10 Day Charter Itinerary - Manila to Honda Bay
Discover the Philippines
Ideal for Winter Season
If you love diving, lush green forestry, and idyllic locations, then the Philippines are the right choice for you. Cruising through the aquamarine waters, you will encounter some staggering views from your yacht as well as up high on some of the most popular islands in the area. Beginning your journey at Manila you have plenty to look forward to, so settle back and relax as you explore one of the magnanimous regions of the Philippines.
- Day 1
Beginning your charter vacation at Manila, you are in for a treat from the word go. The Philippine capital sports traditional Spanish architecture along with modern and looming skyscrapers, making this a unique and exciting destination to visit. There's far too much to do here in one day, but don't fret because you can complete your tour of the city when you return from your charter adventure.
Take in some local history as you meander through the densely populated streets to the centre of the city to find Intramuros. The walled city is steeped with tales from the past and is home to the magnificent 16th century San Augustin Church. While in this area you can also visit Fort Santiago, which was once a military prison.
Making your way back to the yacht you have a big shopping spree in store as you visit one of the world's largest shopping malls. The SM Megamall has everything you could possibly think of and more. Stock up on treats before heading on to the decking of your charter yacht to toast your holiday.
- Day 2
The largest island in the Lubang archipelago, is only 150 kilometres from your starting point at Manila and offers a completely different scene to the one you left behind. Surrounded by green shrubs and extensive foliage, this island has some small beaches dotted around the coast which all offer superb views of the surrounding area.
Anchoring down in Tilik Port, you will have a short journey on land to visit the town centre. Indulge in some fresh local cuisine and take in the sights before heading back to the charter yacht to collect your tender. Taking it around the coast, you’ll find a beach that catches your eye to relax for a while before jumping into the cool waters to observe the beautiful coral reefs below.
- Day 3
Situated just off the south eastern coast of Lubang, Golo Island is a much smaller destination which offers plenty of peace and tranquillity. The scenery here is impressive, making it a must see island on your tour around the Philippines. Anchor down at one of the coastline beaches to take in the sights and catch some rays before putting on your hiking shoes.
Being vastly mountainous, Golo Island is the ideal place to spend some of your stored energy from travelling on your charter yacht. Picking your way through the nature trails you will walk among some pretty flora and fauna before emerging at one of the peaks to witness a stunning panoramic view of Golo Island, Lubang, and the rest of the surrounding area.
After picking your way back to your anchorage, cool off in the fresh waters by taking a swim and a dive. The underwater life in the area is vibrant and exciting so freshen up after your hike then return to your sundeckl for supper and a drink as the sun sets.
- Day 4
Heading off into the Mimaroma region of the Philippines, Paluan Bay is situated on the island of Occidental Mindoro. The bay is a slightly sheltered area, ideal for anchoring and the perfect place to get a great view of the nearby Mount Calavite. Located immediately west of the bay you will be conveniently located to be some of the first visitors of the day.
With elevations rising up to 1,521 metres you have your work cut out for you but the views are worth it. Climb as high as you dare, taking in all the spectacular views as you ascend. Take a picnic with you to enjoy as you absorb your surroundings, then walk it off as you head back down to visit the local wildlife sanctuary. As a protected area you are not allowed to take anything out of the zones but you can take a great many great photographs to take home.
On your way back to your charter yacht make a stop off at the local eateries in Paluan to enjoy some local cuisine before retiring after a rewarding day of trekking and exploration.
- Day 5
Easily one of the highlights of your tour around the Philippines, the Apo Reef is a stunning location for all levels of experienced divers. Aside from the spectacular scenery in the surrounding area, it's what's underneath the water's surface which really counts here.
Situated on the western side of Mindoro, the reef covers an expanse of 13 square miles, making it the largest in the country and the second largest contiguous coral reef in the world. Being the most well known dive site in the Philippines means you will undoubtedly be sharing water space with other divers, but the expanse of the reef still allows you to explore without being interrupted.
