Exploring Caves and Shipwrecks in Black Island, Coron, Philippines

Do you want to stay in an island as you own it? Well, the Black Island is the island for you. Located in Busuanga, Palawan, only few tourists find this beautiful island. Black island gives off a very interesting feeling when approaching it’s monstrosity. However, its name is the complete opposite of the color of its sand on the shore. It is also a place of tranquility. There is a cave in the island where you can swim in fresh water inside it. Definitely a place to relax away from the busy life in the city.

The Black Island is usually part of the tour from CALAUIT SAFARI. After visiting the giraffe and zebra you will travel 5-10 minutes to the port. You will ride a boat for 30 mins – 45 mins in order to reach the island. But if you  are not into visiting Calauit Safari Park, you can book a Coron private island hopping boat tour. It will take around two to three hours to reach this lovely island and I can say it is well worth it. It has a stunning fine white sand beach and there’s a Japanese WW2 shipwreck just by the beach.

There’s no port/jetty so boats anchor just off the beach, so be prepared to jump off the boat into shallow water like most other beach destinations (Banol beach, Banana island, and CYC beach, etc.). We were lucky enough to be the only boat at the island, but there is ample room for many to anchor.

As you can see in the picture the water is different from the water of coron. The beach before reaching the Black Island is with crystal turquoise waters. So,  do not forget to bring your snorkeling gear to enjoy your swim and view the corals and aquatic life.

Just when you thought the island couldn’t possibly get any better, we discovered a series of mysterious caves with amazing structures hidden within the towering cliffs.  Inside them were insane shimmering rock formations and crystallized swimming holes where we could cliff jumping.

Our first destination was to explore the caves and the small lakes within. The main cave is located a short walk up the beach and over a small makeshift wooden ladder to get over the rocky entrance. It is huge with at least 40 feet between floor and ceiling. Inside isn’t big – as it doesn’t go in very far, but it has a large roof so it it’s cramped or claustrophobic feeling. The lake inside is quite small but sufficient enough to swim in and explore with snorkel and mask (fins aren’t necessary) but apart from a few rock formations there’s not much to see (both in and out of the water). The water is clear, clean and cold but can easily become cloudy with silt disturbance from the bed. Though for me, it was a great novelty being able to actually swim a body of water in a cave. There’s another small body of water in the cave with a tiny underwater access cave that you can squeeze through, deep enough to do a “bombie” into it creating a big splash but water will become murky with everything that’s just been disturbed. You may even cliff jump into both or simply admire the stalactites and rock formations from within the depths of the cave.

The second cave in Black Island is near the first but this requires a climb up the rocks or stairs (only a few meters) to gain access. It was quite boring and was probably used as a shelter for fishermen in storms many years ago. However, it has shimmering white stalagmites and stalactites. You need to bring a flash light or you can use the flashlight application in your mobile phone to see where you are going and to see the dazzling, shimmering, splendid rock formations that rise from the floor of a cave due to the accumulation of material deposited on the floor from ceiling drippings. It was magical! Promise!

The Black Island is also popular to tourists because of its easily accessible Japanese Shipwreck during the world war 2. You do not need to be a licensed scuba diver to be able to see this Japanese Shipwreck. When we went there, it was low tide so we were able to access it easily. The water is crystal clear that you can even see it from the shore during low tide.

According to stories, this is one of the islands where the Japanese buried their gold inside the cave. It was not hard to mistaken Black Island amid the archipelago.  While the surrounding islands are verdant and green, Black Island boasts tremendous black cliffs that feel dramatic and almost threatening, hence the name Black Island.

Spent an afternoon picnic on the white sandy beach of this beautiful island which is guarded and maintained by the Tagbanua, an indigeneous people of this region. The black cliff backdrop is where the swiflet birds live (known for their edible nests used in birds nest soup).
On the beach, there are little huts for sheltered picnics and a place to relax while enjoying the beautiful view.

There is a reasonable fee to visit and enjoy the island as well as use the huts. The fee goes towards maintenance of the island and future plans for safe docking of boats and protection of the surrounding coral reefs, as well as improvement of public washrooms and sanitation to accommodate the influx of visitors.

Black island is a one of a kind paradise. The place looks like it came out of a Jurassic Park or King Kong movie. Beautiful black limestone, a shipwreck (just close to the shore) which can be easily accessed during low tide, a cave, a cold spring, perfect white sand beach, and lots of fishes! Great place to free dive and snorkel! If someone asked me to go back, I’d go back in a heartbeat.

Overall, this island was a fantastic experience – clean, clear beach & water, close by wreck easily accessible (especially during low tide), small cave with water, huts to relax and chill in and have lunch, Due to its further distance and the duration of boat travel to get there, only few tourists would inlude this island in their island hopping tour itinerary. When we went to Black Island, we saw no other tourists (NOT ONE!). I suppose the only downside is the time traveled by boat to reach this stunning and of the beaten path island. There are changing facilities and lots and lots of fish and corals. Very, highly recommended island to visit  for a peaceful and relaxing day with family, friends or even solo plus breaking the monotony of Coron Bay  or Coron islands – but the spots there are beautiful too.

