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Cuatros Islas, Philippines

Island Trails of the Philippines

Keelung to Manila16 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $14,690.00* PP

Join us on our inaugural journey of discovery through the hard-to-reach island trails of the Philippines. Departing from Keelung in Taiwan, this will be a unique adventure unveiling the rich colonial heritage of the region shaped by Spanish explorers and the historical conflicts of World War II. Share in traditional ceremonies, learn ancient customs, and enjoy the pristine natural marine and terrestrial environs of these secluded shores. On Taiwan’s east coast, hike across elevated boardwalks and suspension bridges that wind into the towering marble valleys and thundering waterfalls of Taroko Gorge National Park. Encounter Japanese trading heritage at Luzon and visit the historic Cabo Engano lighthouse on Palaui Island. Beachcomb on the idyllic shores, and snorkel and dive the aquatic paradise of Catanduanes and Cuatro Islas. Explore local handicraft markets and visit the churches, houses and shrines of Marinduque, home of the culturally significant kalutang instrument. Along the way, enjoy the expert guidance and warm Australian hospitality of our crew.

  • Dive, snorkel and swim in pristine marine environments such as Cuatro Islas
  • Visit the township of Maripipi to taste local delicacies, watch wild vine weaving and experience traditional pottery making
  • Explore the historic Cabo Engano lighthouse and learn of its significance
  • Cruise the Loboc River on a leisurely river cruise with traditional song and dance entertainment
  • Visit the Tarsiers Conservatory to see the world’s smallest primate which are little bigger than a mango and are considered a near-threatened species
  • Be immersed in island village life on strolls through traditional markets, tasting local delicacies and witnessing cultural practices


13 Expedition Days, 1 Full Sea Day, 4 Half Sea Days

Island Trails of the Philippines - Keelung to Manila Map


Arrive at the Evergreen Hotel, in Keelung (Taiwan), at 2:00pm for  SailSAFE check-in. A transfer from here to the terminal will be provided. Board Coral Adventurer at 4:00pm. Settle into your stateroom and relax as we set sail across the Pacific Ocean. Join the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow guests as the sun sets.

Taroko Gorge, Hualien, Taiwan

This morning we arrive at Hualien City on the east coast of Taiwan. The central Pine Garden is a cultural centre set inside a former Japanese military office. The Hualien County Stone Sculpture Museum displays contemporary and traditional stone carvings. Tzu Chi Cultural Park is a tranquil green space, with statues and a meditation hall. On the Pacific Ocean coast, sprawling Nanbin Park features a popular traditional market.

Explore the myriad of walking trails and suspension bridges that wind through towering marble valleys and past thundering waterfalls of Taroko Gorge National Park. Carved by the Liwu River, the spectacular Gorge is the largest marble canyon in the world and boasts a wide variety of trails, temples and landscapes.

Claveria, Cagayan

Located on the north coast of Luzon and directly south of Taiwan, Claveria is known as ‘Paradise of the North’. On our visit here, cross the hanging bridge at Baranggay Nagsabaran and taste local food. Explore the rich biodiversity of the land, experience Daklis, a unique community fishing technique and learn about the dwindling species that the community can now catch. See one of the heritage houses, the grotto of the Lady of Lourdes and a 1948 church bell at the Santa Maria Eco Park.

Calayan Island

One of five major islands belonging to the Babuyan Group located along the Luzon Strait, Calayan Island boasts pristine white sand beaches and great hiking terrains. Beach comb at Sibang Cove and hike to Nagudungan Hills for an spectacular view of the town, hills and cliffs.

Palaui Island, Faro de Cabo Engano Lighthouse

Explore the historic Cabo Engano lighthouse and learn of its significance. The decommissioned 19th century Faro de Cabo Engano lighthouse on Palaui Island was built during the Spanish colonial period and is considered a National Cultural Treasure. Explore Punta Verde and trek to faro de Cabo Engano at Cape Engano to be rewarded with a breathtaking view. This trek will require reasonable fitness. An optional scenic Xplorer cruise will also be available for those not participating in the trek.

A relaxed tropical island, Polillo is the largest of 27 islands that make up the archipelago. With white sand beaches and clear waters, we will spend time snorkelling, swimming and kayaking around the small islets. Beachcomb and admire the rock formation resembling two chickens. Bird watching is available at close by Minasawa Island or possibly Putting Bato, which has hidden caves to discover.

Virac, Catanduanes - Virac Boulevard

Catanduanes Island offers a captivating blend of Filipino and Spanish culture and history. Visit the Museo de Catanduanes, housed in a restored Spanish-era building, to explore artifacts and exhibits that chronicle the island’s past. Nearby, the Virac Cathedral stands as a remarkable architectural gem, showcasing the fusion of Filipino craftsmanship and Spanish influence. Together, these sites provide a glimpse into the melding of cultures on the island, making it a must-visit destination for history and culture enthusiasts.

