The Philippines! Home to more than 7,000 gorgeous islands. Travellers from around the world visit the Philippines for a chance to experience the white sand beaches, mouthwatering cuisine, stunning nature and affordable accommodations. Each region of the country is stamped with a distinct personality. Whether you are trekking through the jungle or kayaking along the coast, visiting the Philippines is an adventure of a lifetime.
Having the right travel guide can make or break a trip. So, in this article, we put together the absolute best things to do in the Philippines. Let’s get started!
1. Shipwreck Diving in Coron
Go diving with sunken ships in Coron. In 1944, during World War II, the US Airforce bombed a Japanese naval supply fleet. A dozen vessels sunk below the turquoise water of Coron, where the remains still sit today. The historical wreckage has become a top dive site in the Philippines, and for scuba-enthusiasts and free divers, it’s a must-do activity.
Any newbie divers should consider an open water certification in Coron, for the chance to swim through all the sunken ships! As a bonus a licence is much more affordable in comparison to other countries.
2. Visit the Oldest Tattoo Artist in the World
Deep in the mountains of Kalinga, north of Manila, is the oldest tattoo artist in the world. Her name is Maria Whang Od Oggay, and she was born in 1917. Since the age of 15, she has been practicing a traditional method of tattooing known as Batok. Instead of an electric tattoo machine, Whang-Od uses a bamboo stick equipped with a thorn and makes her own ink out of charcoal and water.
Tourists can take the adventurous journey to her small village and receive a tattoo from the legendary woman. She offers 20 different designs and operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. Not many people can say they were tattooed by a 105-year-old lady, but you can!
3. Swim with Whale Sharks in Cebu
Oslob is a small fishing village on the coast of Cebu where you can go swimming with one of the largest fishes in the world – the whale shark! Locals will take you just off the beach and lure in whale sharks with shrimp bait. You can jump in the water and swim face to face with the big-friendly creatures.
Although it’s one of the most popular things to do in the Philippines, some suggest it’s a controversial operation. Handfeeding the whale sharks is obviously unnatural; however, the tourist attraction has completely revitalized the impoverished town, and part of the money is spent on protecting the local marine life.
You can sign up for your whale shark experience here!
4. Hike Casino Peak
Take a hike up Casino Peak in the southern part of Cebu – no, there’s not a casino at the top. It’s a quick 20-minutes trek up rocky terrain, where you will be met by stunning views of hills and coastlines. No need for guides or excessive planning for this short hike, but make sure to bring your camera or drone!
5. Ride an ATV (Mount Pinatubo)
Mount Pinatubo is one of the most memorable places to visit in Philippines. It is best known for having one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the 20th century. For the intrepid traveler, you can sign up for an adventure-packed ATV tour up and around the volcano. You’ll zoom by beautiful lakes and streams and travel across epic scenery.
The volcano is still active, but because of how quiet it has remained since the ‘90s, it’s considered a safe place to explore!
6. Dive with Barracudas in Siquijor Island
Have you ever wanted to go diving with vast schools of barracuda? Well, then, Siquijor Island is the spot for you! You’ll have the chance to be engulfed by the fish and experience a wide range of other sea life. There are over a dozen excellent dive spots around the island for both beginner and advanced divers. To ensure you don’t miss out on the barracuda opportunity, check out the Tubod Sanctuary. It will be an experience you will never forget!
7. Visit Virgin Island (Bantayan Virgin Island)
30 minutes off Bantayan Island is Virgin Island, where you’ll find pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and delectable seafood. It’s a popular place to visit, so you might bump into a bit of a crowd – but there is plenty to do for everyone. From snorkeling to cliff jumping, the Bantayan Virgin Island is the perfect day trip!
8. Climb An Active Volcano on Camiguin Island (Mount Hibok-Hibok)
For volcano and hiking enthusiasts, visiting Camiguin Island is a must-do activity in the Philippines. Home to seven volcanoes, locals have dubbed it the Island Born on Fire – now that’s a name!
One of the most popular hikes is trekking up Mount Hibok-Hibok – the youngest volcano on the island. The trail cuts through a thick jungle and takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete. Once you reach the top, the stunning views will leave you breathless.
Also, consider trekking up Mount Timpoong – the tallest volcano on the island!
9. Kayak Big Lagoon (El Nido)
In El Nido, on the Palawan Island, is the Big Lagoon. It has some of the most beautiful water and picturesque limestone cliffs in the Philippines. The only way to get there is to sign up for an island-hopping tour – specifically Tour A.
Once you reach the Big Lagoon, you can take a kayak and blissfully paddle through the jaw-dropping beauty. As its name suggests, the lagoon is big, so you’ll have plenty of spots to explore and discover.
You can book your island-hopping tour right here! (Tour A)
10. Party in Boracay
Beach bars, cheap drinks, and all-night parties? Count us in! Boracay knows how to have a great time, and you can join in on the festivities whenever you’re ready – no matter how late it is. The white-sand island is packed with live music and all-night dancing, so get your groove on at Boracay!
With all the unforgettable places to visit in Philippines, you’re bound to have the adventure of a lifetime. The country has something for everyone, and it’s a great place to spend a holiday or multi-week backpacking trip. So, don’t miss out on all the epic activities and plan your trip asap!