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active 13 hours ago

Dan Barmatz

Mooving into the travel industdy didn't happen as soon as I finished college, and it took me a while to decide. As many people I chose to pursue a "normal" career. But for a long while I felt the travel bug biting, and kept finding myself buying tickets, especially to the Philippines. After a while, I decided to just go for it!

Now I'm am a travel specialist with everything that has to do with the Philippines. As the leading travel specialist at my company, I make it a priority to explore every nook and corner, and leaving no stone unturned in the search of the best deals for my clients. My aim is to make traveling in the Philippines accessible and simple for everyone.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"We arrange packages to all major tourist destinations in the Philippines. We can take care of anything travel related in the Philippines, so don't hesitate to make any special requests. Seasonality is a huge deal in the Philippines, as the country has 4 different climate zones. Knowing where is safe when is really important here.

The activities I like when it comes to the Philippines are either of an adventurous nature, like canyoneering, rafting, hikning, and island hopping, or of an historical and cultural nature, like immersive city tours, pre-colonial and Spanish era related trips, and WW2 sites and monuments.

I especially like, and have a personal interest in diving. I am lucky to be in a country that has some of the best diving in the world. Not only that the marine life and habitats are at top level, there are many professional dive centers the take care of you. My personal belief is that you don't have to be an expert in order to dive, and many clients I had who tried it for the first time on their vacation got hooked for life! "

How did you get involved in travel?

"After long years of traveling in the Philippines for leisure, I decided to share my knowledge to help travelers have great trips. Basing myself in the Philippines was the first step, and then constructing our center of operations, our company, was the second. Ever since we're constantly getting better and better in what we do, and there is nothing more fun than turning my passion into reality!

Luckily for me, I met wonderful people along the way, and many of them were expats who chose to live in the Philippines, starting resorts and hotels, travel agencies and travel related businesses. In turn, all offerred a hand when I disclosed my intentions regarding becoming a travel specialist in the Philippines, which proved itself to be extremely helpful."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"As a person who never lived in the countryside it's no wonder that I have an affinity to urbanized areas. I've never seen myself living a more laidback life somewhere that's more relaxed and quiet. Until I first step foot in Coron that is...

At a first glance it looked as another provincial town in the Philippines, with the tricycles, smoking evening BBQ stalls, and fishy smell that creeps from the direction of the small harbour. It's only on the next day, that together with my new Filipino friends who happened to own a small pumpboat, I came to a shocking realization.

We visited places like I've never seen before: Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, and Barracuda Lake. I felt like I'm on the set of Jurassic World, while hearing bird chirpinng vigorously from the green top of the limestone cliffs dramatically crashing into the torquoise ocean. We were swimming, drinking cold beer and eating freshly cought seafood that we grilled ourselves.

Even though I've just met these people they showed so much generousity towards me, and we were laughing and kidding about silly things that seemed so funny back then, like best friends of years sharring the same secrets. 'Am I in paradise?' I thought to myself, as I was amazed to be in such company and such a place.

'One doesn't have to die in order to get into paradise' is a thought that keep on lurking in my mind ever since then. Happiness can be found here, on this planet."

Dan is part of the following groups: Philippines Travel Agents
Puka Beach, Boracay
Beaches, Waterfalls & Lagoons - 15 Days

This 15-day itinerary offers the perfect combination of adventurous and relaxing activities. You will snorkel shipwrecks and aquamarine lagoons, visit secluded beaches, and climb and rappel slippery trails. Enjoy the Philippines as you island hop your way across the country, ending on the white sandy beaches of Boracay.

Beautiful islands of Palawan
The Philippines Highlights: Sand, Sea & Mountains - 15 Days

Discover the best of the Philippines on this all-encompassing tour as you paddle, snorkel, rappel, hike, and fly your way across the country. Begin in Manila, working your way north to the Banaue Rice Terraces before flying south to the islands of Bohol, Cebu, and Mactan. Travel west and end your trip in Puerto Princesa and the ever-popular El Nido.

