Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Coron Part One: Ultimate Island Tour

If you were to ask me what's my favorite destination in the Philippines, I wouldn't think twice and say Coron, Palawan. This island is paradise and as what I've said before, I'd be happy to visit it more than once. 

The time I found out that we're going to Coron, I got so excited that I volunteered to plan the whole trip! I just can't wait to do island hopping and explore the waters of Coron again.


I went to Coron with my boyfriend Mon and his cousin Johnny from Australia. He was the one who suggested that we go to Coron since he keeps on seeing great things about it all over social media. 

We booked a direct flight to Coron via Cebu Pacific (they offer direct flights to Busuanga). We left the house at 8:30am because it's a weekday and we don't want to get caught in heavy traffic, our flight was scheduled at 11:30am so we arrived at the airport right on time.





Day One: Arrival at Busuanga

We arranged an airport pick up with the hotel prior to our trip so the shuttle was there already when we arrived.



We stayed at Coron Westown Resort. It's quite new because it wasn't there yet the time we visited 2 years ago. The hotel has great facilities! It has a mini gym, 24 hr. lobby, 4 swimming pools, a bar, and a restaurant. They serve buffet breakfast and dinner. Our room was on the 1st floor with direct access to the pools. Awesome right? By the way, this was the view from our room.

Since we only have the afternoon left for the day, we just went to Maquinit Hotspring for a dip and sight-seeing then we had dinner at Lolo Nonoy's (They served great Filipino dishes for a very affordable price)

Tip: You can ride a tricycle to Maquinit Hotspring then the driver will wait for you for 2 hours then he will drive you back to the hotel because there are no tricycles passing by the area (You don't have to dip that long in the hot spring, the water is too hot). They will charge you P200 for the entrance fee and the tricycle driver will charge you P200-300 for the whole trip. 



Day Two: Coron Ultimate Tour

We have 7 destinations lined up to visit for the day so we started early. We woke up at 7am to get ready and have breakfast because they will pick us up at 9am for our scheduled tour. 

Tip: We booked our tours through JY Travel and Tours Coron. You can easily message them on Facebook and they reply really fast. It was a smooth transaction for me.




Here's our itinerary for our first tour:

1. Siete Pecados
2. Kayangan Lake Barracuda Lake 
3. Twin Lagoon 
4. Smith Beach
5. Skeleton Wreck
6. Las Islas de Coral
7. CYC Beach

*not in exact order and we weren't able to visit Kayangan Lake because it was temporarily closed due to an accident*


I don't have photos of each and every destination we went to, because some are best seen underwater so I guess you have to go there to see it yourself. ;)



I swear, these rock formations are majestic!


Our first destination was Twin Lagoon. Basically, the first lagoon serves as the docking area for the boats then you have to go through a tiny passage way under a rock formation to get to the second lagoon or if you can't swim, you can go over it through a slippery ladder (I suggest just go under since your tour guide will be asking you to wear your life vests at all times, don't risk falling because you might get bruises, the ladder is too slippery).

I'll post the link of the video that I made so you can see the whole thing!


This is the CYC Beach. CYC means "Coron Youth Club". This island has pristine waters and white sand. You can go sunbathing and snorkelling. 

Tip: If you don't have your own snorkel mask, you can rent for P 150. It is also essential to wear your aqua shoes at all times, you wouldn't wanna risk corals and other marine creatures pricking your feet right? You'll never know, better be safe than sorry.




Beware of mangroves, jellyfishes love these trees.



swimsuit, EIGHTH MERMAID


I just love how peaceful beach dogs are. They're so clean and friendly!




Made a friend on this island :)


So just like every tour, they have an arranged lunch at Smith Beach for everyone. Weren't able to take photos of our lunch but most of the food are fish, veggies and fruits so yay!

After lunch we visited the Skeleton Wreck so it's basically a Japanese shipwreck from a very long time ago. It's really amazing! Wait till you see the video!

Later that afternoon, we visited Siete Pecados and Coral Garden/ Las Islas de Coral. These places were amazing. If you want to explore underwater and see the beautiful corals and colourful marine creatures, this is the place to be. Don't stand, just float. You'll thank me later.

SAFETY TIP:
Wear your life vest and aqua shoes at all times. I'm not kidding! The corals may be beautiful but they're also deadly. Yes, deadly. It's not just fishes that you're going to see underwater, there are also A LOT of sea urchins with long spikes, prickly rocks and corals, and stone fishes (Watch out for this one, I spotted one because I saw a rock swimming underwater til I noticed it was a stone fish! Yikes!). These are amazing creatures but they're poisonous, I don't want to sugarcoat anything but yes they can kill you fast without proper medical assistance. So again, better be safe than sorry. And again, don't stand just float. 


Our last destination for the tour was the Barracuda Lake. You have to hike a bit (just like Kayangan Lake) to get to the lake. The rocks are slippery so be careful.

TIP:
If you're not a good swimmer or even if you are, don't remove or leave your life vest. I admit, there are times that I removed my life vest but I make sure that I'm holding on to it. The lakes are pitch black deep and you don't want to turn this amazing trip into a disaster and drown right? So just don't.


Amazing view as always!


After Barracuda Lake, we went back to the port and back to our hotels. We rested for a bit, showered and changed clothes. We had dinner at Trattoria Altrove, it's an Italian restaurant in Coron. The food's delicious but a bit pricey than the other restaurants in town. But I tell you it's a must try!

So there, our first 2 days on the island. Pretty great right? I'll share more about our Coron Trip on my next post so stay tuned! :)

*Photos were taken using a GoPro Hero 5 and and iPhone 6S Plus camera*

Photography by Raymond Tagle Jr.

Watch the video here: 


XOXO,
NICOLE

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