Tips & itinerary in Philippines

Philippines itinerary and tips

As we traveled one month in the Philippines I’ve gathered here all the useful information and the itinerary we followed. How to go and what to do in Boracay, Bohol (and Panglao), Siquijor, Palawan and Coron islands! You can also check the summary of the 4 Island Hopping tours we did.


To get useful information about how to get to each location, please click on the step and its details in this map:

Trip map created with Wanderlog, a trip planner on iOS and Android

Note: we always booked last minute flights (on the websites of CebuPacific and Philippines airlines), so we didn’t get very good prices (total 220€ per person, 4 flights):

  • Manila – Caticlan/Boracay (Godofredo P Ramos airport): 38€ each
  • Caticlan – Cebu: 34€ each
  • Cebu – Puerto Princesa: 65€ each
  • Coron/Busuanga (Francisco B Reyes airport) – Manila: 84€ each

We left one of our bag in Manila’s airport (locker service in Terminal 3) to not pay check in luggage – 120€ the whole month.

Tip for your trip: use Bookaway to book your ticket or to check the timetable of your bus, ferry, or plane !


What to do in Boracay?

Arrived from Tokyo to Manila, we took directly a flight to Caticlan airport on Panay island to start with Boracay! After almost 24h traveling, we took the easy way to go to our hotel: the transfer from the airport (see details on the map).

Sadly we arrived right for the beggining of a typhoon, so the first 2 nights we stayed in our hotel, only seeing quickly Ilig Iligan beach (nice and quiet) nearby, then we moved to the center, near the D Mall.

We’ve been stuck in our hotel 24h because of the storm. After that we had few hours with no rain to visit station 1 and station 2 and the Bulabog beach.

  • The station 1 is full of restaurants and tourists, with a narrow beach.
  • The station 2 one is more quiet and large.
  • Bulabog beach is full of boats but less clouded!
To sleep in Boracay: Oasis resort and spa, far from everything but only 1318pesos with massage included!

What to do on Bohol?

After a flight, 2 buses, a ferry and a van and a tricicle trip (see the detail on the map), we arrived in Batuan. First day we rented a scooter to do a nice loop from Batuan to Loboc, visiting Pangas waterfalls, a Tarsier conservation center, having lunch at the Nuts&Hutz lost restaurant. We followed the coastal road until Tubod passing very nice rice fields, to finally see the sunset on the Chocolate Hills.

On the second day our host “invited” us for a small trekking on a hill and wild waterfalls. The he took us to the bus station to go to Panglao island.

– To sleep in Batuan: Lhoyjean Garden hotel 500pesos/night
Trekking: 300pesos for 2 people + 200 for a half day motorbike rental
Pangas waterfall: 30pesos
Tarsier center: 100pesos
Motorbike rental: 400 pesos + gazoline: 200pesos

Panglao / Bohol island hopping tour

We chose to stay in an hotel far from everything in Bingag. I get sick so we didn’t do much more than chilling in the hotel with swimming pool!

Once I get better we rented a scooter to go to Tagbalaran and book our ferry tickets to Siquijor. Last day we joined a hopping island tour (nice but too many boats and tourists).

The general offer of island hopping is 1500pesos for a group tour (or private boat for 2 from 2000 to 3000pesos).
Not included:
+300 entrance fee on Balicasag island (only 100 if you don’t do snorkeling) with a guide, turtle watching and fish sanctuary
+100 naked island entrance
+150 for the mask
+100 for the general environmental fee
So: 1650pesos per person
=> We paid 900 per person a group tour all included with negociation via Facebook!

To sleep on Panglao: Blue Moon (800 pesos per night)
Motorbike rental: 500 pesos for 24h + gazoline: 200 pesos
Parking fee on Alona beach: 20 pesos
Tuktuk to the ferry: 150 pesos for 2 people
– Island hopping: see the details

What to do on Siquijor?

Nearby the ferry arrival, we rented a scooter for 3 days and we first chose an hotel far from everything: La Villa Alta. If you have a better budget I advise you to choose San Juan area where you can enjoy the sunset and a lot of restaurants.

You can easily pass one week there, as we did, but the minimum I guess would be 2 days:

  • One day to visit the waterfalls (Cambugahay with the funny rope, or Lagaan but with a guide) and the nice points of view in the center of the island.
  • The second one doing snorkeling on Tubod beach and enjoying the beach on the same spot, or Solangon Beach full of restaurants (like Coral Cay Resort), or Paliton Beach, more quiet.
– To sleep on Siquijor: Villa Alta (684 pesos a cottage) or Royal Cliff (850)
Cambugahay Falls: 20 access + 10 parking + 50 if you want to use the rope
Lagan Waterfall: 50 access, 10 parking + tips to the guide
Paliton Beach: Free
Tubod marine sanctuary: 100 access and 50 to rent snorkeling kit
Scooter rental: 300 per day + 400 gazoline

What to do on Palawan island?

As explained on the map, the main entry of the island is Puerto Princesa. From there you will have various options:

  • Sabang where you have one of the 7 natural wonder: the underground river (2h drive)
  • Port Barton, very quiet and nice area (3h drive)
  • El Nido, the most touristic area (6h drive)

Note: you could also do a quick stop at Taytay, a fisherman village which looks pretty (we skipped it).

