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: malcapuyaisland@yahoo.com


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!


Where to eat in Coron

strong>”Where do we eat?”— It has always been a question whenever one travels.

When we visited Coron, Palawan, we had a hard time finding an affordable place to eat. Most of the restaurants offer food at rates similar to that of Manila (Php150-350 /viand). On our succeeding days, we did find places to eat when on a budget trip.

Budget Restaurants

1. Kookie Lodge and Restaurant


Location: Just Across Harbour Center in Coron Town. Near Coron’s Tourism Office.

Food: We ate breakfast here: Tapsilog, Dasilog, and American Breakfast

Taste: ??? (good)

Serving: 1 meal/ person

Service: ??

Price Range: Php 50- 100

*Tapsilog- Php 75

*Dasilog – Php 50

*American Breakfast- Php 70

Ambiance: ?-simple. no frills place

2. Lolo Nonoy’s Food Station


-This was referred by a fellow traveler whom we met during the island hopping. Tasteful food and yet affordable.  :)

Location: Near Municipal Hall and St.Augustine Parish

Food: We ate dinner here:  Calamares on sizzling plate, Sisig, Buko Juice

Taste: ???? (very good) Service: ???  Serving: 1 meal/ pax

Price Range: Php 50-250

*Calamares- Php 80

*Pork Sisig (with mayonnaise on top of egg)- Php 100

*Fresh Buko Juice- Php 40

Ambiance: ???? -bahay kubo/ comfy and homey feel

**********************************************************************

‘Quite Expensive’ Restaurants

1. Coron Village Lodge Bistro Bar

-Since we were billeted at Coron Village Lodge, we ate our breakfast here. At night, this bistro transforms into a very cool place. It is the most ambient among the places that we’ve eaten. It has an artsy-and-antique feel. The owner displayed his collections of souvenirs from all over the world. They also play Reggae songs here (e.g. Bob Marley songs)!

Location: National Highway, Coron Town, just above the lobby of Coron Village Lodge

Food: Breakfast- Tapsilog, Longsilog with Danggit and American Breakfast

Taste: ??? Service: ??? (accommodating)

Serving: 1 meal/ pax

Tapsilog

Dasilog

American Breakfast

Price: ?? Breakfast costs Php 150/pax with juice or coffee

Ambiance:????? (excellent)! I love the feel of the place.

2. Kawayanan Grill Station


-This was recommended by our tricycle driver when we asked for a grill food place.

Food: We ordered seaweed salad and grilled seafood sisig for lunch

Taste:?? (just right)   Serving: 2 pax /viand  Service: ? -too slow.

Price: ? (too pricey) Price range: Php 180-300 / viand

Ambiance:???? -The place has a rustic feel as the restaurant is situated near the ruins.

3.  Seadive Restaurant

-During our first night in Coron, we decided to eat dinner by the sea. Thus, we chose Seadive Restaurant. To get here, you have to walk along a narrow street and pass by a small bridge.

Food: We want seafood so we ordered Sinigang na Blue Marlin (Blue Marlin fish in tamarind soup) and Grilled Tanigue.

Blue Marlin in Tamarind Soup

Tanigue in Lemon Butter Sauce

Taste:??? (good)

Serving: 2 pax /viand

Service: ??

Price: ? (too pricey) A lot of foreigners eat here. Thus, the reason for the high charge, I guess.

Price range: Php 250-400

Ambiance: ??? (by the sea)

4. Bistro Coron

-This was recommended by fellow Travel Bloggers: Anton Diaz of OAP and Melo Villareal of Lakbay Pilipinas. Good thing, I followed their tip and spent my birthday dinner here. My parents and I had a good time eating here. Though expensive, we got our money’s worth since they offered the best food in Coron. The place is owned by a French named Bruno, who opened the business seven years ago.

Food: French Cuisines but we ordered Cheesy Pizza/ Spaghetti ( for long life)/ Chocolate Mousse Ice Cream/ SMB/ Bottled water and two fruit shakes

Taste: ?????- Excellent!  délicieux!

Serving: ??? (good) Service: ???

