The Philippines exudes a multitude of connections with the culture and the Filipino language, a living trace of its historical past. In a way, that makes us feel a little at home, but, at the same time, the Philippines offers us that exotic, tropical and different air that we often look for in trips.
With more than 7100 islands and an area of 300,000 square kilometers, devising a travel itinerary through the Philippines is not an easy task. Its particular geography limits the options for moving from one point to another in the country. Specifically, the ship and the airplane, not always available, will be the star transport means to travel this corner of the world.This directly affects, and to a large extent, the timing and planning. Therefore, when preparing a travel itinerary through the Philippines, it will be very important to prioritize and organize the places of our interest appropriately. Otherwise, we will spend most of the time moving from one island to another.
But MacroTraveller did not face these issues, thanks to Philippines Tourism Board.
For me, the travel itinerary through the Philippines that I chose fulfilled my expectations: I loved the places I visited, I enjoyed, I immersed myself in many nooks and crannies of Filipino life, and it left me wanting to continue discovering the country in the future. I promise I will come back once again.
Next, you can find the travel itinerary. I hope you find it useful as a guide to planning your trip to the Philippines.
Travel itinerary for the Philippines
Total duration of the Trip: 7 days (Boracay, El Nido – Palawan, and Metro Manila)
Airlines: Cebu Pacific and its low version cost, Cebgo, both for domestic and international flights.
The currency of the country: Philippine Peso (PHP).
Dates of the trip: 10 December – 16 December 2017
Itinerary Day 1
Arrival in Manila from Singapore! Afternoon in Manila, transferred to NAIA Terminal to fly early on the same day to Caticlan Boracay. Yeah, Flight to Caticlan and boat to Boracay.
Then we arrived at Boracay. We traveled via Land and Sea to reach The Lind Boracay. We stayed at The Lind Boracay. I was bit tired. Check-In was swift, and I freshened up for dinner at the hotel. This hotel is like a small paradise in Boracay. Hotel is located on a lovely beach. It is one of the best beaches in the world: white sand, water is shallow and hot. So, no activities on day 1, we stayed and enjoyed the day in Lind Boracay.
Starting the day with Breakfast at Hotel was beautiful. Food is excellent especially breakfast! Choices are superb, and everything just melts in your mouth.
Time for some Serious Activities!
We were all picked up at Hotel for 3 Hours Island Hopping and Swimming w/ Snorkeling Gear. We hopped on Bangka – a traditional Filipino boat moved directly on the shore and took off to explore the island.
Helmet Diving– I spent a blissful rendezvous underwater with vibrant fishes and corals through helmet diving. After a brief introduction about Helmet Diving, the much-anticipated aquatic immersion takes place. The ten-minute long helmet dive will urge you to breathe through the underwater world. We will also get a firsthand look at these marine marvels as you feed them with pinches of bread. Amazing experience indeed!
Parasailing– 15 minutes parasailing ride on White Beach, Boracay and enjoy one of the best views of the island. This is a fun and exhilarating experience for those who love heights and want a birds-eye-view of the whole island. I never regret that I tried parasailing activity.
PS: Hope next time they extend the time; because it’s so much fun, and 15 mins not enough. 😉
Yellow Submarine– Boracay’s latest attraction, the Boracay Submarine, steers you down to the sea floor to view Boracay’s marine life without getting wet.
We had Lunch at Restaurant. Delicious food, we ordered pesto pasta and tomatoes, pizza and salad.
MacroTraveller Recommends taking the submarine ride at Boracay islands where you can dive up to 20 meters below and see the scuba divers perform for you on the seabed.
Back to Hotel and freshened up. Later had Dinner at Hotel Restaurant.
We had breakfast at Hotel. Their breakfast buffet is an array of International cuisine. Though I’m a vegetarian, I did not find it difficult to choose what food to eat — indeed an assortment of healthy stuff.
Inspection of Lind Hotel– The staff is amiable and accommodating. Before lunch, we all had an ocular inspection of almost the whole property which was very kindly supervised. The resort is beautiful and the view breath-taking! After hotel inspection, we all went to early lunch.
After lunch, we checked out Lind Resort, and we were transferred to Caticlan Airport. We took domestic flight and we headed to El Nido. El Nido is one of the most visited places in the Philippines, where we can find idyllic beaches, paradisiacal corners, and incredible landscapes.Upon arrival at Lio airport in El Nido, we were welcomed by the resort’s airport representative, and we were guided to the Terminal Exit. There was a 10 to 15-minute club car ride to the El Nido’s Lagen Island Resort followed by a 50-minute boat ride to Lagen Island.
We were welcomed grandly by resort’s staff. Then later briefed about environment and retreat. Lagen Island is recognized as an Eco Sanctuary resort, and it offers enriching encounters around the resort. Right after the briefing, we all checked in Lagen Resort. Upon check-in, we scheduled their massage at the reception area.
We had Dinner at Clubhouse. Dinner was offered in 2 set-ups, either buffet or A la Carte. The dinner buffet offered lots of varieties including fresh catches of the day. It’s a full board meal where they will customise food as per our requirement. They were very sincere in making sure our needs were met.
Early morning delight – We took Guided Sunrise Hike through the Foothills of the Rockies to see the sunrise. It was amazing! Breakfast at the Lagen Island Resort. The breakfast was a combination of Pilipino and Western with a cook preparing pancakes, waffles, and omelets.
Time for El Nido Lagoon Tours– Explore breathtaking lagoons and unspoiled beaches with the El Nido Island Hopping.
