How to choose your Island Hopping Tour in Coron (part 2)

This post follows How to Choose your Island Hopping Tour in Coron part 1.

Coron, a province in Palawan, one of the most visited islands in The Philippines, is home to some of the most untouched islands, clearest waters, rich marine life and rugged nature. I suggest spending about 3-5 days here, exploring secret beaches, hidden lagoons, clear-water lakes, uninhabited islands, shipwrecks under the sea and exotic wildlife. Part 1 of this post talks about the Ultimate Island Hopping Tour (the most recommended one to take in Coron). This post will elaborate on the other Island Hopping Tour in Coron which is highly recommended as well.

Although the Ultimate Island Hopping Tour in Coron is a must-do, with a visit to the iconic Kayangan Lake with its crystal clear waters, if you have another day to spare in this town that has rugged, untouched beauty, you must opt for the Coron Island Escapade Tour.

I was not very sure about taking this tour because the islands that you visit on this one are about 1.5 hours of ferry ride away from the town. Just the journey itself sounded like it would be painful, considering that the temperatures were a harsh 30 degrees C and the seas were a little rough on the day. However, when I realised that there really wasn't much else to do on Busuanga Island itself, I wasn't left with much choice.

I am so glad I went on this tour in Coron because the 3 islands we visited were some of the most scenic ones I have seen in my life! Once again, I would like to remind you to carry your sunblocks, hats, water bags, swimwear, water shoes and sunglasses because you'll have ample opportunity to soak up the sun and most of the times, the ferry drops you in the water, a little away from the shore.

Coron Island Escapade Tour - A Remote Islands Tour in Coron

It might have different names depending on the tour operator that you buy it from, but most tour operators will be running this one; it covers three islands: Bulog Dos Island, Banana Island and Malcapuya Island.

The ferries leave the pier at 9 am, lunch will be served on board or on one of the islands (we had ours at Banana Island) and although the islands are about 10 minutes away from each other, the journey from the town to the islands (and back) is for 1.5 hours. There are no restaurants or bars on any of the islands. At best, you'll find a little stall selling fresh coconut juice and some chips. So make sure you carry your beverages and snacks with you if you like to drink and munch on food, like me!

I paid ₱ 1,200 for this tour.

Bulog Dos Island

The immaculate white sands, green waters, brown rocks and a long sandbar are what make Bulog Dos, a remote island that has absolutely nothing on it, stunningly beautiful! Colourful marine life will swim right next to you on the shores and a short climb up the small cliff to the top offers magical views of the private island across and the stretch of crystal clear waters. There are no beach shacks, snacking bars, huts, resting areas or anything of that sort on this island. It is quite small and can be just walked across from one end to the other. There is no shade here except under the trees, so be prepared! It is the smallest island of all you'll visit on this trip yet the most beautiful of all.

The ferry stops here for about 1 hour.

Island Hoping in Coron

Island Hopping Tour in Coron

Read about Everything you need to know before visiting Coron.

Banana Island

About 10 min by ferry from Bulog Dos Island is yet another remote island called Banana Island. A much larger one, it is also privately owned like Bulog Dos Island but open to the public for a small fee, which is included in your ferry tour price. However, if you plan to rent a private boat and come here, you'd have to make sure that this fee is paid beforehand.

This island has cottages, huts and tables where one can sit and relax as well as eat. This is where we had our lunch. There is a massive beach lined with palm trees, hammocks and kayaks lying on the sand which can be used. This is the only island offering so many facilities, which is probably why it is the one chosen for lunch stops by tour operators. The ferry usually stops here for about 1.5 hours. This is the least pretty of all three islands, though.

Island Hopping Tour in Coron

Visiting Coron

Malcapuya Island

This idyllic island was the last stop on our tour and was about 25 min away from Banana Island. The boats dock on one side of the island whereas the beach is on the other side. You need to walk about 5 min from the boat to the beach. There are a few huts lining the beach with tables, which provide a good rest area and shade from the strong sun. There is a shop that sells coconut juice as well and a few resident puppies to keep you entertained! The translucent waters are absolutely inviting and a swim here, despite the scorching heat, is a must! The waters are shallow to a great distance, making the waters look a gorgeous light blue in contrast with the deep blue waters of the deeper end ahead. The beach is insanely beautiful and some white tree branches accidentally placed on the sand make for a fantastic photo opportunity.

