Retire Early $1102 Month Coron Palawan Philippines

In this report, I will share my estimated cost of living to retire early for $1102 per Month in Coron Palawan in the Philippines including estimated rents, utilities, groceries, restaurants, transportation, and entertainment.

Palawan is said to be the most beautiful island in the world. We started touring Palawan in Puerto Princesa. We next spent over a month in El Nido Palawan, before making our way to Coron Palawan We transferred from El Nido to Coron on the Tao Expedition which took 5 days and 4 nights.

The Tao Expedition was one of the best experiences of my life and it was super affordable. Make sure to subscribe so you will be notified when I post my report explaining why the Tao Expedition should be put on your bucket list.

El Nido feels more like a tourist destination to us whereas Coron feels more like Filippino. Since we enjoy being students of the cultures we visit, Coron felt more natural to us. We will explain why in an upcoming Best-of-Palawan video over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

In this report, we will discuss the following in this order: Cost of Living in Coron Palawan, $325 Month Ex-Pat Apartment, Where we stayed, Coron Nightlife, and the Best Day Tour in Coron.

Cost of Living in Coron Palawan Philippines

Here is my estimated cost of living converted into US dollars if the two of us moved to Coron Palawan on a tight budget. But we are all different, so you will have to put your feet on the ground in Coron to determine your cost of living based on how you would live, shop, eat, and entertain yourself.

Rents: To rent a furnished 1 bedroom apartment, you will have to pay around $200 to $400 per month for a local-style apartment. I will use $350 per month for rent which does not include utilities. If you want a western-style apartment you could easily pay a few hundred more dollars depending on the location, how much space you want, and other amenities. I will also provide a link to my report about how to find perfect apartments around the world.

Utilities: Coron is at sea level so many westerners will be running their air conditioners for most of the year, especially at night. I estimate my electric bill would average around $130 per month which includes water and gas. Once you acclimate to fans you will be able to knock 30 to 40% off your utilities.

Groceries: Based on our time here and the money we spent on groceries, we estimate about $350 USD per month on groceries for two people.

Restaurants: If we went out to eat twice per week, once for date night and once for a lunch somewhere, we would spend about $35 per week or $140 per month in restaurants for the two of us. We would eat mostly in the mom-and-pop-style restaurants and food carts rather than the expensive expat-style restaurants.

Cell Phone Data: The cost to recharge prepaid service is about $16 per month. My android phone will act as a hotspot so we can both be on the internet at the same time when we are out of the house together.

Laundry: We could send our laundry out once per week for about $5 to wash, dry, and fold, so about $20 per month.

Water: We would spend about $30 per month on bottled water.

Internet: The Internet will be about $50 per month depending on how fast you need your service. But expect to be frustrated with the Internet for an hour or two each day in Coron.

Transportation: The central part of Coron is walkable. But many ex-pats buy an old scooter for around $800 USD and add about $4 per week in fuel. So we would pay $8 to $16 per month depending on whether we wanted to buy an old scooter or just take tricycle taxis.  Here is where we rented the scooter for 350 Pesos for the day.   

Alcohol (Optional): Local beers are about $1.10 USD in small stores. If you watch and buy in bulk on sale you may save a little. Bars charge in the range of about $1.60 to $2.40 per beer. But we saw excellent locally made 500 ml craft beers for 220 pesos ($4.40). So for two people, we estimate about $120 USD per month since we would drink more at home.

Entertainment (Optional): We would budget about $160 per month for entertainment for the two of us.

Coron, Palawan

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Alcohol (Optional)


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Entertainment (Optional)


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This cost of living is for 2 people but is just an estimate on the low end. For a full understanding of what it would cost you to live here, you must do an exploratory visit and put your feet on the ground. Also, visit Numbeo Puerto Princesa (El Nido and Coron have no data) and add anything you spend money on in your home country that is not mentioned in the table. Our costs of living are generally much lower than a new traveler’s because we are great bargain hunters but there are a few people that live cheaper than we do.

Never move anywhere until you have visited first personally to verify the living costs for your lifestyle and needs. I am not guaranteeing these prices. These are just my notes and estimates from the time of my visit and this post. Your costs will likely be drastically different depending on your lifestyle and the time since this post.

