Antarctica & Arctic
The Southern Philippines is a thrill to discover. Bohol Chocolate Hills, stunning beaches, wildlife, idyllic Boracay, Palawan and unexplored caves await.
a Destinations d > Philippines > Paradise Lost
14 nights accommodation, activities and entrances fees as per the itinerary, meals as per the itinerary, services of a private car and driver, internal flights, boat trips, local English speaking guides.
Daily, July 2016 - 31 March 2017
Culture & Heritage
A haven for sunbathers and cave explorers alike, the Southern Philippines are a thrill to discover—both above ground and under. Blessed with miles of pristine, uncrowded beaches, intriguing caves and the two-tiered Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, the southern provinces is perfect for travellers eager to try their hand at a variety of experiences in an underexplored part of Southeast Asia. Looking for something different?
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El Nido showcases Palawan’s diverse geology and wildlife - home to tropical fish, coral and endangered sea turtles.
Not only is Bohol adorned with natural beauty and is also home to the world's smallest monkey, the Tarsier.
The world famous Boracay Island has more than 30 beaches including White Beach - 4kms of pure white sand.
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You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. Manila is the capital city and the gateway to the 7,107 islands of the Philippines. You will find Manila to be an interesting mix of the old and the new, where you will find old colonial Spanish churches in the shadows of gleaming high-rise structures. Manila is an ever-expanding metropolis that is constantly drawing people in from across the country looking for work, and swallowing up the surrounding villages and rice fields in the name of new development. No actitities are planned today.
This morning transfer to the domestic airport for a flight to Dumaguete, one of the top destinations in the country especially for divers and nature lovers. Dumaguete City is a quaint and charming place, rich in history and culture as well as in natural resources. Visit the Siliman University, the Hikaban Cooperative and Claytown Pottery factory. Later, visit Bacong home to the Negros Oriental Arts and Heritage Centre which houses a stonecraft factory and showroom as well as the century old Bacong Church. Lastly, stop and ride a calesa rickshaw along a stretch of Rizal Boulevard, lined with white lamp posts and stately trees, and visit the souvenir shops along the downtown strip of the city. A delectable meal awaits at a popular restaurant by the sea, which offers fresh crabs, oysters, and other delicious local specialties. (B,D).
This morning drive 1 hour north of Dumaguete City to Bais City, where, from Port Capiñahan, you will take an outrigger motorboat along the Tañon Strait. This area is said to have one of the highest concentrations of Cetaceans whales in the world. Among these are several varieties of dolphins: spotted, spinner, striped, and bottlenose and the pygmy Sperm Whale. Take a dip in the shallow waters of the Campuyo White Sandbar, or just laze on its fine, white sand. On the return journey you will cruise by Talabong Mangrove Island, a 400 hectare, protected mangrove forest which serves as natural habitat for many seabirds and other marine wildlife. (B,L).
Transfer to the seaport for a two hour ferry boat ride to Bohol. The country's tenth largest island, Bohol is situated at the heart of the Visayan Islands and is adorned with natural beauty - rolling hills, crystal clear springs, verdant rivers and stunning white sand beaches. Along its coastline are numerous excellent dive spots such as Panglao and Pamilacan. Bohol is also famous for its “Chocolate Hills” and is home to the world's smallest monkey, the Tarsier. Upon arrival in Tagbilaran, you will be met your guide and transfer to your resort. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. (B)
Take a leisurely drive through the scenic countryside, past nipa palms, coconut plantations and rice fields to the Chocolate Hills. Head up to the highest point to view the 1,268 haycock hills which range in height from 40-120 metres. During the summer the dome shaped, grass covered hills dry up and turn brown, giving the appearance of rows of chocolate drops. Drive down to the Loboc River and board a raft on which you will enjoy a typical Boholano country lunch while cruising down the Loboc River. You will also visit the Tarsier sanctuary to see these incredible, beautiful creatures, the oldest living mammal on the planet. You will also have the opportunity to visit Baclayon Church and the quaint city of Tagbilaran before returning to your hotel. (B,L)
Leaving early, transfer to your fast ferry to Cebu. Historic Cebu is where the Portuguese Captain Ferdinand Magellan planted the Cross of Christianity in 1521, it lies strategically placed at the centre of the Visayan Islands and has been a popular entry point to the Philippines among merchants throughout the centuries. Upon arrival in Cebu, meet your guide and take a tour of the “Queen City of the South”. Visit its historical landmarks such as the Lapu Monument, Magellan's Cross and the Santo Nino Church. Drive through the colourful Carbon Market, scenic Beverly Hills and visit the Chinese Taoist Temple. (B)
Transfer to the airport for the short flight across to Puerto Princesa in the province of Palawan. Known for its incredibly beautiful natural seascapes and landscapes, Palawan is one of the most bio-diverse islands in the Philippines. Puerto Princesa is a clean and modern city with many sightseeing attractions and some great seafood restaurants and bars. Upon arrival, tour the city visiting Plaza Cuartel, the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral and the old town. (B).
