Coron, Palawan (Calamian Island Group) -- sublime beauty | Travel and Leisure | PinoyExchange

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  1. #1

    Wink Coron, Palawan (Calamian Island Group) -- sublime beauty

    Places to go to in Coron, Palawan:

    Lakes and lagoons on Coron Island (both buffeted by towering limestone formations), perfect for snorkeling:

    1) Lake Kayangan -- asia's cleanest and clearest lake, see as far deep as 15 to 20 feet

    2) Lake Barracuda -- fresh water on the surface and warm saltwater (35 to 40 degrees Celsius) at depths of 9 m or more, unique marine life and breathtaking limestone formations underwater

    3) Twin lagoons -- water can be both clear and slightly brackish depending on the temperature (water has 2 temperatures); very picturesque

    4) Banol beach -- small strip of fine white sand sitting at the foot of a towering limestone cliff, very nice and private

    Island hopping along the Calamianes group (arguably the best beaches in the Philippines, Boracay and Amanpulo included):

    5) Banana Island -- lonely island with small coral reefs around it that show abundant marine life; fine white sand and rustic accommodations

    6) Malcapuya Island -- fine white sand with a longer shoreline than Banana Island; rustic accomodations

    7) Calumbuyan Island, Malcatop Island, North and South Cay, Debutonay Island, Black Island (Gutob Bay) -- another must-see for beach lovers; fine white sand and fantastic coral reefs (marine sanctuaries)

    Dive sites abound (possibly the Philippines' most varied and technical SCUBA diving location):

    8) Wreck diving -- many wrecks from World War 2 litter the archipelago (Akitsushima, Irako, Kogyo Maru, Olympia Maru, Morazon Maru and several more); depths range from 9m to 45 m

    9) Cathedral Cave -- steep drop off to 30m, cave on 7m; about 20m long tunnel with large underwater cave where you can surface

    10) Dynamite Reef -- a marine sanctuary off tangat (also sangat) island with corals, fish, anemones, and tunicates

    Inland tourist spots:

    11) Maquinit hot springs -- enjoy therapeutic 40 degree Celsius saltwater hot springs

    12) Mount Tapyas -- enjoy a breath-taking view of the entire island and enjoy the unique sunset

    13) Mount Tundalara -- 640 m high, you can reach the peak in 3 to 4 hours; the second highest peak in Palawan

    14) Calauit nature reserve -- see zebras, giraffes, mousedeer and other animals roam freely in this safari-like environment

    15) Horsevalley -- riders of all skill levels can enjoy the many horses located in this ranch located 2.5 km from Coron town

    Please let me know if I missed anything.

    I will post my itineraries as soon as I get back to Manila.

  2. #2
    where to stay in coron? do you know any place (by the beach)? we're planning to spend our holy week there.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Verbl Kint View Post
    Places to go to in Coron, Palawan:

    Lakes and lagoons on Coron Island (both buffeted by towering limestone formations), perfect for snorkeling:

    1) Lake Kayangan -- asia's cleanest and clearest lake, see as far deep as 15 to 20 feet

    2) Lake Barracuda -- fresh water on the surface and warm saltwater (35 to 40 degrees Celsius) at depths of 9 m or more, unique marine life and breathtaking limestone formations underwater

    3) Twin lagoons -- water can be both clear and slightly brackish depending on the temperature (water has 2 temperatures); very picturesque

    4) Banol beach -- small strip of fine white sand sitting at the foot of a towering limestone cliff, very nice and private

    Island hopping along the Calamianes group (arguably the best beaches in the Philippines, Boracay and Amanpulo included):

    5) Banana Island -- lonely island with small coral reefs around it that show abundant marine life; fine white sand and rustic accommodations

    6) Malcapuya Island -- fine white sand with a longer shoreline than Banana Island; rustic accomodations

    7) Calumbuyan Island, Malcatop Island, North and South Cay, Debutonay Island, Black Island (Gutob Bay) -- another must-see for beach lovers; fine white sand and fantastic coral reefs (marine sanctuaries)

    Dive sites abound (possibly the Philippines' most varied and technical SCUBA diving location):

    8) Wreck diving -- many wrecks from World War 2 litter the archipelago (Akitsushima, Irako, Kogyo Maru, Olympia Maru, Morazon Maru and several more); depths range from 9m to 45 m

