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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Coron Islands: Adventures on Natural Wonders

It was my 2nd time to visit Palawan. The 1st was in Puerto Princesa City last March 2011 where I have visited the famous Under Ground River which is listed as one of the new 7 wonders of nature.

Now on the 3rd week of 2012, we chose Coron as our 1st destination of the year. Actually I already listed my top destinations for 2012 and this trip was planned since May 2011. Yes it’s May 2011 that I made my bookings with Cebu Pacific thru their Piso Fare promo, It’s a one way trip back then and made my hotel reservations with Ralph Pension House last June 21 which is exactly 7 months away to our maiden trip. I just booked our return trip with Philipine Airline only this December because I was saving my money on my Hong Kong Trip that time and decided to splurge the rest of the 2012 plan after the trip. Luckily I found this “chance in a lifetime promo” from PAL which is the  Payday Special Promo. I called it chance of a lifetime promo because it is rare to see Philippine Airlines offered promo sales except for the Midnight Fare Promo which is during midnights of Sundays.

There are lots of attractions to do in Coron like snorkeling, kayaking, trekking, and diving. We made a package arrangement with Ralph Pension House because we are always do DIY tours. We are also happy that Ralph Pension House arranged a boat for only the 3 of us and our Licensed Tour Guide Kuya Nonoy from day 1 to day 4. It's like that we are VIP's because we enjoyed our time in every tour and stayed as much as we want.

Trekking at Mt. Tapyas


One of the Major activity offered to us during our first day is to climb Mt Tapyas. It is very extraordinary to experience a panoramic view of the entire Island at the top of the mountain that stands of about 200 meters above sea level. It’s about an hour or less to reach the summit depending on your physical conditions. It took us just 35 minutes to climb the 715 steps of the makeshift ladder even though our daughter are with us, she is so energetic and eager to reach the top. It is best to climb the mountain late in the afternoon between 4 to 6pm to avoid extreme heat from the Sun. 


Upon reaching to the summit, tiredness and exhaustion faded easily when we saw the spectacular view of the surrounding islands. The great weather and pollution free air that we breath deeply after a long steps of climbing, we felt a sudden peace and serenity enjoying the greatest view we have seen in our lifetime. With the greatest sunset that I have ever captured which took me to shoot over and over again until the light continue to die down and a dominant blue hues starts to unfold across the horizons.


It is truly a very astonishing experience in our first day in Coron which will truly be the most memorable.

Maquinit Hot Spring


After mesmerizing with the beauty of the surroundings, we headed to Maquinit Hot Springs to enjoy our Dinner. Maquinit Hot Springs is the only salt water hot spring in the Philippines which actually coming from a volcano located underground. It is extremely hot with a temperature of about 40 degrees Celcius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit. We only stayed for an hour and head back to our place to take a rest and rejuvenate to prepare for tomorrows new adventure.

Kayangan Lake

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This lake is said to be the cleanest lake in the Philippines. Some calls it The Blue Lagoon which amidst sheer limestone cliffs. This beautiful picture-perfect scenery can be seen after a walk up a mountain trail. The crystal clear water allows you to see the bottom of the lake despite it being more than 10 feet deep. Take a dip, swim or snorkel around the lake and feel the calm waters. For me I took a sit and relax, did nothing but stared the beautiful scenery and took the opportunity off course to take pictures because this one is truly a chance of a lifetime experience for me to take a picture of my own that I only see it in the internet before. Only this time that then and there, experiencing the place with my own sense of perception. Seeing the real thing made me utter which that I would love to say and express deeply that  it’s really more fun here in the Philippines.

Coron White Sand Beaches and Tiny Islands

Coron truly has beautiful beaches. Aside from the towering limestone and a numerous islands elsewhere with fine white sands and crystal clear blue waters.

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Banol Beach and Atuayan Beach is a small beach with just a couple of nipa huts to rent from the locals. We stopped at Banol Beach on Day 2 and at Atuayan Beach on Day 3 for a lunch and stayed until 2pm because my daughter loved the fine white sands and and crystal clear water that she can even see white fishes and tiger fishes swimming on her feet. There are other foreign tourist  enjoying their moment sunbathing and swimming.

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Siete Piscados Marine Reserve. One of the best snorkeling site in Coron which translated in English as Seven Sins. The name originated through local tales about 7 kids left the island to escape but no one made it out to sea alive. Until few days new 7 isolated islands was formed in the middle of the sea. Some locals says that the biggest and the farthest island was the eldest one.  Behind this local tales about the islands lies a true and extremely beautiful corals underneath and great fishes as well which will definitely made your trip enjoyable than ever. As the place declared marine reserve, corals and fish life appear to improve almost monthly according to divers and tourist that went back and fort twice a year here in Coron which is very overwhelming. The outstanding features of this reef are large formations of pristine staghorn corals and table corals according to experts. There are school of reef fish and small barracuda with green sea turtles found here and at the Coral Garden near Atuayan Beach and more small barracuda at the barracuda lake.

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Twin Peak and Twin Lagoon is nestled in a cathedral of huge limestone formation. The twin peaks can be access in two ways (the hard way and the not so hard and not so simple way). During low tide, both can be access by a small and narrow opening which also serve as water passage where fresh water meets the salt water from the other side. While on high tide, one can make a deep swim underneath to reach the other lagoon or climb over the limestone wall, but to make easy, locals built a makeshift ladder to make it more accessible to the tourist. Upon reaching this narrow crevice of the peak you will see the beauty and cleanliness of the twin lagoon where you could feel gradual changes of water temperature by swimming from the opening to the middle. I only brought my cell phone to capture what is it inside the lagoon,  off course  it is covered in a waterproof case because it is impossible to bring a non-water proof camera inside that I have to swim all the way from the boat and inside the lagoon and to the other side where I exerted all my energy. But it’s very overwhelming though when I felt the water getting colder upon reaching into the middle. The place is extremely beautiful and calm.