Hello you lovely lot,
Hope you’re all well! So so excited to share this post with you all!! Was one of the best expedition tours we’ve done whilst being away and was such an incredible four days!! If you don’t know what Big Dream Boat Man is, they are an Expedition company in Coron in the Philippines, that join like-minded travellers together to experience Island Life and adventure like no other in the Philippines. As a company they take you on a 3 night, 4 day tour of the beautiful islands surrounding Coron (soon from Coron to El Nido, El Nido to Coron), where you get to experience the islands without any other day tours/groups of people being there.
You see all the day tour spots, without tourists just the small group of you (max 14 on a tour) and the crew. They also do Private Expeditions if your in a group. Was by far the best tour I’ve ever done! As a company they also are fully Eco friendly, they work on constantly helping improve their surrounding environments, by doing organised beach clear ups, cleaning rubbish everyday of their tours, and recycling.
Also before I get into everything we got up to on this one in a life time trip, I’ve been giving a 10% off code if you use “INDIA10”.
The tour itself came to £500.00 pounds each (without the discount), but is honestly worth every single penny. The price includes transport after the trip to your accommodation, accommodation for the three nights, all food, snacks and drinks. Snorkels, flippers, paddle boards and kayaks and all the island visits with barely anyone around! Experiencing these beautiful islands and locations with only ourselves, the crew and 6 other members of our group was so incredible. Some of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen.
With Big Dream Boat Man, the Itinerary can change dependent on the weather/ timings of the tides/ whether other tours will be at the locations, as BDBM always aim to let you explore these beautiful places when there’s no one else around. You always get to see the same places, it just depends on the order you do them in as that might vary. So this is just the order we did the tour in and what we experienced.
We met the BDBM crew at Luis Bay restaurant by Coron port and by 11.30am we were heading out onto the boat. On the boat trips, your big bags are stored below the boat which you are given the choice to access in the evenings at the stay island locations if need be. However, we opted to having two tote bags as our day bags which we filled with everything we would need for the four days, which was a lot less hassle and meant our laptops/hard drives were safe in our big cases below.
To start our trip we headed to the beautiful Kayangan Lake, which took about 1.5 hours to get there. Kayangan Lake, was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been and the pictures don’t ever show the extent of its beauty. I was in awe, and felt so lucky we got to see this place with only 9 of us there. We stayed there for 1.5, swam a lot and sat and admired the view.
Around 2.30pm, we moved on from Kayangan Lake we had a delicious lunch on board the boat as we headed towards a ship wreck, where we swam and snorkelled above and around it. It was so cool, to see a shipwreck so up close and the amount of fish we saw was incredible!
After this around 4pm we headed towards our first stay of the trip, Pass Island. This little island was so gorgeous, white sands, big palm trees and just us and a few other locals that lived there. We spent the evening getting settled into our cute little double bed huts, watching a beautiful sunset on top of Pass Island before a yummy dinner and evening of sharing the stories with our group. Was so inspiring hearing about the crews lives and their love for exploring these islands and meeting and bonding with the six others on our tour was so lovely. Then we all headed to bed, before an exciting day two.
We all woke up and had a delicious breakfast around 7am, pancakes, rice, eggs, fruit, and milo (our new favourite chocolatey drink)! We left Pass Island around 8am and headed to Black Island. The Granite rocks are black surrounding the island, hence the name! It was the prettiest beach ever, dark green palm trees and the clearest water I’ve ever seen. Here there is a ship wreck that is so close to the surface you are able to swim around and see all the fishes and creatures that inhabit it. Black Island also has some huge caves that you can explore, however me and Kirsty last minute decided against this as we forgot our Deet and I’ve never seen so many mozzies in one place! Pretty glad we did, as the others got eaten alive! So just make sure you bring your deet with you onto Black Island if you go!
After a few hours on Black Island, we headed off to Dibutonay Island for another insane lunch. It ended up thundering and lighting here, so we sat for a while whilst the crew collected fire wood from the island for our evening bonfire. After the storm cleared, we headed to Maltatyok Island where we went snorkelling for a while. The reef was beautiful and I saw my first ever sting ray!!
We then headed to our second night accommodation, on North Cay Island. Here we stayed in little cabins, with the biggest king size bed! was so comfy! We settled in a bit before heading up to another sunset spot, and watched the most beautiful sunset I’ve seen so far on my trip. The sky turned the most incredible shades of red and pink. Then we sat and had dinner together, before having a bonfire and watched the stars. On these islands the stars are like no where else I’ve ever seen, you can see the outline of the Milky Way and me and Kirsty saw three shooting stars!!! Island life really is the best life.
