I would not tire of saying this again and again, but I have fallen in love with Coron. Or shall I say, I have fallen in love with El Rio Y Mar.
I have already written about the kinds of accommodation that you can avail if you are considering this lovely resort. If you haven’t seen that post, click here.
So now, I will walk you through the remaining amenities and activities which you can enjoy at the resort.
Even if there was no TV set in our room, I really did not run out of things to do. And quite useful was their library which featured quite a selection — they even had a Murakami! There were board games as well such as Scrabble, Pictionary, Taboo, chess and backgammon.
The framed posters on the wall are all in German. We were told that this resort is owned by a German guy. Good job, Sir!
Cozy throw pillows and bean bags for a comfortable scrabble game or what-not.
There are plenty of stuff which you can do just staying at the resort. The package that I got provided us a free kayak experience. It was our first time to kayak so I really could not say if I enjoyed it or not because of the body aches I had the day after.
I do not even know if this is how your legs should be positioned while kayaking. Looks pretty awkward to me.
This was enjoyable… NOT! The current was not really cooperating.
While it took us about an hour to get back to the shore, Brenda, the resident dive master and Finley, a corporate lawyer from Chicago, breezed through the whole thing.
Without having to go to any of the white-sand beaches that they usually offer in Coron Tours, we already got a dose of the underwater beauty that the place has to offer. The wharf area is also where you can snorkel your heart out.
Snorkeling gear. Check.
Lifevest. Check. Sun. Check.
Going to the wharf.
Some little reminders before we dove in.
So. Many. Fishes.
After snorkeling, you can either play volleyball, billiards, or just chill.
They have two pool tables. A regular one and for kids.
Water sports, anyone?
More gear for the athletic. That means these were not for me. Hehe
We’d rather just goof around.
Or chill. Yeah, we will just chill.
I know I have already mentioned this in my previous post — our package included fullboard meals so we did not have to worry about a thing at all. Everything was surprisingly good. Just a little on the heavy side though with an appetizer, a soup, salad, the main entree and dessert. Talk about pigging out on a vacation.
Food was not a problem. Quantity and quality = superb! 🙂
The Crab Shop is complete from swimwear to mosquito repellent to beach bags and what-nots.
And of course, the loungers. Loungers everywhere. Makes you wanna bum all day.
Oh and yeah, before I forget who this trip was for — Happy birthday, love! <3
His own version of Welcome to El Rio!
Night swimming at the pool using a Canon PowerShot D20 underwater camera.
The floating spa which unfortunately, we haven’t tried. Oh and there’s Edzel at the foreground.
Husband waiting for me before snorkeling.
What’s the matter, grumpyface?
So that caps off my little El Rio Experience. Again, for details on how to get here, visit www.elrioymar.com.
“Take me somewhere I can breathe, I’ve got so much to see, this is where I want to be in a place I can call mine.” – Pure Shores, All Saints
I’ve always loved the beach. I do not know what draws me to it — maybe it is the scorching heat of the sun (I never really liked the cold), the sound of the waves crashing on the shore or simply the feeling that when you are at it, you have all the excuses in the world to bum and laze around. Yes, maybe this is why I love beaches so much.
El Rio Y Mar
So when I had the chance to finally visit Coron, I chose El Rio Y Mar, a nice little island hidden somewhere far away from the town proper.
After taking around 30-40 minutes of land and river travel from the Busuanga Airport, we finally arrived at El Rio.
The view from the boat. This is the wharf where Port Caltom’s Reef Bar is also located.
We were greeted by some really cold watermelon shake and their welcome band singing their own “Welcome to El Rio” composition.
The welcome drink at Port Caltom’s Reef Bar.
We got to know their names eventually — (L-R) that’s Eric, Emil and Kuya Ton Ton — their mainstay bar guitarist.
I could not resist! Welcome to El Rio! Yay!
This picture is actually playing it forward. Even before I had this photo taken, we went to our quaint little cottage first and took a short rest before checking out the rest of the resort.
