Tranquillity and escapism in the Philippines
Camp on a secret beach in the Northern Palawan, paddle-board Loboc River and explore the Chocolate Hills by quad bike
Tranquillity and escapism in the Philippines
Spend two nights camping on a secret beach, complete with beach BBQs
Coves and caves
Explore the coastline of Northern Palawan on a private boat
Navigate the legendary Chocolate Hills by quad bike
Cycle through the backstreets of the capital on bamboo bikes
About your trip
Your adventure in the Philippines? 13 days of sun, sea and desert island bliss.
This trip will see you sail around the hidden coves of Palawan and snorkel through sparkling lagoons. You’ll sleep beneath the stars on a desert island beach, before quad-biking the Chocolate Hills and cycling the backstreets of Manila on bamboo bikes. Grey skies and work woes never felt so far away.
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Local transport
- Most meals included
- Max 14 travellers per group
- Private airport transfers
Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Day 01 Hello, Manila
Your adventure kicks off in Manila, the gateway to the 7,000 islands of the Philippines. Once you arrive at the airport, you’ll be greeted by a private transfer which will take you to your hotel. Meet your fellow travellers and dedicated guide at the hotel, then head out together to explore Manila’s vibrant streets. With its gleaming high-rises and colonial Spanish architecture, you’ll find a mix of old and new influences at play in the city.
Day 02 Bamboo bikes and rooftop sundowners
On your first morning, you’ll visit the walled city of Intramuros – a historic area in Old Manila. Hop on a fleet of bamboo bikes (handmade by Gawad Kalinga villagers) as you cycle through a warren of backstreets and ancient ruins. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant, before heading back for a few hours of sunshine by your hotel pool. Come evening, you’ll have the option to move on to one of Manila’s best restaurants, just as the sun fades behind the striking cityscape.
Day 03 Manila to El Nido
After breakfast at your hotel, bid farewell to Manila and hop on a 70-minute flight to El Nido. Located on the island of Palawan, this is a region of pristine beaches, turquoise ocean and virgin rainforest – and will be your home for the next few days. Check into your hotel, then spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the area and acclimatising to El Nido’s relaxed atmosphere.
Day 04 Secret beach camping in Palawan
Today is dedicated to exploring the islands of Northern Palawan. Aboard your group’s private boat; set sail through a series of limestone karsts, caves and lagoons along the coast of Northern Palawan. Navigate your way from island to island, taking your pick from the hidden beaches awaiting at every turn. Later in the afternoon, you’ll arrive at a secret island, where you’ll camp for the next two nights in unique mesh tents – ideal for long evenings spent stargazing. A private chef will be at hand to conjure up a beach barbecue by the waves.
Day 05 Snorkelling and sea kayaking
Wake up to the sounds of the sea, your secluded beach paradise unfolding before you. Jump back aboard your boat, fully stocked with snorkelling gear, sea kayaks and a picnic lunch to enjoy on your island of choice. Spend a leisurely day at sea, diving into the water whenever you choose or soaking up the sun with a beer in hand. As twilight settles in, head back to ‘your’ beach, where another barbecue awaits you.
Day 06 Beach life in El Nido
Savour a slow morning before sailing back to El Nido, stopping by a few islands along the way. You’ve embraced the shipwreck lifestyle – now you can return to a world of hot showers and air conditioning. With a free afternoon ahead of you, explore this charming island town at your own pace. We recommend taking a look at the hotel’s yoga facilities or exploring the local bar scene.
Day 07 Island chilling
Today, you’ll find plenty of activities at your fingertips in El Nido, from coral-reef snorkelling to local kayaking expeditions. If you’re feeling particularly active, we suggest hiking to the top of Taraw Peak for incredible views of Bacuit Bay, or trekking through the jungle to the Nagkalit-kalit Falls. Then again, you could always sprawl out on one of the many glorious beaches with a book in hand.
Day 08 A secluded retreat in Bohol
This morning you’ll catch a 90-minute flight to Cebu, followed by a two-hour ferry ride to Panglao Island in Bohol. With its white beaches, lush forests and rolling hills, Panglao is undeniably a region of beauty. You’ll find your hotel for the next four nights perched on the edge of a limestone cliff on the south of the island, with the Bohol Sea shimmering beneath you. Sink into the hotel’s infinity pools (you’ll be spoilt for choice), snorkel around a marine sanctuary in a nearby beach cove, or take advantage of the island’s many bars on Alona Beach.