To book a private boat tour just fill in the form here and choose “Coron only” as your route. Or more info on Coron boat tours.

Or, for inquiries regarding prices and boat tour packages, please click the photo below: Palawan-boat-tours

Other links regarding Coron tours

Kayangan Lake
Twin Lagoons
Malcapuya Island
Banana Island
Bulog Dos
Barracuda Lake
Tips on choosing tours around Coron
Rural Coron
Obra Bar

Coron Multi-day Island Hopping Boat Tour Expedition

There are thousands of beautiful islands in the Philippines that every tourist should not miss. Coron has been one of the top most travel destinations when it comes to clear blue water beaches. It is also famous for its beautiful lakes and clear water lagoons. Moerover, it is also popular for divers especially those who love to dive into shipwrecks. There are many spots and islands to explore not just around Coron but also few hours away by boat like Black island, Malcapuya island, Banana islandBulog Dos island, Waling-waling island, Bamboo Island, Pass island, Lusong gun boat and many more.

That being said, two or three days will not be enough to visit all these beautiful islands and lakes. The famous spots around coron island like Siete Pecados, kayangan lake, twin lagoon,  and barracuda (baracuda) lake are always packed of people thus it is hard to avoid the crowds to be able to take beautiful photos without people on the background and to be able to just relax and enjoy the place.

Furthermore, last December 2019, coast guards in Coron came up with new rules and regulations and one of which is that all boats are required to checkout with them before leaving on a tour. This makes the earliest time you can leave is at 8 AM. However, if you book with us your Coron private island hopping boat tour (day tour), we will help you avoid the crowd. Your boatman or tour guide will take you to less crowded places first so you can enjoy each spots without rush and in your own flexible time. You may also customize the islands/spots you want to visit.

Another option is by booking a Coron Island Boat Tour expedition, you may visit other islands on your second day as early as six in the morning to avoid the crowds. There are so many beautiful spots, beaches and islands in Coron which you should not miss during your visit. Here are some suggested itineraries for you which you can customize:

Coron Island Hopping Boat Tour Expedition 4 days/ 3 nights Itinerary:

Day 1 (Coron Escapade):

Day 2 (Reefs and Wrecks):

  • Lusong gunboat
  • Lusong coral garden
  • East tangat
  • Pass island (sleep)

Day 3 (Coron Islands):

  • Reef Garden
  • Skeleton Wreck
  • Siete Pecados
  • Banol Beach
  • Atwayan Beach (sleep)

Day 4 (Coron Islands):

This Coron Multi-day Island Hopping Boat Tour expedition itinerary is perfect for those who likes to free dive, snorkel, relax on the beach and experience real Filipino island life. You will be staying in tents and nipa huts. There are only basic toilets. No hot shower either. If you are looking for something fancy as accommodation, I suggest booking a day trip to these islands where you can stay and get back to your fancy hotels at the end of the day tour. Price depends on the number of people on board, the more, the cheaper.

Tour Inclusions:

  • Private boat
  • Licensed tour guide
  • Boat captain and crew
  • Meals (bf, lunch and dinner)
  • Entrance fees
  • Overnight fees
  • Nipa hut (banana island and pass island)
  • Tent (atwayan beach)
  • Beers/rhum (complimentary drink on board, limited only)
  • Pick up and drop off (within coron town only)

Coron Island Hopping Boat Tour Expedition 3 days/ 2 nights Itinerary:

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Day 1 (Coron Escapade):

  • Lusong coral garden
  • Lusong gunboat
  • Maltatayoc island
  • Pass island (sleep)

Day 2 (Coron Escapade with sand bars):

Day 3 (Coron Islands):

In this Coron island hopping boat tour expedition itinerary, you will be staying in basic nipa huts with common basic toilets. This is perfect for those who want to relax and enjoy the sun and beaches. On your third day, you will be able to visit the famous sites in coron island at an earlier time where you can avoid the crowds. Also, if you are looking for some nice drone shots of sand bars, Ditaytayan island has a long stretch sand bar while bulog dos has a shorter one. We usually offer private customized boat tours between Sibaltan and Coron or vice versa. But due to popular demand, we now offer private customized boat tours in the Coron area only.

To book a tour just fill in the form here and choose “Coron only” as your route. Or more info on Coron boat tours.

