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  • Coron Island | Inter Island Boat Hopping Tours

    Coron Island Hopping: How to beat the Crowds

    If you’ve been seeing dreamy photos of Coron Island over the years – Instagram just sneaking them right into your feed – then like me, this place has probably nestled itself in your mind. That’s why when I went back to the Philippines for a third time, I knew that I would be island hopping around Coron. This was actually not my first time in the area. Back in 2014, I jumped on a liveaboard dive boat and went scuba diving all around the area. But weirdly enough, I have almost no memory of the islands, and I had to fix that! I spent three days island hopping around Coron and got some juicy insider tips to help you have a more enjoyable experience with smaller crowds.

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    Where to island hop in Coron

    The following itineraries are broken down into what is the most logical for each day of your trip. Depending on where you’re leaving from, some places are going to be quite far and therefore more expensive. I have some ways of helping with that too. Let’s start with what’s closest to Coron town: Coron Island.
    • Twin Lagoon | 200 PHP
      This is one of the most popular destinations for island hopping in Coron and every tour boat in the vicinity will go there. The entrance fee is 200 pesos and trust me when I say that it will be very popular. That said, if you can manage to arrive before 8am, you can more or less get it all to yourself. Just make sure that you organize the tickets the day before for both this one and the next one on the list. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore the area since it’s large and there’s much swimming to do! You can read my full review of the Twin Lagoon in this travel report.
    • Kayangan Lake | 300 PHP
      The other most popular place on this list, this brackish lake is magical in the morning hours, but by 10am it’s packed with people. I’ve seen it in both scenarios, scuba diving in it back in 2014 and this time after it became instafamous. These days, you’re required to wear a life jacket, just like in Twin Lagoon. However at the lake unlike at the lagoon, there will be someone to enforce it. Unless, that is, you get there right when it opens at 7:30am. Were I to do it over again, I would get there early but for some reason on this trip I just really valued sleeping in! What can a girl do?
    • Barracuda Lake | 200 PHP
      I actually liked Barracuda Lake more than Kayangan Lake because I had it to myself for a while by going in the afternoon after the tour boats had mostly moved on. It’s less popular, so to me it was more beautiful and pretty darn similar. I enjoyed freediving at both of them, and loved the little needlefish that hug the top of the water!
    • Banul Beach | 150 PHP
      I headed to Banul Beach In the afternoon, after the tours that stop there for lunch had already left. It’s a small cove with white sand beaches and though grassy and not perfect for snorkeling, it is absolutely perfect for chilling. Most tours will also go to Beach 91 instead, which I don’t feel is any better than Banul, but it certainly is more crowded!
    • Skeleton Wreck | 150 PHP
      This old WWII wreck is one of few in Coron that you can actually swim to rather than needing dive gear. As an avid diver who has done most of the wrecks in the area, it’s not nearly as impressive as what you can find if you dive, but as snorkeling goes, it’s alright. There are plenty of striped fish around the surface as well. Realistically, if you can’t freedive you won’t be able to see much since the wreck is a good 10 to 12 meters down. However if you’re still interested, my pro tip is to go in the afternoon. I had it for a while all to myself!
    • Siete Pecados | 150 PHP
      A favorite snorkeling spot, this is a good one to head up in the morning if you don’t want crowds around. I realize that everything on this list would be best to visit it in the morning, but if I were you I would put the Twin Lagoon first if you organize the boat for 7am, followed by Kayangan and then this one, to best assure you get some solitude.
    • Malcapuya Island | 150 PHP
      This island and the next three on this list are all a bit farther from Coron and therefore it takes quite a while to get there. You want to head out earlier in the day and instead of combining this with any Coron Island spots, you’ll want to combine it with the next two. This is a very popular place to visit nonetheless, so make it the first place that you stop. It’s a breathtaking white sand beach island with palm trees, but to be honest, I’d seen a lot of those by the time I got to Coron so this is not an island I visited.
    • Ditaytayan Island | 150 PHP
      This is one I wish I had seen because, as I’ve established previously, I am a big-time sandbar enthusiast. This is where the tours usually stop for lunch, so if you get there before or after, you have a better chance of some solitude.
    • Banana Island | 150 PHP
      Another beautiful white sand beach, Banana Island is all about chilling in the hammocks provided on the far side of the island. If they’re all taken when you arrive, people come and go so it won’t take long to get your turn!
    • Black Island | 150 PHP
      My biggest pro tip, and a spot that I haven’t seen on any of the other blogs about Coron, is Black Island. Perhaps that’s why it’s so under the radar, it’s far from town but you could easily spend an entire day just on this island, which I did! To get there from town it’s a minimum of 7600 pesos, which is probably why so few people go. However for me to go from the treehouse I stayed in at the top of the island (more on that later), I only paid 3500 for my boat. Black Island has it all: uncrowded snorkeling, a big white sand beach, and a few other inlets that you can swim to, and a cave that you can swim in! I found this particularly exciting, because I got to go swimming in a beautiful blue lagoon in a cave and there was nobody else around. This was the perfect secluded Coron island hopping experience I’d been dreaming of.
    This is why the islands I previously mentioned just before this one were not as appealing to me, because I already felt like I got a secluded and beautiful experience at Black Island. I’d highly recommend you split up your stay on Busuanga (the island Coron town is on) between the top side of the island where I was, and Coron town so that you get the best of both worlds.

