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Discover Banol Beach Coron before it is too late

Banol Island Coron
Banol Beach Coron can be described as a relatively small stretch of powdery-white sand white beach, surrounded by the turquoise was of the Pacific waters. A beautiful spot to stop, relax and enjoy lunch when Island-hopping.

If anyone tries to tell you that island hopping in Coron is exactly the same as El Nido, stop listening to them. Anyone who thinks that obviously has not had the pleasure of having Banol Beach Coron all to themselves.

The water is still, warm and crystal clear, making it the perfect swimming spot. The scenery is picturesque and the seclusion can take you back thousands of years.

Now, don’t be fooled or turned off by its size (we all know size doesn’t matter), Banol Beach makes up for its small stature with true pacific island beauty.

There is no surf here so if you are hoping to catch a few narly waves, this location is not for you.

If you are coming for white sand, turquoise water, snorkeling, swimming, or relaxing, this is made for you. Out of all the Coron beaches we have had the pleasure of visiting, Banol beach Coron is high on the list. We particularly liked the peaceful energy of this beach as it allowed us to unwind, relax, and appreciate the environment around us.

Out of the two occasions, we were able to visit this amazing beach, we have expanded our appreciation of this isolated location. It also helped to have little to no crowds during the two times we visited.

Discover Banol Beach Coron before it is too late

Banol Beach Coron is much more than just a place to have lunch while island-hopping.

Yes, We agree, it is a great spot to stop for lunch but, when your focus goes from food and you start to actually look around you will see much much more.

Soft creamy sand and turquoise waters with an awesome limestone cliff backdrop make for many totally Instagram-worthy shots.

But, where there is a rose, there are also thorns. Here is a thorn –  it is important to know that there are no public toilets or bathrooms in Banol Beach. 

So, if you are planning on doing a little swimming or snorkeling, try to do it upstream for any other island-hopping groups on the island at the time.

And if you happen to swim through warm patches of water, keep your mouth closed. (I am sure that doesn’t happen, but then….)

Banol Island Coron Palawan
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Discover Banol Beach Coron

For those who want to explore, there is plenty to discover not far from the drop off point near the Nipa huts. Banol Beach Coron is a hidden treasure of huge karst formations jutting out into the waters forming unusual shapes and patterns.

Plumeria trees can be seen shooting from the limestone, throwing a contrasting shadow over the crystal clear water.  So far the tourists have been treating the island well.  Litter is kept to a minimum, damage and graffiti are almost non-existent. The waters around Banol have also remained clean, clear, and pleasing to the eye.

Discover Banol Beach Coron

The water just off Banol Beach looks equally as good underneath as it does on the surface. If you are lucky enough to have snorkeling gear you can explore under the waves as well.

It was good to see how our tour guides were encouraging and giving every assistance to swimmers and non-swimmers alike. For those experienced at diving and snorkeling, you can go off and do your own thing, just be back before departure time

The best way to experience Banol Beach Coron

The best way to fully appreciate Banol beach Coron is to be there alone, or in a small group. The best way to achieve this is to get there before 11.00 am as this is when the tour groups start to roll in for lunch.

The best way to do this is by hiring your own private boat. Now, don’t get all negative on me, it isn’t as expensive as you might think. Actually we were surprised how cheap it was. For 2 people it cost us 3800 PHP per person, so… 7600 PHP to island-hop on a private boat. If you have a larger group the prices get cheaper.

Then you can tell the captain to aim for 10 am (or earlier depending on your chosen route for the day) when no one will be there.

That’s right, we had this stunning beach (definitely one of the best places to visit in Coron) with no one else there for nearly two hours as we arrived before 10 am.

Discover Banol Beach Coron

The lunch huts or Nipas offer shade if you feel you need to get out of the sun for a while. You can buy cold drinks from vendors near the huts but on Banol Beach there is no other food apart from maybe (if you’re lucky) a packet of chips.

If you are wanting a real lunch, fish, prawns (shrimp), rice, and more, then you will need to bring it all with you (your boat crew should be more than happy to cook at no extra cost).

Banol Beach Coron, for us, is much more than just a stopover for lunch but it saddens us to know that so many people simply view it as such. We’d go so far as to say it was one of the highlights of our Coron island hopping and high on our list of favourite places in the Philippines.

Getting to Banol Beach Coron

The only way to get to Banol Beach is by boat, but it is really close to Coron Town (about 15 – 20 minutes by boat) and 5-10 minutes from the lakes and Twin Lagoon.

As the boat operators charge a minimum fee of 2,700 pesos (pre-haggling) per journey (no matter how long, far, or where you go) it makes sense to add in other stops like the Twin Lagoon, Skeleton Wreck, Barracuda Lake, and Kayangan Lake which are close by and won’t cost any more.

Banol Beach has an entry fee of 150 PHP per person (just under $3 USD). Your boat crew will collect the fee and pass it on when you arrive.

Where to stay in Coron

Coron town is a place surrounded by beauty but is not a beauty in itself. In fact, the town is pretty ugly and noisy. Unfortunately, this is where the majority of low-cost accommodation is to be found. If you have the budget we’d highly recommend locating yourself out of town.

Budget – Charms Hotel, Coron Town

The rooms were clean, had air con, and a decent shower with hot water. It’s a little out of town which meant it was very quiet apart from the loud crowing roosters, which seemed to follow us around the Philippines! You can walk to town in around 15 minutes or take a tricycle, the standard fare is 15 pesos per person (approx US $0.30) and they refreshingly never request a peso more.

Budget to Mid – Asia Grand View Hotel

When we were in Coron we stayed at the Asia Grand View Hotel. It wasn’t 5-star, more like 3 1/2 but it was peaceful and clean and the food was good. The views were spectacular and, when we were there we had the run of the place. One night there was a function on so we had to wait a little longer for our dinner orders to arrive. But all in all, it was value for money all around, and the views topped it off.

Midrange – The Funny Lion, Coron Town

Almost everyone we met seemed to be staying here and judging by the reviews it looked like they were on to something! We also noticed they were building one in El Nido too so it should be a good choice.

The rooms look good and the views look exceptional. When we tried to check it out it was fully booked so it is one to book early.

Midrange – Haisa Apartment

This is a great value apartment in Coron. It is within a 3-minute walk to the main street which makes restaurants and shops accessible. The apartment was surprisingly big. The upper floor where the bedroom is has a toilet and a big balcony. The ground floor has a living/dining space separated from the kitchen. There is a fridge, microwave, toaster, and stove. Free hot and cold safe drinking water is available on the property. The staff are kind and are readily available to assist us with anything, including the booking of tours and airport transfers. Free breakfast was very convenient, especially before the tour.

Overall, I was satisfied with our stay. Thank you for accommodating us and making our stay pleasant!

High – Two Seasons Coron

Great place. Getting there from the airport is 45 minutes by car and then another 45 minutes by speed boat (waves can be crazy). The island has one restaurant (a lot of choices on the menu). I was told their 4 cheese pizza is the bomb… and it is. Our rooms were in the mountain view area so it was a 5-minute walk to the beach. The rooms are spacious. The resort has a gym (very clean) and the spa area was very relaxing…

The staff is very very friendly.
The beach itself… I stayed in Club Paradise a year ago and I must say I really loved Club Paradise. Being a sanctuary the quality of the corals and water was very good… The corals in Two Seasons were not as vibrant, unfortunately.

Overall though, a great and relaxing place to unwind.

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