- 12 Nights / 13 Days
- 3 Star
- Airconditioned Vehicle
- Fast Pace
- Private Tour
Comprising over seven thousand islands, Philippines is an archipelago that is home to some of the most picturesque islands and crystal-clear beaches. In addition to the pristine beaches, Philippines is also surrounded by rich emerald green rice fields, tropical rain forests, scattered volcanoes, chocolate hills and breathtaking flora and fauna. These remarkable and contrasting landscapes make Philippines a visitor’s paradise!
Filipinos are one of the most easy-going and fun loving people you will meet. No wonder they say “It’s more fun in the Philippines”. Music and singing are an integral part of their daily lives and the influence of the Spanish is evident in their culture. Also colonised by the Americans, it is a country blessed with the best of Eastern and western values.
Manila, is a bustling capital city and the main entry point to Philippines. Filled with many colourful jeepneys, modern mix of grand colonial churches, hyper-malls, museums and street life, it is the hub of business and the entertainment district. Whilst in Manila, be sure to visit Intramuros, located south of the Pasig River and east of Manila Bay. This Walled City was built by the Spaniards some 400 years ago as their political and military base in Asia. It is one of the top highlights in Manila. A fun way to experience the Intramuros is riding on an eco-friendly bamboo bike.
Bohol, Cebu, Boracay and Palawan are the most famous and visited island destinations. Each destination offers its unique experiences to the avid traveller to explore or to simply relax. Island hopping between these destinations is a popular way to experience what Philippines has to offer.
Whilst in Bohol, be sure to visit the famous Chocolate Hills and the Tarsier Sanctuary. Endemic to Philippines, the Tarsier are adorable cute animals with giant eyes and immensely soft fur. A whole sanctuary has been allocated for these endangered species. Also experience a relaxing ride on the Loboc river with a buffet lunch and welcoming singing locals.
Head to the island of Cebu and cruise to the smaller islands of Hilutungan and Nalusuan. You will soon realise your getaway to paradise has started. When in Cebu, you can choose to do as much or as little that your heart desires. Some suggested icons to visit whilst in Cebu include the Fort San Pedro, The Basilica Minore del Santo Nino and Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House to name a few.
Palawan, the Philippines westernmost province is a picture-perfect island like no other. It will transport you to a beautiful tropical paradise that is home to marvellous beaches and abundant biodiversity. When in Puerto Princesa, experience the Honda bay island hopping. Another must visit is the UNESCO world heritage “Underground River” located near the Sabang beach. The 8.2-kilometer-long underground river boasts jaw-dropping cave formations, stunning limestone cliffs, and pristine waters.
Next head to El-Nido, one of the most photographic and stunning locations in the world. Be greeted by spectacular islands with powdery white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters, hidden lagoons, limestone formations and sandbanks. Visit the Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island and Seven Commando Beach to truly experience this remarkable beauty of this island nation.
Philippines is simply an exotic and untouched paradise waiting to be explored and experienced. Be amazed by the scenic beauty and soak in the island atmosphere. Immerse yourself in the Philippines culture and become part of the local saying “It is more fun in the Philippines”.
Binondo (Manila)Manila Chinatown, or Binondo as it’s known to the locals, is labelled as the oldest Chinatown in the world. It was built in 1594 and became the centre of commerce and trade in the Philippines. The bustling Ongpin Street (the district’s most famous street), is filled with vendors selling their products ranging from stores, stalls and on boxes of items on the sidewalk. Food walking tours around Binondo offer foodies an insider’s look into the flavourful, timeless and affordable cuisine simmering beneath the neighbourhood’s hustle and bustle.
Intramuros (Manila)Located south of the Pasig River and east of Manila Bay, the Walled City of Intramuros in Manila was built by the Spaniards approximately 400 years ago as their political and military base in Asia. A secure city built with defensive structures such as the 4.5km wall, moats, cannons, bulwarks and ravelins, protected Intramuros from man-made disasters and also fended off threats from Chinese pirates, Dutch forces and other invaders. A great way to enjoy the city is on a bamboo bike. Some of the highlights of the city include, Fort Santiago, Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, museum and the horse-drawn carriages (kalesa) travelling through the cobblestone streets.
