Apart from the beautiful coves and dive sites surrounding Coron, the town has another ace up its sleeve; the therapeutic waters of Maquinit Hot Springs. This is the only saltwater spring in the whole of Asia and its waters sprouts from the nearby Dalara Mountain, a dormant volcano.
To get there, we rented a two-way ride tricycle for Php300.00. It’s a good thing we did too as we originally planned on hiking all the way to the resort thinking it was just a stone’s throw away from the town; at least says the peeps at Tita Esh Eatery. The trip took a total of thirty minutes.
For those planning to go there, better make a deal with the tricycle drivers for a two-way trip as you won’t be getting any ride back to town from the spring.
We arrived at Maquinit at quarter to six in the afternoon, just in time for the sunset. But no sunset came; we were on the wrong side of the compass I think. Before dipping into the natural spring, we decided to explore a bit while there was still some light.
We came upon a rickety wooden bridge surrounded by foliage at the far end of the resort. The bridge ended right at the sea’s edge and this was where the blue hour, those precious few minutes before day turns completely into night, greeted us. Its electric blue hues combined with a rising full moon more than compensated for the absence of a fiery sunset.
The resort is open from early mornings to late nights but most visitors prefer to visit in the evenings as the combination of the cool night air perfectly compliments the water’s hot temperament. And as darkness finally enveloped Coron, we at last dipped into the spring.
The hot (not lukewarm, nor warm) water boiling out of the earth is contained on a rough circular pool. Mind you, these are not like the ones we’re accustomed to at ordinary resorts. The pool was not finished with tiles and the floors were bare, meaning rocks and sand fill the bottom so better wear your sandals; the walls are made of piled rough stones and concrete.
Off the sides, built in benches / steps can be found where dippers can relax on. Note that I said dippers not swimmers as you really cannot swim at the pool unless you really really have a very thick skin and high tolerance for heat.
The 40-degree Celsius temperature was almost scalding on first dip, but we eventually got the hang of it. Still, I tried to dive below just to try it out and it only took a few seconds before I hurriedly surfaced, my body can stand the heat but my face and especially my eyes (even when closed) absolutely cannot.
The locals say that the best time to visit Maquinit was right after an afternoon climb at Mt. Tapyas, and I couldn’t agree more. The water was just very soothing; my body’s tensions seemed to drain along the water cascading out of the pool.
And for those wanting to catch Maquinit at its most magical, time your visit on a full moon. Our visit did but it was entirely unplanned. Somehow unseen circumstances like a cancelled island hop, a too expensive safari trip and an advice not taken all rounded up to us arriving at the spring of Maquinit in time with cool blue moon rising above its misty hot waters.
Maquinit Hot Springs
Open Hours: 6:00AM – 10:00PM (Guests may stay longer if they wish but the lights would be turned off by 10pm)
Roundtrip Tricycle Fee: Php 300.00
Php150.00 PHP200.00 (updated entrance fee)