Photo: A boat with your name on it, Coron, Busuanga Island.

Philippines forum

3 weeks in the philippines where to spend Christmas and New Years?

Posted by janeybaby83 on 4/5/2014 at 11:35

Hi,

There are 4 of us travelling to the phillipines for Christmas/ new year. Can you suggest where are the best places to be? We have three weeks in total :)

Thanks.

Jane

#1 janeybaby83 has been a member since 2/12/2012. Posts: 8

Posted by goonistik on 6/5/2014 at 05:47

Hello Jane!

You need to specify what you want in a destination. Some people want drunken revelry, some people may prefer a quiet place.

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Posted by Babalugats on 7/5/2014 at 13:22

I recommend Christmas at Boracay Island. Three weeks is long enough to see the nearby islands.

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Posted by janeybaby83 on 7/5/2014 at 13:40

Thanks, we want to make sure we go somewhere busy for new years but we're all 30 now so dont really want to be with loads of 18year olds. Is there a mixture of ages at boracay? Id also read about somewhere called white beach in mindoro for new years? X

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Posted by Babalugats on 7/5/2014 at 15:25

Yes, you won't be out of place in Boracay. As for White Beach, you're referring to Puerto Galera. It's a popular seaside destination, not far from Manila, the Philippine capital. I've been there, but not during New Year. If you want to go places, then I recommend Boracay and the nearby isles. You can travel from Boracay to Puerto Galera, but it will be a long trip. (Seven to eight hours by bus.)

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Posted by janeybaby83 on 7/5/2014 at 16:05

Thanks, it sounds like boracay will be the place to be. Do you have any suggestions for reasonable accomodation? I want to book early as its new year.

I think we want to spend some time in the palawan region. Do u think we should just stick to these two areas or would we be able to fit in mindanao too. I like the idea of swimming with dolphins there.

We've done a lot of backpacking in the past & im used to long journeys but as we only have 3 weeks we might cheat and book some flights if we can

Thanks for your help.

Jane x

#6 janeybaby83 has been a member since 2/12/2012. Posts: 8

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 7/5/2014 at 20:25

Flying is cheating? Buses r boring.

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Posted by goonistik on 9/5/2014 at 09:49

Jane,

Boracay caters to wide age range. There should be a lot of parties during Christmas. The quieter side of Boracay is near "Station 1" so if you want to minimize the noise and the crowds it would be better to book a room there. Though to my best knowledge, that is the pricier side. Personally Boracay is not my cup of tea as it is overdeveloped and crowded. But that is my preference and I understand that some people do want a party place.

A possible alternative might be Bantayan Island, which has been described as Boracay's quiet sister. Bantayan island is about 3 hours by bus from Cebu City. Bantayan did get hit by Typhoon Haiyan but things should be ok by now. But check the situation.

Palawan is a also a popular destination for tourists seeking to escape the winter chill. My sister and her family just went to Lagen Resort and they had a grand time. I suggest you go to either Coron or El Nido.

It is possible to add Mindanao for a 3 week stay. I would budget 3-4 days in Boracay, Palawan about 4-5 days. So that still gives you time to add another destination, especially if you will be flying.

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Posted by Babalugats on 11/5/2014 at 00:44

Hi Jane,

I won't recommend traveling by bus from one isle to another. (I tried it six years ago, from Manila to Boracay and back. I didn't enjoy the experience, especially the four-hour voyage on sea.) Unless you want to extend your stay in the Philippines, then you have two options. Palawan and/or White Beach (Puerto Galera) or the Visayas and/or Camiguin, a volcanic island off Mindanao.

If swimming with dolphins will be part of your itinerary, then you must go to (the islands in the) Visayas. You can choose Bais, Negro Oriental or Bohol's Pamilacan Island. My colleague have been to Boracay a few weeks ago. He recommends Orchids Resort, located at Station 3, the beach's leftmost. He and his two pals paid 900 pesos (a night) for the room.

