I planned this DIY Coron Palawan trip in celebration of Jorj’s birthday. It is so unfair his birthday falls in summer! When we arrived in Coron, weather was just perfect and cooperated very well.
Coron is found on the northern part of Palawan. And to get there, you need to book a ticket bound for Busuanga Airport. For me its better to book a different flight to Coron and another trip to Puerto Princessa and El Nido to enjoy them much better. We have been to Puerto Princessa, but when we saw Coron, we love Palawan even more. Don’t forget to check my 3 days and 2 nights DIY itinerary on the last part of the post.
We stayed in Apartelle de Gabrielle and agreed with them the airport – hotel transfers and the island hopping trip. Roundtrip pickup and driving back to airport is 300Php/head.
Facade of Apartelle de Gabrielle
Before we started our city tour, we walked around and looked for the nearest restaurant. And we found Kawayanan Grill which serves Filipino foods. We were the only group who ate that time. And their food was delicious. We even ate there twice during our stay. At the same time it suits our budget at a greater serving.
So we hailed a trike to tour us around Coron. We told the driver to take us to Lualhati Park, Mt. Tapyas, Coron Harvest and Maquinit hot springs. First part was Lualhati park. We had our photo opps here with the breathtaking view of Coron’s limestone mountains. Can’t wait for the island hopping trip the next day! And don’t forget to take a picture of Coron’s Hollywood sign.
We then hurriedly drove to Mt. Tapyas so we could catch the sunset and mind that we need to walk about 720+ steps to the top! Our friend almost gave up but we insisted and encouraged her to continue. When we were on top, the view didn’t fail to impress us. And the sunset was beautiful and the panoramic view of Coron islands. The best time to go here is about 4PM so you could still see the sunset and the heat is already manageable since climbing to the top is really exhausting!
Check out my time lapse video of Coron’s sunset here.
Coron Harvest Cashew
We enjoyed so much of the view that we forgot we still need to dropped by Coron Harvest and Maquinit hot springs. Next stop was Coron Harvest where we bought pasalubongs for our families and friends. They sell their cashew nuts in different flavors for 50 -100 Php. As we continued, it was already getting dark and their are limited to no light post in the road. And the way to Maquinit hot springs was really dark. And the only light we can see is from the trike and some small houses we passed by. I noticed some trees and its very eerie and quiet.
Maquinit Hot Spring
The climb to the top of Mt. Tapyas is best paired with a visit to Maquinit hot springs. Now, it’s best to relax and chill in Maquinit. This was my first hot spring experience and it was wonderful! I can’t believe it, it’s really hot! Please ignore my ignorance! Haha. Even it was already night time, there were still a lot of people enjoying the hot spring. I love the experience that we even came back after our island hopping tour.
For the island hopping, we booked it in our hotel and they arranged everything for us. The boat, fees (environmental fees, entrance fees, etc.), lunch for 4 people (rice, 2 big fish, pork belly, fruits and soft drinks). If you have special request or food preferences, do not hesitate to inform them. They got us a trike to transfer us to the boat docking area where we registered our names also for the tour. We were then assigned to our boat and it was exclusive for our group. Along with us is the boat driver and his assistant who also cooks our lunch.
We started our island hopping trip at the Hidden Lagoon. The sea is calm unlike other island hopping experiences I had. When we arrived at the lagoon, there was nothing much to see there. We just took a quick snap of photos of the place then headed to my second favorite part of the island hopping, Siete Picados.
I really had a lot of firsts in this trip. First hot spring and then next is snorkeling. I love the beach and to swim but I have a phobia of seaweeds and dark waters. I will surely panic. I was already thinking of long slimy seaweeds and what’s underneath. 🙁 (Please dont’t judge me. Hehe) And I was the last one who got off the boat and Kuya Hector already encouraged and pushed me to do it. Jorj and my friends were already in the water. And Jorj kept on saying the view underwater is very beautiful. Nah! What am I here for? So I slowly dipped my feet in the water and took a peek on what’s under. WOW!!! I was amazed! The beautiful and colorful corals and I have never seen a lot of swimming fishes in my life! 🙂 And to attract the fishes to you, I suggest to bring bread for fish feeding.
