Philippines Cultural Discovery
Choose where you sleep
An exceptional island-hopping adventure from one palm-fringed tropical island to another, culminating in Coron to snorkel or dive on a fleet of Japanese shipwrecks, and to kayak around spectacular, towering limestone islands. This is an ideal trip for divers and non-divers together.
Our transport will be traditional outrigger "bancas" (pictured below) and flamboyant "jeepneys" as we hop from one Robinson Crusoe hideaway to the next.
Our first stop will be Puerto Galera in Northern Mindoro which has a lively beach scene. With four days here, those who wish to can undertake an Open Water diving course (if already divers, can take further dive courses) or just enjoy some excellent snorkelling, a string of pretty beaches, a chance to go kayaking and to explore the area. Mountain bikes can be rented to go further inland.
From here we will travel by local "jeepney" and outrigger "banca" around the island of Mindoro to a tiny island with just one rustic beach resort and a perfect white sand beach. Two full days here to enjoy one of the most idyllic beaches, snorkel, or a visit to the local township of Sablayan.
Those divers amongst us have the option to make a full day trip to the awesome Apo Reef, one of the Philippines' top dive spots - an underwater lagoon featuring dramatic walls and dropoffs that attract lots of pelagics as well as encouraging impressive coral formations. Nearby Hunter Rock is alive with sea snakes!.
Next we make an open water boat crossing to the group of islands located half way between Mindoro and the long, finger-shaped island of Palawan known as the Calamian Group. A whole fleet of Japanese ships were sunk here by American planes during WWII, twelve of which now lie in shallow waters (to about 40m) and have become exceptional artificial reefs.
Our accommodation will be at the beautiful island eco-resort of Sangat Island Reserve, located in a cove of a karst limestone island in Coron Bay, with its own private beach and dive centre. A naturalist's paradise! Kayaks will be available to borrow so that you can paddle off to explore neighbouring islands, reefs and mangrove forests. Each day the banca will take us to visit, for example, the extraordinary brackish water lakes of Coron Island, a dramatic karst limestone island that is the home of the primative Tagbanwa Tribe, or to snorkel over the best wrecks and reefs, drop in on uninhabited islands, explore beaches, sea caves and coral gardens.
Finally we will return to Manila by overnight ferry - a large comfortable ship that sails just once per week.
* For those unable to join for the full duration, there are options to join the group on Pandan Island or to depart early from Busuanga by flight back to Manila (note: baggage allowance on the small plane is just 10 kg).
If you like the idea of this trip but can't make these dates, let us design a tailored trip especially to suite you.
How this holiday makes a difference
Coco Beach Resort, Pandan Island Resort and Sangat Island Reserve all run proactive programmes to protect their coral reefs and natural environments, and promote environmental responsibility amongst the local people. Coco Beach is a community based operation which engages local families who will be your hosts at the resort.
In addition £20 for each person who books this tour will be donated to the Philippines Reef and Rainforest Foundation. This charity is committed to ensuring the long-term conservation of the marine and terrestrial environment in the Philippines through education and poverty alleviation.
On all of our tours we employ local staff and are committed to the development and education of our staff providing training sessions, travel opportunities and other opportunities to participate in Community Based Tourism Projects within Cambodia. When clients book a tour with us they are also provided with information about local charities they can support and a guide to local restaurants and crafts.
We have been actively implementing green practices which stretch from our offices to our partners throughout the whole of South East Asia. We have spent 13 years enthusiastically researching socially and environmentally sensitive tourism opportunities in South East Asia.
At a local level we actively participates in reducing its environmental impact by recycling and reducing the amount of paper transactions by providing our information to our clients electronically. We also use fans in the office instead of air conditioning.