PALAWAN • PHILIPPINES
• February 12-20 (8 DAYS) •
• $2,700 Single Person •
• Inquire About a Private Room •
If you thought your grandma’s place in Florida was nice, you’re about to be shaken to your core. We’re heading to Palawan Island, voted the most beautiful island in the world by Conde Nast in 2017. On top of its mind blowing beach scenery, the Philippines boasts of being one of the world’s ten most biologically diverse countries. That means you will definitely be making all kinds of fish friends while snorkeling and swimming in the clear turquoise waters.
In true Yoncé and Jay-Z fashion, we'll be spending the days lounging on a private boat and touring various exclusive islands. Beach workouts will be offered everyday to give us our daily endorphin kick. For all of the Instagram addicts, we’ll have a professional photographer on deck to capture any thirst-traps that might happen to come your way. We’re also have an in-house chef who will prepare fresh and locally sourced meals. Maybe at some point you'll be sore from twerking to T-Pain’s “I’m on a boat” and need a traditional massage. Dance as low as you want because it’s also included on this trip-AAYYEE!
End each day watching the breathtaking sunset and sharing a drink with remarkable people who share your adventurous and positive spirit. Listen to the sound of crashing waves as you doze off in your open beach cabanas, ready for another day of being active, getting your drank on, and adventuring in the Palawan archipelago.
February 12th A LONG ASS FLIGHT
Fly out of NYC at 1:45am. Luckily there are non-stop flights from NYC straight to Manila, so 15 hours instead of your typical 25-35 hours to get to Bali or Thailand. This is golden, trust us - and also you'll be on a flight with a bunch of SYB people, what could be better?
Philippine Airlines $749 Direct NonStop leaving JFK Feb12 1:45am and leaving MNL Feb 20 9:00pm.*
February 13th A TASTE OF PARADISE
Arrive 7:15am in Manila, just one more flight to paradise otherwise known as El Nido! We check into our hotel, and we spend the day enjoying the biggest town on the island.
February 14-18th ISLAND HOPPING
Start our 4-night tour of Palawan island. We wake up early, pick up our supplies, board the motorized boat that will be taking us island to island at 9am. This is as close as it gets to that movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, The Beach, you're about to set your eyes on true perfection.
For 5 days we will enjoy swimming in turquoise waters, hiking up isolated islands, drinking fresh coconuts, eating fish that maybe you even catch, lounging in hammocks and sleeping in beach cabanas.
February 18th OUR PRIVATE ISLAND
We head to our own island. This is where we will spend 2-nights all to ourselves! Big beach fires, all the stars in the universe and the most secluded place on planet earth - this is something you get to experience once a lifetime.
With a private island comes a private chef - this filipino food will change your taste buds forever...
February 20th THE WAY BACK
Leave our private island at around 9am to El Nido where we will take a small flight at 12pm to Manila. Our flight in Manila departs at 9pm, so we'll be good getting there early!
Travel with likeminded adventurers
Island hopping for 4-nights
Private island for 2-nights
Daily beach workouts
Tranquil moments on a hammock
Beach bonfires with beers
Hiking through deserted islands
Catching your fish dinner
All transportation (except flights)
Almost all meals
Sunset yoga sessions
As much alcohol you can drink (don’t test this)
The full itinerary
Photographer + Videographer
Transfers to El Nido hotel
We’ll be staying at an air conditioned hotel in El Nido the first night. Then we’ll be traveling to different islands everyday for 4-nights staying in beach huts. There will be mosquito nets and bedding provided. Our last 2-nights will be in a large home on a private island.
Can you handle it?
Before applying to this adventure you must understand that this is not a yoga retreat, tour, hotel or luxury experience. This is a journey to the most remote islands in Palawan.
- If you cannot survive without Instagram, this is not for you.
- If you have trouble waking up early af to roosters, this is not for you.
- If you are afraid of basic toilets, this is not for you.
- If masquitos love you and you can't handle it, this is not for you.
- If getting stung by a jelly fish makes you hyperventalate, this is not for you.
- If you need to be connected to work, this is not for you.
But believe us, if you can take these challenges with us, then welcome to one of the greatest experiences of your life!
Registration + Payment
- Deposit: Your $500 deposit is used to secure your spot and goes toward your full payment. Your deposit is non-refundable or transferable.
- The remaining balance is divided into three additional payments with the full payment due 30 days prior to the adventure's start date.
- Trip credit (less deposit) may be transferred towards a future trip (within 12 months) up to 30 days prior to the start of the trip.
- Please note that there are absolutely no refunds or deposit transfers for cancellations within 30 days of the trip. We strongly encourage all participants to purchase trip insurance just to be safe.
Flights from NYC direct to Manila for our dates are only $750 as of October 12th, 2018. Once in Manila we'll be taking AirSwift to El Nido airport which is $200 roundtrip. You are responsible for meeting us at our designated hotel in El Nido. We will recommend specific flights soon.
