The Ultimate Palawan Paddle by Tribal Adventures is a sea kayak expedition like no other.
It is both a private and exclusive trip like the vast bulk of our expeditions, and a scheduled group trip running twice quarterly, with departure/arrival destinations and start/finish dates as follows:
Coron-El Nido Monday 18 April 2022 to Thursday 28 April 2022
El Nido-Coron Monday 2 May 2022 to Thursday 12 May 2022
Coron-El Nido Monday 18 July 2022 to Thursday 28 July 2022
El Nido-Coron Monday 1 August 2022 to Thursday 11 August 2022
Coron-El Nido Monday 17 October 2022 to Thursday 27 October 2022
El Nido-Coron Monday 31 October 2022 to Thursday 10 November 2022
Coron-El Nido Monday 16 January 2023 to Thursday 26 January 2023
El Nido-Coron Monday 30 January 2023 to Thursday 9 February 2023
Coron-El Nido Monday 17 April 2023 to Thursday 27 April 2023
El Nido-Coron Monday 24 April 2023 to Thursday 4 May 2023
Coron-El Nido Monday 17 July 2023 to Thursday 27 July 2023
El Nido-Coron Monday 31 July 2023 to Thursday 10 August 2023
Eleven days in length winding through an archipelago referred to as the “last frontier” by the late Jacques Cousteau, and using a large support boat—a motorized outrigger banca authorized to ply the waters between Coron and El Nido in far northern Palawan—guests can opt in and out of kayaking and snorkelling at whim. (And for a single person or a couple, there is the option for using a motorised sailing Admiral catamaran as a support boat AND an accommodation option at no extra charge: Details below)
Tribal Adventures invites sea lovers of all stripes, and with one paddle stroke at a time, to discover why an archipelago of around 200 islands, many of which we paddle between, and the most delightful of which we drop paddle on to beachcomb, snorkel off, or camp on, got the “last frontier” label.
No experience? No matter!
This trip comes with an expert guest guide and a large support boat following kayakers. And we all have 11 days in mind-blowing surroundings to perfect our paddling using Wilderness Systems North Star double sea kayaks and Tsunami single 175 & 165 sea kayaks, among others.
The expedition also has a sports therapist, who sets up shop in a tent at each night’s beach camp. She irons out the wrinkles of a day’s paddling, making bodies supple and prepped for another awesome day on the water. It’s a service that comes without extra charge, though a tip to the therapist at the end of your trip is most most welcome!
Snorkeling is a mainstay pursuit of paddlers. You get to experience a unique corner of the famed Coral Triangle of Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea — the most diverse marine environment on the planet! Snorkel and mask is supplied to each paddler, but not fins. We recommend you bring your own, or you can buy a pair in Coron and El Nido, as the case may be, upon arrival. Your Tribal Adventures’ guide can assist you ahead of setting off.
Something else unique about Tribal Adventures’ Palawan Paddle: Each kayak comes with a string hammock, called a duyan in Filipino. You’ll be surprised how useful the duyan can be: For a siesta strung beneath a limestone overhang, the cooling water slapping your body. It’s also great when you get to a beach and your hammock strung between two coconut palms captures the shade — a welcome respite from the midday sun.
Also on each trip, there’s a cook to feed you three hearty meals a day AND two meriendas — they’re snacks, mostly native. It’s not the Philippines without two tasty meriendas a day!
It’s also not a Tribal Adventures’ expedition without sundowners at evenings. What’s your poison? Coconut juice, rum and mango, San Miguel beer, wine? Tell us before we launch so we can board enough of your preferred beverage. On one memorable group expedition between Busuanga and El Nido, we had seasoned beer drinkers who asked us to board 100+ cases of San Miguel for a 13 day tour. We had to charter a second motorised outrigger banca just for the beer!
If you want to do this trip on your own or with a campanion to share a double cabin, you may get a free upgrade to a motorised sailing catamaran. It’s first come first served. But if on booking the Cat is available, you qualify! It’s great value and an awesome experience. And, yes, you can still intersperse staying on board with some nights in beach camps. Again, just give us a heads-up as to what you want. Contact Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on the catamaran option.
Our beach camps feature 3-4 person tents for couples and 2-3 person tents for singles. Hotel linen top and bottom sheets are made up on thermarest-type camp mattresses with a camp pillow with pillow slip supplied. There is a change of linen mid-trip. A bath towel and beach towel is also supplied. On beaches with no bathroom, a bathroom tent is erected with a porta-loo. Showers are taken via solar bags showers, absent any modesty, usually suspended from a tree branch.
The Ultimate Palawan Paddle is very much a tailored expedition. Though we have recommended itineraries, we’ll adjust them depending upon the season, and your interests and skills.
