Bunso boat ride review: El Nido to Coron
Most people who visit Palawan go to El Nido. Why not? It’s beautiful! But I found Coron to be more charismatic and far less commercialized. Lucky for you, Coron is just a boat ride away!
To get to Coron, you can do one of three things: Take a 15 hour overnight ship ride from Manila with 2GO Travel, a six hour slow boat ride from El Nido with Bunso, or a three hour fast boat ride also from El Nido. This review is for the six hour slow boat ride.
We were scheduled to leave at 8:30am, and advised to be checked in at the port 30 minutes before scheduled departure. Of course, all of this was on filipino time and we didn’t leave the dock until just after 9:30am. Be sure to bring a government issued ID/passport and the credit card you used to buy the ticket.
I booked my ticket online thru Biyaheros.com for $28.02. The ticket itself was $24 with a $2.40 service charge and $1.62 processing fee. I found that almost all passengers booked their ticket at any of the tour desks around El Nido for $24 flat (no fees). And for the fast boat, it’s almost $40 and takes half the time to get there. As a backpacker, ever dollar counts. That extra $10-12 could go towards one (sometimes even two!) nights at a hostel. Pick and choose.
The boat was much smaller than I imagined it to be. For a six hour boat ride, this was going to be interesting. It wasn’t raining so we made use of both upstairs, downstairs, and both sides of the boat for ample leg room and personal space.
Luckily, we had great weather. I have read horror stories online about the “boat ride from hell”. I can totally see how it could go from smooth to rough with questionable weather conditions. The ride was semi close to land but also semi open water so you can imagine how rough it could be. Any slight rain and wind could make for 6-8 hours of death. Although I have also read reviews of the ride lasting upward of 10 hours due to weather! If the weather is bad, they will usually call the trip off. And its for a good thing! Just wait it out for better conditions.
About halfway in we were fed a small plate. At first, I thought it was just veggies and rice but about three spoonfuls in I found two tiny little pieces of pork lol! Don’t expect much food, you should definitely eat breakfast before boarding. Or at least pack some snacks bc there is nowhere to buy food until you arrive in Coron. Luckily, there is a bathroom! YES!
We arrived at the Port in Coron around 3:30pm. Overall, it was a very smooth ride this day (thank the lord!); I’d recommend to take Bunso boat for your Coron transportation. Total of six hours from El Nido to Coron. Once you get to Coron, take a tricycle ride to your accommodation and try not to pay any more than 50 pesos. The first guy said 100 pesos (to drive me five minutes). I got him down 70 pesos. But when I asked the front desk at K-height’s Inn how much I should have paid for a ride from the port they said it shouldn’t have been more than 15 pesos. I was bamboozled! Damn American accent. Oh well, learn for next time. But hopefully my bamboozle is your treasure and helps you weigh out how much you should be paying. Enjoy Coron!