EXPLORING BLACK ISLAND (MALAJON ISLAND) IN CORON, PHILIPPINES

Black Island, known to locals as Malajon Island, is a huge, mysterious looking island near Busuanga. From a distance, it has an eerie feeling despite its beautiful white beaches and coconut trees. Once you step foot onto the shore there are many hidden caves and secluded beaches to explore.

 

BLACK ISLAND BEACHES AND SNORKELING

As we slowly cruised closer to Black Island, the water was still and the clouds were reflecting on the mirror-like surface. It was slightly gloomy, there was no other movement and there was a bit of an eerie feeling. Black Island is a bit ominously shaped with lots of sharp cuts in the rock, which form private beaches. I discovered this while flying my drone above.

 

The reef surrounding Black Island is phenomenal and awesome for shallow water snorkeling or it has a huge drop-off for free-divers. Essentially no matter what you are trying to do in the water this is a perfect spot for you. We saw lots of different coral and fish species here as well as a few good spots for cliff jumping if you are game!

Black Island has one main strip of beach with a few huts and coconut trees to chill under. It reminded me of Commando Beach in El Nido without all of the people!

We explored a couple of the beaches, one of which you need to explore through the cave and do a little hike down to reach the shore. I suggest spending as much time at Black Island as possible because it truly does have a lot to explore.

BLACK ISLAND CAVES

The highlight of Black Island (aside from the snorkeling) was definitely the caves.  After our snorkel, we headed inland onto Black Island to check out the caves. The first cave was huge with at least 40-feet between floor and ceiling. Two crystal-clear pools shone as the morning light flooded into the cave. You can swim and even cliff jump into both or simply admire the stalactites and rock formations from within the depths of the cave. We then headed down to the other end of the beach and climbed up through another cave this time emerging onto a private beach around the corner where our guides met us with snorkel guy and the SUP. We explored this area and laid out on the beach. These were dream moments, isolated in paradise. Bring a torch for the second cave but you won’t need one in the first cave.

 

WHERE IS BLACK ISLAND

Black Island is located on the north-western corner of Busuanga Island, which is commonly known by tourists incorrectly as ‘Coron’. Busuanga Island is where all the hotels, restaurants and airports are and the island that acts as the base for all tours of Coron Island (where you will find Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon).  I have pinned the location of Black Island below but note it is located by it’s local name, Malajon Island, by Google Maps.

 

HOW TO GET TO BLACK ISLAND

There are a couple of options for how to visit Black Island and I will detail them below.

Big Dream Boat Man (How I visited): Big Dream Boat Man is a 3-night Coron island hopping tour expedition that is different from the rest. Instead of battling the crowds, the sea of life-jackets and the lines, Big Dream Boat Man takes you to the hotspots such as Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon before the crowds come. After spending one day at the hotspots, Big Dream Boat Man veers away and guides you on an expedition to some of the hidden gems such as Black Island and off-the-beaten-path locations in Coron, which in my opinion were equally as impressive if not more so than the famous spots on Coron Island. We free-dived at WWII shipwrecks,  camped on secluded beaches, swam with stingrays, counted the stars from the beach at night and ate like kings during our island hopping tour with Big Dream Boat Man.

 To check the itinerary of trips and make a booking with Big Dream Boat Man you can Click Here.

Caluit Island Tour: Many of the Calauit tours include island hopping, which includes Black Island. The Calauit tour is focused on the zoo experience in the north of Busuanga so please check the itinerary as it is not a regular island-hopping tour. It is one of the best options for solo or small group travelers who want to visit Black Island.

  • Calauit Island Tour Rates: P2500 – P2700 (all-inclusive).
    If you have a big group you may be able to book a group tour 
  • Boat Rates: P8000 (2-4 pax); P9000 (5-8 pax); P15000 (9-15 pax)
    Rates don’t include fees below
  • Entrance Fee: P200 
  • Tour Guide Fee: P500

 

WHERE TO STAY BEFORE YOUR CORON ISLAND HOPPING TOUR

Coron Town is the base for all of your adventures in Coron. It is a little bit more expensive than some areas in the Philippines but there are still budget options. In Coron Town you have the bars, restaurants, transport, places to book tours and you are close to Mt. Tapyas and Maquinit Hot Spring. It is also just a $3 shuttle to the airport. Below are my three picks plus one all-inclusive resort (I’ve stayed multiple times) that includes private island hopping.

Budget Pick: Fat Monkey Hostel – The Fat Monkey Hostel has great vibes and you can get a really cheap dorm room or a basic double room at pretty much the lowest price in Coron. It is in the city center so you are close to all the bars and restaurants.

Value Pick: Kokosnuss Garden Resort – A huge swimming pool in front of a hotel that looks like a castle. A highly-rated breakfast is included with your private room. Just 1.2km from the direct town-center it is close to lots of bars and restaurants. For just $40 a night this represents about the best value you will find in Coron.

Luxury Pick: Coron Soleil Garden Resort – I stayed at this resort in 2018 and it was incredibly nice. A huge pool stretches down the length of the resort and it’s a relaxing place to chill out after island hopping. We spent the nights at the bar here and chilling in the pool before heading out to dinner. The rooms are very luxurious but this resort is actually only just over $100 per night for a double room.

All-inclusive (Includes private island hopping): Casa Fidelis Resort – I had the most amazing stay at Casa Fidelis. After spending one night in the busy Coron city I packed up and headed out to Casa Fidelis. A 20-minute drive from the city, the rustic resort has a genuine family atmosphere. We were greeted by workers, family, and friends upon our arrival.

The villa had a large patio area that looked out over the garden. Stepping stones led you from the room to the dining area, where we had decadent spreads of gourmet food for every meal. One night we even enjoyed a great sunset from the garden at the resort.

I highly recommend this resort if you are looking for an entire Coron experience. You won’t have to worry about what to do in Coron. It is a perfect resort if you want to see the best of this beautiful region and also enjoy the luxury of having every detail taken care of. 

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