Philippines Travel Itinerary – 21 Days in the Land of Enchanted Islands

The land of enchanted islands is a paradise on Earth. Start planning with our Philippines travel itinerary your trip of a lifetime, in this amazing country.

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To thinking in a perfect Philippines travel itinerary, it is an almost impossible task. There are literally, hundreds of islands to visit. No wonder they call it, the land of enchanted islands. The country is amazing, with so much to see and do.

When we started to project our Philippine travel itinerary, we searched for more relaxing things to do. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to pass most of our time at the sea, and this was the right country.

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Sunsets in the Philippines are quite magical.

The starting point was Cebu airport and Manila airport was our way out. We only 21 days in the country so, we choose to visit Cebu, Bohol and Palawan islands. Of course, if you had more time you should explore more places.

Sustainable Tourism in the Philippines

More than ever, we need to re-think our practices as tourists, and the way countries project tourism. The Philippines still has a long way to go but, they are making an effort to develop sustainable tourism.

With this everyone benefits, local communities, natural resources will be conserved, and tourists will have a fair and honest look into local areas.

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To preserve the pristine shores, Philippines are working hard in a developing of sustainable tourism.

Even though government-imposed laws towards sustainable tourism development still not enough in some cases in the country.

Boracay was one of these places. They even had to close temporarily for 6 months following concerns of damage to the pristine shores.

After this episode, the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) had to create new strict measures to preserve what they have.

In a note of The District Boracay we can read:

The District Boracay takes pride in its eco-practices which supports the world-wide call for sustainable tourism. Various conservation and preservation practices are woven into the resort’s core values to ensure sustainable operations and growth not just for the property but for the local community as well.

This wasn’t only in Boracay, but other tourist destinations in the country are pushing toward sustainable tourism approached, like Bohol, Siargao, Siquijor, Coron, El Nido, Davao city or Samal island.

With this Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) expect to set an example of how good tourism practices can be helpful and create a better world.

Cebu City

To initiate our Philippines travel itinerary, we arrived at night in Cebu airport coming from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Cebu International airport is located in Lapu-Lapu city, on Mactan island. It’s more or less 10 km to the centre of the city. At night our best option was to take a Grab to the hotel.

Actually, we didn’t have plan much for Cebu city. Our first impression wasn’t good. As the land of the enchanted islands, Cebu is not so enchanted after all.

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Fort San Pedro, built by the Spanish.

The city is too chaotic and frenetic. If you are planning a Philippines travel itinerary skip it, don’t stay much, 1 day is enough.

Sunday it's church day, as in the Philippines more than half of the population is Roman Catholic, it’s one of the most devoted countries in the world.

We stayed for 2 days, went around to check the city and visit some places. Don’t forget to try lechon and puso (steamed rice wrapped in banana leaves). You can find this in any of the food stalls around the city or at the shopping mall, like SM Seaside City Cebu (where we eat it).

Here are some places to visit in the city:

  • Magellan’s Cross
  • Fort San Pedro
  • Basilica Minore del Santo Nino de Cebu
  • Colon Street
  • Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Simala Church
  • Heritage of Cebu Monument
  • Fuente Osmena
  • Jose Rizal Monument
  • Cebu Taoist Temple
  • Casa Gorordo Museum
  • Sugbo Museum
  • Jesuit House
  • Nerisville
  • Tops Lookout
  • Terrazas de Flores Botanical Garden
  • Lapu-Lapu’s shrine in Mactan
  • Taboan Public Market
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Magellan's Cross in Cebu city.

Where to stay in Cebu city

It depends on what you will do in the city. For those who want to stay close to the beach, the best option in Mactan, near the airport, safer than the city centre and with much better hotels.

In our Philippines travel itinerary, the option was to stay near downtown, at Skypark Pensionne.

It was a decent place to stay, cheap and basic room, we had no breakfast included but, they have a restaurant inside. Also, it was convenient to get the ferry and we could walk around to visit some places.

