Palawan Island Hopping

September 30th – October 9th

Palawan Island Hopping

September 30th – October 9th

Palawan Island Hopping

September 30th – October 9th

Palawan Island Hopping

September 30th – October 9th

Manila, The Philippines

Puerto Princesa, The Philippines

El Nido, The Philippines

We took 17 people on our exploratory trip in 2015 and now we’re offering it again to the public: Palawan Island Hopping! Join GN Tours and The Monsoon Diaries for our first expedition of the year to Palawan, Philippines to explore the amazing Bacuit Archipelago on our private party outrigger.

This trip takes us to the most remote and beautiful region of the Philippine Islands, with 4 days of island hopping, adventures to hidden lagoons and secret beaches, as well as a mainland motorcycle adventure to waterfalls and yet more pristine beaches. GN Tours and Monsoon Diaries has done this trip several times, and in our opinion Palawan is one of our favorite destinations in the world, unsurpassed for its beauty and aquatic fun!

As with all trips we are offering discounts to all returning Pioneers, GNTers, Monsooners, and group bookings.

For a day-by-day visual experience of this exact trip, click here: Palawan Island Hopping
…or start with our first day: First Night In Manila
For a day-by-day visual experience of this exact trip, click here: Palawan Island Hopping
…or start with our first day: First Night In Manila

Day 1

  • Arrive in Manila and start the tour by checking into your room at the Malate Pensionne, located in the Ermita district in the city center, and near the bay with plenty of nightlife.

  • Meet your guides in the afternoon and as a group we can get dinner at one of the local bars/restaurants (extra) and head out to check out the nightlife.

  • Don’t get too carried away, we have a flight the next morning!

Day 2

  • Transport to the airport and a morning flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan where we will be met by our Private van for our 5/6 hour drive to El Nido – gateway to the most remote and beautiful Islands in the Philippines.

  • Simple village lunch on the way.

  • Check into El Nido hotel and check out the funky beachside nightlife.

  • Dinner not included but many options from eating locally or by candlelight on the beach.

Day 3

  • First day of our private island hopping in the Bacuit Archipelago with visits to Big and Small Lagoons, Commando beach, and Secret Lagoon.
  • Fresh BBQ lunch by our boat crew.
  • Evening at our hotel in El Nido.

Day 4

  • Island hopping to Snake Island, Cathedral cave, and Codugnon Caves.

  • Fresh BBQ lunch by our boat crew.

  • Evening at our hotel in El Nido.

Day 5

  • We spend this day on the Palawan mainland on a motorcycle/scooter trip to local waterfalls and the amazing pristine Nacpan and Calitang Beaches.

  • Lunch in a small fisherman’s village at Nacpan and Calitang Beaches.

  • Evening at our hotel in El Nido.

Day 6

  • Island hopping to the furthest afield islands, including Hidden Beach, Star Beach, and Helicopter Island.

  • Fresh BBQ lunch by our boat crew.

  • Evening at our hotel in El Nido.

Day 7

  • A little free morning time in El Nido (lunch on your own this day).

  • Afternoon departure for overnight camping on one of the close by islands for our own little October full moon party.

  • Dinner at night with island BBQ and breakfast on the beach the next morning.2

Day 8

  • Return to El Nido and catch our private van ride back to Puerto Princesa (5-6 hours),

  • Village lunch on the return trip.

  • Check into hotel and head out to the famous Balinese restaurant for dinner.

Day 9

  • Morning return flight to Manila, end of trip.

This is a joint GN Tours and Monsoon Diaries (hereafter referred as “MD”) trip that will have representative MD staff present on tour. We secure exclusive sales agreements with these companies whereby we can advertise and sell these tours at a significant discount to the customer.

Please note that this discount can only be secured when the booking is made though The Monsoon Diaries. Contact us for information on other tours run by these companies as we may be able to offer further discounts across all tours!

Click here for a full list of reviews.

