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Coron: Palawan's Hidden Gem
Story by: jovy avisado ( Member ) on 2016-11-03
Palawan has been declared as the top 2 best island in the world. With its rich fauna, this island will surely capture your heart. I can say that Palawan also tops the list of my favorite islands and beaches in the Philippines. I have been to Palawan thrice already but I know I still have a lot to explore. I was fortunate enough to grab a promo fare going to Coron, Palawan.

Coron is an island situated on the northern part of Palawan. It holds a number of white sand beaches (and some black sand beaches too), lakes, cliffs, mountains, and other places that will surely leave you in awe. The airport is situated approximately one and a half hour from the town proper. Upon reaching the town proper of Coron, you will be greeted by a lot of budget hostels/inns/backpacker’s place and some medium rate accommodations. Most of the pricier accommodations can be found in different islands around Coron. Island hopping and the tours around Coron’s main attractions are also budget-friendly. 

Mount Tapyas Coron

On our first day, we went to see and experience the “hike” to Mt. Tapyas, the highest peak in Coron. I said “hike” because you don’t really have to hike. You have to climb at least 700 steps (if I remember it correctly) to reach the cross at the top. It was very tiring especially if you’re a bum like me. We managed to reach the top just before the sunset so we were able to view a perfect Coron sunset from the top of Mt. Tapyas. We ended our day with a dip at Maquinit hot spring. From Mt. Tapyas, you can rent a tricycle to take you to Maquinit hot spring. The travel time will take 3 minutes to an hour. We arrived at the hot spring by night fall. It served as a perfect ending to our first day.

Coron beaches

For our second day, we opted to do the island hopping tour first as we are still waiting for 2 of our friends. We were able to snag a boat good for 6 people that will take us to around 3 islands (Banana Beach, Malcapuya Beach, and Bulog Dos Beach) for only Php2,500 pesos. The boat ride will take an hour to 2 hours to reach Malcapuya Island (this is the farthest of the three). The tour is inclusive of a sumptuous lunch which we freshly chose from the market and was cooked by our boat man. Our boat man took us to Bulog Dos Beach first. It’s an island right in the middle of the sea, with a long sand bar. There isn’t much shade in the island as it is mostly submerged in the water when the tide is high. There’s nothing much you can do on the island except swim and take lots of pictures. But be wary of jellyfishes, there are some on the waters and they will surely sting you (like what they did to me). They’re not poisonous though so you don’t have to worry about it much. Their sting will just itch.

Banana Island Coron

We went to Banana Island to have lunch. We didn’t get to explore much of the island because it was already too hot and we were already starving. We just stayed there for lunch and didn’t get to swim after. This is unfortunate because for me, among the three, Banana Island is the most beautiful in terms of the ambiance and swim-ability (totally made this word up) of the beach. If you want to, you can stay overnight at Banana Island. They allow camping on the island and they were already building cottages/rooms when we went there. I just realized that we didn’t take much photos of Banana Island! 

Malcapuya Beach Coron

Last stop for our island hopping is Malcapuya Beach. Being the farthest, I expected much from this beach. I wasn’t disappointed but I wasn’t wow-ed as well. Maybe because Banana Island already captured my heart. We stayed at Malcapuya beach until late afternoon so we were able to bum and swim at the beach. We had to leave by 4pm because all boats in Coron need to be in the dock by 5pm as part of their responsible tourism rules.

Kayangan Lake Coron

For our third day, we hopped around the different attractions of the island: from shipwrecks, to lakes, and some beaches. The lakes were my favorite. I was not aware that we have such beautiful lakes in the Philippines. It’s truly breathtaking. We went cliff diving on Kayangan Lake and Barracuda Lake and that was the highlight of our day. For Kayangan lake, you have to climb a hundred or so steps up and down to reach the lake. It is situated inside the island. On top of the island, before you go down to reach the lake, you will see the famous spot in Coron, the one which overlooks the limestone cliffs and the beach. This is one of the most photographed locations in Coron.

The limestone formation under the lake is really beautiful. It’s like a cathedral and it goes very deep, I think it’s about 60 ft. It’s very nice to swim here since the water is fresh so it won’t sting your eyes. However, since it’s very deep, you can either stand on some limestone formations or wear a life vest if you’re not that confident in swimming. Barracuda Lake holds some urban legends in the town. Barracuda’s are known as predatory fishes and they would attack and bite you once you threaten them. Fortunately, there were no barracuda’s in the lake when we were there. This lake is deeper than Kayangan lake and it is a mixture of salt water and fresh water. You can dive here to admire the limestone formations underwater. You can’t clearly see underwater because it’s darker here than in Kayangan. 
This isn’t as far away from the mainland as the islands we went to yesterday.

Coron Palawan
Unfortunately, because we didn’t have much time, we were not able to visit the Calauit Safari and the black sand beach in Culion. This is something I am looking forward to visiting the next time I get the chance to visit Coron. Every corner of Coron is picturesque; you will never regret booking that flight. Coron made me fall in love with Palawan even more and I promised myself that I would come back so I can visit the places that we were nto able to reach during the first time we were there. I also want to try camping in Banana Island so that I would get to enjoy the beach better.

So now I tell you, when you see that promo flight to Coron: BOOK IT! NOW!

Article contributed by: Mariel Suarez Quiogue

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