If you are looking for a cool swimming hole then Maquinit Hot Spring is definitely not it. With the water from the hot spring hovering close to 40 degrees Celsius, it is a great place for cleansing. You can connect yourself and nature in the company of others while enjoying the natural thermal mineral waters which flow from deep underground into pools just like at Maquinit Hot Spring Corin in Palawan. Why did they call it Maquinit? Simply because Maquinit means “mainit” in Filipino and hot in English. They say it’s one of a few saltwater hot springs in the world. Do you believe it? Is it worth your experiencing? Let’s find out.
After an arduous yet fun trek at Mt. Tapyas summit, we are heading to the Maquinit Hotspring – located in the south-east of Busuanga island. Passing through rural settlements of the inhabitants of Coron, particularly coastal areas, the ambiance is quite an extreme opposite of city environment. It is around 45 minutes from the center and going there, the narrow road lined with trees and vegetation is terrible – dusty, bumpy and rough. (The road can be muddy during rainy seasons so you have to ready yourself).
When we arrived there around 6:30 pm, there’s a lot of shuttle van owned by the different tour agency. The place is really unassuming, with all its simplicity. But what caught my attention upon entry to the bamboo-fenced property, are the black hardwood benches and wood-carved masks hanged on a tree that is picture-perfect with the little mangrove forest as background
Entering the hot spring is like stepping into another world, a sanctuary where the mind and body are calmed by the steam, soothing aroma and the sound of running water. The pool is quite large and has two smaller pools cascading into it with unique rock formation around. The main pool can accommodate at least than a hundred people and two smaller pools that can hold at least 10. Towards the tier-layered swimming pools of hot fresh spring water, one will notice the algae growing on the rock wall of the pools an indication that this water through hot is livable to these organisms.
Maquinit hot spring is drawn to rustic design which is only natural – it makes you feel like you’re one with nature. However, the stone walls and floors covered with pebbles are blends completely to retain the unfeigned feeling so that people may enjoy its healing powers.
Maybe some of you would find it a little bit strange wanting to swim at Maquinit Hot Spring when you already soaked yourself in sweat on an exhausting hike. Being a little cautious, I dipped my toes in first, checking the temperature of the water. It was overly warm but not unpleasantly hot so I slowly slide into the water, gliding my feet across the pebbly floor. As I adjusted to the water temperature, I slowly dipped other parts of my body and before I knew it I was completely covered. Guess what… Surprisingly, I liked it. My skin tingled from the heat as I lay back with closed eyes and listened to the sounds of nature that surrounded me.
Whatever fatigue we gathered on our trek up Mt. Tapyas, was washed away by the therapeutic water. It was easy to relax here. All I did was soak, look at the trees and the tourist, feeling the stones tickles my feet and the warm waters soak into my skin. After the hike, Maquinit Hot Spring especially comforted my tired legs. Saltwater hot springs are much more beneficial to your health when compared to freshwater. Plus, maybe the cooler night winds can help me stand the hot water.
REMINDER: Although it is very important to rehydrate yourself after bathing, we recommend that you strive to attain better blood circulation before entering the baths by drinking ample amounts of water, tea or similar fluid 15 minutes before bathing. Improving your blood circulation this way helps the beneficial properties of hot spring water to take effect more efficiently.
Boost Blood Circulation – The water found in natural hot springs contains a variety of different minerals, including calcium and sodium bicarbonate. Our bodies soak up these minerals when we are in a hot spring, which increases circulation and overall oxygen flow.
Treat Skin Infections – Sulfur is a mineral present in every cell of your body and is used to make collagen, which keeps your skin smooth and soften dry and rough skin. Hot springs are a rich source of sulfur and its healing benefits include treating skin irritations and infections such as rashes and eczema. S
Reduce Stress and Promote Good Sleep – The mineral water in hot springs can also help reduce stress by relaxing tense muscles which benefits many aspects of your health, including sleeping patterns and nutrient assimilation.
Detoxify – Bathing repeatedly in hot springs can help tone your autonomic nervous system and normalize your endocrine system, as well as release toxins in your body through sweating.
Boost Immune System – Some proponents believe that iron content in hot springs, along with other trace minerals, might help build your body’s immune system, making it stronger and more able to fight infections
NOTE: While there are many benefits to soaking in hot springs there are some precautions to consider. If you are pregnant or nursing, elderly, have heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes or are using prescription drugs you should consult with a physician before using the pools to ensure that the practice is safe for you.
Overall, Maquinit Hot Spring is well worth visiting if you wish to experience a natural saltwater hot spring but definitely NOT recommended for those wanting a few more comforts, like being able to take a shower after your dip in the spring. Oh, and don’t expect much from the changing area also. It is a combined male/female change area (it does have separate stalls with a door so you do have some privacy). When we were there the floor was wet and muddy with no good place to put your clean clothes. I was disappointed by the lack of facilities. And they don’t have a freshwater shower! NO FRESH WATER SHOWER! We were told it’s “out of order”.
There are CRs, which are also used by people as changing rooms – these are always insufficient for the number of people who come. The small comfort rooms were dirty with a big drum of clean water to pour on yourself for rinsing and didn’t have hangers so you can hang your clothes while you change. You also need to hurry because there was a queue of tourist waiting for you to finish your stuff. .Remember to bring your own towels when you come here and a change of clothes.
And there’s no place where you can put your bags safely except to the big rocks but when it rains, then all your things will get wet which is not a good experience. They should have a safe place to deposit bags in case it’s raining! Fortunately, some of our groups were not in the mood to swim in the hot spring so they offered to watch our things. I suggest they should improve their services and have a renovation.
The Philippines atmosphere is hard to beat because of it’s hot and humid climate. But there is the best time to visit Maquinit Hot spring. It is open daily, any time of day you choose from 8 am – 10 pm. But according to our tour guide, sometimes Maquinit Hotspring staff stopped taking in guests at 8 pm. A P200 entrance fee will let you use the pools throughout the day. However, there are a few parts of the day that would be better or worse to visit than others.
Mornings can be good as the sun is not at it’s highest point and therefore temperatures are not too high. It’s a great way to start your day, with the fresh air from the sea and the sounds of a forest giving you a boost in the morning.
Do NOT visit the Maquinit hot spring around midday or when the sun is high up in the sky (between 9 am-3:30 pm) if you don’t want to roast yourself up and I can guarantee it’s a less enjoyable experience.
The best time to visit is after a long day of activities like island tour or after your trek at Mt Tapyas summit. That way you are truly able to feel the relaxing effects as the therapeutic hot spring soothes your aching muscles. Enjoy a nice long soak whilst the sun goes down and be revitalized for the next day of adventure.
Help Us Rate Maquinit Hot Spring
How to get there:
*This is often included in the tour packages and you can reach this place also through a shuttle van or boat ride. The rates depend on the package you choose.
- Maquinit Hot Spring is just 45 minutes away from the town. You can hire a tricycle or yourself for ₱300-400.00 for a round trip ride or ₱100 per passenger with a group. It may sound like a dent in your wallet, but that’s already going to and from the hot springs.
- If you also want for more fun on your way to the hot spring, you can rent a mountain bike at the town for only ₱50.00 per hour and just ask the people around on how to reach the hot spring. It’s very easy because it is just one way.