My partner and I are looking to spend 2 weeks in the Philippines. We are looking for beautiful beaches, snorkelling, surfing, short jungle treks and lots of culture. Does anyone recommend anywhere in particular or any must sees/dos?
For something off the trail, try the island of Bohol - it has rivers, beaches, forest and an amazing natural wonder called the 'Chocolate Hills'. There are a couple of famous cultural sites from the Spanish colonisation of the Philippines, too, plus easy island-hopping when you want to move on.
If you folks don't mind more basic accommodation, I can highly recommend Nuts Huts: http://www.nutshuts.com/
It's Bohol's best-kept secret, beside an excellent swimming river and drawing an adventurous crowd. They also hire out scooters and organise local trail walks.
For snorkelling, visit Alona Beach on Panglao Is (30mins from Nuts Huts) and organise for one of the dive companies to take you out on one of their scheduled dive trips. For the trip alone, I paid PHP200 in 2009, snorkelling gear included.
For airlines, I highly recommend Cebu Pacific (http://www.cebupacificair.com/) - best value fares between Manila, Bohol and elsewhere, plus excellent service.
Message me if you have any questions - I used to be a Manila native and can attest that backpacking around the Philippines is an adventure you will never forget. In a good way :) almost 9 years ago
Thank you for your responses, they have been very helpful.
I am still researching the Philippines as I have been to most other parts of South East Asia (Including Thailand and Bali) and am looking for somewhere new! I'd like to think our standards are not too high... def prefer remote places to built up touristy places!
I am currently researching both places that were recomended by you both (Bohol and Palawan) and trying to work out the cheapest way to get from either HK or Southern China to Cebu. I have looked at both airlines you suggested but still seeking cheaper!
Also, once there how easy/cheap is it to island hop? I heard you have to be careful with timings as boats do not come in/out that frequently?
Any info on getting around or other places that may be of interest are greatly appreciated.
Polly almost 9 years ago
Hi Polly :)
There are several UNESCO heritage sites in the Philippines - Banaue Rice Terraces (go through the scenic Sagada-Banaue route http://bit.ly/jEx5qd), Tubatahha Reefs, Paoay Church, Puerto Princessa http://bit.ly/mbtPwe, etc. For the island hopping Dumaguete is a great jump off point. It's a friendly city which a lot of foreigners have made into their home. Sumillon island, Malapascua island, Apo island, and Siquijor http://bit.ly/aZTrdm, are accessible by boat ride from Dumaguete. If you want to venture further visit Siargao for surfing, Boracay for kite surfing (also one of the best beaches in the world, can get crowded during holidays though), Camarines Sur , wakeboarding park, Caramoan islands (where some survivor shows were taped), Palawan (Coron, El Nido, Puerto Princessa) and so much more.
Cebu Pacific is the most aggressive local airline and sometimes comes out with Php1 deals, which is why it is first in mind when asked about cheapest fares. But Airphil express does have good deals as well. You just have to compare the two, it sometimes depends on when you plan to fly - Cebu Pacific comes out with more promos so watch out for those.
Boats do not come in and out frequently - it depends on where you are headed. Let's say you were in Palawan, you can rent out a boat to take you island hopping the whole day, and the boatman waits for your group (or you if you wanna rent the whole boat) so you can take your time and enjoy the sights. When i went to Coron last March i spend around Php3500 for a plane ticket (it's around Php800++ one way now at cebupacific) and around Php8000 for a coron package- inclusive of aircon accommodation for 4 days, breakfast-lunch-dinner, entrance fees, boatrides, tour guide, and all transfers. Plus the bed and breakfast also had wifi. The whole trip was organized for me, so as soon as I landed someone came to pick me up and take me around. No hassle.
For destinations that require you to ride a RORO there is a schedule. Not so sure about how often it comes in and out because it depends on which places you want to go to.
Palawan is a must. Bohol is ok... but there are better places almost 9 years ago
I've been living in Philippines for the last 8 months and doing a lot of traveling. I could recommend you to visit Siquijor, a very peaceful and beautiful island, with waterfalls, mountains and diving. From there you can jump to Apo Island, considered one of the best places for diving. I was there two weeks ago and saw about 6 massive turtles and a sea snake in just one dive... we did 5 in two days :)
And for even cheaper deals flying check Zest.com!
Then cross to Dumaguete and visit the Twin Lakes and Casaroro Falls! almost 9 years agoAnswered by Daniel Noriega via WorldNomads.com