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Proof that the Philippines will BLOW YOUR MIND!
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Step Off The Beaten Path
Philippines
Step Off The Beaten Path

You’ll get to visit some of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in the world during our 20-day trip through the western part of the Philippines. This trip also includes a visit to 1 of the New 7 Wonders of the World: the Puerto Princesa Underground River located in the spectacular area of Palawan, where almost half of the trip will be spent. Palawan is a remarkable archipelago of 1,780 islands that have been explored very little and its pristine tropical beauty will have you wide-eyed the entire time you’re there. But this trip isn’t all peaceful isolation as a visit to the Philippines’ most famous island, Boracay, brings the quintessential beach paradise and plenty of great parties to this 20-day trip that is a constant source of fun, amazement and adventure!

 
Step Off The Beaten Path
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Philippines
Manila

Often given a bad reputation for its enormous size and overcrowded population, Manila is actually much more charming than it is given credit for. The city is separated into many distinct districts and when you downsize sprawling Manila into more manageable and smaller cities then individually some of them aren't so bad. We stay at a very cool, backpacker's spot that showcases some of the best live music and dancing venues that Manila has to offer, and seeing the jovial spirit of Filipinos in full force at karaoke and dance bars is a great way to enjoy your time here. Another district houses a massive modern shopping complex that has a very unique vibe to it and is a convenient place for your all-in-one shopping stop. So your expectations may be low for Manila, but enter the city with an open mind and you may very well enjoy your time here!

 
Step Off The Beaten Path
None
Philippines
Cebu

Known as The Jewel of the South in the Philippines, Cebu is the country's second largest city and an important transit point for traveling around the southern part of the country. A relaxed and well-stocked city, it is a great place to enjoy the cozy amenities not found in some of the more isolated destinations in the country, such as taking in a new film at the cinema, pumping your guns at the gym, or eating at a nice guilty-pleasure restaurant. This charming port city also boasts some worthwhile historical sites such as the Catholic monuments of Santo Niño de Cebu and Magellan's Cross. Time in Cebu is mainly just time spent passing through, but that's no reason to not enjoy all that the city has to offer!

 
Step Off The Beaten Path
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Philippines
Boracay

Boracay is widely considered to be one of the nicest tropical islands in the world and its beauty is a source of pride for the Filipino people who love taking time off to enjoy the paradise island. With 7 km of powdery white-sand beaches contrasted by the vibrant aqua blue colour of the water, it is easy to see why we enjoy stopping off at Boracay on our Philippines trip! But half the fun in Boracay happens after the sun sets, when the nightlife heats up and a walk down the beach leads to grooving drum circles at Rasta bars as well as dancing and partying at one of the many outdoor clubs that host rocking parties well into the night. A good daily routine in Boracay consists of laying in the sun, swimming in the ocean, taking a nap in a hammock, then partying the night away. Wake up and repeat.

 
Step Off The Beaten Path
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Philippines
Coron

Coron Island in Palawan is a haven for divers from all over the world because of its famous World War II underwater shipwrecks that are surrounded by breathtaking coral reefs. It is widely considered one of the best dive spots in the world, and was even listed in Forbes Traveler Magazine’s top 10 best scuba diving sites! And for beach bums who just want to get their sun kissed tan, the powder white sand beaches of Coron Island make your time above the water just as epic as your time spent below it!

 
Step Off The Beaten Path
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Philippines
El Nido, Palawan

When we added the mythic island province of Palawan to our adventures in The Philippines, perhaps our best find when exploring the region was the incredible beach of El Nido. Its astonishing beauty will make each moment on the island feel like a life’s blessing. But this paradise isn't just a place to lay down your sarong and lay in the sun, its soaring limestone cliffs provide awesome rock-climbing and hiking opportunities. And El Nido's 45 surrounding islets are home to a huge array of wildlife as well as some stunning lagoons that make it clear why many visitors to El Nido proclaim it 'Heaven on Earth'.