However, keep in mind that at night can be problematic. Don’t get it wrong, overall Cebu city is safe but, some areas can be risky at night. Just use common sense, don’t wander around alone at night, special in dark places.

How to go from Cebu to Bohol

As the Philippines aggregate many islands, the main transportation between then are ferries.

Once in Cebu, you can easily reach the islands around. We brought our tickets to Bohol one day before the arrival date but, you can go on the day of departure and buy there in the ferry terminal.

The ferry from Cebu to Bohol takes about 2 hours (not including waiting periods). In the ferry terminal you will have to pay some fees for the trip:

Pier TaxBags Tax
50 PHP (0,90€)100 PHP (1,80€)
2 Persons2 Persons (2 Bags)

You end up paying these little fees in many of the ferry’s terminals in the Philippines.

Bohol

Bohol is a big island with so many things to see and do. It was one of our favourite islands just after Palawan, of course.

It was really difficult to plan an itinerary in Bohol with such a short time. Trying to focus in Panglao and central part of the island, we stayed near the ferry terminal in Tagbilaran.

If you have time explore more, like Anda (we heard awesome things) and the north of Bohol too.

Anyway, some of the highlights of our trip to Bohol were the beaches in Panglao, the famous Chocolate Hills, the tarsiers at Philippines Tarsier Sanctuary and exploring the Bohol Habitat Conservation Conservatory.

Philippines Tarsier Sanctuary is making great work to call the awareness and protect the world’s smallest primate: tarsier.

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Little tarsier at Philippines Tarsier Sanctuary.

The little guys are an endangered species. Every tour you take here only last 20 minutes and a reduced number of people are permitted to not stress the tarsiers.

Don’t be foolish! There are other places where you can see tarsiers in Bohol claiming to be conservation areas. The Philippines Tarsier Sanctuary (in Corella town) is the only one to be declared by the government, in 1997, as a protected faunal species. They establish a partnership with the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources to tackle the conservation of Philippine tarsiers.

In Bohol Habitat Conservation Conservatory, you will learn a lot about the fauna of the island. Butterflies, spiders, centipedes, caterpillars, birds and flowers are all around. The 30 minutes tour will show you everything.

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At Bohol Habitat Conservation Conservatory you can spot fauna of Bohol island.

They have a little restaurant, we took lunch there, it was fabulous being surrounded by nature and eating delicious food, you are also helping maintained this place.  

Chocolate Hills are by far the most popular attraction in Bohol. It is hundreds of symmetrical mountains hills; the origin is uncertain. You must pay a 50 PHP (0,90€) to get to the viewpoint.

During the rainy season, the hills are lush and green. On the dry season, they appear on a milk-chocolate colour, that’s why the name.

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The mysterious conical mounds in Carmen, Bohol known as the Chocolate Hills.

Some of the things to do in Bohol:

  • Chocolate Hills
  • Bilar Manmade Forest
  • Cruise in the Loboc River
  • Bamboo Hanging bridge
  • Meet the little tarsiers at Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
  • Bohol Habitat Conservation Conservatory
  • Cathedral of San Jose
  • Baclayon church, known as Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the second-oldest in the country
  • Blood Compact Monument
  • Hinagdanan Cave
  • Balicasag island
  • Virgin island
  • Cadapdapan Rice Terraces
  • Cambuyo Rice Terraces
  • Explore Lamanoc island in Anda
  • Discover the waterfalls of Bohol (like Dimiao Twin Falls also known as Pahangog Falls, Can-Umantad Falls, Camugao Waterfall, Mag-Aso Falls, Kinahugan Falls, Ingkumhan Falls)
  • Trekking Mayana Peak (the tallest peak in Bohol)
  • Binanaje Hills Sunrise Trek (in Alicia)
  • Lonoy Cold Spring
  • Canawa Cold Spring
  • Tambuko Cave Pool
  • Anda Cave Pool
  • Relax at the awesome beaches (Alona beach, Dumaluam, Anda White beach, Can-Uba beach)

Where to stay in Bohol

You have to think wisely about where to stay in Bohol as the island is big. The Sun Avenue Tourist Inn & Café was our option, near the ferry terminal in Tagbilaran.