Recent trip reviews for Dan

Everything was great! The best island was El ... · Philippines - Nov 22 - Dec 1, 2019

Traveler: Shari T. - Local specialist: Dan Barmatz

Everything was great! The best island was El Nido for us so i think it would have been nice if we had stopped there first!The overall trip was a very unique experience!

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Dan Barmatz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Shari!

I'm glad that you had a great time here, and noted about El Nido. I'm trying to keep the best for last usually, but it would have made sense otherwise as well :)

Hope to see you soon, and that your winter won't be so cold back in the states.

Cheers!
Dan

Awesome adventures in Philippines · Philippines - Nov 22 - Dec 1, 2019

Traveler: Sanaz Sarah M. - Local specialist: Dan Barmatz

Very pleased with our tours and all the arrangements. It was a life time experience and loved our private tours. Highly recommend it.

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Dan Barmatz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you so much Sarah and Shari! It was a pleasure to meet you here. Hope to meet you again soon :)

YGD - Wonderful service resulted in an amazing vacation! · Philippines - Nov 6 - Nov 16, 2019

Traveler: Reema D. - Local specialist: Dan Barmatz

Working with Dan and the YGD Travel Agency was easy and seamless. Dan took into account all of my various questions and patiently worked with me on making this trip perfect. He was quick to respond and answer questions I had, whether related to specific points of interest or about traveling through the Philippines in general.

Once on the ground, YGD was in contact with me on a regular basis to provide updates on exact pickup times and/or address any questions I had. The few small hiccups... read more

Working with Dan and the YGD Travel Agency was easy and seamless. Dan took into account all of my various questions and patiently worked with me on making this trip perfect. He was quick to respond and answer questions I had, whether related to specific points of interest or about traveling through the Philippines in general.

Once on the ground, YGD was in contact with me on a regular basis to provide updates on exact pickup times and/or address any questions I had. The few small hiccups we experienced (e.g., a tour operator picked us up much later than anticipated) were addressed immediately. From the hotels booked to the tour guides, the service was impeccable.

I'm grateful to the YGD team for an amazing vacation and would definitely recommend them to anyone!

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Dan Barmatz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you very much for your review! Me and the YGD Team are grateful to be a part of your vacation here in the Philippines. It's always heartwarming to realize that our service did in fact made some one's trip better, and to us it means the world.

Until we meet again,
Dan and the rest of YGD Travel :)

El Nido, Coron, camiguan, cebu · Philippines - Jul 10 - Jul 18, 2019

Traveler: Jasmine A. - Local specialist: Dan Barmatz

Our trip to The Philippines was incredible! We appreciated how much Dan guided us from the very beginning with our price range, desired activities and our other wishes for the trip. He was super responsive, and we loved all of our private tours. The package deal was customized for us, and I have yet to find another company who does this with such attention to detail. While we were on our trip, we received texts (loved that) from Gazle who was also super helpful and responsive. We... read more

Our trip to The Philippines was incredible! We appreciated how much Dan guided us from the very beginning with our price range, desired activities and our other wishes for the trip. He was super responsive, and we loved all of our private tours. The package deal was customized for us, and I have yet to find another company who does this with such attention to detail. While we were on our trip, we received texts (loved that) from Gazle who was also super helpful and responsive. We absolutely loved The Guerrera Resort (Camiguin)! Amarela (Bohol) was a beautiful place, and we could not have been happier with the service and amenities. The snorkeling in Balicasag should not be missed and neither should the boat cruise on the Loboc River (both in Bohol).There is no question that I will use Kimkim again for my future travel plans, and if you are looking for the best specialist for your trip to The Philippines, you have to use Dan Barmatz!

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Dan Barmatz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you very much for your kind words! It gives us pleasure to find our guests here in the Philippines satisfied.

We are very thankful to have guests like you.

