BIG DREAM BOAT MAN CORON ISLAND HOPPING TOUR – BLOG REVIEW

Coron Island is often called the gem of the Philippines but the only word I ever use to describe Coron is ‘epic’. The sharp, jagged cliffs tower over your boat as you cruise along on the translucent, crystal clear water on your island hopping tour. As you wind your way from one incredible lagoon to another, the water changes from deep blue to aqua as your boat slides over another amazing reef. Tired from free-diving, snorkeling and looking up at the dramatic cliffs, you settle on a secluded beach for a feast of delicious food. This is the Coron experience. This is Big Dream Boat Man.

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 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.

Make an inquiry/booking: To visit the website to check the tour itineraries, costs and availability of dates you can click here: Big Dream Boat Man Website 

If you use the code JACKSON10 when you book a tour, you will receive 10% OFF YOUR ENTIRE TRIP! 

In this blog post, I am going to share with you the reasons why you might want to consider a 3-night Coron expedition compared to the regular day-trip. I’ll detail the locations I visited with Big Dream Boat Man and also the other locations and tour itineraries they offer  (I’ve visited those locations also). These are some of my favorite drone shots I’ve ever taken so I hope you enjoy them as much as I did and hope you enjoy your trip with Big Dream Boat Man if you choose to head out on the best Coron Island hopping tour, which will surely be the highlight of your Philippines trip.

 

CORON ISLAND HOPPING TOUR ITINERARY WITH BIG DREAM BOAT MAN

Below is the general itinerary you can expect on the trip (So many places to visit!) but the guides are always changing things up slightly when they find new epic spots or to avoid the crowds. 

 

WHY SHOULD YOU BOOK A 3-NIGHT ISLAND HOPPING EXPEDITION COMPARED TO A DAY TOUR

As you walk around Coron Town you will see posters and promotions everywhere for the island-hopping tours. Often titled ‘Super Ultimate Best Island Hopping Tour’. These tours are still incredible because Coron is just so epic but they are marketed at the masses and these tours are the reason why many hotspots in Coron are inevitable very crowded. I’ve done 5 of these tours in Coron and had fun on all of them but also had a few moments where I was a bit overwhelmed by the sea of life jackets or screaming tourists trying to find each other amidst the crowds. They are cheap, ranging from $20-$30 and you get to see lots of beautiful spots in Coron. If you are on a tight budget or looking for the regular sightseeing trip of Coron you won’t be disappointed.

There is an alternative to regular tours. Big Dream Boat Man recognized that there were a lot of people looking to avoid the crowds at the hotspots and also see some quieter but equally epic locations. They decided to create an alternative itinerary that avoids the crowds at the hotspots by visiting early in the morning or in off-peak times and exploring other locations that aren’t even on the radar for the regular tours. The cost of the tour is of course much more than the regular 8-hour day trip but for $500 USD everything is included from your 3 nights of accommodation, all meals, equipment. The vibes are unreal and I honestly came back at the end of the trip feeling so alive and stoked about our adventure.

The tours do book out a few weeks in advance as you can see when you check the booking schedule on the Big Dream Boat Man Website

Make an inquiry/booking: To visit the website to check the tour itineraries, costs and availability of dates you can click here: Big Dream Boat Man Website 

If you use the code JACKSON10 when you book a tour, you will receive 10% OFF YOUR ENTIRE TRIP! 

 

BIG DREAM BOAT MAN CORON ISLAND TOUR PACKAGE OPTIONS

3-NIGHT GROUP TOUR: Big Dream Boat Man offer the 3-Night tour, which is the most popular. Here you join other fellow adventurers for 3.5 days of exploration. The first day of the trip you visit several of the hotspots like Kayangan Lake but at the off-peak time.  After the first day, you venture far away from the crowds and camp on Pass Island (More like glamping with a mattress, pillow, and blanket inside the tent). On the other nights, small huts with mattresses will keep you comfortable on secluded islands in Coron. You can expect free-diving at shipwrecks, unbelievable coral reefs, stingrays, turtles, amazing marine life, beautiful islands, basketball or volleyball games and, campfires and delicious food and rum!

Click here to view the availability on the booking schedule

3-NIGHT PRIVATE TOUR: If you have a group of 6 or more you can actually book the entire experience for your group. When Josh and I were on the trip we talked about how incredible it would be to bring along 10 mates on a trip like this. It would no doubt be the trip of a lifetime everyone would remember forever.

Make an inquiry/booking: To visit the website to check the tour itineraries, costs and availability of dates you can click here: Big Dream Boat Man Website 

If you use the code JACKSON10 when you book a tour, you will receive 10% OFF YOUR ENTIRE TRIP! 

 

MY BIG DREAM BOAT MAN EXPERIENCE AND LOCATIONS

I did my tour in March 2019 with the co-founder Krish and guide Anthony. The guys on board changed the itinerary slightly because I had already visited Kayangan and a few spots twice previously but most of the other places you can expect to see on your tour if not more. I will add info in about Kayangan and other regular spots on the itinerary so you can know what to expect. Get ready to be blown away by just how epic Coron is. Even looking at these photos as I create this blog transports me back to this magical trip.