From there we could easily access to Panglao and even the north of the island.

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Staying at Alona beach in Panglao can be a good option.

In the Philippines sometimes accommodation isn’t what you excepted, so keep in mind bad Wi-Fi could be a reality, not so nice beds and hot water can be inexistent.

For those who have time, staying in different points of the islands could be an advantage.

For example, stay at Anda to explore the surrounding area or stay in some of the localities in north Bohol to adventurous in this area.

How to go from Bohol to Dumaguete

It is easy to get from Bohol to Dumaguete. There is a daily direct ferry operate between Tagbilaran Port to Dumaguete Port, by Oceanjet.

In total will take 2 hours to reach Dumaguete, we paid 700 PHP (12,80€) per person (Open Air and Tourist Class). For the Business, class expect to pay 1020 PHP (18,60€).

Dumaguete

Dumaguete is not the favourite place for most travellers. Many spend their time in the nearby island of Siquijor, never going to Dumaguete or only pass by to go to other places.

Limit time calls for desperate measures so, we had to cut Siquijor from our Philippines travel itinerary. One day we intend to go back and stay a long time to explore every corner of this breathtaking country.

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Fisherman in Dumaguete.

Dumaguete doesn’t have much to see. But, the surrounding area in good to explore. We recommend to take a walk on Rizal Boulevard, watch kids playing football or fisherman catching some fish.

Besides this, you can’t skip Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries, try the traditional sans rival or the silvanas, they are delicious (we did go two days in a row to eat it).

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Delicious sans Rival and silvanas in Dumaguete.

Meanwhile, our visit to Dumaguete only was one purpose: go on the adventure to Apo Island.

Apo Island is a marine reserve sanctuary protected by the National Integrated Protected Area (NIPA) since 1982. This place was a pioneer and since then led to the creation of other marine sanctuaries in the Philippines. 

Apo island is a popular spot for diving and snorkelling. The island is home to different species of fish (almost 650) and over 400 corals (most of the Philippines species of corals).

There are two resorts on the little island, both with a dive center, a ranger station and a lighthouse. You can visit Apo island on a day tour, or stay for the night.

Because this is a marine reserve sanctuary, a few rules must be followed and to enter fees must be paid.

Fees to Apo Island

All the fees to Apo island depend on the purpose of your visit.

If you want to stay for the night will cost you more. Our advice is to go to the port where you can rent the boat (early in the morning is the best time), then wait a bit for more people to come.

Ask if they want to share a boat, it ends up being cheaper. In our boat, there were 7 persons us, a Japanese couple with a child and two Czechs girls.

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Turtle at marine reserve sanctuary in Apo island.

Every person entering on the island have to do registration and pay a fee. Also, if you want to snorkelling or diving you will need a local guide, meaning you will have to pay him. The local guide can be shared between 4 persons (we share it with the Czechs girls).

We reserve a table for lunch (share with the Czechs girls) and pay for the delicious food they serve us. Here are all the fees disclosed:

DescriptionFeesObservations
Boat3500 PHP/64€ (total)Shared (7 persons)
Registration200 PHP/3,65€Per Person
Table reserve300 PHP/5,40€ (total)Shared (4 Persons)
Local guide300 PHP/5,40€ (total)Shared (4 Persons)
Lunch360 PHP/6,50€For 2 persons
Apo island fee (as we paid in 2018).

How to get from Dumaguete to Apo Island

Dumaguete is usually the near place where travellers prefer to stay to get on a day trip to Apo Island.

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Apo island near Dumaguete for sure that worth a day trip.

In the Philippines sometimes to get to a place it is a long ride, you will have to take several transportations.

Our hotel wasn’t nearby to the bus station, so on the day tour to Apo island, we had to take a tricycle to Ceres Bus Terminal (south Dumaguete) and then we took the bus to Malatapay Port, in Zamboanguita.