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    Group VS Private Island Hopping Tours

    I did all of my island hopping in Coron, and El Nido too for that matter, on private boats. When possible, I would share them with others, which took the cost down significantly. The big benefit of taking your own boat is that you can come and go when you want to, customizing your itinerary as you please. You can also organize the boat to leave much earlier in the day so that you get to experience the popular places without the crowds. If you take a group tour, you’ve got a crowd built in with you and you’ll more or less be going to the same places at the same time as everyone else.

    That said, the group tours are significantly cheaper, particularly if you’re a solo traveler. The group tours include all of the entrance fees to the islands and a pretty good food spread. The pricing for private boats doesn’t include any of that. Still, if you can afford it, I always prefer the flexibility of a private boat. The costs are as follows:
    • Coron Island: 2700 PHP
    • Malcapuya Island (et al.): 4900 PHP
    • Black Island: 7600 PHP (which is why you should stay on the other side of the island and take a boat from there!

    Alternatively you can book the group tours on Klook, the cheapest option I know of both in El Nido and Coron:
    I had the best experience out of all of my Palawan boat experiences by just going straight to the dock (tell the tricycle driver you want to go to Calamian dock and he’ll know what you mean), and getting a 2700 PHP boat and asking him to take us anywhere where there weren’t tourists. This is how I enjoyed Barracuda Lake and snorkeled the wreck without other people around. I love the flexibility and it’s worth it to me to pay for that. If you do book a private boat and you want to go early, you’ll need to organize it the day before. Make sure to do so before 5pm so that you can secure tickets to Kayangan Lake! It may require some coaxing in the morning on your end to get things going, just stay patient and friendly and I’d even preemptively offer a tip to make it happen as early as possible.

    What you will need on your Island Hopping Tour

    Be sure to bring snacks and water along with you, unless you’re doing a group tour that involves lunch. Near the dock there are little shops that have cashews and dried mango and that was perfect for me! You’ll also find coconuts and snacks for sale on the islands but they’re meager and it’s best to bring along food from town with you. You’ll also want to bring along snorkeling gear, which you can rent for 150 pesos for a mask and snorkel and 150 for a set of fins. I brought my own mask from home and would suggest you do the same. You can be more sure of the quality and won’t have to pay the equivalent of 3 US dollars every single day that you go island hopping.

    It can also be a good idea to bring along a dry bag. if you want to be able to take photos, especially if kayaking in the lagoons. Also be sure to bring along sunscreen, as you’ll have your back to the sun often on this trip. It’s also helpful to bring along your own beach towel. If you’re there in April or May, a rash guard is a great idea due to the small jellyfish. I got annihilated in the Twin Lagoon!

    Boat | Sightseeing Tour Operator

    Instead of battling the crowds, the sea of life-jackets and the lines, Big Dream Boat Man takes you to the hotspots such as Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon before the crowds come. Check tour options and itineraries at:

    Big Dream Boat Man
    Klook | Coron Islands
    Last edited by Tripadvisor; 12-18-2022, 08:46 PM.

  • #2
    Kayangan Lake
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    Kayangan Lake is by far the most popular spot on Coron Island and for good reason. You cruise into the ‘parking lot’, which in itself is an immaculate reef with crystal clear water. After parking the boat you take a short hike up the stairs to the viewpoint before clambering down the other side to reach the famous Kayangan Lake. It’s a crystal clear freshwater lake with unbelievable underwater rock formations, which make it one of the most incredible sites in Coron, Palawan. Kayangan Lake is located on Coron Island. Coron Town is where all of the tourists stay is actually on Busuanga. It gets a little confusing but all you need to know is that you will be staying in Coron Town and taking a boat over to Kayangan Lake and Coron Island to visit all of the other lagoons, snorkel spots and shipwrecks.

    Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan is an awesome spot to hang out for several hours if you like to explore. While most tourists will snorkel for 20 minutes and move on there is actually a lot to see and do here. There’s a cave that most people don’t know about, epic free-diving and of course the famous viewpoint.

    While it is now compulsory to wear a life jacket at Kayangan Lake (two tourists died doing some pretty full-on freediving so they tightened the rules for snorkelers) you can still get away with free-diving here. I usually hang out by the edges of the left side of the lake, put my life jacket on a rock and free-dive down by the cliffs underwater. This underwater landscape is up there with my favorite snorkel/free-dive spot in the world. Epic jagged rocks make you feel like you are on the moon as you dive deeper. Make sure you are cautious as it is a freshwater lake so you will be significantly less buoyant than in salt water making it harder to return to the surface. If you are not 100% sure in your swimming/free-diving capabilities please keep your life jacket on. Technically everyone needs to keep it on but those rules are for the masses and I’m willing to bend them knowing that there is very small to no-danger for ME as I do basic freediving at this part of Kayangan Lake.

    On the left side of the lake, quite near to the boardwalk is Awuyuk Kayangan Cave. It is about 10-meters to swim through and in parts in pitch black. It’s a short adventure but pretty exciting and best done with a guide. Looking back out towards the light from inside the cave is a scene not to be missed.

    The famous viewpoint of Kayangan Lake is actually not of the lake funnily enough. The viewpoint is at the top of the stairs before you head down towards Kayangan Lake and actually looks out to the area where the boats are parking. It is beautiful and the water clarity is so good that you can see the cliffs continue down below the surface. In peak times there can be a line here, which can be pretty hectic but if you come early in the morning it is much more relaxed.

    The best way to avoid the crowds at Kayangan Lake is to arrive at opening time, which is 7:00 am. You can do this by hiring a private boat . If you join a regular group tour you will inevitably be there at peak time most likely.​

    Your entrance fee for Kayangan Lake is most likely organized by your tour operator but the system is not that you need to buy the tickets in town before you arrive. They are trying to regulate things more these days so that is how it works. The fee is 300 PHP per person.


    • #3
      Everything to know about Coron’s Twin Lagoon

      As I stared out from that wooden dock at the multi-hued turquoise water in front of me, I could understand why I’d heard so much about the Twin Lagoon in Coron, Palawan. It’s one of the most famous places in the Philippines and when you see it for yourself, you understand why. “Three days it took me to get here,“ said a starry-eyed girl from Morocco as she surveyed the view before us, “It was worth it,” she sighed contentedly. I felt the same way. Despite the crowds and the jellyfish, which I’ll get into later, I was still pleased to play Ariel in this watery kingdom for a few hours. The Twin Lagoon is what it sounds like – a pair of dazzling blue lagoons set amongst a backdrop of vertical, black, jagged karst walls on Coron Island. It’s one of the main things that people hope to see when they visit Coron and naturally, I wanted to see it too. I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do, so here’s is it.
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      Getting to the Twin Lagoon

      The only way to get to the Twin Lagoon is to take a boat. If you have a look at the menu of island hopping excursions posted all around Coron town, you’ll be able to pick an option that includes this stop. Most group tours run from 1200-1700 PHP depending on the stops. What I recommend and what I did was to take my own boat, shared with a few others from my guesthouse, which ultimately worked out cheaper and gave us more flexibility. I was able to spend as much time as I wanted swimming through the lagoon rather than being beholden to the tour schedule or holding a big group of other people up. Most private tours can be organized through your accommodation for just the boat alone, and usually cost around 3000 pesos. If you want food or snorkeling gear, that’s extra, as is every stop you make while on the boat. However I found that by going directly to the source at the Calamian dock, I was able to pay just 2700 pesos for the boat. This is the cheapest way to do it if you’re willing to put in just a little bit of extra effort. Typically a tricycle ride to get to the port will cost about 25 pesos per passenger, so although the savings isn’t huge, it’s still well worth your effort to go independently. The Twin Lagoon is an extra 200 pesos per person on top of that.