 

KAYANGAN LAKE

Kayangan Lake is by far the most popular spot on Coron Island and for good reason. You cruise into the ‘parking lot’, which in itself is an immaculate reef with crystal clear water. After parking the boat you take a short hike up the stairs to the viewpoint before clambering down the other side to reach the famous Kayangan Lake. It’s a crystal clear freshwater lake with unbelievable underwater rock formations. It’s easily one of my favorite free-dive spots in the world. Make sure you head over the left side of the lake for the epic free-dive location. 

View full blog post: KAYANGAN LAKE IN CORON ISLAND, PALAWAN

 

TWIN LAGOON

Twin Lagoon is a stunning pool of water hiding amongst the breathtaking cliffs. Through a small gap, you can swim under the cliff and into Twin Lagoon. Once inside the lagoon, you are surrounded in all directions by the towering, dagger-like cliffs as you float away from your worries in a private swimming pool.

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SKELETON WWII SHIPWRECK SNORKEL

Something I was quite excited about was free diving at Skeleton Wreck. It’s one of the most popular things to do in Coron for free-divers. It’s a mostly intact WWII ship that found its resting place in Coron, Palawan. Thousands of fish surrounded the wreck and swarmed us as we swam. To get down deep enough at the level of the wreck you will need to dive about 15ft but you can still get a great view from the surface. One of the guides managed to free-dive into the cabin of the ship and out of the window.

View full blog post: EXPLORING SKELETON WRECK IN CORON, PALAWAN

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VIVIAN BEACH 

For lunch, you can always expect a huge spread of kinds of seafood, meats, and salads with Big Dream Boat Man. Josh and I are vegetarian and the chef catered to us for the entire trip with lots of variation and hearty meals. Vivan Beach is probably the most scenic lunch spot of your life with jagged cliffs surrounding lunch huts on a tiny white sand beach.

 

LUSONG GUNBOAT SHIPWRECK SNORKEL 

From the surface, it doesn’t look like much but as soon as you dip your head underwater, the Lusong Gun Boat from WWII will blow you away. This huge ship is angled perfectly for freedivers because the rear of the ship is only about 2-feet deep while the nose of the ship is more than 20-feet deep. This means all levels of free-divers and snorkelers can get an up-close look of this sunken WWII ship. Barnacles, corals, and fish have taken over the ship as their home and if you are game you can dive through the panels of the ship!

View full blog post: LUSONG GUNBOAT SHIPWRECK & LUSONG CORAL GARDEN IN CORON

 

CORAL GARDEN REEF SNORKEL

Just around the corner from the Lusong Gunboat shipwreck is a phenomenal snorkeling spot. Our guide Anthony described told us it would be one of the best snorkeling spots we had ever seen and we weren’t let down. Huge corals of all different colors blanketed the ocean floor before a dark drop-off invited free-divers to explore further!

 

BANANA ISLAND CAMPING

Banana Island is an incredibly chill spot with coconut trees lining the white sand beach. This island is hammock central and the perfect place to unwind in the shade for a siesta. This is a great island for a kayak, snorkel and swim in the beautiful warm water the Philippines if so famous for.

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SOUTH CAY

The South and North Cays are both prime camping spots. We camped on the north but we could see another small group with a bonfire camping on the South Cay just across the way on their own little private island. Take the kayak over from the North Cay if you are up for an exploration adventure.

 

NORTH CAY CAMPING

We arrived at the North Cay for the last light of the day and it was some of the best conditions I have ever had for aerial photography. It took me an hour and two batteries just to get off the boat and stop flying. What the others didn’t know is that I had just enjoyed the reef, water, and islands more than anyone with an hour-long aerial tour in the golden hour. After I pulled myself together I headed off to check out our ‘glamping situation’, which was a tent with a mattress, sheet, and pillow. It was one of the best nights sleep I’ve had in a while as a soft breeze came through the top of the tent. There are toilet and shower facilities on the island.

Just before sunset, we took on our guides in a 2v2 basketball match and somehow squared with them at one game apiece in a game we won’t forget soon. Great fun with great people. Sunset was spent at the viewpoint on a small hill before we ventured back to the camping area, lit a bonfire and shared some drinks under the stars.

Breakfast was served by the crew on a table and chairs on our private stretch of beach during the first light. It’s moments like these where you pinch yourself and wonder if it’s a dream. Our time on the North Cay was incredibly relaxing and a great time with the crew!

 

BLACK ISLAND 

After packing up early at North Cay, we headed to Black Island. The water was so glassy it was reflecting like a mirror as we edged ever closer to the ominous looking Black Island. When we arrived there was only one other boat there with two people chilling in a hut. We docked the boat and I went for a flight with the drone in another unforgettable aerial session. Looking directly down from the top of the cliff was an angle that just blew my mind as I saw the scale of the cliffs compared to our boat. We snorkeled here with some epic conditions for free-diving, amazing clarity and a wide variety of corals. 

