Here we goooo!!! It’s time for my first group trip to South East Asia, and we’ll be going to a place particularly dear to me. That’s right. I’m going back to my home country and taking a group of y’all with me to immerse ourselves in the sunshine and karaoke culture of the Philippines. Grab your passport and tsinelas and let’s go on an island-hopping adventure.
Dates: May 19th – May 28th, 2023
Starting Point: Manila (Pickup included at Ninoy Aquino International Airport)
Ending Point: Coron
Where Are We Going!?
The Philippines consists of 7,641 islands. Try as we might, we won’t get to all of them, but not for lack of trying! Here’s a sneak preview of our island hopping adventure, including bucket list destinations like Palawan and Coron.
Day 1: HELLO MANILA!
Kumusta! And welcome to the Philippines. We are diving straight into the chaos of the capital city, one of the largest metropolises in the world. Even as a Filipino, I’ll admit that the mayhem of Metro Manila can be overwhelming. Never fear, you are not alone. We’ll pick you up from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) and take you to our haven from the madness in the lively district of Makati. Settle in, get some rest after a long flight, and meet your new travel buddies for the next ten days and beyond.
Once you’re ready to roll, we’ll all go out for our first dinner together and go dancing in one of South East Asia’s most sizzling nightlife capitals.
Day 2: To the islands!
Hopefully you’re not too hungover because today, we fly to Puerto Princesa on the paradise island of Palawan! From Puerto Princesa, we continue our journey to Port Barton, stopping to have lunch with a local family and feast on local food. We’ll check in to our beachfront hotel in Port Barton, having a few sunset beers before all going out to dinner.
Day 3: Island hopping in Port Barton
We set sail on a traditional Filipino bangka to the beautiful islands and beaches around Port Barton. Keep an eye out for sea turtles as we dive into sparkling turquoise waters. We’ll make a stop for lunch and kick back in one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. We’ll sail back to Port Barton for dinner before throwing back some drinks and bar-hopping.
Day 4: We’re Going to El Nido!
El Nido might be the most beautiful place in the Philippines. You didn’t think we were going to skip it, were you? We’ll work our way to El Nido, arriving in the early afternoon. We’ll check into our beachside bungalows and catch sunset at one of the world’s most beautiful sunset spots. After dinner, we’ll hit up some bars and clubs and party Filipino-style.
Day 5: Island Hopping in Magical El Nido
Once you go island-hopping in El Nido, nowhere else will compare. We set sail for hidden beaches and marvelous lagoons, with the option to hop on kayaks or go snorkeling. No words can describe today, so I won’t even bother. Come and see for yourself.
Day 6: Nacpan Beach, Canopy Walk, and Castaway Experience
We start the day with a Canopy Walk straight out of Mission Impossible before moving on down to Nacpan Beach. Here, you’ll find one of the most pristine beaches in the Philippines, lined with golden sand and lush palm trees. Finally, we head over for our own private island getaway, a unique experience you’ll only find on this trip.
Day 7: Daracotan Island
This small island that we call home for a couple of days only has 88 full-time residents. It’s an authentic local experience and we’ll get the grand tour from one of the locals. We’ll hear fascinating tales of Filipino heritage as they cook an authentic local meal for us before we feast Filipino style.
Day 8: Catch the Ferry to Coron
No trip to the Philippines is complete without a visit to Coron. We hop on the ferry after a chill, laid-back last morning on our private island. Tonight’s the night to party, so get ready for some San Miguels and Red Horses.
Day 9: Coron Boat Trip!
It’s our last full day together, so we’ve gotta make it count. What better way to cap off the trip than with a cruise through Coron Bay and snorkeling amidst Coron’s mind-boggling underwater mountains?! We’ll do some island-hopping, diving into the sea and relaxing on those perfect sandy beaches along the way. We’ll rinse the sand off our bodies before heading out for one last dinner together, and undoubtedly, a few shots of Tanduay.
Day 10: Chilled Check Out and Goodbyes
Unfortunately, this is where our journey officially ends. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to the Philippines just yet, we’re here to help with onward travel and anything else you may need. Keep in mind that you’ll be responsible for your own travel from here on out, including any flights back to Manila or elsewhere, but if you need any advice or tips, we got you.
I’m In! How Much Do I Owe Ya?!
The cost of this trip is 1150 GBP, or $1465 USD. There is a $280 deposit required to secure your spot on the trip.
What Do I Get For My Money?
Don’t worry! We’ve made sure you’ll get the most bang for your buck. From the domestic flight to Palawan, to all our island hopping adventures and swanky hotels, we’ve got everything taken care of. You’ll just have to pay for some of your meals and the drinks we’ll be downing along the way.
All Accommodation (Twin-Share or Private Accommodation)
From open-air beach bungalows to cushy hotels, we’ll be staying in all types of accommodation. Here’s a small gallery with some examples of where we’ll be staying.
If you are arriving before the trip’s official start date and we can book accommodation for you at the hotel for ~$60 USD.
Keep in mind that the Philippines is still a developing country. While Manila is a modern city, once we get to the islands, we might have to get used to chilly showers and weak Wi-Fi. We’ve made sure to book the best accommodation in town to make sure you get a good night’s rest in between the sunshine and swim seshes.
Aside from your international flights to Manila and from Coron, you won’t have to lift a finger when it comes to getting around. We’ll cover the domestic flight from Manila to Palawan with a 20kg checked bag included. Once we get to the islands, we’ll be on all types of transportation, from our air-conditioned minibuses to ferries, to the traditional Filipino bangka boats.
The return flight to Manila or elsewhere once the trip concludes is not included. The closest airport to where we finish the trip is Coron Airport, where you can easily catch daily flights to Manila or Cebu for international flights. Domestic flights from Coron to Manila or Cebu hover around $40-50 USD if booked in advance.
Most days include breakfast and lunch, but most dinners you’ll have to cover yourself. Don’t worry. Food in the Philippines is tasty and affordable. In total, 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 2 dinners are included.
Island hopping, snorkeling, beach barbecues and bonfires, we’ll be doing it all.
Is This The Right Trip For Me?
If you’re fun, easy-going, and looking for a unique adventure, this is for you. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a beginner backpacker looking to dip your toes in international travel, this trip is perfect. I’ve made sure to include a good mix of local experiences with finer comforts. The Philippines can be chaotic and everything here runs on island time. A positive attitude and willingness to go with the flow is a must for this adventure.
We’ve got everything taken care of so you just show up, have a good time, and leave with a dozen new lifelong friends and travel buddies.
Okay, I’m Sold. How Do I Sign Up!?
Ready to apply!? Type your name, email, and introduce yourself below! I’m looking for fun, open-minded, easy-going but adventurous travelers. No travel experience is necessary.