Coron Island Tour: Bulog Dos, Banana Island and Malcapuya Loop


In pursuit of the island life, we took a weekend break from a sad and stressful week, one beautiful sunny Sunday in Coron, Palawan, Philippines to explore Bulog Dos, Banana and Malcapuya, three gems in the Calamianes group of Islands. It was a spontaneous decision to join a group boat tour, the day before the scheduled trip.  

We were picked up by an open vehicle at 8AM that dropped us off at the tourist boat pier near the public market. There we met more tourists.

The Bulog Dos/ Banana Island/ Malcapuya Island Loop Tour costs Php 1,200 per person. This included hotel pickup, boat transfers,  life vest, tour guide, lunch and island entrance fees.

We brought our own snorkeling gears, goggles and fins, but you can also rent from the pier. There were vendors selling waterproof cases for mobile phones, hats and sunscreen. We were about 12 adults with 2 kids on the boat. Our tour guide and boat captain, Bernie was naturally funny and he broke the ice by introducing us to each other before starting the journey and he gave a general information on the islands we were about to visit.


1 1/2 hour boat ride from Coron Town Proper to the first island destination
The water was extremely calm that day as though the  sea stretched to the heavens.

Bulog Dos
Bulog Dos was our first stop.  "Bulog" means bald, describing the shape of the mound that resembles that of a bald head. It is in fact much closer to Culion than the island of Busuanga. It's a beautiful snorkeling spot. Here you'll find jaw dropping underwater landscape with myriad of different colorful fish species along the ridge. Our stop here was about an hour. We, together with another couple spent the first 45 minutes snorkeling, while the rest of the group busied themselves taking pictures along the shore. This for me, was the best among the three islands.  One hour is too short. It's a shame, we didn't stay much longer. 

Bulog Dos Sandbar connected to Two Seasons Resort
There's a viewing point here
Two Seasons Resort, an exclusive luxury hotel property owns the other half of the island
Look at how pristine the water is with fine powdery-like white sand
The boat we took. We snorkelled along the ridge that drops revealing amazing corals and underwater landscape
Banana Island
"Banana!!!!"  I would most likely call this "minion island?"
I asked our tour guide why it was named Banana and the answer I got was, "..because there are lots of coconuts."

Right.

Seriously speaking, there were no banana trees in sight. The name was given due to the banana shape of the island. Its official name is Dicalabuan Island

Our boatmen grilled and prepared our lunch while we lay in hammocks after strolling along the fine white sand beach. The water was clear and you'll find lots of fish close to the shore. 

Under the tree-shaded nipa hut with a long bamboo table with a stunning view of the sea, the entire group enjoyed a huge lunch of grilled fish and seaweeds, pork and chicken adobo, cucumber salad, a vegetable dish called pinakbet, served with rice, fresh rambutan and bananas for dessert. If you're craving for a cold bottle of beer or a fresh coconut, you can purchase them from the small makeshift stores.

There's a good snorkeling spot in Banana Island as well along the reef, where you'll find lots of clams, colorful fish that will swarm you in profusion,  and large corals.  

I could get used to the island life here in Banana Island
Malcapuya Island
This is the third destination in the island tour and one of the most beautiful beaches I have been so far. My pictures however do not do justice. Sadly, this will not be available to tourists after five years. The island is owned by Boracay Regency Resorts Group and developments of the island transforming it to a luxury hotel property are on the pipeline. Having said this, seize the moment and visit this place as soon as possible!

The best experience we had here was when the Malcapuya-based boat man offered to take us to view the giant clams at the deep end of the sea. He had cords tied on both sides of his boat that we held on to as he gently pulled us away from the shore.  It was quite the experience to view more than 1 meter wide live giant clams with boundless colorful fish in their peaceful habitat. 

There's a possibility to camp here or stay in one of the existing cottages that can be rented per night. Transport can be arranged with your boat operator if you wish to be dropped off and picked up the next day.


On our way back, the boat tour guide surprised us with a snack of rice cakes and cold soda. The transport from the pier to the hotel is not included.

Travel Tip
Traveling in a group boat tour is the most economical option if you're traveling alone or as a couple. This saves you from paying individual island entrance fees. It's also a great way to meet new people. Its drawback however is the limited time spent and the freedom to linger in your island of choice.  

Bring your own snorkeling equipment. We purchased our own from Decathlon and we were very happy we did. Otherwise, you can rent for Php 150 per snorkeling gear. 

If you don't have snorkeling fins, always wear swimming shoes. Sunscreen is a must.

Are you into tropical island hopping?
Is this something you would like to experience and visit?
If you already have, how was it?
Any tips you wish to share when traveling to Coron?

Love & light,
Arni

You Might Also Like

11 comments

  1. What? No bananas on the Banana Island? And me was just thinking how it could be the place for me since I adore everything with bananas!
    Those blue waters look so tranquil!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dezzy, I know right. :) No worries, we have lots of bananas in the Philippines in general and I have been enjoying them for breakfasts since moving here.

      Delete
  2. What a gorgeous place! You took some great pictures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sherry, there are lots of interesting dive sites with breathtaking marine life for a professional diver like you as well as numerous WW II shipwrecks.

      Delete
  3. What a stunning spot. To say I'm jealous is an understatement. How funny there is no banana tree on banana island.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Trishie, there are lots of tourists and divers from Oz. Hopefully one day they get to grow some banana trees there on the island. There were bananas for the dessert at least :)

      Delete
  4. Love the pictures of the beach but honestly? I want all the food!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After swimming all morning, the food got us all excited 😊

      Delete
  5. Arni, your pictures are always so lovely! Any tips?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sweet to hear that, thank you Claire. I do follow some tips from Jessica Pei of Wondermentary. :) I enjoy framing objects whenever I shoot landscape, experimenting with ratio and proportion. I also use editing tools like Adobe Photoshop to enhance the photos.

      Delete
  6. Great post and awesome photos!

    If you're going to Coron on Sep 15 - Dec 15, 2017, you should take advantage of Sunlight Guest Hotel's promo! Check it out at https://www.unitop.com.ph/site/article_detail/id/21! :D

    ReplyDelete

Flickr Images