Summer has just begun in the Philippines and with clear blue skies, city folk naturally look forward to some fun! Not to mention, with the local school year ending in a few weeks and Easter break just around the corner, families and friends are clamoring for diversions. Despite a wide variety of things to do in the Philippines, here are currently the most sought-after activities and/or places to visit. So go ahead. Plan now. Try them out and enjoy!
• While in Metro Manila, we would recommend joining a guided Walking Tour. The two more popular companies offering such are:
Manila For A Day: http://manilaforaday.com/
Try their 3GX Tour to learn more about Philippine History and Culture in Intramuros, the old Manila and also Fort Santiago. The meeting point and tour begins at San Agustin Church, Intramuros, approximately 40 minutes away from Makati City in light traffic.
Carlos Celdran Walks: https://carlosceldranwalks.wordpress.com/
Considered a performance artist and a blogger, Carlos’ style is factual and yet avante garde. For those who prefer showmanship out of the ordinary… his is performance art in the guise of a walking tour. The meeting point and tour begins at the Fort Santiago, Intramuros, approximately 45 minutes away from Makati City in light traffic.
• Enjoy trekking? Just around 2 hours away from Metro Manila one will find an island, within a lake, within another island, within a lake actually housing the Philippines’ second most active volcano! Definitely a must see!
Taal Lake Treks and Excursions:
Makati or Manila hotel pick-up and drop off points are most common. Other tour operators arrange pick up and drop off from any point in Metro Manila. It takes approximately takes 1.5 hours by car to get to Taal, Batangas.
• Into unusual animal encounters? Take an unforgettable swim alongside a whale shark! This Eco Tour is accredited by the Department of Tourism in an effort to shed awareness and protect this endangered species.
The best way to get to Donsol from Metro Manila is via a 50-minute domestic flight from Manila to Legaspi City, Sorsogon. From Legaspi Airport it approximately takes 1.5 hours to reach your Donsol accommodations. There are no ATMs in Donsol, so bring enough cash for dives, whale shark interactions, food and accommodations.
• Or get to observe the elusive tarsier, one of the smallest primates in the world endemic to the Philippines, while sightseeing the Chocolate Hills in Bohol!
The best way to get to Bohol from Metro Manila: via a 1-hour and 15-minute domestic flight from Manila to Tagbilaran City, Bohol. From Tagbilaran Airport, it approximately takes 45 minutes to reach most resorts. As Bohol also boasts of beaches, tour operators usually pick up clients from their resorts or hotels.
• If you’re looking for the best waves to surf with various skill levels, the hottest spot now is Siargao Island! Siargao Island is off the coast of Surigao Del Norte, Mindanao .Other popular surfing destinations are in Baler and La Union.
The easiest way to get there is to fly from Manila to Siargao Airport via a 1-hour and 20-minute flight on Skyjet Airlines, a local boutique airline. Otherwise other, domestic airlines may fly via Cebu, depending on the day of the week. In which case, Manila to Cebu would be a 1-hour and 25-minute domestic flight and then another 1-hour and 5-minute flight from Cebu to Siargao Airport. From there, it approximately takes 45 minutes to most island accommodations or resorts.
• Looking for some R&R to clear your mind and recharge in ruggedly beautiful setting? Imagine craggy cliffs pummeled by angry waves, with emerald hills dotted with cows and cobblestone-walled houses.
Batanes is an archipelago and the northernmost province in the Philippines. It is the smallest in both population and in land area. Life is described as quant there, gaining popularity only around 2008. Batanes has earned a nomination to the World Heritage List.
The only way to get to there from Manila is to fly from Manila to Basco City. Depending on the domestic carrier, flights may take from 1 hour and 10-minutes to 1 hour and 50 minutes. From the Basco Airport, it is roughly 20 minutes to most accommodations.
• Top choice for a Philippine Beach? Majority vote is El Nido in Palawan Island and the nearby attractions. The Philippines is surely dotted with lovely beaches, but so far the most breathtaking option is still El Nido, a managed resource protected area. It is currently ranked #4 in Conde Nast Traveler’s List of 20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World.
The easiest way to reach Eli Nido is to fly from Manila to Lio Airport on a 1- hour and 15-minute flight via Air Swift, a regional boutique airline. From Lio airport, it takes approximately 30 minutes to the El Nido town proper. Alternatively, domestic airlines fly from Manila to Puerto Princesa: via a 1-hour and 20-minute flight. Notably however, from Puerto Princesa, it is approximately a 5 hour car ride to El Nido.