View full blog post: EXPLORING BLACK ISLAND (MALAJON ISLAND) IN CORON, PHILIPPINES

 

BLACK ISLAND CAVING

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.

 

DIBUTONAY ISLAND

Dibutonay Island was another secluded island with a great reef for snorkeling. It had one section of reef that was separated from the island and bursting with fish, marine life and unique coral. After a long morning of snorkeling, we ended up almost passing out on the beach only to be revived with a fresh coconut from the crew legends.

 

MALTATAYOC ISLAND

Maltatayoc Island is beautiful sandbar but we had come for the underwater world. Here we searched for and found multiple stingrays and the crew told us small black-tip sharks (not dangerous) are often spotted in this area. The snorkeling was amazing again and by this point, I was in awe at the level of reef and snorkeling spots in the region famous for its cliffs and lagoons.

 

PASS ISLAND OVERNIGHT

Pass Island was another camping spot on our Big Dream Boat Man Coron Island hopping tour. Like with North Cay, we arrived just in time for the golden hour and I enjoyed the aerial view will chilling under a coconut tree. On the island, there are a few huts where you sleep and bathroom facilities. A basketball court and sunset viewpoint are the other highlights on this tiny private island for you and the crew to enjoy.

View full blog post: PASS ISLAND IN CORON PALAWAN (OVERNIGHT STAY)

 

DITAYTAYAN ISLAND

On the final morning of our Coron island hopping tour expedition with Big Dream Boat Man, we headed off to Ditaytayan Island. While most boats stop at the beautiful sand bar we headed around the back side to explore the beach and what we found was a lot (I mean A LOT!) of trash. Together with the crew, we collected three huge garbage bags of trash to take back to Coron Town. It was great to see the crew pushing for this and it’s something they try and do on every trip. We also snorkeled here in another amazing reef location before exploring the sand bar and the beaches on Ditaytayan Island.

 

SUNSET LAGOON AND CAVE

Our final stop was to the Sunset Lagoon and Cave. Once again we magically arrived with the perfect lighting just like the entire trip. The aerial photography here blew my mind again as I pushed the distance limits on the drone. The lagoon is a small inlet, with towering cliffs closing in around you. We went for a paddle on the SUP before snorkeling into the incredible cave that is like a private room within the cliff once you swim inside!

That was our trip and believe it or not that was all just in a few days. I  am still lost for words and struggle to explain the epic nature of Coron. The island hopping tour of Coron with Big Dream Boat Man was the best expedition to see the sights in a natural way, with good people, good vibes and lessor no crowds. I can’t recommend these guys enough and really support their vision and the ethos of the company.

If you do want to book a trip with Big Dream Boat Man I suggest doing it in advance as they do book out a few weeks ahead of time. It’s usually booked out if you only decide to book the trip when you arrive at Coron as you may do with the basic daily island hopping tours. 

Make an inquiry/booking: To visit the website to check the tour itineraries, costs and availability of dates you can click here: Big Dream Boat Man Website 

If you use the code JACKSON10 when you book a tour, you will receive 10% OFF YOUR ENTIRE TRIP! 

 

WHERE TO STAY IN CORON TOWN BEFORE YOUR CORON ISLAND HOPPING TOUR

Read my full blog post: Best hotels, hostels, and resorts in Coron

Save money in Coron by staying at an Airbnb! Get a FREE $40 Airbnb Coupon by using my code when you book! I use Airbnb on about half of my travels and find you always get more value than a hotel.

Coron Town is the base for all of your adventures in Coron. 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 HostelThe 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. 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. 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. 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. Casa 

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 you can also enjoy the luxury of having every detail taken care of. 

 

ARE YOU KEEPING UP WITH MY CORON SERIES?

If you want to experience best island-hopping tour in Coron (4 Days & 3 Nights), which includes camping on private islands, all meals, drinks and parties then you can check out my Big Dream Boat Man Coron Tour Review.

I’ve been to Coron three times and have written a huge guide about all the amazing things you can do in Coron. The list is now up to 22 different spots which you can catch in my Coron Travel Guide: 22 Awesome Things To Do

Only have a few days in Coron and want to know how best to spend your valuable time? I’ve written a detailed Coron Itinerary for 3-4 days that will help you plan out your days and activities.

If you are wondering about where I suggest for accommodation and where I have stayed, I wrote a blog post about the Best Places to Stay in Coron. It’s a pretty detailed list with budget, luxury and value picks.

Aside from the island hopping there are two must-do activities. The first is the Maquinit Hot springs and the second is climbing up Mt. Tapyas for the best view in Coron.

Or you might want to jump to a few of my favorite spots in Coron:

Blog post about Kayangan Lake

Blog post about Black Island

Blog post about Barracuda Lake

Blog post about​ Lusong Gunboat

 

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