When traveling to somewhere as beautiful as the Philippines, it can be difficult to pick a single island to visit. With this 12-day Island-Hopping in the Central Philippines itinerary, you don’t have to pick! The trip takes you through Manila, Bohol and Panglao, Siquijor, Dumaguete and Dauin. Get ready for plenty of sunshine, picturesque beaches, and the perfect dose of culture.
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Arrive in Manila, the capital of the Philippines and an ancient city with a rich history. Settle in to your hotel in the city center-- we recommend either Raffles Makati or the Makati Shangri-la. Spend the rest of the day exploring the lively area. You will see the heavy Spanish influence in the quaint architecture.
Spend the day immersed in the oldest district of the city - Intramuros. In the 16th century, the Spanish constructed their citadel, Fort Santiago, and the city walls to guard their stronghold from foreign invaders. When the Spanish were in power, everything outside the walled area was called “outside the walls.” The structures became a National Historic Monument in 1951.
Take a short flight to the much more southern, pristine island of Bohol. You will be met at the airport by a guide and taken to a luxury hotel, where you can spend the day relaxing poolside or seaside. You will see the famous aquamarine water and dig your toes into the soft, white sand. The island is the tenth-largest in the Philippines and considered a naturally beautiful haven.
Enjoy a full-day tour of the island today. Bohol is home to several beautiful sights. Climb up the gorgeous Chocolate Hills that resemble giant mole hills. Pay a visit to the tarsier sanctuary, where you can see several of the world’s smallest monkey species relaxing and at play. You will see several quaint Spanish churches and charming villages along the way.
It’s time to relax! Spend the day lounging seaside. Walk along the island’s several islets. Snorkel the crystal waters, looking at the active marine life weaving in and out of the corals. The water is warm and inviting for a leisurely swim.
Take a short ferry to Siquijor, known to the Spaniards as “isla del fuego” (island of fire) from the soft orange glow produced by the island’s active firefly population. The island has a mystical feel. The Filipinos believe the island possesses certain magical powers. There are several local healers living and working on the island - feel free to check it out for yourself!
Take a complete island tour today. Enjoy the relaxed attitude of your surroundings. This beautiful mountainous island is known for its welcoming vibe. Chat with the local villagers and stock up on artisanal goods. Stroll among the lush greenery. Spend some time on the beaches, world-renowned for diving.
There’s no place quite like Siquijor to relax. Lounge comfortably on the fine sand or by your hotel’s pool. Explore the area’s waterfalls - Cambugahay Falls does not disappoint. There are hundreds of butterflies floating throughout the island - the butterfly sanctuary holds the largest concentrated population. Relax and enjoy a serene day in a tropical atmosphere.
Enjoy a boat cruise as you travel from Siquijor to Dumaguete. Dumaguete is the largest and capital city of Negros Oriental. Continue on to Dauin - an island named for the supernatural beings once thought to occupy its magical shores. Check into your hotel and go for a swim in the pool to stretch your legs after a day spent traveling in the sea.
Today you have the rare opportunity to see turtles in their natural habitat. Seaturtles hatch throughout the year, although their birthing period is highest in the summer months. You may be lucky enough to see turtles hatching and making their birth journey to the sea. Enjoy a snorkeling excursion to Apo island and dive into the sea with the massive seaturtles. They love playing among the pristine reefs.
It’s your last day on island time. Make the most of the sunshine and seawater. Snorkel through the colorful reefs in search of exotic marine life in the underwater garden. If you need a break from salt water, check out the area’s hot springs. The Mt. Talinis Geothermal Reserve is a gorgeous area in the inland of the island.
After 11 full days of adventure, culture, seawater and sunshine, it’s time to say goodbye to the beautiful islands of the Philippines. Begin your journey back to Manila through Dumaguete. Upon reaching Manila, you have the option to either continue on to other adventures in the Philippines or return home.
Raffles Makati Hotel lives up to the renowned Raffles repute. This luxurious hotel is located in central Manila, making it a prime base from which to explore the vibrant city. There are just 32 opulent suites that boast cityscape views. The hotel has plenty of amenities for the discerning guest including a spa, sauna, Jacuzzi, steam room and fitness center. The four dining options combine the best of local culture and cuisine, as well as plenty of international dishes. There is a lounge bar and a pool bar mixing up tasty cocktails alongside wines, beers and light snacks. The Writers Bar, serving afternoon tea, was created in tribute to the famous novelists who have stayed at or written about Raffles. The Raffles Makati is a 30-minute drive from the airport.
Strategically placed on the corners of Ayala and Makati Avenues, The Peninsula Manila is close to premier shopping facilities and within easy access of Manila's numerous attractions. The hotel is a 30-minute drive from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) and just 20 minutes from Manila's domestic airport. Elegantly furnished in classic style, the hotel's 497 rooms and suites provide modern, technologically advanced conveniences, including complimentary broadband Internet access. The Club has been designed with the needs of business travelers in mind and offers an exclusive Club Lounge, serving complimentary continental breakfast, afternoon tea, and cocktails, as well as a boardroom, business center, and butler service. Continental and Pan-Asian cuisine is served at The Peninsula's many restaurants, including Old Manila and Spices, which are two of the top restaurants in the city. Salon de Ning, the hotel's quirky lounge, features musical entertainment on most evenings.
Experience paradise at the Coco Grove Beach Resort, a beautiful beachfront hotel situated on the island of Siquijor. Here, guests will enjoy an endless stretch of pristine beach and relax in the beautiful surroundings of tropical gardens. The resort offers 42 native-style cottages and villas, just steps away from white sandy beaches. Each spacious suite is equipped with a flat-screen TV, rain shower, mini-bar, air-conditioning and kitchenette. After checking in, guests can take a dip in the two outdoor swimming pools, sip cocktails at the garden or pool bars, learn to dive at the dive center on site, book island-hopping tours, and more. Other services include WiFi, spa and massage center, dry cleaning, a game room and a souvenir store. The establishment also offers two oceanfront restaurants. Enjoy a delicious dinner at the Sunset Restaurant and see local musicians serenade diners with Filipino folk songs.
Atmosphere Resorts & Spa in Dauin features a delightful selection of garden apartments and luxury penthouses, all at a stunning coastal location. Inside, and the rooms are hard to beat - both in terms of their style and their comfort. Guests can enjoy king-size beds, crisp white linens, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and complimentary toiletries, fruit and coffee. Set in a stunning backdrop with white soft sands, palm trees and clear turquoise water, the location of Atmosphere Resorts & Spa really quite special. The huge private swimming pool also takes advantage of the setting, as guest can swim, relax and dine whilst taking in the 180-degree panoramic ocean view. As well as providing fine rooms and an idyllic location, this hotel also excels when it comes to eating. ‘Blue’, their fine dining restaurant, has a great choice of freshly-caught seafood and guests have the option of dining in or outside – on the beach, that is.