Or, for inquiries regarding prices and boat tour packages, please click the photo below: Palawan-boat-tours

Other links regarding Coron tours

Kayangan Lake
Twin Lagoons
Malcapuya Island
Banana Island
Bulog Dos
Barracuda Lake
Tips on choosing tours around Coron
Rural Coron
Obra Bar
Black Island

Barracuda Lake, Coron

Coron is one of the most famous destinations for tourists visiting Palawan, Philippines and one of the most known lakes that every tourists would not want to miss out is the Barracuda Lake. This famous fresh and salt water lake holds a secret that draws in diving enthusiasts from all over the world.

Barracuda Lake,  situated on the north shore of Coron Island in the Philippines, offers one of the most unique diving experiences. Occasionally referred to as Luluyuan Lake by locals, its crystal blue waters hidden between majestic rocky formations aren’t big on actual barracudas and other wildlife. Instead, divers can experience a thermocline and halocline unlike anywhere else.

Starting out on the surface of the lake, divers, swimmers, and scuba enthusiasts can expect temperatures around 82 degrees Fahrenheit. But as you descend into the depths of the lake, around 45 to 50 feet down, the temperature drastically changes to just over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (to put that in perspective, most people keep their hot tubs at 104 degrees, so it’s best to forego a wet suit here).

This very strange increase in temperature is due to the fact that the lake contains both salt and freshwater. Divers can even see the thin, distinct boundary that separates the two bodies of water. Barracuda lake is also characterized by an impressive display of limestone formations that rise up on all sides and extend beneath the surface.

Barracuda Lake presents the curious with a unique opportunity to dive in a harmonious mix of fresh and salt water set against a backdrop of imposing jagged limestone walls. And if you are really lucky you may even have a chance to encounter with the only resident barracuda for which the lake was named, who is said to lurk in the shadows of the lake’s thirty-meter cave. Let’s just say, scuba diving Barracuda Lake is a sensory experience you are sure to remember for the rest of your life.

Divers have described a sense of “weightlessness” while exploring the hot or cool depths, and the sensational experience (which is largely devoid of flora and fauna) has also been likened to what it must feel like to walk on the moon. But the lake holds yet another surprise: just when the salt watery heat becomes a tad unbearable, the temperature changes back to cool again near the bottom – might sound and FEEL scary!

Another unique feature of the lake is the sand at the very bottom, which has been described as “jelly-like,” “silky,” “airy,” and “silty.” The lake bottom was so light and airy with one throw you could fill the water with a billowing cloud of its murkiness. It’s apparently good for play, too. And although the barracudas aren’t really around anymore, if you’re lucky, you may still catch a glimpse of one.

A set of ugly dwarf catfish and large brine shrimp nervously navigated their way. They were truly some of the ugliest critters under the sea. Barracuda Lake was a most unusual dive indeed!

<please add a video here of scuba diving in barracuda lake>

Know Before You Go

This lake is best experienced via scuba diving to get the full experience of the thermocline.

If You Go: Coron Scuba Diving at Barracuda Lake

What: Most people associate tropical fish and whale sharks with scuba diving in the Philippines. However there is more to its vast archipelagos and islets than aqua blue seas. Barracuda Lake may be one of the most unique dives you’ll ever do, full of surprises at every turn.

Why: Barracuda Lake is a standout thanks to its dramatic thermoclines where saltwater and freshwater oddly coexist in harmony. The first few layers of water as you dive down are normal freshwater (approximately 28° Celcius) until you approach 14 meters where you hit a halocline and thermocline and the water becomes saline and the temperature rises to a hot 39° Celcius. It is so hot you will want to skip the wetsuit. If you are an advanced diver and up for the challenge, there is also a cave at 35 meters that can be entered.

Where: Barracuda Lake is situated on the north shore of Coron island in Palawan, Philippines. It can be reached by an easy 20-minute boat ride from Coron town. If you are going with a dive operator ask to do this dive first as there are fewer tourists early in the morning and visibility is better.

When: You can dive Barracuda Lake year round.

Don’t Miss

  • Go there early in the morning when the place is not yet crowded. The entrance to the lake is small, so it can get crowded during peak hours.
  • Chill by the lake and enjoy this piece of paradise surrounded by limestone cliffs.
  • Visitors may snorkel or swim in the lake. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the barracudas residing in its waters. The name may sound scary but no need to worry because the barracudas won’t eat you.
  • You may even spot other fishes like rabbit fish, cray fish, catfish, and other sea creatures from the ocean that have found their way through the small openings in the limestone cliff walls.
  • If you are into diving, you will have the chance to experience the changes in water temperature (thermocline) as you go deeper.

Don’t Forget

  • It is advised to wear a life vest when you swim or snorkel.
  • Follow the rules at all times. Practice caution, especially when swimming without your life vest. The lake is very deep, if you can, do not go on your own or out of sight of your companions or the local guides.
  • If you are planning to swim, just bring what you need. There’s a resting area but it is advised to not leave your things unattended.
  • Bring enough money to pay for other incidentals such as food and drinks and entrance fee, especially if your group didn’t join a group tour.
  • Charge your gadgets and/or bring battery packs.
  • Keep the place clean. Practice proper garbage disposal. Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but picture and VIDEOS!

