Ultimate Philippines 2 Week Itinerary

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Philippines Itinerary

When we first started researching places we wanted to see in the Philippines, we had a list that would have taken nearly 3 months to get through.

The problem? Like many people, we only had two weeks off of work to make this trip to the Philippines happen. So as you can imagine, we had to cut a ton of places from our wish list.

Truthfully, two weeks isn’t much time in the Philippines. It is a country made up of islands, and therefore transportation can be (understandably) challenging. If you want to visit more than one island during your visit, you will likely need to devote an entire day to travel.

The itinerary below is an adaption of what we followed. We altered it a bit based on some things we would have changed, and came up with what we think is a pretty badass route for a first-time visit to the Philippines.

By following this itinerary, you will get to explore three islands, see jungles as well as beaches, and some spend time outside the typical “tourist” path. You will see a lot during these two weeks in the Philippines, but there are certainly days planned for (much needed) relaxation.


Before your trip:

Plan your trip with the weather in mind! We’ve put together a great resource for evaluating when’s the best time to visit the Philippines based on the weather as well as your travel style and preferences.

Prior to you packing your bags and booking your flights, don’t forget to do this… you’ll thank us later.

Also, if you’re strict on your travel time in the Philippines, we highly recommend to book your Philippines transportation online ahead of time. 12go.asia is a booking site we have used and have found some good deals on buses, ferries, trains and even flights. 

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Day 1: Travel day to Boracay

Most likely, you will be flying into Manila. Sure, there are direct flights to Boracay from many major cities now, but they are usually quite expensive.

There are several flights leaving each day from Manila to Caticlan (MPH) airport, so try to line the times up so you don’t have to leave the airport in Manila and deal with the city’s chaotic traffic.

You can also look at flying into Kalibo like we did. Often these are the cheapest flights, but be prepared for a roughly 2 and a half hour journey to Boracay.

Our advice would be to skip Manila. Most everyone we talked to advised us to do so. Yes, I’m sure there are things worth doing in Manila, but with only two weeks, you just can’t see everything.

Knowing that, Manila was the first to be cut from our list of places to see. The only reason to stay in Manila to use it as a hub to go to the Banaue Rice Terraces.

Where to Stay in Boracay Island

Once you get to Boracay, get settled into your hotel and relax. 

Luxury Hotels: Henann Crystal Sands Resort – Station 2 Beach front 5-star resort with fantastic views with three pools and a pool-side bar. Complete luxury throughout entire hotel including on-site restaurant and room service. 

Couple Stay/Mid-range: Hue Hotels and Resorts Boracay – Beautifully designed hotel in the Station 2 area and only 300 meters from the beach. This hotel has a fitness room, outdoor pool, pool-side bar, and on-site restaurants. 

Budget Friendly/Social Atmosphere: CHILLAX Flashpackers Boracay – Located in the Diniwid area of Boracay Island, this fun backpacker hotel has private rooms as well as dorms. There is a game room and an outdoor common area with WiFi in all the rooms. 

Everything you need to pack for the Philippines

Southeast Asia Packing List | Two Wandering Soles

Day 2 – 4: Beach days in Boracay

Philippines umbrellas
Sunset Boracay Philippines

Relax on the beach with a drink in your hand, and be sure not to miss the sunsets!

These relaxing days should help you adjust to the new time zone and power through jet lag.

Check out our tips on where to stay and eat while in Boracay. Make sure you visit Spider Bar (information in the link). It is an absolute must!

Day 5: Travel day to Bohol

This one’s a doozy, but by evening, you will be in a completely different side of the Philippines than what you see in Boracay. You will be away from the crowds and will experience a piece of the country that few get to see.  

The cheapest way we found to get to Bohol was to fly to Cebu City, then take a 2 hour ferry to Tagbilaran. From there, hire a tricycle (or van) bound for Nuts Huts in Loboc. Most of the drivers we spoke to knew where this guesthouse is located.

The ride should take roughly 50 minutes by trike (shorter by van). Local bus is another option and is much less expensive (50 PHP, versus 500 PHP for a tricycle), but considering the other modes of transportation you’ll be taking today, hiring your own transport is the easier option.

Note: Nuts Huts seemed to be the only guesthouse in the Loboc area. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time because it is a popular place and is usually fully booked. Read more about our stay at Nuts Huts and our adventures in the jungle.