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Posted by HamishHealys on 12/5/2014 at 17:25

Boracay is it. There'll be parties every night. But you can have great fun in the city as well where a lot of sales, shows and parties too will happen from mid Nov till January 6. A great fireworks display goes on at the bayside at midnight of the 31st Dec.

#10 HamishHealys has been a member since 26/4/2014. Location: Australia. Posts: 13
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Posted by janeybaby83 on 13/5/2014 at 02:14

Hi thanks for all your help. We have tried to work out our itinerary...any comments or advice.

20th dec - arrive manila. 1 night staying at Tune Manila.

21st dec - 24th fly to bohol. 3 nights here to do the chocolate hills & the adventure park. Maybe hire a motorbike.

24th dec - 27th travelling day to cebu - malapascua. Three nights here including Christmas. possibly diving. Quiet chill out.

27th dec - 30th travelling day back to cebu. Fly to caticlan and boat to carabao. Three nights on carabao.

30th dec - boat to boracay. 3 nights at orchid resort.

2nd Jan fly caticlan to palawan (if thats possible). 6 nights in palawan region.

8th jan fly back to manila for 1 night before returning home (via KL for a night)

Thanks!!! X

#11 janeybaby83 has been a member since 2/12/2012. Posts: 8


Posted by Babalugats on 13/5/2014 at 04:21

I like your itinerary.

If I'm not mistaken, there is no direct flight from Caticlan to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. But there is a Cebu City-Puerto Princesa flight (Air Asia). If you won't change your itinerary, you can take the Kalibo-Cebu City flight (via Cebu Pacific). Kalibo is the provincial capital of Aklan, and it takes 1 1/2 - 2 hours to travel from Caticlan to Kalibo by bus. There's a Caticlan-Kalibo flight, but fare is $160 or $170. Kalibo-Cebu is about $25.

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Posted by Babalugats on 14/5/2014 at 12:19

Caticlan-Cebu flight, not Caticlan-Kalibo

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Posted by goatsontheroad on 16/5/2014 at 11:08

Hi Jane,

Palawan would be a great place to spend Christmas. We spent Easter there last year because it was so busy everywhere else! I'm sure that during Christmas time it will be even more packed. Palawan Island, specifically El Nido and Port Barton towns were still nice and quiet. They have beautiful beaches, a wide range of hotels, great snorelling and diving and a real local feel.

Since you're going at such a busy time, I'd recommend booking any boats and flights you may want to take internally as they WILL be booked up.

We camped on a deserted island near El Nido under mosquito nets with noone else around, I can't think of a better Christmas!

If you need more help planning your Philippines trip, find EVERYTHING you need to know in our Guide To The Philippines.
Hope this helps!

Enjoy your trip!

#14 goatsontheroad has been a member since 13/5/2014. Posts: 4

Posted by janeybaby83 on 14/9/2014 at 03:53

Hi everyone, we've had time to revise our itinerary and book some internal flights. We now need some tips on where to stay and any other advice on must see places. We are on a budget so nice guest house style accommodation would be preferred over larger complexes.

We have one night in manila & fly to bohol where we will have approximately 3 nights. We're going to siquijor for Christmas. We were thinking of going to visit dumaguete. We have a flight from bohol to caticlan on 30th Dec. We have booked the orchid on boracay a for new year. We then fly to palawan on 2nd Jan and have 7 nights there. We need to work out where we're going on palawan.

So I hope that sounds of as the flights are booked! Accommodation suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks!

#15 janeybaby83 has been a member since 2/12/2012. Posts: 8

Posted by Cassiedee on 22/10/2014 at 02:37

Hello!

If you want you can go to El Nido, a very charming town in palawan Island. Look for Nativ Exploration Palawan on google, they even offer christmas tours on surrounding Islands ;-)

#16 Cassiedee has been a member since 22/10/2014. Posts: 2


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