If You Have More Time and Budget

  • Other places to explore in on a boat tour around Coron Island are Banul Beach, Twin Lagoon, Kayangan Lake, and Siete Pecados.
  • If you want to explore beautiful beaches with sand bar and powdery white sand, checkout Malcapuya island, Banana Island, Ditaytayan and Bulog dos in our Coron Escapade tour.
  • Take other tours like Coron Town Tour (which includes Mt Tapyas and Maquinit Hotsprings), Calauit Safari Park Tour, and Culion Historical Tour.
  • Still craving for the “natural high” after Mt. Tapyas? Go try Mt. Dalara.
  • You might also be interested in Fireflies and Plankton Night Tour.

Palawan-boat-tours

Other common mispellings for Baraccuda lake:

Barakuda, barrakuda and baracuda lake.

Best Restaurants in Coron Philippines

Looking for a place where to eat in Coron, Philippines?  Whether you are looking for affordable or fancy meals, we have got you covered!

Encompassed by crystalline clear water lagoons, white sand beaches and world-class dive sites, most of your days in Coron will be action-packed with island hopping tours and scuba diving.  Consequently, you will be looking to fill your boots with some delicious food at the end of the day.

Thankfully, Coron Town has some  restaurant options, and after spending more than a month there, we know all the best places to go.  In this article, we will share all the best places to eat in Coron.

Filipino Cordon Bleu at Singuba Sa Balay

Not cordon bleu the dish, but food from a Cordon Bleu-trained chef at chicken adobo prices. The chicken adobo, tuna sisig, and mie goring (noodles made in-house) were all fantastic at this friendly, informal, serve-yourself-water-and-cutlery establishment. You should not miss out their fresh grilled seafood too.

Kawanayan Grill


I loved the atmosphere of the outside seating area. The wind chimes and straw hut decors give such a relaxing island vibe. Kawanayan Grill also has the BEST MANGO SHAKE. Trust me, I always ordered mango shake at every restaurant we visited. Theirs is for sure #1. The staff here are super smiley, accommodating and the location is conveniently located.

I recommend getting the dinner set for two, which includes an appetizer, soup, fish steak/mixed seafood, prawns, seaweed salad and rice. It’s only 650 PHP and if you have more people in your party, just add one or two dishes. Definitely great and affordable. Perfect for big groups.

La Sirenetta

Where to enjoy drinks and nibbles in Coron, Philippines with a stunning sunset view?

La Sirenetta Resturant is built over the water and has a breathtaking view of the Coron Bay especially during sunset. It offers a wide choices of food including Asian and International dishes.

La Sirenetta has a comprehensive menu of local & western dishes;  however, we would come here to indulge in their tasty appetizers, seafood and drinks.  The cheese sticks and hummus are the perfect accompaniment with a mouth-watering mango daiquiri. I liked their own version of calamares but I found the serving too small even for a single person however it was still delicious. They also have a pool you can play at while waiting for your ordered meals or while you are done eating and having some drinks.

This place is usually packed in the evening before the sunset, so better come early!

Address: Real St, Coron Town Proper, Coron, Palawan

Price range: Dishes are ranged between 200-500PHP

Lolo Nonoys

Where to Eat the Best Local Food in Coron, Philippines

Cheap & delicious local food, with an abundance of local delicacies for you to try.   Popular choices are the Pork Sisig – An interesting meat dish of fried pigs face and ears (it was f*cking delicous), chicken adobo and pancit bihon. It’s very affordable and authentic filipino dishes.

Price Range:  Dishes range from around 120-400PHP

Sea Dive Resort/Restaurant

Oh we love their chicken burrito and calamares! This resort is famous for their diving courses. They offer room accommodations where we stayed for almost a week and they also have their own restaurant. Their servings are great for sharing. It was my first time to try eating there because of my husband who had been telling me to try their chicken burrito which was his favorite. He was right! It was very delicious but based on my husband’s experience, he needed to go to the toilet after eating it. Maybe it was the spicy sauce he would love to put, we do not really know.

Anyways, they also have some seafood dishes. I am a massive fan of seafood so we tried to order some fish soup and calamares. Wow! It was so good!!! Every afternoon when we were in Coron, we would order calamares while playing cards. I love how not gooey it is, full of flavor and their garlic sauce complimented its taste more.

Eggplant With a View from Levine’s

This place was so good particularly their chicken curry. The food (especially the 80 peso spicy eggplant with rice), and bargain 100 peso 1 liter Red Horse beers were almost as awesome as the sunset views from their third-floor rooftop patio. Yes, they have three floors. The first floor is where they have their kitchen and might not look appealing to you in the first glance and if you do not know that they have two more floors above, you should check it out and have your meal there. On the 3rd floor, you will have a view of the ocean and and its breezy.

