THE LAKES OF CORON, PALAWAN: KAYANGAN AND BARRACUDA

by - 7:33 PM

Kayangan Lake - the most photographed view

Barracuda Lake
Nature at its best is what the island of Coron offers.  Expectedly, island hopping is the major activity while there and lakes are normal bodies of water to boast for. 

In Coron, only two lakes are open to the public as an indigenous tribe claims the island as their ancestral domain making ways to keep outsiders offshore and at a considerable distance. Since both are indeed equally stunning locations and good for snorkeling a comparison shall then be made.

Most island hopping tour packages offered to tourists separates the two (2) lakes despite its proximity and short distance from each other.  Fortunately, we were able to haggle from our reliable boatman that the two (2) lakes be visited in one day.


KAYANGAN LAKE

Entrance fee: P200.00 per person

The weather was not fine then.  It was raining and all we had to do is to continue on the voyage despite the relatively bad weather adding the hangover I had on the first night's drinking spree.  But after a few minutes, the skies began to clear as we approach another picturesque backdrop.  As soon as we approach an island with towering limestone rock formations and several docked outrigger boats, we are rewarded and we have have found a paradise.  

greetings from Kayangan Lake











Kayangan Lake is dubbed as the cleanest lake in the Philippines and is protected by the Tagbanwa tribe.  Coron as a travel destination would not be known if not for this lake and the limestone cliff sceneries that surround.

Before reaching the lake, every visitor needs to follow a trail through a stairway leading to a cave where the most photographed site of the island is of view.  It may took 15 to 30 minutes depending on one's stamina and endurance.


the mandatory group picture
Upon reaching the cave, another trail going down to the lake itself is mandatory.  Along the narrow steps of trekking, each visitor would greet one another and satisfied faces is what you encounter while they go back and finish the Kayangan Lake experience.

And indeed, the lake is so tranquil and clean that I was almost tempted to take a plunge.  But for some reasons, I just opted to sit still in one corner as I observe the luscious mountains and clear waters of the lake being populated by tourists including my friends.  



as the rain approaches - as seen from a distance
As I had the impression that lakes are of unknown depths, the Kayangan Lake makes every visitor safe and confident as the clear waters would give you an idea of where your swimming skills would lead you.  Swimming with life jackets is mandatory and even children took a swim in it.  

If I was given the chance to stay there for a long period, I would be glad to do so.  But since there are still other scheduled sites to visit, the imagination shall be cut off.  

As the rain suddenly poured heavily, we decided to go back to the entrance where our outrigger boat was docked and had our sumptuous and fresh lunch served as prepared by our boatman in a cottage perched over the waters.
  






Whoa! I must say our boat man (Redred) really has the culinary expertise.

Then, there's this resident monkey who gets near the visitors as if asking for food.  According to locals, the monkey has been used to such lifestyle, thus, he is known to be wandering within the vicinity.

I must say I was kind of disrupted from my lunch as I was reminded of our experience in Malaysia at the Batu Caves where monkeys would grab any food on hand by the visitors.  It was alarming and quite unsafe.

However, this resident monkey of Kayangan Lake proves to be friendly and would do no harm.

Kayangan Lake is ideal for picnics and family/friends outing.  Only that adults who carry children while trekking may have some difficulty but it's worth the experience and the bonding time.



BARRACUDA LAKE

Entrance fee: P100.00 per person

We were greeted by limestone rock formations which for me appears to be a painting as it was so well-maintained and neatly patterned as we enter and docked at the entrance to the Barracuda Lake.



























The rock formations were less to uninhabited by species of plants which makes it so defined and remarkable.  I was at awe.

Contrary to the Kayangan Lake, Barracuda is less commercialized in the sense that only a few visit the lake and most are armed with tanks and diving suits, making it a haven for professional divers.  Locals nearly discourage visitors to visit the place as the depth of the lake is unknown and is recommended only for professional divers.

But the way our personalities are in the group, everything is a hearsay if not experienced first hand.  Thus, the visit to the Barracuda Lake.



the unstable platform of the lake

Unlike the Kayangan Lake, there is no need to trek to be able to swim in the Barracuda Lake as the same is just a few steps from the boardwalk entrance.

Once at the lake, the stone formations are indeed noticeable that I imagine the same to be ruins of some temples or an archeological site.

Indeed as I step on the unstable wooden platform of the lake, I can feel the depth of the lake and the coldness of the water.  It was quite scary for me who is not even confident in swimming even on the seas or the beach, what more for a lake where buoyancy is nearly nil.

Thus, I have to content myself on a short dip and capture photos just anywhere.

My friends swam on the lake and shared that there were large coral reef formations underneath in a confirmed unknown depth.

There are no sounds of visitors chatting and laughing unlike in Kayangan Lake as the silence was indeed deafening.  But despite the creepy imaginations I had in mind, one thing is certain and that is, Barracuda Lake is truly a natural wonder.



Thus, when confronted with time constraints and only need to visit one of the two lakes as what most tour packages offer, assess own priorities when visiting Coron.

This is part of the 4-Day 3-Nights stay at Busuanga Island, Palawan, Philippines.

Day 1: CORON

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4 comments

  1. Hi, May I know your reliable boatman? Please. Thanks. :) Happy new year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Nice blog. Hmmmm may I know the contact number of your reliable boatman please? Thanks. Happy new year! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi verna. boatman's name is red red. contact nos. 09275958446 or 09362762775. thanks for reading. happy new year!

      Delete
  3. island stones of palawan is really beautiful. nothing compares :)

    ReplyDelete