      When to Go

      When we talk about when to go, there are two things to consider: time of day and time of year. Let’s talk about time of day first. The Twin Lagoon is one of the most popular stops in Coron, and it’s difficult to get it all to yourself. That said, you could try to be the first boat there in the morning by heading out earlier than everyone else. To do this, I would negotiate directly at the port the day before and secure your ticket ahead of time, as the Twin Lagoon and a couple of other stops, like Kayangan Lake, require tickets for entry, or you can ask your accommodation to help you set it all up. If you can get there by 7 AM, you should be able to get it more or less to yourself. When I went around two in the afternoon, it was absolutely full of people. I would have loved to see it without the crowds, however even if you can’t get there early and get it all to yourself, it’s beautiful and you can still enjoy it with others around. Sharing the experience didn’t ruin it for me like it did at Kayangan Lake, which is the other most popular stop in Coron and a much smaller area. Next let’s talk about time of year. For the most part, anytime is good to go but keep in mind that in the months just before the rainy season, which are April and May, there are more jellyfish in the water than usual. I, unfortunately, wasn’t aware of this when planning out my trip to Coron. The Twin Lagoon was full of, seriously, thousands of tiny jellyfish. I don’t actually think that everybody reacts to them, because out of everyone in my group, I was the only one who came out full of blotches. Strangely, I never felt them sting me, either. But I was suffering from suddenly painful and itchy stings that night, almost like a rash. Add that to the giant jellyfish I accidentally got into a tangle with in Romblon and I was literally covered from neck to toes. Would I do it again? Hell yeah! But I would probably bring a rash guard with the benefit of hindsight.

      Things to Know About the Twin Lagoon

      One thing that I found a bit frustrating and unfortunate about the major tourist sites in Palawan is the life jacket requirement. Even though there are no waves in the Twin Lagoon and it’s easy to swim through, everyone is required to wear a life jacket, or at least have one in their possession. I’m not used to this, so it inhibits my ability to swim. Truth be told, I swam in partway and then tossed my life jacket onto a rock and then continued onward. I ran into a similar issue with the Big Lagoon in El Nido and observed the rule by bringing in the life jacket but sort of skirted the fine print by fastening it to a buoy and doing most of my swimming without it. Normally I think it’s important to follow the rules but this one has nothing to do with protecting nature and is more about keeping people afloat who, unlike me, aren’t strong swimmers. Thankfully there’s nobody around to enforce the rule anyways. The other thing to keep in mind is that the area is more than the first body of water you come to. You will see a lifeguard station straight ahead which you can swim under to get to the second part of the lagoon. If you continue past the buoys, you can get to a dock which has some awesome photo opportunities and fewer people around as well. I think technically this isn’t the Twin Lagoon anymore, but I highly recommend checking it out. After we finished at the Twin Lagoon, I asked my guide if we could relocate to the dock pictured above, which he said was privately owned and would require another entrance fee. However it seems to me that you could just stop there instead of the normal Twin Lagoon entry area, and get a slightly more secluded experience. It might be worth a try, if you want to show your guide the photo above.

      Overall, I can see why Twin Lagoon is so popular. It’s lovely to swing through, probably especially when there aren’t jellyfish blooms, and it’s hard to imagine anywhere in the world that looks quite like it. Though I wish I had seen it in the early morning hours without people, I’m still glad I saw it, crowds and all. If you’re island hopping in Coron, definitely stop by and give it at least an hour of your time. Be sure to bring your (waterproof) camera, the pictures are amazing.​
      Last edited by Tripadvisor; 12-18-2022, 08:51 PM.


      • #4
        Bulog Island
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        Bulog Island

        If white sandy beaches and endless hours of sunshine seem like your idea of a great day trip spot, then look no further than Bulog Dos Island. As one of the most beautiful destinations in Coron, this small island is a wonderful escape from the bustle of everyday life. Here, you can swim in the turquoise waters, sink your toes in the soft sand, and enjoy the simplistic peaceful surroundings of mother nature. Not to mention get some epic Instagram shots at this one-of-a-kind beach! There are a few different ways to get to Bulog Dos Island. The most popular method is by joining a group tour. There are several different tour packages that include transportation to Bulog Dos Island, as well as several other islands and destinations around Coron. You can also choose to visit Bulog Dos Island on your own. Although hiring a private boat is the most expensive option, you can customize your itinerary and stay on the island as long as you want. From Coron Town, a boat ride to Bulog Dos Island takes roughly 1.5 to 2 hours.

