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YGD Travel Agency

Boutique travel agency based in Manila. I'm one of a team of owners from all over the world, each with experience both in the travel industry and hands-on experience in traveling the Philippines. This allows us to bring you the best of both worlds - strong local ties and connections but with Western standards of quality and service.

We specialize in bespoke packages, catering to our client's every need. While we do every effort to keep our rates competitive, this is not our primary focus. Instead, we focus on providing the most unique and personal travelling experience. With us, you'll have someone with you every step of the way - helping out if something goes wrong, giving useful tips and generally making everything he can so you'd have the perfect holiday!

Featured trips & expertise

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.

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.

Hidden Lagoon in Coron
Philippine Honeymoon: Boracay, El Nido & Coron - 11 Days

Covering some of the Philippines' most desirable beaches, this 11-day tour offers the perfect romantic getaway for couples. Stay in luxury resorts in exotic locations from private islands to jungle hideaways. Enjoy customized private tours of nearby islands, snorkel shipwrecks, and lounge beachside with a cocktail in hand.

Recent Trip Reviews for YGD Travel Agency

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!

Dan Barmatz profile photo
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.

Dan Barmatz profile photo
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.

Dan Barmatz profile photo
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.

Dan Barmatz profile photo
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

Dan Barmatz profile photo
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.

Dan Barmatz profile photo
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

Philippines, Philippines - Sep 28 - Oct 13, 2018

Traveler: Bel B. - Local specialist: Yoav Reuveni

Sent the following to the agent, have listed reasons below
out of pocket expenses in which we are seeking a refund and received a partial refund as agent blamed those he booked with and if they refused refund so did he. Quotes given in AUD then US then AUD, became confusing, advised we were from Australia early on. Communication with agent before leaving Australia was that using WhatsApp was fine and he would contact day before on WhatsApp with info, this regularly didn't happen and we had... read more

Sent the following to the agent, have listed reasons below
out of pocket expenses in which we are seeking a refund and received a partial refund as agent blamed those he booked with and if they refused refund so did he. Quotes given in AUD then US then AUD, became confusing, advised we were from Australia early on. Communication with agent before leaving Australia was that using WhatsApp was fine and he would contact day before on WhatsApp with info, this regularly didn't happen and we had to chase him up, he blamed us for not getting a local simcard yet we had free wifi to get information the day before. Sending the information before he finished work each day would have been more reasonable. Anyway trip is finished, won't use this agent again and hope that no-one else is let down by them:
Payment for 2 pax turtle viewing that we made but as per our texting this never happened. Our tour on this day was less than 50% of what was expected tin the outlined itinerary you gave us - day trip that ended at 11am, very disappointing, lunch for 1 person to share among 2 with a piece of fruit only for the second person, very average.
Yellow taxi pick up from Ferry Terminal to White Sands on return from Bohol - drivers were very rarely who you texted through and number plates matched maybe once. This yellow cab guy held up our names across the road then we chased him to his yellow taxi, someone grabbed our bags and put them in the taxi boot demanding money. Driver sat in seat on his phone and did nothing, had to pay driver and bag man total 580 peso.
Canyoneering - we sent a message early on asking if there was anything we needed, that is on KimKim messages. We didn't get a reply so presumed nothing. Once arriving we had to pay for waterproof bag and reef shoe hire 700 peso.
Group van El Nido as we ended up organising private ourselves. Your messages didn't get through before our pick up around 6.30am that you had said was coming later than that at 7.30am. No chance to communicate and our tour guide for the day had no information for us either until the end of our tour when we had already arranged a transfer ourselves.
Taxi to airport due to your transfer being too late to get us there 500 peso.
We forgot also the 240 peso for luggage and ferry terminal charge.