    9) Cathedral Cave -- steep drop off to 30m, cave on 7m; about 20m long tunnel with large underwater cave where you can surface

    10) Dynamite Reef -- a marine sanctuary off tangat (also sangat) island with corals, fish, anemones, and tunicates

    Inland tourist spots:

    11) Maquinit hot springs -- enjoy therapeutic 40 degree Celsius saltwater hot springs

    12) Mount Tapyas -- enjoy a breath-taking view of the entire island and enjoy the unique sunset

    13) Mount Tundalara -- 640 m high, you can reach the peak in 3 to 4 hours; the second highest peak in Palawan

    14) Calauit nature reserve -- see zebras, giraffes, mousedeer and other animals roam freely in this safari-like environment

    15) Horsevalley -- riders of all skill levels can enjoy the many horses located in this ranch located 2.5 km from Coron town

    Please let me know if I missed anything.

    I will post my itineraries as soon as I get back to Manila.
    lucky lucky you!!!

    are you back yet? i'd like to know more cos we're thinking of going there in a few moons

  4. #4
    complete info pls when u get back.

    have a nice trip

  5. #5
    we went to coron for my UP Masters class years ago.. other than those listed i remember we were brought to a snorkelling site called siete pecados.. just of maquinit springs.. maganda and unspoilt pa ang coron.. mas marami pang foreign tourists that pinoy tourists.

  6. #6
    how much po kaya yung range ng budget na kailangan kung gustong magbakasyon dito?

  7. #7
    Hi Verbl Knight! I've long been intrigued with what Coron has to offer. I've been to Puerto Princesa and El Nido but for some reason hasn't been to that island. Was just wondering if you can give us some specifics (like total budget, days spent, accomodations, suggestions) since I'm planning to visit there this summer. Thanks and any help would be greatly appreciated.

  8. #8
    hi verbl kint

    i plan to visit coron this summer with a couple of friends and it'll be our first time to visit. we'll possibly stay 3-4 days there. we wanna do it "back-packers" style (if that is possible). what is the cheapest inn there?

    we definitely wanna go to barracuda lake and kayangan lake. if you were able to visit those two, did you arrange your trip there days before your trip or did you just grab a local who owns a boat and arranged everything when you were already in coron? how much did it cost you?

    we plan to go island hopping also but i think it would be best if we visit just the few that are worth it because we don't want to spend most of our time sitting on an outrigger boat going from one island to another. (i just realized that statement just took the hop out of island hopping hehe )

    i hope you enjoyed your stay there!

    thanks!

  9. #9
    my sister went to coron last year (just dunno where exactly), i saw a couple of pictures and wish i was there...

  10. #10
    the must sees in coron would be kayangan and barracuda lakes.. if you like snorkelling.. the must sees would be the sunken WWII boats.. creepy but a different experience.

    you have two options to go there.. by asian spirit.. although the travel from the airport to the town proper will test your patience and butt.. make sure that you get an aircon vehicle for the transfer.

    or you may try the superferry.. its within the town limits.. yun nga lang they do not have daily trips.

    we stayed in kalamayan inn.. basic accommodations and affordable.

  11. #11
    alipunga heaven
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ada's feet
    oh just the place my wife had in mind. thanks.

  12. #12
    When on a budget, it's still best to stay at SeaDive Resort. You can get aircon rooms for PHP 500 - PHP 850 a night. Check out their website: http://www.seadiveresort.com/home.html

  13. #13
    CHEMISTer umaasa
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    nawawala
    waiting for Verbl Kint's itinerary...

  14. #14
    I'm finally back in the big city. I felt so despondent when I was stuck in traffic in a cab on my way home from the airport. It's quite sobering to think that I choose to live and work in traffic-choked, smog-ridden city when I can choose to live amongst the wonderful people and environment of Palawan. It just made me realize that I have to go back.

    Anyhow, I will start posting my itinerary tomorrow as soon as I get my wits back. I'll also need to upload quite a few photos (all taken with a cam phone and a disposable camera) so that the pexers here can get to see what I'm talking about.

    And btw, to those questions north of this post, I hope my itinerary will get to answer them.
    Last edited by Verbl Kint; Jan 15, 2007 at 10:53 PM.

