Philippines with Ease

Philippines With Ease balances a handful of must-see highlights with plenty of blissful R&R downtime. Explore Manila’s eclectic metropolis, feasting on its vibrant cuisine; unwind amid the natural wonders of Palawan, cruising along the Puerto Princesa underground river; and relax on El Nido’s sundrenched island beaches.

At a glance
  • Discover Manila’s eclectic culture
  • Graze on delicious Filipino streetfood
  • Float along Palawan’s underground river
  • Trek through lush jungle trails
  • Island hop around El Nido
Itinerary
Price & Hotels

Manila - 2 nights

Manila, like many densely populated capitals, is an exhilarating mix of organised chaos, congested streets and enriching culture; a fast-paced metropolis where towering skyscrapers sit alongside historic architecture and impoverished shantytowns. Despite a catastrophic earthquake in the mid-1800’s and relentless shelling during World War II, this resilient city continues to thrive and expand. Besides its absorbing history and traditions, Manila has developed a rich creative side, packed with eclectic art galleries, grand theatres, and a lively music scene.

Day 1 - Arrive Manila

On arrival in the Philippines, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your Manila hotel.

Welcome to Selective Asia! This level of personal service (such as private transfers, private tours etc) is what you can expect throughout your trip. A few services (eg boat cruises) will be shared, but we'll always make sure you're aware of these.

The rest of your day will be at leisure to start taking in the capital’s dizzying variety.

Day 2 - ‘Old & New’ city tour

Includes:

Tour Manila’s classic landmarks and vibrant modernity, cycling through the cobbled streets of Intramuros - Manilla’s historic, 16th century original walled city - on a traditional, handmade bamboo bike. Follow your guide to the ancient San Agustin church, and the Casa Manila museum house showcasing typical Filipino colonial life. Continue to the impressive Fort Santiago, overlooking Manila Bay, containing a poignant museum dedicated to the country’s famous freedom fighter and national hero, Dr Jose Rizal. Drive on to walk through Rizal Park’s ornamental gardens, visit the unique Chinese Cemetery (with spectacular mausoleums resembling luxury homes equipped with everything from kitchens to running water!), and wander into Makati, the capital’s glittering financial, shopping and entertainment district, to see the Nielson Tower, Fort Bonifacio, and the American WWII Cemetery. The rest of your evening will be at leisure to try some tasty Filipino specialities, including chicken adobo and colourful halo-halo pudding.

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Puerto Princesa - 2 nights

The UNESCO-listed Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the Philippines’ most impressive natural wonders. Located in Sabang on Palawan’s west coast, the dense jungle above ground is home to macaque monkeys, monitor lizards, Hornbills and White-breasted Sea Eagles, along with countless other rare species. Beneath the rocks and earth, one of the world’s longest navigable underground rivers winds for over 5 miles under St Paul Mountain. This immense tidal river passes through an awe-inspiring series of caves and intricate, long-hidden rock formations, and is one of the few that flows directly out to sea.

Day 3 - Fly to Palawan, Sabang beaches

Includes:

Fly to Puerto Princesa, the capital of the island province of Palawan, to meet your guide and drive along the winding road to Sabang. Quieter than Palawan’s better-known destinations of El Nido and Coron, Sabang Beach sits on the edge of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park, making it an excellent base from which to explore the famous Underground River. The rest of your day will be at leisure to enjoy the seaside serenity.

Day 4 - Underground river expedition & jungle trek

Includes:

Navigate the Puerto Princesa Underground River, one of the country’s most impressive natural wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Start early to avoid the crowds, taking a boat ride to Sabang pier, then a short walk through the jungle to the cave entrance to board a shared paddle boat with an experienced guide at the helm. Drift through giant caverns and cathedral chambers, lit only by the boatman’s torch, home to a complex ecosystem sustaining several species of crab, giant spider and snake that can only be found here - although you’re only likely to see a few bats and swallows! Reunite with your guide at the cave entrance and trek for a couple of hours along well-worn trails through the jungle back to your hotel, where the remainder of your afternoon will be at leisure to rest after the day’s hike.

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El Nido - 6 nights

One of the most picturesque regions in the Philippines, El Nido’s cluster of limestone islands rises dramatically out of the sea. The area was named after the nests of the swiftlet birds - ‘nido’ in Spanish - found in the crevices of its cliffs, which form main ingredient in the traditional dish of bird’s nest soup, highly prized in several Asian cultures. El Nido is now a protected marine reserve, home to an incredible diversity of underwater life, including the rare dugong (a relative of the manatee), three species of endangered sea turtles, and sleek black-tip sharks.

Day 5 - Car & boat to El Nido

Includes:

Travel to El Nido town at the tip of Palawan, where you’ll be driven to the jetty to board a shared boat to your chosen resort. The rest of your day will be at leisure to begin leaning in to El Nido’s laid back rhythm.

