Kayangan Lake is Coron’s crown jewel, and arguably one of the most iconic tourist destinations in the Philippines.
It wasn’t that long ago when travelers from all corners of the world heard of Kayangan Lake for the first time when international travel magazines recognized Palawan as the most beautiful island in the world. Just in 2018, tourism in Palawan increased by 21% compared to the previous year. And with many Instagram travel influencers continuing to post content from Kayangan Lake, you can expect more travelers and visitors with each passing year.
Kayangan Lake’s raw beauty is the reason why millions of travelers visit Coron each year. The lake is said to be the ‘cleanest lake in the Philippines,’ which is evident when you swim on the lake and see the magical sights of karst scenery of limestone cliffs underwater. It’s also worth noting that Kayangan Lake is 70% freshwater and 30% saltwater, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or only floating with a life jacket on.
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Understanding Kayangan Lake
Kayangan Lake is one of the eight lakes in Coron island that is open to the public. When you arrive, prepare to climb a steep 300 steps that could take ten to fifteen minutes to get to the inland lake. There is a view deck midway through the climb, where you will see plenty of tourists passing through taking pictures of the famous view of the bay.
Alternatively, for those who do not wish to climb 300 steps, you can go to nearby Barracuda Lake, which has roughly 40 steps.
Once you get to Kayangan Lake, you will immediately notice the water’s clarity and why this lake is dubbed the “cleanest lake in the Philippines.” The water is so clear that sun rays can touch the white sandy bottom of the lake about 15 meters deep (about 45 feet).
Where is Kayangan Lake
Kayangan Lake is located on Coron Island, which is about a 20-minute boat ride from where most tourists stay in Coron Town, which is on Busuanga Island.
I’ll repeat it because it can get somewhat confusing – Coron Town is not on Coron Island, but on Busuanga island!
How to Get to Kayangan Lake from Coron Town
The fastest way to get to Kayangan Lake from Coron town is by renting a boat or joining an island hopping tour.
Coron town is where most of the tourists stay when visiting Kayangan Lake. It’s where many of the accommodations, restaurants, and tour agencies are located.
Many of these tour agencies organize your trip to Kayangan Lake. Let’s take a look at a few options below:
Coron Tour A
- Swim in Kayangan Lake, the cleanest lake in the Philippines
- More popularly known as the Blue Lagoon, this lake is set amongst majestic limestone cliffs
- Snap a photo with the iconic view of Coron as your backdrop during your short trek to Kayangan Lake
- Snorkel in the coral garden and explore the thriving corals and marine species of Palawan
- Relax by the powdery white sands of CYC Beach, where you can swim or snorkel by the crystal clear water
- A convenient pick up from downtown Coron will take you safely to the start of your adventure!
Coron Ultimate Day Tour
- Spend a day with views of the towering limestone cliffs and incomparable aquamarine lagoons of Coron
- Visit the picturesque Kayangan Lake or swim in a hole below a rocky outcrop leading to the Big Lagoon.
- Go snorkeling in Coral garden and swim with the colorful fishes and corals that you’ll see in Coron.
- Enjoy a nice picnic lunch with the backdrop of the crystal clear turquoise waters.
- You’ll get a convenient hotel pick up and drop off if your hotel is in downtown Coron!
- Want to include Barracuda Lake in your itinerary? Try our Coron Super Ultimate Tour instead!
What To Do in Kayangan Lake
To accurately organize your day, it is essential to know what to do in Kayangan Lake so that you have a better idea of how much time to allocate during your visit.
Let’s take a look below.
Things to do in Kayangan Lake #1: The viewpoint
The viewpoint in Kayangan Lake is arguably the most photographed spot in Coron and the whole island of Palawan. It’s a picture that you see in many Philippine tourism campaigns when promoting tourist destinations in the country. I’ve seen it in many ads, billboards, TV commercials – it’s probably THE picture that inspired me to visit Coron for the first time in 2013!
Getting to the top of the viewpoint in Kayangan Lake might be a challenge for some. There are quite a few steep steps that you need to take, which can last for approximately ten to fifteen minutes to climb. Although I consider myself rather fit, I remember climbing up the steps for the first and am left panting the moment I arrive at the viewpoint – but I can assure you the view is worth the effort!
The panoramic view from the viewpoint is nothing short of spectacular. You get to see the massive limestone rocks sitting majestically in the middle of the aquamarine waters with lush greenery surroundings. It’s going to be one of your highlights on your visit to Kayangan Lake and Coron because it’s a view that you won’t see anywhere else on the island.
I recommend coming to Kayangan Lake’s viewpoint early in the morning to beat the crowd. I remember coming here around 10 a.m., and there was already a line for people taking turns to take their pictures from the viewpoint. Avoid the crowds and come early as much as you can – the viewpoint Kayangan Lake will be a highlight to your trip to Coron.