        ​To see the post-card-like beaches you imagine when thinking of Palawan, consider joining the Coron Island Hopping Tour C. This all-day tour takes you and other passengers to some of the most picture-perfect islands and beaches you can find in the Philippines. Your first stop on the tour is to Malcapuya Island, a remote destination surrounding by lush palm trees and translucent blue water. From there, you’ll head to Banana Island, which is known for its colorful coral reef and thriving marine life. Finally, you’ll make your way to Bulog Dos Island, which is only a short 15-minute boat ride from Banana Island. Most tours include transportation from Coron Town, as well as entrance fees and a beach-side picnic buffet lunch.

        The Coron Island Escapade Tour is slightly different than the Coron Island Hopping C Tour. While both tours visit Bulog Dos Island and Malcapuya Island, the third stop is different. On the Island Escape Tour A trip, you’ll visit Ditaytayan Island instead of going to Banana Island. Ditaytayan Island is a small sandbar located 30 minutes by boat from Bulog Dos Island. Since the Island Escape Tour isn’t as popular as the other island hopping tours, you probably won’t be bumping shoulders with other tourists on Ditaytayan Island. Thanks to the island’s remote location, Ditaytayan Island is the perfect place if you’re looking for peace and quiet.

        There is enough to see and do to keep most visitors to Bulog dos Island for an hour or two which is the time allotted for most tours. Here is a shortlist of things that this tiny island has to offer so you can make the most of your day trip.
        • Check out the snake-like sand bar & get some photos
          The main draw to this small island is the thin strip of sand that stretches out into the clear calm waters. Here you can get some epic shots and take a walk on this curious ribbon of white sand. If you really want your photos to pop be sure to have a polarizer for your camera. Just like polarized sunglasses, but for your camera, these filters will cut the glare and leave you with great watercolor and nice rich saturated photos!
        • Snorkeling
          Although Bulog Dos Island may be small, the majority of activity lies beneath the waves. Thanks to the water’s clarity, snorkeling is one of the most popular activities on the island. The waters around Bulog Dos Island are so clear that it’s possible to see the ocean floor! Even just 20 feet away from the shore, the water is teeming with an abundance of tropical marine life. While snorkeling, it’s common to see vibrant corals, schools of parrotfish, and even colorful starfish. You might also spot bigger fish like barracudas, snappers, blue tangs, and Moorish idols. Be careful of the stingrays, as many of them also lurk in the warm, shallow waters around the shores.
        • Walk/Swim to the Two Seasons Island Resort
          If you come to Bulog Dos Island during low tide, you’ll have the opportunity to walk over to the neighboring island where the luxury Two Seasons Coron Island Resort is located. When the water is low, a small sandbar appears connecting the two islands. Low tide occurs in the early morning, so your best chance of seeing the sandbar is by arranging your own boat to visit Bulog Dos Island. Most tour groups go to the island as their last stop of the day, which may be too late if you want to walk between the two islands. Note – There are generally fees involved for visiting the neighboring island and some parts of the resort island are reserved for guests only.
        • Climb the Small Hill
          Bulog Dos Island is a great place for sun and relaxation, and many visitors simply want to chill out on the beach or swim in the shallow waters. However, if you’re not afraid of a little exercise, we recommend making the short trek up the small hill situated in the middle of the island. From the top of the hill, you’ll have dramatic views of the entire island. You can take a few pictures, soak in the warm ocean breeze, and admire the picturesque surroundings of Coron. Just beware of the monkeys that roam around the hill. While many tourists feed and pet them, they can be aggressive if they are provoked!
        Black Island

        Black Island is located on the north-western corner of Busuanga Island, which is commonly known by tourists incorrectly as ‘Coron’. Busuanga Island is where all the hotels, restaurants and airports are and the island that acts as the base for all tours of Coron Island (where you will find Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon) Black Island, known to locals as Malajon Island, is a huge, mysterious looking island near Busuanga. From a distance, it has an eerie feeling despite its beautiful white beaches and coconut trees. Once you step foot onto the shore there are many hidden caves and secluded beaches to explore. As we slowly cruised closer to Black Island, the water was still and the clouds were reflecting on the mirror-like surface. It was slightly gloomy, there was no other movement and there was a bit of an eerie feeling. Black Island is a bit ominously shaped with lots of sharp cuts in the rock, which form private beaches. I discovered this while flying my drone above.

