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Coron Itinerary, Philippines


The Last Frontier of the Philippines

I haven't seen my travel buddy for two years, so we say "Apir" or "High Five" with our foot to celebrate our reunion. Now that we're both back in Philippines we've immediately booked and planned our next destination. We have decided to visit the last frontier of Philippines. A place called Coron situated in the province of Palawan. Friends of mine have told me to go visit this beautiful island to witness it's grand white sand beaches and unexplored islands. 

We arrived early in the morning at Busuanga airport, you can book your place online at booking.com or you can simply find cheap deals at the airport. My friend and I decided to booked online and asked our hotel to set up our land transfer. Everyone gets the same fare of 150 php for airport transfer. This is the only vehicle available in the airport that will send you to your hotel. One more thing, the town is still undergoing road development so expect some rough roads on your travels. I like the feels of unpaved roads it sets my game to adventure time. Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure your hotel has a complimentary breakfast as food is a bit pricey in town, most meals starts at 200 php. You don't have to worry about lunch and snacks as that is included in all the island tours. We booked all our tours when we arrived in the hotel, there's plenty of flyer's at the airport gather all of it and compare prices. Most tour prices are the same some maybe 50 php - 100 php more, but other than that all the listed destinations are the same. Let's go!


Coron Itinerary for 4 days (1 person):
300 php airport transfer 
1,500 php accommodation (includes complimentary breakfast)
100 php Tricycle Transportation (20-25 php one way)
1,500 php Meals + snacks + optional: souvenirs (250 php per meal)
2,400 php Island Tours 
350 php Bought snorkel gear
400 php Massage
250 php Tips 
Total: 6,000 php - 7,000 php max


Oct 6 Sat - Mt. Tapyas and Maquinit Falls 
Arrival @ Busuanga Airport: 6:45 am
Airport Transfer: 150 php each 
45 mins to city centre

Check in: Cebuano Lodge 
2,955 php (2 pax)
4 days 3 nights stay with breakfast

Lunch BBQ 320 php (2 pax)

City Tour Itinerary: 500 php each
Pick up time:  3pm
Lualhati Park instead Town Plaza
Harbour Center (skipped)
Public Market (skipped)
Souvenir Shop
Cashew factory
Mt. Tapyas
Maquinit Hot Spring
Entrance fee: 200 php (included)
Finished around 7pm
Drop off to hotel or restaurant 

Or DIY (Do it yourself) tour
Check out Mt. Tapyas and Maquinit Falls only.
Tricycle fare: 25 php to Mt. Tapyas
Nearby the city centre. Landmark: Iglesia ni Christo Church. 
We heard from City centre to Maquinit Falls is 500 php (2 way). Tricycle fits 4 people.
Entrance fee: 200 php 
Travel time: 30-45 minutes

Besides Lualhati Park is the docking centre, all the island tour starts there. While the Public market, souvenir shop and cashew factory are accessible by foot.

After the tour dropped off at City centre we bought snorkel gear for 350 php each,use your bargaining skills as they sell the set as high as 500 php. The tour offers 150 php for rental, we're doing two islands tours so we figured we might as well get new ones. Don't expect good quality but for hygienic purposes then it's all worth it.

Dinner @ Big Mama 415 php (2 pax)


Oct 7 - Coron Island Tour A: 800 php each
Pick up: 8:30 - 9am (Make sure to remind them of your location, provide landmarks if possible. Our tricycle driver got lost and ended up waiting for an hour)

Green Lagoon
Sunset Beach / Atwayan Beach
(Bought snacks from small boats selling Red Horse Can for 60 php and Mang Juan Cracklings for 40 php)
Cyc Beach
Reef Garden instead of Quin Reef 
Kayangan Lake
Las isla Coral (skipped)
Lunch is included. Make sure to ask about return trip to hotel as ours skipped this part eventhou it was part of the package deal.
Finished @ 5pm 

Snacks: Watermelon shake: 80 php
Siomai (4 pcs): 40 php
Cashew nuts: 100 php (pasalubong for home)

Dinner @ Brujita (Vegetarian Meals)
390 php (2 pax)


Oct 8 Island Escapade Tour: 1,300 php
Malcapuyo Beach
Coco Beach instead of Bamboo Beach
Taytayan Beach instead of Bulong Beach

(Our boatmen informed as about the tide changes which alters the sand bars in the islands, he then suggested other islands to visit).

Or Coron Tour B 1,100 php
Barracuda Lake
Smith Beach/Banol Beach
Skeleton Wreck
Reef Garden
Twin Lagoon

Or if you have limited number of days get the Ultimate Coron Tour which simply combines Coron Tour A and Coron Tour B for 1,600 php, includes free use of snorkel gear and kayak. 

Massage 400 php
Dinner @ Best Crepes in Town 450 php (2 pax)


Oct 9 Flight 14:35 - 15:50 Coron to Cebu
Airport Transfer: 150 php each 


Booking.com


What to do in Coron



Welcome to Paradise! Now what?!