Things to Do in Kayangan Lake #2: Snorkel
The whole island of Coron is famous for snorkeling, and it’s no different in Kayangan Lake. As we mentioned earlier, Kayangan Lake is widely famous for being the cleanest lake in the Philippines – with some going as far as the cleanest lake in all of Asia. And it’s hard to argue by the time you physically witness Kayangan Lake in person. As you walk towards the lake, you will immediately see the rocks that go so far down the lake.
The clarity of the water makes Kayangan Lake the perfect snorkeling site.
You may see a few aquamarine life here and there, but the real selling point when you snorkel at Kayangan Lake is the dramatic karst scenery of limestone cliffs and its formation underwater. The moment you go underwater, you will immediately feel like you went to a whole different planet. It is also worth noting that Kayangan Lake is one of the unique lakes in Coron, as it is made up of 70% freshwater and 30% saltwater.
I also recommend coming to Kayangan Lake to snorkel early to avoid the crowd. After ten a.m. or so, especially during peak season, there could be a massive surge of the crowd with you on the lake. So better to come here early, so you get ample privacy time without the enormous crowds.
Things to Do in Kayangan Lake #3: Freedive
If your skills go beyond snorkeling, you have an option to go freediving in Kayangan Lake.
For those who may not be familiar, freediving is a form of underwater diving that relies on the diver’s ability to hold his breath until he resurfaces without the aid of breathing apparatus such as scuba gear. It goes without saying that you need to have advanced skills to do this activity.
Technically, there is a rule where it’s compulsory to keep your life jacket when you are in the lake. There was an unfortunate incident in 2017 when two tourists drowned freediving in Kayangan Lake. But it seems the rules of the life jackets are for the general public, as you will see other people still freediving in the lake despite the rules.
Bottom line, make sure you tell your guide that you want to freedive and that you communicate your level and the area where you are freediving for safety reasons.
Things to Do in Kayangan Lake #4: Relax
If you don’t snorkel or freedive, the best thing you can do at Kayangan Lake is relax!
There is an area in Kayangan Lake where people just sit around, wear their life jackets, and float in the water. It probably can’t get any more relaxing than just floating in the water while surrounded by nature.
Other Essential Tips for Kayangan Lake
1. Avoid The Crowds
We mentioned earlier in the post that it can get rather crowded in Kayangan Lake, most notably during peak seasons.
Many of the boat tours leave the port of Coron around 9 a.m., and many choose to visit Kayangan Lake as the first stop on their itinerary. If you want to avoid the crowd, you can book a private boat tour and request to leave a little bit earlier so you can enjoy the viewpoint and snorkeling in the lake with a bit more privacy.
In short, try to get to Kayangan Lake at or before 9 a.m, which means your boat would need to leave Coron Town a little bit earlier than the rest!
2. Entrance Fee at Kayangan Lake
Entrance fees are standard in Coron (to be fair, most of Palawan), especially when doing island hopping activities. It’s a fee used by the tourism government to help Coron keep up with its tourism infrastructure.
For the most part, the entrance fee at Kayangan Lake is almost certainly taken care of by your tour operator, which cost roughly 300 Pesos.
Where to Stay in Coron Town
Although Coron doesn’t have the same number of selection of luxury hotels and other accommodations as El Nido, there are still a few standouts to keep in mind when planning your trip to Kayangan Lake.
Let’s take a look at a few Coron accommodations below:
Where to Stay in Coron #1: Club Paradise (Luxury Resort)
What guests are saying on booking.com
The location is stunning, with an island rimmed with white beaches. You will feel isolated yet wholly taken care of, with the amenities of home. We were welcomed with a Club Paradise theme song played by the band, an introduction to the manager, and a foot bath. The island has a lovely pool and serves delicious food.
Where to Stay in Coron #2: Coron Soleil Garden Resort (Mid Range)
What guests are saying on booking.com
A beautiful property and far better than anything else I’ve stayed at or seen in Coron. The room was very spacious, comfortable, and clean. The property was very well maintained. I ate in the restaurant once, and it was delicious! The pool is beautiful, especially at night. The service is exceptional, and the staff was very accommodating in assisting my late arrival and transfer to my next hotel. For people who complain that it is slightly out of Coron town: trust me, that’s a good thing! It’s much more peaceful here than at any of the other hotels right in town. I wish I could have stayed longer!
Where to Stay in Coron #3: Hop Hostel (Budget)
What guests are saying on booking.com
Everything was terrific at this hostel! It’s gorgeous, they serve delicious food, and the staff is kind and FUN so special thanks to them as they were the big bonus to my stay! They took us on a super lovely boat trip all day and organized a lot of other activities every great day! The hostel has a fantastic rooftop terrace where you have magic views. The rooms are spacious, clean, and the beds super comfortable. If I have the chance to go to Coron again, I will stay here!!!