Northern Philippines Island Hopping
On this 16-day itinerary, enjoy an authentic look at the Philippines while staying in traditionally-styled overwater cottages and eco resorts. You'll be perfectly perched in the middle of all the action, spending your days exploring cabbage coral gardens, sandy beaches and cathedral caves before returning to your exotic island accommodation to take in a sunset worth traversing the globe for.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Dive some of the 11 World War II wrecks lying on the sandy bottom, and learn why this area is dubbed a mini Chuuk Lagoon
- Explore the crystal-clear waters of Barracuda Lake
- Island hop around El Nido and discover how Snake Island got its name
- Take a day trip to Cudugnon Cave, discovering its cathedral-like formations
- Take a boat ride to the Big Lagoon, then on to Small Lagoon, kayaking through its secret entrance
Why Book with Original Diving?
When To Travel
All of the holidays we create are completely tailor-made to you
Days 1 & 2: International Flight
Your Philippines adventure begins when you arrive at Heathrow Airport. Enjoy a glass of champagne in the departures lounge before boarding your international flight to Manila, with a short layover in Bangkok. Get comfortable and try to catch a few zzzz's to arrive refreshed and ready in vibrant Manila, where you will continue on with a domestic flight to Sangat Island.
After arriving and checking into your eco resort, your home for the next week, venture down to the white sand beach, framed by lush jungle on one side and turquoise water on the other, and enjoy a buffet dinner before turning in for the night.
Days 3-5: Eclectic Diving around Palawan
For the next three days, enjoy two dives each morning (or more if you're keen) in the waters surrounding Coron Island. Due to air raids during World War II, there are multiple wrecks lying on the sandy bottom, enticing divers from around the world to explore their historic hulls.
Other sites include Barracuda Lake, which can be accessed by climbing over limestone rocks and then descending into clear blue water that actually gets warmer the deeper you go; and Gunther's Cathedral, a dive that can only be done when the tide is just right, making it all the more special.
Days 6-8: Days at Leisure (or for Adventure!)
Your final days on Sangat Island can be spent underwater with more dives or on dry land exploring other activities the area has to offer. Go for a nature trek one morning followed by a kayak tour to the local hot springs, or stick closer to the resort and try out a wide range of water sports including jet skiing, wind surfing and sailing. On your final night, bid farewell in style with a sunset cruise around the bay, and get a good night's rest for the next part of your adventure that begins tomorrow.
Day 9: Make Your Way to El Nido
This morning, you will be transferred to the airport for your short 40-minute flight to El Nido, where you'll be collected by our local driver and taken to your next resort. Following in the traditional vibes of this holiday, your cottage will be native in design with an authentic and charming style, and once again, you'll sleep just steps from the beach and sea, with a dramatic backdrop of magnificent limestone cliffs.
Settle into your cottage before meeting up with your activity coordinator to go over the plethora of activities you can enjoy during your stay.
Days 10-15: Underwater Adventures, Monkey Forests, Cathedral Caves and More
With more than 20 dive sites just a quick boat ride away, there's plenty to keep every underwater enthusiast busy exploring the coral gardens flourishing with life. Keep your eyes peeled as you peruse the reefs, as nudibranchs are especially prolific in this area.
While diving may have been the main draw to the area, don't miss out on the topside attractions either. Go for a wildlife hike through the forest where you'll see monkeys dotted about in the tree canopy, or take a boat ride just a few minutes away to explore the Big and Small Lagoons and the Cathedral Cave.
Day 16 & 17: Homeward Bound
After an action-packed couple of weeks, the time has come to head home. This morning, you'll begin your journey back by first taking a private transfer and domestic flight back to Manila. This journey should take approximately three hours, then you'll have a few hours in Manila before your international flight back home this evening, again via Bangkok.
Depending on the length of your layover, there could be the opportunity to store your bags at the airport and do a little last minute souvenir shopping or exploration. Once on your plane, settle in and enjoy a few movies before drifting off to sleep to dream of your next dive holiday…
Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.