Coron Day 2: Island Hopping + Snorkeling At Its Best

Really excited on our second day, we woke up early to prepare and to have breakfast. We kept looking at our watch knowing 8AM is our pick up time. It was 815AM when we finally arrived at the port. Our boat was docked at the left side of the reclaimed area and we were the second to arrive after the two Americans. Our boatman told us we’re just 6 so we waited. Whilst waiting, they tried starting the engine manually with the help of other boatman but it just won’t start. Since our boat was the only one still docked, 4 more joiners arrived, this time Koreans, and so the boat operator decided to get a battery to jumpstart the engine and luckily it worked. We started a little late at around 930AM but it was fine since our first stop was just few minutes away.

It took them more than 30 minutes just to start the engine of the boat.

Our first stop: Kayangan Lake. Kayangan Lake is one of two lakes in the island. The other one is known as Barracuda Lake. A quick 10 minute hike of about 300+ steps will get you to the inland lake and halfway through the trail is the view deck overlooking the lagoon. The lake’s temperature is just right for one to swim or snorkel. If you don’t know how to swim, life jackets are normally provided. The lake is 70% freshwater and 30% saltwater. All of us fell in love with the lake and stayed there for almost 2 hours.

Docking Area in Kayangan Lake

-= Kayangan Lake Docking Area =-

Steps Going To The Lake

-= Trail going to the Inland Lake =-

Lake View

-= View of Lagoon halfway through the Trail =-

Clear Water

-= The Lake =-


-= Me Chillin =-

Second stop: Twin Peaks Coral Garden. Twin Peaks is just few minutes away from Kayangan Lake marked by 2 islets. The boat stopped somewhere near the islets for us to snorkel. I was amazed by the number of fishes and corals around the area. I was just unfortunate to not have any underwater camera to show you. Just before leaving, we even spotted a somewhat big fish, a possible whale, but never really confirmed it.

Snorkeling At Twin Peaks

-= At Twin Peaks =-

Third stop: Vivian Beach. After snorkeling and swimming, it’s finally lunch time. Vivian Beach is a privately owned beach used for picnic as part of island hopping tour. On the beach, you’ll be welcomed by a very charming monkey. Just be careful not to carry them for long or the monkey will not let go of you. J We had sautéed squid, mixed vegetables, grilled fish and fresh mango. Yummy!

Vivian Beach

-= Vivian Beach =-

Vivian Beach Monkey

-= Monkey of Vivian Beach =-

After Lunch @ Vivian Beach

-= After a hefty lunch =-

Fourth stop: CYC Coral Garden. The coral garden is just at the back of the island, corals here are way better than in Twin Peaks. There were more variety of color and species. If I just have an underwater camera to show you, you’d be wowed. Just need to be a little careful as there are loads of sea urchins around. Since we are not very comfortable snorkeling around without someone with us, one of the boatman helped us, pulled us, to go further to see more corals. It was a spectacular view! Something I only get to see on TV or through the web and its right in front me. So where’s my underwater camera again? Never mind. Hahahaha! I was also able to get a hold of one of the sea urchins. It feels like a moving hair brush right on your palm.

Holdin Sea Urchin

-= Sea Urchin For You=-

Last stop: CYC Beach. We just the circled the coral garden and we finally arrived at the beach. This is a small island free of charge. It has fine white sand perfect for swimming and for chilling. Some of us even dozed off while in the island.

CYC Beach

-= CYC Beach =-

CYC Beach

-= CYC Beach =-

Sea + Sky

-= Sea + Sky =-

It was almost 5PM when we arrived back at the port. A tricycle picked us up and brought us back to Rudy’s Place Lodge. After taking a bath, we hit the road and took a tricycle in search of a place to eat for dinner. The driver directed us to go to La Sirenetta. Since the restaurant was built above the water you need to walk for a few minutes from the main road and cross a wooden bridge to get to the restaurant.

First Round

-= First Round of San Miguel Light =-

Great Aphrodisiac

-= Yummy =-

There were loads of people dining so we decided to wait. While waiting we ordered 2 bottles of SanMig Light and Seaweed in Sesame Oil. Perfect! I love seaweeds!!! When we finally got a table, we ordered pizza and Lumpia. I also had another round of beer after. The food was great! Highly recommended! No wonder a lot of people go here. The price is not bad as well.

Great Dinner At La Sirenetta

-= Great Dinner at La Sirenetta =-

After dinner, we decided to go back to our lodge and instead of directly hitting the sack, we decided to play billiard while trying to digest the food we ate. Good thing Rudy’s Lodge has Billiard table free of charge for guests. Life is Good!