  15. #15

    Departure

    We decided to take the Superferry going to Coron since my girlfriend (who is, incidentally, also a pexer) hasn't been on a boat before. Negros Navigation also has a weekly Coron trip although we chose the Superferry since it leaves on a Friday night (7:20 pm) and arrives around 11 hours later (Sat morning at around 6:30 pm). The ticket costs around Php 1,700. Please remember to tell the ticketing office that you want dinner and not breakfast since you won't have time to get food in the morning.

    The ticket says that you should be at the Eva Macapagal Seaport 4 hours before the scheduled departure time although we arrived there at 5:45 pm owing to Friday night traffic at Manila. At the pier you undergo numerous security checks before they let you board the ship.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/130/354775088_3884c0509c_m.jpg

    You go through a metal detector, an x-ray machine for your luggage, bomb-sniffer dogs, and finally, they take your picture via a webcam. It can get really consternating if there are a lot of passengers lined up although we got lucky since there weren't that many people when we got there. It only took us around half an hour through all the security checks. We got aboard around 6:30 pm.

    http:[email protected]/354775089/

    The scheduled departure is also ideal as you get to catch the sunset over Manila Bay, unless you come in late, of course.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/127/354775090_7f774c9cf0_m.jpg

    Forget onboard entertainment on Superferry 1, all you have is a karaoke show with many a passenger offering their own rendition of their favorite cheesy hit. Beer is also expensive at Php 60 per. It's best that you go to bed early and just catch the sunrise the next day.

    We arrived at the Calamian Islands just as the sun rose.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/154/354775097_e2a1b82edd_m.jpg

    It took a while for us to get docked (or maybe it felt that way since we we're getting too excited for our own good). The Port of Coron is nestled on the fringes of the town and you won't have trouble finding a tricycle to get you to wherever it is your staying. There is no other mode of public transportation available in town. Don't worry about your luggage though as the tricycles in Coron have more than enough space for your luggage. Php 50 is enough to pay the driver (they won't try to rip you off).

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/127/354775092_6c3ce263a1_m.jpg

  16. #16

    Where we stayed

    We chose to stay at Sea Dive as everybody else we spoke to recommended it. Foreigners and pinoys alike said that it was the best place to stay in Coron. Be reminded that it is best for you to make reservations prior to getting there as the place is usually fully booked. You can call them at 09184000448 or 09184469712 or visit http://www.seadiveresort.com.

    From the port it takes around 5 to 10 minutes to get to Sea Dive by tricycle. As I posted above, Php 50 is enough to pay the driver. The trike drops you off at the Sea Dive entrance.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/166/361138801_edde8b8662_m.jpg

    You will need to enter the alleyway next to the Sea Dive internet cafe and walk 25 meters to the resort itself. This can get rather difficult if you have a lot of luggage although you can choose to leave some of your belongings at the internet cafe and just come back for them. The internet cafe opens at 7 am.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/130/361138808_6ca66732c2_m.jpg

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/145/361138806_5330fed91b_m.jpg

    At Sea Dive, you may need to wait a bit if the previous occupants of your room have not checked out yet. This should be a good opportunity to sample their breakfast menu and to take pictures of the area surrounding the resort.

    Since Sea Dive is on stilts, you get a good view of the surrounding islands and the peaceful water of the Coron Bay. View from the restaurant:

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/148/354775099_ad9c28e117_m.jpg

    It is also near the market so the mornings can get really busy. Many boats are docked at the market pier; you may need to hire a boat later on so it's best to take note of that.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/130/354778393_68d3171425_m.jpg

  17. #17
    Sea Dive has a range of rooms to offer tourists, each with its own price and comforts. We chose the Php 850 room which has its own bathroom (equipped with a hot shower) and refrigerator. The air-conditioned room also has a queen-sized bed, a cabinet, a dresser, a terrace and a view of the town and the bay. You also get towels that can be changed everyday if you wish and you can also request to have your room cleaned everyday.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/123/354778394_e286ec8e55_m.jpg

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/152/354778395_1d31d3e845_m.jpg

    There are other rooms available. Some are cheaper with fewer amenities while there are others with more expensive prices and wants. There are other places to stay in Coron, of course, although nothing beats Sea Dive when you think about value for money. If You want to go real cheap, the Coron Reef Pension House offers very competitive rates although the resort and rooms are more plain.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/138/361138812_de41be2789_m.jpg

    The best advantage you get with Sea Dive is that this resort is almost like the tourist center of Coron. People meet up here to discuss itineraries, have lunch and socialize.

