Friday, December 19, 2008

Enchanting Coron: Day 3 - Island hopping, Barracuda and Cayangan Lakes, Twin Lagoon, Siete Peccados Marine Park

Today was island hopping tour. The boat referred to us by the Darayonan lodge where we stayed owned the Quin-quin carinderia in the market. The boat rental was 1,500 and the food we were charged for the four of us 700 pesos. There was so much food for us. Besides, Ronnie also bought some lobsters from the market which was cooked with gata by our boatman. The boat we used though was not of the person who prepared our food as we were told their boat got some engine trouble the day before so they arranged for us for another boat whom we found out was a Cebuano. This day trip brought us to the Coron island just near the town of Coron itself. We first surveyed the different white sand beaches there like Maynuno where there was a sunken ship just near the shore, Tambol and the others. We decided not to come ashore there and instead went for our first swim at the Twin Lagoons. We had to pass through a small tunnel which during high tides would be filled with water. This tunnel separates one lagoon from the other. I at first thought that this lagoon which from which we passed through a tunnel was enclosed. Swimming to the end, I found that there was an opening to the other side of the sea. In fact they would use this opening during high tides. Of, course the passage through the small tunnel was more exciting.

Our next stop was at the Barracuda Lake which was unique. From the sea one had to climb for a short distance over some sharp limestones before descending to the lake. One interesting feature of this lake aside from being deep, the waters would become hotter and hotter as one descends below. Hence unlike other lakes the water is warm. When we were there, there were 11 French divers doing the dive.

Kayangan lake was majestic. It was simply breathtaking. It had crystal clear bluewaters. It was not so deep that you could see clearly the bottom of the lake. The lake was surrounded with limestone cliffs. Although there were trees surrounding the lake, yet there were few dried leaves on the waters. It was so serene that it looked like a huge two hectare swimming pool. After sometime of swimming, it began to rain.. It had another enchanting feel to it. I had to swim back to the side to retrieve my camera. One thing I liked with the lake was that the water was warm. One could be in the waters for the whole day and never feel cold.

We had lunch on the boat after swimming in Kayangan lake. Our boatman was the one who cooked the food, though it took some time because of the heavy rain.

Our last stop was at the Siete Peccados Marine Park. This is a cluster of seven islets home to a rich marine life, abundant corals , fish of varied colors and species. We moored at one of the buoys floating. At first we complained that the waters looked deep and we could not see any corals but when we took the plunge we discovered that the corals and fishes were all around. I had a good time snorkeling here. There was a strong current while we were snorkeling so I had to exert more effort in getting back to the boat.

It has to be noted that there entrance fees to almost all the sights in Coron. They said that the fees go for the support of the indigenous people who live in the area:  Lake Cayangan is 200 pesos; Barracuda Lake - 100 pesos; Siete Peccados Marine Park - 100 pesos; Maquinit Hotspring - 100 pesos.  Other beaches and sites have more or less 100 pesos entrance fee. 

Contact numbers to some resorts and lodges in Coron:
Darayonan Lodge - 0917-8811151 / 0920-9066184
Village Lodge -  0917-5717865 / 0920-4118861
Sea Dive Resort -  0918-4000448

Secluded coves with white sand beaches can be found in  the islands of Coron

Tranquil waters during our visit

Limestones rocks are all over the place

Approaching the entrance to the Twin Lagoon.

Entrance to the Twin Lagoon

Entrance to the Barracuda Lake.

One has to climb over some sharp limestones in order to get to the Barracuda Lake

Lake Barracuda

Scuba divers prepare to dive at the Barracuda Lake.  As one gets deeper, the water gets hotter, as there is a hotspring underneath.

Entrance to the Lake Cayangan. 

Another climb over some rocks this time not so sharp in order to get into the Lake Cayangan.

This is the view that awaited us on top of the hill before going down to the lake. 

Lake Cayangan

This is the cleanest lake I've ever seen. One can see clearly the bottom of the lake. 

Lake Cayangan

Lunch by the boat prepared by the boatmen. 

Snorkeling around the Siete Peccados Marine Park. Current was strong at this time

Siete Peccados Marine Park

An outpost at the Siete Peccados Marine Park

New building of the Darayonan Lodge.

Darayonan lodge. Their original lodge is made of native materials but they have upgraded their place with new buildings. 

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