Make sure your hotel has a complimentary breakfast as food is a bit pricey in town, most meals starts at 200 php. You don't have to worry about lunch and snacks as that is included in all the island tours. We booked all our tours when we arrived in our hotel, there's plenty of flyer's in the airport gather all of it and compare prices. Most tour prices are the same some are 50 - 100 php more, other than that all the listed destinations are the same. 

Oct 6 Sat Arrival - City Tour
Busuanga Airport @ 6:45 am
Airport Transfer: 150 php each 
Travel time: 45 mins to city centre

Check in: Cebuano Lodge  
2,955 php (2 pax)
4 days 3 nights stay with breakfast


Mt. Tapyas is a must see place in town. It takes around 712 steps to reach the top. If you have not exercise for the past few months then this will be a great way to sweat it out. When we got to the top there's a small road at the back of the big white cross that leads to a small gazebo. It's much relaxing and windy at that area. A great way to get away from the crowd. We sat there for a few minutes before heading down and proceeded to the hot spring. This  is the thing with tours we can actually just made our way there on our own, bought some snacks and took our time. If you're a group of four then take the option to hire a tricycle for your group and head to Mt. Tapyas and Maquinit Falls only. These are two must-see places in Town.

We heard Maquinit falls is a man made hot spring. Ether it's true or not, the warm water was a great way to end our night.

At the City centre we bought a snorkel gear for 350 php each, use your bargaining skills as they sell the set as high as 500 php. The tour offers 150 php for rental, we're doing two islands tours so we figured we might as well get new ones. Don't expect good quality but for hygienic purposes then it's all worth it. We also bought a 1 litre pineapple juice for our drink that night as the prices for beverage in the restaurants are so expensive.

Dinner @ Big Mama 415 php (2 pax)


Oct 7  Coron Island Tour A 800 php each
Pick up: 8:30 - 9:00 am (Make sure to remind them of your location, provide landmarks if possible. Our tricycle driver got lost and ended up waiting for an hour).

Green Lagoon
Sunset Beach / Atwayan Beach
(Bought snacks from small boats selling Red Horse Can for 60 php and Mang Juan Cracklings for 40 php)
Lunch @ Cyc Beach
Reef Garden instead of Quin Reef 
Kayangan Lake
Las isla Coral (skipped)



The waters were clear and the islands looked amazing. It reminded me of my trips to Indonesia and Thailand. Our beaches here in the Philippines are totally World-class. It makes me so proud to tell my friends abroad about our natural resources here in the country.

I enjoyed most part of the island tour except when I saw water bottles and plastics floating around the sea on our stops. It got worse on our way to Kayangan Lake. Garbages of all sorts was just everywhere, making little islands of its own made of plastics and seaweed. My friend and I agreed to each other that if we are stopping there for snorkeling we would see to it to collect as much trash as we could handle. It was like a grocery store of trash floating freely, never caring of the marine life living underwater. We told the boatmen about it, what they said was very disappointing, one said "ok lang yan" or "that's alright" while the other "ganon talaga" or "it's just how it is." They don't seem to realize the health threats and how it could affect them in the long run. It's bad for the ocean and for the community, especially the locals as they rely on fishing as a source of livelihood.


It really turned me off, I wasn't expecting that much trash, not the very least I want for my island tour. I even saw a shampoo sachet intentionally placed in between the wood bridge in Kayangan Lake. I took care of that but goodness c'mon people clean up your own mess! Coron holds so much beauty and it would be a waste to see it go due to human destruction. I emailed the local authorities about it, AND they replied. It was great news for me as they are investigating the problem now and is working something out to solve this matter. I'm amazed as the officers in charge promptly made an action, Coron is in good hands and I trust their expertise.

This is a reminder for everyone to STOP throwing your garbages in the ocean, not only in Coron but everywhere you go. If you see someone about to throw their garbage, politely take it from their hand or simply say something. They might or will kill you with their looks of judgment, some will tease your heroism, whatever it may be, stand up for something. Let's protect the ocean and keep Philippines as the unbeatable Pearl of the Orient Sea.

Anyways. Going back to the island tour. Make sure to ask about the return trip to your hotel as ours skipped this part even thou it was part of the package deal. We finished the tour @ 5pm. No return trip to the hotel so we walked a few minutes away from Lualhati Park, passed by the Tourism Information Center and found a stall selling fruit shakes.

Snacks
Watermelon shake: 80 php
Siomai (4 pcs): 40 php
Cashew nuts: 100 php (pasalubong for home)

Dinner @ Brujita (Vegetarian Meals)
390 php (2 pax)


Oct 8 Island Escapade Tour 1,300 php each
Malcapuyo Beach
Coco Beach instead of Bamboo Beach
Taytayan Beach instead of Bulong Beach

(Our boatmen informed as about the tide changes which alters the sand bar in the islands, he then suggested other islands to visit).

