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17-Day Philippines Island Hopping & Nature Trip to Palawan & Visayas Islands with Luzon Highlands

A woman swinging at Seven Commandos Beach in El Nido Palawan
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Tour starts
Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Starting time
at 09:00
Duration
17 days
Ending place
Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Languages:
English
Difficulty:
Easy
Available:
All year
Minimum age:
None

Go island-hopping and nature sightseeing in the Philippines with this 17-day vacation package. This packaged tour will let you experience the relaxing island life in Palawan province, the unspoiled countryside in the Visayas Islands, and the cool climate of Luzon highlands. Accommodations with daily breakfast, transfers, entrance fees, and the service of guides will also be pre-arranged to make your trip more convenient. 

After arriving in Manila City, your guide will bring you on a tour of the walled district of Intramuros. You will then catch a flight to northern Luzon to visit the Marcos Museum in Ilocos Norte and Calle Crisologo in Ilocos Sur. From there, it’s on to the highlands, where you will find Banaue town’s Banaue Museum and Baguio City’s Camp John Hay and Mines View Park. 

Prepare your hiking gear next as you ascend Mt. Pinatubo in Tarlac province. Afterward, you will fly to Bohol for a countryside trip that includes Loboc River Cruise, Chocolate Hills, and Pamilacan Island. You will then board a ferry to Dumaguete City, where you will find Silliman University and Apo Island. 

Another province you will explore in the Visayas Islands is Cebu. Here, your guide will take you to Kawasan Falls, Temple of Leah, and Sirao Flower Farm. Your tour will end with a visit to Palawan Island. 

This water-locked paradise boasts numerous must-see destinations, including Starfish Island and the Underground River in Puerto Princesa. You will also explore the off-the-beaten-path attractions in Port Barton village and the popular Miniloc Island in El Nido. Afterward, you will return to Manila on Day 17.

Escape to the Philippines and discover the breathtaking attractions of Manila, Ilocos, Sagada, Banaue, Baguio, Tarlac, Bohol, Dumaguete, Cebu, and Palawan with this 17-day hassle-free excursion. Check the availability by choosing a date.

Included

16 nights accommodation (budget category)
16 days breakfast
16 lunch
All flights with 20kgs baggage allowance
Day 1 - Intramuros Tour (Manila)
Day 2 - Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur (Ilocos Region)
Day 3 to 5 - Sagada, Banaue and Baguio Tour (Cordillera Region)
Day 6 - Mt. Pinatubo Tour
Day 7 to 12 - Bohol, Dumaguete and Cebu Tour (Central Visayas)
Day 13 to 16 - Puerto Princesa, Port Barton and El Nido Tour (Palawan)
Day 17 - Back to Manila
All transportation to and from included activities and destinations
All environmental fees, port fees, and all other applicable taxes

Map

Attractions

Activities

Sightseeing and Walking
Island Hopping
City Tours
Culture, Arts and Historical Tour

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Facade of Fort Santiago in Manila

Day 1: Intramuros Tour

Your tour will begin with a visit to Intramuros, Manila City's walled district. Listed as a National Historical Landmark in 1951, Intramuros is home to approximately 5,000 people as well as several historical landmarks.

Fort Santiago is one of these fascinating sites. Built in 1593, this fort currently functions as a historical park with the national hero Jose Rizal's memorabilia and other well-preserved artifacts from the Spanish Colonial Period. You will then head to the nearby Plaza Roma, where a monument to King Charles IV of Spain was constructed in 1824. Afterward, you will visit two of Intramuros' most notable museums, Bahay Tsinoy and Casa Manila.

After the museum tours, your guide will take you to the southwestern corner of Intramuros to see San Diego Gardens and the Baluarte De San Diego. One of the first stone defenses in the walled district, this bastion dates back to the 16th century but is now a popular site for weddings and family events.

From the bastion, you will visit the San Agustin Church and Museum. Miguel López de Legazpi, the country's first governor-general, has an exclusive sarcophagus within the premises of this church. To cap off the day, you will see the Manila Cathedral, known for its Neo-Romanesque architectural style.

