KAYANGAN LAKE IN CORON ISLAND, PALAWAN
Kayangan Lake is by far the most popular spot on Coron Island and for good reason. You cruise into the ‘parking lot’, which in itself is an immaculate reef with crystal clear water. After parking the boat you take a short hike up the stairs to the viewpoint before clambering down the other side to reach the famous Kayangan Lake. It’s a crystal clear freshwater lake with unbelievable underwater rock formations, which make it one of the most incredible sites in Coron, Palawan.
WHERE IS KAYANGAN LAKE
Kayangan Lake is located on Coron Island. Coron Town is where all of the tourists stay is actually on Busuanga. It gets a little confusing but all you need to know is that you will be staying in Coron Town and taking a boat over to Kayangan Lake and Coron Island to visit all of the other lagoons, snorkel spots and shipwrecks. You can see where Kayangan Lake is in relation to Coron Town (Busuanga).
HOW TO GET TO KAYANGAN LAKE
The simple answer about how to get to Kayangan Lake is: by boat
You will most likely be staying in Coron Town, which is where the hotels, bars, restaurants, and airport is located.
The next question is about which boat. There are lots of tours available and they range in price. Options are a full-day island hopping tour, rent a private boat or a multi-day expedition around Coron Island and nearby islands. I will detail all of the options below.
KAYANGAN LAKE TOUR PACKAGES AND DAY TRIPS
Option 1: The first and most popular option to visit Kayangan Lake is Tour A.
To book your ISLAND HOPPING TOUR A you can Click Here to check the availability and book online (It’s just $20 USD)
- It includes Kayangan Lake, Coral Garden Snorkel, Cyc Beach and Lunch
Option 2: Big Dream Boat Man Expedition: Big Dream Boat Man is a 3-night Coron island hopping tour expedition that is different from the rest. Instead of battling the crowds, the sea of life-jackets and the lines, Big Dream Boat Man takes you to the hotspots such as Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon before the crowds come. After spending one day at the hotspots, Big Dream Boat Man veers away and guides you on an expedition to some of the hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path locations in Coron, which in my opinion were equally as impressive if not more so than the famous spots on Coron Island. We free-dived at WWII shipwrecks, camped on secluded beaches, swam with stingrays, counted the stars from the beach at night and ate like kings during our island hopping tour with Big Dream Boat Man.
To book your Big Dream Boat Man Expedition you can Click Here or if you want to see my detailed blog post (and my most epic drone photos ever) you can visit my blog post about my experience: BEST ISLAND HOPPING BOAT TOUR IN CORON: BIG DREAM BOAT MAN REVIEW
Option 3: The third option is to book a private tour, which usually costs about $50 USD upwards.
WHAT TO DO AT KAYANGAN LAKE
Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan is an awesome spot to hang out for several hours if you like to explore. While most tourists will snorkel for 20 minutes and move on there is actually a lot to see and do here. There’s a cave that most people don’t know about, epic free-diving and of course the famous viewpoint.
Freediving at Kayangan Lake
While it is now compulsory to wear a life jacket at Kayangan Lake (two tourists died doing some pretty full-on freediving so they tightened the rules for snorkelers) you can still get away with free-diving here. I usually hang out by the edges of the left side of the lake, put my life jacket on a rock and free-dive down by the cliffs underwater. This underwater landscape is up there with my favorite snorkel/free-dive spot in the world. Epic jagged rocks make you feel like you are on the moon as you dive deeper. Make sure you are cautious as it is a freshwater lake so you will be significantly less buoyant than in salt water making it harder to return to the surface. If you are not 100% sure in your swimming/free-diving capabilities please keep your life jacket on. Technically everyone needs to keep it on but those rules are for the masses and I’m willing to bend them knowing that there is very small to no-danger for ME as I do basic freediving at this part of Kayangan Lake. I made this video on my last visit to Kayangan Lake.