Once You’re Done Digesting…

You probably didn’t come to Coron just to eat, so discover what else is there to do around town and around Busuanga by checking out our customized private island hopping boat tours….

Palawan-boat-tours

Best Spots and Tips Before You Go to El Nido

Palawan has been famous for so many years because of its exquisite beaches, diving spots and lagoons. El Nido, which is one of the famous tourists spots for people visiting Palawan, has been receiving large amounts of tourists every year. Most people only have few weeks vacation in the Philippines, so they would normally spend at most a week in El Nido.

What if you only have a few days to spend for an island hopping boat tour in El Nido? Which spots are the best with such limited time?

I have been to El Nido a few times and enjoyed almost all of the tours. But for others who do not have the leisure of spending at least one week in this stunning paradise, do not worry, I am here to help you.

Tips on how to make the best of your time in El Nido

1. Book a place on a beach

At Las Cabanas Beach near El Nido on the island of Palawan in the Philippines, a girl does a cartwheel over the shallow water causing a reflection during the best sunset

To those beach bums who have three to five days to spend in El Nido, I would suggest staying in Las Cabañas beach or in Nacpan beach. Las Cabañas beach is around 15 minutes away from El Nido by tricycle, which is not that bad. There, you have plenty of things to do when you get tired of doing island hopping boat tours. There is a zip line, hammocks, bars and restaurants. I consider it as a perfect place to watch the sunset while drinking a beer or some piña colada on hand. There is a restaurant at the corner of the island that lights up fire torches on the beach after the sunset and which makes the ambiance romantic and relaxing.


The long stretch of beach at Nacpan

If you are looking for a quiet place in El Nido with a long stretch of beach, Nacpan is perfect for you. It does not have massive selections for bars and restaurants, but you can still party on the beach. If you want to party and you are feeling too lazy to go to El Nido, there is a party place in Nacpan right on the beach called Mad Monkey Hostel. If you plan to party in El Nido or visit it most of the time but would rather stay in Nacpan beach, I suggest renting a motorbike. It is cheaper and more convenient.

 

Party at Mad Monkey Hostel in Nacpan beach, El Nido

2. Book a private boat tour

With the exquisite beauty of beaches and lagoons in El Nido, there comes the increasing number of tourists every year, especially during the holidays. As a result, it is not easy to enjoy the beaches and lagoons just for yourselves. Taking beautiful photos not populated by others seems next to impossible. But do not lose hope, we have a SOLUTION for you!

Booking an El Nido private boat tour is the best decision you could ever make. With a limited schedule, avoiding the crowds is possible if you book a private boat tour with us. In El Nido, the usual joiner boat tours start at 9:30am, sometimes later, such as 10am. With us, you can start as early as 8am. You can also customize your tours. Yes you can! You can combine some best spots from Tour A with Tour C, or Tour A with Tour B but we have to check with our boatman first if your suggested itinerary is possible considering the distance of each islands from each other. Just let us know in advance and we’ll arrange it for you.

3. Best spots in El Nido

Snake Island in El Nido, Palawan

In case you are wondering which tour you should choose, A B or C, with a limited number of days, following are some suggestions.

Best spots for El Nido Tour A:

  • Big Lagoon
  • Secret Lagoon
  • Papaya Beach

Best spots for El Nido Tour B:

  • Pinagbuyutan island
  • Snake island

Best spots for El Nido Tour C:

  • Hidden Beach
  • Secret Beach

If you like to book a private or joiner boat tour with us, please click the photo below. With minimum of 6 people in a group, we have a special offer —- DRONE SHOTS!!!

Palawan-boat-tours

Sibaltan Island Hopping: Eco Tours

sibaltan island hopping philippines

SIBALTAN. You might have heard about El Nido and Coron, the two famous destinations in Palawan, but for sure you have not heard about Sibaltan.

If you are trying to avoid the crowds and want to explore off the beaten path places, Sibaltan, located east of El Nido, is a perfect destination for you. Sibaltan is an hour away by van from El Nido town. It is quite unknown by tourists, but can offer more activities and island hopping experiences in more pristine islands with the clearest waters you can not ever imagine.

Sibaltan is also the jump off point to the beautiful islands in South Linapacan, which are said to have some of the clearest waters in the world.

How to get to Sibaltan

From El Nido Town

sibaltan-palawan-20161009_143013

As I have mentioned before, it roughly takes an hour to get to Sibaltan from El Nido town.

There is a minivan that picks up hotel guests from El Nido to Sibaltan. There are 2 daily trips: 1PM and 6PM. Price is P200 per person and travel time is 1 to 1.5 hours.

NOTE: Pick-up time is usually not strictly implemented (may depart early or late), so it is highly recommended to communicate with your resort in Sibaltan so they can relay your info to the van driver.