Day 2
Bantay Watch Tower in Ilocos

Day 2: Laoag and Vigan Tour

After leaving your hotel in Manila, you will fly to Laoag City. Your first stop here will be the Malacanang of the North, located in the town of Paoay. This structure, designed with a blend of Spanish and Ilocano style, served as the late President Ferdinand Marcos' and his family's official residence throughout his administration. Feel free to tour the whole two-story museum before walking to the nearby Paoay Lake to take in the beauty of the scenery.

From there, your guide will take you south to the Saint Augustine Church, also known as the Paoay Church. The cathedral is famous for its Baroque design and its three-story coral stone bell. Afterward, you will visit two of the region's most important museums, the Marcos Museum and the Juan and Antonio Luna Museum.

Following your museum tour, your journey will continue in Vigan, where you will see St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral. Another well-known church you will visit will be Bantay Church, located in the town of Bantay. You will then head to Pagburnayan to learn how the locals make their pottery.

You will discover more about Ilocos culture and history with a visit to the Burgos Museum, the National Museum Ilocos Sur Complex, and the Crisologo Museum. Afterward, your guide will take you to Baluarte, a zoological park, before concluding the day with a stroll along Calle Crisologo's cobblestone alleyways. You will then check into your Laoag hotel.

Day 3
Rock formations inside Sumaguing Cave in Sagada

Day 3: Sagada Tour

You will check out of your Laoag hotel early in the morning and head to Sagada town in the Cordillera Mountains. Sagada has a subtropical highland climate with average daily temperatures of 17 to 20 degrees Celsius. That said, make sure to prepare your jackets ahead of time.

Upon arriving in the town, you will head first to Sugong Cave, a well-known burial site. The coffins here are hung from the limestone cliffs instead of buried, showcasing a tradition dating back centuries ago.

After marveling at the hanging coffins, you will return to the town center through Echo Valley. This piece of land is peppered with numerous trees and lush greens, making it a perfect spot for trekking and seeing the local wildlife. From there, you will proceed to Sumaguing Cave, commonly known as the Big Cave.

Arguably the most visited spot in Sagada, Sumaguing Cave will treat you to an unforgettable spelunking adventure. You can spot interesting rock formations while inside, along with an ice-cold cave bath.

After your spelunking experience, you will pay a visit to the Bontoc Tribal Museum. The museum displays photos and relics from the Ifugao people's culture. Behind the museum, there is also a replica of an Ifugao village. Afterward, your guide will transport you to your accommodation.

Day 4
Aerial view of Bangaan Village in Banaue

Day 4: Banaue Tour

Your guide will take you south from Sagada to Banaue town, famous for its breathtaking rice terraces. One of the most popular and often visited sights here is the Batad Rice Terraces in the small village of Batad. Designated as part of Banaue's UNESCO World Heritage Site, these amphitheater-like rice paddies date back to centuries ago.

Pose for some photographs here before heading to the Batad Banaue Viewpoint. This observation tower, located approximately a half-hour walk from the main road, provides a unique perspective of the rice terrace. If you don't wish to stop at the viewpoint, you can go straight to Tappiya Waterfall for a quick dip instead.

You can also choose to skip the waterfalls and explore Banga-an Village. This humble scenic farming town, located below the Batad intersection, is home to numerous native Ifugao houses. You will also learn about the way of life of the people while you are here.

To cap off the day, you will swing by the Banaue Museum, where you can find a collection of ancestral artifacts from old Igorot tribes. Aside from the relics, the museum has a section dedicated to the capture of Japanese Imperial Army General Tomoyuki Yamashita.

Day 5
Scenic view from Mines View Park in Baguio City

Day 5: Baguio Tour

After checking out of your lodging in Banaue, you will go to Kiangan to see the Ifugao Museum. This establishment houses numerous Ifugao relics, such as bulol (wooden rice guardians), archaic domestic goods, and headhunting machetes. You will also visit General Yamashita's surrender site while in town.