Snorkeling at Kayangan Lake
Of course, the most popular activity at Kayangan Lake is snorkeling. Most tourists will keep their lifejackets on and check out the underwater cliffs from above.
Awuyuk Cave at Kayangan Lake
On the left side of the lake, quite near to the boardwalk is Awuyuk Kayangan Cave. It is about 10-meters to swim through and in parts in pitch black. It’s a short adventure but pretty exciting and best done with a guide. Looking back out towards the light from inside the cave is a scene not to be missed.
The famous viewpoint of Kayangan Lake is actually not of the lake funnily enough. The viewpoint is at the top of the stairs before you head down towards Kayangan Lake and actually looks out to the area where the boats are parking. It is beautiful and the water clarity is so good that you can see the cliffs continue down below the surface. In peak times there can be a line here, which can be pretty hectic but if you come early in the morning it is much more relaxed.
Drone flight at Kayangan Lake
If you are fortunate enough to have a drone, this is an amazing spot to fly. In fact, all of Coron makes for spectacular flying. However, they do it call it the ‘Drone Graveyard’ for a reason. With cliffs at all different heights, bad signal and bright sun for pilots, this region has claimed many drones over the years. Fly high, fly slow and enjoy the view from the sky.
TIPS TO AVOID THE CROWDS
The best way to avoid the crowds at Kayangan Lake is to arrive at opening time, which is 7 am. You can do this by hiring a private boat or going with Big Dream Boat Man. If you join a regular group tour you will inevitably be there at peak time most likely.
KAYANGAN LAKE ENTRANCE FEE
Your entrance fee for Kayangan Lake is most likely organized by your tour operator but the system is not that you need to buy the tickets in town before you arrive. They are trying to regulate things more these days so that is how it works. The fee is 300PHP per person, which is $6 USD.
WHERE TO STAY BEFORE YOUR CORON ISLAND HOPPING TOUR
Coron Town is the base for all of your adventures in Coron. It is a little bit more expensive than some areas in the Philippines but there are still budget options. In Coron Town you have the bars, restaurants, transport, places to book tours and you are close to Mt. Tapyas and Maquinit Hot Spring. It is also just a $3 shuttle to the airport. Below are my three picks plus one all-inclusive resort (I’ve stayed multiple times) that includes private island hopping.
Budget Pick: Fat Monkey Hostel – The Fat Monkey Hostel has great vibes and you can get a really cheap dorm room or a basic double room at pretty much the lowest price in Coron. It is in the city center so you are close to all the bars and restaurants.
Value Pick: Kokosnuss Garden Resort – A huge swimming pool in front of a hotel that looks like a castle. A highly-rated breakfast is included with your private room. Just 1.2km from the direct town-center it is close to lots of bars and restaurants. For just $40 a night this represents about the best value you will find in Coron.
Luxury Pick: Coron Soleil Garden Resort – I stayed at this resort in 2018 and it was incredibly nice. A huge pool stretches down the length of the resort and it’s a relaxing place to chill out after island hopping. We spent the nights at the bar here and chilling in the pool before heading out to dinner. The rooms are very luxurious but this resort is actually only just over $100 per night for a double room.
All-inclusive (Includes private island hopping): Casa Fidelis Resort – I had the most amazing stay at Casa Fidelis. After spending one night in the busy Coron city I packed up and headed out to Casa Fidelis. A 20-minute drive from the city, the rustic resort has a genuine family atmosphere. We were greeted by workers, family, and friends upon our arrival.
The villa had a large patio area that looked out over the garden. Stepping stones led you from the room to the dining area, where we had decadent spreads of gourmet food for every meal. One night we even enjoyed a great sunset from the garden at the resort.
I highly recommend this resort if you are looking for an entire Coron experience. You won’t have to worry about what to do in Coron. It is a perfect resort if you want to see the best of this beautiful region and also enjoy the luxury of having every detail taken care of.