Being enveloped by the Apo Reef Natural Park there are strict limitations which do not allow you to remove anything from the site but it does mean that the coral reef is virtually untouched. Take your time to explore the many beautiful displays of coral formations and visit the local residents before jumping on land to see one final site. Ascend onto Apo Island to visit the lighthouse. Climb to the top for some stunning panoramic views of the surrounding areas.
- Day 6
Moving on to your next port of call, Coron Island is another prime diving location, but of a different class to Apo Reef. Much more tailored to the adventurous diver, there are many shipwrecks in this area as well as a pretty underwater cave.
If you fancy a trek before lunch, there are some lovely nature trails you can follow which take you up and through the lush green forestry. The views from further up are stunning to look at and will make some great photo backdrops. If you're feeling very energetic you can also visit Mount Tapyas.
Back to the world beneath the waves, your first dive should be to Gunter's Cave. Named after one of the first explorers of this particular site, this cave is also referred to as the Cathedral Cave. At certain times of the day, beams of light infiltrate the cave, lighting up the surroundings much like a church or cathedral. This is a great dive for all levels of experience. While you're in the water make another stop to see some of the shipwrecks. The most impressive of the selection is the Akitsushima. A Japanese world war 2 vessel, which sunk in 1944, that continues to attract divers every year and offers valuable insight into the past.
- Day 7
The shipwrecks here might not be as impressive as those found at Coron Island but they are still worth a look if you love diving wreck sites. The coral garden is beautiful and brimming with some of the 200 marine species in the area. The colours down here are superb.
Moving on to the island itself, you have the perfect opportunity to see true Philippine life. Take a tour around the town and try some local cuisine such as Bibingkang Tagalog, which is a sticky rice cake. After filling up, visit some of the small businesses to pick up some handmade souvenirs before moving on to visit the very beautiful Balanga Falls. An area of outstanding natural beauty, this place offers peace and serenity and is the ideal way to relax after a day of exploring.
- Day 8
As you approach the end of your tour around the Philippines you are treated to a piece of paradise. Linapacan Island is stunning in every aspect and offers everything you could possibly want from an idyllic escape. The white sandy beaches are bordered by incredible forestry and foliage one side, and crystal clear waters on the other. Despite the fact there is a town near the coast, this does not interfere with the ambience of the beaches, as the town has no direct access to the beach.
Spend time relaxing on the super soft sands before taking the plunge into the refreshing cool waters to see the coral formations. The marine life in these crystalline waters is bountiful with a lot to look at. While at this diving site you can expect to starfish, batfish, ribbon fish and many other tropical species. In addition to the living creatures there are also many variations of coral and sea grass for you to see. Underwater photography is a must at this location.
- Day 9
The beauty of the Philippines continues as you venture to your penultimate location at El Nido. Acting as the entrance to the Bacuit archipelago, this island has spectacular views of the idyllic white sands and lush forestry around you, as well as the towering cliffs from the neighbouring islands.
Relax on the sublime beaches for the morning as you soak up the sun, before tasting the locally produced Nido soup. Taking a dive or three is essential when visiting El Nido as the coral reefs are wholly unmissable. Teeming with underwater life, the bright hues invite you to explore the reefs at your leisure and take some amazing underwater photos. An exciting dive for slightly more advanced divers can be found at the small nearby island of Dilumacad. Head beneath the surface to find a long tunnel which leads to a stunning underwater cavern.
After an afternoon under the water take time out to relax at local beachside bars who cater to your every need. Indulge in some freshly prepared cuisine before settling down for your last day in the Philippines.
- Day 10
For your last day it's time to have some fun. Honda Bay is situated close by to Puerto Princesa, making it an ideal last stop. Very much a tourist location, there are plenty of amenities here to ease you back in to civilisation and make sure that your last day is one to remember.
Try out some water sports with the locals or take a final trip near Puerto Princesa to see an underground river. Have a luxurious meal at one of the famed restaurants before spending some time on the soft sand to soak up the last of atmosphere before returning to your charter to cruise your way back to Manila to disembark.
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*All distances are approximate