A fun packed adventure in the stunning Philippine Islands. On this 12 day tour we get the opportunity to visit a number of the enchanting Philippine Islands from Bohol, where we get to see one of the smallest primates on earth to the Palawan regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in the world!
This is a journey with plenty of activity, adventure, culture, nature and hundreds of deserted islands that will leave you inspired to return.
Island Odyssey Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival Manila
Upon arrival in Manila, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel – New World Hotel or similar.
Day 2: Manila (B)
This morning you will head off on a Bamboo Bike Tour – Ride around the historic walled city of Manila on a bamboo bike in this exciting activity. You will be riding through the streets on bamboo bikes that have been handmade by Gawad Kalinga villagers here in the Philippines. You will get to cover much more ground than on a walking tour and it gives you a much more interesting experience. As well as having fun, during this tour you will have the chance to learn about Philippine history. This afternoon is at leisure.
Day 3: Bohol (B,L,D)
After breakfast, check out for your transfer to the airport and your flight to Tagbilaran, Bohol.
Upon arrival in Bohol you will transfer to your hotel for check-in.
Today you will head to the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP) – Bohol’s latest eco-tourism adventure park just 1 ¼ hrs away from Tagbilaran City.
CHAP offers over 20 thrilling adventure activities for adults and children. Push yourself to the limit with the “Bike Zip.” Pedal your way as you view the famous Chocolate Hills. Challenge yourself with the tree top rope courses. Try their version of “the Earthquake” and the “Jacob’s walk” rope challenge.
You will get to explore the hiking trails before setting up camp on top of the grassy limestone hills.
Day 4: Bohol / Baclayon (B,L,D)
The first stop is the Philippine Tarsier Foundation in the town of Corella, which serves as a refuge for the smallest primate in the world, the tarsier. Observe these rare, nocturnal creatures in their natural habitat and be amazed by their agility as they move about, leaping from one tree to the other, and swivel their heads nearly 360 degrees.
You will ten head to Baclayon, making a short stop en-route at the historical Blood Compact site, where Spain’s Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna, a native chieftain, sealed their friendship with a symbolic drink. In Baclayon, visit a centuries-old stone church that houses a museum containing a collection of religious art, ecclesiastical vestments, as well as librettos of church music inscribed in Latin on animal skins.
Continuing on with the tour, you’ll pass by Bilar man-made forest, a thick undergrowth of towering mahogany trees grown on the fringes of the highway leading to the Chocolate Hills, the country’s geological wonder. From a distance, these hills look like huge candy drops that change in color with the season, and are aptly named ‘chocolate’ when the hill grasses turn deep brown in summer.
Hike up to the viewpoint for a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area before moving on to Loboc River where a cruise downstream on a floating restaurant is made more enjoyable with a delectable lunch served on board. Return to the hotel by late afternoon.
Day 5: Bohol (B,L,D)
Day at Leisure or go to nearby Islands such as Baliscasag Island or Pamilacan Island.
Pamilacan Island Tour
Duration: 6-7 hours
Pamilacan Island – a gem of an island long destined to become a beachcomber’s haven and diver’s playground. In the island is a 150m wide fish sanctuary that is home to schools of groupers, snappers, tuna and mackerel.
The waters of Pamilacan also serve as pathways for migrating dolphins and whales. Get a chance to catch a glimpse of these sea mammals at the rear of the island. The village chapel and a Spanish-built military outpost which served as a look-out for marauding pirates looms ahead as one approaches the island.
Toping off these welcoming sights is a deliciously prepared picnic lunch that caps a well-spent day. Explore the island on foot, swim, or simply laze about.
Balicasag Island Tour
Duration: 6-7 hours
A 25-hectare islet off the mainland of panglao that is famous for its dive sites is Balicasag Island. The island is accessible by a 35-minute boat ride from the mainland. Crystal clear blue waters ideal for snorkeling, greet each visitor as he nears the island, with underwater formations and tropical fishes visible from as low as 2ft deep.
Tour the island on foot and visit the village. Lunch as the island’s resort.
Day 6: Puerta Princesa (B,L,D)
Early check out for your flight back to Manila, before taking the short flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa.
In the afternoon, tour the sights of the city, including the State College museum, the pineapple fiber weavers, the market and the Iwahig Penal Colony that is known as the “prison without walls” as this is a village where prisoners on good behaviour live with their families and work in the farms.
Return to the hotel at the end of the tour.
Day 7: Puerta Princesa / Sabang / Taytay Bay (B,L,D)
After breakfast, depart for Saint Paul Subterranean Park where, in an 8-km paddle boat ride in an underground river takes you to a bat-filled cavern of fluted columns and piped walls. The river is long but the boat ride is limited only to that part which has already been explored. The paddle boats are handled by English-speaking guides who extensively describe this natural wonder, and electric torches are provided so that everyone can see the magnificence of the rock formations in the cave. At the end of the boat ride, board the outrigger boat for Sabang where lunch will be served in a seaside resort.
After lunch, we depart for the scenic bay of Taytay. Our home will be Apulit Island Resort, which has a beautiful house reef that we will explore to the fullest after lunch. In the late afternoon, enjoy ‘cocktail hour’ and the sunset by the beach.
Overnight water cottage at Apulit Island Resort
Day 8: Apulit Island / Nabat Island (B,L,D)
Apulit Island is nearby Nabat Island whose surrounding reefs are some of the nicest in the entire bay. We will spend the entire morning exploring the beauty of the coral and marvel at the schools of dazzling reef fish.
In the afternoon, we may visit Noa-Noa reef, a locally protected island that boasts of some of the most diverse fish assemblages in the bay.
Overnight Apulit Island Resort
Day 9: El Nido / Miniloc Island (B,L,D)
We depart in the early morning for Taytay Airstrip, where a van awaits to bring us to El Nido Airport (travel time approximately two hours).
From here, we board a boat for Miniloc Island Resort, cruising along Bacuit Bay.
Check in and overnight at Miniloc Island Resort.
Overnight Miniloc Island Resort
Day 10: El Nido / Miniloc Island
El Nido Miniloc offers a wonderful variety of sites, and we spend the day exploring hidden lagoons and fantastic reefs around the island. The waters here are a naturalist’s paradise, with more than 400 species of coral and more than 800 species of fish, including butterfly fish, parrot fish, wrasse, triggerfish, angelfish, surgeonfish, damselfish, emperoros, snappers, groupers and rabbitfish. We cruise by cliffs perfect for paddling.
From here we paddle on our sea kayaks to Twin Rocks for a snorkel among the never-ending fields of coral and clouds of reef fish that make their homes here.
After lunch we paddle in Big Lagoon, a larger version of Small Lagoon with similar verticla marble cliffs. This lagoon has many smaller bays, some that we access via tunnels that lead to quiet areas fringed with tidal mangrove stands. We snorkel here too; snorkeling in Big Lagoon reveals a unique marine community of dozens of species of juvenile fish and rare corals.
Overnight Miniloc Island Resort
Day 11: El Nido / Miniloc Island / Flight to Manila
Rest of the day will be spent free at leisure, until it is time to transfer back to El Nido Airport for your return flight back to Manila.
Day 12: Manila & Back Home
Check out. Transfer to the airport in time for your flight back home.