Don’t worry, it is easy to take the bus and pay for your ticket inside.

To get out on Malatapay Port, just ask the driver to let you close. Filipinos are nice people; they are always keen to help you. Once you get out, follow the narrow path until reaching the Port.

Where to stay in Dumaguete

When we were planning our Philippines travel itinerary, searching for accommodation in Dumaguete wasn’t easy.

Most of the accommodations were located near the seafront, and this wasn't cheap.

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Dumaguete seafront, where most of accommodations are locaated.

The Dumaguete Royal Suite Inn was our option. It’s a little further from the centre but, with a tricycle, you can get anywhere.

The place wasn’t bad, but for our surprise, they were making some renovations. A little inconvenient for the guests. If you can, it is better to stay in the city centre.

How to go to from Dumaguete to Moalboal

Sometimes the problem to get around from island to island in the Philippines is that you will end up needing much time. Anyway, don’t worry too much, it will be fun, local people are amazing, always there to help.

From Dumaguete to Moalboal is not an easy task. You will have to go to Sibulan Port, then take the ferry to Liloan and finally the bus to Moalboal.

Here is the resume of our trip:

FromToVehiclePriceOBS.
Dumaguete (hotel)Sibulan PortTricycle100 PHP /1,82€
Sibulan PortLiloanFerry124 PHP /2.26€For 2 persons
LiloanBato bus stationTriciclo150 PHP /2,74€
Bato bus stationMoalboalBus154 PHP /2,81€For 2 persons
All fees from Dumaguete to Moalboal (trip in 2018)

Moalboal

Travellers came to Moalboal mainly because of the great beaches, the rich underwater marine life and because it is a getaway for other places.

When we planned our Philippines travel itinerary we want to stop at Moalboal but, didn’t stay much time, for that reason we choose to make a 1-day tour with one of the best partners here: Highland Adventures.

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Highland Adventures the perfect partner to any tour around Cebu island.

They are a group of local people, the most reliable to guide you through the area. In Highland Adventures nature is the key point. You will have fun, enjoy every moment but, with nature conservation always in mind.

Here you will enter was a tourist but, leave as a friend. Serious, they are the best! Everything they do is with passion for this beautiful country.

They have different packages. We went for Tour B, that include:

  • Canyoneering & Kawasan Falls
  • Whale Shark Encounter
  • Side trip to Sumilon island’s Sandbar & Marine Sanctuary
  • Side trip to Tumalog Falls

In addition, Moalboal is also good to explore the surrounding beaches, like White beach, Panagsama and Lambug beaches, the waterfalls, diving, snorkelling the sardine run, hike to Kandungaw peak and explore Pescador island.

Canyoneering & Kawasan Falls

This is an awesome thing to do near Moalboal. The starting point was at Highland Adventures office, then we went by motorbike to initiated our adventure.

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Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls was one of the highlights of our trip.

Two guides were assigned, one for us and the other to the Chinese guy we shared the trip. George our guide was so cool, always kept an eye on us and our safety. During our canyoneering journey, we collected the garbage left by others.

In the middle of the route, there is a food stall where you can eat some snacks, right in the canyon. It is insane! In the end, you can have lunch at some restaurant with a great view of the waterfall.

Whale Shark Encounter

Our tour guide and driver pick us at the hotel at 3 a.m! Too early but, necessary if you want to watch whale sharks in Oslob.

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The largest fish in the ocean: whale shark.

In 2018 when we went to Oslob, there wasn’t a lot of tourists. Despite this, for the last year tourism was increased and maybe Oslob isn’t the most ethical place to encounter whale sharks. Still an incredible experience swimming with the largest fish in the ocean.

It was prohibited to touch the whale sharks, only a couple of boats were permitted for 15/20 minutes and a reduced number of people in the water. We saw the guides control everything.

Saying this, if we return to the Philippines, we won’t go back to whale shark encounter in Oslob. We are always learning but, it is only valid if we change behaviour.