If your time is limited, want to get there early and have a smooth ride, we can arrange a private transfer for you from El Nido to Sibaltan. It costs 2,500pesos for a private van and has a maximum capacity of 10 people per van.

From Puerto Princesa

There are many van services which can pick up guests from Puerto Princesa. You can find them either at the airport or in any hotel in Puerto Princesa. They depart at 8AM and 2PM daily, but it shouldn’t be a problem to find others with other schedules. Price is P700 per person and travel time is 5 to 6 hours.

Things to do in Sibaltan

sibaltan-palawan-20161009_105442

Mangrove + Snorkeling + Island Tour

Island destinations:

  • New Ibajay or Abuay Mangrove River,
  • Imorigui Island,
  • Macuao Island

Package inclusions:

  • Buffet Lunch
  • Kayak
  • Snorkeling Gears
  • Eco-tourism fee and all associated fees

Price: Rate starts at 2,000p/pax

Traditional Fishing + Snorkeling

Setting: This is a half day activity. You will get to try a local dish, kinilaw or ceviche, which is prepared on board from fresh fish.

Package inclusions:

  • Fishing gear
  • Bait
  • snorkeling gear
  • all associated fees

Price: Rate starts at 2,500pesos and is good for two people

Village Tour + Hiking + Waterfall

sibaltan-palawan-20161009_144351

Explore the village of Sibaltan and hike to the waterfall. This tour is available on rainy days, from July to December.

Package inclusion:

  • local guide fee

price: Rate starts at 350pesos/pax

Cultural Tour

A tour organized by Cuyonon Heritage Museum. You will get to see a traditional house, boat, primitive tools and other traditional activities.

Package inclusions: all entrance fees

Price: Rate starts at 550pesos/pax

Contact

To enjoy such special tours you can contact me, Melasael, by email at [email protected] or Whatsapp at +5511990056938.

More info on Sibaltan.

Tips on Choosing Tours in Coron

Twin-lagoons-coron-Twin_Lagoon_Palawan-120
Twin Lagoon, Coron, Palawan

Got only limited time in Coron? Are you having some difficulty in choosing which tour you should not miss? This post will help you decide which island hopping tours you should do despite having limited time or only a few days in Coron, Palawan.

World’s top 3 islands are in the Philippines and obviously, Palawan is on the list. Palawan has 1,708 islands and islets of the Philippines and has been ranked three times in a row to have the clearest waters in the world.

The most popular destinations in Palawan are El Nido and Coron, bombarded by millions of tourists every year. Both are known for their stunning lagoons, white sand beaches and perfect diving spots.

I know, Philippines is massive in terms of the thousands of islands it has, and so is Palawan. If you are visiting Coron and you only have a few days to jump on island hopping tours, I would recommend booking a Coron private boat tour.

Why? It is better because if you only have a limited amount of time, having a private boat tour offers you flexibility. Meaning, you can arrange with your boatman what time you want to start. In order to avoid the flocks of tourists, I suggest leaving earlier, like around 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning. The usual public or joiner tours start at 9:00 or 9:30.

Moreover, one of the perks is no one will rush you. If you have experienced joining a tour, you already know what I mean. Joiner or pubic island hopping has a tour guide who blows a whistle informing everyone it is time to leave and move on to the next location.

If you prefer to enjoy paradise and stay however long you wish, with no rush, I’m sure you would rather enjoy your time and just go with the flow.

Twin-lagoons-coron-DSCN5442

So what is the best island hopping tour in Coron, Palawan? I would say it depends on what you are looking for.

If you want to see lakes and lagoons, Coron Only Island tour is the best for you. It includes Siete Pecados, Kayangan Lake, Barakuda Lake, Twin Lagoons, Skeleton Wreck and Coral Garden. These sites are usually packed with tourists all year round because it is just a few minutes by boat from town and is known for its picturesque views.

On the other hand, if you prefer to get away from the crowds and chill on the beach, Bulog Dos, Banana Island and Malcapuya Island are perfect for you. It will take roughly an hour and a half by boat to get to Bulog Dos. Because it takes some time to get there, only few tourists venture this far, so you will most likely see fewer of them. You can also avoid most of the travelers by leaving early in the morning around 7:30. Usually, if you leave early, the sea is calmer. Banana Island and Bulog Dos are known for their sand bars, while Malcapuya Island is known for its very soft and fine sand. These three islands have clear waters too.

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Free Diving In Kayangan Lake, Coron, Palawan
Bulog Dos, Palawan
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The sand in Malcapuya Island is so soft like a cotton candy that you want to eat it.

Coron is well-known for its wrecks and reefs. If you do diving or free diving, Lusong Coral Garden, Lusong Gun Boat and Pass Island will not disappoint you. These are the sites most divers have on their bucket list to dive into. There are around eight ship wrecks in Coron.

