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A Complete Guide to Exploring the Philippines to the Fullest

Traveling to the Philippines is a dream held by many. These days, fulfilling that dream is extremely possible. The Philippines is one of the most-visited countries in the world, partly due to the fact that nearly the entire population speaks English. On top of that convenience factor, the island country is home to some of the most stunning waterfronts, landscapes, and people. 

Traveling from Bohol to Cebu or Manila to Palawan is easy, but you’ll have to be much more creative when traveling to a more remote island. The main thing to remember is to think ahead and prepare. You can start by reading this complete guide to exploring the Philippines to the fullest. 

Quick Travel Facts on the Philippines

  • Currency: The country’s currency is the Philippine Peso
  • Language: Many Filipinos speak English, but there are many dialects throughout the nation. Nearly everyone speaks English, which makes it easy to communicate with the local people. 
  • Visa: Citizens from over 150 countries can receive a Visa on arrival that lasts up to 30 days. If you wish to stay longer than just one month, you can apply for an additional 29 days before entering the country. 
  • Electricity: Filipinos use the standard 220v electricity socket, which fits most American Standard plugs. However, it’s always a good idea to bring a travel power adaptor just to be safe. 
  • Transportation: Due to the fact that this is an island country, much of the in-country transportation is possible by boat. For longer journeys, booking flights on Skyscanner is another option. If you’re trying to avoid air travel, consider using a transportation service called Bookaway for travel by land and sea. 

How to Budget for the Philippines

Generally speaking, the Philippines is a very cheap country. This is one of the main reasons that backpackers love to explore the islands here. Prices have risen a bit within the past decade, but even so, it is possible to stick to an extreme budget during an adventure here. Even while remaining comfortable, you can easily get by on $40USD per day, including everything from food to accommodation. 

If you’re on a budget, the best advice is to determine an amount your willing to spend each day, and just stick to it. Dorm beds run from about $7 to $10 in clean and comfortable hostels. Food is extremely cheap, especially if you opt for Filipino street food. A meal for one will cost between $1 to $2 from a street vendor. 

There’s a good chance that you’ll spend the most money on your transportation, especially if you plan on seeing as much of the country as possible. It goes without saying that traveling by plane is the priciest option. For budget travelers, try to get around using transportation methods over land and sea. A local bus often costs less than $0.50, and an overnight bus won’t be much more than $10. That same journey would cost at least $50 by plane. 

Things to Do in the Philippines

As an island country, it is important to take advantage of the stunning waters of the Philippines. This is known as the SCUBA diving capital of the world, so it’s time to get PADI certified if you’re not already. If staying beneath the ocean waves with a tank on your back isn’t for you, at least strap a mask and snorkel on to explore the water’s surface. 

If you’re interested in marine life, you’ll absolutely love this country. This is the best place to catch a glimpse of whale sharks, massive sharks that strike a closer resemblance to whales. Don’t worry, these friendly sea creatures pose no threat to humans. In fact, they don’t even have teeth!

After you’ve gotten a good taste of the salty sea, it’s time to explore the land. Just as the Philippines is one of the best diving spots in the world, the same goes for hiking. This is thanks to the variety of terrain found throughout the islands. One day you can go for a hike through lush green rice terraces, and the next you might be atop a mountain peak. 

Whatever you do, try to get out of the mainstream tourist spots and head to a remote island. Remote travel poses more challenges, but it is entirely worth it. Just imagine spending the entire day on a secluded beach with no one else in sight. This is a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of major cities like Manila and Cebu, so give it a chance.