Western Philippines Trip: 20 Days
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!
Just finishing up 20 days Philippines Off The Beaten Path trip. Amazing beaches, friendly people, and for my 5th Free & Easy Trip I had a great time!
- Nicole, April 2019
Day 1 (Cebu)
Group flights arrive late in the evening, and upon arrival at the guesthouse you will meet your group over drinks.
Day 2-5 (Malapascua)
Take private* A/C minibus transfer to the pier. Take private boat to Malapascua. Spend your days scuba diving at this legendary dive spot famous for Thresher Sharks and Manta Rays or sit back and relax in paradise. *all bus transfers will be private on this trip. Only ferries will be public.
Day 6-9 (Boracay)
Take a private boat to the ferry terminal in Cebu. Take minibus transfer to the airport and fly to Cataclan Airport. A short ferry from the airport takes us to Boracay. This island with its 7 km of powdery white-sand beaches, is widely considered to be one of the nicest tropical islands in the world!
Day 10 (Puerto Prinesca)
Take local taxis to the pier, and take the ferry back to Cataclan Airport. A speedy flight takes you to Puerto Princesca.
Day 11 (Sabang)
Take minibus to Sabang. This is the home of the Puerto Prinesca Underground River. Recently named 1 of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, it is one of the most impressive and pristine cave systems in the world that you can paddle right through!
Day 12-15 (El Nido)
Take minibus to El Nido. We will stay at two different beach locations during our days here. El Nido is a true tropical beach paradise but this isn't just a place to get your tan on, its soaring limestone cliffs provide awesome rock-climbing and hiking opportunities.
Day 16-18 (Coron)
Take ferry to Coron. It is widely considered one of the best dive spots in the world. And for beach bums who just want to chill, the powder white sand beaches of Coron Island make your time above the surface just as epic as your time spent below it.
Day 19-20 (Manila)
Take minibus to the airport and fly to Manila. Explore the city and enjoy local street-foods, shopping, and nightlife. On the last day the group will take taxis to fly out from Manila.
Please note: The above itinerary is subject to change. A confirmed Free & Easy trip itinerary with exact routing will be provided at least 30 days prior to trip departure.
IMPORTANT: If you are doing a combo trip and booking your own flights, please contact us to confirm the start and end point of your trip.
- Accommodation for the duration of your Free & Easy experience
- All group travel between destinations
- If you are doing multiple trips, all travel & accommodations between combo trips is included in the price listed
- Return international flights and airport transfers*** (No surprise extra flight surcharges)
***Land Package prices do not include your international flight, airport taxes or transfers
- Knowledgeable and fun Free & Easy leaders
- 17 years of trip leading experience
- No commissions or gratuities required or accepted... ever!
- Preparations guidebook
- Trip Experience guidebook
Meals: Philippines (Off the Beaten Path)
- One Filipino style dinner
- Lunch on boat trip in Coron
- Buffet lunch on Underground River Tour
Activities: Philippines (Off the Beaten Path)
- 4 beach destinations
- Viewpoint/lighthouse hike in Malapascua
- Travel through the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Sabang, guide included
- Viewpoint in Coron
- Hot Springs in Coron
- Private island hoping boat trip on Coron where we will visit two beaches, lagoon, cave and viewpoint
Optional Activities: Philippines (Off the Beaten Path)
- Scuba Diving (Dive World War 2 ship wrecks!)
- Boat trip
- All meals and drinks (except those mentioned above)
- Activities outside of the ones listed above (optional activities are not included)
- Any Visa or Visa fees
Find out how much spending money you will need here.
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 its 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!
Snorkelling is a great alternative for those looking to save a little money on diving costs or those who can’t dive for medical reasons. Floating along the surface of the water at any one of our incredible destinations around the world will give you a peek into a magical underwater world.
More confident snorkelers can even dive down to get a closer look at the fauna and flora found in our oceans. From glittering fish, to colourful anemone, and super cool sharks (don’t worry, the non-carnivorous ones), snorkelling is a wonderful experience for the non-diver. So snap on a mask and grab your flippers (and DON’T inhale while diving) and you’ll be all set for a little adventure under the sea.
Catch a Fish and Eat It, Too
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.
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!
Learn to be a Mermaid (or Merman)
Now this is a unique experience you won't find anywhere else! Yes, there really is a Mermaid Swimming Academy to be found in Boracay. They will get you outfitted in your very own mermaid tail and teach you the basics of swimming like you're straight out of a Disney movie! How cool is that?!
All your childhood fantasies are about to come true. And this isn't only for the ladies. Let it be known that Free & Easy trips have produced their fair share of handsome mermen. The warm turquoise waters and white sand beaches of Boracay are the perfect backdrop for this magical day. And let's be honest, this is probably one of the most Instagrammable activities you will ever take part in.
Practice Yoga on the Beach
Practicing yoga on the beach in warm, tropical weather provides you with the perfect environment to learn how to find a calm within yourself and feel your mind truly relax.
Listening to the sounds of the jungle and the crashing of the waves onshore only adds to the bliss of this experience. You can experience practicing yoga in a beautiful and isolated setting under the expert guidance of yoga instructors on several of our our trips.
So take an hour or so out of your day to stretch, breathe and enjoy one of the best yoga sessions of your life in paradise!
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!
Our beach cleanups are a great way to do good, feel good, and get some sunshine all at the same time. With thousands of tons of trash swirling around the oceans, the unfortunate reality is that some of it washes up onto the beautiful beaches we fall in love with around the world. So we thought ‘Let’s do something about this!’. Whenever possible, we grab some garbage bags and take it upon ourselves to leave the places we visit better than we found them. A beach cleanup day is always one of the most fun and rewarding days on a trip.
** We will always strive to make a beach cleanup happen, but sometimes due to time constraints we may not be able to. Or maybe the beaches are just already clean in that region!**
Go Scuba Diving
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 it's like to be in it is a must at least once in your life!