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Monday, March 7, 2016

Coron Island Hopping Adventure: Part One


No vacation to Coron, Palawan is ever complete without seeing all its awe-inspiring sights - picturesque island beaches with crystal clear water, beautiful coral reefs, and fascinating rock formations. 

During our 4-day fun-filled vacation in Coron, we explored popular destinations in the island such as Skeleton Wreck, Twin Lagoon, Atuwayan Beach, Kayangan Lake, Siete Pecados, Maquinit Hot Spring, Malcapuya Beach, Banana Island and many others.


Day 1: Arrival at Busuanga, Palawan
We left Manila at 1:30pm and reached Busuanga Airport after an hour. Upon arrival, we met Kuya Richard, a friendly van driver who provides transportation (P150/pax) to Coron town. We didn’t make any hotel reservation so we just relied on the list of hotels I printed out from Wikitravel and asked him to drop us off at Coron Village Lodge.

Good thing, the hostel is not fully booked! The standard twin rooms on the second floor are pretty cheap. Each room only costs P750 per night, with aircon, cable TV, even wifi! It’s probably the cheapest aircon room you can ever find in town. The lodge even provides free distilled water, coffee and tea. Jackpot!

It was still drizzling that day so we didn’t do much except rest and walk around town. We had our dinner at the famous Kawayanan Grill Station, a popular local restaurant in town. We ordered grilled chicken, liempo, ensalada, and squid Bicol Express.


Afterwards, we decided to look for the shop of Al Linsangan, which, according to Kuya Richard, offers cheap island hopping tour packages for tourists, but we were unable to find it.

However, on our way back to the hotel, we met by chance a local couple, Kuya Allan and Ate Vangie, and asked us if we already have hired a boat for island hopping. They said they could arrange a tour for us at a low cost. After some negotiations, we opted for their services (5,000 pesos for two days of island hopping) and exchanged numbers.

Day 2: Coron Island Hopping Adventure
The next day, we woke up early and had our breakfast in Coron Village restaurant. Then, accompanied by Kuya Allan, our trike driver-slash-tour guide, we set off to the market to buy our packed lunch (binalot), some snacks and pandesal for feeding the fish, before going to the Market Pier.

Our first stop was the Skeleton Wreck. Too bad, the beachfront wasn’t too visible at that time due to high tide, but we did enjoy snorkeling and watching a school of colorful fish while we feed them with pandesal. Because the wreck has been underwater for many years, it is now covered with coral reefs and houses a wide variety of marine life. Lots of sea urchins too.


Next, we headed off to Atuwayan Beach to unwind and take some photos. We initially planned to have our lunch in this island, but it’s still too early. Kuya Allan said it’s one of the beaches where the soap opera Dyesebel, was shot. 


Among the neighboring Coron island beaches, Atuwayan has the longest beachfront. The water is also calm and very ideal for snorkeling and kayaking.

It was almost 12 noon when we reached the dock area of Kayangan Lake. We took our lunch there before taking a 10-minute trek to the lake. Near the lake, there’s a small cave at the hilltop which gives a good panoramic view of the entire Bay. This is perhaps the most photographed spot in Coron.


The 200php entrance fee is a bit steep, but definitely worth it. We were not disappointed! Kayangan Lake really lives up to its reputation as the cleanest lake in the country, thanks to the Tagbanuas who protect this natural wonder. The clear turquoise lake is surrounded by towering lime stones and lush greenery. Swimming in the lake is also invigorating. 


After that, we went to the Twin Lagoon. Like the Kayangan Lake, it’s also surrounded by towering rocks. The place is picture perfect. 


Our final stop for the first part of our Coron island hopping adventure was Siete Pecados. The area was named such because it’s surrounded by seven islands. According to local legend, seven sisters followed their parents to the main island and consequently drowned. From the spot where each girl drowned, a tiny island sprouted.


Note: This post is from my old blog’s archive. The abovementioned prices might have gotten up. Please let me know and I’ll update the information.

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