 
Step Off The Beaten Path
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Philippines
Malapascua

With the opportunity to do three different wreck dives, explore the underwater sanctuary of Gato Island and frequent appearances of the rarely spotted thresher shark near the island, Malapascua is a diver's dream! Couple the amazing adventures off the island with Malapascua's beautiful beaches, friendly locals and delicious food and this island is a beach bum's dream, too. So whether on land or sea, this is a great place to relax and experience the beauty of this epic destination!

 
Step Off The Beaten Path
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Philippines
Palawan

Palawan has long been on Free & Easy’s radar, but with 7107 islands in the Philippines we originally chose a different routing for our trips that had not included it. Transport has since improved, and more flights are available, so starting in 2013 we’ve added the Palawan island experience - and onwards to Coron - as a brand new 9-day component to our 20 and 40-day Philippines trips! Adding in these 9-days makes this our dream 20/40-day Philippines experience, and allows us to travel to some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches and dive sites, and visit the world’s longest underground subterranean river.

Palawan is an archipelago of 1,780 pristine limestone islands with underground rivers, rocky coves, virgin rainforest and, of course, sugar-white sandy beaches. The crystal clear waters and massive limestone karsts that drop down to powder white sand beaches give rise to comparison to places like Railay & Ko Phi Phi in Thailand, or Halong Bay in Vietnam – which are often considered to be some of the most beautiful places on the planet! For a more thorough description about El Nido and why it's such an amazing location on Palawan, check out this short article, www.everywheremag.com/articles/443.

The difference in Palawan is it's in the Philippines where there is a fraction of the tourists, and being so far West in the Philippines, it is relatively unexplored. Palawan is closer to Borneo than Manila, and Chinese traders used to walk the now sunken land bridge that connected to Borneo. Even Filipinos describe Palawan as their country's ‘Last Frontier’, as it is inconceivably exotic and tropical. The Palawan 9-days will visit 3 locations total - Puerto Princessa Underground River, El Nido, and thirdly Coron.

The beaches of Palawan, have earned credits such as best beach in Asia, or best in the Philippines and ranked in top 10 lists for best in the world! (Usually El Nido specifically.) We are very excited to take our groups, and can guarantee now that each of our 20 and 40-day Philippines trips will be even more jam-packed with goodness.

Click on the names ‘Underground River’ or ‘Coron’ above for a further summary of the Palawan experience.

 
Step Off The Beaten Path
None
Philippines
Sabang Beach, Palawan

Another jaw-dropping destination on our Philippines trip in the wondrous island province of Palawan, Sabang Beach is a small but nonetheless wicked beach town that is great for swimming, soaking in the sun and just spending all day on the beach! But the best part of being at Sabang Beach is visiting one of the most naturally wondrous places on the planet: The Puerto Princesa Underground River. Recently named 1 of the New 7 Wonders of the World, it is one of the most impressive and pristine cave systems in the world that you can paddle right through! The river itself is 8.2 km long and flows directly to the sea, and being just a short hike away from Sabang Beach it makes for one of the most memorable day trips you're sure to ever take in your life.

 
Traveling on Cloud 9
Philippines
Traveling on Cloud 9

This trip provides all the best that the eastern part of the Philippines has to offer: a paradise island you can enjoy to yourselves, one of Southeast Asia’s best surf breaks and a step back into history hiking through the wondrous ancient emerald rice terraces of Banaue. There is a chance to do a little bit of everything on this 20-day adventure as there is ample time to unpack your bags and live on the beach when you spend a week in Siargao at the world famous Cloud 9 surf break. But there are also portions of the trip where days are filled with activity and crazy travel days as you get a taste of what travelling through the tropical island and mountain oasis of the Philippines is like!

 
Traveling on Cloud 9
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Philippines
Banaue Rice Terraces

It'll feel like you're traveling back in time, and in many ways you are, when you take the winding road through Northern Philippines and into the dazzling world of the ancient emerald rice terraces of Banaue. Miraculously dug by hand and carved into the hills by the indigenous Ifugao people over 2000 years ago, the Banaue rice terraces cover over 10,000 km of hillside. And life has not changed much since the terraces were built as they are still the main source of food for the region. Hiking through the mountains of Banaue will not only give you incredible views of the stunning rice terraces and the surrounding scenery, but it will also give you a peek into a humbling lifestyle of farming and village life. Experiencing the Banaue rice terraces will give you an opportunity to see a sight often dubbed 'the 8th Wonder of the World' and also to walk through a world where simpler times prevail and just having food to eat and a place to sleep is more than enough reason to smile!

