Coron is truly a paradise! I can’t believe I would be able to cross this off my bucket list sooner than I thought.
I would like to thank Two Monkeys Travel and Ritz and Grace Travel and Tours for making it all happen. I highly recommend this tour.
My name is Ulpiano and I am one of the winners of Two Monkeys Travel’s Palawan getaway giveaway. My prize was a 3 Days 2 Nights Coron package for two courtesy of Ritz and Grace Travel and Tours. The package came with a 2-night stay in Darayonan Lodge with free breakfasts, round-trip airport transfers, and an island-hopping tour with picnic lunch.
I brought along with me my little sister and we left for Busuanga from Manila last June 17th. The validity of my prize was supposedly only from March to May but I requested for an extension since it was peak season and the prices of plane tickets were quite high. Luckily, Ms. Karan, the manager of Ritz and Grace Travel and Tours, obliged my request.
Where else to stay in Coron, Palawan?
Our flight with Cebu Pacific which was scheduled to leave at 12 noon got delayed for an hour so I got worried about our airport transfer. However, when we arrived at the Busuanga Airport, our driver was still there waiting for us and greeted us with a big smile when we approached him. It took roughly around 25 minutes before we reached the town proper. That ride though gave us a positive impression of the place. Where ever we looked, there were greens everywhere, telling us that the area has not been spoiled. We also passed by a couple of road signs not seen in most areas in the country which say that animals may cross the road so drivers should watch out for them.
After checking in at Darayonan, we decided to take a rest in our room. I think our room could accommodate up to three persons since there were two beds, one was queen-sized and the other was single-sized. It also has a working hot shower, a cabinet, a table, a chair, a ceiling fan, an AC unit and a TV set. Our room was near the reception building, the only area in the lodge where Wi-Fi was available. There were two chairs and a table in our room’s balcony so we stayed there to connect to the internet because the connection was slow inside the room. After a quick nap, we went outside to explore the lodge. The place has a resort feel. It has a swimming pool, a bar, and a restaurant. We took our dinner in the restaurant before we did a brief stroll around town. We originally planned to climb Mt. Tapyas to watch the sunset but we didn’t pursue it because it rained that day and we thought the way to the summit would be slippery. We learned the next day that it was bearable. Nevertheless, I guess our decision wasn’t really that bad because we were able to conserve our energy for the highlight of our trip, the island-hopping tour.
A night prior to our trip, Ms. Karan, sent me via email our “service voucher” containing all the information we needed. One of the instructions written on the voucher was that someone will be picking us up for the island-hopping tour at around 8-8:30 am. So we took our breakfast at 7 am and by 8 am, the hotel staff told us that a trike was already waiting for us. The driver took us to the Bayside Plaza where we met the captain of our boat and his companion. The two stood as our guides during the tour. We then waited for our “tourmates” to arrive. About 20 minutes later, the boat captain told us that 2 of the 4 canceled their plans and called the other 2 who were waiting at another area — two friendly Filipina solo backpackers. We then jumped into our boat, which was smaller than the ones that left ahead of us. But yeah, I guess it’s because the other boats had more passengers that’s why they were bigger.
Our first destination was the Hidden Lagoon, a lagoon surrounded by towering limestone karst. We excitedly dipped into its clear emerald green water and took several photos. We stayed there for about 45 minutes before we proceeded to our next stop, the Twin Peaks Reef, a snorkeling spot. The captain’s companion, whose name I forgot, offered a lifeguard rescue buoy which he said he will pull while we hold onto it so that it will be easier for us to swim around a small limestone formation when we snorkel. Since we only brought one snorkel and mask for the two of us, I let my sister join the other girls.
We then went to the Kayangan Lake, the one I was most looking forward to see. Although the climb to the entrance was a little tiresome, the view was worth all the effort. It was just gorgeous! It’s probably one if not the most beautiful site I’ve ever seen in my entire life. After we snapped some pictures of the breathtaking scenery, we went down to the other side of the hill where the lake is. It said to be the cleanest lake in the Philippines. It’s surely is very clean and its surroundings are so pristine. Seeing the many foreign tourists enjoying their time at the lake, it made me so proud of my country. We stayed there for an hour or so before we went to Bulunga Beach for our picnic lunch, which was cooked by our tour guides themselves on the boat. They prepared for us grilled pork and fish, “lato” or seagrapes, rice, bananas and bottled mineral water. The proportions were quite generous and we weren’t able to eat them all. After resting for a few minutes, we proceeded with the rest of the tour.
Our guides then took us to another snorkeling spot, the Coral Eden. True to its name, the place is indeed a garden full of corals. The corals in the area have various forms and colors with a number of species of fish and other marine life living in them. I guess it’s the best snorkeling spot we visited. After that, our guides then dropped us off at Coron Youth Club (CYC) Beach. The small beach with powdery white sand was supposedly our last destination but one of our tourmates told us about the Twin Lagoons, which is not part of the tour. Our guides said they can take us there for an additional fee of P100 per person. Since it was still early, we decided to go there after beach bumming a little. Compared to Hidden Lagoon, the place was more enclosed and its water was way deeper. We stayed there for several minutes until we decided it’s time to go (around 3 or 4 pm).
After the tour, I, my sister, and our new friends thought of checking out the Maquinit Hot Spring, which is not part of the package. We hired a trike for P300 roundtrip. The payment was for the four of us already. Some parts of the roads to the spring were not paved yet but the bumps were tolerable and it rained a little that day so it was not dusty. The ride lasted for about 30 minutes.
I could not think of any better way to cap our day off. The hot water of the spring relaxed our tired muscles and the place also has an amazing view. I think people should add this in their must-visit spots in their Coron adventure.
We went back to the town proper before the sun fully set. We ate dinner at a nearby restaurant, checked our social media accounts and slept.
We thought we could go to Mt. Tapyas early in the morning to catch the sunrise but it was raining. So we just stayed in our beds and later prepared for our flight back to Manila. Although our flight was still at 1:25 pm, our ride picked us up at 10 am. I don’t know if the pick-up time wasn’t written on the voucher or I just missed it but I thought it was a bit early. But it turned out to be a good thing that we were early at the airport because we were accommodated to an 11 am flight.
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