With over 7,107 islands to choose from, the Philippines has a little bit of something for everyone. Home to many stunning white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, lush rice terraces, world class surfing, and diving, the Philippines is slowly becoming a must visit destination.
Located in South East Asia, the Philippines is not so common for backpackers to travel too, due to its lack of land connections to neighboring countries. Despite this, everyone that goes, ends up falling in love with both its stunning landscapes and warm people. People message me all the time asking me to send them recommendations on where to go when visiting the Philippines and advice on what to eat. Given that I love talking about the Philippines and encouraging people to go there is a mission of mine, we decided to come up with the ultimate guide to traveling around the Philippines. So without any further delay, here is a complete up to date Philipines travel guide, enjoy!
Philippines General Information
Tagalog and English (The Philippines has many different dialects which vary according to region, but English is also predominantly spoken which makes traveling around easier.
Philipine Peso (PHP) $1 = P53 (as of February 2018)
Although the Philippines can experience warm tropical weather all year round, we do have two seasons. The dry and wet season alternate and is dependent on where you are in the country. Generally speaking, from January to June it’s safe to come while monsoon season starts from July to December.
Nationals from 151 countries may enter the Philippines without a visa and stay for a maximum of thirty (30) days, provided they are holders of a passport valid at least six (6) months beyond the period of stay in the Philippines, and present a return or outward bound ticket to their country of origin or to your next country of destination (They are quite strict with showing an outbound ticket so plan accordingly).
Always do your own research for visa guidelines as they continuously change.
Obviously not required but we recommend it. The Philippines is home to some of the best scuba diving, surf, motorbike rides and more, so travel insurance is generally a good idea. Like a lot of travel resource sites, we personally recommend World Nomads. The different insurance packages they offer are unbeatable when it comes to covering adventure activities.
Those that have had the pleasure of traveling around the Philippines can attest to the warm and friendly vibe that most Filipinos exude. Known for our penchant for being hospitable, giving out smiles and loving karaoke, don’t be surprised if you find yourself drinking shots with locals singing Bon Jovi (or some version of it) at the top of your lungs. No matter how simple their meal is, regardless if all they have to eat is a plate of rice, you will always hear Filipinos inviting you to eat by saying the words, “kain tayo.”
The disparity between the rich and poor is so widespread that while visiting the country, you can find yourself in modern and trendy places in Manila while the provinces are still full of local fishermen and farmers working hard trying to make a living.Another characteristic that Filipinos are known for is their admirable trait of resiliency. Often caught in the most horrific of natural disasters, the Filipino spirit is waterproof and is able to bounce back with smiles on their faces despite the challenging times.