Asia > Philippines
Listing ID: 50557

10 Day Bright Lights, Big Islands (Philippines)

This adventure combines the best of the Philippines' two largest islands, Luzon and Palawan. From the bright lights of Manila to the stunning wilderness of the "last frontier" this trip offers some of the most incredible sights in SE Asia. Duration: 240 Hours (approx.)
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Our 10 Day Bright Lights, Big Islands adventure offers up some of the best experiences on two of the largest islands in the Philippines, Luzon and Palawan. We start our trip off under the bright lights of the capital city of Manila on the island of Luzon, before making our way across one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Palawan.

A city that long hasn’t received the same consideration from travelers as some other SE Asian capitals, Manila is a city waiting to explode into the backpacking scene. Here you can enjoy some of the best shopping, dining and nightlife in SE Asia. Manila is hip city on the up, with plenty of stunning natural scenery within arms reach. Raw, rugged, and largely unpopulated Palawan is referred to nationally as “the last frontier”. Here you will see lush tropical jungles, beautiful waterfalls, underground rivers and some of the very best beaches and island hopping to be found anywhere in the world. Your camera will be smoking after this trip, as we hit up an ensemble of some of the most stunningly scenic landscapes in Asia.

- What Will You Do

You will arrive at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino Airport late on night 1. We meet you at the airport and take you back to our awesome accommodations in Makati. The group meets for welcome drinks and a little information the first night, but day 2 is when the action starts. We embark on our first group activity, an unforgettable day trip to the remarkable Masungi Geo Reserve. Day 3 is yours to explore some of the many options Manila has to offer. Hike the Taal volcano, shred up the wakeboard park in Lagunas, or go for an incredible yacht trip in Batangas. These are only a few of the options in this lively city.

Early day 4 a private minibus takes us to the airport and we are in the sky and on our way to “the last frontier”, Palawan. We arrive early in the afternoon in Puerto Princesa, the capital city of this remote and sparsely populated island on the westernmost fringes of the country. After a free day for exploring, the group hits the emerald waters of Honda Bay on day 5 for a day of island hoping and snorkelling. Day 6 is a free day for you to explore before we head north to El Nido.

Day 7 takes a travel day and turns it into an awesome experience. On our way from Puerto Princesa to El Nido in our private minibus, we make a stop in Sabang to soak up the dramatic landscapes and visit one of the “7 Natural Wonders of The World”, the Puerto Princesa Underground River. After a delicious Filipino style buffet lunch, we continue on to the magnificent El Nido arriving late in the evening on day 7. Day 8 the group embarks on the legendary “Tour A”, an island-hopping adventure through some of El Nido’s most stunning islands. We give you day 9 and 10 to explore this tropical wonderland, because there is so much to see and nobody really wants to leave. Day 10 is our last night in town, so we have a little send off celebration planned. Say goodbye to your awesome group of new friends and prepare for your onward journey*. At this point though, like many, you may just be having so much fun you want to stay and hang with us for another 10 days on our Island Explorer adventure.

- What To Expect

Manila - Located on the largest island of Luzon, Manila is the capital of the Philippines and the main arrival point for international travelers. Manila is a rapidly developing city with a very unique history and mixture of cultures and a whole lot on offer to those willing to stay and hang out for a while. You can hit up the hip pubs and clubs, or enjoy the world class shopping and dining in Makati. Play in the incredible jungles of the Masungi Geo Reserve. Climb to the crater lake of the Taal Volcano, or shred up the cable wake park in Laguna. Manila is a big city that keep the options coming, with a tonne of hidden gems in every direction. We have some amazing hosts here who know how to show a guest a good time and will help you see the best of this exciting and lively capital city.

Puerto Princesa - Within the Philippines the island of Palawan is commonly referred to as the last frontier, because it is one of the last largely unsettled areas in the country. Palawan is wild, raw, untouched and absolutely positively one of the most beautiful islands you could ever lay eyes on. Most travelers start their Palawan adventure in the capital city of Puerto Princesa, a small city on the Sulu Sea. Puerto Princesa spreads its thin population deep inland across a large area of lush rain forest all the way to the western side of the island and the South China Sea.

Spend a day snorkeling, swimming and hopping from island to beautiful island in the emerald waters of Honda Bay. Stare in amazement at the stunning and raw beach landscape of Sabang as we make our way to the famous Puerto Princesa Underground River, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. Take a load off in the evening at one of the many charming Filipino bars and restaurants that line main drag, Rizal Ave. Puerto Princesa is a super friendly and fun place and a great introduction to a province that never fails to impress.