Sabang & the underground river

Sabang is a very cute place, with amazingly friendly people who chill on the beach with beers and music, and go to sleep early as the sunset is around 5.30pm.

There if you want to visit the famous underground river you will need a permit: you can get it in Puerto Princesa (nearby Mendoza parknot anymore at the Coliseum), or directly in Sabang. As it was low season we bought it when we arrived there for the day after.

We found an hotel directly on the beach, tried the local food on the harbour and the beach (cheap but small portions).

Next day we woke up at 7am to take a breakfast and start the tour at 8am, the opening hour! The full tour duration is around 2h, including 40min in the cave.

– Where to sleep in Sabang: Why Not ghuesthouse, in front of the beach.
– Underground river visit: First you buy a permit (740 pesos) and the boat tickets 1100 pesos with return, devided by the number of people (6 persons max, so 183 per person).

Port Barton

After a long and hard road from Sabang, we arrived in this charming little town with nice spots on the beach (careful with the sandflies, they killed me after the sunset!)

You have a nice waterfall to visit (Pamuayan, 1h walk) we didn’t do: instead we enjoyed a kayak half day to go to Coconut beach, White beach and Starfish island (you also visit during the island hopping tour).

Second day we did one of the best island hopping tour (see the details).

– To sleep in Port Barton: Ohlala guesthouse (600 pesos a double room)
Environmental fee on arrival: 50/pers
– Island hopping: see the details
Kayak rental: 500 pesos a full day

El Nido

Again, El Nido is a noisy place you can’t escape without renting a scooter! After 5h drive from Port Barton, we took a tuktuk to the center (50pesos) and rented a scooter to get to our hotel with an amazing view on the bay. This same day we had lunch in the Mango tree restaurant and waited for the sunset on Cabanas Beach (nice spot where you can also do canopy).

Second day we went to the famous Nacpan beach (40min from El Nido), and the last day we went to an other island hopping tour.

– Hotel in El Nido: Tree Camp (1500 pesos)
– Scooter rental: 400 pesos a day + gazoline: 100 pesos
– Island hopping: see the details

– To go to Coron from El Nido: Ferry booked via Bookaway
– To sleep in Coron:
Kokosnuss resort (1980 pesos per night)
– Environmental fee on arrival: 200/person
– Island hopping: see the details

What to do on Coron island?

Tours and… tours! Here is the best of Coron island, as the main one (Busuanga) is not so really interesting appart from climbing to the Cross hill… We rented a scooter to go to Victoria in the North, but nothing to see there…

We did only one Island hopping tour, but I guess with more time and budget you could do much more!

It was our last island, we took a flight directly to Manilla (transfer hotel to Busuanga airport: 250/pers) to leave for Thailand, the last step of our adventure


Summary of our Island Tours in Philippines:

IslandTour typePriceHourSpots visitedNumber of peopleSnorkeling materialKayak
Panglao (Bohol)Panglao Island hopping900From 6.30am to 3pm-Dolphin Watching
-Balicasag Island 
-Snorkeling @ Fish Sanctuary
-Turtle Watching
-Virgin Island White Sand Bar
12IncludedN/A
Port BartonIsland hoping1250From 8.30am to 4pm– Snorkeling place
– Turtle Watching
– Maxima & Exotic islands for lunch
– Snorkeling spot
– Virgin island
8IncludedN/A
El NidoTour C1600From 9.30am to 4.30pm– Secret Beach
– Matinloc Island
– Talisay Beach for lunch
– Coral reef
– Cadlao Island lagoon
– Helicopter island
10100300
CoronSuper Ultimate1500From 9.45am to 5pm– Kayangan lake
– Twin Lagoon
– Lunch on mini beach
– Coral near Atwayan Beach
– CyC beach
– Baracuda Lake
22150300

Summary of our itinerary in Philippines:

  • Boracay: 6 nights
  • Bohol: 2 nights
  • Panglao: 3 nights
  • Siquijor: 6 nights
  • Sabang: 1 night
  • Port Barton: 3 nights
  • El Nido: 3 nights
  • Coron: 3 nights

Take note that this is our personal feedback, yours will depends on what you want to do: visiting, chilling?

It will also depends on the weather: sometimes because of the rain you won’t be able to enjoy and may prefer to stay one or two days more in a place…

Conclusion: it’s hard to give you an ideal program, the best advise I could give you is to stay flexible


Our Best moments:

2 thoughts on “Tips & itinerary in Philippines

    1. This is a VERY GOOD suggestion, thank you! I will add it in the post, but here is the summary of our itinerary in Philippines:
      – Boracay: 6 nights
      – Bohol: 2 nights
      – Panglao: 3 nights
      – Siquijor: 6 nights
      – Sabang: 1 night
      – Port Barton: 3 nights
      – El Nido: 3 nights
      – Coron: 3 nights

      Take note that this is our personal feedback, yours will depends on what you want to do: visiting, chilling?

      It will also depends on the weather: sometimes because of the rain you won’t be able to enjoy and may prefer to stay one or two days more in a place…

      Conclusion: it’s hard to give you an ideal program, the best advise I could give you is to stay flexible 🙂

      Enjoy!

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