The Philippines is a 7,000-island country that some claim is on the heels of Southeast Asia’s popular tourist destinations.
This place creates an exotic atmosphere reminiscent of Cambodia, offers delicious cuisine, well-developed resorts just as good as in Thailand, and dazzling skyscrapers like Hong Kong. It’s worth mentioning: the beautiful climate, fantastic flora and fauna, pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life, where you can snorkel or dive.
The Philippines has a well-developed infrastructure, a wide range of hotels, and unique exotic places. The only thing that gets out of the ideal getaway image is that flights are challenging. On the other hand, having survived the landing, you will find yourself in a truly mesmerizing place on Earth. Also, by planning a trip for Christmas, you can enjoy a celebration and have fun for a whole month. Indeed, in the Philippines, the festival begins on December 16 and lasts until January 6. This is a great excuse to take three weeks off! To book the cheapest flights from the US to the Philippines, visit wowfare.com.
Top 5 Spots for relaxing gateway
Boracay: beach capital
To get the best vacation in the Philippines with your family or friends, you should choose Boracay, one of the most attractive islands. Here you can enjoy vivid theatrical performances, taste the delicious national cuisine and try different water sports. Boracay is suitable for lovers of privacy, nightclubs, and sports activities (especially on Bulabog Beach, where windsurfing and kitesurfing are available). One of the most famous beaches on the island is White Beach. In addition, visiting the local botanical garden with the family will be an exclusive and memorable experience to explore the island’s nature in all its glory.
Luzon: the ideal starting point
Many travelers say it is the right place to start their journey, but unfortunately, the capital city of Manila often remains unexplored. However, it is worth devoting at least two days to exploring this city and island. In Manila, visit the business district of Makati and the historic district of Intramuros, built by the Spanish colonists. Luzon, in turn, is famous for its natural attractions, such as the fantastic Baguio Mountain resort; Banahoa, Taal, and Mayon volcanoes; rice terraces; Magdalio Waterfall, and Sagada Caves.
Cebu: an oasis of luxury and history
Cebu is the second largest island in the Philippines, home to many hotels, including reputable venues. Historic sites and monuments make this island the oldest and most attractive tourist destination. Among them are the Basilica of Minore del Santo Niño, the chapel of Last Sapper, the Church of St. Augustine, Fort San Pedro, the monument to Magellan, and others. If you want a relaxing vacation, visit Bantayan Island, near Cebu. It offers a peaceful atmosphere and measured relaxation.
Palawan: secluded paradise
If you like ecotourism, Palawan is the perfect place. You can enjoy uninhabited islands and unspoiled nature and visit Puerto Princesa-Sabterrain River National Park and El Nido. All these activities will not leave anyone indifferent. Therefore, Palawan is considered the best place for a relaxing or romantic beach vacation.
Bohol: the Sweet and Wild Wonders
is a beautiful place for those who want to see the Chocolate Hills and Tarsiers, enjoy the picturesque waterfalls, caves, and nature reserves. This island is surrounded by over 70 small islands, which are worth exploring. In addition, like the satellite islands, Bohol is ideal for diving.
Remember: if you book a hotel beforehand, the price per night will be lower. It is always better to book accommodation on less popular islands in advance, as there are fewer hotels and there may not be enough spots.
The Perfect Time for a Tropical Getaway
The best time to visit the Philippines is from November to April. During this period, tourists can enjoy the warm air that warms up to +75-85°F. Let’s take a closer look:
Winter – The Philippines has a high tourist season in winter, so this is the perfect time for a beach vacation. In winter, the air and water temperatures warm up to ideal proportions, and there are no strong waves. The average air temperature reaches +86°F and the water temperature +80°F.
Spring – If you plan a trip to the Philippines in the spring, you can enjoy mild and sunny weather and save money on airfares. March is considered the best month for a trip, as the air temperature does not fall below +75°F. This is an excellent time for various outdoor activities, including diving.
Summer – Avoid traveling to the Philippines during July-August due to heavy rains and possible flooding. This period may not be the most pleasant time because of the high air temperature of +80°F and the constant stuffy feeling, whether day or night.
Fall – is a pleasant time to visit the Philippines as the rainy season ends and the dry season is coming when you can swim and dive. During the day, the air warms up to +86°F, and at night it cools down by only a few degrees.
Fly to the Philippines on a Budget
Keep in mind that the cheapest flights from the US to the Philippines usually involve one or more layovers, which may mean longer travel times. The most popular routes for budget-conscious travelers include flying from major US airports such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, or Chicago to Manila.
Some airlines that offer budget-friendly flights to the Philippines include AirAsia, Jetstar, Cebu Pacific, and Scoot. These airlines often have special promotions or discounts for flights booked well in advance.
Regarding airports, consider flying into regional airports in the Philippines, such as Cebu or Davao, rather than Manila. These airports may offer cheaper flights and can be more convenient if you travel to other parts of the country.
There are numerous options for cheap flights from the United States to the Philippines. Wowfare is an excellent resource for finding low-cost flights to the Philippines and other travel deals.
Transportation in the Philippines
Once in the country, there are many options for transportation, including buses, jeepneys, tricycles, ferries, and planes.
Several airlines in the country, including low-cost airlines, allow you to travel between the islands cheaply. There are airports on almost every more or less large island, and the cost of flights competes with bus and ferry trips. Therefore, before looking for bus or ferry tickets. We recommend always checking the flight prices; it may turn out even cheaper and save time.
Buses – there are buses on large islands. The cost of tickets depends on the distance. For example, for a trip from Manila to Moalbahal, you will pay about 200 PHP (3.70 USD).
Tricycle – a transport that goes to the villages. It was made of a motorcycle with a cradle attached to it. It is less comfortable, and the trip price is higher – 250 – 300 PHP (4.60 -5.50 USD).
Jeepney is one of the most popular means of transport. It combines an American jeep and a van without windows and doors. As a rule, drivers wrap their jeeps with colorful stickers. Of course, it is worth a ride in such a bright and unusual mode of transport! Travel costs about 8 PHP (0.15 USD).
Taste the Fusion of Cultures
cuisine is a mixture of traditions of various cultures. Indian cuisine contributed authenticity, Korean added spice, and Spanish added diversity. Visitors should try such famous dishes as:
- Siniganga – broth with shellfish;
- Tinola – chicken soup;
- Pankitmolo – pork or chicken with mushrooms;
- Rayetafel – fried chicken with curry;
- Adobo – meat marinated with spices.
If you want to try delicious Filipino food, visiting places full of people, especially locals, is better. In such areas, the food is usually delicious, and the risk of poisoning is minimal. Be sure to treat yourself to seafood; it is inexpensive and always fresh – one serving costs 300-500 PHP (5.50-9 USD).
If you want to save money on food, you can shop in supermarkets, where the food is cheaper. For example, you can buy sandwiches for 100 PHP (1.80 USD).
Useful Insider Tips:
- Filipinos are friendly and smiling but distinguish between kindness and self-interest: in big cities, helpers beg for money for their help, but not in the provinces.
- We recommend you spend as little time as possible in Manila and Cebu City – even one day is enough for each city.
- Beware of thieves and pickpockets, do not leave bags unattended for a second.
- Filipinos are slow people. Airplanes, ferries, and buses are constantly delayed, so add extra time for travel.
- English is widely spoken not only in popular resorts but also in the provinces.
- Purchase socket adapters in advance or at local supermarkets.
- Filipinos are very fond of all sorts – of fees and taxes, so do not be surprised when you are asked to pay an extra 5-10 pesos.