Malcapuya island is about 1.5 hours away from Busuanga Island so be prepared for a long journey back. Unfortunately, during our tour, the waters began to get very rough and it wasn't pleasant for some people. The ferry drops you back at Coron Town at about 5.30 pm, which is the right time to catch the sunset!


Click here to read about What to do in Coron in 3 days.

117 thoughts on “How to choose your Island Hopping Tour in Coron (part 2)”

  1. Beautiful! Would 2 ladies feel safe going on a private island hopping tour? My friend and I will be visiting Coron in January and prefer to do the private tour. Thanks!

    1. Absolutely! I went to The Philippines with my sister in law as well and we were safe pretty much everywhere we went. Having said that, there’s always the need to be sensible when you’re women, follow the basic rules of safety and it’ll be fine 🙂 All the best, have fun!

      1. Hi I’m going to Coron in February, I’m a female solo traveller, looking to do both the tours you recommend, I was going to book private tours, does that mean it’s just me on the boat, as I don’t mind a few other people with me

        1. Hello Tracy, if you book a private tour then it’ll just be you on the boat. If you want a flexible itinerary as per your choice and also other people on the boat, what you could do is find company while you’re there in Coron and book a private tour along with those people.

  2. All 3 Island looks blissful, the beaches are so gorgeous! I think the long boat ride is totally worth it, I would totally go for it. Definitely adding this to my visit list when I plan my trip to Phillipines.

  3. So many island and so little time. I am amazed at how blue the water is at all of the islands.

    Now the important question I have, where are the islands and can you go SCUBA diving there?

    1. These islands are about 1.5 hours away from Coron mainland (in Palawan, Philippines) and can be reached by boat. You can go scuba diving in almost any part of the Philippines. It’s one of the best countries for divers, with rich marine life.

  4. Oh my gosh, this sounds like a dream destination. You weren’t kidding about the clear water. I’ve only been to Boracay in the Philippines so the idea of visiting Coron is totally appealing, and how can you beat island hopping?

    1. Oh I loved Coron more than Boracay in terms of the water clarity, untouched beauty, islands, etc.

  5. This is a very helpful guide for touring the islands of Coron. Philippines is blessed to have so many wonderful islands. I plan to keep at least a week for this tour… should be okay right?

    1. A week should be more than enough for Coron!I was there for 3 days only, could’ve spent 2 more.

  6. There’s so much tourism and crowding in many of the islands that having a good guide like this is a great help. I love the water and the Coron islands are truly beautiful. I was happiest to discover there that many of the fishermen were able to turn their fishing (and overfishing boats) to tourism and thus helping the environment.

  7. I remember your Kayangan Lake photos. Breathtaking. This island hopping tour sounds unique and fun in its own way. There are just so many islands to choose from, it’s hard to only pick on tour. I don’t know if 3-5 days is enough time for me to enjoy all of this beauty.

    1. The only problem is that you’ve to travel far to enjoy these lovely places. The island where most of the hotels are doesn’t have much on it!

  8. This looks fun, was this the 3 island tour, looks like a fun day trip to do. It’s so hard to choose the best tour since they are all good to do.

  9. Wow that’s a true tropical paradise! Those colours are the stuff that dreams are made of. The water seems so transparent that you can see all the fishes through the water. Thanks for providing such extensive details.

  10. Malcapuya is so far. I’ve been to Coron twice but I’ve never been there, probably because of its location. Clearly, I need to go back. Palawan is so beautiful isn’t it?

  11. Looks like you picked the perfect island hopping tour on your holiday to Coron. Bulog Dos, Banana and Malcapuya all look interesting to visit and provide a nice variety of landscapes.

  12. Those waters are so clear it’s stunning. There are so many islands to choose from I would not know where to begin. I am not a beach person, but seeing these I might just be persuaded to spend some time relaxing on any one of them!