El Nido - Largely credited as the cause of all the excitement, El Nido is the crown jewel of Palawan and is hands down one of the most beautiful places on the planet. What was just a small, remote fishing village in the early 2000’s is now one of the hottest destinations in all of SE Asia. Shimmering waters with impossibly vibrant combinations of blues and greens are surrounded by dramatic jagged limestone cliffs covered in plants and trees so green they look neon in the sun, which always seems to be shining in El Nido. Underwater the scenery gets even more impressive for snorkelers and divers, with an ocean teeming with beautiful untouched corals and an impressive variety of sea life. Island Hopping is the name of the game here and it is without a doubt world class, with hundreds of beautiful islands, beaches, and hidden lagoons within a short boat trip from town.

- What Is Included

Welcome Dinner
Far Out Welcome Package: There’s a trip information guide, a welcome dinner, and a few welcome gifts to keep you comfortable on your Far Out Adventure.
Not one, but TWO knowledgeable and fun leaders who know the lay of the land and will help make sure you’re having the time of your life, every day of your trip.
All accommodations during your trip. We’ve scoured our destinations for the best group accommodations available. We always look for the perfect combination of environment, comfort, fun, friendly service and safety.
All transportation between trip destinations and to included activities.
At least one Far Out Activity in each destination we visit, an assortment of “must do” activities. The 20 Day Philippine Adventure includes the following activities.
Masungi Geo Reserve
Honda Bay Island Hopping (lunch incl)
Underground River Tour (lunch incl)
El Nido Island Hopping (lunch incl)

- What Is Not Included

Spending Money: For budgeting tips visit
Additional/optional activities
Travel Visas (30 visa on arrival available for most nationalities arriving by air. Please contact your local Filipino consulate or embassy for more information.)
Food and beverages (except those mentioned above)
Transportation for personal/optional activities not included in the tour.


