Travel Itinenary for 1 month
Michael: hi guys …
im searching this site and seems quite interesting….
im a new visitor to the Philippines…hopefully ! its my first holiday there , visiting around next dec/jan for 1 month……
i would like some tips on how should i plan my trip…..looks like the main hot spots that are compatible to my likes are Boracay , Cebu , Palawan , Puerto Galera & a bit on Manila….i would like to know how much preferably time would be enough for these places and how i organize my trip …. maybe manila to puerto…..then cebu ..borocay…palawan back to manila ?? any better tips ??
many thanks …g’day all
keep the good work here…
Ryan: Regarding your question, that really depends on how much time and money you have. Some people spend an entire week in Boracay, I know a couple from Sweden who spent 4 weeks in Palawan! Now, see first what visa will you be on here- pretty much for most nationalities, there is a 21 day visa free travel to the Philippines. You have to check if your country is on that list. Some countries has 3 months visa free stays and others require a visa before traveling to the Philippines. Let’s say you are on the majority list of countries with 21 days visa free stay, you can allocate the amount of time spread out in those 21 days. Make sure that you are at the airport leaving the country on the 21st day! Otherwise you may have to file an extension (Check our article on Philippine Tourist Visas by our Expat Writer’s column- Walkabout Pinas).
Check the availability of flights. SEAIR (Southeast Asian Airlines) is your best bet between island hopping. As far as I know, they have a Manila-Cebu-Boracay (Caticlan) – Puerto Princesa (Palawan) which can be connected via road to El Nido (Palawan) – Manila loop. Puerto Galera is another story though. Check their website for details – flyseair.com.
Decently, you can break down your stay like this:
Manila- 2 days
Cebu – 2-3 days plus Bohol – 5 days
Boracay- 3-4 days
Palawan- 7-10 days
Manila – 2 days
Michael: thanks for info Ryan ….
im spending a total of 29 days , so roughly i can plan on ur advise……basically i prefer the white sandy beaches + nightlife….as we are a group of single males ( sumone mention the craziness of Angeles too)….not sure about it ……..!! Palawan seems a paradise regarding nature etc so we will visit as well…….do cebu , borocay and puerto have many similarities ?? i dont like to take the hassle of flights & travelling just to visit another place and find out its more or less the same.
Ryan: I am not a big fan personally of the “nightlife” in Angeles. It is too seedy for my taste. Last February I went to Clark to do hot air ballooning and wished to stay to rest in one of the motels just before another event, and I get hassled by local trike drivers for prostitutes. I don’t support such kind of tourism however. Manila has a rocking nightlife and if you hang out at the right places you’d be able to mingle with the locals and other expats minus the stain of prostitution.
Okay nightlife wise, Cebu tracks Manila. Cebu’s beauty is more concentrated in its culture, food and many stunning dive spots. It is also a good jump-off for the nearby Bohol province with its over 1,000 Chocolate Hills and white sand beaches and tarsiers. If party is what you really wanted then Boracay is the ultimate island party place in the Philippines. It has one of the most awesome beaches in the world and a pretty good nightlife especially for singles, Don’t forget to drink for your country at Cocomangas – I their infamous 15 shots last December.
I am not a big fan of Puerto Galera although it does have some nice secluded coves, but basically (I know I am going to be crucified for this), Puerto Galera is the poor man’s Boracay. It is cheaper and it is close to Manila and the beaches are definitely inferior than Boracay.
If you really have to streamline your travel. I’d say never miss Coron (Northern Palawan), Puerto Princesas Subterranean River (longest navigable underwater river in the world) and then you can spend some time in Boracay as well as Manila.
Michael: thanks for positive comments Ryan …. i know ur an expert here so i guess i will spend
more time in Boracay rather than going to Puerto Galera and feel dissappointed ….
keep the good work here….
Ryan: Well some people likes Puerto Galera, but save for some secluded beaches, the place is a bit seedy for my taste. And since it is more readily accessible to Manila, there’s more people there. They do have some great diving opportunities (same as Boracay). Near Puerto Galera is Verde Island with spectacular diving (for advanced divers). It is called the center of the center for marine biodiversity in the world – pretty much like underwater equivalent of the heart of the Amazon. That is of course if you are into diving. :)
Let me know what else I can help you with Boracay – I usually visit that island once a year (though not this year). Last time I was there was December last year and then next time probably would be January 2010 on my way to Romblon. Oh yeah, a friend of mine way back high school days own a cruise ship that sometimes ply the Coron, Palawan to Boracay route. Let me know if you are interested and I can send him a message. He owns two private islands in Northern Palawan as well as a hotel in Boracay. :)
Michael: After doin a lot of ‘HW’ from loads of websites i roughly planned this itenary…what u think of it ? as ur an expertise i will follow all your useful advices….im a first time visitor to Philippines … so much thanks for your patience & help …..
24th Dec. arrive in Cebu via Bkk-Manila ( havent find a more cheaper flight ..flyin with CebuPacific )
28th Dec. Off to Bohol for 3 days ( plan for a fast ferry 2 way travelling )
31st Dec. Cebu – Boracay ( seems that the most ideal trip is via Air philippines to Caticlan as Kalibo airport seems a long way from island…..read about 2 hr drive )
4th Jan. Caticlan – Manila ( Air philippines again )
4th Jan. Manila -Puerto princessa .. spending 5 days in Palawan …. ( using Cebupacific )
thats all !!!….hope can get some more useful tips about your views , if any !
Ryan: I think your itinerary sounds okay. Btw the drive from Kalibo to Catcilan is just about 1-1.5 hours. Be careful with flying with Cebu Pacific. Cheap airfares but really sucky customer service. :)
PkTan is fascinated with this beautiful, complicated country. He loves advising travellers to Philippines and have developed this site to share all his knowledge of Philippines with everyone. Learn more about me [+]