The Philippines are made up of over 7,600 islands. You can spend months here, and there will still be something new to see. Unfortunately, sometimes our work only allows us the luxury of taking a week off for travel. With that in mind, Feetpin Travel brings to you our recommended 07 Day itineraries series. This particular itinerary focuses on Rice Terraces, Waterfalls, Hot Springs, Kayangan Lake, Skeleton Wreck, Siete Picados, Barracude Lake, Reef and Wrecks Snorkeling, Coron Island Hopping and Shopping!
Land in Manila. Sort out necessary practicalities i.e. SIM card, etc. Check into hotel, rest. Explore Manila nightlife.
Day Trip to Villa Escudero. This is the famous “Waterfall Restaurant” of the Phillipines, featured in many Travel Sites as one of the “Unique Restaurants in the World”. Explore the grounds of the resort. Return to Manila in early evening.
Start for Banaue Rice Terraces in the middle of the night (you want to reach Banaue as early in the morning as you can). It’s best if you book a Day Trip tour to Banaue Rice Terrace from a Manila tour operator – that way they will take care of transport, logistics, etc. Also ask them if Batad Rice Terraces, Native Village and Tappiya Falls in included in the day trip. Return back to Manila same day and reach late evening/night.
Fly from Mania to Coron. Try to reach Coron by 2 p.m. Check into hotel, freshen up, rest and shower. Lunch at BUZZ express. Ask the waiters there to help you get to the bottom of the steps to Mount Tapyas. Try to get there by 4 p.m.
Mt. Tapyas has approximately 750 steps to the top. This is famous Coron Viewpoint and the Coron Island Sign (like the Hollywood sign). Once you’re at the top, stop, admire the view, and watch the sunset go down amidst the islets. Head back down from the top after the sunset, grab a tri-cycle and head to Macquinit Hot Springs.
Macquinit Hot Springs has places where you can check in your belonging. Take a towel and some dry clothes to change into once you are finished. There is an entry fee – but that keeps changing, so please check locally before you go. We paid 400 pesos in January 2018.
The fare from Mt Tapyas to Macquinit Hot Springs is usually 300 pesos for the vehicle – ask your driver to wait for 2 hours for you outside and he will then drop you back to your accommodation.
MUST DO: Take the Coron SUPER ULTIMATE island Tour – this will cover all the highlights: Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake, Skeleton Wreck, Twin Lagoon, Siete Picados, Coral Garden, CYC/Banol Beach. It was 1700 pesos in January 2018 – the price also included lunch and transport, including pick up and drop off. Book with “Twin Travel & Tours”. Their email is Twinfirstname.lastname@example.org and their phone number is 09066603788 . Ask for “Lea Ramos” – mention my name and if she forgets, mention “the Travel Blogger from Bangladesh” and who knows, you may just get a discount!
Do the Reef & Wrecks Tour (for water activities/ snorkeling/ shipwreck lovers) OR the Island Escapade Tour (for beach lovers or people wanting to relax).
At night explore a bit of the street food places near the boat pier. Ask literally anyone – Coron is very small and everyone knows everything, and everyone else!
Catch the first flight back to Manila. Check into any hotel – but do that in the Makati area (Mania traffic is insane!). Leave your luggage, freshen up, and then gear up for some shopping! The Malls here are insane – visit GreenBelt 1,2,3,4 & 5, Landmark Mall, Glorietta, etc. My personal favorite was SM Mall here. All of the above have excellent quality and designer originals at a fraction of the regular prices.
If you’re looking for designer replicas, skip the above and head to Greenhills Mall, which is an hour’s Uber ride away (thanks to Manila traffic!).
Shop to your heart’s content – the Malls are open till p.m. and then grab a late dinner and head back to the hotel. Get a good night’s sleep.
Bid goodbye to the Philippines and catch your flight back home.
The days have been broken down into easy segments, so feel free to omit any of the days and adjust accordingly if you have fewer days available in the Philippines. Also – keep in touch regularly with your tour operators – adjust and be prepared for “island time” i.e. pick up from hotel at 8.30 am even though they said 8 am sharp, etc. It’s a vacation – Enjoy it!