Killing Time

Day 2 Itinerary – Island Hopping (Kayangan Lake + Twin Peaks + Vivian Beach + CYC Coral Garden + CYC Beach)
630 Wake up Time
700 Coffee/Breakfast
800 Pickup Time
815 Arrived at the Port
930 Start of Tour
945 Swim at Kayangan Lake
1130 Snorkeling Twin Peaks Coral Garden
1230 Lunch at Vivian Beach
1400 Left Vivian Beach
1415 Snorkeling at CYC Coral Garden
1520 Swim and Chill at CYC Beach
1620 Left CYC Beach
1650 Arrived back at the Port
1715 Back at Rudy’s Place Lodge
1730 Shower Time
1800 Prep for Dinner
1830 Dinner + Drinks at La Sirenetta
2100 Back at Rudy’s Place Lodge
2130 Played Billiards
2230 Sleep Time


Check the full Itinerary here.

Click here to see Day 1 Itinerary – Mt Tapyas & Maquinit Hot Spring.

Instead of taking the normal tour packages, you may opt to rent a boat and just pay for the entrance fee of the islands or places you want to visit.
(Fees may change, feel free to visit the Tourism Centre near the town plaza to confirm)
Banol Beach  P100/ person
Banana Island  P200/ person
Barracuda Lake  P100/ person
Bulalacao Island  P200/ person
Calauit Wildlife Safari  P250/ person
Calumbuyan Island  P150/ person
Coral Garden/ Lusong Sangat Gun Boat  P50/ person
Culion Museum  P250 local/ 350 foreigner
CYC Beach  No Charge
Dalawang Isla  P100/ person
Ditaytayan Island  P200/ person
Kayangan Lake  P200/ person
Malaroyroy Island/ Bulog Island  P100/ person
Malcapuya Island  P150/ person
Pulang Lupa  P100/ person
Sangat Island  P200/ person
Siete Pecados  P100/ person
Skeleton Wreck  P100/ person
Smith Beach  P100/ person
Twin Lagoon  P100/ person


To give you an idea of the cost per tour, below is the daily Island Hopping Trips available through El Compass Travel & Tours

Inclusions: All Entrance Fees, Licensed Tour Guide, Lunch with Complimentary Fruit & Drinks, Licensed Boat with Life Vest

A: P650/ person (Minimum of 5 Pax)
Vivian Beach, Kayangan Lake, Twin Peaks, Coral Carden and CYC Beach
B: P750/ person (Minimum of 5 Pax)
Twin Lagoon, Skeleton Wreck, Banol Beach, Kap’s Point, Hidden Lagoon
C: P950/ person (Minimum of 5 Pax)
Sangat Coral Garden, Lusong Gunboat, Mareli Island, East Tangat Gunboat
D: P1,200/ person (Minimum of 5 Pax)
Malcapuya, Banana Island, Malaroyroy
E: P1,300/ person (Minimum of 5 Pax)
Calumbayan, Sangat Coral, Lusong Gunboat, East Tangat Gunboat
F: P1,300/ person (Minimum of 5 Pax)
Kayangan Lake, Baracuda Lake, Banol Beach, Twin Lagoon, Skeleton Wreck,
Siet Picados, Coral Garden
G: P2,500/ person (Minimum of 6 Pax by Boat)
Calauit Safari, Black Island, Sangat Coral Garden, Lusong Gunboat,
East Tangat Gunboat
H: P2,300/ person (Minimum of 6 Pax)
Calauit Safari, Concepcion Falls, Pier House


If you wish to enquire, you may reach them at the following contact information:

09462689716/ 09398149237/ 09296783943


 Here’s the rundown of our expenses for the day:

P20 Tricycle Fare for 2 (going to town)
P700 Dinner at La Sirenetta
P20 Tricycle Fare for 2 (back to lodge)
P25 Water
P765 Total Expenses for Day 2

P300 Goggles Rental for 2 (included in the 6000 we paid but is normally separate from the tour for P150/set)

If you need help in Coron, you may contact Liezel Abringe at +63907 723 2451
Rudy’s Place Lodge: +63999 581 5019

Coron Day 1: Mt Tapyas + Maquinit Hot Spring

View From Mt Tapyas Top
-= View from Mt Tapyas =-

It was July 2012 when I was still in UK that I’ve decided to book for Busuanga while Skyping with my girlfriend. Missing the beach so much on a cold weather pushed me to GO and click CONFIRM. We even thought of cancelling this at the very last-minute and go to Sagada/Banaue instead because of the things we needed to do but failed to do. It was late in the evening before our flight when I started searching for a place to stay in Sagada and Banaue as a backup plan. Good thing a friend offered to do it for us and so we managed to go on and continue with the trip and packed our things then went to the airport with no sleep at all.

At the airport, the security directed us to check-in at the nearest counter only to find out it’s for disabled/senior citizens. Haha! We didn’t realise this until they asked who told us to do so. Luckily instead of asking us to go to the other counter we we’re allowed to check-in our baggage. Looking back at the line, and indeed it was for senior citizens. Ooopss!

At the boarding area while waiting for our flight, I started sending sms, calling and emailing different lodges, inns and backpacker places in search of a cheap place to stay since we’ve only managed to book for a tour. Most of the accommodation included in the package are quite expensive and knowing I could find a better deal, I decided to rough it instead.

At Busuanga Airport, it was quite difficult to get a Globe signal. No network coverage for Sun Cellular, ONLY Smart. They said I can get a good network coverage for Globe at the Town. I don’t have a Smart number so I had a hard time getting in touch with my contacts.