Look for places like Donsol or even better, some friends went to Padre Burgos in 2019 they said it was magical. They went two days in a row to swim with whale sharks, mainly because you only can do it with the help of a local fisherman.

On the first day, no whale shark spotted but, on the second day, a few came. Locals don’t feed them like in Oslob, this is a more genuine experience.

Sumilon island’s Sandbar & Marine Sanctuary

Sumilon sandbar isn’t so spectacular like other sandbars in the country but, for sure that worth a visit. In a 10/15 minutes boat ride from Oslob, we were there.

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Sumilon sandbar not far from Oslob.

We have to confess we didn’t spend much time there, just a moment to relax. The Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort developed the island into eco-friendly heaven. Sumilon it is also the first marine protected area in the Philippines, create as a sanctuary in 1974.

Side trip to Tumalog Falls

Tumalog Falls wasn’t very popular until recent years. Now it’s part of the most tours around Moalboal.

Tumalog is composed of a huge, rugged cliff where several waterfalls cascade ends into a larger shallow pool.

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Tumalog Falls are becoming more popular.

You can swim there or just sit down and relax. The best of this waterfalls is the feeling you get, of being in the middle of lush jungle.

The colour is unbelievable, like all the waterfalls in the Philippines. Here is a good opportunity to have fish pedicure for free.

To reach the waterfalls we had to leave the van in a nearby jumping-off point then catch a ride by a habal habal (motorbike) with a local. The road is very steep, you cannot ride down with a van but, it is fine with a motorbike.

Visit Tumalog early morning or late evening if you don’t like too crowded.

Where to stay in Moalboal

Almost everyone that goes to Moalboal stays at Panagsama beach, home to a variety of hotels, restaurants and dive shops.

However, we prefer to stay near the main road at Moalboal centre. There was a small shopping center to get everything we need, fruit market and food stalls laying along the main street and we could easily pick up the bus from there.

Our accommodation was Moalboal Tropics. Unfortunately, we don’t have good things to say, as Sandrina was bitten by bed bugs (maybe it was an isolated case).

Anyway, choose carefully because the location will play a big role.

How to go from Moalboal to Puerto Princesa

As we stayed in Moalboal town centre was easy to catch the bus to Cebu city. Daily buses run on the main street; this is, in fact, the National Highway.

You just need to wait along and then catch the Ceres bus heading to Cebu. We walked from our accommodation to the National Highway, buying some cakes in a street stall through the journey.

There are air-con buses (around 130 PHP/2,37€) and non-air con buses (around 110 PHP/2€), the journey will take about 2 to 3 hours. In Cebu city traffic can be problematic, so we spend more time in traffic than expected.

Puerto Princesa

Palawan where Puerto Princesa, El Nido and Coron are located, is frequently appointed as one of the most beautiful in the world. There are so much to explore, read here 10 must do things in Palawan.

Puerto Princesa the capital of Palawan is the main entrance to other places on the island. From Cebu airport you can fly there, companies like Cebu Pacific Air have frequent cheap flights.

Once, arrived at Puerto Princesa you can easily take a tricycle to your accommodation. From Puerto Princesa airport to the hotel will cost you around 100 PHP (1,82€).

In our Philippine travel itinerary, we planned to spend 2 and a half days here. However, we didn’t have luck, as a tropical storm hit the whole island for 2 days.

Travel unforeseen can happen and you just can’t control it. Also, Sandrina didn’t feel well during 1 day in Puerto Princesa, so we missed our Honda Bay tour.

Some of the places to explore in Puerto Princesa are:

  • Puerto Princesa Subterranean River
  • Honda Bay Tour
  • Plaza Cuartel
  • Puerto Princesa City Baywalk Park
  • Sabang Beach
  • Nagtabon Beach
  • Immaculate Conception Cathedral
  • Baker’s Hill
  • Iwahig Firefly Watching & Mangrove Forest -Palawan Museum

Where to stay in Puerto Princesa

For the accommodation in Puerto Princesa, we followed the recommendation of friends and stayed at We Travelers Inn.