You will then travel from Kiangan to the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City. The grounds of this famous institution are well-kept, featuring vintage tanks and other historical military equipment. From there, you will proceed to The Mansion next. Built in 1908, this mansion served as a summer resort for US governors-general before becoming the official summer residence of the Philippine President.

Following your tour of The Mansion, you will make your way to Camp John Hay. This 246-hectare site was formerly a military rest and recreation center for the United States Army. The property was then turned into an entertainment complex that includes a museum, a retail area, and a convention center.

Afterward, you will head to Mines View Park to get a bird's-eye view of the mining town of Itogon. You will also visit Wright Park and Centennial Park to take in the natural beauty of Baguio. Before retreating to your hotel, you will drop by the Good Shepherd Convent for quick souvenir shopping.

Day 6
View of the Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake

Day 6: Mt. Pinatubo Tour

Your guide will drive you from your accommodation in Baguio to Tarlac province, where you will climb Mt. Pinatubo. This active volcano, which stands at 4,757 feet tall, is located on the tripoint border of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. It rose to prominence following a catastrophic eruption in 1991 that cost the country billions of pesos in damages. Yet, despite this dark history, Mt. Pinatubo's magnificent beauty continues to astound visitors.

When you arrive in the province, you will disembark at the Sta. Juliana Tourism Center and board a 4x4 vehicle. From there, you will pass through Crow Valley as you make your way to the foot of the volcano. This valley is well-known for its panoramic sand cliffs and rough, sandy terrain. You will then arrive at the jump-off site after about an hour’s trip and begin your ascent.

The route is approximately 5.5km long and takes between one and two hours to complete. You will probably come across some lava sand formations left behind from the volcano's 1991 eruption along the way. Once you reach the summit, the turquoise waters of the crater lake will be the first to greet you. Feel free to take some photographs by the lake and eat your lunch before beginning your descent and making your way to your Manila hotel.

Day 7
Bilar Manmade Forest in Bohol

Day 7: Bohol Countryside Tour

On Day 7, you will check out of your Manila hotel and take a flight to Panglao International Airport on the island of Bohol. From there, you'll journey through the province's beautiful landscape to the Corella Tarsier Sanctuary. This woodland area is managed by the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving indigenous tarsiers. Feel free to take photographs, but make sure to turn off the flash to avoid disturbing the tiny primates.

Following your exploration of the tarsier refuge, you will board a floating restaurant for the Loboc River Cruise. As you travel along the Loboc River, enjoy a full buffet lunch while the natives on board entertain you with traditional Filipino music and dances.

When you get back to the pier, you'll stop at Baclayon Church for a quick prayer before heading to the Butterfly Conservatory. A variety of colorful butterflies live and breed in this spot. From there, you will make your way to the Bilar Forest, a 2km-wide mahogany tree forest planted by the locals.

Your last stop will be Chocolate Hills, the province's most well-known attraction. It is a geological wonder composed of 1,268 to 1,776 symmetrical hills resembling Hershey's Kisses. After posing for some photos here, your guide will drop you off at your Panglao hotel.

Day 8
White sand beach of Pamilacan Island in Bohol

Day 8: Pamilacan Island Tour

You will see more of Bohol's beauty with an off-the-beaten-path excursion to Pamilacan Island. This island is roughly 45 minutes away from the town of Baclayon and acts as a whale and dolphin sanctuary. Over the past years, sightings of marine creatures such as Bryde's whales and sperm whales have been reported in the area.

In addition to these animals, Pamilacan is home to around 240 households. Fortunately, the residents make sure to preserve the island's natural beauty. As you reach the island, you will be greeted by its brilliant blue waters and immaculate white beach. Feel free to get right into the sea as soon as you hop off the boat.

If you want to explore the island's rich undersea environment fully, bring your snorkeling gear with you. You may see sea turtles and a variety of fish while snorkeling here. Your guide can also take you to the diving areas surrounding Pamilacan if you want a more adrenaline-pumping experience.

