Philippines Itinerary: 2 Weeks in Boracay, Bohol & El Nido
With turquoise water that surrounds over 7,000 islands each, with their own dramatic landscape, the Philippines is the perfect destination for an off-beat adventure. During the day, relax on powder sand beaches, snorkel with sea turtles or jump into a waterfall. In the evening go for a sunset walk, taste some delicious seafood and maybe after a few drinks, do some karaoke! There’s so much to see and do here with great memories guaranteed to be had. Here’s everything you need to know for your Philippines itinerary with 2 weeks in Boracay, Bohol and El Nido.
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5 Days in Boracay Itinerary
If you are looking for tropical weather, white sand beaches, and palm trees it’s difficult to beat a destination like Boracay in the Philippines (no rhyming intended). Start your 2 weeks in the Philippines itinerary on Boracay which is perfect for getting your bearings and relaxing, especially after that long haul flight! Plan to spend around 5 days in Boracay. Check out these top activities for your Boracay itinerary.
A beautiful, powder white sand beach. This beach is popular for good reason. The water is warm for swimming and palm trees line the beach.
Give paddle boarding a try here! You will see people renting out paddle boards in the water.
Also, don’t miss out on a stunning sunset here. Every evening, locals will build large sandcastles, restaurants will set out tables for candlelit seafood dinners on the beach and flame-throwing performances run throughout the night. Just beware, there are lots of tourists and it’s very commercialized with many shops and restaurants around.
Yapak (Puka Shell) Beach
For a beach that’s a little more off the beaten path, visit Yapak Beach. You’ll find fewer tourists here so it’s the perfect spot if you are looking for some seclusion. Waves can sometimes be strong here but still fun to swim in.
Day Trip to Ariels Point
For the adventurous traveler, try cliff diving at Ariel’s Point. You can jump at different levels between 3-15 meters.
If jumping off cliff’s isn’t your thing, Ariel’s Point also has kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling. It is located 40 minutes away from Boracay and can only be accessed by an outrigger boat.
You can purchase tickets online which includes a boat cruise, entrance to the site, access to all activities, buffet lunch, and free drinks (beer and mixed drinks included).
Take a visit to D’Talipapa, a wet market with an array of fresh daily caught seafood including lobster, prawns, shrimp, scallops, fish and more.
Bargain for your favorite seafood goodies, and then go to any restaurant around the area and have them cook you a meal with what you’ve got!
For a small cooking fee, they can cook your seafood any way you like. Click here for bargaining tips.
Where to Stay in Boracay
You’ll find plenty of accommodation options on Boracay from luxury resorts to budget hotels and everything else in-between. If you are looking to splurge a bit, it’s worth staying in one of the luxury resorts which will still be a fraction of the cost you would pay for 5-star hotels in the west (around $200-$400 USD). There’s also great budget options ($20-$60) with private cottages for those who want seclusion or hostels with dorms and a vibrant atmosphere if you are looking to meet other travelers. Be sure to book in advance as popular picks can sell out fast during the high season. Here are the top choices of where to stay in Boracay for all different budgets.
Best Boracay Luxury Hotels
If you are wondering where to stay in Boracay, this luxury resort that’s tucked in Boracay’s hillside should tick all the boxes.
Start your vacation by being picked up in the hotel’s private speedboat from Caticlan where they will escort you to the resort.
Suites come with an outdoor jacuzzi and sounds of the waves will lull you to sleep. For a more intimate retreat, they offer private villas with your own pool, whirlpool, and pergola. Beach lovers can choose to relax on two secluded beaches (Punta Bunga and Banyugan Beach) or swim in the one of the country’s largest free-form swimming pools on the resort.
Located on one of the world’s top beaches, this hotel has a lot to offer. Cabanas stretch out on the beach in Station 1 which is a quieter area and perfect for relaxing.
Onsite they have three restaurants and a bar. Other facilities include spa, fitness facility, kids room and swimming pool. All rooms come with a balcony with sea views or of the property and some suites offer a private outdoor jacuzzi.
Best Budget Hotels in Boracay
Cottage rooms located one minute away from the beach on Station 3. All rooms have their own private bathroom. Onsite facilities include a great library for reading, restaurant, massages, laundry service, and a restaurant.
A family run hostel with native style rooms. It’s just a two-minute walk away from the white beach and located between station 1 and 2. Rooms available include double bed private and 4-bed to 8 bed mixed dorms. They host regular activities like Pasta Night on Wednesdays and Sundays, Island Hopping Tours, and Kitesurfing.
Jugo and I booked here for four nights and really enjoyed this budget hotel in Boracay. It is located in Station 3 and just a two-minute walk to white beach. Many trees and plants surround the resort which gives it a jungle feel.
They offer fan and air-conditioned rooms, native cottages and a family villa all with private bathrooms and free wifi for accommodation options. Breakfast is also included where you can choose between continental, American and Filipino style. We stayed in the fan room (the cheapest option) which was perfect and still kept us cool.