    1. Oh it’s a pity that you’re not a beach person, the Philippines has some of the most amazing waters and white sands you’ll ever see 🙂

  13. Coron will indeedc leave you amazed by witnessing and experiencing its own beauty. What I love there is that the water is so clean and they have the clearest lagoons. I love the color of the sea and the feeling of the sand under my feet. I love this detailed post of yours, thanks fro sharing your adventure in Coron, Philippines.

  14. Those waters are absolutely gorgeous! This reminds me of an island hopping tour I did in Thailand. I didn’t want to leave then and I’m sure if I did this tour in Coron I wouldn’t want to leave either!

  15. It’d be so hard to pick! They’re all so beautiful, but I would just care about where I can snorkel or scuba dive. Malcapuya Island looks particularly interesting to visit.

  16. Your photos are amazing! I think we’d love to visit Bulog Dos Island: we’re in love with white sand beaches! Too bad about the fact that there aren’t many services, including beach shacks, but we could definitely fix that by bringing our own food 🙂

  17. I’m looking at your photos and thinking- how have I still not made it to the Philippines? The color of the water is just gorgeous. Im hoping to visit Palawan later this year.

  18. Wow. What a beautiful island and an equally interesting and helpful post. I have travelled Asia extensively but. It done Philippine’s yet. It’s on my list to do. The water the white san all great. Your visuals are compliments to the post and very informative. Will definitely help any traveller. Thanks for the tips on island hoping. Keep travelling.

    1. The Philippines is actually one of the prettiest places in Asia, in my opinion. You should definitely visit!

  19. Wow! All of these three Islands are so scenic and beautiful. I love the clear waters – the turquoise and the blue shades – what a lovely art of nature! Bulog Dos Island would be my favourite owing to its untouched beauty. Your pictures are simply amazing and perfectly justify the hypnotic beauty of these islands. Thanks for sharing the detailed guide.

    1. Bulog Dos is gorgeous, the only issue about its being ‘untouched’ is that there’s absolutely NOTHING on the island, which means it’s also hard to find any kind of shade, or drinks/ food.

  20. This really looks like a day well spent. I’m yet to see beaches as pristine as some on the Philippines Islands. The photographs look absolutely amazing.

  21. “It might have different names depending on the tour operator that you buy it from, but most tour operators will be running this one” -It’s so funny how in places like this no matter how many operators there are they all seem to stem back to the one company?
    I have to say though this Island hop has got me daydreaming of going back out to SEAsia and the Philippines is the one area I’ve not been to yet – but unfortunately I’ve just booked a one-way ticket to Portugal (gonna see how far around Europe I get) so I might not get a chance to go this year but 100% I wanna do an Island hop in the Philippines, I bet the sunset dropping over the ocean was amazing (I miss the sun sets out there)

    1. I am happy to hear that you’re going to be back on the road once again, and long-term 🙂 I am waiting to read all your stories of your experiences in Europe. Asia, though, is special too and I am sure you’ll miss certain aspects to it. But then there’s 2019, you can always go back and explore whatever’s left of it 😉

  22. Wow! This is the ultimate guide I have read about exploring Coron, Medha! It seems so worth visiting and thanks to your post, the travel bug started itching me. How many days would be enough for a perfect holiday in Coron?

    1. Lydia, I suggest about 4 days are good for Coron. You can also explore islands in The Philippines. El Nido, also a part of Palawan and only 3.5 hours away from Coron, is yet another gorgeous place.

  23. The Philippines is such a treasure chest of natural wonders. The number of exotic islands and beaches seem inexhaustible. I guess it also may become overwhelming to choose which Islands you want to head to given the plethora of choices. But your choice of the three islands in Coron seems bang on. Each one of the looks pristine and unspoilt and every bit what one would expect from the Philippines.

    1. Oh they were dreamy, these islands. I’d give anything to be back there, with some coconut water and fresh sea food right now.