Another yummy 7am breakfast to start the day, on day three before we left at 8am to the beautiful Coral garden. Here the boat dropped us off and we snorkelled for around 40 minutes and got to experience the most extraordinary reef ever. Also if your worried about the 40 minute swim, I should mention the crew took floats for anyone that needed support and you have the option to wear lifejackets, or jump on a paddle board if you get tired. However it goes so quick and you are snorkelling so it really doesn’t feel like 40 minutes, and it’s worth the view! it was amazing. The 40 minute snorkel leads you to another shipwreck the Lusong Shipwreck. Here you get to experience the biggest shipwreck, and our tour guide Joy (an experience free diver) even filmed a bit of footage for us through the shipwreck, which will be on my youtube video coming soon!
After experience the Lusong Shipwreck, we headed towards a salt water & fresh water hot spring- one of the only salt and fresh water hot springs in the world! We got a paddle board here, due to the jellyfish and arrived at the most stunning spot. The salt water and fresh water mix make the water divide so it’s super hot like a bath in some areas and freezing in other spots! Was such a cool experience.
We then headed to Culion island, which is a former leprosarium and although leprosy on the island-town was abolished in the 1980s, it was only declared free of leprosy in 2006. We visited here and explored the history of the island, and our guides explained how still so many people are in fear of visiting these stunning island due to the association with leprosy so to help support the development of the island they are raising awareness by sharing the stories and history of this island. It has so much to offer and it was lovely being able to visit and experience this place.
After this we headed to our last evening accommodation, detouring past a sand bar. When we got there there was a few other tour boats around so our guide Joy, took us too a secret beach. It was just the 8 of us and crew and the beach was incredible! There were no footprints but our own, with the bluest water and white sand. Was Stunning! We then visited the Sand Bar for about half an hour before heading to Banana Island just in time for sunset. The rooms had a double bed and single bed, and cute coloured sheets and mozzie net, in a high ground cabin. For our last evening, the lovely guides came and joined us for dinner and we all sat round a huge table and shared more stories before an early night as we were all shattered from the exciting day.
For our last half day, we had a 7am wake up call to head to the beautiful Twin Lagoon so we could experience it before any of the other day tours arrived there. We had breakfast on the boat, and had the loveliest boat ride towards the lagoon, I even saw a shark! The Twin lagoon was absolutely incredible. So so beautiful and here the water, like the hot springs, is a mix of salt water and fresh water so you experience the same super hot and super cold water mix whilst swimming in its crystal clear waters. We stayed here for a while swimming and taking in, its beauty.
After this we drove past Vivian Beach, due to high tide we couldn’t access the beach we got to see it’s cute little huts, white sands and admire it from afar. Then we headed back to Coron Habour, and arrived back at around 11am.
Never have I experience such an amazing trip, filled with the loveliest people, and beautiful experiences. I loved every minute and being able to experience these places with no other tourists was a dream come true.
The crew on this trip were so lovely and we miss them already! We loved how uplifting, inspiring and fun they kept the four days. We are already planning on coming back one day for the Coron to El Nido tour!
I’ve had a few further questions about what to bring on trip so I’ve included these below just in case you do decide to go on this epic adventure! and If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me! My video will be out soon!!
What do you need to bring:
-Rash Vest/ T-shirt to swim in to stop you from burning whilst snorkelling as this is inevitable whilst in the water for hours.
-Toiletries, toothpaste and whatever else you may need!
-An extension lead. All the islands had electricity between 6pm-6am in the morning, but had limited access to plugs so depending on how many of you there are, we found our extension lead super helpful when charging multiple things.
-Camera and Go Pro (if you have one) you spend a lot of this trip in the beautiful clear waters, so if you want to capture these experience in the water then a waterproof camera or go pro is perfect!
-Dry Bag. From the boat you go to a lot of islands so just in case you want to take your phone/camera to the islands with you then I’d recommend getting a dry bag. The guides do take a kayak over with the dry bags in to some of the islands too so you don’t have to swim with them, just ideal to have to prevent any belongings from getting soaked.
-Water shoes. Water shoes are needed for when you are swimming or walking towards any of the islands.
-Snacks. Although the boat offers drinks all day and occasional snacks such as fried banana. I found with the amount of exploring and swimming we were doing that I’d get super hungry, so I’d recommend bringing little snackey bits and bobs to keep you going throughout the day.
Love, India Moon x
Discount code for BDBM “INDIA10”.