When it comes to travelling, you really do have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. That’s what’s so great about it. A lot of the time it’ s through word of mouth where the best places are or maybe little hidden gems that you find a long the way. For us, we really try to avoid massively touristy places, which is hard sometimes but when you find absolute beauties like Busuanga, you know your onto a winner!
Where is Busuanga?
Busuanga is about 50km from Coron town and depending on your scooter skills, it can take between 45mins to an hour. However, they do have minivans going back and fourth at sort of scheduled times for 150 peso’s per person. Look out for Q-Transport buses. The buses only really leave to Busuanga when they are full so you’ll have to have your patient face and just wait around for a little bit. The journey over is really nice, especially on the a bike. The views are pretty incredible and its so nice to be able to get out of Coron town.
Where to stay?
Busuanga isn’t huge and it has only been the last few years where it has become much more developed and popular. There is a variety of accommodation really and it depends on your budget or what you fancy. There are more basic types of accommodation or even up to 5* hotels so, if your feeling luxurious…
We stayed at Busuanga Backpackers, somewhere we highly recommend to other travellers. It’s not a huge hostel but that’s what makes it even better and more personal. The eating area becomes the communal area where everyone sits, has a coffee and just talks for hours. It’s not hard to keep extending your nights there, we were there for just over a week. The staff there are also really great. They are all really friendly, helping you with whatever you need. They serve really nice food, with a big menu of a variety of dishes. I can’t really recommend anything in particular because all the dishes were genuinely so yummy!
Double room- 700 Peso’s
6 bed dorm- 350 Peso’s
What is also great about this Busunga Backpackers is that it has an additional private space attached to the back of the hostel. It’s your own separate living space looking out onto Busuanga Bay. What a way to wake up! The room is really beautiful and its great to experience the ‘backpacker life’ at the hostel and then retreat back to luxury in your private room.
What to do in Busuanga?
- Rent a kayak and explore the mangrove. They also have a abandoned sea plan just in the bay which is quite cool to go and see. (400 peso’s for a single kayak)
- Rent a scooter and explore the island. (600 peso’s for 12 hours)
- Visit OcamOcam beach. It’s about an hours drive from Busuanga but really nice to go chill for the day.
- Head to Alfaro for Sunset; you can get a boat from Busuanga Backpackers for 200 pesos and use their swimming pool for free. They have happy hour from 3p-7pm and serve such good food! Then if you spend 2000 pesos or more, you get the boat back for free. It really is the perfect place to spend in the afternoon and watch the sunset!
- Conception Falls; A small waterfall with a refreshing pool to have a dip. If you go late at night, you’ll also get to see fireflies light it up.
Like most places, Busuanga offers tours hopping around the local islands. We were really put off by tours in El Nido because of how busy they were and tours just kind of get ruined. Paradise places arent exactly paradise when there’s crowds of people. Busuanga is amazingly opposite! As your nearly an hour from Coron, not only do you have the option of going to other islands, that are virtually empty may I add. Or you get to the islands way earlier before any of the Coron tours. You really get the paradise you’ve been waiting for.
Busuanga Backpackers offer private tours which can work in favour, or sometimes now. Basically they have a set price for the boat, guide, food and snorkel gear etc. Then depending on how many there are of you, you split the whole price. Which is great if there is a group of you. You get the boat to yourself and end up being on the beaches with virtually no-one! However, if there isn’t a group of you, you can end up paying a little more than you would want to, especially compared of Coron tours. However, your paying for privacy, for paradise and for just a little bit more money you really do get a tour that is amazing. It really is worth it!
One we want to really recommend is Black Island. Probably one of our favourite beaches ever and we practically had it to ourselves!!
They also offer overnight beach camping. They can accomodate the tour to which islands you want to visit and you can do one or two nights. With one price, this includes the tour, guide, food and then accommodation on the beach. And know, you not in a shitty tent, getting eaten alive by sandflies. You a large sort of tent with a bed off the floor & a mosquito net. But then there is no roof so you’re literally sleeping under the stars. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to experience this, however the feedback they got some people was incredible and we’re gutted we couldn’t do it.
Fancy ticking something off your bucketlist? Joe and I always said that ‘one day’ we will do our course and become certified divers. However, we constantly kept putting it off. Not too sure why but we probably made up enough excuses. And then we arrived in Busuanga! To be honest, we didn’t realise how popular this area was for diving. I mean the colour of the water is a big enough clue but to realise what was under it was definitely one of the reasons why we said yes!
Busuanga Bay Lodge
There are numerous dive centres in Busuanga that offer the beginners certified course. So it would be worth looking around, seeing what’s what and weighing up your options and prices. We decided to our course at Busuanga Bay Lodge which the dive instructor, Quinn and we couldn’t recommend it enough!
For someone who it pretty terrified of the sea, I was never too enthusiastic to dive. However, Joe really wanted to do it and I know I needed to suck it up and get over it. Not one person ever says they don’t like scuba diving or that it’s not very exciting down there, so why on earth would I not want to do it. So yeah, I crossed the bridge, got over it and booked our course for the next day.
Certified Open Water Course
Ideally, you want to do the course in about 3 days, however we didn’t have time for that so luckily, Quinn said we could do it in 2. Obviously depending on how we got on with skills and how comfortable we were. We were given the books to revise and he was always on hand if we had any questions or needed more information on something.
We covered a lot of skills on day 1 and we didn’t pretty well, if I do say so myself. Day two was more rousing everything up and repeating some of the main skills that we had done the day before. Even on day 1 we were able to get out into the sea and do some small dives which were pretty incredible and then day 2 was just unbelievable! If you didn’t know already, Busuanga is home to multiple WW2 shipwrecks which gives us the amazing opportunity to dive around them. It was absolutely incredible!
Unsure whether you want to dive?
Coming from someone who doesn’t like the sea and feels claustrophobic, scuba diving is incredible. It’s definitely something to get used to and if your like me, concentrating on your breathing.But once you’ve got it down, you will have the most unbelievable experience.
Doing our course at Busuanga Bay Lodge with Quinn was the best decision. It was a little pricier than other shops but every penny was worth it. It was just Joe and I on the course, we cruised around in speedboats and we had the best info, advice and help from our instructor.
If your looking for somewhere a bit more off the beaten track and somewhere that people don’t think about going, head to Busuanga. It’s out of the way of busy Coron, but still accessible to head to town if you need to. The tours are so much better, quieter and the most amazing experience! Busuanga really is the place to go!