 
Traveling on Cloud 9
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Philippines
Camsur Watersports Complex

Give a young, ambitious Filipino provincial governor a budget to attract tourists and what does he build? The world's best wakeboarking park: Camsur Watersports Complex! Surrounded by thick jungle and a massive volcano hovering above it, this park was built with every consideration of endless fun and entertainment in mind. Between wakeboarding sessions your cabanas are only a 5 minute walk away, and a bar and restaurant are set up perfectly for viewing and relaxing. To add to it all, prices for wakeboarding are about $4/hour (or less for a full day), and you can even go wakeboarding after dark! The good times carry on all night as the hosts love our groups and always throw us a grand party – you might even find yourself sharing laughs with the governor himself!

 
Traveling on Cloud 9
None
Philippines
Catanduanes

With little development and very few tourists, staying on Catanduanes Island presents an awesome opportunity to hang out with the local Filipino people and experience their famous hospitality. The famous Majestics surf break is right outside our front door on Pururan Beach, our perfect spot on Catanduanes. There isn't much to the island besides the wicked beach, the stellar waves and the people on it, but that is just what we like from a destination! We spend most of our days hitting the beach for some R & R (rum and relaxation) and enjoying the happy-go-lucky atmosphere instilled by the local people, who ensure that each day and night is stress-free and full of fun!

 
Traveling on Cloud 9
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Philippines
Siargao

Located in the far eastern part of The Philippines, Siargao is an incredible island that truly offers everything we could want from a destination. Its low-key travel community and laid-back population create the perfect vibe to enjoy Siargao's gorgeous scenery, wicked beaches and its stellar surf scene that rivals any in Southeast Asia. There's plenty of reasons why we spend an entire week here on our Philippines trip, but the waves are what make it the hardest to leave. The water is warm, the surf community is friendly and helpful, the views from your board are always ridiculously amazing and the beaches offer a chilled sanctuary to rest between surf sessions. The few beach bars are great places to gather at night with the locals and other travellers and enjoy parties in paradise before you go to bed and wake up to another awesome day in the surf and sun. We love spending time here so much that we offer 1-3 week surf trips exclusively to the epic island destination of Siargao!

 
Traveling on Cloud 9
None
Philippines
Sohoton Lagoon

Travelling by boat to Sohoton Lagoon, which is an island encircling a lagoon, you'll pass by many gorgeous islands and empty beaches including the aptly named Paradise Island, but you'll keep going until you reach a place that is especially amazing: an island of white-sand and palm trees surrounding a calm turquoise-blue lagoon shimmering in the sun. This is Sohoton Lagoon, an island paradise we get to enjoy on our Philippines trip, staying in a single giant house and enjoying incredible barbecue feasts on the beach. When visiting Sohoton Lagoon, you really do get to taste paradise!

 
Traveling on Cloud 9
None
Philippines
Manila

Often given a bad reputation for its enormous size and overcrowded population, Manila is actually much more charming than it is given credit for. The city is separated into many distinct districts and when you downsize sprawling Manila into more manageable and smaller cities then individually some of them aren't so bad. We stay at a very cool, backpacker's spot that showcases some of the best live music and dancing venues that Manila has to offer, and seeing the jovial spirit of Filipinos in full force at karaoke and dance bars is a great way to enjoy your time here. Another district houses a massive modern shopping complex that has a very unique vibe to it and is a convenient place for your all-in-one shopping stop. So your expectations may be low for Manila, but enter the city with an open mind and you may very well enjoy your time here!

