Itinerary Planning 101: Coron, Palawan

So, you have booked that plane ticket to Coron. It would be your first time to visit the amazing island
and you’re clueless on what to do, where to eat etc. Planning an itinerary would save you time and make your experience worthwhile.

Here are itineraries which you can follow:

Coron in 4 days/ 3Nights

Day 1: Beach bumming /camping at Malcapuya Island /Banana Island

*It’s best to go to these islands early in the morning to avoid the huge waves. We were there during the Amihan Season so waves were really huge.

Head to Gateway Port. The boat operators’ standard rate for these islands (Malcapuya/Banana): Php 3,500. You can haggle up to Php 3,000 (based on our experience). It’s also ideal to stay overnight at Malcapuya Island if you want to experience the quiet life in this virgin island.

Here’s a blog entry of our experience: Sail to Paradise

You may inquire for the rates of the overnight accommodation:

Day 2: Coron Island Hopping

*Head to Gateway Port to start your island hopping tour. Boat operators have standard rates. For the Coron Island Hopping tour, they usually charge Php 1,500.00. If you’re 6 in a group, then you’ll have to pay Php 250/each.

Before leaving the port, buy seafoods at the market (just beside the port). Your boatman may cook for you. But you have to pay them a separate fee for that. They’re friendly so you just need your PR skills to negotiate with them.

  • 8:00 am-9:00- Departure from Gateway Port
  • 9:00-10:00 am- Snorkel at Siete Pecados (Entrance Fee: Php 100.00)
  • 10:00am-12:00pm- Kayangan Lake (Entrance Fee: Php 200.00)
  • Lunch at the Boat
  • 1:00pm-2:00pm Barracuda Lake (Php 100.00)
  • 2:00pm-2:30 pm Twin Lagoon (Php 100.00)
  • 2:30pm-3:00 pm Snorkel at Skeleton Wreck (Php 100.00)
  • 3:00 pm-4:00 pm Banol Beach (Php 100.00)
  • 4:00pm-4:30 pm CYC Island (No entrance fee)
  • Return to Coron Town

My blog entries: Coron Island Hopping Part 1 and  Coron Island Hopping Part 2.

Expenses per person (based on DIY Coron): Php 1,270.00 (If 7 pax).

Day 3: Calauit Safari Adventure

*Calauit is about two hours away from Coron town. It’s best to hire a van to go there and would be affordable if you’re many in a group. In any case, you can check DIY Coron and join group tours. In this way, you can lessen the cost.

*We did avail of their service for easier arrangements/ travel.

Expenses: Php 1,930.00/pax (If 5 pax, DIY Coron price)

Travel time: Coron Town-Calauit Island: 4:00 am-7:00am

Day 4-Coron Town Tour/Pasalubong

*Roam the town.

What to Buy: Kasuy in Good Harvest (Php 100.00/small pack), souvenir shirts in Fern Valle (White Shirt Php 135.00),  sugpo in the market (large shrimps are way cheaper here than in Manila).

Enjoy Coron!

Coron Day 1: Sail to Paradise

“Dreams do come true. We just have to believe and have faith.”

Thanks to impulsiveness! Five months ago, I was able to book AirphilExpress’ roundtrip airfare to Busuanga for  1,137.00.

Today, I began my journey in one of my must-see-destination list—Coron in Busuanga Island, Palawan. As usual, I took the window seat and took aerial shots of the islands. Though sleepy, I chose to shoot and the view from above was worth it!

The flight from Manila to Busuanga took 40 minutes, faster than what the boarding pass indicated: 1 hour and 5 minutes.  First thing that I noticed when we landed at the Francisco Reyes Airport was the cellular signal. No Globe signal.

Since I have arranged the trip with DIY Coron, we didn’t have a hard time finding a ride. DIY Coron’s van driver,  Jayjay, welcomed us. I gazed at the surroundings as we made our way to Coron town. Everything’s green and blue! The hills blended well amidst the deep blue sky. Goats grazed in the grass. Picture perfect! Just what I would like to see—the simple and quiet life in an island.  The thirty-minute ride from Busuanga Airport to Coron town cost us Php 450 (Php 150/head).

It was 12 noon when we arrived at Coron Village Lodge. We didn’t have a definite itinerary for the day since the tours with DIY would start on the 17th. But there’s this one island which I wanted to visit—Malcapuya Island. The pictures on Flickr inspired me.

From Village Lodge, we hailed a six-seater tricycle. Fare costs Php 8.00 each but the driver, Charlie offered to wait for us while we ate lunch at Kawayanan Grille. He just said, “Kayo na ho bahala kung magkano.”

We ordered seafood sisig and ensaladang seaweed grass. Both dishes were tasty but were pricey.  Prices of the viands were similar to that of Manila restaurants ( Php 150- Php 350/viand).

At around 1pm, Charlie dropped us at the Gateway Port, where the boats were lined up. When I saw the price list of the boats, I had second thoughts. Trip to Malcapuya/Malaroyroy/Banana Island would cost me Php 3,500. The boatmen were telling me that we should have arrived earlier. I replied that as much as we want to, Airphilexpress changed the flight schedule. Originally, the flight to Busuanga is scheduled at 8:00 am.

I tried to bargain and the boatman Nestor agreed to Php 3,000. Yes, another slash in my pocket but then again, experience is more valuable than money. So, off we go to Malcapuya. We were warned that it would be a long ride, 1.5 hours-2 hours. They also warned us about the big waves.

Indeed, the trip was long.  Papa was already complaining to me. “Anak, ano bang makikita natin dun?” I just said, “Wait and see.”  I knew he was nervous of the waves.

Truly, the waves were huge. I just told my folks to relax, trust in God, and nothing bad will happen. Nestor, the boatman, was skilled enough to navigate through the waves.  He then pointed at the island in front of us, “’Yan na yung Malcapuya.”

I saw paradise…crystal clear blue green waters, stretch of white sand. The worried looks on my parents’ faces faded. I smiled and told them, “See. <laughs>”

Papa said, “Ikaw talaga, ‘yung mga trip mo mala-Survivor Philippines.”

Mama and I just laughed. We jumped into the water and began our “photoshoot.”

It was fun! fun! fun!

Before we left the island, we quenched our thirsts with fresh buco juice (Php 20).

No matter how long, scary, the journey was….at the end of the fuzzy waves was Paradise!

Other details on Malcapuya:

Entrance Fee – Php 200.00

Overnight Stay- Php 700.00 (electric fan)/ Php 1,000.00/head (aircon)

Boatman: Nestor-09182077207