The Best Things To Do in the Philippines
“It’s more fun in the Philippines.”
That is the Philippines’ famous tagline and it does live up to the hype. When it comes to Southeast Asian countries, the Pearl of the Orient Seas is one of the most beautiful countries to visit. It’s sunny almost every day all year so beaches and other popular tourists sites can be visited at your disposal.
The country is made up of 3 major islands consisting of multiple cities with diverse cultures. From the north of Luzon to the south of Mindanao, we are sure that you will never run out of interesting activities to do.
That being said, here is a wonderful list of the best things to do in the Philippines.
The Philippines is a country famous for beautiful tourist spots so in every nook of the country, there are always sightseeing and travel tours you can join.
If you want a laidback and relax way to enjoy the Philippines, a sightseeing tour is the perfect one for you. Take the van and tour the countryside of Bohol and enjoy the scenery of the Chocolate Hills and cruise by Loboc River. You can also stroll or bike around Intramuros and learn of the country’s colonial heritage.
If you want to merge with nature, go strawberry picking in La Trinidad, Benguet or have your jaws drop at the rolling hills of Batanes.
The Philippines was under the Spanish colony for over 300 years. That being said, the culture was majorly molded by religion and had even influenced traditions, festivals, and architecture. It’s also one of the few Asian countries that are predominantly Christian and is a must-visit for religious tourists.
The Philippines is literally filled with churches, basilicas, and shrines. Each of these has its history and interesting stories to tell. If you want to learn more about these churches in the eyes of locals, joining pilgrimages tours is a must.
Famous religious-related destinations are St. John the Baptist Parish Church in Quiapo, Cebu’s Simala Shrine, Minor Basilica of the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in Manaoag, San Pascual de Baylon Parish Church in Obando, Bulacan, Baclaran’s National Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Pink Sister’s Convent in Tagaytay.
Boat Tours or River Cruises
Boat tours are one way to appreciate the stunning waters and caves of the Philippines. Located in Palawan Island, Puerto Princesa’s Underground River is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its breathtaking limestone and underground river.
For a magical night, Puerto Princesa’s Ihawig River offers an astonishing river cruise that you can enjoy under a blanket of stars and a thrush of a chilly breeze. You also get to experience a fairytale-like light show with fireflies. Aside from Puerto Princesa, Bohol’s Loboc River offers a similar but wonderful on its own river cruise. You get to taste local cuisine and be serenaded by a world-class choir.
For tourists looking for a thrill in their travel, canyoneering is a perfect activity for you. Not only is the Philippines littered with calm and relaxing beaches but also outdoor delights like the Kawasan Falls in Cebu, where the top thing to do has to be canyoneering.
The falls have clear waters and scenic canyons and a short hike will bring to multiple heights of the waterfall. You can cliff dive as high as 6 meters.
Other stunning locations for canyoneering are Mt. Isarog National Park in Camarines Sur, Bangon Falls in Samar, and Sampao River in Biliran.
Historical and heritage tours
If you want to further appreciate the Philippines, you better start right at the roots. The country is rich in culture, with indigenous roots and the very first Filipinos up to the multiple nations who colonized the country and greatly shaped what it is now.
The Philippines’ history and culture are viewable beyond books and through heritage tours where you get to see actual historical locations. If you are in Manila, you can go on a tour to Corregidor, the site of the Battle of Corregidor, the Japanese’s last major conquest of the Philippines.
Other wonderful heritage destinations are the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras in Ifugao, the town of Vigan, San Augustin Church in Intramuros, and Miag-ao Church located in Iloilo.
Hike the best mountains
It’s true that the Philippines has beautiful beaches and coastlines but its mountain ranges and terrains are also ones to gawk on. For nature-loving tourists, the country also offers hiking and trekking at stunning locations as one of the best things to do in the Philippines.
There’s no need to worry if you are a beginner climber because the nation has trails that cater to different skills and experiences.
Popular hiking destination is Mt. Batulao, a few hours away from Manila, Mt. Hamiguitan in Davao Oriental, and the challenging Tarak Ridge in Mariveles.
Colorful local festivals
The Filipinos are known for their hospitality, positive, and kind nature and it shows when they celebrate local festivals known as “fiestas.” Fiestas are widely celebrated everywhere in the Philippines and show the unique Filipino culture through different costumes, events, and dances.
Fiestas in the Philippines are linked as respect for religion as locals celebrate these festivals for various saints. The famous Sinulog Festival in Cebu is one of the most popular and must-visit Catholic festivals.
Other well-known festivals include MassKara Festival in Bacolod, Moriones Festival in Marinduque, Panagbenga Flower Festival, Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals in Leyte, Davao’s Kadayawan Festival, and Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan.
Island Hopping Tours
Of course, when talking about the Philippines, there’s no justifiable reason to skip beaches and islands. The country is a tropical archipelago and as expected, the islands are picture-perfect. The various islands that make up the Philippines are also recognized as some of the best in the world. Deserved!
If you love the ocean, the sun, the salty wind, and boats, definitely go on an island hopping tour while you’re in the Philippines. Island hopping tours usually last the whole day and getting to visit 2-3 islands or if islands are closer to one another, you can visit 5-7 a day!
The popular island hopping destinations are Palawan’s El Nido and Coron, Cebu, Bohol, Siargao, Boracay, and Bohol.