“With Calvin leading the pack, I went on a trip with Monsoon Diaries a few years ago (Palawan in Philippines) and had a fantastic time with a sizeable but close-knit group of travellers. The itinerary was carefully planned but not set up in a systematic way that made it feel too “tour group”-ish. Other than shimmery blue oceans and sandy beaches, the fact that I was with such fun and engaging people made me appreciate the trip even more. (I’m still pen pals with one of the travellers I met from this trip! Hi Tan 👋🏼)

Calvin is also great at making sure everyone is comfortable and having a good time. I highly recommend Monsoon if you are too lazy to plan your own trip and want to meet like-minded travellers that you don’t have to actively seek out!” – Lilliane Ng

“I’ve been on two trips so far, South East Asia and Balkans, and I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences with The Monsoon Diaries. It is the type of trip where it will test your limits and come out with a story to tell, whether it’s emotional, physical, or spiritual. These are not trips where you stay at resorts catered to an American sensibility, but these are well planned out trips that take in account the history and geography of the place. If you plan to join one of these trips to fulfill your need for adventure, party with a bunch of cool people, go to different clubs and bars, yes, probably you’ll get that, but you’ll also get to know these places with intimacy where its history (both the wretched and marvelous) gets intertwined with your experience.

The countries that we went to were places that I never thought I’d set foot on. A few fond moments were: chancing upon a bioluminescent filled body of water while swimming in Bacau on a starlit/moonlit night. Hitchhiking through Kosovo after taking a dip in a cold ass spring by Radavc cave. Trying to find god in a monastery on the side of a cliff. Almost being stranded on an island in Palawan when a typhoon came and cancelled our flights. (That was moreso an adventure for and a testament to Calvin’s wizardry with bookings while I was chilling on a beach by a giant bonfire)

In addition to getting you feet wet with travel, you’ll also meet random ass strangers that have a similar sense of adventure. By the end of the trip, it will be uncanny that you once thought of these close friends as strangers.

Also food…so good. Everywhere” – Anthony Lui

“The Monsoon Diaries is not your average tour group. Yes, they will take you to cool places not often visited (for me, it was the Palawan Islands in the Philippines, Timor-Leste, and nearly all of Central Asia). Yes, Calvin is very cool and relatable. And yes, the people who go are also very cool. But in hindsight, what really set the Monsoon Diaries apart was their opportunity to let me see who I was as a person. There is an itinerary to each trip, and that the itinerary always includes ample Individual Time. Don’t know how to entertain yourself without your 4G smart phone in a foreign country whose language you don’t understand? This is the time to find out. Both of my trips enabled me to experience and to begin to understand a new part of our word, both on my terms and with a group of people in search of something as well (sometimes that something was just the next beer, but hey, that’s okay too!).” – Tan Nguyen

“Thanks again for the opportunity to travel with you all…it was such a wonderful experience.” – James Stephens

“Happy Lunar New Year! Aside from the usual family, friends, health and wealth that I’m grateful for, I’m also thankful to YPT and The Monsoon Diaries for helping me discover the world and decide to become a “nomad expat” 3 years ago! I’ve been on 4 trips already and even led a group in Southeast Asia, can’t wait for the next one.

The time has really flown by and even though it’s not always as awesome as IG implies, the journey has been unforgettable… but my memory sucks so I’m thankful that I have all of you to remind me!” – Dave Zhou

“13 cool kids + 1 army jeep in East Timor…can’t get crazier than this! [And, Baucau]: one of the best nights hands down. By chance was able to join up and tour Southeast Asia with Calvin; looking forward to future trips!” – Tim Chen

“Thanks for a good time Monsoon Diaries :-)” – Lilliane Ng

“Having withdrawals” – Mariam Dar

“Thanks for the trip. I’ve meet some incredible people and had some unforgettable experiences during our travels.” – Anthony Lui

“How we roll out in one of the NEWEST COUNTRY of the world” – Eric Chen

“Missing…monsooning” – Jenny Chu

“For the first few days since coming back from SE Asia, I was suffering from a case of the post-vacation blues. I probably wasn’t ready to leave sunny SE Asia and return to the drudgery of my day-to-day ‘real’ life. But what I’ve come to believe is that a big reason why the trip was so fantastic was because everyday I was hanging with fantastic people like you. I am reminded that there are also fantastic people in my ‘real’ life, and they too are making my life great. Now, I am past my post-vacation blues, and things are generally swell. I have great memories from the trip, and I hope I can remember this trip’s lesson of surrounding myself with fantastic people in the real world.