Day 6 - Island hopping

Includes:

An island hopping tour is the best way to experience the natural beauty of El Nido. Which specific islands you visit, and the route of your boat trip, will depend on the resort you start from, but you’re guaranteed to find plenty of the golden sands, clear water lagoons and snorkelling sites that the region is famous for.

Day 7 - At leisure on El Nido

Includes:

Indulge yourself with a long stretch enjoying El Nido’s sun, sea and sand, and making the most of the barefoot luxury at your resort. Follow your instincts to discover hidden coves where you can laze in the shade and snorkel in the shallows; tear yourself away from the reefs to trekking through the lush inland jungle; and feast on fresh seafood on the shore.

Days 8 to 10 - Beach time!

Includes:

Day 11 - Depart El Nido

Includes:

Enjoy a morning at leisure soaking up a few last moments in El Nido’s tropical paradise, before heading to the airport for your onward flight.

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We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.

Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.

Hotel class Price per person (based on total # travelling)
2 - 3 4 - 5 6 persons
First Class £2,613US$3,423 £2,436US$3,191 £2,374US$3,109

Hotel Celeste

Sporting a fashionable Makati City address, and equally chic interiors, the Hotel Celeste exudes style and sophistication. This boutique hotel takes ‘haute couture’ as a starting-point... See more

Daluyon Beach & Mountain Resort

The Daluyon resort is situated right on the beach (the mountains are in the background!) and is our preferred base from which to explore the Puerto Princesa subterranean river... See more

El Nido Miniloc Island Resort

First impressions count, and El Nido Resorts’ Miniloc Island getaway could not score more highly for instant wow factor. Nestled in a perfectly private ultramarine bay at the foot of towering limestone cliffs... See more
Superior £2,883US$3,776 £2,706US$3,544 £2,644US$3,463

The Manila Hotel

Once a favourite of the former First Lady Imelda Marcos, possibly because the suites offered plenty of room for her shoes, the distinguished Manila Hotel is one of the city’s oldest hotels... See more

Daluyon Beach & Mountain Resort

The Daluyon resort is situated right on the beach (the mountains are in the background!) and is our preferred base from which to explore the Puerto Princesa subterranean river... See more

El Nido Lagen Island Resort

Peeping out of dense forest onto the curving shore of a sheltered lagoon, the El Nido Lagen Island Resort sits in a timeless bubble of natural beauty… See more
Deluxe £3,417US$4,476 £3,239US$4,243 £3,177US$4,162

Discovery Primea Hotel

Designed by an award-winning architect and situated in the heart of bustling Makati Central Business District, the Discovery Primea Hotel boasts a high standard of amenities combined with... See more

Daluyon Beach & Mountain Resort

The Daluyon resort is situated right on the beach (the mountains are in the background!) and is our preferred base from which to explore the Puerto Princesa subterranean river... See more

El Nido Pangulasian Island

El Nido Resorts’ private Pangulasian Island getaway in Bacuit Bay boasts a dreamlike beachfront setting with a backdrop of lush tropical forest. A 750-metre stretch of brilliant white sand... See more

Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.

These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).

Itinerary additions

At Selective Asia we specialise in creating unique, tailor-made experiences. The holiday itineraries provided on this website are intended to help you visualise what is achievable in your destinations of choice, over a given period of time and at an intended budget.
Whilst many clients are happy with of our recommended itineraries in the current form (and at the price quoted), there are those that wish to personalise their holiday in some way, whether it be a change of hotel, an additional destination or even start from scratch. This is when our tailor-made specialists come into their own; with many years of experience both living and working in the region they are ideally equipped to advise on alternatives and to facilitate any necessary changes.

The important stuff

Please note: During high season periods (such as Easter, Christmas and New Year) hotels often levy a surcharge and these are not included in the above prices. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.

Inclusive:
  • English speaking, local guide
  • All accommodation listed
  • Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
  • All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals listed (B: Breakfast, L: lunch, D: Dinner)
  • International flight reconfirmation.

Exclusive:
  • Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights for all our clients, regardless of whether you are departing from the UK or from almost any other worldwide destination.
  • Entry visas
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Any meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Drinks, other than water on activity days
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
  • Travel insurance
  • All other services not listed in 'inclusive'

Please note: All prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.

Extras

Flights

We will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.

Visa

You will not require a visa to enter the Philippines. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on visa requirements.

Passport

Please ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.

Insurance

You will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.

Vaccinations and Malaria Prevention

You will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.

Booking Procedure

Only once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.

Travelling Responsibly

We care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Our tailor-made service costs you no extra

This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...

Your own private guides & drivers

You'll typically have your own private guides & drivers throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.