On 18th November 2017, we got an early flight from Manila to Coron which has us travelling on a small propeller aircraft – the first one of its kind I’d ever been on! The airport in Coron was tiny with the departure lounge being one room, there only being one gate and the baggage claim was just a wooden bench where the airport staff would place the bags as they took them off the plane! As we approached the airport and when we drove through the countryside from the airport to the town of Coron, there was just lush greenery all around – it looked great!
When we got out of Busuanga Airport we were confronted by a lot of people all shouting different places and asking where we wanted to go. Now, this is the same in pretty much every airport we have been to in Asia so far but what was different about this place is that they were all one team who, once you told them the name of your accommodation, directed you to the right van that was heading your way and took you to your hostel – super easy and efficient! The bus companies even had agreements with the accommodation in town for you to pay through your accommodation and for all journeys to be a set price so you didn’t have to barter and argue for the best price!
We stayed in two hostels during our time in Coron, the first was called Guapos Guesthouse and was on one end of town whilst our next place was called Happy Camper and was on the other side of town. Both were good, although I’d probably choose to stay in Happy Campers again if I went back to Coron as they had more modern facilities and it was a lot cooler.
Our first couple of days we did pretty much nothing as we were very tired from travelling and still needed to catch up on sleep from our time in Boracay. On our second evening in Coron we headed to Mount Tapyas for the sunset. This involves climbing 721 steps and so we had given ourselves more than the time we needed to get to the top just incase we struggled which meant we had ages looking over the view as the sun slowly began to set. The sunset was really nice and the views of the surrounding area were great too. We were really looking forward to the diving and tours that we had planned while we were on the island and looking out over many islands and a calm sea made us even more excited for the next few days.
On the 20th November 2017, we booked onto an island hopping tour with a company called Be Cool Travel and Tours. We went with them because they seemed to have the cheapest price when we were there. All of the tours are pretty much the same so I don’t think it matters who you go with. Matt, our friend from Boracay joined us on the tour which was nice as we were definitely the youngest on our tour – not that it really mattered too much considering it was the destinations that were important, not the people!
Our tour was called the Coron Ultimate Tour and it took us to:
• Las Islas de Coral;
• Kayangan Lake;
• Skeleton Wreck
• Siete Pecados;
• CYC Beach;
• Twin Lagoon;
• Malwawey Reef; and
• Banol Beach.
It’s hard to remember what each place was called but I know that we started our tour by heading to a snorkelling spot. The snorkelling was good with a lot of fish around and areas of coral where you would dive down a little deeper to see clams and fish hidden under the rocks.
We then headed to Kayangan Lake which is a very pretty lake set into one of the islands. You had to walk along a jetty which was over bright blue water (an amazing view in itself) and then climb up some stairs which brought you to a lookout over the area.
You then walked down around 200 steps to the lake. The water has a mix of fresh and salt water and goes down very deep. A couple of people drowned at this lake a few years ago when freediving and so since then everyone is required to where a life jacket and a lifeguard is on duty. The life jackets aren’t the comfiest to float around in though so we decided to sit on ours instead which allowed us to relax a bit more without exerting any effort staying afloat. The lake was really nice and it was great weather so it was good to just be in the water relaxing and enjoying our surroundings.
Probably one of our favourite stops on our tour was where we stopped for lunch. Banol Beach was only small but the shallow water by the bay was amazingly clear and bright and then the sands of the beach were really white, it was a small piece of paradise in, let’s be honest, a bigger piece of paradise (this is the Philippines after all!) I could have stayed at that beach all day with how nice it was but after a good feeding (rice, pork, fish, veg and watermelon) we were on to our next destination – Skeleton Wreck.
We had been looking forward to seeing the wreck as shipwrecks are often too deep or on too dangerous a spot of ocean to see when snorkelling. As you can imagine from the name, Skeleton Wreck, the ship is just a shell of what it once was but you can still make out the shape and a few features of it. We were all diving down trying to get a good look at the ship and also to touch it. We all managed it but my ears didn’t equalise properly when we dived down so I had a bit of earache the rest of our time in the water. We also got to snorkelling along a reef here which had loads of fish to see so that was also really good.
CYC beach is a public beach that is used by the locals in the area (those with boats at least) and we were told it was a common place for people to go on their birthday. You could snorkel here but we were kind of over that for the day and instead chose to swim from the boat to the beach and relax in the afternoon sun. There were quite a few boats here, some on tours and others on diving trips so the sea was pretty busy but most people were in the water so the beach was still relatively quiet. It wasn’t a massive stretch of beach and it isn’t as nice as Banol Beach (now probably one of my favourite beaches in the world) but it was still really nice and all the moving around from stop to stop had made us a little tired so relaxing was just what we needed.
Our final stop of the day was probably the most famous of the ones we went to – Twin Lagoon. This was two lagoons that were joined by a tiny gap in the rock that could be reached when the tide was at a certain level as you had to swim through a natural tunnel to get to the other side. They had also built some steps over the rock so that the lagoons could be reached when the tide was high but we opted for the swimming route (more fun after all).
Twin Lagoon is really beautiful. The water is a bright turquoise and has hot and cold sections caused by the mix of fresh and salt water running through it – it was always a surprise when you hit an especially cold section! The place is framed by giant jagged cliffs which make the lagoon look even more spectacular. It was a definite highlight of the tour and we would definitely recommend going to see it even if you didn’t go anywhere else surrounding Coron.
The tour had been a really great day and it was a bonus that we had also been so well fed during the day as it meant to didn’t need to spend much in the evening on our tea. After our tour was done we checked into our new hostel, Happy Camper, where we would be spending the remainder of our time in Coron. We spent the evening catching up with Matt before he carried on his travels in the Philippines and then headed back to our hostel to relax as the tour had really taken it out of us! We had to be up early the next day as we were going Wreck Diving!
Part two to follow…
Sending Love x