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Day 6: Relax in the Jungle

Nuts Huts Bohol

Grab a hammock and just relax! After a day of travel, you’ll be needing the rest. If you are feeling up to it, a local man offers a guided tour to bat caves high up in the hills. It is pretty cool and a place that most tourists never see, but be prepared for a little work out. Make sure you reserve your “cave trek” the night before.

We tried lots of food on the menu at Nuts Huts, but there were two sure winners

Day 7: Tarsiers and Chocolate Hills

Philippines Tarsier Sanctuary
Philippines Chocolate Hills

Rent a motorbike and head first to the Tarsier Sanctuary near Corella, about 30-40 minutes from the small town of Loboc. Next, head back on the same road toward the Chocolate Hills (about 35 km).

Take in the scenery around you and wave at the passing schoolchildren – they will make your day! Stop at any small restaurant along the way for an authentic lunch.

If you have time, stop in Loboc before returning to Nuts Huts. One of the oldest churches in the Philippines stands in the center of town. It was badly damaged in a recent typhoon, but definitely worth a look.

Read more about our adventures exploring Bohol by motorbike.

Note: We cut Alona Beach from this itinerary because we weren’t overly impressed by it. You will be seeing many beaches on this trip that are far superior, but if you do end up staying on Panglao Island, check out Kayakasia’s Firefly Kayak Tour. It was pretty incredible!

Day 8: Travel day to Palawan

Wake up early and wait on the highway near Nuts Huts for the local bus headed to Tagbilaran. Take a late morning flight to Puerto Princesa. (You may have to fly to Manila first before getting another flight to the island of Palawan.) 

Once you land, you will have no trouble finding a van outside the airport bound for El Nido. But if you want piece of mind and don’t want to haggle a driver, book your van trip to El Nido ahead of time online. I’m sure it will be more comfortable than our ride. 

We bargained and got seats for 500 PHP per person. We had a rough trip – broken seats and a driver who stopped to pick up his friends, making our trip take longer than usual. Considering the higher-end vans don’t cost much more, we would have opted for the more comfortable ride.

Some things to note: I believe the last vans leave around 6:30 pm. The trip should take between 5 and 6 hours. Most vans and buses will drop you off at the bus station about 1 km from the town of El Nido. You will have to grab a tricycle from there and it should cost no more than 50 PHP.

If you don’t want to do so much jumping around by air and land, you can book a popular liveaboard trip on Liveaboard.com. They have collections of the best tours and scuba trips that will bring you to prime spots only locals know about. Be sure to check out their tours in the Philippines.

Where to stay in El Nido:

Spin Designer Hostel – El Nido: With some of the highest reviews in all of El Nido, this laid back hostel is the perfect place to relax after a long day of island hopping. They have dorm rooms and private rooms at great prices. And with only 600 meters to the beach, what’s not to love!

Find other affordable and fun hotels and hostels in El Nido

Day 9: Relax in El Nido

El Nido Philippines

Get acquainted with El Nido. If you are feeling up to it, grab some drinks at Reggae Bar in the evening. Tables are hard to come by, so if you want a seat to listen to the live reggae band, come early. The real party starts after the band is done playing at midnight.

Day 10: Island Hopping in El Nido

Philippines Island Hopping

Do an island hopping tour through one of the many tour companies in town. We would recommend either tour A or C.

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Day 11: Nacpan Beach Adventure

Nacpan Beach Philippines

Hire a tricycle to drive you to Nacpan Beach for the day – it’s an adventure, but totally worth it! Be sure to walk to the viewpoint at the far left end of the beach. Enjoy fresh seafood and a fruit shake for lunch with an ocean view at one of the beach’s two restaurants.

Want more? Read about our crazy journey getting there in our Palawan blog post.

Day 12: Scuba Diving or Free Day

Go Scuba diving (or try freediving) with Palawan Divers. Check out our review on free diving.

If you’re not one for diving, go on another island hopping tour or just have a relaxing day in town!

Day 13: Relax and Travel to Puerto Princesa

Palo Alto Philippines

When you are ready, catch a van back to Puerto Princesa. The last vans leave at 6:30 p.m., so you can do a tour during day if you are feeling up to it. We went diving on our last day, but were a bit rushed trying to get to the van. Book your ride back to Puerto Princesa ahead of time so you’ll know you have a seat

There isn’t much to do in Puerto Princesa. We spent most of the day hanging around the infinity pool at our beautiful hotel.

