Normally, the most famous island hopping tour in Coron will be the UItimate Coron Island Tour and Island Escapade Tour. However, since we are expecting another 2 travel mates which will be arrive few days later, I am thinking we should reserve these tour together with them. At the same time, we don't want to stay around Coron town for so long as well, hence this is why we choose to stay in the Riverhouse for the first few days. After getting some suggestion and advice from Judith, we decided to go for a private Island Hopping that specially hosted by the Riverhouse.
The boatmen had been waiting for us to finish up our breakfast at the hotel area, and bring us down the road towards a small jetty by the river. There was another lady on the banca boat waiting for us, which I believe was his wife. They does not speak English well when I try to ask if they provided snorkeling mask for our island hopping, and they seem not understand. Since we have two goggles that we bring along our self, hence we just depart to start our day tour!
Briseis on the banca.
Lion on the banca.
Excited for the first day tour.
Another boatmen on the edge of the river.
Village by the river.
The beautiful El Rio y Mar Resort.
Toward the ocean now!
The very first island that we arrived was Dicapajan Island, which it seem to be home of our boatmen and his wife. We are so amaze that it seem that their house was the only one on the island, at least it is from what we explore around! They do have some pets around, a cat, a chicken, and a cute piggy! Their house was like a paradise, when it is just few steps away from ultimate clean white beach, along with crystal clear water. We just enjoy our self free and easy around the beaches since the boatmen could not tell us directly which is a better spot for snorkeling. I try to swim and snorkeling with my goggle but could not find many coral around, however just the swim around this beautiful beaches is so refreshing and so relaxing!
Snap the beautiful scenery first.
Posing on the beautiful beach.
Breathtaking view of beach and sea.
Crystal clear water by the beach.
Time to enjoy the beautiful beach!
The water is very clean here!
Briseis practical with the GoPro.
Lion practicing her swimming skill.
Take away the boatmen and his wife, it is only 3 of us along the beach.
Discover some coral.
Briseis playing with the swing.
Envy the boatmen family to have this view everyday!
After nearly an hour, we move on to visit our second island of the day, Jatoy island. The island also serve as our lunch break location, where we having our garlic fried rice prepared by the Riverhouse. However, it seem tasteless hence we just having a bit to charge up some energies for the current and upcoming island hopping activities.
This was the only island on the day when we have other companion to join us exploring around this beach. The Germany guy along with his local Philippines friend are from the Riverhouse as well, and he speak a very accurate Chinese! Nothing much on the beach here, hence I spend most of my time snorkeling on the sea here.
Special encounter here was to discover a coral reef that a small tiny Nemo is wandering around, but whenever I try to go nearer to snap its photo with GoPro, suddenly there is another big Nemo fish that color is faded, try to interrupt or stop me from getting nearer to the small one. I guess it was a parent behavior to protect its children, hence I only enjoying these encounter with them from some distance away. Beside, there was some shells like creature that staying around the coral blinking while I swim over which scare the freak out of me!
Beach via Jatoy island.
Time to explore again~
While I go for snorkeling~
Faded color Nemo keep disrupting me.
Guardian angel to the tiny Nemo.
Whenever you are near to the coral, then it is coming from no where.
Here it is coming when I try to get nearer!
Parent love toward its children, salute to the max.
Big Nemo protecting the small one~
Lots of small coral and sea urchin.
Those shell creature will blink when you swim pass them.
The one that scare the freak out of me!
We heading over to our 3rd island hopping destination for the day, Dimalanta island. We can see a very skinny dog welcome us to the place from some distance away. The small beach consist of very clear water as well, and a small residential house. I try to walk nearby to see the small wooden house, but accidentally wake up some one in it. He came out and sit down outside of the house with a big smile on his face, and our boatmen start to chit chat along together. It seem to be very rare to have some friend that come over for the visit.
Lion and Briseis just wandering on the beach side here, while as usual I just go ahead to swim and snorkeling around to see what can I found. At the distance around 10 Meters away from the beach, I can see from top of the water that there are bunch of black objects in the water. Curiously I put my head into the water to check it out, and it stun me that those are big group of sea urchin, is like they are doing some gathering there! Immediately I get Lion and Briseis to come over and have a look on this stunning scenery, and just when I thought this is the only place the gathering is grouped, I realize that just few meters away, there are few more bunches like this, they are everywhere! I wish I can rename the island name to sea urchin island!
We have some short rest on the beach while trying to finish up the tasteless garlic fried rice, but it was really tough to eat. At last, we just share some of our portion with the skinny dog that keep accompany us in this beach, and we are glad to see that it enjoy the meal very much.
The skinny dog that welcome us here.
View of Lawi island from Jatoy island.
Another banca sailing around the island.
Glad that the weather continue to be great!
Luckily I did not step on it....
Look closely, there are lots of fish wandering around these sea urchin.
Look like they are staring at me.
Another group nearby....
This starfish is quite big in size!
Small fishes wandering around the coral.
We leaving the Jatoy island and from the boat we can see the countless of the same starfish are scattered around the water, and it is so clear that we can see it clearly even from the boat! Based on the direction, it seem that we still not heading back toward the Riverhouse, hence I am quite excited and can't wait to see the next destination. We pass through the 1st island that we visited today, Dicapajan island, and continue straight through deep ocean with stronger wave. I can see, a seem to be bald island straight in front of us, but still some distance away. I am quite confident that it is our next destination.
Recognize it is Dicapajan island by the boatmen house.
Heading toward the bald island!
The name of the place is Malpagalen island, a desert island. I heard that people also saying this is and island without tree, but I not agree with it as there is one when we are there! There are almost 360 degrees of beaches on this island, except one small side of is a limestone cliff, and few rocks formation. We climb up the limestone cliff to have a panorama view over the island, only to realize how unique this place was! Even the boatmen himself are enjoying on the sea as well, playing with the wave on beach. I try to snorkeling around but the wave here is just too strong, hence it is kinda dangerous in my opinion. After having some exploration in this small island, we just have some rest in a shaded area from the rock formation, and enjoy listening to the wave of the sea. Seriously, we easily empty our mind just like this for more than 15 minutes, before call it a day and heading back to the Riverhouse, and yet we still wish we can spend more time doing nothing here! This place was truly amazing!
Getting ready to....
Success after few try~
Briseis enjoying the beach~
Footprint toward the limestone cliff.
Perfect location for island hoping!
Left plank of the island.
Our boatmen enjoying himself here as well!
Right plank of the island.
The only 4 set of foot prints which belong to us~
Step by step, slowly....
Lion playing with the stone~
Breathtaking and unique island.
Lion sitting high on the rock formation to enjoy the scenery.
Rock formation that we put our stuff.
Best island thus far~
The moment when we reach the Riverhouse, the boatmen happily share some story with Judith in Tagalog, and she translated saying that we are very lucky to be able to land on Malpagalen island as some time the wave totally covered up the beach hence landing is not possible. Well, it was great to be lucky to start our journey here in Philippines!
End of a long, and beautiful day for sure!
Simple illustration on today island hopping route.
Coron Island Hopping - Philippines