What makes Coron such a popular tourist destination is that it is located near the Busuanga Airport and the jump-off point for many island hopping, snorkeling, and diving trips in the northern part of Palawan (or the Calamianes Group of Islands). It is closest to the Siete Pecados (Spanish for: “seven sins”), a marine park within a cluster of seven islets that’s great for snorkelling.

Within the island itself, you can check out Maquinit Hot Springs, the Lualhati Park Zipline, and even climb Mt. Tapyas.

Kayangan Lake and Cove

Kayangan Lake is one of the best places to snorkel in Palawan because of the mystical rock formations underwater. Some claim that Kayangan is the cleanest lake in Asia. I won’t disagree that it is indeed one of the cleanest lakes I’ve been to. When it’s not the peak season, I like how quiet the area is. However, it can get really hot under the sun since there aren’t a lot of shade beside the lake. There is a wooden boardwalk on one part but the only shade available is provided by trees.

Kayangan Lake

What makes this place more popular though is the jaw-dropping view of Kayangan Cove that you can see on the way up to the hill before descending onto the lake. This is the view that is often put on postcards of Coron, Palawan. If this photo looks stunning, the actual scenery is even more phenomenal.

The ever-picturesque Kayangan Cove

Culion

This island used to be the leper colony of the Philippines, but lepers have been cured a long time ago and Culion is now leper-free. As such, there is so much history to learn starting with a trip to the Culion Museum, where the old equipment used for treating lepers are on display along with the story of how the people went on with their lives within the “colony.”

Once you appreciate their rich history, take some time to go up the Agila (eagle) hill and be amazed with the breath-taking view of Culion.

Culion from the top of Agila

There are also good snorkelling spots surrounding Culion since it is not yet a popular tourist destination. Ask some of the local bangkeros to guide you where you can snorkel for colorful fish. They’ll be happy to help you!

Popototan Island

Coral Bay Beach and Dive Resort is located on the island of Popototan. The resort has its own  house reef, which they have been protecting for the past decade or so. It is 1.5 km long and 50m wide and is one of the most pristine protected reefs in Busuanga.

When I went there, I saw a Lionfish, a sea snake, crocodile fishes, clown fish, and sweet lips fish. There were so many types of colorful fish I saw that I was prompted to buy a Book of Fish (well, asked my friend to buy me one!). They also get regular visits from dugongs on the south side of their reef, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to see them while I was there.

Popototan is also near the Twin Peaks, which has the best sunset view. You can kayak or canoe towards these small islets and watch the sun go down.

A romantic Twin Peaks sunset

Black Island

This is where I had my first dive with the dive master from Coral Bay, Philip! As usual, the reef did not disappoint and it was splendid. I wanted to spend more time underwater and practice popping my ears even more. 😛 We also went inside a cave on the island that had pools of cold water!

The ironically white sands of Black Island

Malcapuya Island

If there’s an island that made me say, “I’m in love” at first sight, then it must be Malcapuya. It had one of the most calming views and walking on its white sand was indeed like walking on sunshine. Swimming a few meters from the shore will also bring you to a splendid reef with remarkable marine life!

I got lucky that when I went to Malcapuya, it was just me and my friend who were there.

 

Words and Photos by: Cheenee Otarra

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My name is Emilia - I love versatile trips! You might find me at a trendy new restaurant one night, but the next day you're just as likely to find me at a local market sampling exotic foods. I'm open to just about anything when I travel and I want to encourage you to be open too!