Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lime Stones and Lakes

Last week, I was able to finally able to go to Coron with my mom's friends. It was a spontaneous trip for me bacause I was originally not included in the trip, but since I really wanted to go, I was able to get my way and book a ticket. Airphil has only two flights to Busuanga and we chose the later flight, which was adjusted to 2:20 from it's original schedule of 1:50 and was delayed a few minutes.We finally boarded the Bombardier and was headed for Busuanga.

I did our last minute booking at the hotel 2 days before our flight and also scheduled a pick up from the airport to Ralph's Pension house in Coron. Once we arrived at the pension house, we were grated by the owner Jun, who was hands on with welcoming guests. Our accommodation was in the center of the town, near the market place and just at the foot of Mt. Tapyas, plus near the port for island hopping.

After Jun's orientation, we headed for dinner at went to Maquinit Hot Springs. The hot spring they claim is the only salt water hot spring in the Philippines as per the locals. From the main town, it costs P 300.00 per tricycle with a capacity of 7 persons, but due to the rough road, it is advisable for 4 people to ride a tricycle.

The hot spring is really hot and is best to be visited during night. They accept people up to 8:00 PM but is open until 10:00 PM. Most people visit the hot spring after climbing the tiring yet refreshing Mt. Tapyas which consists of 700 plus steps. But since we arrived late, we decided to climb the mountain on another day.

After an hour or so of soaking in the hot spring, we decided to call it a day. The following day, we went island hoping and visited some of the main attractions of Coron including the Kayangan Lake which is considered the cleanest lake in the Philippines. The lake is like a big swimming pool that is very deep but the water is very clear and you can actually see the reflection of the suns rays underneath.

There are several tour packages available in Coron for island hopping. You can opt to rent a boat, buy food for lunch, and pay for entrances or buy the complete package at $ 650-750 that is already inclusive of lunch and entrance fees. The island hopping usually starts from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM where you get to visit Kayangan Lake, Banol Beach, Barracuda Lake, and the Twin Lagoon among others.

Coron is rich in lakes and rock formations, and there are also several dive sites with several ship wrecks. There are sites that you can see easily see the sunken ships with having to go very deep. The nearest is 5 meters deep. But if you are a licensed diver, you can check out one of the many dive sites in the area.

Since the island hoping is an all day event, do not forget to put on sun screen because you will surely get a sunburn.

Our last activity before we went home on our third day was to finally climb Mt. Tapyas to get an overlooking view of the whole town of Coron. We started climbing the mountain 6:00 AM to be able to get a view of the sunrise. After an hour climb and 30 minutes of rest on top to marvel at the view, we came down and arrived at the bottom of the mountain at 8:00 AM.

Palawan is known to be abundant in cashew nuts, but unlike Puerto Princessa, Coron does not have that many cashiews available and most of the cashews harvested in the area is taken to Antipolo for cracking. Please note also that it is prohibited to take home shells from the island and bags are manually checked at the airport due also to the lack of x-ray machines.

If you plan to stay in Coron, 3-4 days should be sufficient. Prepare a budget of P 3,500.00 that already includes accommodation, food at tours.

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