Its located on the main road, a few meters not far from the Old Public Market and the SM City Puerto Princesa shopping mall.

This area of the city is a good option to stay. You will be near the main attractions, and if you want to go further there are tricycles to take you.

How to go from Puerto Princesa to El Nido

From Puerto Princesa to El Nido you will have a few options:

  • Public bus (6 to 9 hours) – 300 to 500 PHP (5,48 to 9,13€)
  • Shared van (5 to 6 hours) – 500 to 800 PHP (9,13 to 14,61€)
  • Private van (5 to 6 hours) – 6000 to 7000 PHP (109 to 127€)
  • Rental Car (5 to 6 hours) – 2000 to 3000 PHP (36,53 to 54,80€)

For the adventure's lovers go for the shared van; we ensure it will be unforgettable.

Most of the time the road is good, a few bumpy rides in some areas. The main problem was our driver, he looked like a manic driving down the road.

To take the van we showed up at San Jose Terminal and search for a van. Drivers wait until fill up the whole van to hit the road.

You can also book in advance with two main provides like EULEN JOY Express and Lexxus Shuttle (maybe it is a better option, we lost much time waiting).

The price of the bus compared to shared van becomes almost the same because you have to count the transportation cost to get to the bus station. Don’t forget the bus will take long, no air-con but, offer wider legroom.

RoRo Bus and Cherry Bus are two companies making the route, from San Jose terminal. They both arrive at El Nido Transport Terminal in Corong-Corong. From there you will need to take a tricycle to your accommodation (our shared van also left us here).

El Nido has a little airport. However, the runway is too short and prevents most airlines from landing. So, it is important to check the flights, times and fares before going.

El Nido

El Nido is one of our favourite places in Palawan island. As a matter of fact, every place you go in Palawan will be out of this world.

Travellers go to El Nido for island hopping. There are a few tours you can do; guesthouses and tour companies sell it at a fair price. We only did the tour A (2800 PHP/51€ for 2 persons in our guesthouse), if you have time do as many as you can.

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The lagoons in El Nido are astonishing.

Here a brief disclaimer of the tours:

  • Tour A – Big & Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu island and 7 Commando beach.
  • Tour B – Snake island, Pinagbuyutan island, Entula beach, Cudugnon Cave and a snorkelling site.
  • Tour C – Helicopter island, Matinloc shrine, Secret beach, Star beach and Hidden beach.  
  • Tour D – Ipil beach, Cadlao Lagoon, Paradise beach, Pasandigan beach, Natnat beach and Bukal beach.

One of the greatest experiences you can have is with TAO Philippines. This is not an experience for everyone. They offer a journey to the most remote islands in Palawan, keep in mind this is not a tour or a hotel.

Besides the tours around El Nido there are some places to explore, like:

  • Nacpan beach
  • Corong-Corong beach
  • Nagkalit-Kalit Falls
  • Las Cabanas beach
  • Cathedral Cave
  • El Nido Public Market
  • Serena Street (to eat good food)
  • Hike Taraw Peak (in 2018 was closed, although we suspect some local guide still do it)
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Nacpan beach one of our favourite beaches in the Philippines.

In 2018 when we went to El Nido the road around town wasn’t quite good, dirt road. Nevertheless, work was in progress to make a better road.

Also, many beaches in the Philippines aren’t free, to enter you will end up paying a small fee, like Napcan beach. This fee is for nature conservation.

To enter in El Nido, you will have to pay an Eco-Tourism Development fee (200 PHP per person in 2018), as many places in the Philippines. This will help tourism to develop sustainably.

Where to stay in El Nido

This isn’t a big place, but there are good options. Make sure to book in advance, we didn’t do it, and it is hard to get accommodation once we were there. You can book here (with no additional cost).

Almost all the guesthouses, hostels and hotels have services like tours booking, rent a bike, and if you need anything else, just ask them.

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View at El Nido town center.

