Coron Town and Busuanga Water Activities
Busuanga is every water-baby and beach-bum’s paradise and is proclaimed to be the best-kept diving secret in Asia. Well, the cat’s out of the bag, folks, and it’s time to book your tickets. The list of immaculate, talcum-powder beaches to visit, and water related activities to engage in, is as endless as it is exciting.
Scuba-diving, snorkelling and swimming in the crystal clear waters amongst exquisite marine life is the standard line-up for travellers on this slice of blissful utopia. There is another world to explore below the lapping, turquoise waves of Busuanga and the surrounding islands abound with captivating, underwater tourist attractions.
Wreck enthusiasts will cheer in excitement at the submerged and salty, historical spoils. The seas and islands around Busuanga have world-class dive sites and are especially famous for their wealth of WW2 ship wrecks resting on the sandy, ocean floors. There are a number of diveable wrecks that can be explored in a day’s boat ride from Busuanga. Kyokuzan Maru dive site is only an hour’s boat ride away and this 152 meter freighter lies tucked safely in a sheltered bay. Offering superb visibility of the wreck itself as well as a variety of corals, this wreck site is one of many pleasurable treats for all divers.
Coral and lake diving
Recruiting all wannabe-mermaids! Coral and lake diving are also excellent options in paradise and fortunately island-hopping is a popular and easily organized activity here in Busuanga. One can opt to hire a private boat or simply go along on one of the many daily tours.
A fantastic island-hopping combo would include Skeleton Wreck, Twin Lagoon and Barracuda Lake. A private, half-day boat trip to these 3 spots costs around PHP18000 with an additional PHP100 entrance fee into each destination.
Skeleton Wreck is only 5m deep and it is shallow enough for even snorkelers to swim down and have a looksee at the coral encrusted ship and pretty fish swimming by. Twin Lagoon is two lagoons connected by a natural passage of rock as well as a manmade series of stairs enfolded between limestone cliffs. The lagoons are truly mesmerizing and the sparkling, brackish water beckons one to ogle in amazement below the aqua currents. The last stop of the day is the famous Barracuda Lake. The spiky, limestone formations on the floor of this lake look like elaborate mazes and those brave enough can even do some cliff jumping.
A full day of island-hopping with Calamianes Expeditions and Ecotours costs PHP650 and includes all island fees, a boat guide as well as lunch. Island-hoppers can expect to visit Kayangan Lake, Twin Peaks Reef, Twin Lagoons, Atwayan Beach, CYC Island and Coral Garden.
Kayangan Lake is said to be the cleanest lake in the world and the remarkable beauty of this natural wonder will leave you speechless and enthralled. Grab a snorkel or rent a kayak and soak in the splendor.
Apo Reef National Park
The 25 kilometre coral reef of Apo Reef National Park can also be reached from Busuanga on a full day boat trip. Walls, vibrant marine life, hammer-heads, mantas, tuna, barracudas and reef sharks can all be spotted and admired. Said to have the best corals in the whole of the Philippines, Apo Reef should be a bucket-list item for all divers.
If you prefer the sand between your toes rather than water in your eyes, Busuanga will still please those coming to simply work on their tan and sip Tanduay – ridiculously cheap, local rum. The pristine, white, sugary beaches with a backdrop of coconut groves are sure to delight beach-lovers everywhere. Night-time beach frolicking can also be achieved by camping on one of the deserted beaches.
Abandon Paradise Expeditions arranges a variety of camping packages with tents, food and transport included. Keep your eyes peeled on the waves once the sun has set and if you’re as lucky as I was, you may even get a chance to swim in bluey, glowing phosphorescence waters.