Explore Coron, Palawan

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Places to go to in Coron, Palawan:

Lakes and lagoons on Coron Island (both buffeted by towering limestone formations), perfect for snorkeling:

1) Lake Kayangan – asia’s cleanest and clearest lake, see as far deep as 15 to 20 feet

2) Lake Barracuda – fresh water on the surface and warm saltwater (35 to 40 degrees Celsius) at depths of 9 m or more, unique marine life and breathtaking limestone formations underwater

3) Twin lagoons – water can be both clear and slightly brackish depending on the temperature (water has 2 temperatures); very picturesque

4) Banol beach – small strip of fine white sand sitting at the foot of a towering limestone cliff, very nice and private

Island hopping along the Calamianes group (arguably the best beaches in the Philippines, Boracay and Amanpulo included):

5) Banana Island – lonely island with small coral reefs around it that show abundant marine life; fine white sand and rustic accommodations

6) Malcapuya Island – fine white sand with a longer shoreline than Banana Island; rustic accomodations

7) Calumbuyan Island, Malcatop Island, North and South Cay, Debutonay Island, Black Island (Gutob Bay) – another must-see for beach lovers; fine white sand and fantastic coral reefs (marine sanctuaries)

Dive sites abound (possibly the Philippines’ most varied and technical SCUBA diving location):

8 ) Wreck diving – many wrecks from World War 2 litter the archipelago (Akitsushima, Irako, Kogyo Maru, Olympia Maru, Morazon Maru and several more); depths range from 9m to 45 m

9) Cathedral Cave – steep drop off to 30m, cave on 7m; about 20m long tunnel with large underwater cave where you can surface

10) Dynamite Reef – a marine sanctuary off tangat (also sangat) island with corals, fish, anemones, and tunicates

11) CYC Beach –  I believe this stands for Coron Youth Club. It is the only public beach (and free!) in the vicinity. It was a good place to stay into.

12) Siete Pecados – Siete Pecados is a good place to snorkle & swim with the multi-colored fish of different sizes and shapes. This is a marine park, and it is protected. Unfortunately, some of the corals have been destroyed.

Inland tourist spots:

13) Maquinit hot springs – enjoy therapeutic 40 degree Celsius saltwater hot springs

14) Mount Tapyas – enjoy a breath-taking view of the entire island and enjoy the unique sunset

15) Mount Tundalara – 640 m high, you can reach the peak in 3 to 4 hours; the second highest peak in Palawan

16) Calauit nature reserve – see zebras, giraffes, mousedeer and other animals roam freely in this safari-like environment

15) Horse valley – riders of all skill levels can enjoy the many horses located in this ranch located 2.5 km from Coron town

Please let me know if I missed anything.

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Apo Reef Lighthouse / Apo Island Lighthouse

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Focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 10 s. 33.5 m (110 ft) white concrete tower with two galleries; no lantern. The building has an enclosed 2-story square base, an octagonal skeletal section topped by a gallery, and then a square cylindrical section topped by the octagonal second gallery. There are a number of lighthouses of this type in the Philippines, including the Lolong Point Light. Apo Reef is an atoll placed dangerously in the center of Mindoro Strait, the shipping route between the South China Sea and the central and southern Philippines. The atoll is preserved as the Apo Reef Natural Park. The original lighthouse here, built early in the U.S. administration (1906), was a hexagonal skeletal tower with central cylinder. Site open; visitors can climb the stairs to the top of the skeletal section.


Note: there is also an Apo Island lighthouse in Negros . Located on the atoll 40 km (25 mi) southwest of Sablayan. Accessible only by boat.

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La Sirenetta Restaurant

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La Sirenetta is is a beautiful spot to have your cocktails and watch the sunset from. It is built out over the water at the end of a long walking path. There are large mermaids decoratively hanging on each of the restaurant’s corners.

The restaurant is open air, with thatched roof. There is a fully stocked bar, functional kitchen, and even a pool table for those coming with no appetite.

The daily fresh catch (lapu lapu) is always a good bet. Unlike some of the other restaurants, the fish is always served moist and full of flavor. The portions are large and the prices are reasonable. The tuna steaks were also wonderful.

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Apo Island, Occidental Mindoro

The Apo Island is part of the three islands of Apo Reef, the other two islands are the Apo Menor also known as Binangaan Island, and Caios del Bajo. Apo Island’s white sand beach and the physical attributes of island offer tourists a wholesome place for rest and recreation. Since Apo Island is an isolated place don’t expect any resort.

Its main attraction is its immaculate stretch of white sand beach, whose pristine quality rivals even that of more celebrated Boracay. In fact, it offers the sand and water of Boracay without the crowds and dizzying array of gaudy resorts. The waters around the island are shallow and temperate, making it superb for leisurely swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving.

