There are so many islands to visit in the Philippines so it might be difficult to plan your itinerary. In this post, I explain how we have selected the different islands to add to our itinerary. In total, we spent 17 days travelling to the following places: Bohol, Dumaguete, Moalboal, Coron, El Nido. At the end of the post, I also mentioned why we decided not to explore some other islands.
We decided to spend between 2 to 3 weeks in this country. We bought our flight ticket from February to March. We chose this period as it is the dry the season and it is not too hot. And to be honest also to escape the rain and the cold from London ;)!
Travelling from one island to another one is time consuming. It may even become chaotic (especially if you need to travel by bus). So we wanted to spend a minimum of 48 hours per island. For 17 days, the perfect itinerary is to visit maximum 5 islands.
- Day 1 to Day 2 – London – Manila Airport
- Day 2 to Day 5 – Bohol
- Day 5 to Day 8 – Dumaguete
- Day 8 to Day 10 – Moalboal
- Day 10 to Day 11 – Cebu Airport
- Day 11 to Day 15 – Coron
- Day 15 – Day 17 – El Nido
- Day 17 – Day 18 – Manila Airport – London
Bohol – 3 days
Firstly, we chose Bohol island to begin this trip as we wanted to have a mix of relaxing, countryside and I was desperate to see some rice terraces! Hence, Alexis found this compromise to avoid to go to Banaue rice terraces North of Manila as it would have took us minimum of 3 days to go there and come back. See our post about our stay at Bohol
Dumaguete – 3 days
Secondly, we also selected to visit Dumaguete because one of Alexis’s friend is living there. In addition, it is worth to know that it is one of the cheapest place we went to in the Philippines. See our post about our stay at Dumaguete
Moalboal – 2 days
Further we heard it was a great spot for snorkelling and a perfect spot for adventure with canyoneering. See our post about our stay at Moalboal and a dedicated one for Canyoneering at the Kawasan Falls.
Coron – 4 days
It was also an obvious choice as it is the paradise for island hopping and above all a little less crowded than El Nido. It was the island where we had the highest expectations. See our post about our stay at Coron.
El Nido – 48 hours
Finally, of course we visited El Nido as it is one of the most famous place from the Philippines and know around the world for its beautiful beaches. See our dedicated posts – one about our stay at El Nido and one about our island hopping – Tour A.
Which islands we didn’t explore and why?
We decided not to go to some famous places like Boracay and didn’t regret this choice! We looked online and could not find any special reason why to go there, except that there is nice beach (as in the rest of the Philippines!). And that everything is more expensive there.
We also decided not to go to Siargao as it is far away and seems it is essentially great for surfers!
Finally, we didn’t want to spend any time in Manila or in Cebu except the minimum that was required for the different domestic transfers we did.
Note – When you select the different places you want to visit, don’t forget to check the transport and how you plan to go from one island to another island for example. There are not always domestic flights between each island. Many of the flights are leaving either from Manila or from Cebu. Also, we read a lot of comments about delayed domestic flights but we didn’t experiment any ourselves. All our flights were on time.
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