Boat Operator – Benji

His primary source of income by profession, Benji also runs a regular schedule to Coron on Fridays, 2 days, with a one day trip back leaving on Sundays.

Every operator has their own contacts or relatives who have islands you can explore or people to meet and stay at on different islands, making tours by each operator special. But what makes Benji’s tours extra special is his particular love for Emperador, a local brandy, with the contagiously jovial mood it brings with it once you settle down for the evening.

Keep in mind though that he manages several boats and crews, so it might be just the luck of the draw which boat he actually captains. But if you like to party, send him a special request and try to work out a deal!

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The master captain himself.
Below: Takling, island owned by his father-in-law
and where he often likes to camp overnight on his tours.

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Below, entertainment hut on Calacala,
another island owned by one of his relatives and an exclusive to his tours. 

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Yours truly celebrating his son’s birthday with them.

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Below: more pics from his camera, this time of the local Eli caves.

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His new boat:

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He wrote: We serve towels also to my guest all in white color with the beddings.

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Mango swans.

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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!

Palawan-boat-tours

Back to our boat sizes and list of boat operators.

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Benji boatman
Average rating:  
 13 reviews
by Aaron on Benji boatman
amazing experience

What an amazing experience....that was like 7 star service. The experience was just incredible. So beautiful and so much fun. Benji and Maileen are just amazing hosts. Thx a lot!!

by Todd on Benji boatman
lovely experience

We toured with benji one day and his crews the other 2 days as he was entertaining multiple tour bookings. Drop off to flower island in taytay went smoothly as well. Was tons of fun! Really got a good saturation dosage of the linapacan area. Lovely experience and felt like we were in a very remote area.
Little rough not showering for days but my girlfriend handled it better than i expected her to!

All the places where people live in larger communities there is fresh water, but if you prefer camping, a few of the places don't have any. But roughing can be fun for a few days and glad you enjoyed it!

by Josie on Benji boatman
fantastic

Absolutely fantastic!

by Joseph on Benji boatman
perfect

It went perfectly well.
Benj ans crew are great and places are spectacular.
Thank you !

by Beri on Benji boatman
wonderful experience

It was SUCH a wonderful experience. Dick and the crew took such great care of us. Thanks again!

by Max on Benji boatman
Lots of fun

It was great! Maileen and Benjie were both very generous and knowledgeable. Had lots of fun

by Sarah on Benji boatman
wonderful tour, aside from the rough weather

All in all it was a really great experience. We were not so lucky with the wind and waves so we couldn't do all the stops we wanted to and we also had a rough first night with lots of wind. Somehow though I managed to not get too sick on the boat and fought off my tiredness from only 2 hours of sleep 🙂

Benji and his family though were really nice and did everything they could. He does really get heavy on the rum at night but it was still to a point where its alright. The food was amazing - always way too much. However it would have been nice if they would have eaten with us sometimes. We always asked them to but they never did. I am sure they thought it's impolite or something?! But we were only 2 and it was a bit wired eating alone and knowing they would hide and eat our leftovers later. But maybe it's just the culture?

There was a bit of a miscommunication on the food being included and paying on top of the 47000 was really a lot in the end all in all. But OK its done now, but maybe you could have communicated the packages better via email or on your website.

Another feedback I have concerning the size of the boat. I don't think it is sufficient for more than 4 people. If the weather is like it was these days, you always have to sit on top and it was already a little squeezy with us 2 and 5 boat people. So I guess 4 guests can be fine but more than that won't have the space unless they stand on the boat (like the boatman) and get completely wet and freezing. You might need to rethink that and state it on your website also. Benjis boat and motor also seems to be pretty old and might need some service at some point because the engine was dying and not working a lot.

This might just be some helpful feedback. But other than that it was really worth it and we got to see so many great beaches and reefs which we could have never been able to visit without the tour.

Yah, the swells can get high sometimes and the weather a bit rough. In the info I send out and also on my website you can find weather predictions, and I believe I mention somewhere to wear a snorkel mask, as the constant salt water in the eyes can get annoying. But I'm glad that overall you enjoyed the experience. Most of the year the water is quite flat and clear.

I did clearly state in emails and on the website that food and accommodation is not included if you did not choose the all-inclusive package (price basically turns out the same anyway).

Concerning the engine, Benji explained to me that his boat is newly renovated and engine new, just that it simply ran out of diesel briefly and something about an airlock or air bubble, which he said he quickly resolved.

I have passed on the message about eating together. I think they assume you are on a romantic honeymoon and want to respect your privacy. Locals also tend to be shy with foreigners.

There are various sized boats and each boatman has several boats and crew under their command, so they choose based on the number of guests. A new policy is to allow the guests to choose boatman and/or boat, based on availability. 
https://www.islandhoppinginthephilippines.com/palawan/v/sizes-of-boats/

But I'm glad you enjoyed your trip!

by Mason on Benji boatman
Snorkeling was amazing

Overall, we had a great time! Angelo and the crew were very friendly and accommodating, the food was great, the snorkeling was amazing, and loved learning about their home/area.

by Anand on Benji boatman
not entirely satisfied

We have finished the trip. Trip was a good adventure

But not happy with Benjie n maileem on

1. Scamming us to buy water although its included.
2. Gave us too little food but gave more after i complained about it.
3.Gave snorkeling for free after we complained
4. Lied to us that Kayangan lake tickets are sold out but i checked with locals later that no such things as tickets sold out.

Totally not satisfied with this matter.
I hope you can take action on this.

After communicating back and forth it seems that Anand may have been wrong. Hard to say. We are trying our best.

by Mason on Benji boatman
great time!

Overall, we had a great time! Angelo and the crew were very friendly and accommodating, the food was great, the snorkeling was amazing, and loved learning about their home/area.

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9 thoughts on “Boat Operator – Benji”

  1. Hi SailorSam!

    How can I book a guided tour around Linapacan thru Benji? We’re visiting Coron end of the month and Linapacan is high on our list.

    Thanks!

    • Best to always contact me through the Contact form top of each page, otherwise I should receive an email notification of this comment and to which I can respond directly to you, as long as you punch in your correct email address. I assume I’ve already done so for this.

  2. Hi again, you emailed me sometime ago.
    I would like to hire a boat, we didnt want to share, its me and my family..total 4. My kids are 11 and 13.
    The boat we wish to hire must have some shade like Benjis boat. We are interested in a 4 night excursion, we can camp ideally. Arriving around the 1st November. So what do we do from here, how do we book and confirm. Do we contact Benji directly with a phone number? Do we need to bring a tent ? Get back to me when you can, regards, Mark Haan

    • Hi Mark, already sent you a direct email. All the boats have shade and tents. Once you book and pay the deposit, I will send you the contact details to the boat operator of your choice and other information, such as possible places to island hop along (you will be in charge of the boat, so you can choose).

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