Review of trip with reasons for refund requests;
We were told by Yoav to call or message anytime and that he would let us know day before who would be picking us up for transfers. I would often have to chase up our following day transfer well into the evening as he hadn't contacted me. It seemed once we arrived in the Philippines we were forgotten. I even got a message from him telling me he'd be up at 6am and asking me to appreciate it - the only reason was that he hadn't organised things earlier and let us know at a reasonable hour the day before what was going on. This service was poor.
Day 1 mostly worked as per the itinerary. Got in later than expected due to the insane traffic as advised. Met Yoav, given $4500 peso refund for the cancellation of the Pagsanjan Falls cancellation from company he had been working with.
Day 2 was as per itinerary, great guide who spoke English, Had a great guide for the day who spoke English well, this was extremely rare for our guides and transfers which made it very difficult to communicate or know what was going on. It also led to not getting experiences we had paid for.
Day 3 as per itinerary
Day 4 Our tour on this day was less than 50% of what was expected that was outlined in your itinerary - day trip that ended at 11am, very disappointing. English speaking guides weren't on our boat, no one had a phone that would contact our agent, no one would give us the right information. Shipped on and off the snorkelling turtle island after a 30 minute snorkel and a shared meal (paid for 2 lunches, given 1 and a piece of fruit).
Day 5 Went well
Day 6 Ferry back, with unexpected charges, taxi at terminal for our transfer holding up our names and calling out to us. Drove terribly and charged us. This was supposed to be an included transfer. not a paying taxi.
Day 7 people need to know this is a 4 hour drive each way to the Canyon. We would have stayed a night down that way rather than in Cebu. Very long day. Had to pay for items needed and not advised about on this trip. Reef shoes, waterproof bag.
Day 8 Given firefly tour as an apology from agent for everything that had gone wrong thus far. Firefly tour was listed on our itinerary and my husband and I couldn't recall 100% if we'd cancelled it or not but agent said we had so agent paid for this.
Day 9 Only found out late evening before of transfer from river to El Nido details. Cancelled and moved to private transfer as after experiencing canyoneering group trip we realised groups meant waiting a long time for people (canyoneering 4 hour turned into 7 hours plus 8 hours of driving - very long day). We also didn't want to have to come all the way back into town to head out again and begin the 4-5 hour drive. Paid for this ourselves, agent advised going private night before when we chased him up to find out about what our transfer was meant to be.
Day 10 as per itinerary
Day 11 Meant to be on a group jet boat, agent forgot to organise and reconfirm, ended up on a group standard boat.
Day 12-15 as per itinerary
Day 16 driver didn't turn up, had to organise taxi, another out of pocket expense. Arrived at the airport 10 minutes after flight was closed off for check in. Had to beg staff of Cebu Pacific to see if they could find a way to get us on as we had international connecting flights. They were amazing, Cebu Pacific staff, and got us on. Not a great way to end a tour that hadn't gone as expected.

You expect a couple of hiccups when travelling, I've travelled extensively for the past 20 years and all booked through flight centre with minimal hiccups. The service through Kimkim was nowhere up to standard. A holiday shouldn't be stressful, travellers shouldn't be chasing up agents to get information, to find out why things have gone wrong, why daily incidents have taken place. I hope this isn't the service provided by all travel agents through kimkim.

Yoav Reuveni profile photo
Yoav Reuveni, local specialist, responded to this review:

I can only regret that Bel had a bad experience here in the Philippines. It makes me very sad to know it happened and she is holding us responsible for it.

I have been in communication with Bel all throughout the trip, and tried my best to help whenever an issue arose. I feel a lot of this issues and miscommunication is due to misunderstanding and possibly a slight language / culture barrier which is something i will do my best to learn from and improve.

We also gave her a free tour as... read more

I can only regret that Bel had a bad experience here in the Philippines. It makes me very sad to know it happened and she is holding us responsible for it.

I have been in communication with Bel all throughout the trip, and tried my best to help whenever an issue arose. I feel a lot of this issues and miscommunication is due to misunderstanding and possibly a slight language / culture barrier which is something i will do my best to learn from and improve.

We also gave her a free tour as compensation after the problems in Bohol, and we organized the private transfer to El Nido for her at a 4 hour notice. I have to say this review conveniently leaves out all the hard work and effort we have put into this package. I understand some people focus on the negative and when something goes wrong it ruins their day, but ultimately i do believe we did a lot of things right with this trip and i'm very surprised to hear Belinda thinks the service was poor.

I'll be happy that all potential clients read this. It's better if you understand the Philippines is not Switzerland and mistakes here happen quite often - we are dependent on local suppliers and they are not always reliable. Also, if you book a "budget" package, you will get group tours and shared vans that's just the way the world works - you can't expect VIP treatment without paying for it.

We will use this review to try and improve our service, so we are thankful to Bel for taking the time to submit it. I certainly could have done a lot of things better with this trip.