After our few days in Cebu, Jill and I hopped on a plane - made a quick stop in Manila, and then took a quick 45 minute flight over to the beautiful island of Coron located in the Palawan area of the Philippines. Coron is known best for it's world class scuba diving (listed as one of Forbe's top 10 diving spots in the world) with around 10 Japanese shipwrecks, it's white sand beaches, and gorgeous limestone cliffs. This area has been one of my favorite spots in all of Asia to travel to so far.
We quickly were loaded into a shuttle van until it could not fit anymore people, or luggage, and headed into town.
For our first day on the island, Jill and I took the "Ultimate island Hopping Tour" where we got to visit Coron's highlights all day long. The company had a little tuk tuk tricycle (the main way to travel around the 'city') pick us up at our hotel, The Funny Lion, and take us to the boat docks. Along the way, we got to drive through the town of Coron and discovered many more tricycle tuk tuks, including one transporting a pig #takinginthesights
Once at the dock, we boarded our boat and met our crew and fellow passengers for the day - a Filipino family and us with the whole boat to ourselves.
Our first stop for the day was the Siete Pecados Marine Park where we got to snorkel around for a bit. The area is surrounded by 7 rock formations and has some of the most diverse marine life in Coron. We saw some nice coral and little fish including one my favorites because of how weird they look - the Unicorn fish (see pic below)
After snorkeling around Siete Pecados Marine Park, we headed over to one of the top sights of Coron, Kayangan Lake. I had seen pics of this place before we went so I was excited to see it in person to see if the photos did it justice (they do not - it's more beautiful in person which we would learn was a theme of this trip)
To get to Kayangan Lake inside the island, you have to hike up steep stone steps for about 10 minutes - at the top, you are rewarded with fantastic views of the lagoon below (one of the most photographed places of Coron) - and the view did not disappoint
After taking in the views, we headed down to Kayangan Lake, surrounded by mangroves and limestone cliffs. This is said to be one of the cleanest lakes in all of Asia with water so clear you can see the down to the bottom. It's great for snorkeling and swimming since it's made up of 70% fresh water and 30% salt water. Jill and I had fun swimming, snorkeling, and playing with our phone's burst and slo-mo video functions :)
Video below of the crystal clear waters of Kayangan Lake
It was time for lunch where we got to snorkel to Atwayan Beach for a tasty BBQ lunch to enjoy on the white sands of the island and watch the beautiful turquoise waters crash gently against the shore.
After lunch on the beautiful beach, we took the boat to check out CYC Beach for a few minutes - I ended up being the only one to hop off the boat and swim for all of 2 mins haha
Next stop, the Hidden Lagoon - yet another gorgeous spot with turquoise waters surrounded by tall, limestone cliffs. We got to enjoy the area for a bit jumping off the boat and swimming around
We ended our trip with a stop at one of my favorite spots for the day, Twin Lagoon. Pics don't do this spot justice, and I don't think I can describe the beautiful, relaxing feeling floating in the waters here - looking up and seeing the tall, ragged limestone cliffs, while listening to birds chirping in the background - a feeling and view I hope I"ll always remember.
Twin Lagoons are actually two lagoons separated by a wall of karst. Depending on the tide, you can either swim under the 'cave' or climb a ladder over the top. The inner lagoon (where our boat parked), actually has both fresh and salt water as well. You can actually see the division between the two. with the fresh water floating on top of salt water only about 4 inches down from the top of the water. I enjoyed snorkeling around and watching this blurry line.
After Jill got bit on her thigh (not too hard) by a fish swimming around - she was done for the day and headed back to the boat #hungryfish
I continued to swim and snorkel around the area. I swam over to the wall separating the two lagoons and was able to swim under it. Kind of a cool experience swimming under this karst wall with only a foot or so between the water and the bottom of the wall. (See pics below (from google since my camera died)).
After our awesome day exploring the highlights of Coron, we headed back to our hotel. If this was day 1 in Coron, I couldn't wait for the other 2 days we would spend here.
We swam in the pool until sunset, hanging out. I was able to make friends with a guy from Norway who was scuba diving the next day - since Jill doesn't dive - he let me tag along diving the next day (read about my dives on some of the Japanese wrecks in Coron in the next blog).
That night, I headed to dinner at Balinsasayaw - a restaurant one of our guides had recommended out in town. I took a local tuk tuk and was able to enjoy a beer, pineapple fried rice, and garlic lobster tails - all for only about $15! Love this place!
Until next time
Follow in our Footsteps:
The Funny Lion Hotel (great spot, great service! Totally recommend)
Sitio Jolo, Poblacion 5, Coron, Palawan, Philippines
+63 2 856 1443
Ultimate Island Tour
(many boat tour options - can get lots of fliers at your hotel or airport)
National Highway | Brgy. Poblacion 5, Coron, Busuanga Island, Philippines
+63 917 328 7274
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!