When I first set my foot in Palawan, I could say that it was one of the most unforgettable experiences ever. From that day, I promised myself to come back and see other islands not just El Nido. My dream was finally fulfilled when my husband and I decided to travel to Calamian Islands which consist of Coron, Busuanga, and Calauit.
Beautiful lakes and lagoons, amazing rock formations, abundant marine and wild life – how could we resist not to go? Calamian Islands or Calamianes is group of islands in the northern Palawan. We traveled both Coron, Calauit, and Busuaga Islands and witnessed how these amazing places are blessed with so much of everything.
We booked an airline ticket in Cebu Pacific bound to Busuanga (Francisco B. Reyes Airport). From Busuanga, we rode a van going to Coron Town. Travel time is approximately 30 minutes.
Busuanga + Calauit
Our starting point was Coron Town. We booked a tour at Calamian Islands Travel & Tours. They arranged everything for us – van service, tours, and meals. Travel time from Coron Town is approximately 2.5 hours per way.
WHERE TO STAY:
There are lots of accommodations in Coron and Busuanga. We stayed in Coron Town because the activities started from there. We chose a mid-range accommodation since we just stayed during the night. Thanks for Balai Binda Lodge for our great stay.
Balai Binda Lodge is an small inland boutique hotel at the heart of Coron Town. This accommodation is very accessible to all of the destinations like the pier, market, souvenir shops, and restaurants. I was satisfied with the service because they have comfortable beds plus our Courtyard room is located away from noisy street. They provided our breakfast all through-out our stay.
You can also check out other options in Agoda, Booking.com or Traveloka.
WHERE TO EAT:
There are lots of restaurants around Coron. Just ask the local in there on where to eat. It actually depends on your cravings and budget. Almost all of them are offering sea foods like fish, squid, crab and shrimp, and the expensive lobster.
Since we just had nights to spend outside in town, we tried eating what others recommended. On our first night, we tried in Lolo Nonoy’s which is one of the famous in Coron. The price is actually affordable but the service sucks. We waited for about an our before our food to arrive. On our second night, we checked out Carl’s BBQ. The ambiance is homey plus the staffs are nice. Our food was so-so. I guess we should have tried the BBQ Ribs which is their best-seller. On our last night, since I was craving for crab, we dined at Kawayanan Grill. This place has a nice ambiance also. The food we ordered was great. I could say that this was the best restaurant we tried in Coron.
DAY 1: Arrival + Ultimate Coron Tour
Our first day in Coron was total jam-packed. Since our flight was early in the morning, I had decided to do the Ultimate Tour. I didn’t want to waste our time on our first day staying in our hotel nor doing the Town Tour. We arrived in Busuanga Airport at past 7:30am then went directly to our van transfer. Basically, everything was all good because I booked everything in advance before the actual dates of our travel. I could say that preparing everything before we arrived in Coron Town helped us to be organized and saved some time and cash.
We got our Ultimate Tour in JY Travel & Tours. They started picking up guests in hotels at 8:30am but actually, our tour started past 9:30am because they had to wait for other people to fill up our boat. They also offer aqua shoes, snorkeling gear / mask, and flippers for rent if you don’t bring any. Trust me, you really need them!
We visited Twin Lagoon, Sunset Beach, Skeleton Wreck, CYC Beach, Siete Pecados Marine Eco Park, and Barracuda Lake. We supposed to visit Kayangan Lake, but it was closed the time on our tour date due to death of two foreigners. *Sad* They replaced the tour with Barracuda Lake which is also a must-see lake in Coron.
To know more about Ultimate Tour: Travel Guide: Coron Ultimate Tour
DAY 2: Mt. Tapyas + Wrecks and Reefs Tour
We woke up as early as 5:00am to catch the sunrise in Mt. Tapyas. We just walked from our hotel to reach the starting point. We climbed the 700+ steps for about an hour and believe me, the view was totally worth it!
After the Mt. Tapyas tour, we had our second activity to Wrecks and Reefs. Our initial plan was to have an Island Hopping to Malcapuya, Bulog Dos, and Banana Island but due to Gale Warning, the tour agency replaced it with Wrecks and Reef Tour. We also booked this at JY Travel and Tours.
If you are into free diving or the scuba-diving thing, this tour is for you. Our first stop was Pass Island where we had our sumptuous lunch prepared by the tour guides. Then we visited the Lusong Coral Garden with amazing corals that I have ever seen, then Lusong Gunboat but due to strong rip current, we skipped this activity. Lastly, we checked out East Sangat Wreck but I had not seen anything except for a a sinking boat. Maybe because I was just at the top of the ocean.
To know more about this tour: Travel Guide: Pass Island with Reef & Wrecks Tour
DAY 3: Calauit Safari + Busuanga Islands Tour
This was the most exciting tour that I really enjoyed. We booked our Calauit Safari Tour at Calamian Islands Travel & Tours because they were the one who had an available tour on this day. I called other agencies but they said that they need to get 6 pax or more to pursue the Calauit Safari Tour. So we ended up booking our tour to this agency.
The tour started out as early as 5:00 in the morning since Busuanga is a bit far from Coron Town. We were 19pax on the small bus that they were offering for guest. They provided the breakfast so no need to worry that you might get hungry when you arrived on the destination. The first stop was Calauit Safari and we spent more than 3 hours there. Then after eating lunch, we went to North Cay Island where we took some good photos. We just spent an two hours on the beach then we proceed to our last destination which is the Pamalican Island.
As much as I want to spill everything, let me make a separate post of this trip. I want to give you an excitement but believe me, every photos I’ve got was breathtaking. The price and experience were all worth it!
DAY 4: Back to Manila
It’s about time to leave Coron. Our flight was 11:15 in the morning that’s why the van service fetched us earlier. We ditched any activities since our flight was at lunch and we didn’t want to miss our flight.
Our adventure was a memorable one. I could say that missing those places like Kayangan Lake and Island Escapade Tour are the reasons why we need to come back. Coron has a special place in my heart just like El Nido. Palawan is such an amazing provice. I wish to discover more of their islands like the infamous Balabac or the longest beach of San Vicente.
Thank you Coron! You are beyond beautiful.
CONTACT + GUIDE
Calamian Islands Travel & Tours
Door 205, Evamag Bldg., Don Pedro Street, Brgy. 2, Coron, Palawan, Philippines
Contact No.: +63 917 532 2719
Balai Binda Lodge
22 Don Pedro Street, Brgy. 3, Coron, Philippines
Contact No.: +63 929 332 1776