The Philippines are an incredible travel destination and many volunteers spend their weekends and time before and after their program exploring some of the great things the country has to offer. We’ve listed below some of the most popular sites in Aborlan, where our program is based, as well as throughout Palawan and further afield that you can experience while on the IVHQ Philippines volunteer program.
In and Around Aborlan
The Aborlan District is a laid back small community outside of Puerto Princesa City which is bursting with friendly smiling locals. Tigman Village in Aborlan is the base of the IVHQ Philippines program and boasts an array of tasty street food and fresh tropical fruit, along with a number of relaxing beaches.
Visit the Local Tigman Markets
The nearest village or barangay, to the volunteer accommodation is Tigman Village. Daily markets in central Tigman are only a short distance from the volunteer accommodation and are a fantastic way to experience local life. These markets offer a wide variety of products, including clothing, street food, fresh fruit and vegetables. Strolling the streets of the markets and picking from the abundance of fresh tropical fruits, chatting to shop keepers and absorbing the local atmosphere is the perfect way to spend your evenings after a day of volunteering.
Relax at the Beach
On Palawan, one thing is for sure – you are never far away from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Scattered throughout Palawan and on the doorstep of the volunteer accommodation, volunteers will have access to a world class beach to share amongst themselves. Perfect for a swim on a hot day or as a backdrop to a great book – relaxation is made easy for all to enjoy!
Picnic at Estrella Falls
Not far from the accommodation are the Estrella River Waterfalls which volunteers visit during orientation. The falls are a great place to return with your swimming attire and picnic for a fun filled and relaxing day. The cool mountain waters will help you through any hot summer day.
For those volunteers interested in traveling further afield, there are many fascinating destinations to choose from, including Honda Bay for a relaxing weekend by the beach, downtown Davao or even flying to Manila to get your city fix.
Visit Puerto Princesa
Traveling into the main center of Puerto Princesa is very common for volunteers. The town is about 1.5 hours from the volunteer accommodation via easy to use public transport - making it a hassle-free weekend destination. Once in Puerto Princesca township, volunteers have an array of accommodations, restaurants and activities to choose from.
Go Island-Hopping in Honda Bay
Just outside of the main city of Puerto Princesa is Honda Bay, which is home to many beautiful uninhabited islands. You can choose to rent your own boat for around PHP1,500 (US$30) or share it with fellow tourists.
Visit the world-famous Underground River
There is no trip to Palawan complete without a visit to the Underground River. Recently named one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park offers a 45-minute canoe tour of the Underground River. The tour gives visitors a peek into the first 1.5 kilometers of the cave. Endemic wildlife species can also be seen around the area.
Discover El Nido (and many other amazing diving locations)
El Nido Marine Reserve is 238km north of Puerto Princesa. A hidden gem and popular nature spot, the area boasts of diverse ecosystems such as rainforest, mangroves, white sand beaches, coral reefs, and limestone cliffs. The beaches of Bacuit Bay is blessed with extraordinary natural scenery, El Nido is, the sanctuary of various forms of wildlife. Countless varieties of fish are found here. Manta rays are a common sight; and when in season, divers may see one of the world’s rarest marine mammal, the sea cow, known locally as “dugong”. The water in and around the bay are a perfect spot for the hawksbill turtles and serves as their nesting site.
Travel To Manila
Flights to Manila leave Puerto Princesa daily and only take around 1.5 hours, making this is a great option if you wish to add on a weekend in Manila before or after your volunteer program. The bustling capital city of the Philippines offers a vastly different experience to that of the quiet life of the Aborlan region.
If you would like more details on any of these locations or activities, our local team in the Philippines can assist you once you are registered onto the IVHQ Philippines volunteer program.
To apply for the program or explore the volunteering opportunities available in the Philippines, visit our Volunteer in Philippines page.