Did you know that the Philippines is made up of over 7,000 islands? With so many beautiful islands to visit, this is the perfect country to go island hopping this winter.
When planning the trip to the Philippines, one of the best parts to visit is a province called Palawan. Palawan was ranked the #1 Island in the world by Condé Naste Traveler… and with good reason. The province of Palawan has the main island Palawan and a smaller group of islands called the Calamian Islands which are great for island hopping.
Flickr photo via nennnn
The Calamian Islands is made up of Busuanga, Coron, and Culion. Busuanga is probably the best island to start because it is one of the largest islands in the Phillipines. It is also just incredibly stunning because it is not overrun with tourist hotels and restaurants. Busuanga is one of the islands grouped into the Calamian Islands which are in the province of Palawan. This giant island is surrounded by the Sulu Sea and the South China Sea. Divers from around the world travel to Busuanga because there are tons of creatures and treasures hidden in the waters around the island due to the wreckage of Japanese ships sunk by the American Navy during bombings on September 24th in 1944.
Coron Town is the main town on Busuanga and has a great local vibe. It is mostly made up of divers, local and from abroad. There are other activities besides diving including hiking to the Maquinit hot spring or trek to the top of Mt. Tapyas. However, if you want to escape to some amazing beaches, the best activity is to island hop from Coron Town, Busuanga to the other smaller islands Culion and Coron. (It is a little bit confusing because Coron Town is located on Busuanga and not on Coron Island). To Island hop, you can hire a native boat called a “banca” or be a part of a larger tour.
Flickr photo via Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ
The island of Coron has tons of coves, lagoons and beaches that are so picturesque you won’t believe your eyes. One of the must see landmarks on Coronis Kayangan Lake with clear water and Limetone cliffs that create a majestic scene. It is supposedly the cleanest lake in Asia and is hidden in between mountain walls.
Another island worth hopping to from Coron or from Busuanga is the less visited island of Culion. Culion was once the largest leper colony in the world and still holds some sort of stigma that keeps people out. With that said, Culion is beautiful because of how under-developed it is and how small and cute the town is. The main town on the island has a huge coral wall on a church of La Inmaculada Concepcion that is breathtaking in it’s simplicity.
The province of Palawan is filled with interesting and fun activities worth exploring this winter. For you next trip, plan to island hop these three islands to get a taste of diving and adventure on Busuanga, beautiful beaches on Coron and pure small town beauty in Culion.
Are you planning on island hopping around the Philippines this winter?