15 things to do in Cologne (Philippines)

If Coron isn’t already on your bucket list, get a pen ready! You can think of Cologne as a smaller, quieter, like the original version of El Nido. Like its neighbors, Cologne has natural wonders that defy logic and make you question reality. Swim in underwater mountains, visit hidden lagoons, snorkel on otherworldly reefs, rest on baby powder sand – the adventure never stops.

Since northern Palawan only recently debuted on travelers’ radars, you can treat everything outside El Nido (especially Coron) as relatively undiscovered. The once dormant fishing village is slowly waking up, and tourists are welcome to come and explore. This means that adventures in Cologne are less crowded, less expensive, and less spoiled than almost every other island area you might have visited in Southeast Asia. Come get a taste of heaven before the world catches on and Coron pops up on “top 10” lists around the world.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Cologne:

1. Colon Bay

Coron Bay, Philippines

Colon Bay is where all the magic happens. Surrounded by tall limestone cliffs, this breathtaking labyrinth of deep blue water reminds you of the movie “Avatar” – it almost doesn’t look real.

There are many shipwrecks in the bay, which promote the growth of natural coral reefs. These reefs and wrecked boats are ideal for diving and snorkeling.

You can sign up for an island tour that will take you through Coron Bay, while stopping at secret entrances to guide you to the best swimming spots and visit viewpoints that give you a complete overview of the bay.

2. Kingfisher Park

Kingfisher Park

You’ll be doing a lot of beach fun and snorkeling in Coron, so why not do it another day?

Kingfisher Park is a mangrove and bird paradise with a wealth of natural creatures to study. There are vegetation and animal species endemic to Palawan; in other words, you can only see them here!

There are a few things you can do, including the Lunes Santo Trek and the Starry-starry night Tour. But the most popular activity at Kingfisher Park is kayaking around the mangroves to get an up-close look at the mangroves and wildlife under the boat.

Ask your local guide about all of the above and he’ll figure it out for you.

3. The underwater mountains of Barracuda Lake

Underwater Mountains at Barracuda Lake

Not only are these underwater rock formations completely mysterious, but they’re located in inland lakes rather than off the coast with other crazy rock formations. Just when you thought Cologne couldn’t be more alien, it did.

Barracuda Lake is an incredible dive spot where you can swish like Peter Pan in the underwater mountains Swish Swish Swish Swish Swish Swish Swish Swish Swish Swish Swish Swish

There’s no other dive site like this in the world, so take advantage while you’re here.

4. Banana Island

Banana Island

Want romance? Banana Island has plenty of romantic corners to cuddle with your sweetheart.

Comfortably next to each other in an isolated bungalow, hovering over the water with no other soul in sight; let your boo push you gently as your feet hang in the water On a swing on an old tree; or snorkeling hand in hand, looking for little treasures for each other in the reef.

Sit on the shore and watch the sun go down after you’re full of dopamine and love hormones. Now, this is romance.

5. Blog Island

Blog Island

If you’re ready to make all your friends and family very jealous, head over to Blog Island. The sand is perfectly powdery and white, the water is a beautiful gradient from clear crystal to bright turquoise, and the scenery is an Instagram dream.

At low tide, a fresh sandbar emerges where you can take those coveted jumping photos that will make you look like you’re floating in the middle of the ocean.

And, if that wasn’t enough, the way the catamarans line up on the beach looks like something out of National Geographic.

Blog Island is a must-see destination when visiting Cologne.

6. Busuanga Island Wreck Diving

busuanga i.

Just west of Colon Island is Basanga Island, home to an underwater wonder that scuba divers can’t get.

In 1944, dozens of Japanese ships from World War I were hit in an air raid and their ships sank just off the coast of Busuanga Island. Here, these gigantic ships find their final resting place.

Many dive shops offer these wreck dives where you can swim in and around the boat, which is now covered in colorful coral reefs and eerie underwater moss. It’s an adrenaline-pumping dive, and it’s worth the hour or so by boat to get to the site.

7. Banor Beach

Banor Beach

Banor Beach is an idyllic little white sand beach perfect for sunbathing and splashing around in the cool water.

Instead of reggae bars and guesthouses, you have jungle forests and pre-packaged picnics. Fill bags with snacks, beer, and water to make it an activity.

