They say, the best things in life are the people you love, the places you’ve seen and the memories you’ve made along the way. I am indeed one lucky soul. I was able to be blessed and enjoy my precious Milestone (40th! – and proud) with the people who are very dear to my heart, piece up the most cherished and noteworthy memories, and cast away in one of the most beautiful island in the world – Coron, Palawan.
Way back 2007, I first set foot in this incredibly breathtaking paradise. The moment i catch sight of this place of magnificence, without doubt, i fell in love instantly. I was in a quick getaway then with my very good friend Lucille, who happened to be back home for a vacation from the US. We stayed for a couple of days and we had the greatest time in our lives. Here are some of our ultimate throwbacks..
Now, after 10 years, Love led me back to Coron. Up to this time, i can hardly find the words to express the undeniable adorableness of Palawan. Palawan became popular for its impressive seascape: serene white beaches, inexplicable rock formations, indigo lagoons, jungles, green and vigorous mountains and a diversity of wildlife, over and under the sea. It’s no surprise that Palawan became such a dream destination for hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, island hopping, snorkeling and many more activities.
I was back in Paradise.
We stayed in Balaibinda Lodge located at the heart of Coron Town. The lodge is very accessible to the market, near the pier and very near to all food and restaurant establishments. if you plan of staying in Coron, this place is recommendable. You can visit their facebook page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/Balaibinda/
Our first day was a quick tour around Coron Town. We visited the Lualhati Park near the bay, part of the reclaimed area where the government built to serve as the main docking point for boats and ships going in and out of Coron.
From the park, you will get a good vantage perspective of Coron Island, as well as of Mt. Tapyas, one of the highest peaks in town. You can also see compositions of the mountains that seems to be a “sleeping giant” from afar.
From Lualhati Park, we went straight to Mt. Tapyas, the highest peak in this part of Coron. Be ready to charge yourself up because you have to climb 725 steps to reach the summit of Mount Tapyas. Certainly, you will appeciate the remarkable horizon over the seaside.
..and once you reach the top, the scenery is absolutely amazing.. 🙂
We headed to Coron Harvest, Cashew Factory after our heartwarming descend from Mt. Tapyas. Coron Harvest is well known for selling the best cashews in Palawan. These cashews are homegrown and rain-fed on the islands.
Our last and final stop was in Maquinit Hotspring, the only saltwater hot spring in the Philippines. The place developed a lot from the last time i visited. Maquinit Hot Spring is now composed of four pools: one main pool where all the water eventually leads to, two smaller pools where the hot water emerge, and a kiddie pool at the far end for children. Maquinit is definitely the perfect balance that gives all the soothing comfort you need after the strenous ascend to Mount Tapyas.
The beauty of Coron can be truly unveiled once you take the island trips and discover those white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Island hopping is one of the most well-known activity in Coron. Most of the sites that you will visit will be along the shores and inland lakes of the 8,000-hectare Coron Island, which is part of the ancestral domain owned by the Tagbanua tribe that resides on the Northeastern part of the island.
We made early arrangement to JY Travel and Tours to acccomodate our island hopping experience. They offer a lot of packages that you can choose from and have friendly staffs and tour guides that will assist you. For us, we chose the Coron Island Ultimate Tour which includes seven (7) islands to explore: Twin Lagoon, CYC beach, Skeleton Wreck, Las Islas De Coral, Sunset beach/Atwayan beach, Siete Picados and Kayangan Lake. Check JY Travel and Tours through their Facebook page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/Coronvacation/
Our first site that we visited was Twin Lagoon.
It is called Twin Lagoon because it is a limestone cliff with a small opening in the middle that separates the two blue lagoons. Our boat docked on the first lagoon where you can swim and take time to snorkel. For you to enter the second lagoon, you have the choice to swim under a cave-like formation separating the two lagoons or climb a two-meter high cliff with a wooden ladder. According to our tour guide, it’s best to pick option 1 since it’s low tide. If high tide, you cannot get to experience to swim under the cave. So without hesitation, we followed his advice, you just have to be extra careful and be cautious for rough parts with sharp edges that could wound you.
