14 days Manila to El Nido
14 Day Philippines
Immerse yourself in this absolutely stunning nation with its awesome array of gorgeous white-sand beaches, intriguing culture and natural beauty. A feast for the eyes, soul and spirit awaits...
Our Philippines Adventure Tour allows you to really experience the full diversity of this beautiful country. The delights of the famous beaches, lagoons and crystal-clear waters are the headline features and we’ll enjoy these to the fullest. However, there’s so much more beauty and culture beyond these star attractions. We’ll uncover the variety of the Philippine archipelago with trips to the Chocolate Hills, Spanish old towns, wildlife sanctuaries, waterfalls, rice terraces, hanging coffins and so much more. These fascinating cultural experiences and brushes with wildlife will all be against the backdrop of some of the world’s most mesmerising views. Relax, enjoy and soak into the splendour of these wonderful islands.
Including hostels and homestays. We’ve handpicked places that exude local charm.
Local, bilingual Adventure Leaders throughout the trip
All transport within the Philippines is provided.
Meals & Activities
All unmissable activities are included.
Itinerary & map
Philippines Adventure Tour- Day 1
Meet your adventure leader and fellow travellers at our hostel in bustling downtown Manila for a trip briefing to start your Philippines Adventure Tour. Hop on Jeepneys, Manila’s most colourful form of public transport, which will whisk you to all the must-see city sights including cathedrals, markets and forts. Try the local fastfood at Jollibees – we’re sure the colonel would approve of their spicy chicken. Your adventure starts in typical Dragon Trip style – fast paced – as tonight it’s already time to hop on a VIP sleeper coach heading North to Batad Village. Reclining seats, blankets and aircon mean you’ll be asleep in no time. Wake in the morning to discover yourself a world away from the noise and choas of Manila, in a tiny, remote village settled in a lush amphitheatre of rice terraces.
Grab yourself a fresh coconut juice and enjoy the laid back vibes in this rural Unesco World Heritage Site. Follow your adventure leader on a hike to the Tappiya Waterfall, where a dip in the plunge pool at the bottom of the falls is the perfect way to cool off. A sense of community is extremely important to the Ifugao people who live in Batad and they are very welcoming of visitors, so once back from the falls, take a stroll through the village, explore some of the local stores and get to know some of the friendly faces.
Traverse the 2,000 year old rice terraces and arrive at a view point which allows you to gaze in awe at the full amphitheatre of the terraces – our team rate this as one of the most stunning views across all Dragon Trips. Continue your journey North to the rural village of Sagada. The un-missable activity this afternoon is a visit to the site of its hanging coffins, which hang from the cliff faces in the countryside outside the village. This is a traditional way of interring the deceased that is still used to this day in this part of the Philippines.
This morning’s drive to Vigan is one of the most memorable journeys of your adventure, as the high mountain passes provide lovely views of the forested landscapes below. It’s another dramatic change of scenery as you arrive in Vigan, one of the best preserved Spanish colonial towns in Asia and the second UNESCO World Heritage Site you’ll visit in as many days. Take a guided walk through the cobbled streets of the old town stopping at rustic, Spanish townhouses, churches and plazas.
There are over 7,500 islands in the Philippines, so having spent 4 days on Luzon, the largest and most populous island, it’s now time to start exploring some of the other ones as you board a flight to Bohol. Bohol is a small Island in the central Visayas region. It’s known for its coral reefs and unusual geological formations – most notably the Chocolate Hills. Once you arrive it’s time to hit the beach – stretch out on the white sands or take a dip in the crystal clear waters!
This morning you can opt to go stand-up paddle boarding on Bohol’s Loboc River. After a quick lesson you’ll be standing up in no time, giving you the ability to explore the nature and wildlife of this meandering river. Next up is an unmissable activity to see the smallest primate in the world, the Philippine Tarsier, at one of the island’s protected wildlife sanctuaries. These small furry friends, known as ‘mawumag’ in the local language, are endemic to this part of the Philipinnes. Move on to see the Chocolate Hills, geological formations dotted throughout the Island named after the grasses growing on the earth mounds which turn brown during the dry season. Then it’s back down to the beach to catch the sunset.
Board a ferry for the short crossing across the Tuburan Straits to Cebu, one of the larger islands which is famed for its spectacular coral reef dive sites and white sandy beaches. We head straight to the backpacker Mekka of Moalboal, a small village located on Cebu’s craggy Western coastline. Spend the afternoon on the beach then join the party once the sun goes down in one of the many shoreside bars!
This morning you can opt to try scuba diving with a beginners’ introduction to this aquatic sport. The half day course will allow you to safely try 2 scuba dives above colourful coral reefs, going to depths of 15 metres. It’s a great way to experience the underwater world without signing up to a full padi scuba diving course. Experienced divers can opt to join a wide array of dives today, including seeing the ‘sardine run’ where thousands of the small fish make stunning displays as they dart in unison through the clear waters. Unlike diving with the whale sharks in this region, these dives are ethical as the sardines naturally come to these waters year round to feed. Once back on dry land, head to the Kawasan Falls, a multi-tiered waterfall system in the South of the island.