After enjoying the water activities, you can take a short walk to the island's 200-year-old Spanish fort. This fort, designated a National Cultural Treasure, was originally used to keep a lookout for Moro pirates. At the end of the day, you will return to your Panglao hotel.

Day 9
Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete

Day 9: Dumaguete City Tour

You will board a ferry from Bohol to Dumaguete City, where you will find Silliman University. This 62-hectare campus is home to six museums and a plethora of ancient acacia trees. Following your exploration of the institution, you will take a stroll down Dumaguete's promenade, Rizal Boulevard.

From there, you will visit the St. Catherine de Alexandria Cathedral for a quick prayer before heading to the Dumaguete Campanario, the Visayas' oldest bell tower. Afterward, you will go souvenir shopping at the Dumaguete Public Market. Your guide will take you next to the Provincial Capitol and Freedom Park and Clayton Pottery. You will also head to Sidlakang Negros Village, where you can buy souvenirs and see pavilions constructed from local materials.

Afterward, you'll have lunch at Lab-as Seafood before continuing to Valencia's Forest Camp. Because of its large open space, this mountain resort has become a popular camping spot among locals. Your next destination will be the Cata-al War Museum, an establishment featuring World War II artifacts. Your guide will then bring you to the century-old San Agustin Church before finishing your day with a visit to the Negros Oriental Arts & Heritage Center, a souvenir shop selling exquisitely inlaid Philippine gemstones.

Day 10
A sea turtle in Apo Island, Dumaguete

Day 10: Apo Island Tour

Your guide will drive you from your Dumaguete hotel to the Malatapay Boat Terminal, where your tour boat will be waiting. After you've settled onto your boat, you will set sail for Apo Island, Dumaguete's diving paradise. This sanctuary on Negros Island's southeast coast is well-known for its lush underwater habitat teeming with colorful and diverse marine life.

When you arrive on the island, your first stop will be the turtle sanctuary to observe the local turtles. Feel free to swim and snorkel with these friendly sea creatures while admiring the area's enormous coral garden. You might also encounter some schools of colorful fish while exploring the reef.

Apart from enjoying Apo Island's underwater paradise, you can hang out on the beach and take plenty of photographs. You might also visit the Apo View Deck or the Apo Island Lighthouse. Your guide can take you on the 600M Habagat Eco-Trail, David's Walk, or Witchy's Trail, which will provide you with panoramic views of the Negros' coastline. You will then board your boat before the sun sets and return to the mainland to your Dumaguete accommodation.

Day 11
A man enjoying the view of Kawasan Falls in Cebu

Day 11: Kawasan Falls & Moalboal Sardine Run Tour

After leaving Dumaguete, you will board a ferry to Cebu Island for a full-day tour of the province's countryside. The famous Kawasan Falls, located in the town of Badian, will be your first destination here. Your guide will provide you enough time to experience the falls' enticing spring waters before you head to Moalboal.

This town is well-known for being the location of Cebu's gorgeous white beaches. It also has a slew of diving shops lining its beachfront. After some picture taking on the beach, you will hop on your boat and sail to Pescador Island. This island has been named one of the best snorkeling spots in the province, thanks to its crystal blue oceans and magnificent corals of all colors and sizes.

After your island excursion, you'll travel to Turtle Island to swim with sea turtles. Then you'll head back to the mainland for the world-famous sardine race at Panagsama Beach. Because it is available all year, this water activity attracts divers from all over the world. You will first attend a briefing to understand the dos and don'ts of the activity before wearing your gear. After donning your equipment, you will swim a few meters out into the ocean and wait for millions of sardines to pass by. Following your sardine run excursion, you will check into your Sumilon hotel.

Day 12
Taoist Temple in Cebu

Day 12: Cebu City Tour

You will leave the countryside and travel to Cebu City, the Queen City of the South. Here, you will enjoy a full-day city tour, starting with the Taoist Temple. Featuring Chinese-style architecture, the Taoist Temple stands at 110 meters above sea level and is accessible via three separate winding routes.

