The ultimate Philippines Guide
This is the ultimate Philippines Guide for everybody who plans to visit this dreamlike country but doesn’t know where to start with the 7641 islands.
The first aspect which really surprised us is the English level of the Filipinos. Of course it should be the fact because it is one of the two official languages but it makes traveling in the Philippines much more easy.
Filipinos are one of the most friendliest people we met yet. Where ever you go, they are greeting you with a big smile and want to get to know you.
Whenever they approached us and asked questions it was never about selling us stuff or want to have some kind of advantage. They asked because they were really interested and wanted to get to know us.
Travel itinerary suggestion – the ultimate Philippines Guide
1st region: Palawan
When you arrive in Manila, hop straight on a plane to Puerto Princesa in the Palawan region.
From there take a bus to Port Barton.
Port Barton is this small coastal village which combines beach tourism with local life. Even it is tourist influenced place, there is no 24h electricity. It’s only available from 9pm until 4am but we didn’t mind it because during the day we had better things to do (like the awesome island hopping) then being in our room.
Next stop: El Nido. El Nido itself isn’t really pretty but it’s the access point to beautiful island hopping tours and offers a huge variety of restaurants and accommodation.
Pro Tip: if you are looking for a more relaxed place with an awesome beach -> book your accommodation at Nacpan Beach*.
From El Nido take the 6 hour slow ferry to the island Coron.
Coron is a worldwide famous location for 2nd world war ship wreck diving and, as everywhere in Palawan, island hopping. The tours will bring you among other places to the cleanest lake in Asia. And it’s really freaking clean. The visibility is insane.
Now it was time to get to the whole other side of the Philippines by airplane: Cebu
2nd region: Cebu
Because there is not much to see in Cebau, head straight to Moalboal. You can snorkel the with millions (no joke) of sardines which is called the sardine run. Beside the sardines the world-famous Kawasan falls aka the Gatorade falls (because of the Gatorade blue water) are the other reason to go there.
From the island of Cebu it’s only a short 30 minutes ferry connection to the next stop: The island Negros.
The most important place to go there is Apo Island where you can snorkel or dive with many turtles and enjoy the view of many beautiful and colorful corals. We have never seen that many healthy corals like on Apo Island.
Another short ferry ride and you will arrive on our favorite island of the Philippines: Siquijor This paradise should not be missed on any Philippines travel itinerary.
Siquijor has everything to offer which a paradise island needs to have and was our favorite place on our Philippines travel route.
The island is actually is scared by many Filipinos because of the “dark magic”. In fact there are natural healers but guaranteed no magic.
When you enjoyed the island enough, it’s time to head to the island of Bohol where you can find the Gremlin look a like animals named Tarsiers explore the the Chocolate Hills.
3rd region: Southern Leyte
If snorkeling with Whale Sharks is on your bucket list (which really sould be) you should go to Padre Burgos in the Southern Leyte area next. Because this is a really ethnic place to snorkel with those big fellas. On every boat there is a marine biologist who takes care that the animals won’t be stressed.
For your last stop head to the surf Mekka Siargao and enjoy some world class waves.
From there you can take the night ferry back to Cebu for your flight home or your next country.
Where to stay and eat
These places really stood out and we really enjoyed them during our stay in the Philippines therefore we can highly suggest them.
Port Barton: Westpoint Inn*
Coron: Coron Guapos*
Moalboal: Ivonnes’s Appartelle
El Nido: Happiness Beach Bar
Coron: Altrove Coron <- don’t go there too late or you have to wait to get in
Siquijor: Baha Bar
Siargao: Miguel’s Taqueria
How to extend the Philippines Visa
This is a really straight forward process:
Go to the Bureau of Immigration in the morning, fill out a form and pay 50€,
In the afternoon you can pick up your passport with an extension of 29 days (59 in total).
Negative aspects of traveling in the Philippines
- When traveling without a planed Philippines travel route you can end up taking some expensive last minute flights.
- The local Filipino cuisine is not that great. Sorry to all our Filipino friends but all the tourists we met have the same opinion. But this shouldn’t and surely doesn’t stop anybody traveling to the Philippines.
- The Internet connection is apart from Cebu City and Manila really slow and limited. But will be fine for regular users.
- The Philippines are addictive: It’s such a beautiful country, that you definitely don’t want to leave.
We hope you enjoyed the ultimate Philippines Guide and we hope it helped you with the planing of your trip.
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