More typical ex-pat living costs in Coron range from about $1400 to $2500 per month. But people spending that much also have higher incomes or pensions. They often report spending more on entertainment, eating out, and alcohol. Many also have more expensive cars, houses, or apartments.

If you are going to try to retire cheap offshore, make sure to read my report, the Two Biggest Risks of Retiring Early for Cheap Offshore, which explains why you should have emergency funds available for unexpected large expenses.

$325 Month Ex-Pat Apartment

Margies Home. When we were at the Brew House in Coron enjoying their small-batch craft beer, we met the brewers Jojo and Luc. Jojo was kind enough to show us the inside of an expat-style apartment he has available which we show in the above video. Luc was so kind to show us how they are able to make such great beer. Jojo is from Germany and Luc is from the UK. They were both divemasters in Coron before the pandemic turned them into ambitious brewmasters. They have figured it out for sure. Anyone can be a divemaster, but brewing beer this good is rare.

You can contact Jojo direct if you want to rent one of his three furnished apartments without paying any booking fees. Just visit Margies Home on Facebook. You can also find Margie’s Home on Airbnb if you prefer to read reviews and book there. Jojo also provided us with a connection for renting a scooter for below-market rates when we were in Coron.

Here is the general process we follow to find apartments to stay in as we travel around the world: How to find perfect apartments around the world.

Where We Stayed

We didn’t meet Jojo (above) until after we arrived in Coron Palawan. But it is okay because we were not in town long term and Qiang had already found Macky’s Hidden Inn which had reasonable rates and was right in the middle of town so we could walk everywhere. It was $23 per night when we were there and it had everything we needed for a short stay.

Coron Nightlife

Maybe because it is still the tail end of the Pandemic when we were in town, but there didn’t seem to be much consistent nightlife in Coron Palawan Philippines. But if you feel like just having a few beers and chatting the night away, just walk the below Google Map and see what is going on if anything when you are in town. Also, the locals seem to love people watching on the waterfront in the early evenings. Try both before giving up. Google Map.

Best Snorkeling and Boat Tour in Coron

The best snorkeling and boat tour in Coron is called the Super Ultimate Tour in Coron Palawan. It is organized daily by Calamian Islands Travel and Tours. The tour cost 1700 pesos ($35 USD) per person when we were in town. We actually walked to the office to buy our tour but we learned later that we could buy it at the front desk of any hotel or hostel in town for the same price. Plus, they will pick you up and drop you back at your accommodations on the day of the tour. To see the main highlights of that super ultimate tour, just watch the video at the top of this page. Many tour operators offer tours of similar names so make sure your hotel books you with Calamian Islands Travel and Tours.

Coron Favorite Restaurants and Markets

Restaurants and Bars:

Best Meat and Vegan Choices (Levine’s Eatery): Levines had great choices for both Qiang (a meat-eater) and myself (vegetarian) with a view and with reasonable prices, $3 to $4 USD per meal.

Best Pizza Place (Trattoria Altrove Coron): We loved this company’s pizza in El Nido so we decided to try it while we were in Coron. We had a Margarita Pizza for about $7 USD which was very delicious.

Best Craft Beer in Coron (The BrewHouse Coron); This is the best craft beer in Coron and is a fun place to chat with other ex-pats and the beer brewmasters, Jojo and Luc. Jojo has been in Coron for 28 years and Luc has been here for about 10 years. They were both divemasters for many years so they have great ideas about shipwrecks and everything else you may need while in Coron. I will post an interview with Jojo and Luc next week so stay tuned.

Best Restaurant to See or Be Seen (Pacifico): This is in the spot where the old Buzz restaurant used to be. Buzz moved next door and this place took its place.

Best Expensive Coffee in Town (Epic Island Cafe): We loved the expensive coffee and the Rocky Road Cheesecake!

Best Bakery (Buzz Express Bakery): The food was limited and too expensive here. But the Buzz Bakery next door is great. Make sure to try their cinnamon rolls. Qiang went back three times to eat them over and over again.

Waterfront and food carts (Lualhati Park): This waterfront park is a great palace for people-watching. Also, check out the $1 to $2 USD meals at the food carts there.

Best Cheap Coffee in Town (McDonald’s): Sadly they don’t serve breakfast here but the coffee is great.

