2 Weeks in Philippines: Sample Itinerary
2 Weeks in Philippines
As part of our popular ongoing Itineraries series, we present you with an awesome sample itinerary for 2 weeks in Philippines. This itinerary is designed to help you explore the best of the Philippines.
Naturally this sample itinerary is just a guide and depending on what type of traveller you are, you can modify it to suit your own style.
It’s not difficult to see why this country has really come up on the radar for so many travellers of late. Beaches for days, phenomenal diving, great trekking opportunities and a really unique South East Asian history are all awesome reasons to visit the Philippines. That said, with over 7,000 islands of gorgeously diverse culture and geography it can be a little daunting to pick where to go and after that, getting from island to island can be time consuming and pricey. As such, we’d recommend being choosy on locations to maximize a 2 week stay.
We spent nearly a month in the country with a focus on hitting the best beach and diving spots. We had many incredible experiences and few notable misses. Here are our sample itinerary best bets on how to spend your time.
One thing you’ll notice right off the bat is that we have listed Boracay as an alternative to Malapascua, home of the thresher shark. If you’re more interested in partying and expansive dining options then we’d recommend Boracay over Malapascua which is smaller, quieter and far less developed. Ultimately both are good beach options for different reasons, the choice is yours!
The second part of this itinerary focuses on Palawan, with stops in Puerto Princesa, El Nido and Coron. Palawan was not only our favourite island chain but was also named best island in the world in 2014 and 2015 by Conde Nast Travel.
If you’re lucky enough to have more than 2 weeks in the Philippines then you should definitely plan to spending some time on some of the lesser travelled but culturally and geographically rich islands like Bohol, Luzon, and Camiguin.
2 Week Itinerary
Manila, Cebu, Malapascua (Or Boracay), Puerto Princesa, El Nido, & Coron
Days 1-3: Manila/Cebu City
- We recommend booking a flight out of Manila to Cebu City and skipping Manila completely in order to get the most out of your two weeks.
- Head out very early in the morning to Oslob to swim, dive or snorkel with whale sharks.
- Spend a half day exploring the interesting historical sites around Cebu City including Magellan’s Cross, Basilica del Santa Nino, and Fort San Pedro.
Where we stayed: Villa de Mercedes – $18 USD per night (private room)
Days 4-6: Malapascua
- Take a bus from Cebu City and then boat to the tiny island of Malapascua. The hour plus boat trip to the island can be a little bumpy so travel sickness meds can be handy.
- Spend a morning diving with the island’s most famous inhabitant, the thresher shark! We recommend Dan’s Dive Shop for a cheap and awesome diving experience (check out our post, here).
- Wander the tiny island to see fishermen selling their fresh catches, kids playing basketball on homemade hoops and then grab some fresh seafood or BBQ at a local restaurant. Make sure to grab some local rum which at $1-$2 for about a litre is amongst the cheapest in the world, dangerously easy drinking!
- Spend of the rest of your time lazing in the warm waters and white sand beaches.
Where we stayed: Blue Water Resort– $12 USD per night (private room)
Days 4-6: Boracay
- Take a stroll along one of the finest powder beaches in the world and take in the world famous Boracay sunset.
- At night explore the dozens of restaurants and bars along the beach, most offering rad live music.
- Treat yourself to a massage for only $6 USD along the beach in Station 3.
- The cheapest accommodations, restaurants and bars are found in Station 3.
Where to stay: My Hostel Boracay – $35 USD per night (private room)
Days 7-8: Puerto Princesa
- Fly from Cebu (or Boracay) to Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan and check into your accommodation.
- That evening head to Ima’s Gulay restaurant which serves incredible vegetarian food. So good even non-vegetarians will be happy!
- Puerto Princesa is home to second longest cave in the world. You can check it out with the Puerto Princesa Underground River tour. Read about our experience in this post.
Where to stay: Color Mansion – $17 USD per night (private room w/ A.C.)
Days 9-11: El Nido
- Make your way north to El Nido (transit here can be arranged at the airport or guesthouse in Puerto Princesa). Rent a kayak on the beach and paddle out to one of the many small islands in the area. Once you arrive there’s a good chance you’ll have the island all to yourself.
- Spend a day exploring the colourful streets and old churches of the small coastal town. Be to sure to try the popular Filipino snack, “balut” (duck fetus). Vendors come out along the beach at sunset with pails of the stuff.
- Wander the little town, go diving and chill on the beach.
Days 12-13: Coron
- Take the boat from El Nido to Coron, which should take 6 hours but if you’re like us and hit crappy conditions, can take up to 12.
- Dump your bags and head down to the main strip and find yourself a good dive shop where you can book Japanese WWII wreck diving the following day.
- After diving, head out for a big last night in the Philippines at one of the many bars around the town’s docks.
Where to stay: Lagrosa Backpackers – $12 USD per night (private room)
Day 14: Fly to Manila and then home
- Fly back home or onward to your next destination!
The Philippines is a beautiful country. English is widely spoken, people are friendly, the fruit will blow your mind and its got some of the best and cheapest diving we’ve ever experienced. The palm tree lined beaches will imprint themselves within your dreams.
We hope this sample itinerary for 2 weeks in Philippines has helped you plan out your next adventure!
Make sure to check out our post on how much to budget for Philippines.
Thanks in advance for liking and/or sharing this post if you enjoyed it.
Ross & Alyse
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