After a blissful night sleeping on a real bed, I woke up early. I was ready for my island adventure! I’ve mentioned in the past that sometimes I don’t like booking a tour in advance. The reason is that sometimes plans change. Or perhaps, it might not be the best day to be outdoors because of the weather. Not to mention, while it’s convenient, booking through a third party tour agency is more expensive than if I were to book the tour directly through the local agency.
In this series:
- Alaska Airlines Economy Class A320 Washington to Los Angeles
- Crowne Plaza Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Qantas First Lounge at Los Angeles International (LAX)
- American Airlines Flagship Lounge at Los Angeles International (LAX)
- American Airlines Business Class 787-9 Los Angeles to Shanghai
- Cathay Pacific Lounge at Shanghai Pudong (PVG)
- Cathay Dragon Economy Class A321 Shanghai to Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International (HKG)
- Cathay Pacific The Pier First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International (HKG)
- Cathay Pacific Economy Class 777-300 Hong Kong to Manila
- Cebu Pacific Economy Class ATR72 Manila to Busuanga (Round-Trip)
- Al Faro Cosmio Hotel Coron
- Island Adventure: Coron, Palawan
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Manila to Istanbul
- Touristanbul – Free Istanbul City Tour Sponsored by Turkish Airlines
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Istanbul to Los Angeles
The day before, I asked the hotel staff and inquired about island tours. Several options were depending on length, places, and prices. From what I’ve seen, the prices range roughly from 2000-6000 PHP for a private tour. But if other hotel guests are interested in sharing the trip, you can pretty much split the cost. In my case, I only paid 1000 PHP for an all-day tour, including boat rides, some entrance fees, and gratuities, which was a reasonable price.
At 7 AM, our group gathered in the lobby — There were six of us, a tour guide, and a boat driver. One of the best things in life is being able to travel, which means I get to meet new people and make new friends: Elyssa, Mike, Victor, Olivier, and Brooke. 🙂
The hotel did a fantastic job of preparing everything, such as loading our snorkeling gear and packing lunch. At first, I thought we were going to drive into Coron town and take a boat from there, but it turned out, we would ride the boat the entire journey, departing from the hotel’s boat dock.
The distance from the hotel to first stop is about 25 miles and took us 2 hours to get there. It seemed like a long ride, but I very much enjoyed it! It was so relaxing, and the scenery was beautiful, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous!
Our first stop was Twin Lagoon, which can only be accessed by boat. Luckily, there were only two or three other boats.
The incredible view of the lagoon and the turquoise-colored water are something you will see on a postcard. It’s tough to describe how stunning it is. The photos don’t do it justice.
Please note that at most official places, we are required to wear a life jacket. Freediving is also not allowed unless you have a proper license and have an approval in advanced.
After swimming and enjoying the paradise, we sailed away to our next stop, Kayangan Lake. It was only about 10 to 15 minutes boat ride from Twin Lagoon. When we arrived, there were so many boats parked. So the entrance was very congested, and we couldn’t even dock. As a result, we had to anchor to another boat.
To get to the lake on the other side of the cliff, we had to climb up some steep flights of stairs. At the top, there was a long line of visitors who wanted to take pictures at the outlook. It’s not surprising that this place was so crowded because the lake is one of the most picturesque places I’ve seen.
The cliff and crystal-clear water are just stunning and somehow hard to believe that such a place exists!
I’m not a big swimmer, to begin with, so I decided just to watch our belongings (and people) while others were swimming. But, when they came back, I decided to do take a few photos and selfies. I asked Victor to take some photos — I quickly jumped in the water and took a quick dive.
As I dived, my right foot hit a sharp rock, and I didn’t realize how sharp the edges of the cliff was. As a result, I had a cut on my foot. It bled and became swollen very quickly. It hurt, but it was a tolerable pain. My concern was I wasn’t sure if there were live corals there, which might cause infection.
I was going to post the picture here, but I decided not to because it looks gross!
Unfortunate, there wasn’t any first aid kit on the boat. So the only thing I could do was to rinse and clean the wound. I then realized I have a contact solution that should help to disinfect and kill bacteria. I applied a few drops periodically until I got back to the hotel.
So enough with my foot drama! 😉
Our next stop was lunch! It was a small island with a few small huts where we can to sit and have our lunch, but there is nothing else on the island. We ordered the lunch the day before, and the hotel packed them up for us. I ordered grilled pork, which was a bit tough. The guys ordered some fish cooked on the boat, and they looked much better.
It was quite relaxing — We spent about 2 hours there, and sort of hung out and enjoyed the water and the sun.
After lunch, we hopped on the boat and headed to our next stop, Barracuda Lake. In this place, you can experience a unique dive adventure because of its thermocline — layers of cold, warm, and hot water, as well as the saltwater and freshwater mix. As I mentioned earlier, you will need a proper license and have approval before diving here.
Like other places we visited, Barracuda lake has clear water with a range of colors from light turquoise to dark blue depending on the depth. When I watched people diving, it sure seemed fun. But to be honest, I don’t have the desire to dive. I’m an indoor cat — what can I say? 😉
After spending some time there, we headed to our last stop, which was somewhere in the middle of the ocean — I believe it’s called Siete Pecados. I wasn’t sure where we were exactly, but it was a place where people can swim freely. Since it’s not an official place, we were allowed to swim without a lifejacket — of course, at your own risk. I really wish I could join the group because from what I can tell, there are so many colorful live corals there to see.
Because of my bloody injured foot, I decided to stay on the boat. I don’t want to invite those sharks after all. 😉
After spending quite some time, we finally began our journey back to the hotel. Since Victor and Olivier planned to stay in Coron, we bid farewell and dropped them off in the town, while the rest of us went back to the hotel.
I enjoyed our two-hour boat ride to the hotel, watching the sun go down. It was one of those memories I will remember in a long time.
We arrived at the hotel when dusk has settled in the ocean. At this point, we were exhausted and hungry. I went back to my room and showered before dinner.
PS: Shout-out to the hotel owner who noticed my foot injury and took great care and helped me clean the wound.
The dreams of experiencing the island living really came true. Despite my foot injury drama, I had a fantastic day touring the island. The weather couldn’t be better. It was sunny, but not too hot. All the places we visited were terrific. But my favorite was our first stop, Twin Lagoon. It was absolutely beautiful, and of course, Instagram worthy.
Coron is one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited. Thinking about it makes me want to come back again and spend more time there. If you consider a beach vacation that doesn’t break your wallet, I highly recommend visiting Coron.