The Best Philippines Itinerary for 2 Weeks or Less

Philippines Itinerary

In a country made of many islands, every island is special in its own way. While you would like to visit every single island, here is a detailed Philippines Itinerary covering some of the best islands and activities.

♦  WHEN TO TRAVEL: November to March (Dry Season)  ♦

Two weeks Philippines Itinerary:

  • Day 1 – 2: Manila
  • Day 3: Puerto Princess
  • Day 4 – 6: El Nido
  • Day 7 – 9: Coron
  • Day 10 – 14: Cebu

〈 Day 1 – 2: MANILA 〉

Day 1: Fly To Manila

Travel to Manila from your home country. Take a Grab or Uber from the airport to your hotel. Don’t worry if you don’t have internet in phone. There is a designated Grab counter at the airport to book a taxi for you.

Day 2: Manila City Tour

Start the day early with a visit to Intramuros. Within walking distance from Intramuros is The National Museum of Fine Arts and the National Museum of Anthropology. Head to Mall of Asia and catch the sunset at Manila Baywalk. Go to Malate for nightlife.

Transport: Metro, Tricycles, Cabs and Jeepneys. Make sure you don’t miss a Jeepney ride. They are originally made from U.S. military jeeps left over from World War II and are the most popular means of public transportation in manila.

〈 Day 3: Puerto Princesa 〉

Philippines Itinerary

Day 3: Fly to Puerto Princesa & Visit the Underground River

Take a morning flight to Puerto Princesa and check in to your hotel. Later visit Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (popularly called the Underground River), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. It’s about 80 kms drive to the town of Sabang. From there you can either take a boat or hike to the entrance of the Underground River. Audio devices are given and small paddle boats take visitors into the cave of impressive stalagmite formations. On your way back to Puerto Princesa stop by Ugong Rock.

If you still have time you can go on a Puerto Princesa City tour.

〈 Day 4 – 6: El Nido〉

Philippines Itinerary

Day 4: Travel to El Nido, Palawan by Land

Getting to El Nido: El Nido is about 230 kms from Puerto Princesa. You could easily travel by private taxi, bus or van. Most popular way of travelling to El Nido is by shared van that runs throughout the day. It takes around 5 hours with one stop for refreshments. If you are tall try to get a seat in front. You can easily book a shuttle van in Puerto Princesa town or ask your PP/El Nido hotel to arrange one. If you are directly heading to Elnido after landing you will find many van drivers at the airport asking you for a ride to El Nido. Shuttle Price: 500 PHP pp (approx 650 inr).

After getting dropped at El Nido town you can take a tricycle ride to your hotel. Freshen up and visit Matinloc Shrine. A quick hike up the rocks brings you to the viewpoint.

Day 5: Island Hopping Tour

You can go for Island Hopping Tour today. There are many tours to choose from of which Tour A & Tour C are popular. You don’t have to book in advance. Every hotel sells tours and the price is almost the same. I paid 1500 php pp (approx. 1800 inr ) for Tour A. When you are in El Nido and you can’t not party in the night.

Day 6: Island Hopping / Visit Beaches

You can choose to do another Island Hopping Tour or visit Twin Beaches – Nacpan and Calitang Beach by taking a tricycle or renting motorbike. Later in the evening head to Las Cabanas Beach. You can try zip lining here. I am a fanatic of sunsets and this was the most gorgeous sunset I have seen in my entire life.

El Nido is not at all expensive. Food and drinks are really cheap. You will see a lot of backpackers here.

Philippines Itinerary

WHERE TO STAY

  • Town Centre: You will find many budget accommodation but it can be little noisy and the beach isn’t ideal to swim.  However I preferred staying here for the sake of convenience. It’s walkable to island hopping tours. There are plenty of cafes and bars. Every night locals put up fresh sea food stalls and it’s open until morning. It’s a haven for sea food lovers and the food is so cheap. I can’t stop drooling when I think of it. Most of the travellers party through the wee hours of the morning, and pass out after dawn.
  • Las Cabanas Beach: This beach is lined with few restaurants and bars, playing good music. Popualr Activity: Zip Line. It’s a short tricycle ride from El Nido Town.
  • Corong-Corong: It is more isolated. I wouldn’t recommend.

HOW TO GO AROUND

  • Town is very small and we mostly walked around. To get to other beaches we took tricycles.

〈 Day 7 – 9: Coron〉

Philippines Itinerary

Day 7: Travel to Coron & Coron City Tour

Today you take a morning ferry to Coron, Palawan. It takes around 4 hours in high speed ferry. Don’t be surprised if you are flocked by Tricycle drivers at the port. We took a tricycle to get to our guest house in Coron town center. Today you can opt for Coron city tour which includes a trek to the summit of Mt. Tapyas or rent a motorbike and drive around on your own.

Day 8: Go for Island Hopping Tour & Maquinit Hot Springs

Like El Nido there are many tours to choose from. A must do is Ultimate Coron island Hopping Tour. What better way to end the day with a dip in hot water springs right? A 15 minute ride from the town brings you to Maquinit Hot Springs. This is a sea water hot springs which is open from 6 am to 10 pm. Best time to go here is during the sunset.

