The top 5 things to do in the Philippines
The top 5 things to do in the Philippines are hard to choose. Especially because of the fact, that this country has more than 7.000 islands to go to. In the last 3 weeks I have seen a lot of cool destinations, but there is so much more to explore. I guess, I have not even seen 5 % of what this country has to offer. But anyway, the spots I went to can be considered to be the most known. From untouched islands, to impressive vulcanos, raw jungles, 2.000 year old rice terraces, pulsing cities and the friendliest people I have ever met. There is something for everyone…
The top 5 things to do in the Philippines
First of all I want to tell you guys, that the Philippines blew my mind and tought me a lot of important stuff again. I will write about that in the upcoming articles. It is such a lovely country with the best people I have maybe ever met. Obviously it is a typical asian country – very busy, completely packed, pretty uncontrolled, not very much developed… but still insanely beautiful and everything seems to work somehow.
From all the beautiful destinations I have seen and everything I have done in the past 3 weeks, I can only give you guys my point of view on what I consider to be the top 5 things to do in the Philippines. I tried to do some stuff, which is a bit uncommon. Yet, I also did some touristic things you just have to do when you visit the Philippines.
Trekking in Banaue
Trekking in Banaue and its whole area has to be mentioned under the top 5 things to do in the Philippines. Banaue lies in the north of Luzon – the main island of the Philippines. It is a 8-10 hour bus ride away from Manila. Make sure to bring warm and waterproofed clothes for the airconditioned bus and the mostly wet jungle. Banaue is an UNESCO World Heritage area, which is absolutely stunning in my opinion.
Basically, you can do guided tours, which lead you to many completely untouched places with 2.000 year old rice terraces in the middle of the jungle. The guides even bring you to some villages, with approximately 5 houses and 20 people living there. They live completely isolated, plant their own organic rice & veggies (one of the best meals I ever had – for less than 2,50 $.) and live an absolutely peaceful life. Really cool!
Island hopping in El Nido
The second thing, which needs to be mentioned under the top 5 things to do in the Philippines is the island hopping in El Nido. El Nido itself reminds me a lot of Koh Phi Phi – a wasted paradise. It is full of boats, shops and tourism. Just to packed.
But what you can explore around El Nido is the ultimate paradise. An island tour costs you around 1.500 Peso (30 $). You can choose from 4 different variants – A,B,C and D. Or you just hire a private boat, which is also a good possibility.
The best tours suppose to be A and C. That’s the combination that we did as well. You will be brought to 5 different destinations via boat. Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Snake Island, etc.. You will stay at each place for about 1 hour and then head on to the next one. I could not decide, which stop is the best, because they are all just mind blowing. This trip will absolutely be something really special for you. Believe me…
Relaxing at Siquijor Island
Relaxing/ visiting Siqujor island is easily under the top 5 things to do in the Philippines in my opinion. There are countless of wonderful islands and beaches in this country, but Siquijor is on top of the list. We spent about 4 days there and stayed at “JJ’s Backpackers“ in San Juan. They have their own private beach, which suppose to be the cleanest one on the island and it is absolutely georgous.
Besides that, you can have a look at the Cambugahay waterfalls or go to Salagdoong beach, which is pretty cool. The water colour on any beach of the island is wonderful, but this one is extremly special. Additionally you can jump from a big tower, which is about 10 m high. Good fun!
Canyoning at the Kawasan Falls
Don’t forget the cayoning at the Kawasan Falls. It has to be under the top 5 things to do in the Philippines. This attraction can be found in the south of Cebu Island – 4 hours away from Cebu city. You can only get there by booking a tour. It will cost you between 1.300 – 1.500 Peso (26 – 30 $). You will probably have to do it with a big group. The guides take you through this incredibly beautiful canyon, where you can jump off rocks (2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 m) and swim in light blue natural fresh water. Absolutely surreal!
Your trip will end at the famous Kawasan Falls, which are really nice to look at. The whole adventure will take about 6 hours and it is definitely something you have to do on the Philippines.
Scuba diving on Coron
Scuba diving on Coron might probably be one of the best things to do in this country and is easily under the top 5 things to do in the Philippines. Coron lies in the north of Palawan and south of Luzon. It takes a 45 minute flight from Manila to get there. Coron is this unbelievable island paradise, which exactly looks like heaven on earth. Trust me…
And it has some incredible diving spots. It is especially known for wreck diving. After the second world war, japanise ships tried to hide between all the small islands, but the Americans found and bombed them. The sunken ships can now be explored on scuba diving tours. Apparently there are just 2 places in the world where you can dive wrecks such as these ones. I have seen 3 of them (122 m, 100 m and 60 m long). Very, very impressive and a memory I will never forget!
Want to know more about the trekking in Banaue? Read here