We were welcomed with a great weather despite of the downpour we experienced last night, during our overnight stay in Banana Island. We left Banana Island for another island hopping. The day for discovering the loop of Coron Island.
"Coron Island is the third largest island in the Calamian Group of Islands in northern Palawan in the Philippines. It is part of the larger municipality of Coron. The island is part of the ancestral domain of the indigenous Tagbanua people. Known as Calis among the Tagbanuas and Coronians, its Tribal Chieftain is Apo Rodolfo Aguilar." - wikipedia.com
Coron Island is also known for rock formations and shipwrecks making it famous for snorkeling and wreck diving.
We sailed the sea for almost an hour, thinking the worst ended on our camping experience last night but our boat ride added up another thrilling experience on our travel. We're sailing against the waves making the waves splashed into the outrigger boat and to ourselves, as well. I didn't see it coming, and didn't even realized why our boatmen put our bags into the chamber. I forgot to bring out my big garbage bag so I can placed myself inside while sailing the big waves. I just wondering, why isn't there a gear or suit to protect one from being soaked by big waves splashing during the boat ride? We were very wet caused by sea waves and it was very cold.
When I saw that we're approaching the island, I felt relieved. The waves got smaller and the waves splashing into our boat has lessened.
There are small beaches in the Coron Island and its surrounding but we settled ourselves somewhere (which I forgot the name) near the Skeleton Wreck. We took our lunch here and did some snorkeling. It's my first time to see a shipwreck and I was really envied with my friend who dived to get near the ship wreck. I know how to swim (a little) and I would like to dive and get near of it but I was still in doubt since it's really hollow. Also, I can't see clearly because my lenses are not on which made me decide not to go and just do it the next time. I know there's still next time for Coron. And I'll bring graded goggles for myself, so I can see the underwater world clearly.
There's an entrance fee of PHP 100.00 for this island and the shipwreck.
After lunch, we skipped the small beaches surrounding the island and moved on to Twin Lagoon.
If you want to experience the sand more and sun bathe and swim near the shore you may go to these small beaches but these have entrance fee to pay to which is usually PHP 100.00. Banol beach and Atuayan beach are one of those if I'm not mistaken.
When the boat made a turn way to our destination, the scenic rock formations and limestone cliffs that I used to see online fronted us. I'm in in awe seeing those rock formations scattered in the sea and surrounding the Coron Island. My friend even said it resembles the movie, The Beach while seeing those. And I said this is even better (assuming I've been to Phuket).
Without further sailing the sea we got to our most anticipated destination, the Twin Lagoon.
Twin Lagoon is named such because it's composed of two lagoons (inner and outer). Based on what I've read and saw online, there's a small opening to get inside the other lagoon which really sounds exciting but it's high tide making it impassable for those who doesn't know how to swim. But no need to worry since a ladder has been placed to get to the other side which makes it easy for everyone. But swimming into the small opening to enter to the other lagoon sounds really very exciting, I would like to try to but I was in doubt again because I can't see clearly under the sea. Anyways, there's still next time for me to try it. Entrance fee for the twin lagoon is PHP 100.00 each.
I felt wow as soon as I saw this view of the inner lagoon. I can't wait any longer and had myself plunged to the water and did some snorkeling.
"Snorkeling at Twin Lagoon"
My companions were too excited to explore the lagoon that they forgot to tag me along. I was left alone finding them. I can't really find them because of my blurred vision, I don't want to shout their names to find them because I don't want to make a scene in the lagoon. So I swam and stroked until I got to this place.
Another wow moment.
Then my friend approached me telling me that their looking at me, thank God I was with someone now.
I get tired from stroking. It's very tiring stroking and swimming but it looses whenever I see the scenery on the surface and the view under the water.
After awhile we've decided to go back. It's hard to leave such wonderful place but we need to go for another amazing spot surrounding the Coron Island loop.
We skipped Barracuda Lake because our boatman Kuya Jason told us that Barracuda Lake is better for diving. And since we're not into diving (or can't afford to do so) that time we skipped it and moved on to Kayangan Lake. Also, we didn't want to pay another PHP 100.00 for entrance fee and we were already overwhelmed by our snorkeling experience at Twin Lagoon.
"Barracuda and Kayangan lakes are both stunning locations, and good for snorkeling, and the island is the ancestral domain of an indigenous tribe who are managing the island in a sustainable way and keeping outsiders at a distance and offshore at night." - wikipedia.com
Kayangan Lake is known to have the cleanest inland body of water in the Philippines.
One must trek number of steps up to get to this place which I always see whenever I searched for Coron online.
Picture perfect, isn't it. We then moved down and get to the actual Kayangan Lake.
It was huge, bigger than the twin lagoon. We planned to get to the other side but we decided not to because no one gets there that time.
Our boatman Kuya Jason told us that there's another and bigger lake within the Coron Island which is not open for public yet, the Cabugao Lake. According to our boatman the lake is sacred for Tagbanuas. An octopus is also living alive in that lake according to our boatman.
"Snorkeling at Kayangan (Cayangan) Lake"
I was really tired from stroking. My knee is already aching from an all day swimming and snorkeling. After Kayangan Lake we've decided to skipped Siete Pecados. I was already tired. I asked our boatman what to do in Siete Pecados and told us it's another spot for snorkeling. Thinking we had too much for snorkeling for the day so we just passed by it and went straight to Maquinit Hot Spring.
"Siete Pecados is popularized by the shoot of a local television show of a mermaid love story. Experience swimming in an aquarium, beautiful corals and a great variety of fishes. This is one of the best sites to snorkel in Coron. Myth suggests that seven kids swam from the main island to escape it and follow their parents. They all drowned and the place where they drowned is where the islands are now present." - wikipedia.com
Siete Pecados composing of seven islands with rock formation and cliff limestone. Entrance fee is PHP 100.00
We then dropped by at Maquinit Hot Spring before we went back to the town proper. Entrance fee is PHP 150.00 per person.
The place has large pools warmed by the geothermal water spring in the area. It's a great place to hang out in the evening after a long day of activities. It's also accessible by tricycle from the town proper but we opted to get to this place right after our day of discovering the Coron island loop to save money for tricycle fee and of course time. Boat can only have access to this place when the sea is high tide.
"Maquinit Hot Srping"
The water is really hot! It took time before I submerged myself into the water. This is truly relaxing after all.
We only spent 30 minutes here as what our boatman asked to because it will get low tide anytime sooner. So after de-stressing ourselves from the hot spring we went back to our boat and went to the town proper.
It was an astounding day discovering the spots surrounding the Coron Island. It was my best snorkeling experience so far. Coron has still a lot more to offer. Two days wasn't enough to discover each island in Calamian group of Islands. The scenery and experience will surely make me go back to this place.
The rate for 2-days island hopping with overnight is PHP 6,000. Snorkeling gear is available for rent for PHP 150.00 each per day but Kuya Jason gave it to us for PHP 200.00 each for 2 days.
- Contact Kuya Jason if you want to experience a great island hopping in Coron. A kind, approachable and helpful boatman and guide.
- Bring something to cover you from the splashing waves during boat rides
- Bring something to secure your items and belongings from being wet
- Island hopping is really enjoyable to do as we explore each island but it also make us tired so better bring a lot of food, drinks and snacks to ease hunger and thirst.
- Enjoy snorkeling!
Coron Island Hopping Boatman