On the following day, we’ve decided to book a tour thru Calamian Expeditions Travel and Tours which offers the cheapest rate among all places that we’ve gone to. The travel agency can be found in Coron Galeri along San Agustin Street.
Their posters can be seen all throughout the town. They offer an all inclusive fee of P650 for the island hopping trip (Kayangan Lake, Twin Peak Reefs, Twin Lagoons, CYC Island and Atwayan Beach or Sunset Beach. The cost also includes a packed lunch (Binalot style), some freshly-grilled fish and two bottles of water per person. The rate will also cover the entrance fees for the said islands, boat rental and tour guides.
It’s really that affordable. Now every Pinoy can definitely visit the islands without breaking the bank. The best thing about this tour is that your money helps Filipino families. Al Linsangan co-proprietor of Calamianes Expeditions explained that every segment of the trip, transportation, food and tours were being handled by different families which in turn generate income for the local people.
Traveling to exotic places does not need to be expensive as there are budget holiday tours online where you could book your tours. There are also lots of local tour operators that could give you a cheaper price if you book when you arrive at the destination and also if you travel during low season.
We started the tour by going to Kayangan Lake which was a 15 minute-boat ride from Coron town. Kayangan Lake is said to be the cleanest lake in the Philippines. The water was not that cold even if it was raining. You need to endure a short but slippery hike (when raining) before you get to marvel with the beauty of the lake. The only downside was, there were a lot of mosquitoes. I asked our boatmen if there has been a Malaria case in that area and he said there’s none. I trusted my gut feel and just ignored the mosquitoes, two other local tourists that I’ve talked to said that they took Malaria Pills just to be sure.
Snorkelling in Kayangan Lake (There’s nothing much to see though)
After Kayangan Lake, we went to the Twin Peak Reefs which is not that far from the lake. We stopped like in the middle of the sea near two small islets and descended to snorkel. The marine life is really abundant and it’s refreshing to see fishes in their natural habitat than in aquariums. I wish I had an underwater camera so I could post some pictures (hehehe any sponsors?).
We were really hungry after hiking to see the lake and snorkelling around the reef area. The boatmen said its lunch, finally! We went to another island with nice beige-white sand (I forgot the name of the island) and sat on a nipa-hut like dining area. Our meals were simple, Pork Adobo with Hard Boiled Egg with Rice, Seaweed Salad, and two huge freshly grilled fishes.
We stayed quite long in that island. Right after lunch I decided to continue snorkelling around the area and I saw a lot of colourful fishes. This is so far the best snorkelling trip I’ve ever been to.
We went to one more island after lunch and it was disappointing to see that the CYC island seemed to have been deteriorating. There were some garbage, broken bottles etc. It’s a waste because this island is really beautiful.
The cleaner side of CYC
After CYC, we went to Twin Lagoons and words are not enough to describe how majestic the place is. The pictures won’t even do justice.
Our boatman pulling the bamboo raft, crystal clear water
Friends on the Road or rather Water (lol)
After this trip we were so tired already that we’ve decided to just go back to the town to have dinner.
The six of us on the boat decided to have crabs have dinner. We bought crabs near the market for only P200/kilo and went to where the two other travellers were staying and had it cooked there for a minimal fee and the result was like a feast for us.
Coron seemed to be the most beautiful place that I’ve ever seen in the Philippines (yet).