Friday, July 10, 2009

Blissful Coron

     Palawan is the Philippines last ecological frontier.  Calamianes group of islands is one of the most beautiful, located in the northernmost part of Palawan.  Busuanga Island is the biggest, which also includes Culion, Calauit, Coron and Linapacan.  The gateway to the nearby islands is Coron.

     We arrived in Busuanga Airport in a gloomy weather.  The summer getaway with friends turned out to be rainy.  But that doesn’t stop our outdoor mode.

     From Busuanga Airport we rode a van that took us to Coron.  While traversing the rough road on the way to Coron is a scenic view of green fields, abundant trees and mountains on both sides.

Where to Stay?

     After the 45 min. ride we reached the Coron town at 11 AM. We belittle ourselves at Krystal Lodge, with nipa hut cottages right at the water.  Some of the places to stay in are Sea Dive, Darayonan Inn, Discovery Divers, Village Inn and Kokosnuss.

Where to go?


Mt. Tapyas

     Mt. Tapyas.  On that day, in the afternoon, we climbed Mt. Tapyas to see the bird’s eye view of the Coron town.  According to some travelers the sunset here is nice but since its raining from time to time, we were not lucky to see that.

     Maquinit Hot Spring was our next stop.  We rented a trike for Php 350 only to reach this secluded place.  To relax our tired muscles, we dipped in a 40 degrees Celsius salt water hot springs.  It is situated beside a mountain fronting the sea and surrounded by mangroves.  This is best visited at the end of the day.

Siete Picados


     Siete Picados is composed of 7 small islands surrounded with corals, a good site for snorkeling enthusiast like us.  We spent an hour snorkeling in this area seeing many corals and schools of fishes swimming around us.


Kayangan Lake

     Kayangan Lake is so beautiful and breathtaking.  Once the boat approaches the island you’ll be amazed by the limestone formations of the islands, rainforest, deep blue clear waters and the serenity of the place.  Our boat disembark us at the island’s edge to start our 15 minutes trek uphill and there we saw a cave, also a spot for aerial view of the lagoon, a photo shot that can never go wrong.  Another 15 minutes trek downhill is the Kayangan Lake.  The lake was so calm and deep; no waves not even a ripple. And hey it is fresh water!  We all love to swim here because of the lake soothing power.

Barracuda Lake

     Barracuda Lake is also in Coron Island. The lake is deep and blackish in color.  This time the trek is much shorter but the trail does not have steps so we have to climb sharp rocks to get to the lake.

Atuwayan Beach

     Atuwayan Beach is a prestine white sand beach located on the other side of the Coron Island.  We battled the big waves just to reach this beach because of the heavy rains and wind.  There are small huts in the beach and the limestone karst surface on some part of the island adds beauty to the place.  Of course, at the back of the island is a rainforest which is impossible to trek.

Strolling along Columbuyan Beach

     Columbuyan Island has a kilometer wide cream sand beach.  At the other side is a rugged landscape, with rubble limestones in the beach.  Mangroves are everywhere and there are plenty of trees.  Hammocks tied to coconut trees gives charm to the beach.  Snorkeling site is just a meter away from the shore with many corals, fishes and some jellyfish.  This island is ideal for picnic and snorkeling.

Snorkeling at Coral Garden

     Gun Boat and Coral Garden are snorkeling sites abundant with corals and marine species.  Though the snorkeling site is deep, the visibility is still clear.  We snorkeled here for an hour feeding many fishes we saw.

Banul Beach

     Banul Beach is a prestine white sand beach that is almost like Boracay’s sand.  The difference is that the beach is small and untouched by commercialism.  There are wooden huts and benches.  The left side facing the sea are limestone karst cliffs and with beautiful rock formations.

Where to eat?

     Bistro is a French restaurant in Coron town owned by French guy named Bruno.  All dishes are European and they served yummy pizza and pasta.

     Pinili Ko is a simple restaurant that serves great Filipino food and offers a good service.  It is one of the best in town to please your palate.

Kawayanan Restaurant

     Kawayanan Restaurant is an open restaurant with small bamboo huts to dine in.  Good for Filipino dishes and has a good service.

Where to buy presents?

    Coron Market is a place where you can buy dried squids and fishes.

    Coron Souvenir Shops offers many souvenir items to choose from.

     In Coron, one sees the beauty of nature: untouched islands, coastal caves, mangroves swamps, prestine white beaches, cliffs, forest and rich in marine life.  As time goes by, I hope that the locals and the Tagbanwa tribe would continue to preserve what they have now.  A truly paradise and a place you would want to visit again and again.

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