Monday, October 26, 2009

Palawan: Banol Beach, Twin Lagoon, Kayangan Lake and Siete Pecados Marine Park in Coron

Coron is simply stunning. Since we only had a day to go around, we decided to do both Culion and the Coron in one day. Remember that Coron Town is on Busuanga Island while most of the popular attractions are on Coron Island. Coron Island is characterized by massive limestone karst rock formations, lakes and lagoons and is part of the ancestral domain of the Tagbanua.

We left Culion after lunch and began our trip around Coron Island. The first stop was an hour and 30 minutes away. It was a bit cloudy on the way to Coron Island but once we got to Banol Beach, the sun was out and perfect for a swim.

Banol Beach is a small beach and is perfect for a picnic. You can actually buy fresh seafood or meat at the market before leaving Coron and request your boatman to grill it while at one of the beaches. Remember though not to venture too far from the shore since we were warned Banol has a lot of sea urchins if you explore too far from the beach. Entrance fee to the beach is Php100. We didn't stay too long in Banol since we wanted to see the other attractions.

Our next stop was Twin Lagoon which is two salt water lakes separated by a narrow opening. It's best to swim with your life vest on since it gets really deep in some parts. At low tide, you can swim across the narrow opening to get to the other lake. But when the tide is high, the opening is completely submerged and you'll have to swim through it.

One option would have been to visit Kayangan Lake which is really picturesque. The lake, which is nestled amidst spectacular limestone kasrt rock formations, is simply stunning. But that needs at least an hour: 15 minutes to hike to the lake, at least 30 minutes for a swim, and another 15 minutes to hike back to the boat. So we decided to reserve the lake for another trip. Entrance fee to Kayangan Lake is Php200.

Our last stop was the Siete Pecados Marine Park which is very popular for snorkeling. The boatmen usually refer to it as Seven Islands. Like Coron Island, the islets of Siete Pecados are also limestone karst formations. To make sure that the coral formations don't get damaged, boats anchor on buoys installed for the purpose.

A favorite activity when snorkeling in Siete Pecados would be feeding the fish with bread. So don't forget to bring your supply since the fish literally swarm around you as you gradually release the bread. Entrance fee to Siete Pecados Marine Park is Php100.

Since the sun was starting to set, we headed back to Coron Town. It would have been a good option to climb Mt. Tapyas to watch the sunset. But we got lazy and decided to just chill in our hotel room. Food adventures coming up next!

Related entries
Things to do in Coron, Busuanga and Culion, Palawan
Coron hotels, transportation and more stuff to help you plan your trip
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