Coron is in the northeastern part of Palawan province whose area includes the eastern part of Busuanga Island and some 50 minor islets that are part of the Calamian Archipelago that divides the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea.
When in Coron, the best tours are to go island hopping. Options can either be to avail of the many tour company offerings that have a per person rate or go DIY/do-it-yourself tour.
Island hop tour package rates include the ff: licensed tour boat with life vest & first aid kit (standard), tour guide, entrance fees to all parks, beaches and islands, picnic lunch (usually grilled) with fruit and drinks. For by-land tours, package includes van transportation to and from your hotel, lunch and snacks.
For the DIY, you can hire a boat, buy fresh produce from the wet market to be cooked for lunch (boat crew usually does the cooking for you and they bring complete utensils) and pay the entrance fee upon arrival at your destination.
If you are a group of more than 5, it may be cheaper to hire a boat. Rates depend on where your destinations are. I have tried both – availing of tour packages and DIY—and it has its pros and cons. If you want particular menu to be served during your meals, the boat owner (like in our case) can buy them for you in the market before you leave. So it is best to coordinate this with them in the afternoon the day before you go on island hopping.
For tour offered by local companies, you don’t have to think or coordinate anything but the food depends on what they will provide. If you are not finicky about that, then this tour will do fine.
To have an idea of how much the tours cost, from our recent trip, the ff are http://www.cheaptravelcoron.com tour agency’s rates (contact nr 0999-581-5019):
|Kayangan Lake, Twin Peaks Reef, CYC beach, Coral Gardens, Siete Pecados||650/person|
|Banol Beach, Twin Lagoon, Skeleton Wreck, Smith Coral Garden, Capt’s Point. Option to add Barracuda Lake +100php||650/person|
|Calumbuyan Island. Lusong gunboat shipwreck, coral garden, Sangat reef & wreck, Hotspring||950/person|
|Banana Island, Bulog Dos. Option to add Malcapuya island +200php||950/person|
|Culion island historical tour||1000/person|
|Caluit Safari tour (by boat)- Calauit island, Black island, Calumbuyan island, Lusong gun boat wreck and coral garden||2,400/person|
As you can notice, cheaper tours are those found nearer Coron town – it is usually called the Coron Loop tour. Those farther out are priced higher. They are the Banana-Malcapuya loop, Calumbuyan loop, the Gutob Bay-Calauit loop, and Maricaban Bay loop. For a detailed itinerary of these destinations, I find the blog of DIY Coron very informative. When I planned our first trip to Coron, this blog is my main reference.
Last May, we did this tour DIY but only for half day. In our case, we hired a boat owned by Manong Fred Credo who I read about in Marketmanila’s blog. He charged us 1,500php for this trip and we are able to go to the ff – Siete Pecados, Kayangan Lake, and Barracuda Lake. For our group of 8 including entrance fees, we averaged 537+ Php per person.
For our trip last January, we again did a DIY hiring again Manong Fred but our planned itinerary was a 2-day island hop tour where Coron loop was scheduled for the first day. We went to the ff: Siete Pecados, Kayangan Lake, Banol Beach for lunch stopover and Skeleton Wreck. The end of first day tour was overnight in Banana Island.
Here are the updated entrance fees to the ff sites:
|Kayangan Lake||200 adult/ 100 kids — ticket to be purchased in Coron town if you come from there; but can also be paid at the site if for example you came from Culion Island.|
|Banol Beach||100; 100php per table charge (for lunch)|
For Skeleton Wreck and Siete Pecedos, you pay the fees if you actually swim and snorkel in the water. If you stayed in the boat, it’s free.
Kayangan Lake is said to be the cleanest lake in the country. But gefore getting to the lake, you must do The Climb…
Barracuda Lake is some minutes away from Kayangan.
Banol Beach is where we had our lunch stopover last January… so white and fine, sandy beach!
Skeleton Wreck looks ghostly in my photo. Lots of fishes here too like Siete Pecados.
Manong Fred Credo, owner of FBS Boat for hire. His boat can seat up to 10pax – celphone # is 09196465685. I just text or call him the dates and itineraries then agree to his boat hire rate. He does not ask for downpayment. He charges 3000php for whole day Coron loop tour.
Watch out for my next post “Coron Part 3 – Banana-Malcapuya Island Tour!”
Photo credits: Pictures posted in this blog are from my personal collection and that of my sister Joy of Creative Booze Photography.