Majestic Coron Island - Isla Story

Isla Story

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Majestic Coron Island

Coron is popularly known as divers’ paradise – besides Batangas of course – and it has been one of my dream destinations a few years back. Something about Coron really draws me to the island.
For a budget traveler like me, I find Coron quite extravagant and I thought the back then that the activities are only for divers, which I am not, so I wouldn't go until recently. And damn, it was the most memorable trip I ever had!

I visited Coron last November 2018 with a few friends and colleagues for leisure and partially business trip. We had sunny yet cool weather then, a perfect atmosphere to visit islands which is our main activity.   Our Coron Island Tour started as early as 7 AM usually, this tour starts at 8 AM but we requested to get ahead because we wanted to enjoy Kayangan Lake's exclusivity before the crowd rolls in.  With everything ready, we boarded an exclusive outrigger boat and head out to Coron Island.



Kayangan Lake has been the most photographed site in Coron but the fact is it wasn't the lake itself that is popular, but the viewpoint. 
From the boat port, it took about 30-minutes boat ride to get to the jump-off point of Kayangan Lake. We're welcomed with a wooded pathway hidden just behind a huge limestone islet. At the end of the pathway is the gateway to Kayangan Lake, 367 paved steps.   
Mid-way is where you'll find the viewpoint, a designated spot to take your Instagram photo! Afterward, the stairs will lead you to a downward step where the blue lagoon of Kayangan Lake awaits. 
Kayangan was so majestic at first glance; it was indeed the clearest lake I've ever seen. In fact, being dubbed as having a moon-like flooring – not that I've been in the moon – is evident just by staring at the lake, I can see the limestone beneath the surface as if it was only a glass pane.
The perks of being early are that we've immersed with the serene ambiance that added certain flair to the place, it was very inviting to take a dip.  Which we did. As a precautionary measure, a life vest is required to be worn at all time even if you're a pro-swimmer, which is good enough for me 'cause I couldn't bring myself to float in that lake. Though from time to time we were allowed to take it off, it should be nearby and we're not allowed to go passed the buoy string. 


Our next stop was Twin Lagoon which was about 30 minutes from Kayangan Lake and is surrounded by numerous limestone islets. Twin Lagoon is popular on social media because of the little hut with stairs between two huge limestone karsts, which is actually a way to get to the other lagoon when it's high tide. 
It was low tide when we visited so we just had to swim (or if your boat has a kayak, you could to that too) through the wide hole underneath the adjoining limestone karts.
Because the water at Twin Lagoon is a mixture of salt and fresh water, it was kinda hard for us to swim to the entrance. Our boat was parked too far so our local guide had to pull us in just to get to the other lagoon. And thanks to Kuya Guide for that, 'cause if he hasn't then it would've taken us all day just to get halfway. hahaha!
It was already packed with tourist when we get there so we just check out what on the other side and head out to our next stop.


Lunch at last! Yes, we only went to 2 destinations but I was starving already and Beach 91 was the best stop ever! 
If I remembered correctly, Beach 91 is discovered in 1991 by a group of people, hence the name. It is only a small beach peeking on a side of limestone karsts. This is the usual lunch stop for Coron Island Hopping Tour where they serve buffet seafood & barbeque meal while being serenaded by local performers hopping from table to table (You could even request a song but be generous enough to tip them). 
After (or before) dining you could either take a quick dip, laze by the beach, or take one of the free-to-use kayaks for a paddle. We opt to go for kayaking in the nearby cove named, Sunset Cove.
Here the water is consistently clear and quite shallow so you can actually walk to the beach/mangrove area where there's a mini cave to explore. We bumped into a few foreigners and told us that there was a passage through the cave to get to the other end, but we couldn't move forward 'cause it was pitch black. We couldn't find any hole-in-wall, so we didn't risk it. 


After lounging by the beach, we head to Malwawey Reefs. This is perhaps my favorite destination, it was a vast shallow coral garden so I wouldn't need any life vest at all... meaning I could enjoy snorkeling, floating, or just walking amidst the beautiful coral reef of Malwawey.
I was drowning in excitement every time I see colorful fishes and unique corals. It was so big that I wouldn't worry about bumping with anybody at all and carelessly float around. 
After about, probably 30 minutes of freely snorkeling, I found myself at the surface of the Skeleton Wreck. It is a 25m long Japanese ship which tragically sunk during WWII and is now sitting at a depth of 5m. It was a haven for free divers but I couldn't free dive so I just look at it from the surface by snorkeling. 


By far, Coron Island for me is the best destination which I actually wanted to get back to... hopefully soon.  From the waters, beaches, and the islands were all superbly astonishing that I still wanted to see what's at the other parts of Coron. 
Coron Island Hopping Tour was like a sneak peek of what the island has to offer and it was so good that you'll be excitedly aspiring for more...

 © David Kim


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