After two months in the Philippines, we collected a lot of moments and memories that we keep with great affection in our memory. The Philippines is one of our favorite countries in the world and it may not take us long to return. And based on our experience we have compiled 20 things to do in Philippines. Surely you can include many in your Philippines travel itinerary for free!
Remember: this is just a compilation of ideas. There are more than 7,000 islands and there are sure to be many more things to do in the Philippines. This list is based on our experience and does not mean that you have to do it all. Choose what best suits your trip and what you feel like the most. The most important thing is that, whatever you do, you really enjoy the Philippines and you leave with the same good feeling as us.
20 things to do in Philippines
1. Enjoy its beaches doing Island hopping
Our trip through the Philippines had its beaches as protagonists and it is not for less. The Filipino turquoise blue, the fine sandy beaches, the sandy tongues… how can you not fall in love? When you are preparing your itinerary through the Philippines do not forget to include many island-hopping islands, or what is the same, excursions in which you jump from island to island. It is one of the best things to do in Philippines, don’t think twice. Our favorite island hopping was in Coron and Port Barton.
2. Try Filipino food in a carinderia
A carinderia is a typical Filipino restaurant where the dishes are already cooked and served in pots as if it were a free buffet. When you arrive, you open pots or questions about what they have and you choose what you want to eat and you make yourself a kind of combined dish. In general, in the carinderias they tend to have a lot of variety in the morning and continue to take out dishes until noon. They are very good for breakfast or to take away food, something that many Filipinos do.
3. Rent a motorcycle and tour the Philippine islands
If there is something we love in the Philippines it is the possibility of renting a motorcycle and getting lost among palm trees. It is the best way to discover the Philippine islands, at your own pace.
The rental of a motorcycle is between 350 and 500 Philippine pesos a day (between 5 and 8 €). Also, in general, the roads of the Philippines are in fairly good condition, making it easy to get from one side to the other. In any case, don’t forget to take travel insurance for the Philippines in case you fly. A forewarned traveller is worth two!
4. Travel like a local and try all Philippine public transportation
Moving around the Philippines is a breeze. They have a super complete and inexpensive public transport network, so you will never be short of options to get from one place to another. Be sure to try getting on a jeepney, a tricycle or a Bangka. Trying this type of transport is one of the things to do in the Philippines to complete your experience in the country.
5. Learn to #TravelPlastic around the Philippines
Because yes, because it is possible and we achieve it. We set ourselves a challenge: traveling without plastic for a month in the Philippines. Below you will find the photo with all the waste we generate in a month. Not bad, right?
6. ‘Swimming’ in a sea of palm trees in Siargao
That Siargao is one of our favorite islands in the Philippines is nothing new. But it is very clear to me that one of the best things to do in Philippines is to travel to Siargao, rent a motorcycle and get lost on its roads surrounded by seas and seas of palm trees. When you want to realize it, you will have a show like this before your eyes.
7. Try Philippine mangoes
Philippine mangoes are different from mangoes grown elsewhere. They are smaller, their skin is yellow and they are very sweet. A delicacy, go. You can’t leave the Philippines without trying them! In general, the fruit in the Philippines is spectacular, take the opportunity to eat it at all hours.
8. And the salt bread
Another of those vices that the Philippines gave us is the salt bread, some bread rolls with a sweet touch that cost a few pennies and are addictive. In some bakeries, they only make them in the morning, but in Siargao, there is an establishment that makes salt bread 24 hours a day.
Remember that the Philippines is a country that puts extra sugar in everything. And something like salt bread, which a priori looks like salty pastries, has a sweet touch.
9. Enjoy a thousand and one movie sunsets
The Philippines is one of the countries where we have most enjoyed movie sunsets. I do not know what this country has that when the sun begins to fall, the sky lights up with the most beautiful reddish and pink tones and every afternoon is a spectacle (unless it is raining, of course). We enjoy our best sunsets in Malapascua and Bantayan.
