Coron, Philippines – An Underwater Paradise
Coron Island is a living yet silent witness to the happenings in the World War II.
In Coron Island, your beach vacation experience is not limited to just playing in the crystal cleared sea waters. There are more to expect from the island of Coron that is rich in spectacular and untouched resources such as:
Caves which serves as a home to rare Philippine birds. There are also seven lagoons. It will only take you 15 minutes to get there. There are also 219 islands and islets all with white sand beaches.
A so-called Makinit Hot Spring Resort for hot spring lovers is also a must see tourist spot. This hot spring is known for healing arthritis.
For adventurous people who find enjoyment in hiking and mountain climbing, Coron is also a must-visit because it has a 2000 feet high (above sea level) mountain called Mount Tapyas which have 719 steps leading to the top. At its peak, you will be able to see the full scenic view of Coron town and harbor.
In addition to tourist sceneries in Coron, there is the Los Ciete Pecados – the seven 7 rocks.
Now, let’s go to the main and most loved part of Coron – the dive sites. Currently, Coron Island is one of the best diving destinations in the world and is located within the boundary of South China Sea. There are six big Japanese wrecks and two smaller gunboats found there, which sank during the said war. There is one wreck on the north side of Coron Island, to get there it is 1.5 hours to drive from Coron town to Maricaban and then a 30-40 minute boat ride away. Most divers wear a 3 to 5 millimeter wetsuit. Of course, each diver must know the visibility schedules when diving in the Coron Bay. It ranges from 7 to 30 meters which depends on the tidal flow strength. Everyone must take note that visibility is reduced during full moon and new moon.
The major attraction in the Coron Bay is the shipwrecks. Here are the names of the famous ships found under the bay: Akitsushima, Okikawa, Irako, Kogyo, Morazan, and the Olympia. The smaller wrecks are the Lusong Gunboat, and the Teru Kaze Maru.
There is also the Barracuda Lake – the craziest dive site in the Philippines. Diving there starts with mountain climbing over sharp-edged limestone cliffs. Inside the Barracuda Lake, a cave could also be seen.
Next stop is the dive site that should not be missed – the Cathedral Cave. Reefs are always expected in every diving activity, Coron town have the Seven Picados Reef that serves as a home for schools of reef fish, juvenile barracudas, small Napoleon Wrasse and green sea turtles.
Weather in Coron
The weather in Coron is mostly cloudy however; the water’s average temperature plays between 28 to 30 degrees. Rainy season is from July till October. The strongest rainfalls are in September. But even in rainy months there are dry days and even on rainy days it does not rain all day long. That means it’s perfect for any diving activity – not too warm, not too cold.
Coron Airport is the gateway to the Calamianes, a small airport just north of Coron Town on Busuanga Island. Hour-long flights come in from Manila daily, with transfers via taxis and jeepneys to the pier in Coron Town. Boats leave from here for Tending Island, 20kms to the southwest.
For tourists coming from Manila the easiest way to get to Coron is to get to Sangat Island first.
Sangat Island is the sole island resort which offers amenities for diving in Coron Bay. For you to get there, you need to take a short domestic flight from Manila International Airport to Busuanga Island. A Sangat Resort staff will accommodate you to the trip from the Busuanga Resort to Coron Bay. You will surely enjoy a fantastic beach vacation which is perfect for family’s swimming and diving recreational activities.
Cuyunon is the native language in Coron but almost all people who lived in the area can speak Tagalog or English thus communication to foreign people will never be a problem.
Bottom-line, Coron is a must-see to all adventurers and tourists out there, even from inside or outside the Philippines!