3 Days in Bohol Itinerary
Escape the tourists on Boracay and jump into an off beaten adventure on Bohol. This island is a must for your Philippines itinerary. Famous for its unusual geological formations and sanctuary to the world’s smallest primate. It also has stunning coral reefs and is an excellent place for some snorkeling and scuba diving. Plan to spend at least three days here. Keep reading to find out the best things to do for your Bohol itinerary.
The Chocolate Hills
An unusual geological formation, the hills get their name from the chocolate covered grass when rain is least abundant (February to July). Many tourists will visit the main area (4km from Carmen) which is also highly commercialized but you can visit the less crowded side that’s located northeast of Sagbayan.
To get there, we had the help of our guest house to rent a scooter for the day which cost $8. We really enjoyed riding on the jungle-lined tree road and is a great way to explore the island.
If you aren’t up for scootering around, you can also bus there or book a tour.
Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
An ancient ancestor of monkeys today, the tarsier is one of the worlds smallest primates. They are 15cm in height with enormous saucer eyes.
There is a belief from ancient times that the tarsiers were pets who belonged to the spirits that lived in the giant fig trees.
They are an endangered species but this sanctuary is doing an excelled job of bringing awareness to the survival of these species. A visit here will only cost $1.20. Just beware, that there is another place called ‘The Tarsier Conservation Area’ which is not the official conservation sanctuary which you should avoid.
There are many exciting waterfalls to check out in Bohol. Two noteworthy spots include Ingkumhan and Dimiao Twin Falls.
- Thrill seekers who enjoy jumping off cliffs and swinging on ropes, check out Ingkumhan.
- If you want to swim in a place that’s surrounded by coconut trees, visit Dimiao Twin Falls.
- For a list of more waterfalls, check out Trip Advisor.
If you are looking to go chasing more epic waterfalls, hop on a boat over to Iligan City where they are known for their waterfalls.
Bohol is considered a cave country where around 1,400 caves have been discovered but still plenty are left to be found! A few noteworthy caves include:
- Hinagdanan Cave– One of the easiest caves to get to and is also en route to the chocolate hills. It has an underground swimming hole to take a dip in if your hot. It is well known so there may be tourists.
- Cabagnow Cave Pool – crystal clear water that you just have to jump into!
- Sudlon Cave– An underwater passage that was once used by natives to escape the Spaniards.
- There are many more caves to explore so check out this guide to exploring Bohol’s caves.
Where to Stay in Bohol
The most popular area to stay in Bohol in on Panglao Island with plenty of accommodation options for every budget. Bohol is less busy than other islands so it’s not necessary to book far in advance. We actually found our accommodation when we arrived which gave us a chance to see the hotel and room before booking. Best of all, because it was last minute we got a great discount! Luxury hotels cost around $100-$250 and you can find budget accommodation for as little as $15 a night in a private room.
Best Bohol Luxury Hotels
It’s the largest resort on Panglao Island, Bohol and is located on the Alona Beach. Onsite facilities include 3 swimming pools, cafe and beach club, pool bars, restaurant, gym and fitness center, and spa. For added luxury, stay at one of their pool villas.
A beautiful resort on the southernmost tip of Bohol offering private villas. All villas come with their own private pool and an outdoor bathroom. Onsite facilities include a spa, restaurant, and organized tours.
A secluded retreat found above limestone cliffs on Panglao Island. Offering garden and sea views, rooms on the ground floor have their own private terrace. The sea view suites also have balconies with an outdoor bathtub and garden/sea villas come with your own plunge pool.
Best Budget Hotels in Bohol
A great option for budget accommodation located in the area of Loboc, Bohol. They’ve got a pool on site and a 24-hour front desk to help with check-ins, massage services, laundry, and shuttles. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms and either fan or air conditioning. Best of all, they’ve got karaoke!
A hidden gem that’s friendly on the wallet. Cottages are made in the traditional Filipino style with local materials, located on the Loboc river. Dorms and standard cottages have shared toilets and showers and all rooms have fans. Motorbike rentals and a number of different tours are offered.
Located in Panglao, we chose to stay at this place because it had all our basic necessities, was clean, comfortable and only cost us $13/night. Rooms are cozy and come with a tv, wifi, and private bathrooms. The beach is around a 10-15 minute walk.
6 Days in El Nido Itinerary
Dramatic limestone cliffs stand above turquoise blue water. You can’t spend 2 weeks in the Philippines without adding El Nido to your itinerary. Here you can really indulge in coastal accommodation with cottages on stilts over the ocean. Not to mention the powder sand beaches that stretch out for miles and 800+ species of fish, sea turtles, and other marine life in the water. El Nido is also a great base for further travels to the Bacuit archipelago. So grab a drinking coconut and relax on the beautiful island of El Nido. We recommend six days to fit everything in for a great El Nido itinerary.
