The Philippines is made up of over 7000 islands – so make sure you choose your perfect paradise wisely. So let me help you discover the many things that you can do in Coron!
Whether to go a hidden lagoon or a secluded beach is a hard choice for a person who is spoiled for tropical treasures but here in the Philippines, you can have your cake (or the local desert, Halo Halo) and eat it too. The choice can be tough with deciding what island to set your towel on but on closer inspection, the Philippines’s largest province Palawan proves the ultimate winner with Coron.
This small fishing village and sleepy tourist town is located on the province’s biggest island, Busuanga in the Calamian Islands. From Coron, you can easily hop aboard a long tail boat on which a world of intensely hued reefs, coves and lagoons hidden behind towering limestone cliffs and islands awaits. Its untainted scenery can easily rival South East Asia’s other famous natural wonders, Halong Bay and the Phi Phi Islands.
But the advantage Coron has over its famous sister island-hopping settings is that it is still relatively unknown thrill seeker mecca – a hub for hiking, world-class snorkelling, scuba diving and island-hopping adventures. Here I give you a quick rundown on things to do in Coron – just make sure you bring that adventurous attitude with you!
Coron Town is the place where the wicked unwind from a day of adventure. During the day, Palawan’s northern hub is a sleepy town with only a few attractions worth noting. These include the local food market along the harbour and a climb to the top of Mount Tapyas bearing larger-than-life the Hollywood-isque Coron signage. The magic of this setting is seeing the sun calling it day making the surrounding islands glisten with its last beams of ray for the day. Once the sun has set, things begin to heat up in Coron Town with the presence of local street food vendors selling BBQ meats and freshly caught seafood. Its hard not to get caught up with all the smells wafting and the sight of fresh food prepared right before your eyes. If you are a lover of BBQ’s, this is truly your calling.
There are plenty of affordable tours that depart from the centre of Coron Town, or if travelling independently is your thing, grab some (new) friends and hire a local fisherman to guide you through the best of the Calamian Islands. I would highly recommend doing a DIY tour by hiring a local fisherman to escape the hordes of tourist boats.
Calamian Islands is an underwater oasis for the adventurous ocean lover so get your scuba gear on and unleash your inner Little Mermaid. Coron Town is a gateway to one of the world’s top wreck-diving spots with its close proximity to WWII Japanese shipwrecks that met their unfortunate fate on 24th September 1944 in a fierce raid by US aircraft.
It is mind-blowing to explore in and around what is left of these 14 naval vessels and to witness how marine life has taken over these wrecks that lie between 5 – 40 metres below sea level. The myriad of translucent giant jellyfish floating silently amongst the wrecks only adds to the feeling of eeriness in these tragic historical sites.
Want to see have more fun in the Philippines? Check out: Why El Nido is the island paradise you need to discover
It isn’t just the shipwrecks that will leave a scuba diver or snorkeler breathless as Barracuda Lake’s fortress-like cliff faces will impress those who appreciate unusual seascapes.
The tricky, narrow entrance into the lake itself is not for the faint-hearted as ladders and rocky paths must be trekked to reach this green-blue lake. The lake consists of layers of fresh, brackish and salt water making this former volcanic crater one of the most unique dive sites in the world due to its thermocline. Upon first entrance, the water temperature is pretty much pure perfection but as you descend, the dive itself can prove challenging as temperatures can vary from 28 to a boiling 38 degrees Celsius with just a kick of a fin. There is minimal marine life to be observed however the dive is more of a sensory affair due to the unusual body sensations experienced. It is a different kind of underwater exploration with grandiose rock formations bearing a stark resemblance to the fictional lost city of Atlantis.
Want to have that ultimate ‘wow’ moment where you are shaking your head thinking ‘Damn – did mother nature work her magic or what?!!’ as Lake Kayangan is just one of those places. Once you have had your Rocky moment by overcoming the steep, rocky ascent, you are rewarded with a sublime view of crystal clear waters surrounded by colossal karst-rock formations and mangrove forests.
If you are seeking blissful solitude, try to swim (and be very careful) around its bays to encounter the most magical of moments by having a slice of ‘cleanest lake in the Philippines’ all to yourself.
Somethings are better in two’s and a visit to the Twin Lagoon is one of them. It flirts with both beauty and thrills and is a snorkeler’s paradise with crystal clear waters, tropical fish and colourful reefs. These sparking emerald lagoons are connected at low tide by a narrow opening between its limestone walls which is accessible by a small ladder making the small lagoon a no-go for boats. Expect the sudden urge to float on your back to soak up the all-encompassing and spectacular setting whilst enjoying the blissful solitude it provides.
What is your favourite Filipino island to get your adventure groove on? Share below!