Off the coast of Palawan lies an island that is close to being a paradise. From stunning rock formations, clean lakes and pristine white beaches, Coron is undeniably one of the most beautiful islands in the Calamian Group of Islands. Being the third-largest, it has many must-see attractions that will definitely leave you in awe.
1. Take a plane bound to Busuanga via Cebu Pacific Airline, SkyJet Airline or Philippine Airlines (PAL). Busuanga is the main entry point going to Coron Town.
2. Just outside the airport, there are many shuttles that will take you to the hotel of your choice.
Tricycle is the main transportation in going around the town. There are many tricycles that you can hire to take you a tour of the town. Alternatively, you can book a Coron Island tour that also includes a tour around the town via private van.
There are many Travel and Tours agencies just outside the airport that offer different tours that include foods and snacks. You may also ask the hotel you booked if they offer a tour of the island. It will be practical to book your tour ahead of time to spare you from the hassle and to probably save cost. In our case, we wanted our stay at Coron be unique and different so we booked a private tour via DIY Coron by Owen Ferrer.
Where to stay
There are many different hotels and lodges around the town. Since we chose a tour package that only includes 2-days-and-1-night tour with an island overnight, we booked two different hotels for our first and third night. On our first night, we stayed at Darayonan Lodge. It offers affordable air-conditioned rooms complete with amenities, swimming pool and free breakfast. I personally found this lodge very relaxing not to mention the garden just outside our room and the very welcoming staff. The dining area is located together with the mini bar in front of the swimming pool.
On our third and final night, we stayed at Coron Hilltop View Resort to save us time since it is near the airport. The resort has a nice hilltop scenery perfect for relaxation after a tiring but worth it tour. The room is clean with complete amenities and the staff were amiable. It also has a swimming pool, but there is no lifeguard on duty.
Both hotels do prepare delicious breakfasts.
Coron Island is different from Coron Town as many others would notice. Coron Town is located in the island of Busuanga while Coron Island is a 20-minute boat ride from the island of Busuanga. Our tour guide, kuya Eran Decena is one of the most reliable tour guides around the town not to mention that he is the first Coron tour guide ever. The weather was gloomy and rainy, but it didn’t stop us from enjoying the beauty of the island – in fact, even when it was raining hard the island is still stunning. Even the harshest weather won’t conceal the paradise-like scenery of Coron.
Siete Pecados Marine Park
“Siete Pecados” or Seven (7) islets is composed of seven small islands that are made of limestone. According to a legend, seven children went swimming in the area disobeying their mother’s orders and drowned. Their mother went for a search but never found the bodies of her children. After a while, seven islets appeared in the same exact area where the children were lost. Today, it is the nearest snorkeling area from the town that has an abundant marine life.
With its crystal clear water and stunning limestone rock formations, Kayangan Lake is undoubtedly the most famous scenic attraction in Coron. It is dubbed as the “cleanest lake in Asia” and is composed of 70% fresh water and 30% salt water causing its color to be a combination of topaz blue and emerald green. The lake has a thermocline temperature which means that the temperature changes rapidly on a certain depth.
There’s a small cave on one of the limestone cliffs that is shined directly by the sun above.
From the name itself, Twin Lagoon is a two lagoon separated by a high limestone cliff with a small opening in the middle. Though Kayangan Lake is stunning, Twin Lagoon is my personal favorite.
We had the whole lagoon all to ourselves since we went during lunch time. However, since it was high tide we weren’t able to enter the opening in the middle of the cliff and just used the makeshift stairs going to the other side. The other side of the lagoon was so serene and tranquil. We only heard birds chirping, leaves dancing softly in the wind and our own voices whilst having a conversation. It was like we were in our own universe – one of the most memorable tours I’ve had in Coron. Despite the not-so-good weather, God gave us a small window of time to enjoy this amazing place.
