The Philippines is world-famous for coral-filled waters, sandy white beaches, as well as thick and lush jungles. Recently, I had the opportunity to spend an entire month in this remarkable country and now I find myself excited and anxious to get back and explore the country in greater depth.
Let’s dive into five of the best reasons to visit the Philippines.
It never ceases to amaze me how kind and helpful locals treat travelers. However, the people in the Philippines take this to a new level; everyone I met was exceptionally warm and welcoming.
In fact, everyone, whether going through customs or visiting small villages, greeted me with a big smile and a warm hello. I have to admit, the friendliness was almost overwhelming at some points as I was bombarded with "Hello's" and "Welcome's" when I simply walked down the street to find a meal. The locals are always ready to give assistance without a thought of reward. They were all excited that I would take the time to visit their country and they wanted to make sure I felt welcome.
Of course, locals can make or break your experience when traveling, and the Filipino people made it a trip that I will long remember. They welcomed me with open arms upon arrival and heartily invited me to return when I left.
The Philippines do not generate the massive amounts of tourism as many of the other countries in Southeast Asia. For this reason, the price for accommodations is reality inexpensive. You can get a private Airbnb room with air conditioning and Wi-Fi for under $10 a night. Plus, snorkeling, diving, and renting motorbikes are well below the standard cost, making the Philippines a great place to experience thrilling activities without going broke. One major area to watch your budget when visiting the Philippines is eating out. The prices are all over the board. If you dine where the locals eat, you are promised great food that is also inexpensive. The cost can be as little as $2 for a delicious meal.
However, if you dine in the tourist areas or restaurants that serve Western food, the prices are much higher and normally start around $6-$8 a meal. The good thing is you do not need to venture off the beaten path to find authentic, inexpensive cuisine. Many times, these places are located just down the street from the expensive tourist traps.
We cannot talk about the Philippines without talking about the pristine beaches. No matter where you go in this openhearted country, you are not far from a breathtaking beach. In fact, there are so many beaches in the Philippines that with just a little research, you can easily find one with only a handful of people on it. The sand is clean and pure, the water crystal blue, and there are beautiful coral reefs that are easy to find in the shallows.
One beach I highly recommend is Panagsama Beach in Moalboal. Panagsama is not the most scenic beach on Cebu Island, but the real star here is the snorkeling. At Panagsama Beach, you can see sea turtles just 20 feet from the shore.
During my visit, I saw six sea turtles in two hours. A couple of them were eating an afternoon snack of algae in the shallow waters. You can watch these amazing sea giants for hours without disturbing them. They don't mind the company and simply carry on their normal routine.
One thing that makes the Philippines so fantastic is the amount of adventures you can experience on a budget. There are an endless number of things you can see and do for just a small price. Wander through the jungle to hidden waterfalls, motorbike through the mountains, and island hop to amazing snorkel spots, all for less than $20. You can do it even cheaper if you research the locations on Google maps and get there yourself instead of hiring a driver. The Philippines is the perfect place to create your own story.
The first thing that comes to mind for many people when you mention the Philippines is the sandy white beaches, but that is only a small fragment of the natural beauty that this country holds. The Philippines has thick jungles to trek, epic mountain roads to bike, and one of my personal favorites: towering waterfalls to swim under.
Many of these are hidden and off the beaten track but so worth exploring. Yep, for the price of a motorbike rental or a cab, you can spend an afternoon swimming in the azure blue waters and enjoying the powerful flow of the waterfalls streaming down on you. The island of Cebu has over 90 waterfalls, all undeniably stunning.
The Philippines is full of adventures from exploring far into the dense jungles to diving deep under the crystal blue waters. It is an amazing country to get out and examine on your own.
From picturesque beaches to inexpensive activities to insanely friendly locals, this country is one that you should not miss. In fact, I am betting that you will love it and will walk away like I did, wanting to return again and again.
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Stephen Schreck is a world traveler, nomad, and adventure backpacker. Knowing a life of aimlessly wandering the globe in search of adventures was the only life for him he set out to make his dream his reality. Currently he is trying to conquer his fears and tackle his bucket list. Follow Stephen's adventures at A Backpacker's Tale or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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