The main attraction near Puerto Princesa is the Underground River. We heard mixed reviews – both good and bad – and in the end decided not to dot this tour. If you’d like to add this to your itinerary, you’ll need to cut one day from El Nido and arrive to Puerto Princesa earlier, as this tour takes a full day.

Find other nice places to stay in Puerto Princesa here.

Day 14: Travel Home & Say Goodbye to the Philippines!

Philippines Flight

If you’re anything like us, you won’t want to leave. But… work… bills… we can’t all be beach bums.

Take a morning flight to Manila, and catch your international flight home. Again, if you can align your flights so that you don’t need to leave the airport, that is best. Just know that flights are often delayed in the Philippines, so be sure to have plenty of time between each as a buffer.

Also, it’s important to note that the domestic and international terminals are separate buildings. You will have to take a shuttle (infrequent but 20 PHP per person, or a taxi 150-200 PHP). It is about a ten minute trip between the two.

For more information about planning your own trip, read in-depth accounts of our experiences in Boracay, Bohol and Palawan. Still need more convincing that you to visit the Philippines? Find out why you need to go now!

Are you planning a trip to the Philippines?

We have TONS of resources on travel in the Philippines and destinations throughout the country. Check out our Ultimate Philippines Travel Guide for all the answers to your most burning questions, or read some of our favorite articles below.

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Perfect Philippines 2 Week Vacation
Ultimate Philippines 2 Week Itinerary

We want to hear from you!

Is there anything you would change about our itinerary? Places you would cut or add? Comment below!

Comments (93) on “Ultimate Philippines 2 Week Itinerary

  1. rsvn@soledestinations.com says:

    As we are starting to move into the new normal, local tourism is slowly but surely getting back on its feet. For this new world, let Sole Destinations Travel & Tours take you to places. We are selling and arranging transportation, accommodations, tours, and trips for travelers. Adventure awaits, go find it!

  2. kristenhalleyqwer@gmail.com says:

    Nice article!I have gone for a holidays to Philippines with my family. It is such a wonder full experience. By reading your blog I am recollecting my holidays trip.
    Thank you for writing about Philippines and sharing your experience with us.

  3. brettmer1@hotmail.com says:

    Hi Katie and Ben

    Thanks you much for this great information and insite into the Philippines, it was really helpful. I am looking at doing a two week trip with my girlfriend to the Philippines in December this year. We are a couple in our mid twenties and we are looking at getting a taste of the country, what the culture is like, doing adventures and enjoying some nightlife too. I am wondering if you guys can give us a recommendation of which places would be the best to achieve this in 2 weeks (I heard Palawan and Boracay are must do) and which would be the best order to help limit travelling time. I am looking forward to your response.

    Kind regards

  4. dav.voros@gmail.com says:

    Thanks to everyone for this amazing blog and also the comments. It really helped me planning our trip to Philippines.

    If anyone would be so kind and will me opinion about our itinerary, I will be really glad. I am little bit worried if we will not lose too much time with transports and maybe if it is not better to skip something.

    Day 1 Arrival to Manila, then flight to Dumaguete and ferry to Siquijor
    Day 1 – 4 Siquijor
    Day 4 ferry to Bohol (morning)
    Day 4 – 7 Bohol
    Day 7 – ferry to Cebu and flight to El Nido
    Day 8 – 12 El Nido
    Day 12 ferry to Coron
    Day 12 – 15 Coron
    Day 15 – flight to Manila

    Thank you!


    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hi David, Looks like you’ve done your research. 4 spots in 15 days is quick but do-able. I think you’ll be fine if you don’t mind bouncing around a lot. Happy Travels.

  5. bbugayong@outlook.com says:

    Hi Katie and Ben,

    Thank you for making a good review of the places you visited in my country – The Philippines. I must say, your blog is very insightful to those who are planning to visit Pinas (my country’s nickname). Your choices of which island to visit are perfectly expected and normal (i.e. Boracay, El Nido, and Bohol). For me, you have unlocked Level 1 of Philippines exploration. For the next challenge, in case you visit us here again, I would like you to go and visit the following:

    Batanes (Nature – Best of the BEST), Ilocos region (History), Batangas and Tagaytay (Beaches just near the Capital), Pampanga (Food tour), and Baguio and Sagada (Cold temp provinces with perfect mountain views).

    Note that all of the above-mentioned places are just located in the main island group – Luzon. I assure you that there are so many places need to be explored on other 2 main island groups – Visayas and Mindanao.