After an ample amount of time we spent at Twin Lagoon, the weather became intense. Soon after we left the lagoon, down came the rough rain. We ought to go to our scheduled island hopping to Banana Beach but we got stuck in the middle of the ocean. It was a sudden downpour – the waves were huge – and the boat captain had decided not to pursue our island hopping and island overnight. It saddened me a bit but I would still consider our safety among all things. After all, we can still come back to Coron whenever we wanted. We concealed behind some limestone rock formations and waited until the weather calm down.
Not far from the Twin Lagoon is a pristine white beach covered with limestone rock formations. Vivian beach is one of the privately owned beaches that is used for picnic as part of the tour. It was already past lunch time when we got here and we were starving.
After we had lunch, we’ve decided to enjoy the beach and swam under the rain. To be honest, I kinda love swimming under the rain.
From the name itself, Hidden Lagoon is a lagoon which isn’t usually included in the tour. Kuya Eran decided to bring us here as an alternative for the supposed island hopping and island overnight tour.
After spending some time here, we went back to town to spend the night. It’s a little bit sad that our tour wasn’t exactly how it was supposed to be but we couldn’t do anything because of the weather.
Maquinit Saltwater Hot Spring
Back to town, we’ve decided to go to one of the famous attractions that is Maquinit Hot Spring. Maquinit hot spring is one of the very few saltwater hot springs in the world. It was recommended to go to Maquinit after a trek to Mt. Tapyas. The hot spring is a 30-minute tricycle ride from the town proper through a curvy and very rough road. Surrounded by mangrove forest with an adjacent beach, the hot spring is truly pleasing to the eye. Its walls are built with layers of rock and the floor is strewn with pebbles.
The first time I dipped my feet I found the water surprisingly hot – not just hot but scorching hot. It took my body a couple of minutes to adjust to the temperature, soon enough the scorching became soothing. The therapeutic water made my exhausted body relaxed. The locals said that the best time to go is at night. We weren’t able to see the view of the beach and we were enveloped by darkness. The only lights came from the small lanterns around and the twinkling of a million tiny stars above. Not long enough, the rain poured down and it was amazingly exceptional. I considered this as one of the best moments I’ve had in Coron – the feeling of cold rain gushing and hot water soothing – it was just so very pacifying.
Coron is famous for its deep bodies of water that is home to colorfully wonderful corals and is a great diving spot. One of the many diving spots is the Skeleton Shipwreck. It is a skeleton of a Japanese ship sunken underwater and can easily be seen.
Malwawey Reef and Coral Garden
Unlike Siete Pecados, Malwawey reef and coral garden has a lot to offer. It has a more abundant marine life and way more colorful corals. It is one of the best snorkeling spots I have ever seen. Even though the weather wasn’t nice and the ocean was darker, the vivid corals were still easily seen.
Like Vivian Beach, Atuayan Beach is also one of the private beaches that is used for picnic during tours. We spent some time swimming and picking trashes washed away on the shore due to non-stop rain.
Then we had lunch – so overwhelming for two persons. DIY Coron is very generous when it comes to food. It was always a feast.
Cam’s Point Coral Garden
There’s only one thing I remembered from snorkeling at Cam’s Point Coral Garden: we saw Dory and some of her friends! There were a lot of fish in this particular coral garden and one of them are blue tangs just like Dory. The water in this area was so cold and the current was kind of strong.
One of the primary attractions of Coron is Barracuda Lake. It is a great diving spot and like Kayangan Lake it also has a thermocline water temperature. There’s a story that divers discovered a school of barracuda fish at the bottom most part of the lake but unlike the common fearsome kind, the barracuda fish that they found living under was harmless thus called Barracuda Lake. In addition to it being a diving spot, the limestone rock formations surrounding the lake has an incredible form that seemed to mirror each other up and under water.
Despite the harsh weather and heavy downpour, we still enjoyed our stay at Coron. Unfortunate it might seem that our itinerary didn’t exactly happen as we had planned it we still did our best to appreciate the magnificence of this precious island. I would gladly return and choose a better date – a sunny and wonderful weather during summer.