Average distance paddled daily is 19 kilometres, with a similar distance travelled in the support boat. However, the full distance between Coron and El Nido or vice versa using a rather circuitious route can be kayaked, but it’s a strenuous workout, particularly from December to February when the strong ‘amihan’ easterly is blowing, whipping up 1+ metre waves with whitecaps on the crossing between Culion and Linapacan, and between Linapacan and El Nido.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Coron Town|
|DEPARTURE TIME||8:30 AM|
10 nights of tropical beach camping
If your trip is timed between April and November, when the easterly amihan does NOT prevail, Tribal Adventures efforts to provide you a rare paddle of the east coast of Coron Island, entering into the inner sanctums of the traditional Tagbanua tribe, the first tribe in the world to get ownership of the seas as well as their native land. We’ll enter the “Secret Lagoon” and caves, and kayak miles of undercuts, above which tower the renowned limestone cliffs where the Tagbanua eke out a living collecting birds’ nests for the Chinese soup of the same name.
- Supported by a large traditional motorised banca you will start your paddle part-circumnavigating Coron Island.
- Crossing to Culion you will meander between many idyllic palm-fringed and sand-ringed islands.
- Magical Linapacan then beckons, with deserted islands that will take your breath away.
- Then it’s the northern tip of Palawan Island proper, with, again, gorgeous beaches, till we arrive in Bacuit Bay with its beautiful limestone outcrops and pretty lagoons, ahead of doing a celebratory paddle into El Nido.
Pick up from Busuanga Airport for 30 minute drive to Coron town, boarding expedition boat after a walk around town, purchasing an extras you feel you need for your 11-day expedition sea safari and paddle. Lunch on board. Kayaking starts from Kayangan Lake if we paddle anti-clockwise around Coron, or clockwise if we paddle from Twin Lagoon. Clockwise camp will be beach before Cabugao, a 3-hour paddle away. Anti-clockwise paddle will be a beach down the west coast, a 3-4 hour paddle away.
Inclusions: Airport transfers, lunch, dinner & camp on Coron Island coast.
If clockwise. After breakfast, break camp and paddle into Cabugao, paying respects to village elders. Kayaking out, we search for an elusive hot spring and see Tagbanua fishing, growing seaweed and collecting birds’ nests. We might see them scampering up precarious bamboo ladders/scaffolding. Respite comes when we enter a secret lagoon, so sacred the Tagbanua speak a separate dialect there. As we don’t know it we stay silent and gasp at the sight of a species of rare slipper orchid on the walls of the lagoon. Paddling on into another lagoon, we find a narrow beach backing on to a limestone wall with lots of holes to secure our siesta hammocks to. We challenge all paddlers to better a sleep in this divine spot! With luck you’ll wake with a cuppa tea or coffee before heading on to a campsite for the night near Calis Point, the southern tip of Coron Island. B,L,D.
If anti-clockwise, we continue to paddle the west side of Coron Island, visiting the lagoons near the tip, and camp either side of Calis Point, in or near one of its wondrous lagoons. B, L, D
After breaking camp and breakfast, we paddle across to the nearest island, a 1.5 hour paddle. Then we lazily explore the coast line of Bulalakao for a couple of hours, stopping for snorkeling, lunch. In the afternoon we paddle 1.5 hours across to our campsite for the night—windswept its sandbar has the vantage point of sunrise AND sunset. B, L, D
After breakfast and breaking camp those who wish to paddle will kayak down the coast of Culion to Dicabaito. Others may wish to hitch on the boat to Culion where we dock and re-provision. Join a walking tour of the town, once the largest leper colony in the world. Depart after lunch by kayak through a mangrove channel, being picked up the other side. Rejoin the boat and cruise down the Culion coast to the other kayakers. Camp on a beach off a drowned Caldera. B, L, D
If weather conditions and kayaker inclinations permit we paddle across to Binalabang Island, a crossing that may take up to 3 hours. Otherwise paddlers can opt to hitch. Camp on Binalabang Island or a beach at a nearby island. B, L, D
After breakfast and breaking camp we paddle between islands to Linapacan Island, snorkeling at whim, and ultimately finding an ideal campsite for the night. Might be Inakang Island. Might be another. The boat visits a fishing village to get water and ice today or tomorrow. B, L, D
After breakfast we wend our way between picture perfect tropical islands, dropping paddle at whim to swim, laze on beaches with a young coconut to sip, or snorkel exquisite reefs. Eventually we find an ideal island for the night close to the windswept channel separating the Linapacan chain from mainland Palawan. B, L, D
We launch our kayaks for a 3 hour paddle across to Dipnay, on the far north coast of Palawan. Boat follows, so paddlers may hitch if they wish. At Dipnay we resupply and decide if conditions allow us to press on with paddling to El Nido. Alternatively, we can go by road to El Nido, or if the captain allows, we may be able to take the boat there or we can paddle the other side of the coast towards Taytay. We camp along the coast out of Dipnay. B, L, D
After breaking camp, we kayak towards our destination, hugging the coast and exploring its environs, finding a campsite towards the end of the day. B, L, D
After breakfast and breaking camp we paddle on towards our destination, camping on a beach or on the boat, in an area within striking distance of El Nido/Taytay. B, L, D
Explore Bacuit Bay. Arrive El Nido. Or Explore Taytay and environs.
|COST PER PERSON|
|8-10 PERSONS||PHP 86,858|
|7 PERSONS||PHP 93,900|
|6 PERSONS||PHP 104,335|
|5 PERSONS||PHP 121,744|
|4 PERSONS||PHP 142,058|
|3 PERSONS||PHP 165,263|
|2 PERSONS||PHP 192,563|