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Coron is dubbed “The Last Frontier of the Philippines.” It’s a sleepy town in the northern part of Palawan, much like El Nido but a lot less crowded and much more pristine. Coron has its fill of natural wonders like lagoons, coral reefs teeming with colorful fishes, mangrove forests full of twittering birds, and miles and miles of beaches with powdery sands and crystal clear waters.
Truly, this idyllic suburb is a veritable paradise that you ought to visit at least once in your life. Here’s a travel guide to Coron, Palawan to make the most out of your trip.
View the Sunset Atop Mt. Tapyas
You can catch a glimpse of Mt. Tapyas from Coron Bay as you’re island hopping. Once you get to the top of the 724 steps, you will see a white Christian cross and a sign reminiscent of the one in Hollywood. But this isn’t the highlight of the climb, it’s the unprecedented view of the town below, Coron Bay, and the surrounding islands. The hike might be the opposite of a relaxing swim in the sea, but the majestic view, especially of the sunset, is definitely worth it.
Take a Dip in the Maquinit Hot Springs
If you want your stress and aching joints to melt away, then a visit to the Maquinit Hot Springs is in order. It’s the only saltwater spring in the Philippines and only one of the few in the world. The water comes from a volcano (Mt. Darala), that’s why it’s always at a toasty 40 degrees Celsius. The spring is believed to have healing powers; some tourists who climb Mt. Tapyas also take a dip in Maquinit to soothe their aching legs, knees, and feet.
If you can’t stand a hot bath for too long, it’s ideal to visit in the late afternoon and night. It might even be a better experience since you can take a dip in the warm waters while you are viewing the sunset or gazing up into the starry sky.
Eat Bird’s Nest Soup and Ensaladang Lato
What’s a trip to an exotic location without sampling their delicacies, right? One of the most famous dishes in Palawan is Nido Soup, the Philippine version of Bird’s Nest Soup which is famous all throughout Southeast Asia. This soup is made from the harvested nest of birds, which are made from the birds’ saliva. One of the most popular restaurants in Coron that serve this soup is the Balinsasayaw Restaurant.
Ensaladang lato (a kind of seaweed that’s called “sea grapes” due to their appearance) is another famous Palaweno dish. You can find it in most restaurants, as this is a common household recipe. Ensaladang lato — which is often marinated in garlic, onions, and vinegar — is usually served as a side dish for different kinds of seafoods.
Swim in the Twin Lagoons
The Twin Lagoons is one body of water that is divided into two by limestone cliffs. The first one half is where the boats dock and is easily accessible. The other one is “hidden” behind a limestone wall and archway, which you can easily swim through when the tide is low.
Swimming in the Twin Lagoons, you can experience a unique phenomenon called thermocline, where there are pockets of both cold and warm water. That’s because this is an area where the freshwater from the rivers and saltwater from the sea converge and swirl together.
Dive in Barracuda Lake
Barracuda Lake is one of the most unique dive spots in the world, primarily because it’s not a sea but rather, well, a lake! Unlike other dive spots famous for their colorful marine life, Barracuda Lake is like visiting an alien world; there are very few creatures here, but if you’re lucky enough, you might catch a glimpse of some barracuda fish, the namesake of the lake.
The dive experience is also unique since, like the Twin Lagoons, you can experience thermocline as you dive deeper. Some divers even say that they can feel warm water on one side of their body and cold water on the other!
With its untouched, awe-inspiring beauty, Coron is definitely one of those places that should be included in every traveler’s bucket list. Consider including these things in your itinerary for a truly memorable trip!