Alona Beach (Panglao Island)Alona Beach, on the island of Panglao Bohol, is famous for its white sandy beach, crystal clear waters and colourful coral that stretches for one and a half kilometres. The beach is also surrounded by picturesque rocky cliffs. Adding to its tropical beauty are tall swaying palm trees and the blue and white outrigger boats that line the beach. It is a quiet romantic place for those who want to chill at night, enjoy a candle-lit dinner and listen to a variety of music genres at the local clubs and pubs. It’s also home to a number of hotels and restaurants – ranging from budget-friendly to luxury for you to truly unwind and relax.
Chocolate Hills (Bohol)Chocolate Hills of Bohol is an unusual geological formation of hills. These hills change their colour from green to dark brown during the dry season which has earned the name chocolate. Due to its natural beauty, coupled with its almost mysterious origin, it has been declared the country’s third National Geological Monument and endorsed to be listed at UNESCO World Heritage. Most of the hills are between 30 and 50 meters in height but there are some hills which reach approximately 120 meters. These hills span over an area of more than 50sqkm.
Loboc River-Cruising (Bohol)Loboc River cruise is one of the most ideal ways to enjoy the beautiful views of overhanging palm trees and local fishermen making their way down the forest banks. It is described as one of the cleanest rivers in the country. The cruise starts from the Loay Bridge in the neighbouring town of Loay (also known as Loboc town), cruising through the serene body of water until reaching Busay Falls and turning back. During the tour, entertainment includes a cultural show by the famous Loboc Children’s Choir and local community with folk songs and dances. A scrumptious buffet will be served for your indulgence. It is the perfect way to explore the island’s natural beauty and cultural value.
Tarsier Sanctuary (Bohol)This is a large forest dedicated to the protection of Tarsiers, which are officially recognized as endangered species. A small nocturnal mammal that has the largest eyes of any mammal in relation to their body size. The Tarsier is a unique animal as the head of a Tarsier is able to turn 180 degrees in each direction so that this primate can see behind it without moving its body. They are also the only completely carnivorous primates in the world. Insects make up the bulk of a Tarsier’s diet along with small vertebrates such as frogs, lizards and small birds.
Fort San Pedro (Cebu)Fort San Pedro (or the Fuerte de San Pedro in Spanish) is a military defence structure in Cebu. It was built by the Spaniards under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the first governor of Captaincy General of the Philippines. This triangular shaped wooden facility was first constructed in 1565 by the Spanish and Cebuano laborers. In 1738 they replaced the structure with stone to keep the Spanish soldiers and other locals safe from the Muslim raiders.
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House (Cebu)Built by the Chinese merchants in 1675, locals believe it to be one of the oldest residential structures in Cebu. House is located just across the street from the Heritage of Cebu Monument and a few meters away from Colon Street, the oldest street in the Philippines. The rich and prominent Filipino-Chinese lived here during the Spanish Times. Today, the three-century-old house serves as a museum. Visitors can see lots of religious images, antique furniture, kitchenware, glassware, paintings, and decorative art passed on through eight generations of the family.
Guitar Making Factory (Cebu)Cebu has a long history of guitar making and most of the guitar manufacturers are family-owned enterprises passed on from one generation to another. Guitars made in Cebu are especially famous throughout the Philippines due to their affordable price, world-class quality and durability. One of the remarkable guitar-makers in Cebu is the Alegre Guitar Factory. The shop is owned and managed by Fernando M. Alegre. The Alegre family is one of the pioneers in the guitar-manufacturing business, which is on its third generation of proprietorship. Alegre’s quality guitars are made of indigenous materials, from the type of wood used to the shell ornaments, making it a truly unique instrument.
Island Hopping (Cebu)During the island hopping in Cebu, you will visit the Hilutungan and Nalusuan isands. Hilutungan is a protected area south of Mactan and a popular choice for snorkelling. This marine sanctuary is home to a number of varieties of fish such as clownfish, damselfish, batfish, and parrotfish. Nalusuan Island offers more under-the-sea adventures amongst its crystal-clear waters, filled with rich marine life. This beach resort and marine sanctuary offer additional activities to snorkeling and swimming, such as kayaking and parasailing (for an additional fee).
