Last February 22 to 25, we were privileged to visit the northern part of Palawan province – Coron. A place blessed with crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches. Listed as one of the ten best Scuba diving destinations in the world. It is famous for its remarkable marine life and a dozen WWII Japanese shipwrecks of depths between 10 and 40 meters. The main industry in this town, apart from fishing, is tourism. Actually, you wont feel that you’re in the Philippines because most of the people there are foreigners.
Let me share our 4 days 3 nights stay in Coron.
We arrived in Busuanga airport at around 2PM. Flight is about 45 minutes from NAIA Terminal 4 to Francisco Reyes Airport.
From the airport to Coron town proper is 45 minutes via van. There are lots of van outside the airport. You just have to mention the name of the hotel where you are going to stay and the van driver will drop you off there.
Note: Van fare costs PHP 150
For our accommodation we made a reservation at Marley’s Guesthouse 2 weeks before our travel date. It’s better to make an early reservation especially during peak season. My boyfriend and I reserved two separate rooms. Each room costs 600/night, that includes free use of kitchen and drinking water.
For a budget traveler like me, I would recommend this place. Their room is big enough. Each room can accommodate 2 persons. The lady at the reception is also very accommodating. It’s also a good place to make new friends.
We just rest for a bit then we looked for a place that has fast internet connection. Marley’s Guesthouse has free WiFi but I needed to use Skype to call my students so we went to CoffeeKong which is just a short walk from the hostel.
I finished working at around 9:30PM. We went back to the hostel and rest.
At 8 AM we went to Zuric pension for our Scuba diving. We availed our scuba diving package from Coron Divers. Their office is located at the ground floor of Zuric pension. For PHP 3,300 pesos, we were able to do Discover scuba diving plus a fun dive. This package includes: Complete set of SCUBA equipment, Divemaster/Dive Guide and meals on boat.
Note: We paid PHP 50 for the environmental/entrance fee and PHP 10 for the tricycle going to the port.
We had so much fun and learning from these fine folks. To our dive guide, Sir Clark, thanks for the wonderful experience!
A week before our travel date I was searching for cheap tour packages online. The cheapest so far is PHP 1500 which includes entrance fees, picnic lunch, tourist boat, life vests and a tour guide. But, I did not make any reservations online and decided to just find a tour package when we arrived in Coron. On our first day at the airport, there were stalls offering tour packages. We collected all their flyers and looked at ’em while we were on our way to our hostel. Then, we decided to avail a package from Be Cool Travel and Tours since theirs is the cheapest and has the best deal.
So, here are the 7 destinations:
1. Siete Pecados Marine Park
For our first stop, we went to Siete Pecados Marine Park which means the Seven Deadly Sins in Spanish. According to legend, seven daughters went swimming in the area against their mother’s orders and drowned, leaving the seven small islands that surround the area in their wake.
This is a good area for snorkeling. If you have snorkeling gears, make sure to bring ’em. You can also rent snokeling gears for PHP 150.
2. Kayangan Lake
You need to trek for a few minutes to get to see the lagoon. This inland lagoon nestled between rising limestone cliffs .
We spent about half an hour just swimming in Kayangan Lake. It is like one giant swimming pool.
3. Atwayan Beach
It was already noon so we decided to have our lunch at Atwayan. There are cottages in this island where you can rest and eat.
After eating, boyfie and I went kayaking for 30 minutes. Kayak is free of use. It is included in the package that we availed.
4 & 5. CYC and Malwawey Beach
This island is crowded with people sun bathing and swimming. Kuya Bong said that this place has no entrance fee that’s why most of the people go here. You can also stay here overnight, just pitch a tent but there are no restrooms in this island.
6. Hidden Lagoon/ Green Lagoon
The dark turquoise water in the lagoon is an indication of how deep the water is so wearing a life vest is a must. According to Kuya Bong this lagoon is a combination of saltwater and freshwater, making the temperature a mixture of warm and cool.
7. Twin Lagoon
Twin lagoon is really one of the highlights of Coron’s island hopping. I wasn’t able to take lots of photos coz I was just in awe of the beauty of the place. And I don’t wanna risk my phone coz Kuya Bong said that once it falls in the water you won’t find it anymore.
To get to the other side of the lagoon you need to swim and you will see a small crevice underneath the rock, or during high tide, a ladder over the rock. The waters in the twin lagoon is blurry and a bit greasy. The temperature of the water also alternates between warm and cold. It is very relaxing to just take a life jacket and just float in the lagoon.
We went back to our hostel at 5PM. Then, we decided to have a nice dinner since it’s our last night in Coron. While walking, we came across this rooftop restaurant.
One thing I love about their restaurant is the view of the sea. But we couldn’t see it since we went here at night. The food is fairly okay… Nothing’s special. I honestly think it’s a bit pricey.
We woke up too early in the morning coz the shuttle picked us up at 5:30 AM. We arrived at the airport at 7AM. Our flight is at 9AM.
Is Coron a must visit place? Definitely Yes! If you are a beach bum this is not a place for you. But if you are a traveler who’s up for exciting activities like scuba diving, you will surely enjoy this place.