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Itinerary Advice for 2 weeks in June/July 2016

Melbourne, Australia
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15 posts
12 reviews
38 helpful votes
Itinerary Advice for 2 weeks in June/July 2016
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I would really appreciate some advice on our itinerary (first time for any of us to the Philippines). We have just booked flights in and out of Manila for 2 weeks (last week of June and first week of July). We would like to spend some time in Manila 2-3 nights and probably a night at the end for transiting. What's the best area to stay in Manila which is walking distance to good restaurants, bars and shopping etc? There is a large, diverse group of 10 (grandparents, parents, teenagers). We don't want to travel extensively - aside from Manila, we'd be happy to travel to 2 other destinations and spend say 4 nights at each but I'm not sure where to choose. We are interested in beautiful beaches, waterfalls or other natural attractions, restaurants/nightlife, fishing, snorkelling, adventure activities - basically so that the group has the option to sightsee or relax. I would love to visit Boracay but wasn't sure what sort of weather we're likely to encounter late June, early July and I don't mind if the other destination is beach/island as well. If we can get some suggestions on our itinerary for this time of year and if anyone has accommodation suggestions at these destinations, it would be greatly appreciated. I guess our budget is mid-range (A$100 - 150 per room) and if there is accommodation with family room options, even better. Would go a little higher if something was really worth it. Thanks in advance!

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
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31 196 posts
2 961 reviews
3 637 helpful votes
1. Re: Itinerary Advice for 2 weeks in June/July 2016
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I would choose the Makati area based on what you are seeking.

Alona Beach Bohol ticks all your boxes.

Tommo

Melbourne, Australia
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15 posts
12 reviews
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2. Re: Itinerary Advice for 2 weeks in June/July 2016
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Tommo - how would you recommend traveling from Borocay to Alona Beach? Thanks in advance!

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
31 196 posts
2 961 reviews
3 637 helpful votes
3. Re: Itinerary Advice for 2 weeks in June/July 2016
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Option 1- Travel via Manila (Caticlan or Kalibo to Manila, Manila to Tagbilaran(Bohol))

Option 2 - Fly direct to Cebu from Kalibo or Caticlan, then fast ferry(2 hours) to Bohol.

Tommo

Seattle
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18 posts
52 reviews
34 helpful votes
4. Re: Itinerary Advice for 2 weeks in June/July 2016
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I say stay in Makati while you're in Manila. You can walk to nearby restaurants/malls/bars. I was just there last April. I would only spend 2 nights in Manila at most unless you have something really specific you want to do that require you to stay more than 2 nts/3 days. Be prepared for lots of traffic and air pollution.

You could consider flying to Coron (1 hr flight) on Philippine Airlines. Be aware that only small planes fly to Coron and they have baggage restrictions. We stayed at Corto del Mar which was a lovely hotel. Coron is a small walkable port town on the side of the hill. It is surrounded by many small islands. Your hotel can arrange a boat to take you out for the day to see the islands. it cost us $50US for the boat for 2 people. We chose the "3 best islands" tour. It'll be the bluest water and whitest sand you'll see - check out pictures of Malcapuya Island - unreal! If you're a diver, they have several WWII shipwrecks to explore.

Happy travels!

Subic, Philippines
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11 posts
20 reviews
2 helpful votes
5. Re: Itinerary Advice for 2 weeks in June/July 2016
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hi NSBJLM,

you might want to try and visit undiscovered paradise of olongapo and zambales.

here's the list of some beautiful beaches i know.

http://www.kamanasanctuary.com

http://www.wildorchidsubic.com

http://www.anvayacove.com

http://camayanbeachresort.com

http://www.icovesubic.com

http://www.wildorchidsubic.com

http://magalawaislandresort.com

http://www.pinoycaravan.com/collections/anawangin-cove -anawangin cove and capones island.

hope this would help you.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
588 posts
226 reviews
335 helpful votes
6. Re: Itinerary Advice for 2 weeks in June/July 2016
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For two weeks, try this:

Manila, 2nights

Coron, 4 nights (Cebupacific/PAL flights direct from Manila)

Cebu, 2 nights (Cebupacific flights direct from Coron)

Bohol, 5 nights (ferry or fast craft from Cebu)

Manila (direct Cebupacific/PAL flights direct from Bohol)

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
15 posts
12 reviews
38 helpful votes
7. Re: Itinerary Advice for 2 weeks in June/July 2016
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Thanks everyone :)

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines
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8. Re: Itinerary Advice for 2 weeks in June/July 2016
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In June or July I'd be tempted to head for the Visayas (central islands group) as others have indicated.

Alona Beach, Bohol has the advantage of some excellent restaurants in the town or nearby: Tarsier Paprika, C2 and others in the town, and Tarsier Botanika and Bohol Bee Farm are relatively short tricycle (or taxi, not that there are many of those) trips away, as is lovely (but sometimes windy) Dumaluan Beach.

I was at Alona Beach itself 10 days ago and reviewed the two latter restaurants on TA (although Tarsier Botanika thus far is only listed as an 'attraction' by TA - I have asked that it also be listed as a 'restaurant.' The Alona Beach is more crowded with buildings than was the case six years ago on my previous visit, but is still quite nice.

Look up the marine (to Balicasag Island) early start snorkelling and islander cooked fish lunch day tour (bring reef shoes and money) and Bohol Island land day tour (including tarsier sanctuary near Corella town, Baclayon Catholic Church, butterfly sanctuary and Chocolate Hills plus a brief sortie up the Loboc River (bring money for admission fees.) Both tours are excellent and different to Melbourne, which is why we travel.

If you want somewhere really quiet for a couple of nights on Bohol, Isla Hayahay is run by an Australian and is excellent, but it is the complete antithesis of Boracay and Alona Beach, Panglao Island in that it is low key. Read my recent review. Snorkelling is great and it's only an hour or so north of Tagbilaran City, and can be reached by frequent Starcraft catamaran between Cebu City and Tubigon, then tricycle and bus, and tricycle again if you want to do it the cheap way.

www.asiatravel.com has a terrific range of Metro Manila accommodation including some 'Crazy Rates' mystery hotel rooms.

Edited: 6 years ago
Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines
Level Contributor
12 437 posts
2 558 reviews
4 909 helpful votes
9. Re: Itinerary Advice for 2 weeks in June/July 2016
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Apologies: in the second paragraph, I should have said 'Alona Beach, Panglao Island.' It and Bohol Island are linked by a longish causeway, which is also the case between Calape and Pangangan Island that is where the small establishment Isla Hayahay is located.

Coron is also a good spot. White sand beaches are all offshore but it is easy to go to the pier and obtain yourself a sole use bangka (boat) crewed by at least two males. Depending on where you are going, the all day tour may be P1700 to P2500. This is good value as a bangka should fit at least half your party if all 10 are attending.

Coron is on Busuanga Island with the offshore spots such as Shipwreck Cove and Siete Pecados offering excellent snorkelling. Banana and Malpacuya Island are two to which I have yet to go but TA member tommomelbourne says that the latter one was terrific if I recall.

Edited: 6 years ago
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
15 posts
12 reviews
38 helpful votes
10. Re: Itinerary Advice for 2 weeks in June/July 2016
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Thanks Victorianlad. Just out of curiosity, do you like Boracay?

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