  24. I good travel blogging friend of mine just came back from the Philippines. Such a beautiful place. I do t even know where to start, every Island is simply stunning. If I had to choose I think it would be Banana Island…to start

    1. Or you could do all 3 in one day if you take the Island Hopping Tour 😉

  25. These are surely some absolutely stunning islands. I love the idea o islands hopping and it gives so much chance to see different islands. Each island looks gorgeous. It seems that you got tanned really badly. But it worth it when you have maximum fun island hopping. I am saving it for my trip in future.

    1. Haha yes, I did tan. But then, you know what they say, “The tans will fade but the memories will last forever” 😉

  26. If you are a beach bum, a lover of nature, and a seeker of paradise, Coron should really be in your list of places to go to. Those are very lovely photos, Medha!

  27. I love the Philippines and Ciron. Island Hopping tour was something I would always take everywhere. Love Coron with its breathtaking clear waters and clean beaches. Your Malcapuya Island pic with the orange boat is really a killer.

  28. The islands look absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes the places where we are not sure of going please us the most. I am quite glad that you finally went for the island hopping tour. Banana Island, though the least pretty looks so gorgeous. And Malcapulya is really incredible with all those tree trunks for perfect pics. Btw, what is the best time to visit Philippines?

    1. The weather is the best from November – March. Its warm but not too hot and the driest it can be 🙂

  29. Thanks for such a comprehensive guide to island-hopping in the Philippines! There are so many choices with regard to the islands to visit and activities to undertake, that it sometimes comes across as daunting and tedious to plan a vacation there – like how it’s being sorted out here.

    1. I had a hard time planning my vacation too, had to pick and select the best places to visit after a lot of research. Coron seemed to be a clear winner 🙂

  30. I loved the waters of Banana island, so apparently these islands are not very far from each there, just remotely located from Coron, right? Medha, I would like to know one thing. As there are many island tours from Coron (I guess four), how many days you recommend to spend in Coron if I have to see all the beautiful islands around?

    1. Hi Shreya, I would suggest to spend 4 days. 1 you can explore around the Coron town (which is in Busuanga Island)- you need about half a day for that. 1 full day you take the tour to Kayangan Lake (which I have covered in part 1 of my post), 1 full day for this island hopping tour and you can spend one more day to do the Calauit Safari. So about 3.5 – 4 days are enough. If you’re a diving enthusiast, you might want to spend an extra day in exploring some really cool diving sites with ship wrecks.

  31. You had me at rich marine life! I love snorkeling and scuba diving, and would love to swim through these clear waters to see what lives below. I can’t believe how far out you can see in the waters of Thailand.

    1. If you were impressed with the waters of Thailand, you’ll absolutely love the waters of the Philippines x

  32. I love how blue the water is. We have been wanting to come to Coron and check out all of the sites. The tree branches on Banana Island do make for a perfect photo op.

  33. Island hopping such a big fun. I have done it in Thailand. Although I have been to the philippines so many times, I have not done island hopping and never been to Coron too. Must do it now.

    1. It sure is, I love being able to explore numerous islands on one single trip.

  34. I still had not got over the first part, here you go with the second. The clear blue waters are just so amazing. From the smallest to the last island, each one is a paradise. Even though there are no shacks , I still like them all. I think I might just not want anything except that white sand and the water. I am in love with all the pictures that you have taken.

  35. Each island has unique features but when summed up, it boils down to having an awesome experience like you had. Glad that you did this tour otherwise you’ll miss on the outstanding sceneries. At ₱1,200 (less than £20), the tour was so cheap but it rewarded you with rich memories of a lifetime.

  36. Ohhh wow! Look at that clear and turquoise colored beach of Coron! It is so beautiful and really is a paradise! I would love to walk on Coron’s white sand while getting some tan lines and while enjoying every perfect view of Coron. Thanks for sharing this post!

  37. These island photos are gorgeous! It seems as though the tour was definitely worth the time it took to get there…as most long journeys usually are. We haven’t been to the Philippines yet, but after ssing your photos, it’s on my list! Thanks for sharing!

  38. I was looking forward to read the part 2 of the Coron island hopping tour! I am glad that you decided to do the Escape tour because now I get to read all about it! The islands looks amazing and I am now once again depressed that we didnt take the opportunity to visit these islands when we had the chance!

