Big crush for the Philippines! So I went back twice. Here are the itinerary I did on my two trips 2 weeks and 3 weeks during which backpacked.
2 weeks in the Philippines:
BATAD/ BANAUE – 3 days:
After arriving in Manila, take a bus (preferably by night) for Banaue then go to Batad to enjoy the beautiful rice fields away from everything. There is no network and it’s about 1 hour walk from the last road to get there.
BOHOL – 5 days:
In Banaue, take a night bus to Manila and then the first flight to Cebu. From Cebu, take a ferry to Tagbilaran and then trycicle to Alona beach. We spend at least 3/4 days to make excursions, see turtles and dolphins in Balicasag, discover the tarsiers on the road to the Chocolate Hills and enjoy the beaches around.
CAMIGUIN – 4 days:
From Bohol, join the port of Jagna (bus from Tagbilaran to Jagna about 2 hours, not expensive at all). In jagna take a ferry to Camiguin. Once on the island of Camiguin, two days minimum are needed to discover the hot springs, baths, volcanoes and especially the beautiful sandbar ‘White Island’. Rent a scooter to enjoy the beautiful roads in the middle of magnificent landscapes.
3 weeks in the Philippines:
CORON – 3 days:
From Manila, take a plane to Coron (Busuanga). 4 types of excursions are proposed (some overlaps).
Making 2 whole days allows to see full of different landscapes and beaches and equally magnificent: emerald lagoons in the middle of the cliffs, paradisaical islets, beaches of white sands bathed with turquoise water … In short Coron it is the paradise .
EL NIDO – 5 days:
In Coron take the boat that connects to El Nido in 8 hours. As in Coron, El Nido’s specialty is island hoping. There are 4 tours offered by all agencies. Depending on the weather, not all are available. Classical excursions last one day but can also be done on several days by kayak to avoid crowds and camp on a deserted island.
In addition to these tours, you can rent a scooter and go on the northern roads in search of beautiful wild beaches. The lovers of sunsets will be happy with a superb view in the beach of Las Cabanas.
OSLOB – 0,5 day:
The best is to be there very early in the morning to avoid the crowd. Apart from the whale sharks there is nothing to see in Oslob itself. Half a day is enough and can go quickly to Apo Island.
APO ISLAND – 2 days:
Tiny island with beautiful beaches and rich seabed. Apo Island is famous for seeing turtles and indeed there are everywhere! Without diving 2 days are enough. Divers stay usually longer.
SIQUIJOR – 2 days:
Siquijor is quite large. We can spend two days there to discover the beautiful waterfalls of Cambugahay, the pretty beaches and to scour the small roads of the island by scooter. To get there, we can take ferry from Dumaguete, Cebu or Tagbilaran.
MALAPASCUA– 2 days:
Two days are not too much to enjoy this little paradise island. A day to walk around the island and a day trip to kallangaman sandbar to discover the surrounding nature. From Cebu take the bus to Maya and then the boat to Malapascua.
PINATUBO– 1 day:
From Manila, spend a day at Pinatubo Volcano. An almost unreal desert landscape leads to the crater. This is an original and very exotic one day trip to do from Manila.
TAAL LAKE– 1 day:
To go to Lake Taal, you can leave Manila by bus. The view is superb, the crater too. But you have to go as early as possible to avoid the horses that wave the dust and make the hike unpleasant.