On Apo Island you will see a 35 meter lighthouse, which is used to ward of unsuspecting boats. The Apo National Park has a station on the island which is manned by rangers.

The Apo Reef Natural Park is a government protected natural park consists of the three islands. Apo Island is the largest among the three islands. It has a shallow lagoon with a depth of 2 meters to 10 meters surrounded by mangrove forest which serves as source of food, nursery and spawning ground of several coastal and marine species of fauna and sanctuary of birds.

Apo Reef is a series of coral reefs encompassing 34 square kilometers within the waters of Occidental Mindoro in the Philippines. It is the second largest contiguous reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef and the largest in the country.

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Shore line of Apo Island

Shore line of Apo Island

Shore line of Apo Island

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Shore line of Apo Island

Shore line of Apo Island

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Sunset at Apo Island

Sunset at Apo Island

Sunrise at Apo Island

Sunrise at Apo Island

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Pandan Island

Pandan Island is a  private island with a small resort on the West coast of Occidental Mindoro, Central Philippines.
After the island was ‘discovered’ and the resort established in 1986 by a French adventurer, this tropical island retreat has been voted time and again as one of the top resorts in the Philippines, not in terms of luxury but for it’s quality of life and it’s personalized atmosphere.

Pandan Island is for people who like to spend  time in  tropical surroundings without cars and television. A place where you are woken up by the singing of colorful birds, where there is only a palm tree between you and the sea, where you still know your neighbors and where you may even meet  a sea turtle before having your breakfast .

Besides spending your day in a hammock or exploring the few secluded beaches, we offer a wide range of activities to choose from. Scuba Diving in the coral gardens around  Pandan or around the nearby Apo Reef is the most popular and exciting activity to engage in but we also offer you the possibility to explore the jungle rivers of nearby Mindoro by kayak or visit the small coastal town of Sablayan and meet its friendly inhabitants. However you choose to spend your vacation, our staff will do their utmost to make your stay on Pandan Island a relaxing or adventurous experience.

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Front View of Pandan Island Resort

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Apo/Pandan Island Itinerary

Friday

8:50 Am Departure: Manila NAIA T3 to San Jose Occidental Mindoro

9:45 AM Arrival at San Jose Airport

9:45 AM Free time to roam around in San Jose area

12:00 PM Bus ride to Sablayan (3 ½ hours)

4:00 PM Check-in

4:30 PM Free time to roam around in Sablayan area

Saturday

4:00 AM Wake up call

5:00 AM Departure from Sablayan to Apo Island (3 ½ Hours boat ride)

8:00 AM Arrival in Apo Island, Rest and Breakfast

9:00 AM Land Tour In Apo Island.

12:00 PM Lunch

1:00 PM Scuba/Snorkeling at Apo reef

4:00 PM Merienda time

5:00 PM Set-up of tent

7:00 PM Dinner

8:00 PM Rest, kwentuhan, inuman

Sunday

5:00 AM Wake up call, Breakfast, Last look on the Apo Island, Last Swimming

8:00 AM Bye Apo Island

11:30 AM Arrival at Sablayan port

12:00 PM Lunch

1:00 PM Departure from Sablayan port to Pandan Island

1:30 PM Check-in in Pandan Island Resort

2:00 PM Free time (roam around the Island, Scuba Snorkeling)

7:00 PM Buffet Dinner

8:00 PM Free time(drinking session at the bar)

Monday

8:00 AM Wake up call, Breakfast

9:00 AM Free time (roam around the Island, Scuba Snorkeling)

11:00 AM Bye Pandan Island

11:30 AM Arrival at Sablayan port

12:00 PM Lunch

1:00 PM Bus ride to San Jose Airport (3 ½ hours)

4:50 PM Departure: San Jose Occidental Mindoro to Manila

5:40 PM Arrival at Manila NAIA T3

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D.J. Beach Resort

Name of Establishment: D.J. Beach Resort

Owner/Manager: Mrs. Gloria S. De Jesus

Address: So. Busaran, Poblacion, Sablayan, Occ. Mdo.

Tel. No: +639099471380

Year Estab.: 1997

Room Facilities: with Bar/Coffee Shop and with 4 cottages located on seawater

About Our Experience:

If given a chance to visit Sablayan I will still have may accommodation here in DJ Beach Resort, its one of the best. Not so much for its facility but more particularly of its very warm reception and hospitality. I was the first one to arrive in the resort because I took different flight from my group. So I wanted to experience some tourist spots in Sablayan, Nanay Gloria look for a trike for me, just to tour me around the area which I really appreciate. Food is one of the best, because of the fresh seafood’s. One of the things that I want to experience in one place is their own food and I experience it all in DJ Beach Resort.