Coron\'s Gateway

Outside the airport, I was able to get a signal from Globe so I decided to immediately call Backpackers place only to find they’re fully booked so I rang Rudy’s Lodge and got a Fan Room for 500 a night. Not bad so I took it. We rode an air-conditioned van (mode of transportation for airport-coron route) and paid 150 per head and asked the driver to drop us off at Rudy’s Place Lodge. Rudy’s Place Lodge is just few meters away from the main town accessible by tricycle for a minimum fare of 10 pesos per head.

At Rudy’s Place Lodge, we met Fati who’s taking care of the place and guided us to our room. I then sent a message to Liezl, my contact in Coron, to advise her of our arrival. (Again, they only have Globe and Smart network coverage in Coron right now so I turned off my Sun phone. What a loser!) Few minutes later, she called so she could meet us before the tour and to set proper expectations. We both agreed for pick up at 3PM. Feeling a little tired, we decide to take a nap before touring the town.

Rudy\'s Place Lodge
-= Rudy’s Place Lodge =-

Excited on our first day we prepped early and was picked up before 3. Our first stop was a Souvenir Shop for us to have an idea on what to buy before we leave the island on our last day. We then went to Lualhati Park, a park by the bay facing northeast.

Lualhati Park
-= Lualhati Park =-

We also visited the tourism center to show us the map of the island and the whereabouts of the places we’re going to visit. Before going to Mt Tapyas, we stopped at the Municipal Hall for a quick photo opp.

Coron Municipal Hall
-= Coron Municipal Hall =-

It was around 4 when we arrived at the foot of Mt Tapyas. The trail going to the summit consists of 700+ steps on a nicely cemented path with hand railing and covered resting areas with benches along the way.

Few More Steps
-= Almost There =-

At the top you’ll see the big steel cross and a spacious view deck. Once there you’ll see a panoramic view of Coron and its surrounding islands. Sunset and Sunrise viewing is one of the best here. Just make sure you bring a flashlight if you plan to go down after the sunset.

View From Mt Tapyas Top

View From Mt Tapyas Top

-= Coron Sunset =-

After Mt Tapyas, we went straight to Maquinit Hot Spring. The road going there is not entirely paved so it might be difficult to get there during rainy season. At Maquinit Hot Spring, they have 2 small pools and a main pool. The water temperature is really relaxing, perfect after trekking Mt Tapyas. Due to freshwater scarcity in the area, we only managed to change our clothes after taking a dip. Here you can also have a picnic. They have a store wherein you can buy food and drinks. They also have a baggage counter for safekeeping of your things.

The Main Pool At Night

At Maquinit Hot Spring

At Maquinit Hot Spring

It was 730PM when we arrived at Coron Edge for dinner. We had Adobo and Calamares as well as Banana Flambe for dessert.

Dinner At Coron Edge

After dinner, we took a tricycle going back at Rudy’s and paid 10 pesos per head.

Day 1 Itinerary – Mt Tapyas & Maquinit Hot Spring

0830 Flight to Busuanga via Airphil Express
0925 Arrived at Busuanga Airport
1000 Left Busuanga Airport via Van
1030 Arrived at Rudy’s Place Lodge
1045 Early Check-in at Rudy’s Place Lodge
1100 Nap Time
1445 Pickup Time
1500 Souvenir Shop
1520 Lualhati Park
1535 Tourism Center
1550 Municipal Hall
1600 Mt Tapyas
1620 Summited Mt Tapyas
1730 Descended Mt Tapyas
1745 Swim and Relax at Maquinit Hot Spring
1930 Dinner at Coron Edge
2030 Back at Rudy’s Place Lodge

If you wish to tour the town without a package, you can simply rent any tricycle around the town for around 300-400 pesos for the entire day. Entrance to Maquinit Hot Springs: P150/ person. Cutoff is 8PM but one can stay until 10PM.

Check the full Itinerary here.

Click here to see next day’s Itinerary – Kayangan Lake + Vivian Beach + Twin Peaks + CYC

Here’s the rundown of our expenses for the day:
P300    Taxi going to the NAIA Terminal 3
P300    Van going to Coron from the Busuanga Airport
P6,000  Full Payment of Tours good for 4 Days (Boat Transfers, Food during Tour, Entrance Fees and Tricycle Fare)
P520    Dinner at Coron Edge
P20     Tricycle Fare
P65     Other expenses
P7,205 Total Expenses for Day 1

If you need help in Coron, you may contact Liezel Abringe at +63907 723 2451
Rudy’s Place Lodge : +63999 581 5019

An Island “Nearer” & “Better” than BORACAY?!

Interesting read…

This will definitely be on my list!

Why Better?!?

  • Has its own Airport
  • Bigger than Boracay. It has 1600 hectares to 1024 hectares of Boracay.
  • Boracay has one beach. Calicoan has two, one facing Pacific Ocean and the other facing Leyte Gulf
  • More here.. An island nearer and better than Boracay.

Calicoan Island