The beach is usually very quiet, which means you have more space and your photo opportunities. Whether you’re using a smartphone or a professional camera, every photo is Instagram-worthy.

8. Levine

Levin

Backpackers are often on a budget and have to settle into painfully beautiful huts on the beach. Well, Cologne is beefing up the budget dinner landscape to perfectly capture the gorgeous high-rise view of the bay at sunset. Rough life, right?

Vegetarian and carnivore dishes start at PHP 120 or $2.50. Levine’s is the best place to try all kinds of sisigs that will leave you wanting more. From tofu sisig to beef sisig and even octopus sisig – it’s a culinary adventure.

9. Marquinite Hot Springs

Marquinite Hot Springs

Can you handle the temperature of a super hot bath? Jump into the 39-40 degrees Celsius thermal springs in Coron.

The trick is to immediately submerge your entire body in water and not move any muscles! After about a minute, your body will begin to adapt and you will begin to integrate into the experience.

Visit the hot springs at night when the temperature in the air starts to drop. This makes for a more pleasant experience. Not only that, but the sunset at Maquinit Hot Springs is a pretty spectacular experience, giving way to twinkling stars and a bright moon against a dark sky. It just can’t be beat.

10. Hike Mount Tapias

Mount Tapias

As you cruise in Coron Bay, you catch a glimpse of Mount Tapias and may wonder what’s going on there. You can see if you’re willing to climb a 210-meter flight of stairs into the clouds.

As you ascend, you will pass many weary travelers who still have smiles on their faces as each step allows you to take in more beautiful views of the island.

At the top of Tapia is a huge Christian cross that someone has actually made up their minds to carry up the mountain!

The final view gives you an unprecedented glimpse into the layout of the hamlet, Cologne Bay and the surrounding islands. Totally worth the hike, just bring water!

11. Coral Garden

Coron Coral Gardens

For more experienced divers, the site offers a depth of 40 meters and is completely surrounded by protected reef life. Even better, visibility can reach an astounding 80 feet, providing the clearest diving experience you could possibly have. You’ll need your advanced open water certification to get here, but luckily there are plenty of dive shops in Cologne that can help you with that.

Coral Gardens are rich in biodiversity. Expect to see hundreds of colorful anemones, clownfish and brightly colored reef fish.

If you haven’t completed the advanced open water course, bring your snorkel and you’ll get some great views from the water.

12. Sitpecados

Siete Pecados, Cologne

If you want to be part of a school of fish, this is the place for you. Literally translated, Siete Pecados means “school of fish” and is home to an abundance of tropical fish, abundant coral and bright reefs.

The best way to visit Siete Pecados is to rent a private boat. Make this snorkeling trip your first adventure of the day so you can avoid the heat and crowds.

Ask your guide to bring some fish food and you will make many underwater friends.

13. Swim in the twin lagoons

Double Lagoon, Cologne

Also known as the “Hidden Lagoon”, the twin lagoons offer a one-of-a-kind experience. The lagoons are essentially two small lakes formed within limestone cliffs, fed by nearby turquoise seawater.

At low tide, the water is beneath a beautiful limestone arch, from where you can swim to another lagoon.

When you swim in the water, you pass warm places and cold places that only add to the amazing experience.

14. Skull Reef

Skull Reef, Cologne

You’ve probably never scuba dived in a more beautiful reef.

Skull Reef is home to a sunken Chinese fishing boat that stimulates the growth and development of stunning coral reefs. Packed with brightly coloured corals, burrito-sized blue and red clams, and large schools of black and white striped fish that aren’t afraid to swim with you – get ready for the snorkeling of your life, all blocked off A small lagoon.

15. Swimming at Kayangan Lake

Koron Lake Kayangan

Offshore swimming is enough; now is the time for an inland water adventure. Imagine Coron Bay if it were in the middle of a forest​​​. This is exactly what Kayangan Lake is looking for.

Put on comfortable shoes and embark on a 15-minute hike up approximately 300 stairs. The trek takes some effort, but the lush forest scenery certainly makes the trip more enjoyable.

The lake is beautiful and has a wading shore. From a height it is easy to see where the lake suddenly drops to the deeper pool. This lake is 70% freshwater and 30% saltwater and is believed to be inhabited by (good) spiritual beings, and is therefore a place for locals to perform spiritual rituals.

Where to Stay: The Best Hotels in Colon, Philippines
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