        The reef surrounding Black Island is phenomenal and awesome for shallow water snorkeling or it has a huge drop-off for free-divers. Essentially no matter what you are trying to do in the water this is a perfect spot for you. We saw lots of different coral and fish species here as well as a few good spots for cliff jumping if you are game! Black Island has one main strip of beach with a few huts and coconut trees to chill under. It reminded me of Commando Beach in El Nido without all of the people! We explored a couple of the beaches, one of which you need to explore through the cave and do a little hike down to reach the shore. I suggest spending as much time at Black Island as possible because it truly does have a lot to explore.

        The highlight of Black Island (aside from the snorkeling) was definitely the caves. After our snorkel, we headed inland onto Black Island to check out the caves. The first cave was huge with at least 40-feet between floor and ceiling. Two crystal-clear pools shone as the morning light flooded into the cave. You can swim and even cliff jump into both or simply admire the stalactites and rock formations from within the depths of the cave. We then headed down to the other end of the beach and climbed up through another cave this time emerging onto a private beach around the corner where our guides met us with snorkel guy and the SUP. We explored this area and laid out on the beach. These were dream moments, isolated in paradise. Bring a torch for the second cave but you won’t need one in the first cave.

        Caluit Island Tour: Many of the Calauit tours include island hopping, which includes Black Island. The Calauit tour is focused on the zoo experience in the north of Busuanga so please check the itinerary as it is not a regular island-hopping tour. It is one of the best options for solo or small group travelers who want to visit Black Island.
        • Calauit Island Tour Rates:
          PHP 2500 – 2700 (all-inclusive). If you have a big group you may be able to book a group tour
        • Boat Rates:
          PHP 8000 (2-4 pax); PHP 9000 (5-8 pax); PHP 15000 (9-15 pax)
          Rates don’t include fees below
        • Entrance Fee:
          PHP 200
        • Tour Guide Fee:


        • #5
          Coron Island Hopping Accommodation

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          Pass Island

          Pass Island is one of the hidden gems of Coron with pure white sand, coconut trees and a couple of bungalows. It is absolute paradise and an amazing place for an overnight stay in simple but comfortable accommodation. When we arrived it was perfectly in the golden hour, no-one else was on the island and it was truly a tropical paradise. Our boat pulled in and we sat beneath the coconut trees and watched the pastel sky before relocating to the hill to watch the final moments of sunset. The isolation of this island paired with its white sand, coconut trees, and incredibly calm atmosphere make this one of the most beautiful spots to visit near Coron Island. Pass Island is a small island off of Busuanga in Palawan, Philippines located near the Calamianes Islands. It is about 1.5-2 hours by outrigger boat from Coron Town. I have pinned it on the map below so you can understand where it is in relation to Coron Town (Busuanga). There are a few ways to get to Pass Island and I’ll share them all .
          1. From Busuanga (Coron Town):
            From Coron Town there are private and group tours daily to Pass Island although they are not as common as the regular island-hopping tours of Coron Island. (2-hour boat ride)
          2. From Concepcion:
            From Coron Town catch a bus/taxi to Concepcion and then book a boat (1 hr) to Pass Island. You could stay overnight in Concepcion as there are hotels and restaurants there. About 1000 PHP per person for the day, which is about $20 USD and may include visiting Black Island also.
          3. Big Dream Boat Man (How I visited):
            Big Dream Boat Man is a 3-night Coron island hopping tour expedition that is different from the rest. Instead of battling the crowds, the sea of life-jackets and the lines, Big Dream Boat Man takes you to the hotspots such as Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon before the crowds come. After spending one day at the hotspots, Big Dream Boat Man veers away and guides you on an expedition to some of the hidden gems such as Pass Island and off-the-beaten-path locations in Coron, which in my opinion were equally as impressive if not more so than the famous spots on Coron Island. We free-dived at WWII shipwrecks, camped on secluded beaches, swam with stingrays, counted the stars from the beach at night and ate like kings during our island hopping tour with Big Dream Boat Man
          Visiting Pass Island is one thing but camping there and enjoying the sunset, the stars and sunrise are another!