Or Coron Tour B 1,100 php
Barracuda Lake
Smith Beach/Banol Beach
Skeleton Wreck
Reef Garden
Twin Lagoon

Or if you have limited number of days get the Ultimate Coron Tour which simply combines Coron Tour A and Coron Tour B for 1,600 php, includes free use of snorkel gear and kayak. 



On our last day in Coron we decided to avoid the crowd and the island hopping fast-paced tour, instead we went for the relaxing island escapade. I was all smiles that morning as the weather felt cooler yet the waves were slightly stronger, still on the calmer side. We packed our mats, books, hats and sunglasses. My mind already drifted to Malcapuyo island our first destination that day. I had thoughts about finishing my book and having a watermelon shake on hand in mind. The ride took longer this time around but not a big deal as the water and the landscape made it a great scenery ride. 



Then I saw shiny things in the water, I wondered for awhile and even thought they might be fishes or some sort of marine animal. I already knew by heart that it was plastics. It was lesser in this area thou but seeing one plastic bottle , shampoo sachet and plastic wares one after the other was devastating. It's a sad reality. When the boat left Malcapuyo Beach I saw a few more bottles too. I reported that to my email, we can't do the same thing we did to Boracay and do it to Coron too. 

It's not only the authorities that needs to implement more rules, but we ourselves should learn not to throw our trash anywhere not only on land but also in the sea. It's everyone's responsibility: locals, tourist and government agencies. Let's all maintain and cherished our environment. There's only one planet earth right now so let's take care of it.




On the brighter side we had a blast at Coco Beach, lunch was serve with grilled fish, grilled pork belly, mixed vegetables, chicken adobo and we had watermelon! even drinks too! On our first island tour we just had water and banana. I love bananas don't get me wrong but the weather is just too hot and having a watermelon or pineapple for dessert is a wonderful treat. No snacks too on our first tour but with the other tour agency we had donuts. Well, I read the brochure, if they say on their leaflet there's fruits, snacks and drinks I want to see those on my tours - why put it on the paper if it's not real right?! 



I can certainly say go for the GIDEON boat crew as they will take care of you, plus the boat guide is funny, entertaining and more importantly informative. Pick up and return time is according to the time frame. Food was well provided. They even accompany us to the snorkeling area. It was pure genuine service. I just can't remember the name of the agency because we collected too much leaflets ahahaa BUT I have here their contact number: +63 975 114 9824 


There are three things I love about Coco Beach: you can play volleyball, act like a kid on the swing and melt like butter in the hammocks tied under the coco-nut tree - no wonder it's called Coco Beach?! I wished we could have stayed longer there, I only got to the first page of my book ahahaa - so much for finishing the whole chapter fantasy. 


Lastly, we went to Taytayan Beach where we took some jumpshots to say goodbye to the captivating beaches of Coron, the last frontier of the Philippines.


Massage 400 php each
Dinner @ Best Crepes in Town 450 php (2 pax)


Oct 9 Flight 14:35 - 15:50 Coron to Cebu
Airport Transfer: 150 php each 

I'm glad we went to Palawan, it was a great island getaway and I got to spend some time with my travel buddy. "A friend is like a sister that destiny forgot to give you". Once you find that someone never let go, go out, have fun and make memories. As I got older, I learned to treasure my friends more. I got to know the real ones, not just facebook list of friends. These are the people who can never seemed to forget about me and thus, I value our friendship. I made an oath to myself to keep trying to preserve the bond and continue the communication that we've built all through these years.


Now I know what's all the fuss about Coron. I wonder where to go next?! Have fun and be safe ^__^


Booking.com

Itinerary Reminders:

1. Flight Details
Make sure to write down your booking reference number, be at the airport two hours before your flight and allocate time for your travel to the airport.

2. Accommodation Details
Write down your hotel/motel/resort/bnb booking number. Contact your place to inform them around when you'll be arriving — it really does help.  Also, ask if your accommodation has any discounted activities.  You'd be surprised!

3a. Transportation
List possible times your bus/train/boat arrives and leaves so you don't miss an activity.  Always give yourself an extra 30-45 minutes in case you get lost, get stuck in traffic, or are looking for parking.  Better early than late.  Of utmost importance: check for the last trip and fares!  So you still have time and money to get back.

3b. Car Rentals
Take note of your pick-up address and time allotted.  Our last car rental told us to bring the car back by a certain time with a certain amount of gas.  Allot money for fuel and parking.

4. Budgeting
Set aside a minimum and maximum spending amount for: meals, transportation, entrance fees, activities, souvenirs and emergencies.  3 meals a day + snacks adds up quickly, so keep track!  As well as tips for restaurants and activities.

5. Activities
Call to confirm your booking(s) a day or so beforehand.  Set alarms and/or calendar reminders for things you plan to do (i.e- bungee-jumping, river-rafting, or even city / food tours).


Do you want more adventure?
If you still have one more day to spare why not go to Sumilon Island and have a relaxing weekend by the beach.

Where am I going next?
My next adventure is to check out a UNESCO World Heritage, The Chocolate Hills of Bohol.

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