Twin Lagoon, Coron: one of our favourite wild swimming spots

Twin Lagoon is one the big ticket attractions in Coron. These two stunning lagoons are perfect for swimming and in the most picturesque location you can imagine. The two lagoons are separated by a really narrow cliff and you can hop between the two using the wooden steps at high tide or swim beneath the cliff at low tide. It’s the kind of place which you cannot believe is real.

It should be on everyone’s itinerary for a trip to Coron, but this also means it can get very busy. Plan it right and you’ll find one of the best wild swimming spots we’ve ever visited.

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Twin Lagoon

Twin Lagoon is one of the three major sights to visit on an island hopping trip from Coron alongside Kayangan Lake and Barracuda Lake (and definitely one of the best things to do in Coron). Unlike the other two, the Twin lagoon is majority salt water as they are inlets from the sea and even in the very early morning the water is pretty warm. The limestone cliffs have eroded over thousands of years to create these two lagoons separated by the narrow cliff.

You’ll know when you’ve arrived as the water colour immediately changes from the dark blue of the ocean to a beautiful light blue (the kind usually reserved for paradise islands!). We docked at the northern lagoon and from here it was a couple of hundred metres swim to the steps of the second lagoon (they is no jetty like at Kayangan and Barracuda).

If you don’t fancy swimming, there is a tiny little kayak that the owners can let you use, but if its busy it will be hard to get hold of it. We used it to make sure our cameras didn’t get wet! If you definitely want to use the kayak ask your boat crew to book it in advance for you, we didn’t and they said we got very lucky to be able to use it. Some boat operators will bring their own kayak for you if they know you want to use it.

Once you get through to the second lagoon you’ll see it’s even bigger and unless you really love swimming (which I do!) you may actually want the kayak anyway to enable you to explore more of the lake. Without it you will be swimming a lot and there are very few places where you can touch the bottom for a break. I personally can’t think of a better way to start the day than swimming around these spectacular lakes but if you aren’t a huge swimming fan book a boat.

It is compulsory to wear a life jacket when swimming in any of the lakes around Coron, however in practice this isn’t enforced in the very early morning.

Read next: How to reach the best beaches in El Nido without a tour and Siquijor - The Philippines’ secret gem


The best photo spot at Twin Lagoon

Getting a cool photo at Twin Lagoon isn’t easy as it will mean you have to use the kayak to transport your kit, but those who work hard will be able to! In the southern lagoon, you can find a rock that juts out the water and makes for the perfect platform to sit on (just watch out for the sharp barnacles!). All around you’ll be surrounded by the towering limestone cliffs and the stunningly clear water. This is the Instagrammable spot you will no doubt have seen all over social media.

Our favourite spot to take this shot was from the top of the stairs to get some height and perspective. The only drawback of this is that the light is pretty tough in the early morning as the sun won’t be lighting up the lagoons until a few hours after sunrise. This means the sky is really bright and the lagoon is dark, but you can even this out a bit through editing afterwards. It is the trade off we found with all the lagoons, if you go early you get them to yourselves but the light isn’t great. We would still take that over lagoons heaving with swimmers and kayakers though!

Our other favourite photo spot was somewhere we only managed to see when using the drone (in the next section). You can’t fly your drone in the Twin Lagoon, but you can take off from your boat outside the lagoon area and have a look around. We doubt you would be able to fly your drone if the area was busy though there weren’t the clear cut rules that we found at Kayangan and Barracuda lakes.

Read next: The Philippines’ most stunning waterfalls - Cambugahay (Siquijor), Tumalog (Cebu), Kawasan (Cebu) and Aguinid (Cebu)


The hidden circular reef

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we were having a look at the Twin Lagoon from the above and suddenly saw this stunning reef just beside the cliffs. Unbeknownst to us, Coron has its own Blue Hole (similar to the one in Belize) and it looks unbelievable from the air.

No tour group, website or boat crew told us about this place. As soon as I saw it, I asked our boat captain who knew it, but simply said no one goes because no one asks!

