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 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