You've made it! You're here and time to start your trip of a lifetime! Take advantage of your airport pick up in the bustling capital of Manila or meet us directly at the hotel in the lively district of Makati. Put your feet up (it's been a long journey and you deserve it). We give everyone time to relax, settle in and of course catch some wifi! You've arrived in paradise, so update your insta story to let everyone know that yes, you are in the Philippines! Later on, you'll meet your guide and the rest of your group (soon to be TruFam) for welcome drinks and dinner where you'll make the first of many incredible memories! After a few Red Horses (that's the Philippines local beer btw, not some fictitious animal that runs the streets) we head out! Like OUT OUT. Get to know your TruFam by dancing the night away in one of Makati's local bars, we can't guarantee air guitars and ambiguous thrusting won't come out, but we guarantee it'll be one of the best nights of your life! Day One in the Philippines, you'll already know you made the best decision of your life.
TRAVEL TO PALAWAN & LOCAL LUNCH WITH FAMILY
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Well yes, yes it is a plane, but a plane full of now-bestie backpackers on their way to Puerto Princesa, the gateway to Palawan AKA Paradise AKA what dreams really are made of! We travel by private minivans, yes that's how we roll, private, exclusive whatever you want to call it. We get chauffeured to the idyllic and unspoilt fishing town of Port Barton. On the way we stop to have lunch with a local family, taste some local cuisine, and grasp an understanding of a different way of life. Hey, there may be even a giant coconut to drink (or three). After checking in to our beachfront hotel in Port Barton, enjoy the first of many idyllic Filipino sunsets, bev in hand, before venturing out to grab dinner!
Flight to Puerto Princesa & Van to Port Barton
1x Lunch with local family
PORT BARTON ISLAND HOPPING
Wake up, have you seen the colour of the water outside?! Today we hop on a traditional Banca boat. Get your snorkel, mask and budgie smugglers at the ready as we dive into some of Palawan's most beautiful spots. Keep an eye out for turtles, the rainbow-coloured reefs and if you get the chance, reenact your best bond girl or guy scene. Daniel Craig, unfortunately, can't make it, but your TruNinja has better moves anyway. We stop island hopping for a local style lunch in a small fishing village and have a few hours free time to chill in the most beautiful place you've ever seen. The time is yours to spend it however you like, drooling optional! After a magical day, we sail back in style to Port Barton where we freshen up before hitting some of the best bars and restaurants in town!
Island Hopping & snorkelling
WE'RE GOING TO EL NIDO…
Sing it with us! The star attraction of Palawan, the Brad Pitt/Margot Robbie of the Philippines, if you will - EL NIDO! After today, anywhere you visit will be compared to here, the sheer beauty of it all. We start day 4 of your TruTravels trip by loading up the vans and stop at some waterfalls along the way for a cheeky swim. Keep that phone close for pics, but not too close or risk the rest of the trip without it! After settling into our accommodation in El Nido that evening, we grab dinner and check out some local bars with big party vibes. El Nido is known for producing one of the best sunsets in the world too. It really doesn't get better than this.
EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING
Day 5 and we're feeling alive! Today we experience the world-class island hopping that made El Nido famous! We'll island-hop to some of the best locations the region has to offer, including the insane lagoons of Bacuit Bay, (a Secret Beach we can't really talk about) all surrounded by friendships you can now never live without. Hire a kayak and show off your Olympic level paddling, or get your snorkel out and dive down making your own Little Mermaid sequel. You'll never want to leave, but we'll head back to the hotel before sunset for some time to relax before meeting up later for grub, bevs and reminisce on a real bucket list day.
Island hopping & snorkelling
NACPAN BEACH, ZIPLINE & CASTAWAY EXPERIENCE
Time to explore El Nido by land! We start our day by ziplining Mission Impossible-style across the ocean from island to island via Las Cabanas Zipline. Get your ultimate spy, mysterious, smize pose ready, there's a camera at the other end! After an adrenaline-filled morning, we head to Nacpan Beach, one of the Philippines most famously pristine beaches lined with palm trees so lush you might question reality. Beach time messing will surely ensue. Ready for a Tru-ly unique experience? After a jam packed day, we head to Daracotan Island, a TruExvlusive, as you begin your castaway Isla Experience! We don't want to give too much away but trust us when we say it'll be way more fun than being your own dentist with an ice skate like poor Tom Hanks in Castaway (we encourage frequent cries of WILSON during your stay). Lay on the beach and look up into the stars. You'll be mesmerized with what you can see as the effect of having little to no light pollution in the air shows the sky in a way not possible in many other places. As the night winds down, we spend the night in traditional Filipino beach huts overlooking the ocean.
SNORKELLING, PIGGY BEACH & COOKING CLASS
Wake up, rub your eyes, rub them again no this isn't a mirage. You really have woken up in paradise, again! Have a spot of breakfast but maybe skip the bacon as we're going swimming on Piggy Beach. Yes, that's right, your new friends are ready to oink in agreement at your glowing tan. After leaving your new friends, it's time to explore some shipwrecks before taking a guided tour of Daracotan Island, home to 88 full-time residents. Hear fascinating tales of their heritage, meet a local family and learn how tourism positively impacts their lives today. In the evening we take part in a traditional local cooking class where you'll learn how to eat Filipino style! We dine together, devouring the local delicacies we prepared shortly before and make a mental note to add "world renowned chef" to the CV when we get back home. Now it's time to wind down round the bonfire with a few beers!
Snorkelling, local village tour, cooking class, bonfire
SNORKELLING & TRAVEL TO CORON
Have a relaxed morning, you deserve it and take in your last few hours of bliss before we head back to El Nido town. Today, we catch the ferry across to Coron, yet another world-famous island in Palawan. Tonight is a big one, it is party time, and we really hope you brought some shit shirts because we are going to give Coron our very best shot(s)!
Snorkelling, travel to Coron
CORON ISLAND HOPPING
It's our last full day together with your TruFam! Friendships for life have been made, your TruNinja has gained another dozen adoring Insta followers, and you'll start reflecting on what's been a life-changing week. We're making one last adventure, this time exploring the island of Coron including the impossibly beautiful Coron Bay and the mind-boggling underwater mountains. We'll have an afternoon of fun rolling around on beaches, jumping in the sea, and filling your hair with too much sand! We head back for one last TruFam dinner and drinks before we bid Palaam, for now! That's goodbye in Filipino, but you already know that by now!
CHILLED CHECK OUT
Today we check out of the hotel, and it's time to say goodbye. The TruFamily you've become over the past ten days will live on longer than the turtle you saw on Day 3 (remember him?). Whether you were the naughty child of the group, the mum making sure everyone wears suncream or the exuberant auntie that gets pissed every night. We will miss you! If your adventure's continuing, our TruNinjas will be there to give you a hand with any onward travels plans you have, if you're heading home...It's emotional, it's been a life-changer but most of all it's been our absolute pleasure to have shown you around the Philippines. This isn't goodbye, it's see you soon!
HELP & SUPPORT WITH ONWARD TRAVEL