Do you have two weeks to explore the Philippines? Then Palawan is a perfect destination. Check out this amazing 2 week Philippines itinerary now.
About the Philippines
The Philippines, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands in Southeast Asia. The country is bordered by the Philippine Sea to the east and the South China Sea to the west. It is known for its breathtaking landscapes, with beautiful beaches, lush rice terraces, and volcanoes. Manila is the capital of the Philippines.
2 weeks in the Philippines
In December 2017, I had two weeks to explore the Philippines. I can tell you from experience that is very short for such a diverse country. Traveling from one place to another always takes a lot longer than you think. You often have to fly or take a boat to get to your next destination. And on land, you can travel by minivan, but that can take a while too because the roads are often full of potholes. Especially when it has rained a lot, getting from one place to another is a challenge.
It is therefore a matter of choice. What do you really want to see in the Philippines? Make sure to take your time at each destination, there is plenty to see and do in every place. Besides, it’s also nice to relax on one of those gorgeous beaches. I myself chose to concentrate on the island of Palawan and visit several places here. As a result, I had plenty of time to see what I wanted to see and I didn’t have to stress about getting to the next destination.
2 week Philippines itinerary
How much can you see in 2 weeks? This 2 week Philippines itinerary will show you the versatility of the country in two weeks. In the process, you will also have time to relax and do various excursions. Have fun!
Day 1: Arrival in Manila
After a long flight, you will probably arrive in the Philippines’ capital city by late afternoon: Manila. It might be a bit much to catch one of the last flights to Puerto Princessa (Palawan), so it is best to stay one night in Manila and recover from your jet lag.
Also, don’t forget to withdraw money in Manila which you can use for the rest of your trip. You might not find working ATMs in many other places in the Philippines you’ll visit.
- Hotel tip: Red Planet Manila Aseana City – Clean, affordable, and close to the airport in a safe neighborhood. There are several restaurants and stores nearby.
Must read: How to survive jet lag? 14 tips!
Day 2, 3, and 4: Port Barton
After a well-deserved night’s sleep, take a Grab or an Uber back to the airport in the morning, and hop on a flight to Puerto Princessa. Luckily, there are multiple direct flights between Manila and Puerto Princessa. After a short flight, you’ll arrive on the island of Palawan!
From the airport, you can travel by minivan to the village of Port Barton. A wonderful place to spend a few days relaxing on the beach. You can also take beautiful walks in the jungle here, for example to the Papawyan waterfalls.
- Book your transfer from Puerto Princesa to Port Barton.
- Hotel Tip $: Ausan Beach Front Cottages – basic, but very affordable and in a unique spot on the beach. I myself stayed in one of the wooden bungalows.
- Hotel tip $$: Yumi – in the mood for a more luxurious stay? Then book one of Yumi’s villas. They are beautifully decorated and fully equipped. The villas each have a small private pool. It’s one of the best places to stay in Palawan!
- Fun to do: go island hopping and snorkeling for a day.
Day 5, 6 and 7: El Nido
Are you ready for a little more hustle and bustle? That’s convenient! In fact, on day five you will travel to El Nido, in northern Palawan. El Nido is located in a beautiful bay between a set of impressive cliffs.
Expect to find lots of restaurants and cafes (yes, there is a bar street and it is a great place to party), and fun boat tours are offered everywhere. You can also take a trip from here to Nacpan Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines.
- Book here your transfer from Port Barton to El Nido.
- Host tip: Spin Designer Hostel – A cool place to stay for budget travelers. The dormitories are very luxurious and there are large common areas. I stayed here myself and met so many great people in this place!
Hotel tip: H Hotel El Nido (4⭐) – The perfect place for a more luxurious stay. It is in a great location downtown on the beach. The menu features mostly vegetarian and vegan dishes.
- Special treat: private yacht cruise on a 13-meter sailboat with delicious lunch.