From there, your guide will take you to the Basilica Minore Del Santo Nino, a Roman Catholic Church from the 16th century. The spot where the basilica stands is believed to be the same place where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebú was found during the expedition of Spanish navigator Miguel López de Legazpi. Outside the church, you will also notice Magellan's Cross.

Afterward, you will head to the Heritage of Cebu Monument. This set of sculptures was created by local artist Eduardo Castrillo in July 1997. You will then visit the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House, one of the country's oldest residential buildings.

After visiting the sites in the lowlands, your guide will take you to the highlands to see the Temple of Leah and its courtyard, which overlooks Cebu City. Following that, you will make your way to the Sirao Flower Farm, where you will witness fields of unusual flowers, including Celosia, aster, and chrysanthemum. You will then check into your Mandaue hotel.

Day 13
Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa Palawan

Day 13: Puerto Princesa Honda Bay Island-Hopping Tour

You will catch a flight from Cebu to Palawan Island's Puerto Princesa International Airport on Day 13. From the airport, you will travel to Honda Bay, where you will board a boat and begin your full-day island-hopping experience.

Starfish Island will be your first location after leaving the mainland. This crescent-shaped island got its name from the myriad of starfish peppering its shore and waters. Apart from the starfish, it is also home to varied marine life, making it one of the best places for snorkeling. While snorkeling here, you might come across some puffers and colorful parrotfish.

Afterward, you will cruise from Starfish Island to the shell-shaped Cowrie Island. Cowrie is Honda Bay's most developed island and a good spot for swimming. There are also available gear for snorkeling, jet skiing, and banana boat riding. Aside from water activities, you may eat at one of the many restaurants dotting Cowrie's beachfront.

Luli Island will be the last destination on your island-hopping journey. Luli is well-known for its vanishing sandbars during high tide, but it also boasts an excellent snorkeling location. Make the most of your time here by swimming and snorkeling before boarding your boat back to the mainland and retiring to your Sabang hotel.

Day 14
A boat of tourists going inside Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan

Day 14: Puerto Princesa Underground River & City Tour

Your guide will transport you from your hotel to Sabang Wharf, where you will board a boat to the world-renowned Puerto Princesa Underground River. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located on Palawan's western shore and contains a subterranean river stretching 8.2 kilometers. As you go down the subterranean river, you'll see century-old stalactites and stalagmites formations that will surely leave you speechless.

Following your cruise, you will head back to the mainland and start your city tour of Puerto Princesa with Baker's Hill. You can find numerous bakeries and pizza parlors serving delicious delights in this location. From there, you will proceed to Plaza Cuartel, a historical site that was once a military base.

Your guide will then take you to the Crocodile Farm. This wildlife research facility is comparable to a zoo, except it exclusively houses rare and endangered types of animals. Afterward, it's on to Mitra's Ranch in Sta. Monica Heights. You can find a view deck here that features a panoramic view of Puerto Princesa. Outdoor activities, such as trampoline, horseback riding, and ziplining, are also available. Finally, before returning to your Sabang accommodation, you will explore the city's promenade, the Puerto Princesa Baywalk.

Day 15
Island in Port Barton Palawan

Day 15: Port Barton Island-Hopping Tour

After you check out of your Sabang hotel, your guide will transport you to Port Barton, a hidden paradise on Palawan's northern coast. This little village, which is part of the tranquil municipality of San Vicente, is well-known for its pure white-sand beach. Despite the absence of luxury hotels and restaurants, Port Barton is a popular destination for travelers wanting to explore the province's off-the-beaten-path attractions.

Once you arrive at the village, you can pose for photographs on the beach before boarding your boat and traveling to the island of Inaladelan. This 12-hectare island, also known as German Island, is a popular spot for swimming and camping. There are various activities accessible here as well, such as beach volleyball and kayaking.

Your boat will then transport you to Luli Sandbar from Inaladelan. This attraction gets its name because it appears at low tide and disappears at high tide. It's a great place for sunbathing and snorkeling.