Snorkeling– In El Nido, one of the activities is of course snorkeling or swimming with a mask, snorkel, and fins. When snorkeling, make sure that you are not stepping on the corals so as not to destroy them. An underwater camera would be perfect for this activity.
Kayaking– Nature lovers will truly enjoy a day of kayaking the calm waters and lagoons of Bacuit Bay in El Nido. El Nido has some of the most transparent water and most incredible marine life anywhere in the world.
Jump off to Miniloc Island– I swam with colossal Jackfish as well as accompanying a puffer fish around and finding giant clams and a million other colorful fish. I didn’t want ever to leave this magical underwater world. The feeding of the Jackfish should not be missed. We can swim with the 1.5-meter jackfish and get up close and personal with a variety of aquatic species at its house reef.
The Miniloc Island is a great place for families, the youngsters or in fact anyone who wants to feel an exotic location with great diving. Before heading to water activities, we can take Ocular at Miniloc Island.
Later we all headed to Jump off to Dibuluan Beach Club. The beach clubs serve lunch and are usually the jump-off point for the afternoon activities. Dibuluan Beach Club has the broader and longer beach, with snorkeling areas offshore.
Before heading to Island Hopping Tours, we had lunch at Dibuluan Beach Club. It was fantastic food with a lot of vegan varieties.
Combine caves and coves on this El Nido Island hopping! Peer into Cathedral Cave and Cudugnon Cave. Swim along the sandbar of Snake Island. On this island hopping, we visited some of El Nido’s pure white shores located in Bacuit Bay, plus some fascinating caves that may have been settled thousands of years ago!
Head back to the hotel after entertaining day. Had Dinner at Lagen Island Clubhouse and Chef created a special exquisite delectable dinner where we dined overlooking the bay.
Had breakfast at the Lagen Island Resort and we enjoyed the buffet breakfast along with an a la carte menu full of local delights. After having breakfast, we checked out at Lagen Island Resort. We moved to El Nido town via Boat.
El Nido Town Ocular– Walk from El Nido port to El Nido Resorts Central Office. It was an entirely pleasant experience.
After a walk around El Nido Town, we arrived at El Nido Central Office. We had to move to Casa Kalaw, and the van was waiting outside of the office. Casa Kalaw is located a few moments from El Nido town proper where most of the restaurants and shops are located. We had lunch at one the restaurants in Casa Kalaw.
We took a spectacular e-jeepney ride to the Lio Airport, where our luggage directly went to the airport c/o Lagen resort.
We all took a domestic flight to Manila. After 1 hour of the journey, we arrived in Manila. Transfer to Hyatt City of Dreams for Check-in. The Hyatt City of Dreams is an excellent hotel and in keeping with the high standards of the Hyatt group.
We took rest and freshened up. Our stay was pleasant and check in was great with an early check into the room. Wifi was excellent, and the bed was just the right softness.
Dinner at SM Mall of Asia with shopping. Exceptional shopping mall! You can find everything here, clothes, accessories, etc. The fact that there are entirely a lot of restaurants here makes it almost impossible to choose where you want to eat! Because they have various shopping stores, restaurants, fast food strings, food kiosks, mini amusement park, a bar at the seashore and many more. A safe place to have a good shopping spree! After pleasant shopping experience at SM Mall, we headed back to the hotel.
Breakfast at Hotel – The breakfast buffet morning started the day off nicely, and I don’t think I will see special buffet like that again. They had an extensive breakfast buffet with everything you could ever dream of for breakfast.
We were picked up for Binondo Tour. A cultural walking and food tour of Binondo was perfect. I enjoyed every minute in Binondo. Visiting the world’s oldest Chinatown, Binondo and exploring the history and culture of Manila through taste. Binondo is unique in its stature as a rich historical and cultural area that is intimately twisted with Chinese influence.
We had Local Lunch at Restaurant. From Dong Bei’s pork, Po Heng’s Fresh Lumpia, Kuchay dumplings and Fish Maki to Wai Ying’s Milk tea. True food adventure without spending a lot of money!
We continued the tour, and we headed to Lucky Chinatown. A contemporary shopping mall in the busy street of the Metro! It’s an exciting mall with lanterns display. The mall has everything, shops trading anything you could imagine. Krispy Kreme, Goldilocks, coffee chains, eateries, supermarket, Mcdonalds, bakery shops, etc. worth a visit here.
Later headed back to Hyatt hotel and freshened up. We were picked up for the Amazing Show. It was fascinating to see the costumes and traditional dances. The production value was excellent, with good lighting and choreography. All the numbers were lip-synched, and the musical selections were from around the world and Asia specifically, including traditional Filippo music, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese music. The show lasted about an hour. There were parts of the show that was quite funny and others that were beautiful.
After Amazing Show, we headed to R.I.C.H MOA for Indian Dinner. Royal Indian Curry House is highly authentic with the ambiance of a mid-end Indian restaurant. The place was packed with Indians, so we were excited about the food. Tasty food, excellent service, friendly atmosphere. We enjoyed our meal here. Would recommend to a friend and time to head back to Hyatt hotel. We have had an outstanding day and enjoyed overnight in hotel.
Breakfast at Hyatt hotel before checking out! Buffet Breakfast is at The Cafe, which is one of the better buffet breakfast I’ve had in any hotel. The breakfast buffet spread was delicious, and breakfast lounge had a great view of the city.
Checked out and transferred to Terminal 1. Time to fly back to India.