Biri & Capul Island Rock Formations

Biri Island, a marine protected reserve with opportunities to explore the underwater marine wonderland, we also learn about Biri Island’s place in WWII history on our visit here. Visit the Magasang Rock formations for its view and take a dip in the water in the middle of these rocks. Those who choose to dive here have the opportunity to join the volunteer program by NGO Biri Initiative to help remove sea pests feeding on coral.

Capul Island’s church, Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish Church, is a National Cultural Treasure as designated by the National Museum of the Philippines. Equally well known is the Capul Lighthouse which has been safely guiding mariners through the San Bernadino Strait since the 1890’s. Visit these historic landmarks and take a walking tour leading to a natural spring once used by Spanish galleons to fetch water prior to their departure to Mexico.

Maripipi, Biliran, Leyte - Sambawan Island

Known as the ‘Isle of Gems’ for its clear waters, friendly locals and dazzlingly bright white sand beach, Maripipi along with Sambawan which offers opportunities for snorkelling, diving, kayaking as well as bird watching in the lush forests. Visit the township of Viga and experience cultural immersion such as tasting local delicacies, watching weaving of wild vines and participating in pottery making.

MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Palo - Tacloban, Leyte

Learn more about Leyte’s history at the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Palo. The park honours General Douglas MacArthur and his return to the Philippines to help defeat the Japanese forces on the 20th of October 1944. On your visit here you will see the bronze statues of the heroic general and his comrades on a shallow pool. View artworks from around the world at Santo Nino Shrine & Heritage Museum, visit the Anibong shipwreck memorial and stroll through local markets.

Cuatros Islas, Mahaba Island

Meaning ‘four islands’ in Spanish, Cuatros Islas is a group of elusive islands, three of which being inhabited and rarely visited by locals and tourists alike. They are an idyllic location for a full day of relaxing and water activities including snorkelling, diving, kayaking and cruising around the tropical paradise by Xplorer.


Board a riverboat for a leisurely cruise along the picturesque Loboc River while enjoying a buffet-style lunch of local delicacies accompanied by local musicians. Enjoy passing by waterfront villages and watching local children swinging from rope swings strung from coconut palms. Moor up against a floating platform where women and children dressed in traditional costumes perform a lively song and dance performance where you are welcome to join in. Visit the Tarsiers Conservatory to see the world’s smallest primate which are little bigger than a mango and are considered a near-threatened species. From the viewpoint lookout admire the cacao-coloured Chocolate Hills with their symmetrical mounds.

Lapu Lapu Monument, Mactan

Learn of Mactan history and visit the Lapu Lapu Monument is a majestic 20m bronze statue of the hero armed with a kampilan (a native sword) and a shield, erected to honour the bravery of the Datu on the very ground the battle was believed to have taken place. The Magellan Monument, on the other hand, is a large obelisk dedicated to the Portuguese explorer who brought Christianity to the Philippines. Learn about the art of making guitars at Alegre Guitar Factory, known for ukuleles and the bandurria, a plucked chordophone similar to a mandolin and used in Spanish folk music.

Ticao - Matangtubig Spring

Admire the old-style homes of San Jacinto before we stop in at Matangtubig Spring for a fresh-water dip. Later, enjoy watching the sunset onboard off San Miguel island.

Boac Cathedral, Marinduque

Go on a cultural tour by visiting heritage houses, churches and shrines. Visit the Century-old Boac Cathedral and the Biglang Awa Shrine as well as the Marl Insects and Butterfly Garden.

The area is also home of the Kalutang, a musical instrument made of two pieces of wood cited by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as one of the intangible cultural heritages of the Philippines. Browse traditional handicrafts stores to learn more about the island province’s local industries, with possible opportunity to purchase some traditional handicrafts.

Our voyage ends in the Philippines capital of Manila. Disembark Coral Adventurer at 9:00am and bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions, and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling. 

Fares & Availability

Bridge Deck Suites

Private Balcony - 37.5m2

6 Available

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

15 Available

Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2

15 Available

Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

6 Available
Book this Departure

Prices are per person twin share, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD).  Booking Terms & Conditions >
For solo traveller rates see our Solo Traveller Program >

Additional Information


  • All excursions with our Expedition Team
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and Kayaks
  • Snorkelling & SCUBA equipment (SCUBA diving at an additional cost)
  • Daily lectures and briefings with Guest Lecturers
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell events, and open bridge access
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • 24-hour barista-style coffee and tea station
  • All entrance fees to National Parks, ports, traditional owner fees and charges imposed by governing authorities
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Use of all onboard facilities, incl. a reference library
  • Your expedition photos captured during the voyage
  • Post-cruise transfers (in most destinations)
  • Wifi Access – Standard speed connectivity enabling email, social image sharing, web browsing and messaging

Not Included:

  • Pre-cruise transfers
  • Pre and post cruise flights/charter flights
  • Pre and post cruise accommodation
  • Travel Insurance
  • SCUBA Diving (view Scuba diving rates)
  • Entry visas & travel permits for the country you are traveling to/from
  • Alcoholic drinks (including beer and wine) outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Laundry service (available at a cost)
  • Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras (in some destinations)

Visa and Health & Travel Information

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