Having read tons of blogs and good reviews about Coron in Palawan and having seen those nothing but alluring photographs posted by those who have been to the paradise, made me more envious to go there and experience it firsthand. And so I did. Yes!
Since I’m on a solo trip, the best option for me is to join group tours to cut on the cost. I stumbled upon some articles that vouch for Corong Galeri a.k.a. Calamianes Expedition and Eco-Tours. A few weeks before my arrival, I visited their website. They do offer several tour options for solo travelers but I had my eyes fixed at their Sun, Sea & Sand Island Escapade Tour (Tour -C). It was priced just right to my budget for Php 950/person to spend a day at Malcapuya Island plus another Php 300 to include a getaway to Banana and Bulog Islands. The problem is they don’t usually have the particular tour available daily, it depends if there are other joiners that would like to do the same and the receptionist told me that as of that time, it was just me who inquired about it. With a bit of disappointment, I booked Tour B1 instead.
It was the second day of my Coron jaunt, I had breakfast by 07:00H. Before 08:00H, I strolled from the hotel to Corong Galeri to join the tour I booked the day before. The receptionist said that Tour C, the one that I really wanted, opened up and I can join the group if I want to and I can just join Tour B1 the next day since they do have it every day anyway. Are you kidding me?! Of course I want it, sign me up! I paid the tour fee and also rented a snorkel and mask for Php 150. By 08:30H we headed to the port on foot which was only five to seven minutes away. There were ten joiners in our group. Five of us were local tourist and the other five were from abroad. According to our boatmen/tour guides, the boat ride to Malcapuya Island was about one and a half hours. By 09:45H our boat left the port and forged south of Coron Bay going past several islands with massive limestone rocks.
A few minutes before reaching Malacapuya Island, I can already catch sight of the white sand shoreline from afar. By 11:15H we docked at the beach and our boatmen said that we will be staying until 14:00H. On the island, we were greeted by the tall coconut trees and as we head for the cottages in front of the beach, come the crystal clear waters with different shades of blue, fine white sand and remarkable rock formations. Everywhere I panned my eyes I saw a piece of heaven; every angle and every corner of the island were picture worthy.
The tour package included a buffet-style lunch prepared by our boatmen. After having lunch, we only had one more hour left at Malcapuya Island.
All ten of us were in consensus to move to the next island which was a private resort that required us to pay an additional of Php 300 as entrance fee. Our next stopover was Banana Island that was about twenty minutes away from Malcapuya. It got its moniker because it is shaped like a banana from a distance but its accurate name is Dicalabuan Island. It has powdery white sand and some mangroves by its shorelines and a sandbar that emerges when the tide is low. The island has a snorkeling site with healthy corals just near its beach. We only stayed at Banana Island for one and a half hours then we moved to Bulog Island where we stayed for another good forty minutes.
Bulog or Malaroyroy Island was the smallest of the three that was ten to fifteen minutes away from Banana Island. It has a sandbar that stretches and almost connects to the nearby Two Seasons Island Resort and Hotel, a five-star Palawan resort. Hike on top of the rocky hill to have a more eye-catching view of its surroundings. Around 16:10H, we were already on our way back to Coron Town.
In retrospect, I was not supposed to be there in the first place because no one else inquired until the day before that, but fate, luck, destiny, answered prayer or whatever you call it, it worked on my side that day. Thank God for the laid back and treasurable experiences on those islands. It was the perfect place where I can slow down, just let the rest of the world pass by and appreciate what was around me in its very simple yet exceptional way.
Day 2 – Sun, Sea & Sand Island Escapade Tour Itinerary
|08:00H||Meet up at Corong Galeri office for the Tour|
|08:30H||Off to the Boat Port|
|09:45H-11:15H||Boat ride to Malcapuya Island|
|14:00H-15:30H||Hop to Banana Island (Additional Php 300)|
|16:10H-17:20H||Travel back to Coron Town|
Breakdown of Expenses
|Php 950||Tour fee|
|Php 300||Additional Banana Island / Bulog Island entrance|
|Php 150||Mask and snorkel|
|Php 1,400||Total Expenses|
*Info from Corong Galeri flyer
- Licensed tour boat
- Life vest and first aid kit
- Buffet Lunch
- Fruits & drinks
- Entrance Fees
- Tour Assistant
Would you like to indulge in Coron’s precious islands paradise?
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