The motorized outrigger boat sliced through the waters off Coron town as we headed off to the first destination of the day’s tour. The weather was good but the the sky was primarily overcast. Wind wasn’t that strong but enough to banish the humidity as I was seated together with a family of three, all of us guests at Club Paradise Palawan, looking out into the distance oblivious of the day’s adventure.
I’m no stranger to Busuanga. In fact, I have been to the island two times before this trip. The first one was in 2005 for a company outing when I was still employed and we made the usual island hopping tour. The second in 2006 when I visited Culion for a book project on heritage church architecture.
Siete Pecados Marine Park
I’m not so much into snorkeling but the first stop was at the Siete Pecados Marine Park, a group of seven islets just a stones throw from Maquinit Hot Spring. The outrigger boat dropped anchor near one of the islets and, as the family went out one by one, I donned on the snorkeling gear and flippers, jumped at the side and fixed my gear.
The sight was breathtaking. It’s only quite rare that I swim and observe coral gardens but I was just amazed at the variety of life and colors beneath the water surface! There were schools of small fish, larger and multicolored ones, corals of different forms and hues and depths ranging from a few feet to tens of feet deep. It was amazing! If not for the time, I would have spent longer but the boat hand called out and I went back.
Maquinit Hot Spring
It was just a few minutes and we were docking near a wooden bridge that connects to the hot springs of Maquinit. This one is unique. Instead of the usual fresh water hot spring, it is salty. The gushing water captured into a wide shallow basin bordered at one side with mangroves while spillover is at the other side and into the sea.
It was quite relaxing as the hotness is just bearable but I was at the sides already. But I would have preferred if we had this at the end of the trip so as to banish the tiredness from the day’s activity. When I was here before, it was night time and a great way to end a busy day.
We were headed to one of Coron’s natural wonders: Kayangan Lake. I’ve been there once and I was thrilled to visit it again. The trip took longer compared when we were heading to the first stop. But the sight of those karst cliffs soaring into the heavens was just marvelous as other outrigger boats were dwarfed with the immensity of these jagged cliffs.
We entered the lagoon, into a pristine and emerald like area. There were already other tour groups and we slowly headed to a small wharf to dock. The boat hand set out to prepare lunch: eat first before the climb, he told us.
Laid on the table were freshly grilled seafood and pork, lato (a kind of seaweed), and steamed blue crabs. Lunch was heavy but wonderfully sating. If not for the pesky mosquitoes, it would have been a straight lunch but alas, I was also hitting on those suckers. But best of all, the taste of the ice cold coke was refreshing as I was sipping it from time to time in between morsels.
I remember the last time I was in Kayangan Lake in 2005 and there were hundreds of mosquitoes then that when I arrived back at the waiting boat, much of my exposed skin had bites. This time, despite the absence of an insect repellent, I just tried to put on alcohol from time to time. Good thing, at the promontory which affords a great view of the lagoon below and just near a shallow cave, it was windy and held the mosquitoes at bay.
After a few steps of ascending then descending to the lake, I was surprised that there already is a wooden boardwalk at the edge. But this is better since the last time, you have to slowly walk on the rocks with the submerged parts slippery. Good thing that they didn’t make it a concrete pathway to preserve the area. With the lifejacket given to me, I just enjoyed swimming and floating in the water for the next 30 minutes.
We headed out to the Twin Lagoons, our last stop. Back in 2005, I didn’t swim inside but just peeked at the low arch that leads into the inner lagoon. This time, I grabbed and wore my assigned life jacket, put on the flippers and snorkeling gear and headed inside.
It looks scary at first, as you have to go through a narrow and low arch to reach the inner lagoon. But at the same time, it’s exciting and the effort pays well as once you’re inside, towering limestone faces surrounds you. The water is cool and deep and as you speak, echoes reverberate.
It was a fitting end to the day’s tour, although it would have been great to see the World War II wrecks and visit Barracuda Lake. I didn’t complain though. It was a relaxing trip, a great adventure that doesn’t cram in too much places in such a short a time.
At each stop, I was also setting up the Minions and photographed these toys.
READ MORE: The Minions vacationing in Coron
This Coron tour was made possible by:
Club Paradise Palawan
Dimakya Island, Coron, Northern Palawan
+63 2 719 6971 / 6972 / 6973 / 6988
And Calamianes Expeditions
Corong Galeri Lokals
#11 San Agustin St.
Brgy. Poblacion 3
Coron, Palawan 5316
+63 919 305 4364 | +63 919 992 6766
+63 917 552 6766 | +63 2 984 7795