It has been a true privilege to meet and travel with you all, and I hope to see you again in any part of the world.” – Tan Nguyen

“Flawless weekend…yes, I said flawless…don’t let that get to your head” – Jennifer Li

“It’s been an amazing journey together over the last two weeks…Homebound after an amazing trip.” – Alfred Yeung

“Thanks for letting me monsoon with you, Calvin! I definitely had a great experience seeing Southeast Asia with you. Sorry I couldn’t explore East Timor with you, it was just a little bit too much for me. Hope the rest of your trip is going well, and maybe we’ll be able to monsoon again in the future.” – Kevin Zhao

“[Baucau]: one of the best nights hands down” – Tim Chen

“It’s been 10 years, back with 16 semi-strangers and exploring this wondrous city with fresh eyes” – Mariam Dar

“Calvin, Thank you for the experience” – Christina Gee

“Live life like a movie for 10 days, then snap back to reality!” – Adison Song

“It has been a great privilege to travel with the Monsoon Diaries. They live, breathe, and thrive by ‘taking the road less traveled.’ In other words, they travel without maximal comfort, and with ever-fluid and constantly tinkered itineraries. If we can take that leap of faith away from the ‘resort’ experience, what we experience with the Monsoon Diaries is invaluable: the chance to witness wildly beautiful landscapes, to make human connections with our global neighbors, and to learn exactly what we ourselves are made of. It is absolutely worth not having constant 3G network, or even having a flush toilet.

Three people deserve special recognition. Calvin Sun is the heart and soul of the Monsoon Diaries. All these trips are possible only with his vision and enthusiasm, and the strength of his personality draws together all sorts of people who share that willingness to see what’s out there. ‘Taking the road less traveled’ is never easy, but with Calvin, it’ll never be lonely or boring. Gareth Johnson is our logistics guru and founder of YPT. He is outgoing, brash, friendly, and incredibly worldly. Without a doubt, he will get us where we need to go. And without a doubt there is a madness to his method. Every beer with him is a roulette of conversation topics, from his wild travel exploits to a deeply personal discussion of matters of the heart. Bing Carullo is our administrative and logistics coordinator. She anchors the group with her confident and calm demeanor, and is ever ready to provide information and support for our individual endeavors. Many impromptu activities were possible only with her help. On a personal level, Bing is as friendly and sweet as they come, and it is a pleasure getting to know her.” – Tan Nguyen

“Thanks for letting me discover the Palawan trip. It was an awesome trip and I had a fantastic time!

There’s plenty of reasons why anyone should travel, but I think what sets trips like these apart are the people you go with. I really believe you’ll learn and grow as an individual from the others on the trip, in many ways that complement the trip itself!

Also, thanks for giving your talk on traveling at MAASU a couple years ago. It definitely sparked the wanderlust in me, and also played a role in my decision to take a semester off school and go to Singapore, and then study abroad in Hong Kong. I know we only talked for a couple minutes during then, but I think it’s fair to say that it’s made a big impact on me!

So thanks again, and hopefully I’ll be able to join you on another trip sometime!” – Varun Munjeti

Price inclusive of:

  • An ample supply of Tanduay Rum for each day’s Island hopping trip
  • Lunch and breakfasts (except where indicated)
  • 8 Nights Accommodation in mentioned hotel/guesthouse on TWIN sharing basis B/B
  • All transport
  • Private boat and local boat crew
  • Entrance fees

Price exclusive of:

  • International air tickets
  • Dinners for most nights (BBQ dinner on island camping night included)
  • Beer and mixers on the Island hopping trips (we include the rum!)
  • Any personal expenses & services not included in the above itinerary
  • Tips for guides
  • Note: There are no ATMs in El Nido; bring plenty of cash with you!

Interested In Palawan Island Hopping!

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