Coron, Palawan. Part 1- Where I lost my mind

The shot I was so hoping for!

The shot I was so hoping for!

On the fourth day of our Palawan Holiday, we left El NIdo early and headed for El Nido port for the boat ride of our lives! This is the part of this holiday I was so scared from.

We boarded this outrigger boat bound for Coron Town – travel time is 8 hours (and yes, you read it right!). It was pretty scary – I was frightened by the long time that we will be sailing and because there were occasional rains that period in June. However, it was our only choice. I checked for all the other options and we could not get any other option but this. For travellers who are meaning to go by El Nido to Coron, these boats leave every day but Saturday. You may also check for the schedule at the El Nido Art Cafe.

At 7am, we were already at the silent port at the end of Bacuit Bay.

Even this humble port has boasting views!

Even this humble port has boasting views!

The outrigger boat, Jessabel’s passenger were all foreigners except for me and Mario. The boat’s capacity was 40 people but we were only 10 that trip. We left at about 8am. The ticket price was 1500 and included a yummy Chopseuy and rice for lunch.

After about 8 hours, we are already approaching Coron town! I must say the sail was comfortable except for the sweat and the one-time rain.

See the wooden deck? I sunbathed with the equally bored foreign passengers there. haha!

See the wooden deck? I sunbathed with the equally bored foreign passengers there. haha!

As soon as we boarded off, we took a tricycle ride to our hotel. Coron town has awfully small roads. I think if something as big as a bus takes on their roads, it’ll have to be one way until the bus leaves the skimpy roads.

Traveller recommendation number 2: Travelling around Coron can be costly, as most of the destinations here require entrance fees ranging from 100-300 php. If you are on a budget, better choose an affordable accommodation that does not compromise quality. Go for Luis Bay Traveller’s Lodge (shameless plug). I’m vert happy I came across this accommodation while sweeping the internet for a good one. They offer hotel-style modern rooms at a very good price – and with a yummy breakfast included! We booked 5 days with them, including all our tours for 3 days and transfer to Busuanga airport on day 8, it only costed us 11,592php for the two of us combined! You can never find any other package that can top that, so do check their facebook page now and book with them! 🙂

The first part of our  tour, which we immediately took on after several minutes of rest, was the relaxing bath at the Maquinit Hot Spring.

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The road to Maquinit Hill where the Coron-famous hotspring is located at. 🙂

After about 20 minutes of trike ride, we reach the huge pools of Maquinit Hot Spring.

Spot the very huge pool behind!

Spot the very huge pool behind!

The water temperature was around 38-42 degrees celsius if I were to estimate. Whereas the pools are circular structures made of cement in different sizes. The floor of the pools are smooth stones piled up. Dipping in these pools was very relaxing! The water comes from the hill and is naturally hot. CONS, though is that the water has too many algae swimming with people and the water is not filtered.

A must-try!

Looking puffy because of the hot water.

After a few minutes of dipping, we left and went back to the hotel to bathe properly. And so happened the first night of quest for a nice and affordable dinner. 🙂

We discovered Coron Edge – an affordable buffet place in Coron Town. For 168php, you can get as many helpings of a Pork/Beef dish, chicken, fish, vegetables and rice. Only, it’s located at the foot of another Coron-famous destination (which we didn’t go to haha!). the Mt Tampay. You hafta climb a few steps on an inclined and winding road to reach the restaurant.

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On our first try (yes we did have dinner here more than once haha!), the menu table included grilled tuna, pork bbq, chicken curry, coleslaw and a yummy soup!

Our hotel is located near the town market. It has food stalls, bargains and a different market feel at night! We walked our way from Coron Edge to the hotel to familiarize ourselves with the roads and to take a look at the market. Unfortunately, i could not take a picture of the market scene, I was afraid it might get snatched, lol.

First day of Island Hopping: 

Siete Picados!

Siete Picados!

Well, what happened to my face here?