          On Pass Island, you can camp or rent one of the bungalows for about 1000 PHP per night, which is about $20 USD. Inside the bungalow is a fan, a mattress, pillow, sheets, light and an electrical outlet. To be honest that is all the essentials right there and might we could have a great night sleep, charge our gear and be ready for another day of exploration. I had a really great nights sleep here on Pass Island and woke up for sunrise feeling relaxed and ready to go. Note: There are also bathrooms including showers and toilets for your use while on the island.​

          It’s best to visit in the dry season not only for the weather but for the calmer seas. In the wet season, the ocean can be unpredictable and big waves can be tough to handle in the outrigger. During the day the island can get busy.

          What to do on Pass Island
          • Basketball and volleyball court: We had a great basketball match with our guides on the court here at Pass Island
          • Sunset Viewpoint: At the back of the island is a little hill that looks out over the ocean towards the sun and is the perfect spot to grab a beer and watch the sunset.
          • Snorkeling: Like all spots in Coron, there is some great snorkeling to be done near Pass Island with corals and fish plentiful.
          • Hanging out on the beach: With beautiful white sand and coconut trees, Pass Island is the perfect place to relax, read a book and work on your tan.
          • Flying: If you are fortunate enough to have a drone, Pass Island is spectacular from the air and you will get a unique perspective of just how amazing the reef and water clarity is.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Other Island Hopping Hot Spots

            Barracuda Lake

            Barracuda Lake, situated on the north shore of Coron Island in the Philippines, offers one of the most unique diving experiences in the world. Occasionally referred to as Luluyuan Lake by locals, its crystal blue waters hidden between majestic rocky formations aren’t big on actual barracudas and other wildlife. Instead, divers can experience a thermocline and halocline unlike anywhere else.

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            Starting out on the surface of the lake, divers, swimmers, and scuba enthusiasts can expect temperatures around 82 degrees Fahrenheit. But as you descend into the depths of the lake, around 45 to 50 feet down, the temperature drastically changes to just over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (to put that in perspective, most people keep their hot tubs at 104 degrees, so it’s best to forego a wetsuit here). This strange increase in temperature is due to the fact that the lake contains both salt and freshwater. Divers can even see the thin, distinct boundary that separates the two bodies of water. The lake is also characterized by an impressive display of limestone formations that rise up on all sides and extend beneath the surface.

            Divers have described a sense of “weightlessness” while exploring the hot/cool depths, and the sensorial experience (which is largely devoid of flora and fauna) has also been likened to what it must feel like to walk on the moon. But the lake holds yet another surprise: just when the salt watery heat becomes a tad unbearable, the temperature changes back to cool again near the bottom. We parked our boat in a beautiful little bay and jumped off onto the boardwalk. It honestly feels like a movie set. The limestone rocks in Coron look like they are straight out of a horror film as they are just so sharp! Back in the day there was no boardwalk and you needed to clamber over the rocks but today with new safety measures and increased number of visitors a beautiful boardwalk and stairs guide you towards the lake.

            When we arrived just at midday (trying to get in while everyone was eating lunch), there was only one other group there. When we left there were about 50 people in the lake. Either way it didn’t bother us much as most people just snorkel and we had come to freedive near the cliffs. We headed over the left of Barracuda Lake with our life-jackets on (compulsory) and then placed them on the rocks behind sight of the lifeguard.
            • Disclaimer: I don’t advise you do this unless you are willing to go against the rules and know your swimming capabilities. I know these rules are in place for the majority of tourists, many of whom cannot swim at all. I follow most rules when possible but free-diving fairly shallow here is something I felt posed no risk for me and what the lifeguard didn’t know didn’t hurt him.
            We were now ready to enjoy the underwater playground of Barracuda Lake and took turns free-diving amongst the jagged cliffs below the surface. It is like another planet and even if you only snorkel on this side of the lake you will still enjoy the incredible landscape underwater at Barracuda Lake. This is a video I made at Barracuda Lake and Kayangan Lake, which has similar underwater cliffs. Another unique feature of the lake is the sand at the very bottom, which has been described as “jelly-like,” “silky,” “airy,” and “silty.” It’s apparently good for play, too. And although the barracudas aren’t really around anymore, if you’re lucky, you may still catch a glimpse of one.

            Barracuda Lake is part of Island Hopping Tour ‘B’. This means that as a solo or budget traveler you can visit Barracuda Lake as well as multiple other locations on a day tour for less than US$25 including lunch! I highly recommend Tour B and of course Tour A and have done them both. Your entrance fee for Barracuda Lake is most likely organized by your tour operator but the system is not that you need to buy the tickets in town before you arrive. They are trying to regulate things more these days so that is how it works. The fee is 150PHP per person, which is $3 USD.