You can also find another ship wreck in Black Island. If you do not dive, you can see the ship wreck during low tides. It is very accessible and, because of the clear water, it is easy to see. You can also find some caves there (above picture).

Ship wreck in Coron
Visible ship wreck in Black Island during low tide

To get here, you can join or book one of our private custom Palawan boat tours and choose “Coron only” for your tour.

Coron Expedition

These people just having fun under the sun on a white sand beach having the whole island for themselves

Are you looking for a one of a kind experience? Do you dream to live like a local on some beautiful pristine beach on an island? If yes, this Coron Expedition is perfect for you.

Coron Island is one of the most famous destinations most tourists would visit when they go to the Philippines. It is a wedge-shaped limestone island in the province of Palawan. It has seven lakes, the most famous of which is the nationally-acclaimed cleanest lake in the Philippines, Kayangan Lake.

It also has a number of islands with white beaches and clear blue waters perfect for snorkeling, deepsea fishing and shipwreck diving. Some coastal areas are covered with mangrove forests.

The Coron area is famous for its World War II wreck diving, and the site has been named in many lists of top dive spots in the world. In September 1944, a fleet of Japanese ships hiding in the harbor were sunk in a daring raid by the US navy. The result is around ten well preserved underwater shipwrecks surrounded by coral reef.

There are also attractions on Coron Island itself. There are many beautiful, bleach white sand beaches, mostly tiny and surrounded by large limestone cliffs and wildlife. Barracuda and Kayangan lakes are both stunning locations, and good for snorkeling, while the island is the ancestral domain of an indigenous tribe managed in a sustainable way to keep outsiders at a distance and offshore at night.

We usually offer private customized boat tours between Sibaltan and Coron or vice versa. But due to popular demand, we now offer private customized boat tours in the Coron area only.

To book a tour just fill in the form here and choose “Coron only” as your route. Or more info on Coron boat tours.

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Other links regarding Coron tours

Kayangan Lake
Twin Lagoons
Malcapuya Island
Banana Island
Bulog Dos
Tips on choosing tours around Coron
Rural Coron
Obra Bar
 
Coron Multi-day Island Hopping Boat Tour Expedition

Spanish fortress and cliff diving in Linapacan

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No matter how clear the water and fantastic the snorkeling can be on these countless paradise beach islands, sometimes its nice to do something a little different. 

This can be found on the big, central island of Linapacan, a bit west of its main town of San Miguel. Both the cliff diving at Doble Nueve and Spanish fortress are in the same area, so both can be accomplished in the same session, although, as explained below, renovations of the fortress are not yet completed.

Be warned that the climb up for the diving is not that easy. Although there is a rope in place to help, the initial part of the climb is quite steep and the rock is very hard (although not sharp or painful to walk on). And although the height overall is not great, it is still a bit scary to jump into the water. Your boat will anchor offshore from the jagged rocks, so you’ll have to swim a bit to get to the climb, and if the water is choppy and wavy as it splashes against the cliff face, the initial climb out of the water may be a bit challenging. So just be careful, but for me it was definitely worth it!

Here’s a video of the experience:

Spanish fortress in Linapacan

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For more than two years I lived on the beautiful island of Dimancal, where I constantly egged the locals to include this old fortress in their boat tours, but each time they’d just wave their hand explaining that its reconstruction is not completed and that the path is hard to find. Later I learned they received half a million pesos from the government for its rehabilitation, but years passed and still no progress, even with my own humble although much appreciated contribution. I was even prepared to put together a band of volunteers equipped with machetes, saws and axes to at least kick start this project somewhat, but alas, my term in this paradise was coming to an end and I did not manage to host a large enough group to make it happen prior to my departure. 

Nevertheless, as is explained below, someone did manage to find and document it, and explain in detail how to get there. If you like these sorts of historical sites and if equipped with these instructions, you can egg your boatman to take you there. Perhaps even ask to borrow some machetes and make it easier for others to follow. At least in this way the locals will realise it has value and be motivated to do something about it. 

Fortress at Barangay Caseladan

A relic of Palawan’s days as a Spanish stronghold in the 18th century, it was built between the 1620s to 1738 to help defend the area against the Moro invaders. There are actually three fortresses in the area, the last one only a few low walls remaining but in the shape of a pentagon. The town of San Miguel was originally located under the main fortress, but later moved to where it is now after WW2. 

Here is a recount of Cheyenne Morrison (linked to from above) and who has won several awards for his explorations of the Philippines:

“But I was determined to track down the fortress as the fact no one knew where it was just made my fascination stronger. On a brief trip to Manila I took the opportunity of researching in the National Library of the Philippines, and after 4 hours of wading through ancient accounts I came across the following description.

On the island of Linacupan, beside the town and on the edge of the sea, rose a rock whose ascent was difficult with only one access to the top. A plain extended over it and there a parapet of masonry had been constructed, surrounded and guarded by artillery. It dominated the town and defended its entrance so well that it couldn’t be attacked without the attacker being attacked in return. Within was a church, quarters for the troops, some houses of refuge for the inhabitants and a natural spring that provided sweet and potable water.

