When in Manila, it’s fun to wander and explore, but why stop there? Book a ticket via Cebu Pacific and head over to one of Philippine’s most beautiful destinations – Coron Island in Palawan.
I’ve always wanted to visit Palawan since I was young. I’ve heard so many stories of how beautiful it is and I knew I just had to see it for myself. So I geared up, packed up and went to Coron with my fiance via Cebu Pacific airlines last December 6, 2013. As the plane hovered over the islands, I couldn’t help but feel all the more excited. The mountain forms looked lovely with the shadows cast by the clouds. Seeing the Philippines like this makes me appreciate this country even more.
Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted by Kuya Roel, the designated driver who was taking us to Coron Gateway Hotel. The hotel was about 30min to 1 hour away from the airport, and this was one of the rare moments wherein the long ride did not bother me. I sat quietly in the car admiring the beauty of Palawan. Despite some parts of Coron being damaged by Typhoon Yolanda last November, Coron was still a beauty to see.
The concierge at Coron Gateway Hotel was more than happy to introduce us to Coron. He suggested places we could and should go to for our 3 day vacation. At first, I thought I only needed a day since Coron is all about swimming anyway, but boy was I wrong! I wish I could’ve stayed for an entire week to really get the most of this beautiful island.
Coron Vacation: Things to Do and Places to Go
We arrived in Coron some time in the afternoon and didn’t have time to go too far. So for day 1, we went for a short trip to Maquinit Hot Springs. It’s a short tricycle ride from the main city and will only take a couple of minutes to get to. It was my first time as an adult to go to an actual hot-spring, and not just some indoor jacuzzi. I really enjoyed the warm water and badly wanted to just fall asleep in it!
Maquinit Hot Springs: There are small “private” areas too
The following day, we joined the “Coron Ultimate Tour” via one of the travel agencies we spotted in Coron. Here, you get to go island hopping and snorkeling in around 5 different islands for less than 1000 pesos! Well worth it if you ask me! Though you could opt to visit the islands one by one on your own, I felt that getting this package was a better bargain especially for tourists like ourselves who had no idea where we were going.
Our first stop for the Coron Ultimate Tour was CYC island. The island was full of mangroves! It was my first time to see an actual mangrove and it was astonishing. The trees looked so alive because of their big roots. The water around CYC island was also really shallow but that didn’t stop the fishes from swimming around us.
Coron Vacation First Stop: CYC Island
We then rode the boat to go snorkeling at Coral Eden. According to our tour guide Ranielle, Coral Eden used to be really beautiful – hence the name. There used to be corals of different sizes and colors covering the ocean floor. Unfortunately, due to the strong typhoon, several of those corals were destroyed. What you see below is what’s left of Coral Eden. I still thought it was beautiful, but how I regret not seeing it earlier.
Coron Vacation: Corals on the Ocean Floor
Coron Vacation: Fishes at Coral Eden
Next was a visit to Twin Peaks to go snorkeling again. It’s amazing how different all these snorkeling sites were. Here at Twin Peaks, the water was really deep and you could see all the beautiful corals that were around 25 feet below! I actually felt like I was Ariel from Little Mermaid as I looked at the huge corals awaiting for my “sisters” to come out!
Coron Vacation: Beautiful scenery by the Twin Peaks
Coron Vacation: Snorkeling in the deep blue ocean
Check out the next page for other MUST VISIT islands in Coron!