Board a flight to Coron, another of the Philippine’s archipelagos and best known for its soaring karst peaks lapped by clear waters. The highlight this evening (pun fully intended) is a tour to see Coron’s fireflys, which buzz around the mangroves with their tails glowing a bright green creating a magical night-scape.
Choose to wake up early for a morning soak in one of the world’s few natural salt water hot springs. This rare natural phenomena is caused by an underground volcano heating the waters above. The un-missable attraction today is an island-hopping boat trip which showcases the best of Coron’s picturesque karst rock formations and stunning lagoons. The boat stops at places like the Green Lagoon, Sunset beach and Kayangan Lake, which holds the title of the “cleanest lake in the Philippines”, thanks to a group of local volunteers who work hard to keep it 100% litter and pollution free! This is a great place to try free-diving, and you can opt to take a class to learn more about the breathing and safety techiniques required. Tonight you’ll be sleeping on the wild side as you spend the night in a beach camp on one of the islands of Coron. The sounds of waves lapping on the shore will lull you to sleep in no time.
Rise with the sun and board a boat to El Nido on the Island of Palawan. We’ve saved the best until last on this trip, as the lagoons, beaches and islands lying in the bays around El Nido are frequently topping the polls as some of the most beautiful in the World. As the sun goes down on your first day in El Nido, call in at one of the many shoreside bars and get to know the other backpackers in this friendly paradise.
Of course the un-missable activity in El Nido has to be a day’s island hopping where you’ll stop at the most beautiful sea lagoons and pristine beaches. The big lagoon you’ll kayak through is perhaps the most instagramable place in the world… If taking incredible photos and making your friends jealous isn’t your thing then simply lose yourself in the awesome natural beauty of your surroundings.
Your final full day in El Nido is yours to spend as you wish – spend the day relaxing on a white sandy beach or grab a snorkel for last views of the coral reefs just beyond the shore. Come together in the evening for one last night out with your fellow travellers and hop along the many beach-side bars El Nido has to offer.
This morning your epic Philippines adventure tour though this beautiful, friendly and fun country comes to an end. We can help book your transfer to the airport, or why not opt to stay a few more nights in paradise where can assist with booking your accommodation. If you’ve been bitten by the underwater bug (not literally we hope!) then why not stay on to take your padi course, which is a 3-day course allowing you to become a qualified open water scuba diver. Our course takes place at Sabalatan, one of Palawan’s hidden jewels just around the bay from El Nido.
All transport during the Philippines adventure tour is provided.
Accommodation is in dorm rooms on our Philippines adventure tours. Upgrade options (to single, twin, or double rooms) are available, please contact us for more information.
Check out our included activities on the Philippines Adventure Tour below:
- Half Day Jeepney Tour in Manila and visit Intramuros, Santiago Fort, San Augustin Church and the Cathedral of Manila
- Hike to Tappiya Waterfall
- Morning to visit Batad’s stunning amphitheatre
- Afternoon tour to Hanging Coffins
- Walking tour of Vigan
- See the world’s smallest primate- the Philippine Tarsier and the Chocolate Hills
- Fire fly evening tour
- Island hopping tour in Coron’s Karst rock formations
- Boat tour in El Nido stopping at beautiful lagoons and pristine beaches
Activities that are optional:
- Spicy Chicken Dinner
- Sampling Ilocano Dinner
- Stand up paddle boarding on Loboc River
- Scuba Diving experience
- Natural Salt Water Springs of Maquinit
- Free diving in Kayangan Lake
- PADI course in Sablatan
A deposit is required to make a reservation on our Philippines adventure tour, with the balance due 70 days prior to departure (unless booking with one of our promotions, for which specific balance due dates may apply).
The deposit is 10% of the group tour price (unless stated otherwise). If you book on to our Philippines tours less than 70 days prior to departure, the full balance will be due within 3 days of booking.
Bookings within 40 days are available only on a request basis.
If you’d like to upgrade to a private room the prices are listed below. The upgrade fee is for the room, not per person.
Single room – £185 (One person to a room)
Double room – £110 (Two people sharing one room)
No upgrade available on the night bus. The single room is more expensive as 4 of the nights have twin/doubles as the standard option.
Once you get to Philippines on a group adventure tour, you may not want to leave. We can book additional nights accommodation at the beginning and end of your trip to allow for some time to relax as our tours are very fast-paced. It’s £12 for a pre night in a dorm room.
We can also arrange for transfers to pick you up and drop you off at the airport. These cost £40 per vehicle.
The use of Drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is prohibited during activities organized by The Dragon Trip. If you are in possession of a drone when entering the country it is your responsibility to be informed of and follow all local laws. This may include registering your drone with authorities. If you violate this policy or operate a drone illegally you are subject to removal from the Myanmar adventure tour as per our terms & conditions.