    The best part about the resort, imho, is the blackboard near the front desk. Here you can put up ads on trips/dives that you are planning for the next and you can ask if anyone is interested in sharing the costs of the boat and equipment. This is the reason why we were able to save a lot of money. This is also a good excuse to meet people of different cultures and nationalities.

    In addition to having its own restaurant (which has an excellent menu, btw), Sea Dive also has its own pub, the Helldivers Bar. It has a pool table and a well-stocked bar (the best in Coron, rumor has it). The walls also have salvaged relics from the many shipwrecks on the islands.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/147/354778398_abeeac90e6_m.jpg

    Above, you can see the propellers of a downed US Helldiver dive-bomber and a 250 lb bomb (don't worry, it's not live).

    Sea Dive is owned by an affable American (now naturalized Filipino) who you will see walking around the place. You can tell that he manages his employees well as they are all pleased to be working under him.

  18. #18

    Day 1 - Coron Town

    We spent the first day lounging around and getting used to the place. We also went around town looking for potential places to have dinner or maybe a few drinks in. We also took this opportunity to do some last minute searching on the net for potential itineraries we could plan for the remainder of our stay.

    First thing we looked for was the market.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/158/361632923_abfc5b2c3b_m.jpg

    The above photo shows the facade of the local market, which also acts as the town bus, jeepney and tricycle terminal. The market is 10 meters away from SeaDive. Fish is not as plentiful as you might expect since the waters around Coron have certain restrictions when it comes to fishing. Another aspect of the market is that there are a lot of food stalls and kitchenettes around it where you can order a rice meal for as cheap as 25 pesos. Here are a few of them:

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/161/361632930_421351b1c2_m.jpg

    A few steps away from SeaDive (in the opposite direction as the market), you'll get to see the bars and restaurants that tourists frequent. First off is Bistro Coron:

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/124/361643130_b91fc17f71_m.jpg

    Probably the best restaurant in town, it is owned and operated by an italian settler named Bruno. In fact, this place is more popularly known as Bruno's Bistro. Try to savor as many dishes as you can from their extensive menu because you won't be disappointed. Keep in mind that the restaurant will not serve beef "well done" as the chef/owner insists on it. The servings are plentiful and delicious. It will cost around Php 150 each on the average but it will be worth it. Here's a picture of the "Bistro Pizza", a house specialty:

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/164/361650586_363c79c785_m.jpg

    Down the street you will get to see Otto's Pub. Owned by Otto, an Austrian, this bar/restaurant serves Austro-German specialties. Try to have a beer with Otto himself if he's around or try to have a conversation with Edna, his Ilongga wife. Over swigs of Apo Sling (their house specialty, you should try it), you will hear tales of Boracay developers coming in by the droves trying to develop the Calamianes into the next Boracay.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/127/361632939_64a9b40fe8_m.jpg

    Further down you will encounter The Old House. A pub which is essentially a terrace, you can have a few drinks while listening to reggae and hiphop music. They have a happy hour promo where you can drink all you can from 5 pm to 7 pm for 50 pesos (rum-coke only).

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/162/361632940_a9ad78aaea_m.jpg

    Gwyn Disco and Bottle Ground are 2 other curious establishments on the same street as the above but we never bothered visiting them (you wouldn't either).

  19. #19
    Sea Dive Resort

    Ang bait ng staff! Since tipid kami ng mga kaibigan ko, most of our food binili namin sa palengke tapos ipinaluto namin sa kanila. Di ko matandaan kung nung pagpapaluto namin sa kanila eh binayaran namin, or if they did it to us for free, but anyway, mas nakatipid kami by doing this. Of course, may times rin naman that we sampled the dishes in their resto.

    I'd definitely stay there again the next time I'm able to visit.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by rem_koolhaas View Post
    the must sees in coron would be kayangan and barracuda lakes.. if you like snorkelling.. the must sees would be the sunken WWII boats.. creepy but a different experience.

    you have two options to go there.. by asian spirit.. although the travel from the airport to the town proper will test your patience and butt.. make sure that you get an aircon vehicle for the transfer.

    or you may try the superferry.. its within the town limits.. yun nga lang they do not have daily trips.

    we stayed in kalamayan inn.. basic accommodations and affordable.
    how much does room cost in kalamayan? private toilet ba? thanks!!!

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