Continuing into Palawan
The prices do vary a fair bit by 200-300 pesos, but we had pre-booked the Super Coron Island Tour through our hotel at ₱1,749 per person and on walking round, we could have saved a few hundred pesos by just booking on arrival.
We picked a place called KT Sinugba Sa Balay, which was a canteen style food hall but to be honest the food we got and ate was of a decent standard. After going to another restobar for a drink, we ended up walking out of as the service was non-existent, we headed for bed as it was an early rise the following day for our tour.
However, there are multiple boats and once we got to the port, there was so many people waiting to board on various trips, and you get the feeling that these are very popular and any hope of having some nice quiet time on a deserted island somewhere quickly fade.
There is that many boats there that we need to climb over 2 of the closest ones to even get to ours, and once we are aboard, we get a short intro and then head off to our first stop.
The first day was just spent walking around, having a few beers and this was a lovely little town, so much nicer than Coron and by the end of the 3 days, we were wishing we had just come here for longer.
After much deliberation and research, we couldn’t decide on either trip A or C as these are the 2 most popular and featured more of what we wanted to see.
All the tours go around several islands in Bacuit Bay, again mainly made up with Limestone karsks similar to Coron, and are very pleasing on the eye.
We finally opted for Tour C, as this would include more snorkelling which is what we wanted and booked it through our hotel. It cost 1600 pesos each, which again included all fees, lunch, boat, guide etc.
Eventually our boat arrived (well far enough out we had to wade waist deep to it, and then waited on everyone else to do the same. There must have been around 30 of us on this boat, and we sat waiting for ages to leave, apparently they need to wait permission from the coastguard, but we think it is also to do with staggering the departure times to lessen the amount of people at each stop.
As with the Coron tour, you get 30-40 minutes at each stop and then all head on to the next one.
We got a free bonus stop on this tour too, where we stopped at a small lagoon but nothing really much to see there.
Secret Beach was ok, you swam through a small tunnel to get to a small beach area with palm trees and shallow rocks where we chased a few fish about and filmed them with our new action camera.
So glad we bought this before the trip, as we have used it a lot on our snorkelling trips and also recently on our fun dives and have got some good videos/photos to upload eventually.
However we were first to jump in, and a few others decided to join us but the majority stayed on the boat. After battling the current and getting around the rock, we were greeted with a beautiful secluded beach and we were the only boat here too!
Then it was another frantic swim to get back onto the boat and headed back to port which ended a pretty fun day out to be honest, definitely better than the Coron tour.
Our lunch stop was found just by accident, and it was absolutely stunning. We just turned down a little lane that had a resort signpost at the top of the road, which took us down to Toratod Point. Here we found a small resort, which was nestled between two beautiful sandy beaches and was idyllic to sit and chill next to the beach sipping amazing shakes and having a light lunch.
Some of the roads we were on were not even finished, in fact there is a huge amount of construction work across all the road networks in the Philippines, and it makes for an uncomfortable ride at times.
We ended our road trip back at Corong Corong Beach where we had an amazing mango sticky rice (we craved this since our last SE Asia adventure) and sipped on a cocktail whilst watching the sun go down sat on swing overlooking the beach…. Bliss!
Thankfully they were able to sort this and found us 2 seats for the 5-hour trip south. It was a large comfortable air-con coach, with big lazy boy seats and the journey was non-eventful with the obligatory stop at some roadside shack for lunch/toilet stop.
As our only reason to be here was to fly out the next afternoon, we hadn’t made any plans to do anything, but after a while in the room we headed out for food & drinks. After stopping at some huge tiki bar which had just opened for 1 beer, we went to look at a few local restaurants.
One called Kalui Restaurant that had come up on my TA/Google searches with great reviews was nearby, so we headed for there. Luckily, we got a table as it was very busy, and as this place was famous for its seafood and local dishes, we ordered a sashimi for starter, and then their set meal for 2 which came with about 6 dishes and accompaniments.
This time we were flying with Air Asia, on the short 1 hour flight to Cebu, and no dramas either with the standard 20kg luggage allowance!
This ended our time on the beautiful islands of Palawan, we definitely enjoyed El Nido and would advise anyone considering either there or Coron, to definitely choose the former!