 
Traveling on Cloud 9
None
Philippines
Cebu

Known as The Jewel of the South in the Philippines, Cebu is the country's second largest city and an important transit point for traveling around the southern part of the country. A relaxed and well-stocked city, it is a great place to enjoy the cozy amenities not found in some of the more isolated destinations in the country, such as taking in a new film at the cinema, pumping your guns at the gym, or eating at a nice guilty-pleasure restaurant. This charming port city also boasts some worthwhile historical sites such as the Catholic monuments of Santo Niño de Cebu and Magellan's Cross. Time in Cebu is mainly just time spent passing through, but that's no reason to not enjoy all that the city has to offer!

Epic Adventure
40 Days in Philippines
13

stops

40

days

1

country

Step Off The Beaten Path
Philippines
Step Off The Beaten Path

You’ll get to visit some of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in the world during our 20-day trip through the western part of the Philippines. This trip also includes a visit to 1 of the New 7 Wonders of the World: the Puerto Princesa Underground River located in the spectacular area of Palawan, where almost half of the trip will be spent. Palawan is a remarkable archipelago of 1,780 islands that have been explored very little and its pristine tropical beauty will have you wide-eyed the entire time you’re there. But this trip isn’t all peaceful isolation as a visit to the Philippines’ most famous island, Boracay, brings the quintessential beach paradise and plenty of great parties to this 20-day trip that is a constant source of fun, amazement and adventure!

Traveling on Cloud 9
Philippines
Traveling on Cloud 9

This trip provides all the best that the eastern part of the Philippines has to offer: a paradise island you can enjoy to yourselves, one of Southeast Asia’s best surf breaks and a step back into history hiking through the wondrous ancient emerald rice terraces of Banaue. There is a chance to do a little bit of everything on this 20-day adventure as there is ample time to unpack your bags and live on the beach when you spend a week in Siargao at the world famous Cloud 9 surf break. But there are also portions of the trip where days are filled with activity and crazy travel days as you get a taste of what travelling through the tropical island and mountain oasis of the Philippines is like!

Leg 1: Step Off The Beaten Path (20 days)
Leg 2: Traveling on Cloud 9 (20 days)

Epic experiences you will have on this adventure

Surf a Wave

Nothing compares to the feeling you get the first time you paddle into a wave, stand up as it breaks and ride the face of it – this is the incomparable feeling of surfing. When you get it right, you'll know, because you'll be more excited than the first time you had sex and probably more addicted to it, too! Surfing is arguably the most challenging sport in the world and requires you to learn much more than physical coordination. In order to surf a wave, you'll need patience, discipline, a lack of fear and an insatiable urge to have fun. It's no coincidence that 6 of the countries that we run trips to (Indonesia, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru & Panama) have wicked surf scenes, because there's nothing quite like it.

Travel through the Puerto Princesa Underground River

Named 1 of the new 7 Wonders of the World, the Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of the most stunning sights to see in the world. The underground river is 8.2 km long and navigates it way through a magnificent limestone karst mountain landscape. The caves are filled with massive formations of stalactites and stalagmites, as well as several large chambers and lagoons that truly make this sight a wonder!

Catch a Fish and Eat It, Too

We get so many people who come on our trips that say they don't like seafood and won't eat it - usually, they're not from a coastal town. So when we serve up a fresh barracuda or tuna or some other tasty fish that the fisherman caught that morning and we convince them to give it a try, the first thing they say (with a satisfied smile) is that this doesn't taste like the seafood they've tried. There's just no getting around it, fish is meant to be eaten fresh! And the only thing tastier than a fresh fish is one that you caught, too! Catching the fish that you eat used to be a part of life and still is in many parts of the world, however, more and more people are buying from the commercial fishing industry which is unsustainable and is destroying the ocean's eco-system. We offer the option to go fishing on nearly all of our trips with friendly, local fisherman that show you their tricks - it's an experience that not only teaches you the importance of fishing but is also a hell of a good time: on a boat, with friends, with beer, in the sun, drifting down a tropical coastline… 'nuff said!

