Coron, Palawan: The Story of 3 tourists and a typhoon

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Coron is one of the best and most popular destination in the Philippines. An island north of Palawan, 4-5 days will never be enough for island hopping and culture immersion. But what will happen of your Coron trip if suddenly a typhoon decides to landfall?

DAY 1: Lualhati Park, Mt. Tapyas and Maquinit Hot Springs

With my 2 besties (Mayi and Joyce), we arrived at Busuanga Airport (Coron) at around lunch time on a faithful December day. It was still sunny when we got there, but dark clouds were looming!

Anyway, after being fetched by the van of our hotel Jazmine’s Place, we quickly settled our things and went out to look for food. We were starving! Good thing, Lolo Nonoy’s Food Station was a walking distance away, recommended by a local we randomly asked!

After eating our hearts out, we immediately searched for tour packages: Coron Loop Tour, Ships and Wrecks, and Calauit Safari. We went to Nice in Paradise tour agency, since Mayi said it was the cheapest. While we were walking, we were fervently wishing the typhoon magically detoured away from Coron so that the tours won’t be cancelled! Unfortunately, the Mother Nature was not on our side that day 😦 But we were still determined to spend our vacation well!

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Me, Joyce and Mayi at the Lualhati Park and Mt. Tapyas at the background!

By 4PM, we then rode a tricycle to Mt. Tapyas to witness the sunset!

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700+ steps to the top!

It took us almost an hours to finish the excruciating 700+ steps to reach the top of Mt. Tapyas. By then, the dark clouds were almost above us. But the view was worth it. We could almost see the whole of Coron.

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The Sleeping Giant

Hiking at Mt. Tapyas is free. Tricycle ride to the location is around PHP 10 per person.

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Welcome to Mt. Tapyas!

After 5 minutes, rain suddenly poured so we hurriedly went back down the steps. Sunset was nowhere to be found.

By 5:30PM, we were on our way to reward ourselves from the hike with a nice relaxing dip at Maquinit Hot Springs.

It took us almost 25-minutes tricycle ride to the hot pools of Maquinit. At PHP 150 entrance fee per person, the pool perfectly ended our first day of touring Coron. The crystalline water warmed our cold bodies from the rain and comforted our aching leg muscles from the hike.

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The temperature of the water was really warm, our faces were getting red! But it was really nice. The water was clean and the pool was not at all crowded. That was how we met two pretty ladies Nic and Maebritt, also at their first day at Coron.

It was almost 7PM when we decided to go back to our hotel (Maquinit Hot Springs closes at 8PM). Tricycle ride back and forth was at PHP150.

After freshening up, we decided to have dinner at Kawayanan Grill Station, along Don Pedro St, about 10-minutes tricycle ride from Jazmine’s Place. The restaurant looked really promising with its lights and exterior.

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Seafood Plate! Yum yum

The food choices were priced reasonably, around mid-range. The service was good and the ambience was great, especially since we wanted a quite place. We also enjoyed their promo of buy-1-take-one beers and beer pong!

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With our new friends Nic and Maebritt!

DAY 2: Coron Island Motorbike Tour

The next day, after a hearty breakfast at Jazmine’s Place and very dark skies ahead of us, we decided to try our luck in getting tours. We went back to Nice in Paradise Tours and they said that all the island hopping tours were cancelled due to the typhoon. Bummer! Suddenly, the planned busy day of island hopping, swimming and snorkelling is gone 😦

We decided to chill first at Fika, just across the street, to gather our thoughts and plan for alternative activities for day.

That was how we were convinced to go on a motorcycle tour around Coron Island by Kuya (I can’t remember his name!) for PHP 1,500.  I guess that’s what a typhoon can do to desperate tourists. Haha

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Joyce getting started on our motorcycle tour!

Since there were three of us, there we hired 2 motorcycles (additiona PHP500).

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Stopover at an old beautiful church

We started the tour at around 11PM, and ended by 5PM. I tell you, we toured AROUND Coron. As in the whole island! Even though our butts and faces hurt from the long ride and the harsh droplets of rain, we still enjoyed the tour. We got to see the other parts of Coron tourists seldom visit, like the mountain-sides!

After a quick rest as we arrived back to our hotel, we decided to try out the nightlife in Coron by first having dinner at Lobster King! It is just along the main highway.

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Steamed Lobsters!

It was all our first time to try lobsters and God, it didn’t disappoint. Worth all the money!!

We then went to NoName Bar and Restaurant, and had drinks, reminiscing about the good ol’ days. It was a very fun night. NoName bar had a lot of alcoholic drink choices!

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4 National Highway, Coron
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Drinks at NoName Bar

DAY 3: Island Hopping (Goodbye typhoon!)

The next day, we woke up late and received an update that tours are still cancelled. It was our last full day in Coron, and it looked like we really wont be seeing the highlights of Coron because of the typhoon.

At around 11AM, we decided to go out since the skies were getting brighter. We walked to Lualhati Park since it is where boats for island hopping are anchored. As we got there, we asked several of the boat operators, hopeful for good news but failed.

We were about to go have lunch somewhere when suddenly a coast guard in a motorcycle went past us and told us they just gave a go signal for island hopping. Thanks the heavens! Our prayers are answered!

We hurriedly went to the tours just a few hundred meters away from the park and immediately booked a boat for PHP 1,200 that will take us island hopping. We were the first tourists!

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Bought food at the nearby wet market for island hopping
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Mayi getting excited for the island hopping!

We told our manong tour guide we wanted the usual Coron Loop tour including the following highlights:

  • Kayangan Lake
  • Banul Beach
  • Skeleton Shipwreck
  • Coral Garden Reef
  • Twin Lagoon
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Coron history explained
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Trail to Kayangan Lake
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View while hiking
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Kayangan Lake!

Kayangan Lake was very beautiful, with its bluish green water. We were the only people when we got there. We had the magical place for ourselves! We swam and took pictures and dived!

After one hour, flock of tourists has started to fill the lake and we took it as a cue to proceed to our next destination.

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Our very charming Tour Guide!
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Banul Beach

Our next stop was Banul Beach, where we had our lunch. The beach had beautiful white sand and clear blue waters!

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Our boat at Banul Beach!

The whole trip, we were just so very thankful to have visited some of the highlights of Coron even during a typhoon signal. By the time we visited the rest of the highlights, it was already getting dark.

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Sunset at Coral Garden Reef

It was already 7PM when we got back to our hotel to freshen up. We were sooo happy we just can’t stop smiling and talking about our adventures!

For our last night, we had a really yummy dinner at Sinugba sa Balay. Two thumbs up!

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Menu at Sinugba sa Balay

After having a quick chill at Coffee Kong, we decided to settle in early. We had to have a good rest for our trip all the way back to Davao City the next day!

Even though our trip didnt go exactly as we planned because of the typhoon, we still had sooo much fun! There are a lot of thing Coron has to offer. Aside from the white sand beaches, clear lake in between limestone formations and other treasures, there are also good food choices, friendly locals, and nightlife. And because we weren’t able to see all that we wanted to see, we will definitely be back! Wait for us, Coron!

Happy travels,

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