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Coron Island Tour, BusuangaDec 24, 2011
Coron Island, Palawan

Coron Ultimate Island Tour by Calamianes Expeditions Ecotours

Island Tours
When I finally went to Coron Town, the main center for Busuanga Island, I noticed a lot of billboards on tour packages. You could not escape it - on tricycles, on walls, on empty lots, etc. I noticed 3 major tour providers, plus hotels providing the same thing for their guests, then you also have private individuals putting up their own notices. It seems to be a fiercely competitive industry.

The P650 Tour
I stepped into one of the majors, Calamianes Expeditions and Ecotours and met owners Al and Mae Linsangan. Al explained how he introduced to Coron, the budget P650 all-in tour package that takes you to 6 destinations. He also ralayed how that was met with resistance from the local business communities. With community-based partnerships with the indegenous people, the couple's vision for democratically-priced tour pacakges prevailed. I took the B1 Tour that took me to Kayangan Lake, Twin Peaks Reef, Twin Lagoons, Atwayan Beach, CYC Island and Coral Garden.

Calamianes Expeditions Ecotours Calamianes Expeditions Ecotours office

Kayangan Lake Kayangan Lake
Kayangan Lake is dubbed the cleanest lake in the Philippines. But it's main allure is its lunar-like lakescape below the water. It reminded me of Lord of the Rings. It was surreal. There is no beach - just a sheer towering limestone wall that penetrates deep into the lake. Visibility is very good. Don't forget to have snorkelling gear when you visit Kayangan Lake. Going up the lake is a picture-perfect spot where you see the lagoon. It's perhaps the most identified poster shot of Coron.

Twin Peaks Reef Twin Peaks Reef
The boat stopped in the middle of nowhere. I thought there was engine trouble. It happens we were already on top of the submerged Twin Peaks Reef! Again, it was a snorkelling activity. I didn't really see the other peak but it was gorgeous to free-dive the vertical depth of the reef. Rubble was apparent though. It must have seen rougher days.

Twin Lagoons Twin Lagoons
We had to swim or snorkle to enter this lagoon - walking is not an option. The entrance is either over a small rocky foothold, or you dive under the rock bridge to enter the lagoon. There is no place to put your things down. It's deep and quite a challenge if you're not a good swimmer. Best to keep your vest with you.

Atwayan Beach Atwayan Beach
When I first came to Atwayan Beach 3 years ago, we had the beach to ourselves for 3 days! Now, at any given daytime, you see 5 or 6 tour boats lined up to take their guests for lunch. The beach is perfect - white fine sand, good for swimming, no corals, etc.

CYC Island CYC Island
This is the only remaining public beach. It's a fairly small narrow beach, but from what I was told, it's because its sand is being mined by other resorts. Nonetheless, it was good being there. We only stayed a few minutes as there wasn't much to do.

Coral Garden Coral Garden
Of the snorkeling activities for the day, this is perhaps the best destination. It was a boat entry, far from any beach. The corals were thick and intense and it wasn't too deep - just right for the newbie.

At the End of the Day
After those 6 destinations, we were all pretty tired and wanted to go back. There was just enough time to appreciate each destination before we headed to the next one. It's not a relaxing trip (there are other trips for that)- more like an adventure package where you make the most of what you have given the short time frame. Tip: once you get back, best to head straight for Maquinit Hot Spring!

Ending Thoughts
Coron used to be an expensive dive destination - if you weren't a diver with a lot of money, you couldn't do much. Before, to see the neighboring islands, you had to charter a boat for not less than P2000, pay all the island fees (about P100 to P200 per beach/lake, not even per island) and provide your own lunch. It all added up to a few grand. Now, with Calamianes Expeditions and Ecotours' introduction of the affordable P650 tour package, non-divers on a budget are now being accommodated. This move has seen exponential growth in Coron's tourism. Now, I can't wait to try out Al and Mae's other tour packages!

--- 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
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 Site: Calamianes Expeditions and Ecotours

01lagoon 02kayangan_lake 03party_crew 04snorkelling
06steps 08divegear 09jump 11beach
12white_sand 13lunch 15cyc_beach 16party_boat
17boat_crew 18party_crew 19sandy_feet 20atwayan_beach

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
  • you want to add some more? please submit on the form below

Not So Great Things Going Against Busuanga

  • slow and unreliable internet
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Busuanga Essentials
Tribal Adventures Tours - multi-day kayak expedition, day tours, island tours, mountain biking, snorkeling, hiking
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Calamianes Expeditions & Ecotours - island tours, community based ecotourism experience
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