10 days in the Philippines itinerary can be hard to map out. So here’s our tried and tested guide to the best islands in the Philippines.
10 Day Philippines Itinerary Map
We heard travelling the Philippines was one of the tougher countries when it comes to making decisions and planning a route, and it certainly was.
There is no easy way to do it. With over 7,500 islands to choose from and the popular tourist destinations scattered across the map, here’s how we decided to it. Along with our favourite places/must sees!
This 10 days in the Philippines itinerary is just for guidance. You can obviously give or take a few days, minus a few activities and even add different ones on.
However, we hope it helps you on your way to experiencing some of the most beautiful islands in the world.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
The Philippines are most popular during the dry season, between November and April.
At this time the country is fully accessible, including its many beautiful islands and more remote areas.
Temperatures are high during March and April, so it’s best to travel during the cooler months of December to February.
The sea temperature is good for swimming all year round.
What To Pack
Palawan (4 days)
The most crystal waters and beautiful islands!
Palawan is the furthest West of the islands and a perfect place to begin your 10 days in the Philippines itinerary. Also, home to the clearest water and incredible landscapes.
Palawan is a world class cultural, adventure and nature destination. From trekking through the hills, valleys, and rivers to snorkeling and diving, there are truly remarkable experiences awaiting you in Palawan.
The island province of Palawan has so much to offer to those who want to get to the heart and soul of the Philippines.
If there’s one place you have to add to your 10 days in the Philippines itinerary, it’s El Nido. Your best bet is to fly into Puerto Princesa and travel up the island by bus.
It’s a world of postcard like islands and our favourite destination in the Philippines.
There are a variety of island hopping tours including El Nido: Island Hopping Tour A Lagoons and Beaches.
The island also boasts about its UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Puerto Princesa underground river.
It’s one of the most popular places in the south so we recommend booking your Puerto Princesa Underground River Full-Day Trip in advance.
Getting To Palawan
The most common way to get to El Nido, is by taking a plane to Puerto Princesa, and then taking a Transfer between Puerto Princesa and El Nido.
It will take you a day, but it’s the cheapest way to go. Another good option is to take a direct flight from Manila to El Nido.
Flights generally tend to be more expensive if you’re flying straight into El Nido, but if you want to avoid the 5 hour mini bus ride, it’s the option for you.
Palawan also flies in and out to other airports in the Philippines.
Siargao (3 Days)
Things to do:
Magpupungko Rock Pools
Siargao Island Hopping
Man Made Forest
Surf, good food and good vibes!
Next up, we flew right out East to our second favourite island, Siargao.
Siargao is a tear-drop shaped island known as the ‘Surfing Capital of the Philippines’, but you don’t need to be a surfer to enjoy the beautiful scenery and natural attractions on the island.
Its laid back vibes and hippie atmosphere captured our hearts and if you’re looking to chill, surf or eat green, then Siargao is the place for you.
Siargao is the Philippines’ new Bali. With smoothie shacks, surfing communities, and a completely different local culture, it’s becoming one of the ‘coolest’ places in the Philippines.
We also gave Siargao a good amount of time on the 10 days in the Philippines itinerary. This is because a couple of days will be travel days (the only downfall to wanting to see as much of the Philippines as possible).
In total you’ll get a good amount of time to island hop, surf, eat smoothie bowls, walk through the main town and visit all the amazing beaches the island has to offer.
Getting To Siargao
The only way to get to really Siargao is by plane.
Cebu Pacific Air flies daily from Cebu to Siargao Island and there are also direct flights from Palwan to Siargao too.
Cebu (3 Days)
Waterfall hunting and underwater activities!
Cebu is the largest island in the Visayas region, and is particularly rich in Spanish colonial history. It was the original capital of the Philippines until the 17th century.
As it’s the most central island to the main places in the Philippines, it acts as a hub for flights, ferries and other efficient modes of transport.
Cebu boasts of its ethnically diverse population. Its inhabitants are made up of Malay, Chinese, Filipino and an ever-growing number of westerners.
It’s now considered to be the most dynamic island in the Philippines, attracting tourist from all over the world.
Home to Kawasan Falls and Oslob’s famous whale sharks, these are two of the top reasons tourists come to the Philippines!
So if you’re looking to tick them both off, it may be worth booking a Oslob Whale Shark Swimming and Kawasan Falls Canyoneering tour in advance.
Cebu island also gives easy access to Bohol and Siquijor by ferry.
After flying in from Siargao, a few days in Cebu is generally enough. This is where the waterfall adventures start. You can tick a couple of waterfalls off in a day and also try everything that Moalboal has to offer.
Down south there are some incredible waterfalls, such as Aguinid Falls and Tumalog Falls.
Getting To Cebu
The fastest way to reach Cebu is by plane.
Cebu is an international destination with flights from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.
Arrival is at the Mactan International Airport almost daily.
From Manila, Cebu is just an hour away by plane.
Once in Cebu you can use it as a base to ferry over to Siquijor and Bohol.
Where To Stay In The Philippines
For pre-booking accommodation when travelling, we always recommend Booking.com!
From 5 star hotels, to budget backpacker hostels, it’s got everything and the site is super easy to use.
So to compare deals, and pre-book all of your Philippines accommodation, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.