Day 9: Go for Island Hopping Tour or Diving

Today you can go for another Tour or choose to dive.  There are many Japanese WWII ship wrecks and several reefs to choose.

Philippines Itinerary

WHERE TO STAY

  • We chose to stay in Coron town center as its best if you want to go out at night or walk to ferry for island hopping tours.

HOW TO GO AROUND

  • We mostly walked or rented motorbike. There are many tricycles as well.

Note: There aren’t many ferries to Coron, so browse for ferry schedules and try to buy tickets at least a day in advance especially in summer. I asked my guesthouse owner the previous morning and she bought tickets for us.

〈Day 10 – 14: Cebu〉

Philippines Itinerary

  1. Places of Interest in North Cebu: Malapascua & Bantayan Island
  2. Places of Interest in South Cebu: Moalboal, Oslob, Osmena Peak
  3. Other things to do in Cebu: Cebu City Tour
  4. Neighbouring Islands: Bohol, Camotes, Siquijor, Dumagate,

Depending on your interests you can choose where to go after landing in Cebu airport. In Cebu city you can go for Cebu City Tour. If you want to pamper yourself then you can find some of the finest 5 star luxury resorts in the Philippines in Mactan Island where the Cebu International airport is located. Head north of Cebu if you are looking for white sand beaches. If you are up for some adventure and mesmerizing waterfalls head south of Cebu.

Below itinerary covers south of Cebu.

Day 10: Fly to Cebu and reach Oslob

Today take a morning flight to Cebu. You can book a shared van for 150 php pp (approx 210 inr)to drop you to the airport from Coron.

After landing in Cebu you can take a metered taxi to Cebu South Bus Terminal. At the bus stand ask for buses going to Moalboal. Buses ply every 30-60 mins during the day and it shouldn’t take around 2 hours to reach. Check-in and end your long day at the famous Chilli’s Bar watching turtles popping their head out and you might as well let loose and dance.

Day 11: Pescaudar Island + Sardines dive + White beach

Today you can unwind a bit. In Moalboal at Panagsama beach you will find plenty of tour operators advertising tour packages.

Choose to do Scuba Diving or/and sardines run. Just 20 meters away from the shore of Panagsama beach you can snorkel or free dive to see huge schools of sardines. Like millions of them, so don’t ever miss this. You can also opt for Pescaudor island hopping tour which includes sardines run. In the evening go to white beach to enjoy sunset.

Do book a canyoneering trip for the next day.

Day 12: Canyoneering + Waterfalls

Have good breakfast and get prepared for another thrilling experience a 4 hour long canyoneering. You will most probably be picked up from your hotel in the morning. It takes about 20 minutes from Moalboal to reach Badian which is the beginning of the trail. The trail ends at Kawasan falls. Click here to read about my experience

Kawasan Canyoneering

After canyoneering head to Oslob. It should take around 2 hours. On the way try visiting one or two waterfalls.

Note: Alternate plan for Day 12 & 13. You can check in at Fantasy Lodge Cebu after canyoneering. Takes around an hour. This resort is beautifully located and they also organize tours. You can stay here and do all the activities. In Fantasy Lodge treat yourself to a Kawa Bath. Click here for details

Kawa bath

Day 13: Whale Shark Watching + Tumolog Falls + Sumilion Islands

It’s best to go for whale shark watching early in the morning. Try reaching there by 6:30 am. Timings:  6:00 AM to 12:00 noon only. After this you can go to Tumalog Falls which is 10 minutes away. To know more in detail Click Here

Do you fancy infinity pool, a sandbar, white sand beach? If yes, head to Bluewater Sumilon Island. It is a small private island resort in Oslob and staying here is bit expensive. But you can take a day package and enjoy the facilities of the resort and its beaches.

In the evening take a bus to Cebu. Journey Time: 4 hours

Note: If you want a hassle free Cebu trip, you will find plenty of tour operators online. Your hotel should also arrange the complete trip or share contacts of reliable sources if you reach out to them.

Day 14:  City tour if you have time, else fly out.

Fantasy Lodge cebu

Alternate Philippines Itinerary for fewer days

10 days Philippines Itinerary:

  • Day 1-2: Manila
  • Day 3: Puerto Princess
  • Day 4-6: El Nido
  • Day 7-10: Cebu

1 week Philippines Itinerary:

  • Day 1-2: Manila
  • Day 3: Puerto Princess
  • Day 3-5: El Nido
  • Day 5-7: Coron

1 week Itinerary:

  • Day 1-2: Manila
  • Day 3-7: Cebu

Quick Notes:

  • Good to have a local sim if you are doing the tour on your own.
  • Philippines is not at all expensive. Sea Food is bloody cheap.
  • Everyone speaks good English. It is damn easy to back pack in this country.
  • Don’t miss Jeepney ride in manila
  • Puerto Princessa, Elnido & Coron are in the Palawan province.
  • If you have less than two weeks, I strongly suggest picking two or three islands and doing them justice.
  • Try this famous Filipino delicacy-balut.
  • Travel during dry months to Philippines. Not recommended to travel during wet season.

I hope this detailed Philippines Itinerary will be of help when you plan your trip. Please feel free to comment below or reach out to me if you have any more questions or need help in planning.

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