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Big Dream Boat Man Review: Coron Island Hopping Tour

Big Dream Boat Man Review: Coron Island Hopping Tour

Embarking on an island-hopping tour in the turquoise waters of Coron is an experience like no other, and Big Dream Boat Man (BDBM) takes the exploration to the next level. In a sea of tour options, BDBM has carved out a niche for itself, offering intimate, tailor-made adventures that resonate with travelers seeking authenticity and a deeper adventure beyond the regular island-hopping day trips. In this review, we’ll dive deep into what sets Big Dream Boat Man apart, from their meticulous attention to detail and eco-conscious practices to the unparalleled beauty of their chosen spots in the breathtaking region of Coron archipelago.

a boat is sitting in the water on the beach.


In this blog post, I’ll detailed what Big Dream Boat Man is all about. I’ll detail why it’s WAY better than the regular island hopping day trips. My review will go on to share what it’s like on a BDBM expedition and I’ll then go through the entire itinerary with photos and descriptions from every single spot we visited. Before I get started, if you just watnt to jump straight to the Big Dream Boat Man site, these are the three main tours they offer.

(The trip I did) Coron Island Life: Skip the crowds and arrive early to visit popular spots like Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake and Twin Lagoon BEFORE the crowds arrive. Visit locations like Lusong Gunboat Wreck and Black Island that regular daytrippers can’t reach. Stay overnight at secluded islands in cabins and tents on the beach. Enjoy bonfires, drinks and a fun atmosphere.

Coron to El Nido: Visit key attractions in Coron such as Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake and Twin Lagoon before voyaging from Coron to El Nido. Stop off at secluded islands on the way where you can relax, explore and sleep in a tropical Paradise.

El Nido to Coron: The reverse trip. The best way to get to Coron and see the sights along the way. The most epic transit of your life.

a man sitting on a boat in the middle of the ocean.


Big Dream Boat Man is a 4-day, 3-night Coron island hopping 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.

It’s a locally run company, I’ve met all the staff and their families and we’ve even done cleanups together on Mount Tapyas in Coron. They’re good, genuine people.

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 

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).

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.


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. These itineraries aren’t set in stone but they guys are usually flexible if there is a certain spot you REALLY want to see or stay longer they can put it to the group to see if it can work out.

The reality is that you get to visit SO MANY awesome spots in just four days because you don’t waste time transiting to and from the mainland each day and there’s no need to battle the crowds. Just look at the infographic I made below and you can see that we visited 17 different spots on our 3-day, 4-night Coron Island Life with Big Dream Boat Man.


As you walk around Coron Town you will see posters and promotions everywhere for the island-hopping tours such as the Ultimate Coron Island Hopping Trip. I won’t lie, these day tours are still incredible. I’ve done more than five day trips in Coron because you don’t always have four days to explore and it is significantly cheaper at around $40-$100 depending on which tour your select. However, these tours are marketed to the masses and all follow the same itinerary. It can be a bit chaotic, touristic and in some cases a bit of a let down as it just gets so busy and crowded. If you are short on time and on a budget, just hit this link and book the tour and you will have a GREAT day: Coron Island Hopping Trip.

However, if you have a few days to spare and enjoy avoiding the crowds, group trip atmosphere, bonfires at night, activities, games and secluded beaches and lagoons…. don’t book that daytrip just yet. 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 about $500 USD as of 2023. 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. I’ve traveled a lot and done my fair share of tours. I finished this one feeling like I’d been on one hell of an adventure and that it was worth the price.

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. They do book out a few weeks in advance so definitely reserve your post once you decide you want to go.


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.

a person on a kayak in the clear water.


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. Visiting Kayangan Lake with Big Dream Boat Man meant we were literally the only people there snorkeling as we went early in the morning!

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.



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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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.


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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.


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. Like many of the stops on our Big Dream Boat Man trip, we had this spot completely to ourselves as you can see in the drone photo.

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!



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 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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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.


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. This is what Big Dream Boat Man is all about! 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!


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.



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 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 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 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.



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.


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

a boat sitting on top of a sandy beach.


The optimal time for island hopping in Coron is during the dry season, from November to May. During these months, the weather is typically favorable, with sunny skies and calm waters, making it ideal for boat travel and exploring the stunning lagoons, lakes, and beaches of the islands. While the peak tourist months of December to March offer pristine conditions, they can be crowded. To strike a balance between good weather and fewer tourists, consider the shoulder months of early November or late May.

a person on a surf board in the water.


  • Coron Island Hopping Trip: The iconic boat trip to amazing Kayangan Lake & Barracuda Lake. Best value and most popular
  • Snorkeling, Shipwrecks, Private Islands (Island Hopping D): Pass Island, Lusong Gunboat Shipwreck Snorkel & Coral Gardens. This is my favorite island hopping in Coron and is the snorkeling paradise & active tour.
  • Coron Land Tour: Get to know Coron! Visit Mt Tapyas viewing deck, Maquinit Hot Spring and important sites around town. Great for a day off from snorkeling and island hopping.

I only recommend tours with Guide To The Philippines, who are a locally owned company and the most RELIABLE & PROFESSIONAL in Coron with small group sizes.


an aerial view of a resort in the middle of the ocean.
a large swimming pool surrounded by palm trees.


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

a man is swimming in the water near rocks.


Wednesday 24th of June 2020

I have been recommended to do this tour when I visit. my only question is I don't do snorkelling so will I still enjoy it


Wednesday 24th of June 2020

There are guides who can help you while in the water but even if you don't snorkel, it is great to see Kayangan Lake, Black Island, Pass Island and many activities that aren't snorkeling. There are a number of snorkel opportunities but you can use the kayak instead or drink beers on the boat or swim :)


Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Your Philippines posts are amazing. And the photography is stunning. I highly dislike crowds in nature where you're supposed to unwind and find stillness. Thanks for letting me know about this boat expedition. I'm planning a trip to the Philippines this November and I'm doing this tour in Coron for sure.


Thursday 30th of January 2020

Yewww. say hello to the BDBM crew for me!

Andrey Kovanovskiy

Monday 13th of January 2020

Hi Jackson! Amazing photos! Is any chance to charge something (like drone/camera batteries) while overnight stay in this adventure?


Monday 13th of January 2020

Hi Andrey, Yep each night there is a small station for charging and on one night we had power in the small hut. You can charge drone/camera for sure.

Atif Azhar

Monday 26th of August 2019

Hi Jackson I've been reading your blogs for a few months now as I'm thinking of travelling the Philippines for a month. And I have to say your blogs and information that you have given on everything from where to stay which tours to choose are incredible. I'm still reading through but thank you for your great insight into the Philippines. I can only imagine what you have done out there and the epic places you have seen. Hopefully I can see abit for myself in February. Cheers mate. Keep it up