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Palawan in 5 days?

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Palawan in 5 days?

Hi everyone

A friend and I are looking to travel to the Philippines in February. We will be leaving around the 13th/14th and will only have 5 days to spend there. Could we have an enjoyable, relaxing holiday in this time and still see some of the main sights (Underground River would be a must)? Could anyone suggest a possible itinerary for this amount of time? Or recommend elsewhere in the Philippines that would be better to do in our time frame?


Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Palawan in 5 days?

I would pick one destination.

Palawan is possible, althpough travel is slow and not all by land if you wanted to cover some destinations.

February is normally a great time of year to visit Philippines.

I do not know from where you are coming, but a quick sample itinerary would be:

Day 1: fly from Manila to Puerto Princesa, Palawan with either Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific

Day 2: day trip to Underground River at Sabang

Day 3: bus for six hours to El Nido

Day 4: bangka (boat) tour such as Tour C in El Nido

Day 5: early start for six hour bus ride to PP and then fly to Manila.

It is possible to fly with ITI from El Nido to Manila, but it is expensive: roughly US$150 one way if I recall, although I have not done it.

If you are connecting to a medium or long haul destination ex Manila (such as Melbourne, Sydney, London, Los Angeles and so on), hardly anyone on TA would recommend that you travel on the same night as your PP- manila flight and earlier bus trip. This shortens what you can achieve, as you then have to stay in Manila overnight.

While without the UG River, Coron (also in Palawan: fly to Busuanga) is an excellent alternative destination if you stay on a white sand island such as at the Sangat 'resort' or Coral Bay, the latter near Concepcion: there are quite a few others. See my review of Coral Bay beach resort as well as nearby North Cay.

Edited: 03 September 2014, 13:40
Hobart, Australia
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2. Re: Palawan in 5 days?

Hi, have you got 5 full days in Palawan (meaning 6 nights) or does the 5 days include the day you fly in and the day you fly out.

2 Golden rules to give you more time and flexability for such a short trip to Palawan.

1. Make sure you book your flight into PP as early in the morning as possible, like our flight left manila at 4.30am and arrived at 5.45am.

2. Make sure you book your departing flight as late in the day as possible as well.

If your 5 days includes your arrival and departure days, then i think you are pushing the boundaries as far as doing the Underground River and El nido, the travel and logistics will kill a lot of your time.

Personally from my perspective, there is no point wasting all that travel time going to El Nido if you are not going to see all the islands and beaches, so you really should plan for 3 full days there and do Tour A & C, plus Tour B, and then Tour D.

Also remember that if you decide to do the UGR at Sabang, you may have to pre-book that.

My suggestion without Sabang and the UGR.

Day 1. arrive PP as early as you can, go to the bus depot and go direct to EN, have dinner and sleep the night

Day 2. Island hopping tour A& C

Day 3. Island hopping tour B

Day 4. Island hopping tour D (half day tour around Cadlao island, very beautiful beaches) then catch the 4pm, 6pm, 8pm or 10pm bus back to PP, sleeping on the bus, arrive in PP between 11pm and 5am on day 5 depending on the bus you catch in EN.

Day 5. Breakfast and sightseeing in PP then fly out as late as you can.

Alternative plan including the UGR.

Day 1. arrive PP as early as you can, go to the bus depot and go direct to EN, have dinner and sleep the night.

Day 2. Island hopping tour A& C.

Day 3. island hopping tour (tour B or D) then catch the 8pm or 10pm bus back to PP, sleeping on the bus, arrive in PP between 3am and 5am on day 4.

Day 4. Sabang and the UGR, stay at sabang for the night, return to PP by van on the morning of day 5.

Day 5. sightseeing in PP then fly out as late as you can.

If you had 5 full days in between 6 nights, then you have at least 2 extra days to fit in so its not so rushed.


Edited: 03 September 2014, 15:08
Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Palawan in 5 days?

I would spend a minimum of 4 days 3 nights in El Nido. In two full days you can do a combined Tour A & C and Tour B. You can use Midnight Sun who can do a customised tour based on your requirements but it will be a private tour.

Your itinerary will be rushed in 5 days.


Hobart, Australia
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4. Re: Palawan in 5 days?

It is difficult to work out an itinerary when you don't know the travelers exact schedule, and when someone says they have 5 days, to me that suggests they are including the day of arrival and the day they leave, which then gives them 4 nights and 3 full days in between the arrival and departure date, and the time that you arrive and depart on day 1 and day 5 will determine what you can fit into those 2 days as well.

Tommo is right about El Nido, just as many others in here will also suggest that you need at least 3 full days, preferably 4 to make the trip worth while, and fit in at least 2 tours, plus either tour D which is 5 hours duration along Cadlao Island, or going up to Nacpan Beach for the day.

Even the schedules already presented so far are going to be very tight on timing, but i you can stretch it to say 6 days/5 nights with 4 full days in between you may just get the UGR into the itinerary as well as the 3 full days in EN, but you still need to do at least one, if not both bus trips to and from EN at night to get more time in at EN.

Cheers, and good luck.

Edited: 04 September 2014, 01:16
5. Re: Palawan in 5 days?

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