Once you were able to pass this exclusive entrance, you will behold the true splendor of Twin Lagoons.
One of the unique feature of Twin Lagoon is the temperature of the water. The bottom part of the lake is warmer than the upper part, creating what is known as thermocline. This is because the island is located above the volcanic ring of fire, which means that the temperature of the water across the lake isn’t constant. At some point, it get’s cold but quickly warms up if you move just a few feet further.
Our next stop is CYC Beach.
CYC stands for “Coron Youth Club.” The surrounding waters are so crystal clear and sands are finely white. Beautiful mangrove trees and rock formations are located all over the island but guests are discouraged to go there by the guides due to the possible presence of stonefish partly hidden in the sand. This is where we had a good snorkle and got to have a close encounter (well, almost!) with the sea urchins.
My favorite spot – the Skeleton Shipwreck, the sunken Japanese ship.
Coron is a popular wreck-diving site. When you look closely to the water, the shipwreck can be seen even though sheathed by corals. It was called Skeleton Wreck because what was left from the wreck was its framework or the structure, giving it a skeletal appearance. You can also find a rope connected from the shipwreck to a floater above that serves as a guide if you want to dive into the shipwreck.
This is the most exciting part for me because this is where we had a friendly interaction with the marine life. Fishes were freely swimming as if dancing with us in perfect harmony.
We even had a free underwater exhibition by our cheerful and perky tour guide, Nader.
After Skeleton Wreck, all of us were excited to reach our next destination, the Atwayan Beach. Atwayan, a great picnic location between island-hopping tours, is named after the abundant tuway (clam) shells that can be found in the island. There are cottages and bamboo huts that serves as the usual lunch stop. Their shaded and cool cottages are clean and ample, with plenty of large tables for picnics and eating. You can also lay down for a quick nap after your hearty meal or chill out and have a few drinks.
From the menu that was served to us, my favorite dish was the grilled parrot fish. It tasted like the Lapu Lapu fish because of the same texture. Plus the unlimited variety of fresh fruits like pineapple, ripe mangoes and juicy, red mouthwatering watermelons.
It was a full nourishing meal and we ended with a full stomach,too!
Next, we boated to the Most Cleanest Lake in Asia – Kayangan Lake.
The pristine beauty of Kayangan has not changed much over the years. Perhaps the only difference from the last time i’ve been here are the concreted stairs leading to the absolute viewing point and the picture perfect well known rock where the guests can take their signature photos in Kayangan.
You can also find a cave in the summit, but spelunking is not allowed for the safety of the tourits. Because it has no moisture or no growth of mineral deposits, the cave is considered to be a “dead cave.” The only activity that you can do is to take your “instagrammable” photos.
In front of the cave, you can chance upon the best spot where you can set eyes on the grand Kayangan Lagoon. This is where you can find the huge rock that is the most photographed site in Coron.
Just like any hidden, well-preserved spots, you need to hike to be able to reach the lake. The blend of experience and nature adds fascination to the destination.
and once you get in touch with Kayangan lake, it’s doubtlessly a Paradise on Earth.. 🙂
Our last and final spot is Siete Picados.
According to the local legend, seven sisters defied their mother and went swimming against her wishes. As a consequence for their “sin” they all drowned, and afterwards, seven small islands sprouted from the sea. (Google Searched)
Siete Picados is considered to be the best snorkeling site in Coron because it lets you discover how rich and splendid the underwater life has to offer.
If there’s one place i would love to visit over and over again, it will always be Coron. The charm and exquisiteness of this island constantly embraces you with tranquillity at its best. I will be forever grateful to celebrate life and continually be captivated by its perpetual beauty.
Certainly, love will always lead me back to Coron…