We decided to split our trip to Coron in two, spending the first couple of nights on a private island resort, before moving over to the town to do the sight seeing and day trips.
We stayed at Underwater garden resort for our first two nights in Coron which is based on an island about 10 minutes away from the main town. The resort itself was beautiful with an infinity pool, seating area in the middle of the water with hammocks, unlimited use of paddle boards and kayaks, and not to mention the countless fish swimming around underneath the rooms. It was a great place to relax and take a break from all the nonstop travelling.
After our stay here, we headed over to Diamond Lodge in Coron town for four nights where we were pleasantly surprised at the accomodation. The room was huge, had hot water, tv and air con! We spent our first day wandering around the town, taking in the sights and checking out all the tours that were on offer. They worked in a similar way to El Nido in that all the companies offered the same tours, A-E. I really wanted to do Tour A as it included Kayangan Lake (meant to be one of the best places to visit in Coron) however the sight was closed due to two people having unfortunately died at the lake the week before. With the lake being closed, there wasn’t much worth seeing on Tour A so after speaking to a few people we decided to book Tour B (900 php each). I would definitely recommend it! It was a great tour, and we preferred it to the ones in El Nido! The tour consisted of Twin Lagoon, Smith Beach, Coral Garden, Skeleton ship wreck and Barracuda Lake. And luckily for us, we had a great group on the trip. The snorkelling at Skeleton shipwreck was incredible as was seeing the wreck itself. We spent our first night eating at Carl’s BBQ restaurant and I cannot recommend it enough. The food here was outstanding, the best ribs I’ve ever eaten, as was the fried chicken, it was so good we even came back again on our last night in Coron! Our second night was spent eating at the restaurant next door to Carl’s called, Kt’s singuba sa balay which took on the idea of a canteen but the food was incredible, fairly good priced too so I would recommend choosing a few dishes and sharing them – a great way to try true filipino cooking. Also don’t miss out on their incredible chewy chocolate brownie – it really does live up to its name!
We decided to split the tours up and spent the next day laying around the pool at Fernvale Resort. We stumbled upon an advert for the resort along the main road in the town and after speaking to a local man, we couldn’t not go. I would definitely recommend a trip here for those in the town who don’t want to spend money on tours. Entry to the resort was 300 php each and definitely worth it! We had the hole swimming area to ourselves including 3 pools, swim up bar, waterfall and fountain! After a relaxing day around the pool we decided to climb up Mt Tapyas in time for sunset. I read a number of reviews before heading up the mountain that said it was tiring, took over 40 minutes to climb, some even saying they never made it to the top. I can honestly say it was nothing more than climbing a hill. It took us no more than 10 minutes to reach the top and I am by no means the fastest or fittest of people! Once up there though the views over the town are incredible as are those of the surrounding islands. I would definitely recommend going up for sunset though, the temperature was much cooler and it was a great way to see the views in both day and night light. We ate dinner at a restaurant called Blue Moon which turned out to be good food for the value. They had a real mixed menu of thai and European food all of which were fairly priced.
Our final day in Coron was spent doing Tour C (1200 php each). We decided on this tour as it was meant to be one of the best for snorkelling and it definitely lived up to the expectations. The trip consisted of three destinations; Bulog Island, Banana Island and Malcapuya Beach. The views at all three were incredible each with their own look out points, crystal clear water, and white sand. Malcapuya Beach was by far the best though! You have the option of snorkelling off the beach or for 100 php each you can go out on the boat and snorkel in the deeper waters. This was the best type of snorkelling I have ever done. The four of us were in the water holding onto rope on either side of the boat with our snorkel and goggles on being dragged along. The experience itself was great fun, not to mention the incredible array of fish, giant sea clams and starfish. Definitely the best snorkelling in the Philippines by far. The islands themselves take just over two hours to reach by boat, as a word of warning don’t sit at the front of the boat. I did and I was soaked the whole way there and back! After the tour we decided to jump in a tricycle and head to the hot springs. The entry to the hot springs was 400 php each, which seemed a little much, but that said it was a great way to pass an hour. The pools themselves had been man made with the springs coming from underneath the ground. The next day we jumped in an airport shuttle bus costing 150 php each ready for our flight to Manila, then Kuala Lumpur and finally Phuket.