Destination guide – Philippines


  • Rice terraces in Banaue and Batad
  • Wreck diving in Coron
  • Island hopping between Coron and El Nido
  • Riding jeepneys and tricycles with nice locals
  • Fresh seafood in Palawan


  • Manila
  • El Nido
  • Puerto Princesa Underground River
  • Cheap massages


  • Liveaboard diving in Tubbataha or Apo reef
  • Boracay beach
  • Donsol whale sharks and Mayon volcano
  • Bohol chocolate hills


  • 10 days


  • Bus to Luzon
  • Flights to Palawan
  • Vans for medium journeys
  • Jeenpneys and tricycles for short journeys


  1. Tramping around Manila
  2. Hiking through rice terraces in Banaue & Batad
  3. Exciting wreck diving in Coron
  4. A perfect day in the Palawan islands
  5. Some frustration and some fun in El Nido
  6. The underground river of Puerto Princesa for the end

9 thoughts on “Destination guide – Philippines

  1. Pingback: Country summaries – Index | Bona Travels

  2. Paulina

    Thank you for writing this. It is a great summary of your trip, and we might just follow it!

    We only have about 10-14 days to travel to the Philippines from Canada, and I’ve been trying to narrow our choices down. There is so much to see, and I was getting overwhelmed from the multitude of choices. Thanks for focusing my travel planning!

    Your trip has been spot on, and I appreciate you taking the time to share this!


    1. Thanks, Paulina,glad to be of help to fellow travelers!
      The Philippines have a lot to see and it’s hard to chose and move around efficiently, but I would definitely put the rice terraces of Banaue/Batad and the islands of Palawan at the top of the list.



  3. Matt

    Hello Carmen,
    I too echo what Pauline says; your writings are really helpful My partner and i are doing a hop, skip and a jump soon: 29th October fly from Heathrow to Beijing, bit of sightseeing then 1st Nov we catch a flight to Manila. As we aren’t particularly big city people, we will go straight form Manila to one of the islands. Only have about 10 days so trying to figure out the best way of seeing as much as we can, and get some R and R in too! Diving will play a big part but will need to refresh that. Its been 8yrs since we did the PADI open water and haven’t dived since (eeek!).
    Any suggestions for such a short trip?
    Many thanks



    1. Thanks, Matt!
      With just 10 days and the activities you seem to like, I would definitely focus on Palawan… Maybe fly directly from Manila to Coron, spend a couple of days there refreshing your PADI and exploring the wrecks, and then head toward El Nido for island hopping. You can join one of the 3-6 days expeditions that connect Coron with El Nido (with the company we went Abandon Paradise Expeditions, or with Tao Expeditions), or take a few day trips around Coron, then take the non-stop bangka to El Nido, and do a few day trips there. Either way, you should be able to enjoy many paradise beaches and lagoons 🙂
      Hope this helps, cheers!


  4. Tickee

    Hi! Just stumbled across your blog. Husband and I are taking a last minute trip to the Philippines, travelling via HK. we’ll only have 5 days, 4 nights and want to go somewhere scenic, authentic and tasty. Boracay looks too touristy for us, we want somewhere where we’re not surrounded by tourist stands, burgers and chinese food. For such a short trip like this, do you think we can do the Palawan?


    1. You can definitely do Palawan! If want want to avoid tourists and make the most out of your time there, I would recommend flying from Manila to Coron and doing a 3 day private (or small group) tour to the surrounding islands, in which you camp on the beach and buy fish from local fishermen 🙂
      You could do the same in El Nido, but you’d waste time getting to and from Puerto Princesa (where the nearest airport is) and it would be more touristy…


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