Friday, January 19, 2018

Coron


pano coron philippines
Panoramic of the bay from my hotel
            
              Coron is located in the northern most island of the Palawan island chain and is amongst the most visited areas by tourist in the Philippines.  The town itself is a sleepy little town with not a whole lot to offer in the food/nightlife/tourist scenes, but the tours outside of town are first-rate and are why Coron should be on everyone’s to-do list. 


ferry beds coron philippines
Beds on the ferry to Coron

              There are two ways to get to Coron from Manila, by plane (expensive but quick) or by boat/ferry (cheaper and much longer).  If you go by sea you have two options, 2GO travel boat that takes you directly there or the ferry system which doesn’t.  We took the ferry system which caused us to travel by two ferries and a van totaling about 17 hours and 1325 pesos ($26.50).  The final ferry had individual beds for each passenger which were comfortable enough for the long haul.

mount tapyas coron philippines
Coron sign atop Mount Tapyas

              The most prominent experience in the town is the hike up mount Tapyas; the second highest point on the island.  The trail leading up, located towards the center of town, consists of 700+ steps and ends with a great panoramic view of the area.  Although Coron doesn’t have a lot to offer in town there are some noteworthy options close by to look in to; notably Bali Beach and the Maquinit Hot Spring.  Both are just a short 30 minute tricycle (think motorcycle with side car) ride down a windy dirt road east of town.  

bali beach coron philippines
Bali Beach

Bali Beach is a small stretch of rocky beach over looking the bay and the Siete Picados, large rock formations towering out of the water.  The water at the beach is warm and shallow allowing you to wade deep into the bay and enjoy the scenery.  The whole area is relaxing and is a nice get away.  There is a cover to enter the area of 50 pesos ($1) and you can also rent a ‘cabin’ to sleep in for 150 pesos ($3).  There isn’t much in the way of food and drinks though so make sure you bring water and snacks if you are hungry.  When we were there they only cup of noodles and one beer.
maquinit hot spring coron philippines
Maquinit Hot Spring

Maquinit Hot Spring, just a ten minute walk from Bali Beach, is an oasis for relaxing and worth the 200 pesos ($4) entry fee.  One of the very few saltwater hot springs in the world, Maquinit Hot Spring will give you an experience like none other.  It is said that the sea water is heated by the volcano and springs up there in the three pools that have been created.  The water at first touch seems as if it may be to hot to bare, but as you slide in you quickly get used to the water.  The pools are created by stacked rocks and the bottoms are strewn with pebbles and the whole area is surrounded by mangroves.  The area is open from 6am to 10pm, so whether you wish to soak in the hot water and sun while you look out into the bay or stay into the evening and watch the stars above, this is truly a place to experience and relax.   

maquinit hot spring walkway coron philippines
Walkway in Maquinit Hot Spring

coron philippines location
Coron, Philippines


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