We stayed in El Nido town center, right in the main road, near the ferry terminal, restaurants and the beach. It is a good location; we were right in the middle of the action.

Travellers also prefer to stay in Las Cabanas beach or for more luxury accommodation at Lio beach.

At the time, Napcan beach had also some basic places to stay. But it was far from the town centre.

El-nido-accommodation-breakfast
Breakfast at our guesthouse in El Nido.

Our guesthouse, Forever Blessed Hotel had all that we need, the room was basic but with air-con (trust us you will need it in El Nido), they help us with the tours and motorbike rental.

Every day, the staff left us coffee and tea at a table outside our room, then we went to the bakery on the corner bought some cakes and that was our breakfast. We miss these simple but, so welcome things.

How to go from El Nido to Coron

The best way to get from El Nido to Coron is by ferry. You can buy the ticket directly at the ferry terminal or at any guesthouse/hostel in town for an additional fee.

At the time of our visit (2018) two companies were doing the journey, one operates a slow ferry (aprox. 1300 PHP/23,74€) taking almost 6 hours and the other a fast ferry (aprox.1700 PHP/31€) arrives in 3-4 hours.

The fast ferry was our choice, the company doing it was Montenegro lines. We bought the tickets on the day of departure, but keep in mind you will need to wake up early to secure your seat.

Coron

Many people keep asking us El Nido or Coron? We actually can decide because we love both.

In 2018 when we went to Philippines, El Nido was more touristic, Coron was just starting to get more people. But both have places that no words can describe.

Coron are full of incredible beaches, cliffs, lagoons, lakes and small islands. Some of the best dives and snorkelling spots are in Coron.

Again, Coron is amazing for island hopping. We planned stayed 4 days in Coron so, booked 2 tours in advance.

But, on the first day, we only had a couple of hours in the afternoon, then 2 full days for the tours and the last day only the morning.

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Coron landscaping is breathtaking.

Honestly, book these tours wasn’t a good choice. We had trouble with the company. On the day of the first tour, they forgot us at the guesthouse. Quickly, we went to the office, trying to solve things.

They apologized and offered us the ‘Super Ultimate Tour’ (as we only had one more full day to do it). Fear ending up losing money, we accepted because the tour was our main goal.

On the next day, they forgot us again. The lady on our guesthouse kindly call to them (we can thank her enough), they seem to be lost. So, we went to the office again. Tiago was extremely upset, and he is a peaceful guy.

We demanded our money back or our rightful tour. After a few minutes of persistence, they drove us to the boat to start the tour.

This wasn’t a good experience, but we almost forgot it when we saw some of the most magical places in this world. The guide and the captain of the boat were nice persons. Nonetheless, if you are going to Coron don’t do a tour with K-Tours.

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Atwayan beach, where we had lunch.

The Super Ultimate Tour we did included a tour guide, shuttle service, life vests, fins, masks and snorkel, picnic buffet lunch and passed

  • Kayangan Lake
  • Barracuda Lake
  • Twin Lagoon
  • Siete Pecados
  • Skeleton Wreck
  • Coral Garden
  • Smith beach
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Barracuda lake, one of the many lakes in Coron.

Another amazing experience in Coron is a remote island expedition. Red Carabao is the most reliable partner to do it. You will venture around Calamian islands, going off-grid. 

In Coron town there are some things to do it, we enjoy the day of our first tour explore the town (as the tour didn’t happen). Go hiking Mount Tapyas for the sunset (free of charge), or relax at Maquinit hot springs (400 PHP/7,30€ for 2 persons).

Where to stay in Coron

Basically, there are three areas where you can stay in Coron: West Busuanga, South Busuanga and Coron Town Center.

It depends on what you are doing in Coron. However, the cheapest place in Coron Town Center and is where most people stay.

West Busuanga is where hidden and private accommodation is. South Busuanga is the ideal place for honeymooners or a posh gateway.

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Sunset from our accommodation in Coron Town Center.