    OK, that’s for me and I wish you could visit us again here and consider the above. Best of luck in your future travels.

    Ben, Manila

  6. Balaji.manoj@gmail.com says:

    Hi Ben and Katie,

    Really insightful blog and envious of you guys 🙂

    So we are planning a week’s trip to Philli in January. We mostly want to stick to Boracay and we understand the travel time within the country. Just wanted to check if you think we could add Palawan to the trip or leave it out? May 3 days each or 4 days in Boracay and 2 in Palawan?

    Manoj Balaji, India

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hey Manoj, Thanks for the kind words. I would recommend having at least 3 days in Palawan. It takes a while to get to Palawan (flight from Boracay, then a 5-hour bus ride if you’re heading to El Nido), and you would want at least one day to do an island hopping trip. Boracay is a fun island but we really liked our time in El Nido. So if you only have 6 days to work with I would recommend 3 days in Boracay and 3 days in in El Nido, Palawan. Hope this helps!

  7. Sk.whentwowander@gmail.com says:

    Great itinerary. We spent about two weeks and decided to skip Palawan, instead heading for Siquijor and Bohol. We should have gone to Palawan!

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      I’m sure Siquijor was nice as well, but maybe you’ll just have to go back to the Philippines someday 😉

  8. admarhan@gmail.com says:

    Hey Katie!
    This is so helpful in my current overwhelmed state trying to plan our Philippines trip! I know you wrote this blog several years ago, but do you have any insight about which islands may be the best for digital nomads? My husband and I will be there for 12 days in December, but he works part time, but still needs access to the internet if any of his websites go down. This is causing me to deter from El Nido, unfortunately, because I’ve heard it’s pretty much completely off the grid.
    Any insight? How was the service on Boracay?
    Thank you!

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hi Azure! The Philippines is very well connected to the internet via Wifi at host hostel. Boracay had really good Wifi everywhere we went. We did experience some connection issues in El Nido when we were there back in January of 2015, but that’s almost 3 years ago now. El Nido has exploded with popularity in recent years so I’m sure the Wifi is much better. I would check the recent reviews on hotels and hostels and see what people are saying about the Wifi and connection and choose one based on that. I can speak much to the cell service because we did not have a phone plan when we were there. I hope this helps.

  9. jenna_mcmaster@hotmail.com says:

    Hi Katie,

    Really like the itinerary you put together here! I’m thinking of spending about 2 weeks in the Philippines, just visiting Palawan (including Coron) and perhaps Cebu as well. Just wondering if you would suggest from your experience whether this country and the areas you went to are suitable for a solo female traveller?

    Thanks in advance, and again, great blog post!

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hi Jenna, the Philippines is completely safe to travel, especially in the touristy areas like Palawan and Cebu. When we were there for two weeks, we felt totally safe the whole time. With that being said, you should always be smart when traveling and use common sense. I hope this helps!

  10. maryannecinalli@hotmail.com says:

    Hello guys!! Loved your blog 😀 We did not do the same route; we visited first Coron, El Nido and then Boracay.

    • fatime.gashi@gmx.ch says:

      Dear Marina
      While researching for my Philippine‘s trip in February, I have seen your comment. I‘ll have two weeks time to travel and my plan was to fly from Manila to coron, with the ferry To El Nido and then from Puerto Princesa to Boracay. I had doubts that this would be too much for two weeks, so I was thinking about to skip Coron… Can you tell me about your experience and how you‘d travel to the places? 🙂

  11. mb942913@ohio.edu says:

    This blog post was so informative and helpful especially with the in depth looks at particular locations. i was wondering if you had any advice about where in the itinerary you would make room to do a whale shark dive.


    • ktdieder@gmail.com says:

      Hey Molly, so glad you’ve found it helpful! We were curious about diving with whale sharks too, but after lots of research and talking to others who had done it, we feel that the whales are treated very inhumanely, so we chose to avoid this experience.

      The most popular one is in Oslob, but it takes a long time to get there, and would add at least 1 full day (if not more) to an itinerary. And like we said, we didn’t hear great things about how the whales are treated, so we can’t recommend it.

      The whale shark experience in Donsol markets itself as being more of an "ecotourism experience", but we also read bad things about that one too. Plus, it is even more time consuming to get to than Oslob. Do a little research and see how you feel about it, and then decide if it is worthwhile to you to add it into your itinerary. Just keep in mind that travel within the Philippines takes a LONG time 🙂

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