Coron is a popular destination in Palawan but to be accurate, the name of the main island of destination (pier, airport, etc) is called Busuanga Island. There are a lot of islands to explore but similarly, the name of this group of islands is Calamian Group of Islands and again not Coron. Coron is a town in Busuanga (one of two- Coron and Busuanga) which covers one popular island- Coron Island, which ironically, only a small fraction of this island is open for tourist to explore (Kayangan Lake) as most of it is restricted to the indigenous inhabitants of the island. But for tourist, this place, this group of islands is simply known as Coron.
Coron is a great place to explore by bike, mountain bike in particular as portions of the islands are not easily accessible by transportation. Two main islands are a good place to start- Busuanga including Calauit Island and Cullion Island. In this trip we did a Busuanga Loop with a side trip to the popular Calauit Wildlife Reserve.
Busuanga can be biked in two days as half of it is around 70 kilometers and another half is around 65 kilometers. Technically it seems its doable in a day but due to the rugged terrain, it would be really challenging so best to do it in two days. In our case, since we are staying in my friend’s (Dindo Narciso) resort- Busuanga Island Paradise (www.busuangaislandparadise.com) who will be riding with us- we have started at Sta Monica, Coron. In this day 1- from Coron to Busuanga, almost 50% are paved and the remaining are still rough roads. It’s fairly flat except the last portions which has some hills to climb. We ended our day in Ocam-ocam Resort, the only acceptable place for us to stay midpoint and near Calauit Island. It’s a nice place but when you go there be sure to have some mosquito lotion with you.
On day 2, we started with a boat ride to Calauit. We were told there are manatees (Dugongs) in the area but we were only able to catch a glimpse of one who submerged immediately. So our suggestion would be to take some snorkeling gear with you and spend some time since this is a rare opportunity. We arrived in Calauit with a plan of riding the island. We were surprised that the administrator was welcome to that idea in fact he was asking for help to invest in bikes to be used in the island. It was a rare opportunity for us to have the experience of riding with Zebras and Giraffes. Then from there, we took a boat to the mangrove forest to New Quezon. From there, the roads were rough all the way till the Airport area. And plus there are a couple of big hills to navigate so it was really tiring and challenging for our part by the time we reached the airport, we were really exhausted. Midpoint, there is this Cashew Grove Resort where you can have your lunch. To sum up the trip, let me barrow Dindo’s summary of the trip:
Coron Mountain Bike Ride by the Numbers (June 4-5, 2014)
- 3 Riders from 1 Organization (Metropolitan Mountaineering Society)
- 1 Long Henson, 1 Jerry Escosio, 1 Dindo Narciso
- 120-140 kilometers in 2 days
- 1 Titus 10 kilo bike
- 1 Giant XTC 12 kilo bike
- 1 Giant VT 21 kilo bike (circa 2001) – ikaw na!
- 0 number of hours sleep in Ocam-Ocam Inn
- 1000 number of mosquitos in the above establishment (plus numerous other insects)
- 0 electric fans and 2 LED light bulb
- 1 long neck and half a lapad Tanduay Rum consumed
- 16 hours approximate duration we had no cell signal and wifi
- 4 giraffes handfed by the three
- 1 zebra named Wilfred petted
- 1 very enthusiastic guide in Calauit named Mang Florante
- 2 halo halo each for Dindo and Jerry at Cheey
- 1 plate of spaghetti Bolognese each in Cashew Grove
- 2 minutes asleep after lunch before Long woke me (Dindo) up
- !@#$ uphills and mountains in day 2
- 4 flats, 2 for Long and 2 for Dindo
- X meters walked (i’d rather not say) in New Quezon- Decalachao Stage
- Ear to ear smile after getting back to the resort
For more map details please visit my Everytrail at: http://www.everytrail.com/my_trips.php?user_id=46765