Hope to see you again,
Gazle, Dan and the rest of the team :)

three days in the Philippines · Philippines - Jun 30 - Jul 4, 2019

Traveler: CAROLE L. - Local specialist: Dan Barmatz

Everything was great. Dan was very attentive to our needs. It was a disappointment that the underground cave on Palawan was closed and we had to do another tour. The island Hopping tour was absolutely awful. I would never recommend it to anyone. I understand we had no choice, either that or stay at the hotel where there also was nothing to do but swim in the pool Hotel was fine but lots under construction so although the service was terrific there really was no charm to it. The... read more

Everything was great. Dan was very attentive to our needs. It was a disappointment that the underground cave on Palawan was closed and we had to do another tour. The island Hopping tour was absolutely awful. I would never recommend it to anyone. I understand we had no choice, either that or stay at the hotel where there also was nothing to do but swim in the pool Hotel was fine but lots under construction so although the service was terrific there really was no charm to it. The islands were made for tourists and held no beauty or anything of interest. The swimming was in a restricted area which made it crowded and murky waters, totally unappealing considering the Pacific can be so beautiful. The lunch was like pigs eating at a trough. That last island again was for tourists. Nothing indicative of the Philippines, its beauty or history. Just ugly island with murky water and totally overcrowded.
I've traveled to 150 countries and would never recommend this tour to anyone.

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Dan Barmatz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Carole,

Thank you for your review. I'm very sorry we had to change the tour on the last moment, due to an arbitrary immediate closure of the Underground River National park. It was very unfortunate. I agree with you that the island hopping tour in Puerto Princesa is nothing special. We usually skip it altogether.

It's a shame that your trip here was very short, and therefore we had no room for corrections. Your trip relied almost solely on Puerto Pricesa and the Underground River, so... read more

Hi Carole,

Thank you for your review. I'm very sorry we had to change the tour on the last moment, due to an arbitrary immediate closure of the Underground River National park. It was very unfortunate. I agree with you that the island hopping tour in Puerto Princesa is nothing special. We usually skip it altogether.

It's a shame that your trip here was very short, and therefore we had no room for corrections. Your trip relied almost solely on Puerto Pricesa and the Underground River, so once the park was closed we tried the best that we can to make something out of it.

I hope to see you here again in the future, for a longer time, and we'll be able to show you the true beauty of the Philippine Islands and its people and culture.

Kindly,
Dan

Philippines 2019 · Philippines - Mar 29 - Apr 9, 2019

Traveler: James W. - Local specialist: Dan Barmatz

Using Kim Kim was pretty easy. Dan set us up with things in line with what we were looking for. Our local guides were good, but I’m glad I spoke the local language as some of the English skills were rough.

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Dan Barmatz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi James!

Thank you for your review. We always love to read that our guests are satisfied with our service, and had fun during their stay in the Philippines.

We would love to see you again on your next trip :)

Best,
Dan

Explore and family wedding · Philippines - Jan 30 - Feb 13, 2019

Traveler: Chad K. - Local specialist: Dan Barmatz

It was a pleasure working with the KimKim team on our Philippine adventure!

The trip started with a trip up to Banaue and Batad for a tour of the rice terraces. They were truly spectacular and a highlight of the trip! It’s an 8 hour journey from Manila, but well worth it. We had a great driver, who was able to tell us about the Philippines, make stops and always recommend great local food for us to try along the way.

We hiked with an excellent guide through Batad. We got off the main... read more

It was a pleasure working with the KimKim team on our Philippine adventure!

The trip started with a trip up to Banaue and Batad for a tour of the rice terraces. They were truly spectacular and a highlight of the trip! It’s an 8 hour journey from Manila, but well worth it. We had a great driver, who was able to tell us about the Philippines, make stops and always recommend great local food for us to try along the way.