Some pictures before we leave its around 5am

DJ Beach Resort

Our Group with Nanay Gloria

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Parola Park

Also known as Pressing Park named after the wife of former Mayor Loreto Urieta during his term. This park’s foremost attraction is a historic watchtower which allowed the natives to prey on Muslim vintas. Round the clock watchers and defenders stationed thereat signal or warn the people to hide while launching volleys of cannon fires to defend the town. Located in Lumang Bayan at Sablayan, it was erected in 1861. In 1896 it was equipped with bells to warn residents of impending raids. Later, a church was built which withstood the elements for ten brief years, but which is now in ruins. A cannon used to defend the town is all that stands at a promontory to remind generations of its past. Today, a lighthouse and old cannon could still be found there. The park offers the best sunset view in town. It can be reached in 3 hours from the San Jose airport by bus.

overlooking of Pandan Island from Parola Park

Parola Park

New Lighthouse

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Occidental Mindoro

Known as “Marine Wonderland,” the fantastic land that is Occidental Mindoro is endowed with marine beauty from its virgin forests, beautiful white sand beaches, islands and islets rich in marine life, coral gardens, mysterious caves, and cascading waterfalls.

It has one of the country’s wondrous secret hideaways, the Apo Reef, which is regarded as the second largest in the world. This 34-kilometer reef in Sablayan, which is located in Apo Island, is acclaimed as the best in Asia and as the diving mecca of the Philippines. The Apo Reef Marine Park includes the fascinating bird-populated islands of Binangaan and Cajos del Bajo, which are surrounded by waters with over 500 species of marine life and luxuriant coral growth represented by approximately 400 to 500 kaleidoscopic coral species.

Mt. Iglit in San Jose is a game sanctuary for the tamaraw, a wild animal found nowhere else in the world, bearing a resemblance to the Philippine buffalo, commonly known as carabao. Mamburao boasts of an elongated strip of beach with natural and rustic surroundings. In Lumang Bayan, Sablayan, a five-hectare park overlooking the sea, known as Presing Park, is frequented by promenaders.

Occidental Mindoro is a diving paradise with so much to offer divers out to discover several unexplored shoals and atolls. The areas around Ambulong Island, Ilin Island, White Island, and Pandan Grande offer a fertile diving ground surrounded by exquisite coral reefs and colorful marine life, ranging from exotic fish to exquisite seashells.

Every 25th to 27th of April, residents of San Jose celebrate the Saknungan, a 3-day thanksgiving festival highlighted by streetdances and parades. Saknungan is a Mangyan term which means “”bayanihan”” or the spirit of cooperation, brotherhood, and unity at work – the spirit portrayed by the Mindoreños day-to-day, especially during the planting and the harvesting seasons.


Things to Do and see in Occidental Mindoro

Apo Reef National Park (Apo Island, Sablayan; 3 hours by pumpboat from the capital to Sablayan)
One of the dive sites frequented by most divers in Occidental Mindoro is the Apo Reef. It is acclaimed as the best in Asia, and as the diving mecca of the Philippines. It is a 34-kilometer reef, located 20 miles west of Mindoro proper, with a narrow channel running east to west, dividing this reef into two lagoon systems, north and south. Underneath, the clean waters, fine white sand, and numerous corals are visible.
The Apo Reef Marine Park includes the fascinating bird-populated islands of Binangaan and Caios del Bajo, which have a variety of birds that can irresistibly lure birdwatchers. The surrounding waters are abundant with marine fauna and luxuriant coral growth represented by approximately 400-500 kaleidoscopic coral species. Marine life includes varieties of sharks, stingrays, and manta ray

Pandan Island (Sablayan; 15 minutes by pumpboat from Sablayan port)
Pandan Grande Island is a 30-hectare islet surrounded by a white sand beach and is also the site of a 20-room divers’ lodge made of native cottages. This beautiful little coral islet is located with snorkelling distance from a submarine drop-off, inhabited by schools of reef. A yacht ride may be taken to the island.


Special Interest

Deep Sea Scuba Diving

Go for a dive and savor the panorama of your life, with a breathtaking view of the world’s second largest coral reef, schools of fish in shoals and atolls, and sunken vessel sites. Take pride in the precious marine heritage of the Philippine republic.

Swimming and Snorkeling

These are pleasures which fit the affordability level of the average tourist, local or foreign. The waters of Mindoro Occidental are pristine and pure, unvisited as most of its shores in comparison to more popular ones.
Sightseeing. Pay exciting visits via island hopping to conversation sites, natural parks, reservation areas, and animal sanctuaries, notably the wildlife reserves covering the endangered tamaraw species.

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