Price: All of the above items cost us Php 884.00

Price Range: Php  150-800

Ambiance: ?? (small place)


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In Summary:

Most Affordable- Lolo Nonoy’s Food Station

Most Ambient- Coron Village Lodge Bistro Bar

Best Food/ Most delicious- Bistro Coron

Happy Eating! :)

Coron Day 3-Dipping in hot and cold water

“Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.”-Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

After the safari adventure in Calauit Island, we stopped by Concepcion town, which is an hour away from Salvacion town. It took us 10-20 minutes before we reached the small but mysterious Concepcion Falls.

The cold water was a refreshing treat after the encounter with the animals on a hot day. And when I say cold, it was really cold! brrr… The temperature was as cool as that of a water stored in the fridge. Nonetheless, I still managed to play and shoot.

We only stayed here for about 30 minutes since it was getting dark and we need to return to Coron Town.

Another hour was spent as we made our way to Maquinit Hotsprings, one of the wonders of Coron Town.

On the way to Maquinit, which means mainit (hot),  I noticed residents playing Bingo (a numbers game).

From the gate, you wouldn’t expect that there’s a hotspring in the area. As I got closer to the hotspring pool, I saw some smoke. Definitely, the water’s hot.

I learned from Kuya Noel, our driver, that the water comes from Mt. Dalara (Cuyonin word for Dalaga- Maiden in English), a dormant volcano. Hence, it explained why the water’s hot. The temperature was about 40 degrees celsius.

There were three pools in the Maquinit Hotspring but only two were original. The bigger pool serves as a catch basin of the two smaller springs.

eeekkk...the water's so hot.

Dipping into hot water felt good. It relaxed the muscles. The locals said that the natural springs have healing powers.

ahhhh...This is Life! Serene.

Maquinit Hotspring shouldn’t be missed when going to Coron. Definitely, a must-see and must-experience place.

Best time to go: 5pm onwards

Operating Hours: 6 am-10pm

Entrance Fee: Php 100/ head

Wanderlust in Samal Island (PART 2)

As promised, here’s the second part of my adventure as a wanderlust in Samal Island. You can read PART 1 here

Tripadora became an Island Explorer! This was my first do-it-yourself island hopping tour. I didn’t avail of any tour packages offered. Instead, I tried to arrange the trip for me, my brothers and my lola.

Since Bluwaters Resort has its own boat, we availed the services of the boat. Half-day island hopping costs me Php 3,500 (all four of us). I know it’s a bit pricey and a pain in the pocket but I valued the beauty that my camera can capture more than my torn pocket.

We left the resort at around 8:30 am and started sailing amid the greens and the blues of nature.

Our goal for the day was to see not only the grandeur of the islands but also the underwater treasures of the Coral Garden at Talikud Island, the neighbor of Samal Island.

Talikud Island is a haven of turquoise waters and unspoiled beauty. Locals called it Talikud (Talikud means “at the back”) because it’s literally situated at the back of Samal Island.

Before going to the Coral Garden, we passed by Babusanta Beach, where other island hoppers stop by for lunch.

Photo-Op first with Wish, my Canon D10 before plunging to the waters.  I snorkeled with my brother IG.

Check out the magnificent treasures underwater. Too bad, we didn’t find Nemo. We forgot to bring bread crumbs to attract the school of fish.

Snorkeling was indeed tiring. So don’t forget to bring water and bananas to boost your energy.

Another wonder at Talikud Island is the rustic beauty of Isla Reta.  Isla Reta is divided into two parts. At Isla Reta 2, you can find a small cave and can catch a glimpse of wild birds.

Here’s a photo of a wild bird (sorry, I don’t know what specie this is.) caught by Rash, my Canon 450d. Due to the limited capacity of my lens, this was the best that I can get.

Meanwhile Isla Reta 1 has cottages and boasts a stretch of fine white sand. We didn’t spend much time here  so I’d definitely return for a beach camping!

Of course, we didn’t forget to pass by the world famous Pearl Farm Resort. And since I didn’t have the budget yet to experience Pearl Farm, I just captured it in photos.  Here’s a photo of the Samal Houses.

I must admit, I’m a photoholic. So here’s a stream of photos of the eye-candy sights that I captured.


Samal and Talikud Islands definitely struck me. I shall return just like McArthur!