Island Hopping & Snorkelling
When we went to El Nido, everyone was talking about the island hopping tours and how we had to go. I’m glad we listened because it was one of the coolest things we’ve done while traveling.
You have three choices of tours to choose from.
- A – visits lagoons and beaches
- B – goes to caves and coves
- C – will take you to hidden beaches and shrines.
We chose tour A which was fantastic! The water in the lagoons was a beautiful turquoise blue and at each stop, we got to snorkel and see tons of fish (including Nemo!). The locals who run the tour catch fish on the way and then cooks it for lunch on the beach along with some fresh fruit to eat. We stopped at a beach that was surrounded by beautiful limestone cliffs and a jungle which was amazing!
Kayak to Your Own Island
There are plenty of uninhabited islands surrounding El Nido which is why we decided to rent our own kayak and paddle to one. You can find kayak rentals on El Nido beach which cost around 400 PHP (~$7.75) a day for a double kayak.
While kayaking, the waters became a bit rough as the wind picked up and there was a smack of jellyfish swarming our kayak but luckily we did not fall into the water! All that hard work kayaking was well worth it when we arrived at Pasandigan Beach and had the entire place to ourselves for the day.
If you are interested in planning a day trip kayaking, click here for more details including different routes.
Go on a mini road trip to Nacpan beach! When we went, we saw very few tourists on the beach which stretches out quite far and covered in that wonderful powder white sand. The beach takes around 45 minutes to drive to and you will have to pay a 50 PHP (~$1) entrance fee per person.
We rented a motorbike but there’s also scooter options available. The road was quite bumpy so we were glad we went on a motorbike. If you aren’t up for riding a motorbike, you can also pay a tricycle driver.
It’s a beautiful, quiet oasis and definitely worth the trip! Just make sure to put on some mosquito spray because you don’t want to get bitten all over by sand fleas which is what happened to me!
Las Cabanas Beach
If you are looking for a great place to catch the sunset, this is it. While the beach is crowded with tourists, the sunsets are stunning. It’s about an hour walk from downtown El Nido, so hop on a tricycle for 150 PHP (~$3) and get there in 15 minutes. There are many beach bars around for snacks and drinks.
Where to Stay in El Nido
El Nido has become very popular over the last few years so there’s plenty of accommodation to choose from. Midrange to top end hotels will cost between $40-$200 a night while budget accommodation can be as little as $10-$40 for a private room and bathroom. If you want a lot of options for eating, choose a place that’s no more than 15 minutes from the center.
Best El Nido Luxury Hotels
If you are looking for a cottage that stands above water and five-star service, book a room at El Nido resorts.
They have three locations where the cottages rest on the water at Apulit Island, Miniloc Island, and Lagen Island. The fourth location is on Pangulasian Island which is a beachfront property that offers private pool villas. Since all four resorts are located on a private island off El Nido, you can fly Air Swift from Manila, directly to the islands.
To end our Philippines trip, we decided to treat ourselves by staying somewhere nice for the last few days in El Nido. Entalula is a beachfront property with balcony rooms that overlook the turquoise water. Breakfast is also included and was served up to our room every morning.
For a truly unique, luxury experience, try Aetas Glamping. They are located just 8 minutes from the beach and set amidst a backdrop o the jungle, rice patties, and the El Nido mountain. Each luxury tent has a queen size bed, private ensuite bathroom, and balcony. There’s also a chess board, playing cards and some Filipino sweets as extra amenities. Onsite they can organize island hopping tours, body treatments, and massages, and Kawa hot bath soaks.
Best Budget Hotels El Nido
Located just a 5-minute walk from the center, the El Nido Viewdeck Inn has bamboo cottages, that are air-conditioned with an ensuite bathroom and balcony.
The perfect base for exploring El Nido. They offer private ensuite and dorm bed options with breakfast included. On-site facilities include laundry service, secure lockers, common kitchen and pantry, library, and organized tours.
Getting Around the Philippines
The easiest way and one of the cheapest to travel between the islands is to book a flight. I use Skyscanner which allows me to see pricing for the entire month. Popular airlines include Cebu Pacific, Philippines Airlines, Jetstar Airways, and Air Asia. The airlines often have seat sales where you can find prices as low as $20 (yes I bought tickets to Palawan for that price!).
The other easy and cheap way to travel in the Philippines is by boat. If you are looking to add other destination to your Philippines itinerary like Cebu, Negros Occidental or Panay, you can catch ferries and hover crafts between the islands. You can find pricing and schedules on the ferry websites like Cebu Ferries, Negros Navigation, and Super Ferry.
For further details on transportation, check out Rough Guides.
You’ve made it through the complete Philippines itinerary for 2 weeks!
I hope this helps with all your travel planning for the Philippines and by the end of your trip, you are able to come away with some great memories and stories to share with your friends.
With 2 weeks in the Philippines, what part of the itinerary are you most excited for? Which island will you visit first?
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