Why should I travel with Far Out Adventures?
We have designed a group backpacking trip that offers you the freedom and options to choose and experience your adventure exactly the way you would like to. We are a network of travelers who have been all over SE Asia for the last 9 years, so we have a lot of experience in the places we travel to. We know everything you need to know to help you design the experience of a lifetime.
What kind of overall experience will I have on my Far Out Adventure?
We don’t like to blown our own horn too often, but it is not unreasonable when you travel with Far Out Adventures, to expect to have an amazing journey full of life changing experiences with amazing people in some of the most beautiful places on earth!! Each and every one of our adventures is designed to immerse you in the beauty, culture and history of our locations, while providing you access to all the best activities and amenities, along with the freedom to choose what you want to do. That way you get the most out of your trip and you get to spend your time doing the things that interest you most. Our travel concept is not to sell you a package where we have decided how the group will spend their time, but to help you design the best experience for you. At Far Out Adventures we feel like this is your trip, and our job is to make life easy on by making sure that your only concern on this trip is how much fun you are going to have today. Our trips are light on itinerary and heavy on choice. Our trip leaders are also very knowledgeable and experienced in the areas we travel to, so no matter what you have on your list that needs accomplishing, we will have the time and expertise to help you do and see anything you have your mind set on. Even if there is a location somewhere not included on our itinerary that you want to take a couple days to explore on your own, our trip leaders will be able to help you plan any such side getaways and get you back to the group safely and easily to enjoy the rest of your journey. And as for the people you will be travelling with, your group will be made up mostly of like-minded folks who are all out here for more or less the same reason you are; to experience something beautiful, new and exciting and to expand and broaden our world perspectives. One of the best things about travelling with a group of fun loving like minded people is that in a matter of days you will find yourself making a number of new friendships that will last a lifetime. In short, travelling with Far Out Adventures is an amazingly exciting, dynamic, and worry-free travel experience that is every bit a personal journey custom tailored to your needs as it is a group experience. We take you to some of the best places on earth, with some of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet and give you the freedom to enjoy your trip doing the things you enjoy doing.
Will I get to experience other cultures?
In our opinion, and in our own experience, immersing yourself in new cultures is one of the most rewarding parts of travelling, so on our trips we give you plenty of opportunity to do just that. Whether you’re learning about a country’s history as we explore ancient temples, eating authentic local food, hanging with the locals in some of their favorite spots, or learning some of the local language, the opportunities to have authentic and meaningful interactions with local people and cultures is plentiful on our adventures.
Is this going to be a party trip?
Our trips are not designed to be party trips per se. Our focus is and always has been sharing our favorite travel destinations with others and helping you have the trip of a lifetime, whatever that entails for you. That being said, when people get together in beautiful sunny destinations with a shared interest in beautiful places and awesome times, it’s inevitable that some partying is going to happen. That being said, our destinations have LOTS to offer for the night owl AND the day adventurer alike. If partying isn’t your thing you will never be at a loss for ways to have an amazing time. One of the great things about travelling in a group is that there are always people doing different things, so however you prefer to spend your time and socialize there will be plenty of opportunities to do so with like minded people. We do occasionally plan parties for the group in certain destinations, but needless to say drinking is always optional and not necessary to have a great time. If partying is a concern of yours, we assure you there is no reason to worry. There will be lots of ways to fill your days with fun, and our trip leaders always put just as much emphasis on enjoying the surrounding environment and taking in the local history and culture, as they do on anything else.
I see there is a lot of free time. How much do additional activities cost?
We don’t load your daily itinerary with included activities essentially because we don’t want you paying for activities that you may have no interest in doing. That’s not to say that you will have nothing to do most of the time, because there will be loads of options available to you. We just want to make sure you have the best time possible, doing only the kinds of things you want to do. That’s why we only include 1 awesome activity in each place we go. We pick the one big thing that basically everybody wants to see/do in each place we go to, so we can be reasonably certain that everybody will be able to participate and enjoy it. In terms of your overall budget, we can give you a pretty good idea at where we offer a general breakdown of costs for meals drinks, shopping, activities, etc based on your specific trip.
What’s the average age of trip participant? Is there a maximum age?
Our trips are designed for 18-30 somethings. This is due mostly to the inherently active nature of our trips, which are admittedly a little more physically demanding than your typical group tour. We do a lot of walking, climbing, hiking and the such in some very hot temperatures, which can be a challenge for some. Within that age range the majority of our guests seem to fall in the 23-29 range. That being said, we believe that anyone who is up to the task should have the opportunity to participate, so we do occasionally accept travellers outside of that range, as long as they are comfortable undertaking the inherently active nature of our trips.
How many people are normally in a group?
Groups sizes can vary quite a bit depending on the tour and the time of year, but are typically between 8-14 guests plus 2 guides.
How do I meet up with my group?
Whether you are flying on your own or we are arranging your flight for you, we will send you an email after booking detailing the process for meeting with your group leader. In general, it is a very simple process. We will have a facebook group set up for each and all of our tours detailing the itinerary and including instructions for meeting at the arrival destination. Airport pick up is generally free. All customers on flights booked by Far Out will be picked up at the airport with their fellow group members and transported to their accommodation free of charge. For customers booking their own flights we will make every effort to have a guide meet you and pick you up for free. If not possible due to schedule, we will give you all the necessary information and assistance to make your transportation from the airport to our accommodation simple and worry free.
Will there be Wi-Fi access?
Wi-Fi access is largely available everywhere you go nowadays, and our trip destinations are no exception. Wi-Fi is available at all our accommodations, as well as most bars and restaurants, so you can post all the awesome jealousy inducing pics you want, and mom and dad don’t have to worry about being able to contact you.
Are there a lot of early mornings?
There may be a few early mornings on days we need to catch a train or boat or something of the sort, but for the most part you are free to get up whenever you please. It’s your trip and we won’t tell you when it’s time for you to get out of bed.
Will it rain a lot?