Of course, we stayed in Coron Town Center. Book the accommodation in advance, or you will have nothing to choose. We stayed in a local guesthouse (Purple guesthouse), with our bedroom but kitchen and bathroom were shared.

How to go from Coron to Manila

There are two ways to reach the capital, Manila from Coron. The fastest is by flight, the longest, by an overnight ferry.

Flight care generally expensive but, if booking in advance you can arrange a fair price. The ferry is cheaper (it was our option). The company is 2GO Travel, and in 2018 only had ferries doing this route on Thursday.

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Ferry by 2GO Travel making the route from Coron to Manila.

Prices can vary, depending on class and bunk. Onboard you will have facilities like, a restaurant but, a light meal can be included on your ticket. Please check out the website for schedules and prices.

Other Places to Visit in the Philippines

The Philippines are no short in astounding places to visit. If you have time you can explore this beautiful country. Plan well your Philippines travel itinerary, because it's necessary.

Here are some other places to looking for if you can:

Siargao

Located at the southeast of Tacloban, in the province of Surigao del Norte, Siargao is a true paradise. With a tear-drop shaped, the island is covered in lush green by palm trees.

Siargao is well-known for the surfing spots, even have held international surfing competitions.

Cloud 9 pier is an incredible spot for the sunrise and, it’s also the name of the most famous wave in the Philippines, located here is the island. Areas like General Luna and the Tuason Point is search by surfers from all over the world.

But Siargao is more than surf. Go on island hoping in Naked island, Corregidor island, Guyam and Daku, visit Sugba lagoon, Sohoton cove, Magpupungko rock pool, Tak Tak waterfall, relax at the many beaches, explore the caves and do some cliff jumping.

You can reach the island by plane from Manila or Cebu airport.

Siquijor

Siquijor was on our Philippines travel itinerary but, due to the lack of time, we had to skip it. We regret it but, our goal is to go back with more time and explore every island in the Philippines.

The Spaniards called it ‘Isla del Fuego’ but, Siquijor is associated with mystic, magic and sorcery. Healing rituals, portions out of herbs and enchantments play a big role here.

Some of the best things to do in the island are: cliff jumping into the ocean, swim under the waterfalls, watch the sunset, enjoy the white sand beaches, overlook the many churches, discover the old enchanted balete tree, climb to the viewpoint and visit the Tubod Marine Sanctuary.

Due to Siquijor’s position, it is easy to reach the island from Cebu, Bohol or Dumaguete. No flight schedule o there but, daily ferries make it accessible.

Balabac (Palawan)

Palawan is considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world. It’s a big island with famous places like El Nido or Coron. But, also with hidden paradise like Balabac.

It will take you almost 9 hours to get from the capital Puerto Princesa these but, for sure it will worth.

Balabac is the westernmost point in the Philippines, you can even buy Malayan goods there, due to the proximity. If Balabac isn’t in your Philippines travel itinerary, you better put it on it.

The shallow waters of Balabac make it perfect to the presence of shoals and numerous sandbars (some of the longest in the country). Also, marine life is abundant, with dugongs, saltwater crocodiles, sawfishes and sea turtles.

Inland is common to find indigenous plans and animal species, such as the nocturnal Philippine mouse-deer. The Cape Melville lighthouse in Balabac is one of the oldest in the country, built-in 1892.

You can find the Molbog people here, they lived here since the classical era before Spanish colonization. One of their culture characteristics is the strong connection with the natural world.

Some of the best things to do in Balabac includes exploring the surrounding little islands. Be prepared to walk alone in Onuk, Candaraman, Patawan, Patongong or Canabungan islands

The Philippines have a special place in our hearts. We love the country, the food, the beaches but, mostly, the people. Have you been to the Philippines? We can't wait to go back.

Plan your next trip (useful links)

Check out the tools we use to plan our trips. The links shown here are affiliate links. By using them you are helping us to maintain our blog and to defend our values of preservation of Nature. For you, using these links does not represent any additional costs and for us, it can make all the difference in our “Traveling For Nature” mission.

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