I went on a trip to North Palawan Busuanga Island, which is about 40 minutes away from Manila! It’s even more rural than Puerto Galera and the town is small and inconvenient at times, but we were able to relax in the midst of the fireflies before the rainy season began.
At Colon, you can enjoy dugong, former Japanese Army ship, set fighter plane Hayabusa, freshwater, wide and macro diving. This is the main content of the dive, but I would like to tell you about the sea, the forest, the mangroves and the wilderness of Colon!
How to get to Busuanga Island, Colon?
There are many daily flights from Manila and Cebu. It’s also a good place to go for a trip around the Philippines because you can buy it for about 2,000 yen one way when it’s on sale. There is also a boat out to El Nido, so it will be possible to combine them.
Area of Busuanga Island.
It’s a very small airport, so you won’t get lost. Rideshare van and hotel transfers are available for transfer from the airport. Shared vans to the south of Colon town are available at the front of the airport for 150 pesos one way. For other areas, it is common to use hotel transfers. Please note that there are no tricycles or taxis in the area.
South area of Colon.
The main town is here, and if you want to enjoy wreck diving and city walking, this is the place to go if you need cash as ATM are only here.
North Area of Colon.
The area has many private resorts. If you want to stay at the resort in a relaxed way, this is the place for you to stay because all the accommodation, leisure and meals are done in the hotel. The resort and diving shop accepts credit card payment, so you don’t have to worry about cash!
Wreck & Freshwater Diving in Colon South
To the south is Colon City, which is the main non-resort town. I have the impression that there are many divers, backpackers, and Filipino tourists who are interested in the wreck.
Even though it’s a small town, there are several money changers, banks and ATMs, so you don’t have to bring a lot of cash from Manila to travel. 30 minutes up the stairs, but you can watch the sunset from the observation deck in the center of the city!
There is a tour desk in the city, so it’s easy to book the day before. Even if you don’t dive, it’s fun!
Maquinit Hot Spring
You can go to the natural hot spring by tricycle from the town.
Sunken ship/freshwater diving
There are a few dive shops in Colon City. If you want to enjoy diving the old Japanese Army sunken ships, you can stay in Colon South, which is about two hours one way to the farthest dive sites. The shop we used on the south side was 1 dive/1500 pesos including lunch.
Diving a sunken ship of the former Japanese army
I wasn’t expecting to dive on the south side, but I only dived there for two days. It seems that the clarity drops during the high tide in both the north and south of Colon, so the wreck diving was very murky.
Most of the dive sites from South Colombo are wreck dives, so if you are interested in wreck history and wreck diving, this is the place to go.
Freshwater Diving (Barracuda Lake)
It was my first time at “Barracuda Lake”, a freshwater dive site about an hour away from Colon City, and it was an interesting experience. It might be a good idea to stop by the south side for a dive to get here. You can also go island hopping, so you can snorkel.
The maximum water temperature is about 42 degrees Celsius when freshwater and seawater meet. It was the first time I had ever been so hot during a dive that I wanted to go up.
It’s freshwater and crystal clear, and although there are few creatures, the scenery is different from the sea. When the water gets deeper, it is a muddy area where leaves of trees mix with each other, and when the water is shallow, the scenery is fantastic with light.
The thermocline was quite misty, which was a different experience from my usual diving. Small fish, catfish, shrimp, goby and ordinary snakes were seen as creatures.
If you are lucky, you can see a huge barracuda, which is the name of the point. I heard from people who saw it that it was very scary because it moved wildly, unlike the quiet barracudas we often see.
Dugong & Coral & Macro Diving in the North of Colon
Stay, dive and eat in the resort, so if you want to dive a lot, you must go to the north area. It is only in the northern area that you can see dugongs in the wild.
DUGONG DIVE CENTER
It’s possible to take a day trip from the dive center here to the Dugong Watching Apollo Reef (3.5 hours each way)! The dive shop is very clean and the staff is friendly and courteous without being too loud. There is a partner resort next door, so you can enjoy a private beach.
1dive/1500 pesos (equipment not included)
Boat transfer fee /1900-4500 pesos per day (depending on the point)
Partner ResortsEl Rio Y Mar Resort
Hotel details here
Cashew Grove Beach Resort
See more about the hotel here
Hotel details here
Go dugong diving!
We couldn’t see dugongs on the first dive, but they usually guide us when we couldn’t find them.
We had a lot of dugongs on the second trip! There are about 20 dugongs on the island, and the one we saw this time was about 2.5 meters long and 200-300 kg in weight. You can also go snorkeling at the same time, so it’s a great way to take the kids on a trip!
House Reef is my recommended.
We also went to the sanctuary area, which took about an hour or so to get around, but it wasn’t great for me personally. If you’re going to a nearby sanctuary, you’ll want to go to Apollof.
The nearby area, Club Paradise Resort and House Reef, a dive shop, were very slow to dive, in part because there were so few divers. If you are a photography diver, the house reef is a good choice.
There are a lot of springer’s damsels and they are very beautiful. A school of horse mackerel in front of the shop and a big barracuda in front of Club Paradise!
It was a very relaxing guide, so I think you will be satisfied if you take pictures!
There are a lot of Barface cardinalfish under the boat wharf in front of the shop. You don’t need a tank, so take a peek!
Even though it was only daytime, a mandarinfish showed its face! They don’t seem to offer many night dives here, but if you get a chance, try to request a Mandarin dive.
Hotels to stay in North Coron
This time I stayed at RiverHouse because I thought it would be nice to have a hotel surrounded by fresh greenery instead of the beach.
The boat ride to the dive shop is a round trip (about 20 minutes one way) along the mangrove-lush river. It takes a lot of time to move around, but I recommend it if you have the time.
I want to go again!
Next, I’d like to see the Japan HAYABUSA airplane, which dives 40m deep. This time, we only went diving, so we completely skipped safari park and island hopping. This is the impression of a travel destination with lots of activities despite being a small island.
Even if you have children or elderly people, you will be able to relax in the resort stay. If you like a Puerto Galera vibe, I would recommend it over urban Cebu.
I experienced Apoleaf last year and Colon this year, so I’m aiming for Tubbataha Reef next season!
Useful tours for visiting Colon Island
See more articles in English
Find hotels in Busuanga and Colón
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