Favorite Markets:

Fruits, Vegetables, Meats Market (Coron Central Market)

Grocery Store (PANDAHOUSE GROCERY): This is small by western standards but larger than many of the corner markets in Coron.

Coron Palawan Livability Factors and Retirement Desirability Score

Here are some of the factors I think about when I consider a place for early retirement potential. After I discuss each factor I will assign an overall retirement desirability score to Coron.

Walkability: High Desirability. I love living in walkable areas of the world where you can walk to restaurants, grocery stores, nightlife, the beach, and other interesting things to do. The central area of Coron is completely walkable. We would not need a car. We would probably just purchase cheap used ugly bicycles or an old scooter, or ride the tricycle taxis if we lived here.

Internet: Medium. Although you can pay for a fiber channel connection and the bandwidth will be quite good when it is functioning properly, the overall reliability remains unstable as compared to many parts of the west, in my humble opinion. This might be why El Nido and Coron have not yet become digital nomad hangouts as of yet.

Food: Low. There is not a large selection of international restaurants in Coron. This is not surprising for a town of around 65,000 people. But Coron is known more as a remote location where people go to enjoy island hopping and amazing shipwreck diving. So international tourists feel lucky just to find a nice pizza or craft beer and sausage while they are in town, which Coron does provide quite easily. However, the Filipino diet is a little too meat-centric for my taste as a vegetarian so I would likely be cooking at home more here than in other parts of SE Asia. In that case, buy your produce, rice, and grains at the Coron central market to save money.

Transportation: Medium. If we decided to stay near Coron central area, we would walk everywhere. But you can also buy a used scooter here for around $500 to $800 USD if you plan on staying more long term and want to explore more of the island than just Coron proper.

Weather: Medium. In terms of weather, Coron has a wet and a dry season. June through November is wet, and December through April is dry. The wettest months are July, August, and September. Those months receive around 30 cm (12 inches) of rain. The hottest months are April and May, with daily highs averaging 86 F (30 C). The coolest months are January and February, with daily highs of 82 F (28 C).

Things to Do: Medium. Fishing, biking, kayaking, scuba, snorkeling, island hopping, bar hopping, cooking, yoga, restaurants, running, coffee shops, and hiking.

Healthcare: Low. You should be able to get basic medical care at various clinics around Coron, but for more serious problems you will need to be treated by flying 1.3 hours to Manila. If you prefer to be near top-notch medical care at a moment’s notice, Coron is not the best choice for you.

Expats: Medium. A few ex-pats hang out at BrewHouse, Get Real, and Pacifico in the late afternoons and evenings. There is one Facebook group for Facebook Barter Community Palawan with very little daily activity (posts and responses). So it will be a little harder to learn from ex-pats where to find things and get things done. Make sure to make friends with both locals and ex-pats for a richer experience living here. I explain why in my report, The Top 10 Mistakes International Retirees Make.

Real Estate: I never recommend buying real estate until you have lived somewhere for at least 2 to 3 years. I have a report explaining Why Retired Expats Should not Buy Real Estate Overseas for the first 2 to 3 years of living somewhere new overseas. Make sure to read that before deciding to buy real estate overseas.

Exploratory Visa: High. For your exploratory visit to the Philippines, citizens of many countries can obtain a 30-day free visa stamp upon arrival at the international airports. Plus, you can extend your tourist visa for a total of 36 months in the Philippines without bothering with a retirement visa. The monthly visa extensions cost about $30 USD per month. After the 36 months, you just leave the Philippines and go to another country and then fly back to start the whole 36-month process over again. There is a retirement visa in the Philippines, but very few people bother with it because it is so easy to stay in the Philippines on tourist extensions.

Coron Palawan Overall Retirement Desirability Score: Medium or even high for me. But many other retirees like to be near a hospital prepared to take care of common health challenges and emergencies faced by the elderly. In that case, Coron is low desirability.

But if that is not important to you and you would like to spend your final years in one of the most beautiful places in the world that costs more than typical province living costs in the Philippines, then Coron would be medium or high desirability for you.

But you won’t know for sure how it feels to live in Coron or what it will cost to live your desired retirement lifestyle until you do an on-the-ground exploratory visit here.

Thanks for reviewing my report, Retire Early $1102 Month Coron Palawan Philippines.

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