Traveling with your friends can be very fun and exciting! It doesn’t matter where you go as long as the company is great. We wanted a vacation without the hassle of traveling too far and too long. So we thought, since we were all Palawan virgins, where better to spend a weekend getaway than in Coron? It is only an hour’s flight from Cebu and the seat sale purchase was a bonus. It was perfect. Our tickets were for PHP2,400 roundtrip.
We stayed at Coron Westown Hotel. We had such a great stay here with very comfortable beds, wifi, breakfast and the service was spot on! I recommend this hotel to a group that is particular with comfort and cleanliness. I got us a family room good for 6 people for PHP23,760 for 3 nights. There was a king sized bed and 2 queens. You can actually fit in more people if you wanted to and split the budget. Though it was quite far from the city center, transportation was pretty easy to come by. The hotel gets you a tricycle for PHP30.00/person.
Where do I even begin? Island hopping, sunrises, sunsets, diving, snorkeling, pina colladas, freezing beer, sun bathing, hiking, swimming, seafood tripping, partying, karaoke… I can go on and on! We had very limited time but I tried to squeeze in all this in our 3 day stay.
Here’s our itinerary
Day 1: Hiking up Mt. Tapyas, Hot Spring Day 2: Island Hopping: Siete Picados, Kayangan Lake, Skeleton Wreck, Atuayan Beach Day 3: Island Hopping: Barracuda Lake, Twin Lagoon, CYC Beach
I had so much planned for the group but Cebu Pacific diverted our flight. We reached Coron 4 hours later than expected so there goes our entire day wasted but I don’t want to dwell on that. We weren’t able to hike up Mt. Tapyas and the Hot Spring was also out of the picture. So our first day was spent travelling the entire morning and dinner in Kayawanan Restaurant.
I was looking through different tours online but everything I came across with was just too expensive. So I took a gamble by not booking any tour in advance to see if there would be a lot of offers when we got there. But since we got delayed, I didn’t have time to look for one! I was panic-stricken and didn’t know what to do! So I asked the tricycle driver if he knew a boatman. Fortunate enough, he did! We met Big Louie during our dinner and after almost an hour of negotiating, we finally had a private boat with a very reasonable price at that – PHP2,300 for an entire day good for 8 adults and a child.
After a rough start the day before, I was pretty excited for our island hopping tour. I was jittery just imagining soaking myself in those famous crystal clear blue lakes and spending my day worrying about nothing but getting a tan. Everything you hear and read about Coron is absolutely true. Nothing gives justice to its natural beauty. I couldn’t even find the words to describe how it was like being there.
The one thing I really liked about the boat we booked was the fact that we weren’t pressured with time. We spent as much time as we wanted in one place enough for us to really take it all in. The disadvantage of booking a tour online is the time constraint. You can’t spend more time in one place even if you wanted to.
First stop for the day is the most famous lake in all of Palawan. The shot in all those postcards of Palawan were taken from this lake. It’s a pretty hefty walk up to the lake. I was so unfit; I had a hard time climbing all those steps. You have to go through a hard road before reaching paradise.
Our second stop is a site where a Japanese ship sunk during the world war. Coron is known for its numerous shipwrecks and this is just one of them. It’s a great spot for scuba diving. We snorkeled around the area and even went on top of where the ship is but it was too scary. The farther you go, the deeper and darker it gets. We didn’t know what lay beneath.
Atuayan Beach was our last stop and where we spent the rest of the afternoon. We were just basking in the sand with our beer and enjoying the water until sunset.
Barracuda Lake is a smaller version of Kayangan lake. It’s accessible by a short but tricky 25m climb over a jagged rocky walls of limestone that ends directly in the pristine blue waters of the lake. Don’t bring much because there’s not enough room to leave your belongings.
When we reached our second stop, we were already tired and who ever said “lets just stay in the boat” was crazy! I’m glad I didn’t listen because this was my favorite!! This is a must-see and a must-swim place. The combination of hot and cold temperature in the water is caused by the meeting of salt and fresh water. So don’t skip it no matter how tired you are.
The first lagoon is where the boats dock, while the second lagoon is hidden, the only access of which is a small opening underneath the rock or a ladder over the rock. We just took our life jackets and floated and drifted in the lagoon. If you don’t want to get wet, there’s a small raft you can ride on to and it takes you around the entire lagoon.
The very last stop of our island hopping tour was CYC Beach. It was almost dusk when we got here so the water was very inviting. We hopped straight into the water once the boat had docked. The water was so nice, we didn’t even bother to go to the island anymore. Dipping in the shallow water with great company and our rhum felt heavenly. We were there until we ran out of energy (also drinks).
TOTAL BUDGET: PHP10,000
Food and Drinks: 1,500
Entrance Fees: 500
*Kayangan Lake- 200
*Atuayan Beach- Free
For more information about entrance fees click here
Plan your trip to Coron now!
(November 15 – November 18, 2014)
Click here to see my Coron Travel Video