Siete Picados was the first stop. This snorkeling spot is located at the nearest end of the Coron Islands if coming from the town. It is composed of 7 islets housing a very rich marine life. It was raining a little bit by the time we came here, but still we got off the boat to snorkel and see the fishes and corals underwater. 

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Picture does not justify the corals underwater.

Leaving Siete Picados.

Leaving Siete Picados.

The very famous Kayangan Lake was next.

Entering the group of mini islands to reach Kayangan Lake.

Entering the group of mini islands to reach Kayangan Lake.

I’ve always wondered where how we reach the Kayangan Lake. I did not know that is is hidden inside this group of green islets.

After several turns and passing of islands, we find this!

After several turns and passing of islands, we find this. Sorry for the white orbs in the picture!

How it looks from the "shore". Here is where boats park.

How it looks from the “shore”. Here is where boats park.

Before "hiking" up and down to the lake, we were given a short lecture about Kayangan and Coron/Busuanga at the entrance on Kayangan Lake.

Before “hiking” up and down to the lake, we were given a short lecture about Kayangan and Coron/Busuanga at the entrance on Kayangan Lake.

The Kayangan Lake is a good 750 steps up and down the hill. It was quite tiring and dangerous as the steps were slippery and some other people on their way back make the way to the lake crowded. But there are wooden handrails on the trail to hold on.

Halfway to the lake, we meet this view of a paradise, and a bonus cave. 🙂

Too bad this was a little crowded too, I wanted to stay still for a few minutes while staring at this beauty.

Too bad this was a little crowded too, I wanted to stay still for a few minutes while staring at this beauty.

And the cave right infront of this picture-famous area.

I did not get the chance to explore this cave.

I did not get the chance to explore this cave.

Conquered the second half of the trek (which is a much shorter one) and this came before our eyes!

I could not believe my eyes! :)

I could not believe my eyes! 🙂

It’s perfect! The turquoise, clear water, the beautiful rock formations underwater and even the wooden footpaths add greatness to this scenery. This is a must-see!

After a few minutes of snorkeling and just swimming around and enjoying the view, we had to trek back out for lunch. But here are some of the pictures taken at the lake.

It was so hard to pull off this shot! Haha!

It was so hard to pull off this shot! Haha!

♫ You and Me, sitting on a..rock! ♫

♫ You and Me, sitting on a..rock! ♫

Leaving the lake vicinity after having lunch.

Leaving the lake vicinity after having lunch.

Next stop, a coral garden, for snorkeling.

The cute little hut from afar signals boatmen where the coral garden is located at. Notice the change of color of the water / sea. The whiter area is the coral and reefs area, which is more shallow than the deep green area.

The cute little hut from afar signals boatmen where the coral garden is located at. Notice the change of color of the water / sea. The whiter area is the coral and reefs area, which is more shallow than the deep green area.

Some of the underwater shots at the coral garden.

Few fishes feasting on the algae attached to our boat. Check the coral on the lower part of the picture. :)

Few fishes feasting on the algae attached to our boat. Check the coral on the lower part of the picture. 🙂

The corals are much more alive in actual than in this picture. :) The no-reef and deep area is scary to look at!

The corals are much more alive in actual than in this picture. 🙂 The no-reef and deep area is scary to look at!

The last part of our tour is a relaxing time at CYC beach. 

Docked a few meters from the beach.

Docked a few meters from the beach.

I read somewhere that CYC beach’s white sand was continually taken by some resort builders to make their own white sand beachfront. I under-estimated this beach upon having read that. It’s still pretty and the sand is still white and fine. 🙂

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The beach area.

 

Me lurking around!

Me lurking around!

They found a small crab and played with it a lil bit before putting it back to the sea.

They found a small crab and played with it a lil bit before putting it back to the sea.

 

Writing about my 5 days in Coron is impossible! So i’m writing in three parts. 🙂

 

See you on part 2!

 

 

<3,

Jules

 

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