Although we usually refer to the whole area as Coron, it is actually the name of the main town on Busuanga island and the name of the triangle-shaped island immediately southeast of the previous one, which is the one that makes the region famous.
Obviously we need a boat. You can hire a bangka in Coron port negotiating the price directly to the fishermen, taking into account that in each place we visit we must pay between 50 and 300 PHP. It has the advantage that we can stop where we want as long as we want, and the disadvantage that if the group is not numerous, it will be expensive. It is assumed that a good price for renting the boat is PHP 1500 per person if there are 4 travelers or more, but we met backpackers who managed to get half price.
Or we can also hire an organized excursion. Being groups of 10 to 14 people, it is cheaper. This is what we did, but for anyone who has a bit of adventurous spirit and knows how to bargain, we do not recommend it for two reasons:
- You can not stay where you want as much as you want, that is a shame in Kayangan or Twin Lagoon.
- Hiring a bangka directly implies saving informality. We did it with Calamian Islands Travels & Tours (run away from them): the boat left an hour late, so the tour ended an hour late and the light in Kayangan was not very good, but as otherwise it was fine, we booked the so-called tour C (Banana Island and Malcapuya) for the next day; they forgot about us and we lost a day.
The tours include lunch, water, transfer from the accommodation and boat, guide, life jacket and the entrance to all the places. They do not include snorkeling equipment, which usually costs PHP 250. They are standardized in terms of prices and routes in all companies:
- Tour A: Kayangan Lake, CYC / 91 Beach, Coral Garden, Atwayan Beach, Hidden Lagoon and Quin Reef. PHP 650 per person.
- Tour B: Twin Lagoons, Barracuda Lake, Smith / Banol Beach, Skeleton Wreck and Reef Garden. 750 PHP.
- It is very well thought out, because the best and most famous are Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoons and Barracuda Lake, which are on different tours. That’s why the Ultimate Tour was created, which includes the first two spots and other less relevant places, is longer and of course more expensive, starting at 1300 PHP, practically the same price as A + B together, but without going to so many places.
We chose the latter, since we considered that it was not necessary to visit all the places, even more when a few days later we would go to El Nido, so these are the places described below.
SIETE PECADOS (SEVEN SINS) MARINE PARK
PHP 100 admission. Normally it is the first stop for all boats, so the water is usually somewhat cold. It is an area to snorkel. You can see blue corals and anemones with clown fish.
From Siete Pecados we will go to the island, which is on the left.
Admission 100 PHP. Half of the tours make this stop in second place and the other half in last. It’s a lagoon open to the sea plus a second of fresh water which can be accessed by swimming under a stone arch or by a wooden staircase. The sharp karstic massifs make this a magical place to swim where you feel privileged.
LUNCH ON THE BEACH
There are several beaches on the coast of Coron Island, all very similar, narrow patches of fine white sand surrounded by cliffs, which form a beautiful environment. Our tour stopped at Beach 91, others are CYC, Banol and Smith Beach.
SNORKEL IN CORAL GARDEN AND SKELETON WRECK
These two zones and others like Quin Reef are the same, only that each part is given a name to make you think they are different places, but basically those of Tour A will be snorkeling 50 meters away from those of Tour B, and those of Ultimate will first be told to go to one area and then to the other. In Coral Garden the corals are separated from each other, resembling a garden. The Skeleton Wreck is a very small wreck that is not worth it.
PHP 300 admission. The star of the tour and Coron, and one of the places that has put the Philippines on the radar of travelers from around the world. This lagoon is said to have the cleanest and clearest water that can exist; surrounded by the usual sharp karstic massifs, it is a paradisiacal place, where each person bothers because you would like to have it exclusively for yourself. You have to walk 10 minutes through a steep and muddy terrain to get there.
Even more impressive than the lagoon itself, is the view to the north that can be seen from the middle of the route, which has become the emblem image of Coron.
200 PHP. Here we did not go for not being included, but I mention it because it is one of the most famous places. It has the peculiarity of underground currents of different salinity and temperature, reaching up to 38ºC.