  39. These places look divine!! Never heard of Coron before. Absolutely loved the pictures and your descriptions were on spot! If I ever go to the Philippines, definitely would consider visiting these islands!

  40. I love Coron and I am so willing to go back anytime!!! Everything is just so Instagram worthy! Coron is a great example on how beautiful nature is!

  41. What stunning photos! I’m sad to hear that Banana Island is the least beautiful of the islands, it has my favorite name. But even the least beautiful is still unbelievably gorgeous! And thanks for letting us know there’s very little shade, my wife and I will have to be extra careful to avoid a sunburn! And there are puppies? We can’t wait to visit the islands! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Haha, yes there are resident puppies! Banana Island, although not my favourite of the 3, was beautiful nonetheless! And yea, Bulog Dos did not have any shade at all, unless you count the trees. Make sure to be well protected with enough sunblock creams and hats 🙂

  42. Wow! Definitely saving this up for the next time I’m in Coron! We’ve only done the Coron Ultimate Tour and the Calauit Safari Tour (they had an island hopping activity after visiting the safari). All three looks amazing: I love that sandbar at the Bulog Dos Island. That 1.5 ferry ride sounds very worth it! 🙂

    1. Coron Ultimate Tour is definitely recommended for those who have less time. I did not do the Calauit Safari tour though, was it good?

  43. Banana Island – I love the sound of this place. Would truly love to visit Coron now after reading this but your photos are fantastic and very beautiful 🙂

  44. Coron is so gorgeous! I have made a mental note to book with Coron Island Escapade Tour. Malcapuya island is so picture postcard perfect! I would use the fallen tree branches for some Instagram friendly pictures. When not shooting, I can imagine sipping endlessly on coconut water! Bliss!

  45. We didn’t make it to Coron when we visited the Philippines but it definitely looks stunning. I’d love to return and explore these places although I’m glad you mentioned about the snacks and drinks.

    1. They’re really remote and there’s literally nothing on them, so yeah, always best to stock up 🙂

  46. I didn’t take this tour, but those islands do look so inviting and gorgeous sandy beaches and water from what I can see – I would love to have a picnic on any of those beaches.

    1. I wasn’t planning on taking this tour either, given the long journey away from the mainland. But it was totally worth it.

  47. Until I read this and your previous post I had no idea there was such a network of wonderful islands in the Philippines. Your guide is really comprehensive and I now know what to take and which of the islands I’d prioritise. I love the look of Malcapuya Island – so beautiful!

  48. Malcapulya is absolutely incredible! I’m loving those translucent waters of Coron, and the Philippines in general. Bulag Dos looks just as beautiful, and so clean too. I really hope to visit Coron, maybe we’ll try to visit before it gets too inundated with travellers! I think I would also take hundreds of photos here, plus play with those residential puppies too!

    1. It’s the perfect day trip for water, nature and animal lovers 😉

  49. I’d love to do an island hoping tour like this one day! It looks like so much fun 🙂 I do have the Philippines on my bucket list, so fingers crossed for sometime soon x

    1. Carry your books and music with you. There isn’t much else to do on the islands except enjoy the lovely views, get some sun and relax!

  50. The sand and the colour of the water around the islands look amazing although neither of us is that great on boats so the 1.5-hour ride back in the rough seas wouldn’t be much fun. If only we could guarantee the calm weather.

    1. Aah it can be a challenge if you’re not happy with long boat rides. That wasn’t my favourite part of the trip either.

  51. It’s nice to read the second part, I’m totally the beach person and I could spent my whole day there!

  52. Malcapuya looks stunning and how clear the water is there! My OH would love to go snorkelling/diving to see the underwater life while I might just relax on the sandy shores taking in the beauty of nature and enjoying the tranquil vibes. And of course, meeting the resident pups 🙂

  53. You did it again 🙂 Lovely islands Now I kinda wish I was there. Normally I am not that much into beaches, but here is too cold. I would need some time under the sun.

    1. Anyone would be into beaches if they were to visit the Calamian islands 🙂

  54. Thanks for the post! I recently made a island hopping tour myself in Thailand, it’s such great way of traveling I must say. Keep it up!

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