"Hidden beaches and coves, private lakes and emerald lagoons, fresh native cuisine and rustic and comfortable cabins, cottages and camping are Big Dream Boatman's signature experiences. Travel with them and you'll get to know the region's hidden gems" - Lonely Planet
1. About the Expedition
A maximum of 18 travellers join the BDBM banka boat and the passionate crew to make the adventure crossing exploring the remote islands of Palawan.
This is a chance to truly embrace island life, make genuine friendships with both locals and travellers, explore at your leisure, without the feeling of being a tourist.
Eat fresh food and hang out with the crew and fellow guests. Take the trip at your own pace... There will be activities like skimboarding, basketball and beach volleyball for those more active, or if you just want to chill, read a book, take a walk, the choice is yours.
Come sunset you'll be stopping each night on an island to watch sunset, share stories and sleep with the stars. There might be karaoke, boodle fights, bonfires.
This trip is a bit more intense than Coron Island Life (Coron to Coron) as we have further to travel so its ideal for those who are a bit more adventurous or those who may have less time in Palawan and want to maximise each day.
2. Where do we sleep?
Every night around sunset we arrive on a beautiful island where you will either sleep in a native cottage built into the sand, or camp underneath the stars. All accommodations are provided and included.
3. Who is it for?
This trip is ideal for those with an adventurous spirit and an open mind. People who are looking for real experiences when they travel and to meet like minded people. While there is no upper age limit we request you to be at least 14 years of age and physically healthy.
4. Why travel with Big Dream Boatman?
We take feedback from every guest and we implement the changes that get requested and so, over time, our trip has been crafted and moulded by the people it's meant to serve.
That's why we don't have too many people on board the boat, we learned that it messes with the social dynamics. That's also why we don't charge for anything during the trip and try to include everything (including limited alcohol) into our fee.
Perhaps this is why we continue to rank as number 1 on Trip Advisor and continue to be the go-to expedition for the biggest names in travel but also, there's something else.
It's hard to put this in to words but the clue really is in our name. Have you ever been around people who are so full of passion for what they do you find that it's infectious?
That's probably what makes us most special. Our people. The family, you become a part of the second you step on the boat. As beautiful as Palawan is, and believe us when we say it's beautiful, we believe the best memories come from sharing it with great people.
And lastly, because we guarantee satisfaction. If you don't enjoy your trip, for whatever reason, then we will give you your money back.
5. When is good to go & itinerary?
We run our expeditions from mid-October until July and expect all expeditions to run during these times. The best chance of perfect weather is January-April.
We don't operate in July-September due to monsoon season. There is no set itinerary for these trips as our experience shows it is better to leave it open, however if you have specific questions about destinations you can contact us.
We can tell you that we will likely visit a couple of the Coron Highlights including Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon, however we primarily avoid the others in Coron and El Nido, so if you wish to see these we advise arranging a day trip once you get either side, as we do focus on more of the remote, unexplored and beautiful sights on the route.
On the final day, we usually transfer to a smaller lagoon boat in order to visit some of the Coron highlights which are harder to access in the larger boat.
6. Prices, Payment & Inclusions
The price for this expedition is USUALLY $599 USD. We are currently running an Earlybird promo of only $498 USD for next seasons trips.
1/3 of the payment is required as an online deposit and the rest paid upon arrival.
The payment includes meals, drinks (including alcohol), towels, masks/snorkel, and 3 nights island style accommodations (cottages and camping).
We send you an expedition preparation document with more info and tips of what to bring etc.
Because the islands we visit are remote they do not have features such as hot running water or advanced sewage.
The cottages are very simple, bamboo built with a simple mattress, mosquito net and fan. Some of them have multiple beds in so if you are a group of friends or solo travellers it's posisble you will share if the trip is full (only happens during peak season.)
For shower and toilet there is fresh water and manual flush, again very simple but always clean and safe.
There is no air conditioning or deluxe bedding. All of the accommodations are built into the sand, you wake up to the sounds of the sea and there is very little electricity on the islands that the sky is full of stars.
The islands do have enough electricity to charge your phones, most of the time (although there can be power outages).
For the camping aspect of the trip, we provide the tents, small mattress, pillow and set up. Again these will be put in the sand, next to the ocean.
We have been running these expeditions for a couple of years now and have all sorts of guests come and experience, generally, people love the natural and simple aspect of the sleeping arrangements it's well worth the compromise on comfort for the overall experience but it is important to set your expectation and for you to decide if you can 'rough it' for a few days.
8. The Boat
In 2019 Krish, the Big Dream Boatman himself, was able to commission the building of two boats for this new expedition. We wanted to build the most comfortable and the safest banka boats Palawan had ever seen. And we did! With more than enough space on the upper and lower deck to chill and sunbathe, cushioned seating and nets on the side, plus a toilet, the boat has everything we need to make the crossing! Adventure doesn't have to be uncomfortable. Swipe for pictures!
9. Additional Information
The trip starts at 10am on the first day and finishes at 4pm on the fourth day. When you book we send you more info around the meeting point, your dietary requirements, special requests etc. If you have any questions or require additional information please don't hesitate to contact us.
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