The Native Cabana
El Rio has several types of accommodations — the casa, the cedar and the native cabanas. For full description of each accommodation type, click here.
We got ourselves the native cabana. It features a private bathroom and shower, air-conditioning with refrigerator, minibar and complementary coffee and tea. It is located at the bayfront as well.
If you can’t live without TV though, opt for the cedar cabana.
Native Cabana # 8
Color of the month: Orange.
You will see a lot of gumamelas here in El Rio. So simple and pretty.
For some of you who are really picky about the toilet, no complaints here. The shower takes around 3 minutes to produce hot water though because it is gas-heated.
Dip your sand-soaked feet here before going inside the cabana. Cheap, nice trick!
Imagine this. Three steps away and then…
After checking out the room, I went outside and found this nook. Quite impressive 🙂
The bare necessities. A hammock for my book reading and pondering moments 🙂 This shot was taken on the last day already.
After settling in the room, we decided to go out and see what the place has to offer. Considering that there is no TV, we needed to find some recreation… The place did not disappoint.
On the way to the Main Hall
To go to the main hall, you can pass at the back of the cabanas where the mangrove forest is or…
…through the paved “breakwater” which by the way, has a really good view.
Loungers facing the sea in front of the cedar cabanas.
The Cedar Cabanas
The Clubhouse The Clubhouse has an infinity pool which you can enjoy if you really do not like the sea (kinda ironic, if that is the case, hehe)
After passing by the pool, we reached the restaurant where we had our meals every day. We got fullboard meals which took care of our breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The resto then leads you back to the wharf where the Port Caltom’s Bar is. Edzel and I were here every night to have some nightcap 🙂
Disclaimer: The past four days that I have been out of civilization made me realize one thing — posting photos of the places I go to may not be enough. Why? Because my short-term memory is as crappy as ever. So kindly indulge me as I chronicle important things through some words and a little “photography”..
Date: November 22 – 25, 2012. Itinerary: Coron, Busuanga. Event: Edzel’s Birthday.
I love the beach.That is the word that would immediately pop into my mind when you say vacation. Beach = vacation.
So for Edzel’s birthday, I got ourselves a vacation to Coron, Busuanga. I booked a flight through Air Philippines on the day of Edzel’s birthday – November 22. Flight schedule was at 13:50 so there was a lot of time to goof around.
AirPhil Express leaves for Busuanga at the Terminal 3 Airport.
It only took roughly an hour from Manila to Busuanga. Despite my paranoia for propeller planes, we safely arrived at the Francisco Reyes Airport. Did not have a very good landing though, hehe. Probably because of the really short runway.
Safe, sound and on-time.
After getting our stuff, we were approached by the staff of El Rio Y Mar, the hotel where I booked. It would take another 30 minutes or so to arrive at our destination. The hotel is located in a private island and is situated at the other side of Coron Town.
We were headed at the opposite side of Coron Town. The ride was very bumpy and would take you around twenty minutes. It was pretty rustic and we could not wait to get to our destination.
There were two other guests who were with us on the boat and they were on their way to Club Paradise, El Rio Y Mar’s sister establishment.
The ride was pretty nice and the staff was very accommodating. Upon boarding, he took a picture of me and Edzel and gave us our merienda — a tuna sandwich and doy-packed juice.
There was a small community on one part of the river where houses were on stilts. Amazingly though, on top of each nipa roof was a solar panel.
We arrived at a port which they call “pantalan” (yes, their language is somewhat similar to Hiligaynon). We had to cruise for another 15 minutes.
The sun basked at the horizon as we continued the cruise. What I was about to see was something that was beyond my imagination.
Welcome to El Rio Y Mar Resort! Our little piece of heaven for the next four days.
“I liked to stand out there and look back at the shore, at the long white beach, the red lifeguard tower, the green row of palm trees — it was a gorgeous scene, maybe a little too picture-postcard perfect.” – Hunting Knife, Haruki Murakami
Feeling a bit groggy already. Watch out for my post tomorrow — El Rio Y Mar. Simply Paradise.