Drive from Puerto Princessa to El Nido. El Nido is considered to be a showcase of Palawan’s geology and diverse wildlife. Its majestic limestone cliffs stand guard over crystal clear waters, which are home to hundreds of species of tropical fish and coral, and three species of endangered sea turtles. El Nido’s forests are home to over 100 species of birds, a large number of which are endemic to Palawan. (B)
Today is a day at leisure to relax on the beautiful beaches of El Nido or take part in activities such as island hopping, cave exploration, diving and snorkelling. El Nido’s name comes from the edible nests of Swiftlets that are found in the crevices of its limestone cliffs. These nests, “nido” in Spanish, are the main ingredient for the local delicacy, nido soup. (B)
Drive to Sabang and proceed to the wharf where you take a boat to the mouth of the Underground River. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this natural wonder features an 8.2km long, navigable underground river, reputed to be the world’s longest, that winds through a spectacular cave before emptying out in to the South China Sea. Cruise along this natural wonder, passing through cathedral sized chambers and wide hallways, taking in the many fascinating geological formations that are hidden beneath St. Paul Mountain. At the mouth of the cave, ancient trees grow right along the water’s edge, framing an incredible clear lagoon. Monkeys, monitor lizards and squirrels find their niche on the beach near the cave. Visitors can also enjoy bird watching, trekking, paddling a boat through the mangroves and exploring deeper into the forest. (B)
This morning head to the port and board a boat, setting sail to spot spinner dolphins. You can see up to 200 Dolphins frolicking in the water, leaping high in the air and riding the bow wave of your boat. In the afternoon take another city tour of Puerto Princesa. Visit the Palawan Museum located at Mendoza Park where you can get an impression of the history, art and culture of the people of this island group. Later visit the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre. Here they have a farm that breeds two endangered species of crocodile that are found in the country including the endemic Philippine Crocodile. There is also a small zoo where you can see the colourful nicobar pigeon, the raucous talking mynah, the elusive bearcat and several other animals that are found in Palawan. You will also see the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm, a prison without walls where inmates tend vast farms instead of idly spending time behind bars. (B)
Return to Puerto Princesa airport, fly Caticlan and take a boat to Boracay. This world famous island, roughly shaped like a dumbbell, is seven kilometres long and one kilometre wide at the narrowest point. The island has more than 30 beaches and coves, among them the famous White Beach, four kilometres of pure white sand beach that is often rated amongst the world's best beaches. The water is shallow here, and its sand brighter and finer than most beaches in the archipelago. Upon arrival at the airport you will be met by your guide and transferred to your resort, the rest of the day is at leisure. (B)
Enjoy a day at leisure in Boracay. Options include heading north to peaceful Diniwid Beach for a break in the action, or east to Bulabog Beach, home to the local watersports crowd, with its welcoming community vibe. (B)
Enjoy a day at leisure in Boracay. All things considered, Boracay is a place where you can find whatever you want if you know where to look. Otherwise grab that weng weng cocktail, sink into your waterfront beanbag chair and just marvel at the spectacle of it all. (B)
Transfer to the Boracay airport for your flight back to the Manila international airport. Upon arrival you will transfer to the international airport for your onwards flight. (B)
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