Read more: 13 Best things to do in El Nido Palawan
Day 8 to 11: Island hopping to Coron
Perhaps the highlight of your trip in the Philippines: a multi-day island hopping trip between El Nido and Coron. During the day you sail from island to island, snorkeling at the most beautiful reefs. At night you sleep in a camp on an (uninhabited) island. An amazing experience, definitely not to be missed while visiting the Philippines.
I made this unforgettable trip with Buhay Isla, an organization that I really liked. It is a pricey tour though, but if it fits into your budget for the Philippines, I can really recommend it one hundred percent!
Note: Want to take this tour? Then it is wise to book this a few months in advance. In fact, because of the small capacity, the boats are quickly full.
Day 12 and 13: Coron
After four days of living on the water with few facilities, you’re probably ready for some luxury. You still have a few days to relax in Coron and explore this island. In Coron City, it is fun to visit Mt. Tapyas. Climb the 700 steps for great views of Coron and the surrounding islands.
- Host tip $: Hop Hostel – A luxury option for the budget traveler. This hostel has dormitories with good beds and curtains for extra privacy. There is also a swimming pool and beautiful common areas.
- Hotel tip $$: The Funny Lion (4⭐) – Resort hotel with a beautiful large pool. A perfect place to take a break. It is in a good location in the center of Coron town, close to all the restaurants.
- Fun to do: city tour with a dip in the Maquinit Hot Spring afterward.
Day 14: Manila
On your last day, you will fly from Coron back to Manila, where you will spend another day before flying back to the Netherlands. It is nice this time to stay in the “upscale” Makati district, full of tall skyscrapers. There are also several rooftop bars here, where you can get super cool views of the city.
- Book your transfer from Coron city to the airport.
- Hotel Tip $: City Garden Hotel Makati 4⭐ – Affordable and comfortable in a great location. There is also a swimming pool with views of the Manila skyline.
- Hotel tip $$: Discovery Primea (5⭐) – One of the most beautiful and luxurious hotels in Manila. All rooms are spacious and comfortable suites and there is a beautiful infinity pool with skyline views. Finish your Philippines trip in style!
- Got some extra time? Then join this epic bike tour on a bamboo bike through the historic district of Intramuros and learn more about Manila’s history.
Adjustments to this itinerary
Want to see more in the Philippines? You can, of course, customize this itinerary to suit your needs. These are other great places to visit in the Philippines:
The island of Cebu offers a mix of beautiful beaches, historical sites, and bustling cities. Visit the vibrant Cebu City, Kawasan Falls, Magellan’s Cross, and take a day trip to the nearby island of Bohol to see the Chocolate Hills and cute tarsiers.
Known for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, Boracay is a popular destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. Enjoy sunbathing, diving, snorkeling, and the island’s lively nightlife.
A surfer’s paradise, Siargao is known for its world-class surf spots such as Cloud 9. The island also offers beautiful lagoons and mysterious mangroves and you can island hop to nearby Sohoton Cove.
Book a trip to the Philippines
Would you love to travel to the Philippines? I can totally relate, I almost booked a trip to the Philippines again while writing this article! Here are some useful resources to book your trip.
✈️ Plane tickets
Ninoy Aquino International Airport, also known as Manila International Airport, is the largest international airport in the Philippines. From Manila, you can get almost anywhere in the Philippines. Check WayAway to find the best deals on plane tickets and get cashback.
⛴️ Traveling in the Philippines
You can fly to many of the islands in the Philippines, but you can also take the ferry or minibus to get to your next destination. You can book these through 12Go Asia.
💊 Travel insurance
🎡 Tours and activities
Want to read more about the Philippines?
Would you like to explore the Philippines? These travel guides offer helpful tips and inspiration:
The Rough Guide to the Philippines (Travel Guide with Free eBook)
On this website, you can also read more about traveling to the Philippines. You might like to check out these posts as well:
- 28 Philippines Travel Tips: everything you need to know
- How much does it cost to travel in The Philippines?
- 13 Best things to do in El Nido Palawan
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This article was published in March 2018. Last update with more useful tips: May 2023.
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