Hello my dear readers! Since I have not done a lot of cooking here in the Philippines, I will share with you today my experiences when I travelled in Coron, Palawan. I will share with you how much it cost us to go there, some of my experiences , and some suggestions to help you plan and budget your future Coron, Palawan trip. So brace for some pictures and information overload.
My husband and I decided to hire Calamian Island Tours and travels to take care of our activities in Coron, Palawan. They had several types of packages but we chose the Coron Island Escapade Package . It covered 2 nights and 3 days. This package covered the hotel accommodation, transport to and from the airport ( not inclusive of airfare), boat to take us to the island tours and lunch during the trip.
We took a Cebu Pacific Plane from Cebu to Busuanga Airport. The plane ride was one and half hours. The weather was on our side with the sun shining brightly and the sky was very clear. When we arrived in Busuanga airport, there was a welcoming committee of native drummers using their hand drums which set the mood of fun for the tourists. The check out at the airport was fast and swift. And the people were very hospitable and kind. We were met by the Calamian Tour personnel and she showed us our ride. Note that you are not the only one in this ride. This ride is similar to a public commute wherein there are several passengers, and each one are drop off to their destination.What I loved about the transport mode was, everything was organized. You just have to ride the transporation by its order, which means you do not get to choose your ride . There were no moochers- which was great. The ride to Coron was an adventure by itself. It was more or less 45 minutes from Busuanga. The road is lined by greeneries and you will see some bahay kubo ( native Filipino houses made by nipa hut and bamboo) on the side of the streets.
We were the last ones who were dropped in our hotel. We got the Balai Binda Hotel. Even though this hotel was nestled in the middle of the town where the market was located, I was impressed on how close it was to the banks, the restaurants, transportation and the bakeries that sold hot Pandesal every morning . My kids tried Pandesal for the first time and they loved it. They loved the smell and of course the taste. This made me thinking why haven't I made Pandesal for them? Huh! Hmmmm, I am sharing the Pandesal recipe next post - brace for that post. Pandesal recipe here: How to make Pandesal
When we arrived in the hotel, we freshened up for our first tour - travelling around town and trekking to Mt Tapyas to see Maquinit Hot spring . I was not able to join my family in this activity because I was still nursing a fever- I want to get better for the island hopping the next day. According to the family, the hike was not too strenuous and the hot spring was very beautiful and clear.
2nd day: Coron Island Escapade Tour in which we will island hop to the 3 best beaches in Coron. This trip took 1.5 hours but it was all worth it. We visited three beaches : Malcapuya, Banana Island and Bugdos 2.
Malcapuya - they called this island Little Boracay because of the fine sand. We swam for an hour and we enjoyed some young coconuts which cost P 50.00/ piece . After enjoying the super fine sand, we transfered to Banana Island where we snorkelled and we saw these giant clams and this is where we had our lunch . Then we were serenaded by Jonelle, the tour guide and had some R and R. After rejuvinating, we moved to Bugdos 2 where we snorkelled some more and saw various kinds of colorful fishes. I particularly loved the clown fish -the Nemo movie starrer fish ...
3rd Day: This was pretty much an island hopping activity in which the boat docked in the middle of the ocean and we swam and dove. We went to Twin Lagoon, Beach 91 and Coral Garden. Our experiences here were spectacular. We kayak, we bonded with our boat mates and we were able to hold a large jellyfish. We snorkelled some more and marveled the live corals in different color and sizes.
After the three- day excursion, we decided to unwind and to simply relax in Coron Westown Hotel. This hotel is 15 minutes away from town which justify the quiteness of the place. The food in Westown is super delicious ( P 300.00/pax) , the staff were great and the rooms and the hotel in general was really clean. We loved this place.
Overall, Coron, Palawan was a very wonderful place- heaven on earth 🙂 with so many sites and adventures to explore.; three days was not enough. The people are friendly and it is worth all the penny we spent.My daughter loved Coron, Palawan so much that she want to live there after college. Hmmm, let me me see about this - well, as long as the mom tags along, right?
Accommodation: Balai Binda
Package Include: Coron Town Tour and COron Island Tour
TOTAL PACKAGE COST: P 28,000.00 ( around $ 650.00)
Although we prefered to hire Calamian Island Tour and Travels due to the convenience and ease, I really think that you can also get the packages cheaper if you book your trip yourself, so I listed some hotels and their numbers so that you can negotiate your trip. You can just call the hotel and and ask for rental boats and scout for more travel information because when I got there, I saw so many hotel choices and boat rentals. You will blend well also if you wear sleepers, shorts and shirts. ALSO, BRING CASH AS STORES DO NOT ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS.
Here is the Calamian Island Travels' Facenbook page. They are very quick to respond and very accomodating:
List fo Hotels to Contact:Balai Binda : Cash only
email: firstname.lastname@example.org site: www.balaibinda.com
Rates: from P1,200 to P3,800
Coron Westown Hotel: Accepts credit card
Check in time. 2:00 PM
email: Coron Westown Resort @yahoo.com.ph
mobile: 63 915-415-4555, 63-917-704-6176
Deluxe Room: P 5,800 Promo P 3,800 ( the cheapest) to P10,800.00 promo rate P P 8,800.00 Breakfast: 300/pax
Coron Getaway Hotels and Suites - cash only ( need to pay in a bank and a voucher will be sent to you)
Check in time: 2:00 PM
email: email@example.com ( look for Loisa)
rate: P 1,500 - P4,500 including breakfast
Island View Inn - Cash only
Deluxe: P1,500/ 2 pax to P 2,500.00
mobile: 063-917-547-6039, 063-906-232-0579, 063-999-993-0361
FOR scuba diving: Corto Diving Center 0929-261-7818 P3,500/person