I was still amazed with the snorkel experience and that was definitely one for the books! Next stop is the Kayangan Lake my favorite! And did you know that this is the cleanest lake in Philly? I have been to lakes in the country and I always thought it has this green and mossy look. When we hike down to the lake, I was welcomed with a pool like water. The water was pristine, crystal blue freshwater! This time I was the first one to swam in the lake. The water is so clear that I can even see the ground. We didn’t mind the cold water and we spent so much of our time in the area.
Crystal blue freshwater lake! Simply amazing!
We had our lunch at Kayangan Lake’s docking area. The food was served by our boatmen and they really cooked good food! Joining with us were a bunch of monkeys in the area. They are wild animals so just allow them to move freely since that is their natural habitat.
Do you think the trip ends just like that? We still have 4 more sites to explore and I didn’t even felt tired. Fourth stop is the Twin Lagoon. Here, you will be greeted with massive limestone formation and as what Kim described it “It is like we are in Lord of the Rings movie!” Unfortunately, I cannot share a lot of pictures in this site since I accidentally deleted our pictures here. 🙁 (So, I asked permission of some photos from my friend Kim, so I could share some of it here)
Let me recall the experience and beauty of the Twin Lagoon. First , your boat docks in Lagoon 1, and from there you need to get off the boat and wear your life jackets. We swam to the entrance of Lagoon 2. And this is the thrilling part. To reach to the other side of the lagoon or Lagoon 2, you need to swim under the rocks that separates the two. And be careful with your heads, there are sharp barnacles growing on those rocks. You can see from the picture below, we are lining up to swim under those limestones.
Photo by: Kimberly Mendero
Photo by: Kimberly Mendero
Photo by: Kimberly Mendero
After that thrilling swim in Twin Lagoon, we took an afternoon rest in Banol beach. Unlike the others, this is a strip of white sand shoreline. The place was serene and peaceful and animals here roamed around freely.
We had another snorkeling experience in Ship/Skeleton wreck. This was different from Siete Picados since the fishes here are bigger. Another first, is snorkeling above a ship wreck. It was eerie and I had a quick peek under and let Jorj and Kuya Hector do the video taking.
Watch my Skeleton Ship Wreck video here.
The trip has almost came to an end. Our last stop was this small island called CYC Island. This is just a small island with mangroves around the place.
Coron DIY itinerary
- 1050 AM Cebu Terminal Fee – 200 Php
- 1230 PM Van transfer from airport to hotel (30 mins runtime) – 150 Php
- 0130 PM Lunch at Kawayanan Grill – 200 Php
- 0300 PM Tricycle for City Tour – 75 Php/each for 4 pax
- 0315 PM Lualhati Park, Centennial shrine and picture of Coron Hollywood Sign
- 0400 PM Mt Tapyas (Hike 724 steps and watch sunset)
- 0500 PM Coron Harvest (Cashew Nuts for pasalubong) – 300 Php
- 0600 PM Maquinit Hot Spring entrance fee – 150 Php
- 0700 PM Dinner – 200 Php
- 0600 AM Free hotel breakfast
- 0700 AM Island Hopping (numbers below is per pax); Boat – 375 Php; Entrance fees for all islands – 750 Php; Boatman – 125 Php; Lunch – 250 Php
- 0600 PM Maquinit Hot Spring (the 2nd time around) entrance fee – 150 Php
- 0800 PM Dinner – 200 Php
- 0600 AM Breakfast – 100 Php
- 0800 AM Tricycle Fare (roaming around in downtown Coron for more pasalubongs) – 30 Php Pasalubong and keychains – 150 Php
- 1000 AM Brunch and check out – 150 Php
- 1100 AM Van transfers from hotel to airport – 150 Php
Palawan Terminal fee – 40 Php
Apartelle de Gabrielle (good for 2 pax for 3D 2N) – 2500 Php/ 1250Php each