We’ve been to the islands of El Nido 3 years ago and I got to say that it’s one of the most beautiful places we’ve seen. Knowing that Palawan has a lot more to offer, we stepped up our seat sale hunting game and viola, we were able to book a flight to Coron which has been in our bucket list for quite some time now.
Our departure happened in Clark Airport and unlike NAIA, it was not too crowded and our flight was actually on time. Getting there from Manila (Trinoma) was a breeze thanks to the P2P bus. Travel time was around 2 hours.
We arrived at Francisco B. Reyes Airport (Busuanga) around lunch time and upon exiting the airport we were greeted by travel agencies offering their tour packages! We took as many flyers as we can so we can compare prices but upon checking, most, if not all, had the same rates.
Van’s are also available at the airport to take you to the town proper were most of the hostels are located. If your group is small, you may choose to wait for more passengers to share the van with. Travel time from the airport to the town proper is around 30-40 minutes.
Jimms Hostel was our place of accommodation and is only around 10 minutes by tricycle from the port, and the town center. I highly recommend this hostel as the place was clean and the owners were accommodating.
Coron is known for its magnificent lakes, one of which is Kayangan Lake, nationally-acclaimed for being the cleanest lake in the Philippines and unlike El Nido, Coron is way more laid back which I really admired.
After lunch, we went for a short nap and hiked Mt. Tapyas right before sunset. Climbing the 700 steps of Mt. Tapyas is tiring but the breathtaking view of Coron when you get to the top is definitely worth every step! Sunset from that vantage point is very mesmerizing indeed.
All of us were starving after the hike. Good thing there are many restaurants near the jump off point. You will not run out of choices. Mind you though that a meal can cost you Php 200 and above. Pro tip, there are makeshift stores/carinderia along the highway that sells ulam for much cheaper ;).
We hired Kuya Lily for all our tours and paid P5300 each! His whole team was kind and very accommodating. They took us to islands where there is no crowd, and the meals they prepared was superb! Lunch is usually serve on the boat with a picturesque view of the islands of Coron.
We visited the following islands: Malcapuya Island, Banana Island, Bulog Dos Island, Detaytayan Island
All three islands were equally beautiful and has its own unique characteristics. Perfect for a photo shoot, or just to relax and experience nature at its finest.
Calauit Island is quite far from the port hence we had to get up extra early so that when we arrive on the island, it would not be too hot. Travel time from the port to the island is 4 hours. Quite long I know but it is worth the long travel time. Start your journey to Calauit Island at 4 a.m. so that you get to the island around mid morning. The animals don’t like the heat and stays in the shade. Get there when it’s too hot and there’s a chance that the animals will not interact with you.
Calauit Island was converted to a sanctuary during the Marcos regime where animals were brought from Africa such as Zebras, antelopes, snakes, porcupines, monkeys, and the star of the island, the Giraffes. There is an enclosure in the island where you can feed the Giraffes and really get up close with them. There is a tour guide in the island and it’s up to the visitor how much you would give him/her.
After our safari adventure, we then went to Black Island. Black island is not black at all, the sand is perfectly white, it is called so because of the black rocks that surrounds the island. There’s also a cave on the island that is quite spectacular. Inside the cave are pools of brackish water, some deep, some shallow, that you can swim in. The water is cool and refreshing. Perfect after a hot safari tour.
The last island we visited for this day was Pass Island. This is also the island where we met Lauren Bullen a.k.a. Gypsea Lust. She and her crew were very friendly. Of course, we can’t help but ask her if we can get a group photo with her. She happily granted our request.
We visited the following islands: Banol Beach, Twin Lagoon, Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake, Siete Pecados
We loved how clean Kayangan Lake is, definitely a must visit! It can be a bit crowded hence I suggest you go there early. The view from the viewing deck was breathtaking! i will let the pictures do the talking.
The next spot we visited was the Twin Lagoon. Know for its under water cave which you need to pass through to get to the other side of the lake. If you are not a strong swimmer, you may opt to climb a ladder to get to the other side. What I like about this lake was the mixture of warm and cool water which was sort of odd but at the same time very relaxing.
Next was Barracuda lake which is more for the thrill seekers. The lake is very deep hence you should where a life vest if you are not a good swimmer. Bring your snorkeling gears and action cameras with you as the view underneath the water is magnificent and eerie at the same time. The rock formation in Barracuda lake is popular amongst scuba divers and free divers alike. I would definitely come back to Coron just to see this place again. I might need to improve my free diving skills though!
Kuya Lily (Coron Tour) – 09552285143
Jimms Hostel (Coron Accommodation) – 09175148242
You can book them via Airbnb. Click here and you’ll get ₱1,600 off your first trip. – https://www.airbnb.com.au/c/louielynb2?currency=PHP
We did not avail any City Tour since the tricycle from the hostel to Mt. Tapyas jump-off is just PHP 20 per head.
Hire Kuya Lily (Coron Tour, Island Tours, Calauit Tour). He knows the perfect time to visit each islands to avoid the crowds
Check in at Jimms Hotel (They will assist you with the van booking going to Clark Airport)
Visit Calauit Island – Start your tour at 4 a.m. so that you get to the island around mid morning. The animals don’t like the heat and stays in the shade. Get there when it’s too hot and there’s a chance that the animals will not interact with you.
To save fare, you can actually opt to walk from port area to your hostel, it will just take you approximately 20 minutes.