10. Dive with the fox shark
For a unique experience, this one. The fox shark is one of the most imposing sharks, with a tail fin that measures as much as its body. And it can be seen on the island of Malapascua. In my opinion, it is one of the things to do in the Philippines if you like diving.
11. And swim with turtles
If you have never seen a turtle live and direct, prepare to fall in love. They are animals that transmit a lot of peace and give off a lot of tenderness. If you have the opportunity to see one, you can swim next to it or behind it, leaving its space and without scaring it. Remember that in the sea, you are the guest.
We saw turtles in the Philippines doing an island hopping in Port Barton. Another well-known place to see turtles in Balicasag.
12. See the awesome whale shark and do it responsibly
One of the things to do in the Philippines is to see the whale shark. Few places in the world offer the chance to come face to face with the largest fish in the ocean. To see the whale shark responsibly in the Philippines, you have to do it during the season and always respect a series of distance and safety regulations.
I recommend this article so you know more about it.
13. And the smallest primate in the world
Since it is all about animals, one of the things to do in the Philippines is to see the Tarsier, the smallest primate in the world. It can be seen on the island of Bohol and we recommend you do it in the Tarsiers Sanctuary of Corella. There are other spaces in Bohol where they can be seen, but they are fake sanctuaries where they have Tarsiers in captivity for tourists.
14. Discover the mysterious Chocolate Hills
One of the most surreal landscapes in the Philippines is found on the island of Bohol. They are the Chocolate Hills, some mountainous formations that, depending on the time of year, take on a brown hue for which they receive their name. If you include Bohol in your Philippines travel itinerary, you can’t miss it!
15. Learn to surf in Siargao
Siargao is one of the surfing paradises of Southeast Asia. Whether you like this sport or want to learn, take advantage because on this island there are some of the best waves in the world. There are also areas for beginners and finding instructors is a breeze. There are many people who teach surf lessons on the island.
16. Bathing in hot springs in Camiguín
Camiguín is the island with the most volcanoes per square meter in the world. This causes springs of hot water to mix from the depths of the earth that mix with cold water from waterfalls and rivers and there are areas of hot springs such as the Ardent Hot Springs. They are open 24 hours a day, so you can go at any time to enjoy a bath of contrasts.
17. Learn some words in Tagalog
One of the most curious things about the Philippines is the language. As you know, the Philippines was a Spanish colony, so many of the words that are still used today come from Spanish. In fact, if you start talking to a Filipino and tell him that you are from Spain, he will quickly start saying words that he knows we have in common such as ‘fork’, ‘table’ or ‘knife’.
And since you have broken the ice, take advantage and learn the odd word, they surely love that you are interested in their language!
18. Test the halo-halo (or not)
Halo-halo is a typical Filipino dessert. And what do you want me to say, I find it zero appetizing? It is a mixture of shaved ice, evaporated milk, cooked sweet beans (yes, as is) and assorted fruits. If you dare to try it, tell me what you think about it because it seems very unappetizing to me.
19. Relax at Paradise Beach, the best beach in the Philippines?
To say that Paradise Beach in Bantayan is the best beach in the Philippines is saying a lot. But if it is not the best, it has to be among the best. It is an incredible, long and wild beach where all you have to do is jump and enjoy, make sandcastles and bathe in its crystal clear waters. And the best thing is that, since Bantayan is not one of the most touristy islands in the Philippines, there are not many people either. If I were you, I would include it among my list of things to do in Philippines.
20. Go back and continue to know the Philippines
If there is something I have included in my list of things to do in the Philippines it is to go back. We spent two months in the country and it was not enough and we are clear that we would love to repeat in the future. The Philippines has the perfect balance between lovely people and incredible beaches. Philippines, we will be back!
Here we have given you 20 ideas of things to do in Philippines, are you going to include them all in your route? Do you think we have left something in the pipeline? Leave us a comment or email us!