Journals of the Traveling DaDa: An Unplanned Coron Adventure (The Second Serving)
Towering limestone cliffs, pristine white sand beaches, and deep placid lakes are nature's treats when you visit Coron Island. Now do not be surprised when local guides tell you that Coron town is different with that of Coron Island. While the town of Coron sits comfortably along the shores of Busuanga Island, the island of Coron sits right across town separated by the Coron Passage. The town serves as a jump-off point to the island and other tourist destinations in the area.
With that said, you can definitely expect a number of tour packages to be offered to you. These packages may differ and suits various interests of travelers. The benefit or a drawback though is that there is a huge chance that you will be joining other travelers during these group tours. I suggest that if you are traveling with a big group or, in our case, conscious of the spots that we wanted to enjoy because I had the other half of the IG: @thetravelingDaDa with us, we opted to rent our own motorboat and make our own tour itinerary.
Primer: Coron Public Market
A legit tour of Coron Island will always start off at the Coron Public Market. The small strip located adjacent to Lualhati Park is also the sea port for tours. What makes the market special?
Lined with vendors selling wet products, this is where you plan what you are having for lunch. The great thing with Coron is that the guide and the boatman double up as your chef during the tour. You work on your menu, purchase the ingredients, and your off to great day of touring Coron Island.
Coron is heaven for seafood lovers like me. You get a lot of options at a really good price. You can choose to go the usual seafood fare or opt to try new selections. Make sure that you get all your provisions before you get to the boat. No worries because your guide will be there to assist you.
Kayangan Lake is probably the poster cover of Coron. I have seen the picture below a lot of times with reference to the lake and, no doubt, it has manage to spark interest about the beauty of Coron. Here is the catch, though, that is not Kayangan Lake. It is the spectacular view of Kayangan Bay while on trek to Kayangan Lake.
Kayangan Lake is one of the enchanted lakes of Coron. It is believed to be a sacred ground by the Tagbanwa people where spirits dwell. The lake is considered to be one of the cleanest lakes in the country. Getting to the lake will require a short trek along an established trail from the docking area. The trail can be a challenge when it is wet but it will give you breathtaking views of Coron's natural bounty.
Kayangan Lake will sweep you off your feet with its picture perfect scene. The lake is surrounded by amazing limestone cliffs. Its turquoise-colored water is very inviting. The lake is deep so for safety it is best to explore its waters with a lifevest. There are some areas where you can try cliff jumping.
Kayangan Lake was so beautiful and Asher was enjoying it too much that we decided to stay a little longer.
Not far from Kayangan Lake is the Twin Lagoon - two lagoons connected by a small cave opening. The lagoons are surrounding by towering limestone cliffs that you can't help but admire. The scene will just keep you in awe.
As you enter the first lagoon, you will be amazed by the sheer beauty of the turquoise waters surrounded by limestone cliffs. I enjoyed the tranquility that it offered. It was too beautiful and peaceful that you will be captivated by the place. As we docked just right by the entrance of the second lagoon, I donned my snorkeling gear and jumped into the water to explore its underwater beauty.
There is nothing much to see as the waters are too deep. Just right by the entrance of the second lagoon is a small shelf that you can explore and enjoy its underwater scene.
Crossing to the second lagoon can be done in two ways, you can use the wooden platforms to go over the break along its limestone formations or you can opt to swim under the small opening that connects the two lagoons. In both cases, the guide will be there to assist. I opted to take on the challenging way of going through the crevice.
After navigating through the crevice successfully, I was greeted with a surreal view of a deep blue colored placid lagoon surrounded by limestone formations. The waters are naturally deep so it is advisable to wear a lifevest while swimming. You will definitely enjoy swimming in bliss immersed in the lagoon's beauty and the serenity it offers.
Blue Lagoons and pockets of white sand beaches are THE attractions of Coron island. It is one destination where you will definitely get your fill of lagoons and white sand beaches. These two bounties from nature is what you will get to the brim when in Coron.
Banol Beach is a small white sand beach cove that serves as a quick lunch stop for guests touring the island. It would serve as our first and only taste of the beach in Coron. The pocket of powdery white sand blends very well with the limestone formations that towers over the beach. The acquamarine water of Banol was so inviting that one could not help but take a quick dip while waiting for lunch.
Lunch by the beach was just heaven and what made it more exciting was the food prepared by our boatman. Apart from grilled liempo and ensalada, we feasted on seafood - fish, curacha, and other seafood items. I am one person who simply loves seafood and it was just a pure bliss feasting on it.
After lunch, I decided to explore the small stretch of Banol Beach. I enjoyed the peace and quiet that it offers. Although, I figured that the beach can get quite busy during the lunch hours. On one side of the beach, you will get to see how the waters meet the limestone formations of Coron. The scene was just surreal that I just simply sat down by the beach with my feer touching the waters and just enjoy the moment.
Since we had Asher with us, I decided to go with activities that she will enjoy. We headed straight to Barracuda Lake for more swimming.
Barracuda Lake sits adjacent to Kayangan Lake. Similarly, Barracuda Lake is also surrounded by steep limestone rock formations and getting to it also requires that you traverse these limestones through makeshift wooden stairs. The lake derived its name after a skeleton of a large barracuda was found in its waters. It is also the only lake where diving is allowed.
A small wooden platform was built to accommodate guests visiting the lake. It serves as the launchpad for those who want to swim and a rest area for those who are tired from the days activities.
The waters of Barracuda Lake are deep and you can easily catch a glimpse of its rugged crevices easily when you swim. You can also catch small fish when you swim along its edged. We chanced upon divers who tried diving the waters of the lake. If you are lucky, you can also chance upon locals showing their skills in swimming in the deep.
Post Travel Notes
Coron, Palawan in general, is a league of its own. Its beauty cannot be compared to any place and nothing can even comes close to it. It is the best place to enjoy and appreciate the beauty and bounty of nature. This is nature at its best. It is also a great place to teach young minds about nature and respecting what was given to us.
I am also amazed as to how the local government was able to actively involve locals in the tourism industry. Their approach empowered the locals who then understands the value of keeping their tourism sites safe and clean as it is now seen as a source of livelihood for the community.
Palawan is definitely the country's last frontier and Coron has shown my family that. The unplanned trip has given me the chance to appreciate nature more. It also help me understand that tourism can be kept alive to help the community economically without harming nature through community participation.
I am definitely coming back to Coron!
Getting there: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Skyjet have regular daily flights to Busuanga. You can take a van to Coron proper. If you are looking for a nice place to stay in Coron, I highly suggest Casa Montemar Bed and Breakfast.
If you need the ultimate guide for your Coron Island tour, you can get in touch with Kuya Jerome at (0946) 4032791. He will definitely make your tour memorable.
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Marc del Rosario
I believe in education, entrepreneurship, and caring for the environment.