Bathe Under a Waterfall

When leaving home and hitting the road with your backpack, one thought you may have in mind is that you're not going to have another good shower for awhile. In most parts of the world water pressure is lower, there is often no hot water and you just can't seem to scrub off that distinct backpacker odour. However, there is one place where hundreds of gallons of refreshing fresh water can pour all over you in a surreal bathing experience and that spot is found at the bottom of a waterfall. When hiking around jungles, one of our favourite things to search out is a good tropical waterfall where you can swim, relax, and get right under it and let the huge torrent of water pour all over you and wash you clean! But the best part is often the simple sight of the waterfall itself, because for whatever reason there are few things in the world we find more captivating to watch than water dropping from great heights. Maybe it's because nothing falls with the grace of water, but either way it's an amazing feeling to come upon a gorgeous waterfall in the jungle and head straight into its downpour for the best shower of your life!

Have a Tropical Island All to Yourself

This experience is one we all dream about, but think is only possible for the rich and famous, however, we are able to do this on our Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand trips! And it's true that having an entire island to yourself seems a bit lavish, but it's a luxurious and relaxing experience that also leads to a whole lot of fun! It's like when you were younger and you first got to experience what having a house to yourself was like, but this time there’s no neighbours or even cops. We like to head to the island with our groups for a night or sometimes several stocked with frisbees, food, snorkel gear, coolers of beer, guitars, bottles of rum, fishing gear and our hammocks - everything we could possibly need. And then we just literally do whatever we want!

Hike the Rice Terraces of Banaue

There's no denying that the Banaue rice terraces in the Philippines are one of the most amazing sights on the planet. Etched out of the hillside over 2000 years ago, the seemingly endless number of terraces stretch through valleys and around hills and are all connected by thousands of stone staircases that the local farmers hike up and down each day. On our experience of the rice terraces, we ride out of town on the top of local Jeepnies until we reach the first breathtaking view and begin to walk. As you make your way across the terraces, you feel like you're stepping back in time as the rice is still farmed the same way it has been for thousands of years. The lifestyle of the farmers reflects the peacefulness of the setting as after our first day of trekking, we spend a night in a secluded guesthouse with a view so captivating that you'll spend your entire morning just admiring the place you've found yourself in. The second day of hiking requires a climb and the hundreds of steps may feel more like a fitness test than part of a vacation but upon reaching the top, you'll be completely invigorated by an amazing waterfall that'll cap off an incredible experience that showcases some of the great beauty that the Philippines has to offer.

Go Scuba Diving

Diving is like no other experience on Earth. Life under the water is silent and peaceful, everything is flowing and moving in a way that we land creatures are unaccustomed to. Despite all of our high tech equipment, we are extremely out of our element in the water and it is a humbling experience to watch and observe what life is like under the sea. Fish come in all shapes, sizes and colours and move together in a harmonious unison through beautiful coral and twisted sunlight. On our trips, scuba diving is a huge activity as we travel to countries that offer some of the best diving in the world. The Caribbean in Central America possesses the second largest reef in the world, the warm waters of the South Pacific in Southeast Asia are home to the largest diversity of sea-life in the world and the seas of the Mediterranean are full of rich history and beauty. There is a whole universe under the ocean and experiencing what’s it like to be in it is a must at least once in your life!

What's included in this adventure

What’s included?

• All Taxes (GST, PST, Airport tax)

• International flights to and from the Philippines***

• Accommodations for your 40-day Free & Easy experience

• Group travel within the Philippines (land, air & sea)

• 7 beach destinations.

• Travel through the Puerto Princesa Underground River.

• Hot Springs.

• 2-day trek through the Banaue Rice Terraces.

• Snorkeling with whale sharks (seasonal).

• Manila Cathedral Tour.

• Private Tropical Island Experience.

• 2 knowledgeable and fun Free & Easy leaders

• Free and Easy Travel Guidebook

• 12 years of trip leading experience


*** - Land Only prices do not include your international flight, airport taxes or transfers

What isn't included?

• All meals and drinks

• Activities outside of the ones listed above

Make this adventure Epic

15-50 Days 51-79 Days 80-100 Days 100+ Days
$3390 With flights from $4760*

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