Now, typically we take care of you on our adventures but this trip is a little different as it requires you to be aware of your surroundings. We require everyone to take out their own travel insurance. It is ok if you are not a strong swimmer just let us know. Everyone will get a safety orientation on the trip.
A rash gaurd to help protect against small criters stinging you in these tropical waters will help. So will rash shoes for the reefs we'll be exploring.
Dehydration is a common cause of accidents and feeling unwell. You will be required to bring your own refillable water bottle and drink lots of water.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Of course you will want to enjoy a few beers and try some of the local rum around the first night, however don't make yourself a liability. Nobody wants to have to look after a drunk person. Tropical hangovers are a nightmare and you don't want to miss out on the day activities if you are trying to recover from the night before!
Your skin will burn easily in the tropics especially ya'll winter hybernating New Yorkers. Get the proper gear, and protection!
Yes, in fact that is recomended. We'd love you to be whoever you want on this adventure and bringing a friend could also bring old habits.
But we understand it is intimidating and hard because you feel like you don't know anyone... trust us, this is the way to go!
This is going to be a huge highlight for most of us. The menu will be based on traditional filipino cooking using fresh seafood, vegetables, fruit and rice. We be eating our fish direct from the fisherman as we travel through the islands. Don't expect too much red meat. You can also fish from the boat to catch your own supper! Don't worry vegetarians and vegans, there's plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Malaria, Mosquitos and Sandflies
Up to date and accurate information about all aspects of malaria, including risks and prevention, is readily available via the web. Because it is a complex and rapidly changing issue, we do not want to recommend whether or not to take malaria medication. There will be a lot of us taking it though and we'll share which medication once you book.
Northern Palawan is generally a low risk area. Occasionally it comes in small outbreaks and consequentially the local health office will have a warning, we will be advised and pass on the warning to our travelers. It is not that very common for an outbreak during our season November to end of May. Be more cautious on Dengue fever which is more common and can be contracted anywhere in southeast Asia, especially in town and cities. There are no medicine to prevent catching Dengue so be always cautious. Dengue and Malaria normally appears mid monsoon season which is July-September.
It is advised to minimize the risk of Malaria and Dengue through bit avoidance. Bring lots of mosquito repellent and long sleeve clothing, it also advisable that when with children. in town it is better to get Air-conditioned rooms because mosquitoes are most active early in the morning/ late afternoon. Town and larger population have more disease carrying mosquitoes than those of small islands and villages.
Our sleeping arrangement in the islands are set up near the beach where we get a breeze thus reduce mosquitoes, we'll have nets setup for sleeping. Sand-flies are very common on the beaches. Some people react badly on sand-fly bites, long sleeves during sunset is advised for those special folks who attract mosquitoes and sand-flies.
The best ointment or repellent for mosquitoes and sand-flies is Kwan Loong oil, a Singaporean mentholated oil. It is tried and tested by the locals there for years. You have to re-apply every 30min but it is effective and much safer than any DEET products. Try to get it before coming to Palawan from Asian pharmacies we'll also bring some just in case!
Safety and Security in the Region
You might have researched this beforehand, yes some areas of the Philippines have a red mark for many Government Travel Foreign Offices advice because of the separatist problem of the extreme south. But Palawan and the rest of the northern islands are far away from the southern Mindanao region. Unfortunately the Philippines government, unlike other Asian tourist destinations, have no say or control over these red warnings. The story of the islands with 'pirates' is as old as the Ming dynasty merchant sailing this part of the world. Also the Coastguard or Navy are always present in the area (securing the Shell/Chevron gas/oil platform rigs). We may ask 'How safe is your hometown/city?' which often puts into perspective the perceived risks of exploring less familiar parts of the world.
Seasickness and Travel Times
Expect the boat journey to be 1-2 hour from stop to stop. We spend as much time exploring islands and the reef until we're ready to go. The only time we need to consider is the arrival at the base camp before dusk 5-6PM.
We'll be staying at an air conditioned hotel in El Nido our first night. Then camping in open native beach huts for our 4-night boat tour, and in a house on a private secluded island all to ourselves the last 2-nights. While camping we'll be showering with fresh water, grilling some fish for supper and enjoy a few rums around a fire.
Because we're spending the night in many different places we'll be sharing rooms with other SYB people and leaders some nights and other nights we'll have individual huts! Private rooms are available. Most of the time couples are separated in a room or in their own huts. Everyone gets a mattress, pillow, mosquito net and fresh bedding set. We recommend that you bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper. If you have any special sleeping requirements or a tendency to snore, please tell us at the start of the trip and we will plan sleeping arrangements accordingly.
We will not be sleeping on the boat.
While on the boats there will be basic toilets, with a bucket to flush. The base camps will have toilets but no plumbing, it will also be bucket flush. It is always kept clean yes this is a third world country you put the paper in the trash not the toilet.
We’re all about making connections, let’s chat!