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skin diving

Free-Diving Calumbuyan Reef, Coral Garden and Lusong GunboatJan 14, 2012
Coron, Palawan

Free-Diving Calumbuyan Reef, Coral Garden and Lusong Gunboat

Blue-Balls Dive
Calumbuyan Island was a blue-balls dive for me a few years back. My buddy then was inexperienced and was overwhelmed by the initial plunge. That also stopped me from making the most out of the dive. Now, with just me to worry about, I could make up for everything I wasn't able to do.

Snorkelling Tour
Fortunately, Calamianes Expeditions and Ecotours was offering that tour together with 2 other destinations - Coral Garden and the Lusong Gunboat. There is no island hopping or beach bumming on this one except for Calumbuyan Island. This tour is essentially a snorkelling tour.

Beware of Fake Calumbuyan Islands
Calumbuyan Island is not a short trip from Coron Town. It took us about 2 hours to get there on boat. I heard that due to its distance, some unscrupulous boat operators mislead their guests to a much closer "Calumbuyan Island" - that's according to Chris, the island caretaker. Yes, best to take the legit tour operators than be taken for a ride (pun intended too).

Calamianes Expeditions Ecotours Calamianes Expeditions Ecotours office

Calumbuyan Island Calumbuyan Island
This time, I had the full appreciation of what Calumbuyan is all about. This is one of the best reef system I have been to. The corals were thick, lush and intense - from soft coral types to hard ones, I was lost in the myriad of a coral forest. It was difficult to find access to the reef from the island, and equally hard to get back to the island due to thick corals that blocked access. I wanted to encircle the entire island but I was already fatigued by the time a french couple took to the reef to dive around it. I could have joined them. I'll be back. And this time, I'll bring my tent and stay until I have Calumbuyan coming out of my ears.

Lusong Coral Garden Lusong Coral Garden
This one is a boat dive and takes the cake for reef coverage. It's a massive coral system that stretches along the Lusong Island coastline for about a kilometer. It's not as intense or vibrant though as Calumbuyan.

Lusong Gunboat Lusong Gunboat
Thickly covered with corals, the ship's bow is only a meter from the surface but its stern plunges down deep. Because it's a common party boat stop, there was heavy traffic from people with vests snorkellling above the wreck. But to truly appreciate this ship, you need to free dive and peek at the inviting holes - they're big enough to go into, but not without tanks.

Cold But Satisfied
With all the boat travel and the deep plunges I took, I was exhausted and couldn't wait to get back to dry land and warm up. Since we were all wet, going back with the low sun and sea breeze hitting us, it felt hypothermic. Bring your windbreaker if you do this tour....but yes, you must do this tour if you love snorkelling or free diving!

--- TheLoneRider

disclosure: Calamianes Expeditions and Ecotours became clients after my initial talks with Al and Mae. This blog is not a lip-service for them - they just happen to be doing a great job and I subscribe to their vision of a community-based social enterprise.

Calamianes Expeditions and Ecotours
This Tour:Calumbuyan Island Eco-Tour (Tour G) P990
Calumbuyan Island, Lusong Gunboat, Coral Garden
Contact:Mae and Al Linsangan
Location:#11 San Agustin St., Bgry. Poblacion 3, Coron, Palawan, Philippines 5316
Mobile:+(63)919.305.4363 / +(63)920.254.6553
Coconut Insider: Calamianes Expeditions and Ecotours

01calumbuyan 02chris 03tree 04headstand
05hammock 06coral_garden 07lusong_gunboat 08gunboat-wreck

Google Map Busuanga, Palawan, Philippines

tourist attractions in Busuanga tourist attractions hotels in Busuanga hotel, beach house and accommodation expedition in Busuanga tour and expedition
  • Tribal Adventures Tours Tribal Adventures Tours - multi-day kayak expedition, day tours, island tours, mountain biking, snorkeling, hiking
    +63 998.999.3049 |
  • Calamianes Expeditions & Ecotours Calamianes Expeditions & Ecotours - island tours, community based ecotourism experience
    +639193054363 / +639202546553 / +63 9152543246 / 02 984 7795 |

Great Things Going for Busuanga

  • beaches, islands, snorkeling, scuba diving, wreck diving
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Not So Great Things Going Against Busuanga

  • slow and unreliable internet
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Tribal Adventures Tours - multi-day kayak expedition, day tours, island tours, mountain biking, snorkeling, hiking
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