Following your visit to Luli Sandbar, you'll head to the Turtle Snorkeling Site, where you'll get to hang out and swim with sea turtles. You will also visit the Fish and Reef Snorkeling Site to get a close look at Port Barton's aquatic life. Afterward, you will return to the mainland and your accommodation in Lio.

Day 16
Kayaking in Big Lagoon, El Nido, Palawan

Day 16: El Nido Island-Hopping Tour

On Day 16, you will see more of Palawan by visiting El Nido islands' natural attractions. From your Lio hotel, you will proceed to Bacuit Bay, where your tour boat will be waiting for you. After you've settled in, you will sail to your first stop, the Big Lagoon. This stunning location is nestled among limestone cliffs in the heart of Miniloc Island. Kayak here to get a better perspective of the surroundings, and don't forget to snap photos with the karst cliffs as a backdrop.

Following your tour of the Big Lagoon, you will visit the white-sand beach on Miniloc Island. You may spend your time here sunbathing on the beach or swimming in the clear, inviting waters. Afterward, you will head to the Secret Lagoon, a pool hidden between limestone walls. Your boat will take you to the mainland's Seven Commandos Beach next. Relax on the beautiful white sands of the beach or try scuba diving at the surrounding dive sites.

Finally, you will go to Shimizu Island, a famous snorkeling spot in Bacuit Bay. There is a plethora of marine life here, ranging from healthy corals to stunning fish. After your tour, your vehicle will bring you back to your Lio lodging.

Day 17
Plane on the tarmac of Manila Airport

Day 17: Departure to Manila

Before checking out of your Lio hotel and heading to the Puerto Princesa International Airport, you will have some free time to do souvenir shopping or take pictures. You will then catch a flight to Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, ending your 17-day tour.

What to bring

Face mask and Face shield
Extra clothes
Passport (Valid for 6 months from date of departure)
Swimwear and sunblock
Personal medicines

Good to know

Please bring appropriate clothing. Please be aware that your itinerary may have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.

All our guides speak English. For other languages, contact us for availability and rates.

Not all establishments accept credit or debit cards, and ATMs can be limited.

The season for dolphin watching in Dumaguete is from March to October and is subject to weather and wind conditions. If off-season or on days when the northeast monsoon is strong, dolphin watching may not be possible. During Habagat/ Southwest monsoon Season (June-October), boat ride to Apo Island may be rough.

In El Nido island hopping tour mandatory environmental fee and/or user’s see is to be paid directly in cash to the service provider in El Nido, The tour itinerary is subject to change based on weather and tidal conditions. Tours will start only once operators are given permission to sail by the Local Government Unit (LGU) and the Philippine Coast Guard. Delays in start of tours or cancellation of tours affected by this is beyond the service providers’ control.

Limitation to the number of tourists, boats, kayaks and time of stay in El Nido lagoons are strictly enforced by the PAMB. Secret Beach, Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon are no longer allowed to be toured on the same day as part of the policies of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of El Nido.

A mandatory user fee of PHP 200 per person is collected by PAMB for every entry to the Secret Beach, Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon.

Single use-plastics are banned in El Nido island tours. Please bring reusable water bottles or tumblers. All visitors are required to bring their own trash back to the boats.

Accommodation

See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. All accommodation levels, bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double, and odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. If you are travelling in a group, but prefer a single room, please make separate bookings. Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur. For multi-day guided tours, accommodation cannot be upgraded and the levels below do not apply. Guide to the Philippines will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.

Budget

Private rooms with private bathrooms in guesthouses or small hotels with basic amenities.

Comfort

Private Rooms with a private bathroom at three-star hotels or resorts located in the city center, in close vicinity, or near the beach area. Breakfast is included and with basic room amenities and toiletries.

Quality

Rooms at four-star to a five-star hotel in the city center or beachfront resort with a private bathroom at the absolute best locations with the best amenities, facilities, and services.

Terms of service

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