I am going to blog on the six areas we went to during our day-trip going around Coron islands. It is interesting to note that I was able to squeeze all these island hopping in one day (note our tight schedule) but it was one happy and lasting experience.
Two lakes, a cave, snorkeling, lunch at the beach, fish feeding, a wreck site and tour of the Siete Pescados. Yes, all in one day. Who’d beat that? It’s better to plan ahead, get acquiant yourself on how to go around Coron and make the best out of your trip.
Since the trip was in August, and a rainy season at that, I admit I had some fears that we might not be able to make it in this island hopping experience — which happens to be the highlight of my sojourn.
As for me, it was good that a colleague gave me a contact number of a transport service operator who was able to quickly hook me up with a boatman who took care of the island-hopping. I need not pay for the package tours which are usually limited to three to four places to go in a day.
On our second day here, we were picked up at 8a.m. scheduled by our boatman, James, from the Centro Coron Lodge were my family and I are staying.
My sister and I went to the local market which is just near the harbour where I bought fresh seafood and pork chops for our lunch picnic at one of the beaches. I also managed to prepare a menu — of grilled sugpo (large shrimps) and pork chops, sinigang na isda and pinakbet.
It was good that our boatman suggested that we buy cooked rice since there was not actually enough time if we’d cook it in the island.
At P 1,500 boat rental, you can go around areas you want to go.
The boatman and his assistant can also cook your lunch since it should be part of the fee. Others, apparently not knowing that they can ask the boatmen to cook for them, have opted to satisfy their hunger with packed lunch boxes.
James had no qualms when I told him that I want lunch cooked while we are anchored on one of the islands. “It’s actually part of the package,” he tells me, adding that they are required by the local tourism office to even provide for sets of plates and utensils for the picnic.
By the way, don’t hesitate renting that set of snorkeling mask and gear for P 150 each at some of the diving stores at the market place. They’d make your swimming more enjoyable. (note: Just don’t lose your mask and snorkels. It costs a lot.)
First stop: Barracuda Lake
After the rainy trip from the harbour, we reached our first destination: Barracuda Lake.
As we appraoch the place, I already told myself that it was a right decision to go to this trip. The limestone rock formation amid the deep blue-green serene sea waters is really breathtaking. It is a paradise.
As our boat anchored here, there were also two other boats on shore. Some scuba divers, who’d go down the 30 feet and more deep of the Barracuda Lake. There is a fee of P 100 per person given to the members of the Tagbanuan tribe who are preserving several spots in the Coron island. The national government had granted them ancestral domain in some of these places.
This lake can only be accessed from the sea and after a hike of 15 to 20 minutes across the limestone mountain to get to the other side. The water here is warm, and a bit salty apparently because it was a convergence of sea and fresh water.
One can just admire in awe the rock formations around the Barracuda Lake, which enclosed the cove. Here, you admire not just the blue green waters, rich corals and fishes but also the landscape created by the formations of granite and limestone rocks.
Scuba divers often go 30 meters deep to look into a cave underwater. I am told that it takes an experienced diver to get into the cave and some expertise since the water is murky and quite dark as one goes deeper.
Since I did not have my dive card with me, my brother and I merely enjoyed the water on the surface. We swam towards the middle part of the lake to have a feel of beauty of this lake. I had to float around to see the wide sky while in the lake. The view is marvelous.
My bro was even more exploring as he tried to go beyond the side of the mountain and saw that the other end goes towards the sea. Afraid to be swallowed by the water, my sister decided to hold onto the wooden stairs as she swam into the waters.
Since the lake was somewhat enclosed by small mountain formations, I tried to shout at the top of my voice and said, “hellllooooo!” to mother nature. She responded back with my echo. I tried this a number of times as I continue to tread in the fresh waters.
Sadly, the wonderful feeling had to end when our boatman said, we should pack up now because there are more places to discover. There you go, the pictures said it all and a bit more if you personally experience this place.
I’d remember this all my life. I’d go back soon if I can. There are still more places to explore in Coron.
Much later in the day, we also explored the forests going to Kayangan Lake, said to be one of the cleanest body of water in the region. There one can see the majestic view of the lake from one of the popular standpoints in the area.
Also referred as the Blue Lagoon, this lake is said to be the cleanest lake in the entire country. It takes about a ten-minute trek the limestone cliffs from the bay area to a pit stop and then down the mountainous terrain to get to the Kayangan Lake proper. The steps are quite slippery when its rainy season. There are wooden handrails to guide you during the trail.
Halfway, one can see from the limestone area the breathtaking view of the other part of the ocean.
There is also a small cave located at that point where tourists would surely take their souvenir shots from. (So, don’t leave your cameras behind)
After a brief hike, one can swim the cleanest lake of all. Emulate Brooke Shields in the 1980’s movie hit, The Blue Lagoon, if you wish and embrace the waters.
The waters are clear that one can see the rocks from ten feet under. Just don’t dive cause it might be fatal…There are also small pointed fishes and some snails that can be seen through the deep shades of blue water. There are bamboo benches around the edgy rocks and small ladders to enable swimmers to hold on to them to get to the waters.
With all your snorkeling gear and life vests, be brave the steady, blue waters. It is indeed a way of communing with nature at its most serene. (Another note: the area has many mosquitos, so don’t forget to bring your anti-mosquito lotion or wear long pants. You don’t want to get infested with mosquito bites. Don’t you?)