You have probably heard of terms like “wet season” or “dry season” used to describe the weather in warm places. While there are certainly seasonal weather patterns, we would be hesitant to say it never rains during dry season, or it always rains during wet season. While you are certainly likely to see more cloudless days during dry season, you still get plenty of beautiful days during wet season. When it rains its usually only for a few minutes and then the sun is back out. The other bonus to wet season is that the vegetation is lush and beautiful, and things like rivers and waterfalls are flowing at their full potential (perfect for tubing). The dry season in the Philippines starts in late November and ends in May. This coincides with high season for tourism. December to February are the cool dry months and see the highest number of travellers, while April and May are the hottest and driest months of the year. Dry season is when the skies are most blue and the water is at its clearest. The rainy season in the Philippines starts in June and lasts till October. Like elsewhere in South East Asia, the rain isn’t constant and generally doesn’t affect travels. You will still have lots of hot sunny days, and you can also avoid the crowds enjoy the lush green scenery. September and October are often the typhoon season in the Philippines, and the wettest time of year bringing torrential rains throughout the country.
What’s The Best Time To Book?
The simple answer to this question is as soon as you can. We operate a small number of trips with limited space, so trips can fill up fast. For most of our trips we are able to accept reservations up to 2 weeks prior to departure as long as there is still availability, but we generally recommend booking at least 3 months before your planned departure to allow us and yourself time to prepare for your trip, especially if you need help booking flights or need to arrange a payment plan. Booking early will also ensure you aren’t planning a 20 day adventure of a lifetime, only to find out you waited just a bit too long and now the trip is full.
How much spending money should I bring?
Ultimately the amount of spending money you will need will depend on the country you are travelling to and your own spending preferences. In general though, a minimum of about 25 EUROS a day is recommended for food, drink and basic necessities. It is POSSIBLE to eat for less than that, but you don’t always want to be eating street food or burning time hunting down the cheapest menu in town. If you want to partake in a few additional activities, do some shopping, and indulge in a few drinks in the evenings, then we would recommend increasing your budget accordingly.
Do I need to tip my tour leaders/guides/drivers?
At Far Out Adventures, we do not accept tips. Our Leaders are there to show you a good time and be your friend and we do have a pretty good time doing it. The job itself is reward enough, and we would rather you to keep your money for having an awesome time. As far as the drivers and day tour guides we use along the way, we do believe in rewarding good service, and our trip leaders always tip well on behalf of the whole group.
What should I bring for luggage?
Whatever works best for you will be fine, but we are big believers in the efficacy of the backpack. There are times on certain trips when we may have to walk a little to get to our accommodations, sometimes over sand, or up stairs, so our trip leaders personally prefer backpacks because its easier than dragging a suitcase. That being said you can bring whatever kind of luggage you are comfortable with. We do suggest bringing at least a small “day” bag or backpack.
What should I pack?
After you register and pay your deposit, we will send you a welcome email detailing your booking information and offering tips on how to prepare and pack for your trip. We go by the old adage “less is more”. You don’t want to lug around a heavy bag full of clothes, only half of which you’ll end up wearing. We recommend packing a few changes of clothes and leaving space in your bag so you have room to bring things back home. Laundry services are available everywhere we go.
When do I receive more detailed information regarding my trip?
After you have registered for your trip and paid your deposit, we will send you a welcome email outlining everything you need to know for your trip, including a trip preparation guide and your exact itinerary outlining the places you will go, the dates you’ll be there, how you’ll get there, and where you will stay. You will also be invited to join a Facebook group for your specific tour, where you can meet and introduce yourself to your fellow group participants, as well as access important information about your trip.
Will I need a passport?
Yes, you will need a passport with at least 6 months validity from the date of your return to travel internationally with Far Out Adventures. Application times for Canadian passports vary so it is best to apply for one asap if you do not have one yet.
Will I need any travel visas?
Visa requirements are different for every country we go to and are usually specific to the nationality of the traveller. Contact the closest embassy or consulate of the country you are travelling to for specific tourist visa requirements.
Will I need to get travel insurance?
Everyone who travels with Far Out Adventures must provide proof of travel insurance before departing for their trip. Please contact us if you have any questions about insurance.
Will my allergies or other health problems prevent me from participating?
We know first hand the difficulties that travelling with allergies presents, but it has never stopped us from getting out and seeing the world. We have personally found google translate to be our biggest ally in the battle against allergies. If you inform us of your allergies, we will make sure to have a print out stating your allergies in the local language so that we can inform the person taking your food or beverage order can communicate your needs to the kitchen. Following are couple of basic tips for those travelling with allergies. 1) If you have an epi-pen, bring it with you and carry it at all times. Be sure to inform your group leader of its existence and provide them any necessary instructions in the event it is needed. There will be a place to keep it cold in all of our accommodations. 2) Make sure you inform your fellow group members about your allergy and where to find your medication in the event of an emergency. This is important in the event you go on day trips without your guides. We ask that you let us know about any health concerns you have that may potentially affect your enjoyment of your trip, so that we can properly assist you and help you avoid any health problems in paradise.
What happens if I get sick or hurt?
While it is luckily not very common, one of the unfortunately realities of travelling is that sometimes people do get or hurt or sick. Our Trip Leaders always carry a list of all medical centers and hospitals located in or near the destinations we travel to. They are also trained in first aid, and carry a first aid kit with them. In the rare event that a traveller requires medical attention, we will immediately have one of the two trip leaders escort them to the hospital or medical center to assist them with the insurance prosses and whatever else is required, such as helping the traveller get in contact with anyone they may need to inform of the situation back home. Minor illnesses like traveller’s diarrhea are more common and generally caused by eating something your stomach isn’t used to like spicy food, or food that has been prepared differently, or something weird and exotic that caught your eye, like fried crickets or insect larvae. While it can be a pain in the butt (pun intended), you will always have access to bathrooms and if we have to make a pit stop along the way, it’s no problem at all.

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Experience Info

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- Duration: 240 hours
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- We speak: EN language flag

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