Coron is filled with amazing locations, both underwater and above, featuring sunken Japanese World War II wrecks, coral reefs and unique tropical islands that would qualify as paradise on earth, according to most people’s standards.
Malacapuya certainly fits that description, but this tiny gem of an island is often times overlooked because of its jaw-dropping island neighbors. One could even go as far as saying that Malacapuya Island is an underrated destination in Coron.
The highlight is no surprise: the beach!
The highlight that most travelers and bloggers will talk about is the beach. Blessed with soft, white sand along a shore lined with coconut palms; this beach is mostly free from rocks and coral. These natural coral-free conditions make the swimming opportunities fantastic here on Malacapuya.
Swimmers wearing a mask or shooting with a GoPro will enjoy remarkable underwater visibility on a sunny day. Kayaking is also a popular activity in the crystal clear waters just off shore, but like all other destinations in Coron they are not available to rent locally, so make sure to ask your tour company about kayak access if you plan on paddling.
On the interior of the beach there are a number of native Filipino style huts available for rent, providing shade and tables for groups to have lunch, or snacks. Make sure to keep your valuables attended to or they make be subject to … chickens!
What makes Malacapuya stand out from the rest?
Because this island is inhabited, there is a much livelier vibe here on Malacapuya. The chickens mentioned above, are not actually a threat. In fact, your trash may be more of a threat to them, so make sure to dispose of it promptly and properly.
Children play on the sand basketball courts, and are eager to welcome guests to join them. The island’s vendors are quick to make friendly chat with visitors as they politely offer to sell drinks and snacks. The very center of the island has recently been (2018) cleared, assumingly to add some primitive accommodations or perhaps even a future resort.
Currently, there is only one permanent structure on the island in the form of a large guesthouse, but no information is readily available on how to rent it.
Exploring on foot
The parked tour boats typically gather on the smaller, more crowded beaches areas that are much more condensed with rocks and coral, freeing up the "best" beach areas for tourists' water activities. Decent snorkeling is almost nonexistent because of this, but there are some (very) short hikes that will allow tourists of all abilities to explore and enjoy this island while on foot.
A small mound… we can not even call it a hill or a mountain… is a one minute hike and an easy 1-2 story climb to the top via some well-made makeshift stairs. Do not let the simplicity of this hike fool you. The views of the beach from the top are quite rewarding. Behind will be one of the small beaches where the tour boats typically dock, and the more adventurous explorers can scramble the rocks along the water and get some isolated shots from here as well.
All this makes Malacapuya Island a fantastic destination for all sorts of tourists, and offers a wide array of activities, even overnight stays! It is difficult to overlook this place because it is included in the Island Escapades Tour, but even though it is not as photogenic as some of its neighbors, Malacapuya Island will be a memorable stop while island-hopping in Coron.