The inhabitants and the priests, without any aid from the central government, supported the fort. It was only during the administration of Gov. Fernando Valdes-Tamon (1739) that four cannons, the battery and gunpowder were sent for its defense. — Vicente Barrantes (1878)

I knew that it was supposed to be located in Caseledan and when I asked where this was people knew that it was located on the other side of the island. The next day we proceeded over to the other side of the island, the western side of the island has two large bays, each of these bays is then divided into a further 5 smaller bays.

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Entering one of the larger bays we stopped a local fisherman for directions to the village of Caseldan, he pointed in a rough area, but as we proceeded closer we couldn’t see anything. Coming closer into the end of the bay we asked another fisherman who gave us a better direction. Finally we could see a small bay with a beach dominated by a large hill, a deep anchorage extended into the bay and there were 3 houses on the beach.

I pointed to the hill covered in very old trees and said to my friends “That’s the Fort, I’m sure of it because it’s in the right place and those trees are very old”.

Sure enough when we asked the people on the beach they said yes the fort was on the hill. We went just behind the beach where we came upon a small stream which fed into a well. Just past this a small trail turned left and steeply up the hill.

After a few minutes of pushing our way through the undergrowth I spotted the first stone wall which was only 2 foot high, this was the edge of the outer rampart which surrounds the fortress proper. After about 5 meters we came to a corner of the fortress and we followed the walls along to the front of the fort which is dominated by two Baluartes or bastions. These are heavily overgrown by Balete trees, a kind of strangler fig which has grown up through the fortress walls giving it the appearance of the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

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As we progressed our way around the wall we passed the other Baluarte and as we rounded a short wall we came to the entrance to the fortress. As we entered a very large gate a stairway was immediately to our left, we took this up to the upper ramparts of the fortress and with difficulty made our way all the way around.

From the SW Baluarte we could see the beach 250 feet below us, and if the trees were cleared we would have a fantastic view of the surrounding area. In the middle of the fortress it is overgrown with trees some of them with huge roots.

As we stood on the upper parapet of the SW Baluarte and gazed down into the bay I could almost feel what it must have felt like being a Spanish soldier in one of the most remote outposts in the world.”

How To Get There:

The fortress is located 13.5 kilometers west of Linapacan’s main town of San Miguel, in Sitio Caseledan, Pangaraycan, in North Bay located in Barangay Maroyrogrog. For more detailed instructions refer to the section above.

To get here you can join or book one of our private custom Palawan boat tours between El Nido and Coron. Tons of paradise beach islands to see along the way, excellent snorkeling in crystal clear waters, caves to explore, Spanish fortress and much more. Completely off the beaten path!

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Magransing Island: An Underrated Tropical Island in Palawan

Drone shot of Magransing Island

Linapacan is slowly attracting more tourists, especially after Daily News Dig listed it as having one of the clearest waters in the world, excellent for the beautiful coral reefs and snorkeling.

Colorful fishes under the clearest waters in Palawan

Although most tourists will only visit the touristy and known places like El Nido and Coron, there are plenty of underrated and undiscovered islands in between, one of which is Linapacan.

Small waves dancing over the sand bar of Magransing Island

The municipality of Linapacan has 52 islands included in its official region, but we counted there are 82 paradise beach islands to explore along our regular boat tours between Sibaltan and Coron.

White sand bar dividing the sea into two in different shades of blue

Also known as Little Maosonon Island, you can actually see a little resemblance between Magransing and Maosonon.

Untouched beautiful island

Sure, the waters were still clear. But the island is famous for its long sand bar, which looks really amazing. The sand bar is quite narrow that you can see the waves meeting from both sides. It is better to go there when it is low tide so the sand overlaps the water.

The sand is so soft it entices you to lie down on it

It will take roughly 30 minutes from Maosonon Island to get to Magransing Island. There are no houses on the island but you can find a bamboo nipa hut where the man who collects money for the environmental fee waits. It is better to bring some food, drinks and beers before going there because it will take a few hours to reach the town of San Miguel, where there are regular stores.

The color of the sky reflects in the sea water

Most people do not know about this island if they take a fast craft ferry from El Nido to Coron or vice versa. This is just one of the many islands they would miss along the way. For sure on your next trip, you do not want to miss this untarnished island, which you can have for yourselves because it is away from the crowds!

If you are visiting Philippines and want to experience pristine tropical islands, Palawan is the PERFECT place for you. To get here, you can join or book one of our private custom Palawan boat tours between El Nido and Coron, or a local Coron tour. Tons of paradise beach islands to see along the way, excellent snorkeling in crystal clear waters, caves to explore, Spanish fortress and much more. Completely off the beaten path!

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