I arrived in Coron after a nauseating 5-hour boat ride from El Nido. Although El Nido is a hot destination, Coron felt cozier, cleaner, and less cramped, and I was glad we had opted to spend more time there.
Coron Town is part of Palawan province, and it’s the largest town in the Calamian Islands. Coron Town proper is on the southern part of Busuanga Island, and it’s an ideal place to stay for island hopping and discovering Coron. There’s so much in and around Coron that I found wondrous and worthy of writing about.
This was my absolute favorite place in Coron. These natural hot springs arise from a nearby inactive volcano. It’s sinfully therapeutic and so relaxing for the bones and bod. The presence of salt and spirulina in the waters is a bonus. Spirulina, an algae, is known for revitalizing the skin and aiding in the elimination of toxins. Additionally, the salt provides essential minerals for the body, increases circulation, and it’s great for detoxifying as well. Talk about a spa day!
The springs are surrounded by a Mangrove Forest, which provides nice privacy and some shade. We arrived here around 9am, before the heat became too unbearable, and before everyone else arrived! We had these scenic springs all to ourselves… for a little while.
Siete Pecados translates to ‘Seven Sins.’ Legend has it that seven sisters went swimming against their parents wishes and drowned. Then, these seven islands appeared. Of course, the tour guide left this part out.
This Marine Park was the first destination on our organized boat tour. (Along with numbers #3-5.) It’s a beautiful and shallow snorkeling spot that’s rich in corals and underwater life. We snorkeled around the islands looking at the walls of corals that descended underneath. I was mesmerized by brilliant blue fish, spiky urchins, and a variety of corals; some looked like brains, some like oyster mushrooms, some like neon, outstretched hands. Everything gently swayed in the underwater breeze.
Coron is considered to be one of the top places in the world for diving because many well-preserved, sunken Japanese ships from World War 2 lay in the waters. However, you don’t have to be a diver to see Skelton Wreck. (Which is great because diving doesn’t appeal to me at all.) I was excited to see this wreck with my snorkel goggles. It’s about 10 feet under the surface of the water… close enough to swim down and touch! This 25-foot ship has become it’s own underwater ecosystem covered with coral.
Again, I got lost in the gyrating, underwater world. Snorkeling around this area was incredible. Our guide pointed out ‘Nemo!’ among many other fish.
Kayangan Lake is an icon of the Philippines, and rightfully so. This heavily photographed viewpoint is just as beautiful as it looks in the pictures. As our boat pulled in to dock, I was stunned by the shades of turquoise that correspond with water depth. The water is so clear/clean is an easily abused phrase in the Philippines, but Kayangan Lake is considered one of the cleanest lakes in the country.
We hiked down a steep hill into the lake. A wooden platform wraps about the edge of this lake cove, and the water is oh-so inviting. As we swam, pencil-like fish darted around us and the sun shone majestically onto the limestone formation ahead. As our boat departed, we caught a glimpse of a sea turtle!
The Coron Youth Club Beach is common stop for boat tours, but it’s unique because it’s a free, public beach. It’s where many local people go to relax and have fun. It’s small and isolated but has ideal beach qualities. I especially love the calm, shallow water- it’s like a giant wading pool…perfect for taking walks in the ocean!
So many travelers RAVE about Malcapuya and the fact that it’s not developed or commercialized. There are no hotels or resorts; there’s only ONE basic hut to stay overnight in! This island has powdery sand and translucent, blue waters; sounds like it could make Borocay envious. I have a feeling there aren’t many places like this left on Earth.
Although I didn’t make it here while in Coron, I’d love to visit this green, virgin paradise. It’s 1½ hours away from Coron Town by boat, but it’s still considered to be part of Coron.
The word ‘Coron’ sit on top of Mount Tapyas, like a smaller, modest version of the Hollywood sign. Climbing all 718 steps in the evening is a great evening work. As we raced to the top, the sun was slowly dipping behind the islands, and it was one of the best sunsets I’ve witnessed. At the top, I enjoyed a great view of Coron town, green hillsides, and the silhouette of the islands rising above the water.
Mount Tapyas is at the far right in the picture above.
Sometimes, a great sunset can be a glorious wonder in itself.
There are simple wonders in Coron, like the coffee and working internet at Coffee Kong, the massive selection of international beers at WG Diner, and the kindness of the locals. Plus, Seahorse Guest House was the perfect crash pad between adventures.
Tourism is growing rapidly here as the Philippines becomes a sought after Asian destination, but Coron seems conscious about preserving the beauty of the islands and water. I hope these wondrous sites stay as clean and well protected as they are now.