Day 09 Quad-bike the Chocolate Hills
This morning, head inland to Carmen, where you’ll encounter the thousand Chocolate Hills stretching out to the horizon. The climate of the dry season causes these hills to turn from green to brown, lending the region its name. There is, sadly, no real chocolate here, but legend suggests these rolling hills are the teardrops of a heartbroken giant. After reaching a panoramic view of the island terrain by quad bike, no less, visit a tarsier sanctuary to encounter these tiny primates with their big distinctive eyes.
Day 10 Paddle-boarding on Loboc River
Today’s adventure will take you to Loboc River, an emerald waterway snaking through the wilderness of Bohol Island. Far from the tourists, you’ll explore by stand-up paddle boarding down the river. If time is on your side, you’ll also visit the 18th-century Baclayon Church, constructed from coral stone cut from the sea. The rest of the afternoon is then yours to soak up the sun or dive in for some snorkelling.
Day 11 Pools, sea and last-minute sun
Your island idyll has plenty to offer, from swimming with wild turtles to seeking out dolphins and whales off the coast of Pamilacan Island. Back at the hotel, explore the tropical gardens on one of the hotel bikes, or kayak around nearby coves and lagoons. Or, simply take a sunlounger by the pool and watch the sun go down over the beach. It’s a tough life…
Day 12 Relax on an island beneath swaying palms
Savour a lazy morning with breakfast served at the hotel, before heading back to the port for an afternoon ferry back to Cebu. Your transfer will then take you to your next hotel on Mactan Island, where more luxurious swimming pools and swaying palm trees await. As evening falls, enjoy a farewell feast with your fellow travellers.
Day 13 Until next time, Philippines
After breakfast at the hotel, it’s over to you to make your own way to your next destination. If Southeast Asia continues to call, we recommend extending your adventure with our rock-climbing trip to Southern Thailand.
Our Favourite Hotels
Browse a selection of our favourite hotels, for a flavour of where you may stay on this trip.
A Secret Beach Campsite
One-man tents in Northern Palawan
Bed down in unique mesh tents on the secluded beach Linapacan, miles away from civilisation.
Why we stay here
This is a true Robinson Crusoe experience that lets you go off-grid, with the added luxe touch of a private boat and chef for beach barbeques.
Amorita Resort, Panglao
Luxury hotel overlooking Alona Beach
A sophisticated resort full of thoughtful touches, such as complimentary ice pops and cooling sprays by the pool, early morning hot chocolates at the restaurant and cookies in the chic bedrooms.
Why we stay here
Several pools, including a huge infinity pool with views of Alona Beach, and Amorita’s private beach, where you’ll see few people but lots of colourful marine life.
The Henry Hotel, Manila
An old colonial hotel in Metro Manila
The madness of Manila falls aways the minute you step foot inside the manicured grounds of The Henry Hotel. The striking white house, with its brass fittings, shutters, dark wood and low lighting, feels like a Hollywood film set.
Why we stay here
On a hot day, the palm-fringed swimming pool and shady private decks are a welcome antidote to the bustle of the city.
What Flashpackers say
"Flash Pack was my first foray into group travel and what a way to kick it off. The group dynamics and like-minded nature of all individuals on the tour made this an amazing experience. By the end, life-long friendships were made!"
"Every detail of the trip was thought out and our guide Rupert was absolutely incredible at looking after our every need."
"One of the best holidays of my life! The accommodation throughout the whole trip was lovely, the split between planned activities and free time was perfect but most importantly our local trip leader was just amazing. "
"If you're hesitating on booking - just do it. Commit. This was such a fun experience. Everyone was so like-minded, and the itinerary was flawless."
"Flash Pack far exceeded my expectations. The adventures, our guide, our group were all fantastic! Can’t wait to use them again."
Fly into Manila International Airport (MNL) and out of Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB).
Please try to arrive in Manila by 4pm on day 1, and feel free to depart at your own leisure on
We recommend booking this adventure as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. The domestic flights to El Nido are on small planes that only run once a day, so seats tend to fill up quickly.
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting.
Travelling to the Philippines is not for everyone. This adventure involves a remote island location where there is no mobile connection, basic facilities and we camp out on the beach. Whilst we think this is a great chance to unplug, it won’t suit travellers with expectations of luxury.
We take safety very seriously on Flash Pack adventures – read more here.
Joining the Flash Pack community comes with a few special guarantees...
We bring together like-minded people in their 30s and 40s on incredible adventures and 98% travel solo. Want to know more about your group? Get in touch.
We know the world’s best bits. Think sleeping on a secret island in the Philippines and lunch with a sumo in Japan. You’ll always enjoy a comfortable stay in handpicked hotels, too.
We pride ourselves on the fact our guides know their destinations better than anyone. From Lee in Vietnam to Nayla in Argentina, with Flash Pack you really are guided by the best.
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