Sadly they said we couldn’t visit it but if you are really keen feel free to show the photo when you do your trip and see if your crew say differently. It’s just outside the Twin Lagoon and looks incredible.

Read next: An adventurous itinerary for Cebu


Best time to visit Twin Lagoon

The Twin Lagoon gets incredibly busy and even though they are both pretty big, it only takes a couple of tour groups to make this feel like rush hour. We chose to arrive at 7.30am and were able to swim in the lagoons for an hour without anyone around - pure bliss.

We were told that the tour groups arrive from 9am onwards (most start their pick ups at 8am and then head straight here). Late in the day may also be a good time to go, but we can’t speak from experience on that.


Getting to Twin Lagoon

The only way to get to Twin Lagoons is by boat, either as part of a group tour or by hiring your own private boat. We recommend hiring your own boat as you can pick the time you go and you have complete control. Sadly, the boats have a fixed fee for Coron Island, whether you make one stop or 100, so it is much better value to make several stops. You can stop at the other two lakes nearby (Barracuda and Kayangan), Banul Beach or go snorkelling at one of the many spots around Coron Island.

It is one of the best trips we’ve been on out of all three trips we’ve made to the Philippines so it really is worth paying a little more and getting these amazing spots to yourself.

We chose to visit Twin Lagoon before heading to the outer islands (Malcapuya, Banana Island and Ditatyan Island) as we also wanted to visit Kayangan and Barracuda lakes early and we couldn’t manage that all on one trip. This was possible because we hired our own boat for the day and made the itinerary. Here’s a post on exactly how to organise your own private island hopping trip in Coron.

 

Entrance Fee for Twin Lagoon

Twin Lagoon has one of the more expensive entrance fees in Coron at 200 pesos per person ($4 USD).

You will pay the entrance fee to your boat crew if you are on a private trip and it will be included already if you are on a group tour. Unlike Kayangan and Barracuda lakes you do not need to get this ticket in advance and you can access the site as early as 7am.


Packing list for Kayangan Lake


GoPro

 

The perfect way to get shots and video without the fear of ruining your camera! We use the Hero5 Black which has a 12 megapixel camera that also shoots 4k video.

Reefsafe Sunscreen

 

Protection from the sun which doesn’t harm the environment. An essential in the Philippines.


Snorkel Mask

 

For when you want to snorkel the nearby reefs. The ones you rent are normally in bad condition and continuously let water in - a nasty experience.


Reef Shoes

 

An essential item for getting in and out the boat. Not necessary for Kayangan Lake, but plenty of other stops on an island hopping trip in Coron will need them.

Dry Bag

 

Another thing we made sure we took on our island hopping trip. A good dry bag will mean you can take your money, phone and camera to Twin Lagoon without water damage.


Where to stay in Coron

Charms Hotel

Finding good accommodation at the budget end in Coron is difficult. For one, everywhere is overpriced, but a lot of places suffer really badly from noise and are run down.

Charms is a great option as it has recently been built and is outside of town. The rooms are clean and have a good shower - essential after a day of island hopping. It is only 15 pesos to get to town on a tricycle (30c USD) and only takes 5 minutes.

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Midrange - The Funny Lion, Coron Town

The Funny Lion gets rave reviews and it must be on to something as everyone we met seemed to be staying there! They are building one in El Nido as well to emulate the success of the place in Coron.

The rooms look great and the views even better! We would have stayed here, but sadly it was fully booked when we visited.

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Luxury - Two Seasons Coron Island Resort & Spa, Bulalacao

There’s only one place which people talk about in the luxury bracket and it’s the Two Seasons. The rooms are individual bungalows that look out onto the beach and the sea - a dream compared to the dusty Coron Town.

However, being away from Coron Town could make things like boat tours very expensive. We would recommend checking before you book so that you don’t have a costly shock!

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Are you planning a trip to Coron? Would you hire a private boat to get this spot to yourself? Let us know in the comments!


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