We’ve just had our first day on Coron Island in the Philippines and while we arrived a little too late to do an island hopping day trip there was enough to keep us happy in and around town until tomorrow when we jump on our boat for a day of snorkelling fun.
We flew in from Manila with Cebu Pacific on a 9.40am plane that left on time and arrived a little early. The flight takes around one hour 15 minutes and is beautiful - over mountains and ocean and little islands surrounded by beautiful turquoise water and sandy beaches.
Coron is 300 kilometres south west of Manila and is the third largest island in the Calamian archipelago in northern Palawan. It’s known for its stunning clear water, beautiful lakes, shipwrecks, incredible diving and snorkelling, limestone rocks and green hills. It’s just another one of the Philippine’s thousands of gorgeous natural spots that will have you raving to friends and family about why they have to visit.
A hotel car met us at the airport and took us to our hotel. We’re staying at The Funny Lion and wow, it’s amazing - rooms are big, bed is comfy, bathroom modern with nice hot water and a huge shower head…and it has a gorgeous pool with spa and a bit of a fancy restaurant overlooking the mangroves and water.
We are paying for our first two nights here and the hotel is kindly hosting us for three nights. We’ve loved it so far, and from what I’ve seen so far it’s a great for kids - staff are friendly, the pool has a shallow play area with bubble jets, the restaurant menu is kid friendly and it’s just nice and chilled.
I booked us into some tours for the next few days and we had a swim and some lunch and a little snooze - we’d been up at 5am for our flight (Manila traffic - we had to leave four hours before our flight for a 15 km drive) and we a little tired.
At 4pm we jumped into a tricycle and set off to climb to the highest point in Coron, Tapyas Hill, for a view over the the surrounding water and islands. It’s 724 steps or so which the locals love telling you and it’s a pretty good climb too.
Nonoi our driver, took us to the start of the climb and up we went, me with my backpack, Em still sleepy and dawdling behind. It wasn’t too bad to be honest - I think others that the end is in sight for most of the way. We were hot and sweaty by the time we got to the top for the beautiful views, a giant cross and Hollywood style Coron spelt our in white letters at the top of the mountain.
There is a small track that goes around the very top of the mountain, and make sure to follow it around for lovely views of rolling green hills. There are tracks to pagodas you can follow if you have time to rest and just watch the clouds roll by.
We watched as the sun set, the mountains to the east covered in a blue haze as the light was lost and the clouds to the east shining in a yellow light as the sun fell beneath the clouds. Cameras were banned my mutual agreement and we sat together holding hands and just watching nature and its beautiful show.
Macquinit Hot Springs
Then, down the steps - harder for me that up I reckon- into the tricycle and off to Maquinit Hot Springs. It’s about 10-15 minutes out of town along a dirt track to get there but it is so worth the drive. No pics I'm afraid as it was dark, we were knackered and well, I just wanted to get into the springs!
It was dark by the time we arrived and so the temperature had dropped - I do not know if or how people come here during the day with the sun beating down as the water is hot. Not too hot but it is more than a warm bath. Perfect for sore legs after the climb. It cost 300 pesos for both of us and we got hanged into our cosies and went over to the springs.
There’s one big pool and other small pools scattered around beside it, full of beautiful hot water with steam rising from stand lined with pebbles. It wasn't crowded at all and was nice and calm and quiet and Emmie and I floated around - once we’d eased ourselves in - for about 20 minutes before we were too hot and needed cooling off. We hung on the side for a while and then after another dip we were ready to head home - we definitely want to come back here, maybe in late afternoon and just spend some time swimming and lazing around. It feels so calming and relaxing to be heated up.
Back to The Funny Lion for a swim in a cool pool, dinner and now Emmie is asleep and I will be not far behind her…excited about our big boat trip! You can read all about our island hopping adventure here.