Island hopping Honda Bay (Puerto Princesa)Honda Bay is a large section of the Palawan coastline, 20 minutes from the city of Puerto Princesa. Within the bay, there are more than 10 islands that make up some of the best island-hopping experiences in Puerto Princesa. This island hopping tour will take you to 3 spectacular tropical islands, each with their own unique character. Generally, the first stop is Luli Island, which is a sand bar and best visited at low tide. This snaking stretch of sand in the middle of the ocean is the perfect warm-up for the island hopping tour. The second stop is the biggest island of the tour on Honda Bay - Cowrie Island. This is where you will spend most of your time which will include your lunch break. The island has pure white sand and big palm trees running through the center, with wooden cabanas along the edge of the beach to soak up the sun. Ideally there is a bar in the middle of the island which serves fresh watermelon smoothies, beer, and soft drinks. Whether you choose to simply relax and get a massage or go on a banana boat ride, Cowrie Island offers it all! The final stop is the starfish island, well known for its large variety and sizes of colourful starfish. This crescent-shaped island has crystal clear waters and is a great place for snorkeling.
Underground River (Sabang)Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the world’s longest navigable underground river that flows directly underneath the St Paul Mountain Range. River is located north of Puerto Princesa near the seaside village of Sabang. The drive can take about 2 hours. The river system was created millions of years ago as water channelled its way through the rock creating a series of vast chambers and caves. The cave system stretches for a total of 24km beneath the mountains. Visitors can explore a smaller portion (approximately 4km) – entering the cave from the point where the underground river reaches the sea.
Island Hopping (El Nido)Tour A visits include the Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island and Seven Commandos Beach. Big Lagoon’s water levels are shallow hence can be entered by kayak or swimming into the lagoon to enjoy the surrounding peaceful beauty. Secret Lagoon (also known as Hidden Lagoon), is rather small and can get crowded in the high season. You need to swim through a small hole on the side of the limestone to reach the lagoon. Shimizu Island is traditionally an incredibly stunning lunch spot. It is possible to snorkel here however, currents can become strong especially in the afternoon. Hence, we recommend consulting with your guide first to make sure swimming is safe during your visit. Seven Commando Beach is generally the last stop on the full day tour as it is the closest to El Nido town. The name of the beach was based on a legend that believed seven Japanese commandos lived here for several years during WWII. Another beautiful stretch of long white sandy beach with coconut trees line to relax and soak up the sun after the long day out.
Do I need a visa ?
Good news is Australians passport holders do not require a visa to enter the country for holiday purposes and if you plan to stay up to 30 days.
Is Philippines safe to travel?
Philippines is a safe country to travel as long as you avoid visiting a few particular areas and practice precaution. Our tours are designed mainly in the islands of Luzon, Cebu, Palawan and Bohol which are visited by many tourists and locals.
In Philippines there are a few no go areas such as the southern region (Sulu area) and Mindanao.
Always refer to the Australian traveller websites for up to date safety/security related information. e.g. https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
What is the best time to visit?
Philippines has 2 seasons (a dry season and a wet/cool season). Best time to visit is during the dry/cool season between December and February. Months of March and April is still a good time to travel but you can expect hot weather. From May onwards, the rainy season starts which last until October/November. During these months you can also expect typhoons which may affect travel plans.
What is the food like in Philippines?
Philippine cuisine is less known compared to other Asian cuisines however has been getting popular over the last few years. It is a mix of Chinese, Spanish, Mexican, American and Malay cuisines. Dishes are less spicy compared to Thai and Malaysian. Food is also generally salty, sweet, and sour. Adobo (Chicken/Pork braised in garlic, vinegar, oil and soy sauce cooked until dry) is a very popular dish. You will also find pork in many of their meals. Lechon is a whole pig slowly roasted and quite a popular dish descends from the Spanish colonisation.
What is the electricity voltage?
Philippine operates on 220V and frequency of 60hz. There are 3 plug type (A, B and C). Type A has two flat parallel pins, plug type B has two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin and type C has two round pins.
Is Philippines a family friendly destination?
Philippines is a great destination to travel with the family as people are lovely and hospitable. Children will certainly enjoy travelling in the Philippines due to many water based activities, beautiful beaches and the easy pace of life.