wise, both destinations are affordable, with Coron being slightly more expensive, particularly for accommodations.

In conclusion, both Puerto Princesa and Coron have a lot to offer, each in their own unique way. Your choice ultimately depends on what you value most in a holiday destination. Do you prefer a mix of city convenience and natural beauty, or are you seeking a more secluded island paradise experience? Whatever your preference, both cities promise an unforgettable adventure in their own right.