Simply Philippines

Our Simply Philippines holiday moves at a leisurely pace between the islands of Bohol, Palawan and El Nido. Gaze over the Chocolate Hills, cruise through Puerto Princesa National Park and spot diverse wildlife from dolphins to tarsiers, in between plenty of R&R time on picture-postcard beaches.

At a glance
  • Soak up Cebu’s unique history
  • Dive Bohol’s coral reefs
  • Spot tarsiers in a forest sanctuary
  • Gaze over the Chocolate Hills
  • Navigate Palawans underground river
  • Snorkel El Nido’s underwater wonders
Itinerary
Price & Hotels

Cebu - 1 night

Conveniently located in the heart of the Visayas, Cebu has become pivotal to enriched travel in the Philippines. Golden sands, excellent diving and pristine rainforest make the archipelago a key relaxation highlight, while Cebu City - the second largest metropolis in the Philippines - holds a valuable resource of history and culture to add balance to Cebu’s natural wonders. Look beneath the paradise sheen to discover a blend of Filipino, Spanish colonial and Chinese influences dating back over 600 years, enriching the islands with historic sights, fusion cuisine and unique culture.

Day 1 - Arrive Cebu

On arrival in the Philippines, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your Cebu 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 settle into the archipelago's laid-back pace.

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Panglao Island - 4 nights

The island province of Bohol is known for its gorgeous beaches, enticing coral reefs and striking geographic formations of caves, waterfalls and the evocatively-named Chocolate Hills. The main island’s forested interior is home to an endangered, endemic primate - the adorable bug-eyed tarsiers - that peep between the leaves in their sanctuary home. The 70-plus smaller surrounding islands, chief of which is Panglao, are a hub of world-class diving where you can see schools of tuna and mackerel, groups of snapper and the occasional black-tipped shark, swimming around the otherworldly coral, as dolphins breach out in the bay.

Day 2 - Boat to Bohol & Panglao Island

Includes:

Set off to the port in time for your ferry to Tagbilaran, the capital of the island province of Bohol, where you’ll meet your local guide and head to your hotel on Panglao Island.

Day 3 - Relax on Panglao

Includes:

Spend a day at leisure in Panglao’s picture-perfect paradise, laying on the beach, snorkelling in the shallows or trekking to hidden waterfalls.

Day 4 - Tarsier sanctuary, Chocolate Hills, river cruise

Includes:

Head over the bridge to Bohol, driving through a bucolic landscape of coconut plantations and small villages, to the Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella. Wander through a small section of the sanctuary, keeping your eyes peeled for dozing tarsiers, and possibly meeting famous conservationist ‘Tarsier Man’ Carlito Pizzaras. Continue inland to a viewpoint near Carmen, for panoramic views across Bohol’s famous Chocolate Hills. This unique landscape of conical hills, covering an area of 20 square miles, turns brown during winter, making them look like domes of chocolate, but is lush green during summer. Soak up the scenery before driving south to Loboc for a leisurely cruise along a picturesque section of river, with palm trees and jungle foliage lining the banks, enjoying a typical Filipino lunch as you travel.

Day 5 - Pamilacan dolphin & whale spotting cruise

Includes:

Depart early for Pamilacan island to board a motorised outrigger and spot dolphin and whales offshore. The boat crews are former fishermen who previously made an income hunting the whales, but now safeguard the future of the marine life through tourism. Several cetacean species, including the playful spinner dolphins, can be spotted in these waters year round, and at least six different types of whales are seen between April and June, though these sightings are rarer. Enjoy lunch prepared by the locals on Pamilacan Island, then transfer back to your hotel where the rest of your day will be at leisure.

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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, rare 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 6 - Boat & plane to Puerto Princesa

Includes:

Transfer to Tagbilaran and board the ferry to Cebu, from where you’ll catch a flight to Puerto Princesa, the capital of the island province of Palawan. Meet your local guide and set off along a winding road to your Sabang hotel where the rest of your day will be at leisure to wander along the town’s calm, pristine shoreline.

Day 7 - Underground river cruise & jungle trek

Includes:

Start out early to avoid the crowds, and spend the morning exploring Puerto Princesa Underground River. After a 45-minute boat ride from Sabang, take a short walk through the jungle to the cave entrance to board a shared paddle boat for your subterranean river journey. Drift through giant caverns and cathedral-sized chambers, full of dramatic geological formations lit only by the boatman’s torch. The caves are home to a complex ecosystem, and several species of crab, giant spider and snake can only be found here (though you’re only likely to spot bats and swallows!) Reunited with your guide at the cave entrance, trek for a couple of hours along a well-worn jungle trail back to your hotel, where the rest of your day will be at leisure to relax in your natural surroundings.

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El Nido - 4 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 8 - Drive north to El Nido

Includes:

Embark on the drive north to El Nido town at the tip of Palawan, where you’ll board a shared boat to your chosen resort. The rest of your day will be at leisure to relax.

Spend a few days getting to know this stunning region. Take advantage of the varied watersports, including paddleboarding, windsurfing and kayaking to neighbouring deserted islands. If you can tear yourself away from the reefs, there are excellent trekking and hiking trails into the jungle.

Days 9 to 11 - Beach time!

Includes:

Day 12 - Depart El Nido

Includes:

Relax until it’s time to fly to Manila 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 £2,566US$3,361 £2,387US$3,127 £2,297US$3,009

Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort

A stylish Filipino-owned beach resort not far from Cebu City, the Bluewater Maribago has its own private island just offshore that sunseekers can reach with a short swim, or by simply wading across at low-tide... See more

Bohol Beach Club

Looking out over impossibly pristine private sands, the Bohol Beach Club is the ideal diving retreat... 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 £2,895US$3,792 £2,716US$3,558 £2,626US$3,440

Crimson Resort & Spa

The Crimson Resort occupies an enviable location on Mactan Island’s east coast, just across the water from the historic Cebu City. A range of stylish accommodation options is combined with high-end... See more

South Palms Resort

As locations go, you’d struggle to beat this stunning Panglao Island resort. Nestled within lush tropical greenery, and just steps away from a half-mile long, pristine white sand beach, South Palms Resort... 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 £3,307US$4,332 £3,129US$4,099 £3,038US$3,980

Abaca Boutique Resort

With its picturesque and isolated setting, and just eight other suites and villas to share your stay with, the Abaca Resort on Mactan Island makes for an intoxicating island hideaway... See more

Amorita Resort

Perched high atop a limestone cliff, overlooking dramatic seascapes, the Amorita Resort is an idyllic tropical retreat that promises romantic seclusion and family fun in equal measure... 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.

Book With Confidence

For peace of mind when booking your future holiday to Asia, we have introduced flexible booking conditions & full financial clarity.