We hiked with an excellent guide through Batad. We got off the main trails and we’re able to see the rice terraces and village from so many great perspectives! We hiked well ahead of the main tour groups and were able to enjoy swimming at Tappiya Falls on our own. On the way back from Batad to Banaue, we rode on top of the Jeepney.

We stayed at the Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel. It was clean and in a great location, out of the hustle and bustle of the town centre.

Following Banaue, we went back to Manila for a great night at the I’M Hotel, before we flew to Coron. The I’M Hotel pool and rooftop bar are a fantastic place to relax and enjoy the scenery!

Coron was gorgeous. It’s such a chill town that provides amazing opportunity to get out on the water for island hoping. I loved the small town vibe. When I arrived in Coron I was a little surprised that it wasn’t a beach town, given the photos you see online (there’s no beach and the water is pretty dirty), but you’ll soon forget about that when you go out on boating adventures. I particularly enjoyed the coral garden, shipwrecks and Kayangan Lake! We loved the sunset drinks and dinner at La Sirenetta Seafood Restaurant & Bar. The restaurant is setup on the water and has beautiful views.

We stayed at Corto Del Mar and enjoyed the hotel. The hotel has a nice courtyard, pool and restaurant, but it’s not right on the beach.

Following Coron we had a wonderful time in El Nido and enjoyed some quiet time staying on Miniloc Island, where we could easily tour the Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Snake Island and Cudugnon Cave. El Nido resorts Miniloc Island offers great island hopping tours. The only disappointing part of our stay was the boating transfers to Miniloc Island. We were first put on a boat that wouldn’t start for about a half an hour, then once it got started this same boat stalled in the middle of our journey and we had to be rescued by a speedboat. The hotel didn’t really acknowledge the situation and I expected a bit more from a 5 star resort.

Following El Nido we had a fantastic time in Borocay for my cousins wedding. We stayed at the Coast Borocay Hotel. This is an amazing boutique hotel, on the beach at Station 2. From the moment we arrived at the airport, this hotel provided the best customer service of any place we stayed in the Philippines. We loved this hotel!

I’m happy about our KimKim experience and was happy to have the team just a What’s App message away from helping keep the trip on track and our tours confirmed, even when they’re running late or on island time. Everything was taken care of and we were able to relax on the trip.

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Dan Barmatz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Chad!

Thank you very much for your review! I believe it will give future clients an idea of how their vacation here in the Philippines can look like, and what's our capacity. We always make sure our guests get the best, as this is what they deserve!

Hope to see you here in the Philippines again some day.
Best,
Dan

Izabella

Palawan · Philippines - Jan 30 - Feb 12, 2019

Traveler: Izabella L. - Local specialist: Dan Barmatz

Dan planned my whole trip to the Philippines and it was exactly how I wanted it to be. He was very knowledgeable about all the places we talked about and made good suggestions of what we should do if I was unsure about anything. I would highly recommend Kimkim to all my family and friends as they tailor the trip to whatever your needs are. I am very happy. Thank you so much will definitely be booking with KimKim again

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Dan Barmatz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you so much for your kind words Izabella!

Looking at your lovely pictures makes me happy I was able to be a part of your visit here. I had a great pleasure serving you, and would love to do the same for any of your family members or friends in the future.

I hope to see you here again one day :)

Best regards,
Dan

Segal

Christmas getaway · Philippines - Dec 24 - Jan 8, 2019

Traveler: Segal A. - Local specialist: Dan Barmatz

Dan did an amazing job planning my trip. When I encountered an issue with my first hotel. Dan took care of it immediately. I loved all of the destinations he chose for me. The trip was very well organized. I would definitely book future travel with Dan. I would definitely HIGHLY reomeend him to my friends. I would rate my experience a full 10/10. Thanks so much.

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Dan Barmatz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you very much Segal!

We had a pleasure having you here, and will love to see you once again in the future. I'm personally delighted that you enjoyed the itinerary we designed together.

Thanks again for your kind words.
Dan