Top 10 Things To Do in The Philippines

Dariece Swift author's bio Goats On The Road

The Philippines is a awe-inspiring archipelago consisting of over 7000 islands. Obviously, you won’t be able to see and do everything there in just one visit, but here’s a list of our Top 10 Things To Do In The Philippines:

1. Go Scuba-Diving

The underwater world in the Philippines is stunning. It’s like being in an aquarium. Don a mask and fins and get under there. You can see everything from sharks to puffer fish, to moray eels and sea snakes. Definitely make sure to bring your underwater camera to catch the magic. The scuba diving in the Philippines is world-class.

things to do in the philippines
Nick going for a scuba dive in the Philippines

2. Island Hop

As I said, there are over 7,000 islands in the Philippines. Hiring a boat and exploring the various islands is one of the highlights of a trip to the archipelago. Each island has something unique to offer travellers, and many of them are home to the best Philippines beaches. Don’t miss the beaches around Palawan, Boracay and Panglao islands.

SEE ALSO: Top 8 Best Places to Visit in Manila

3. Ride In A Jeepney

These contraptions are hilarious! They are leftover vehicles from WWII, which have now been turned into the most popular mode of transportation in the Philippines. Get ready for a cheap and bumpy ride.

what to do in the philippines
The most popular form of transportation in the Philippines, the jeepney

4. Spend The Night On A Deserted Island

In our opinion, this is the highlight of a trip to the Philippines. Being dropped off at a deserted island by a boatman and picked up days later is truly an off the beaten path experience! Bring your mosquito net, some basic food, matches, snorkel gear and enjoy your castaway adventure. Not keen on sleeping on the sand? Check out these top Palawan resorts for a bit more luxury!

things to do in the philippines
A stunning deserted beach! All ours for 2 days

5. Eat Local Food

The Philippines has many of the western fast food chains, however, they also have some delicious authentic dishes. Try the pancit bihon, chicken adobo and anything BBQ’d. The fresh mangoes are outstanding and the fresh seafood is to die for! You won’t be disappointed.

eating in the philippines
Fresh and delicious local mangoes

6. Snorkel With Whale Sharks

Many people come to the Philippines for this specific experience. Seeing these goliaths soaring under the water is a moment you will never forget. Insider tip: try not to scream into your snorkel or you’ll scare the animal away! Make sure that you go with a reputable company that are responsible and ecofriendly.

Click here to compare prices and read reviews on accommodations in the Philippines on

7. Have Cocktails In The Water At Sunset

Ahh, the sunsets in the Philippines are some of the best in the world. Grab yourself a cocktail and soak in the sea while the sun sets over the horizon, the perfect end to a perfect day.

what to do in the philippines
Enjoying a perfect end to a perfect day in the Philippines

8. Visit The Newest Natural Wonder Of The World

The Underground River near Sabang on the island of Palawan is beautiful. Take a boat through the river system, walk around the jungle and then check out the nearby mangrove as well.

things to do in the philippines
Entrance to the Undgerground River in Sabang

9. Trek Through Rice Terraces

The rice terraces around Banaue, Batad and Bontoc are gorgeous! Go for a walk between villages or just gaze at the terraces in awe. They were constructed thousands of years ago. It’s unbelievable that people were able to complete this amazing feat of engineering without the use of machines.

things to do in the philippines
Us with our Filipino friend walking around the rice terraces at Banaue

10. Take A Jump Shot With The Locals

For whatever reason, Filipinos love taking ‘jump shot’ photos! It’s hilarious. While you’re standing still posing nicely for a shot, the locals will be jumping for joy.

backpacking the philippines
One, two, three, JUMP! The locals love their jump shots

There are so many things to do in the Philippines, this could have been a Top 100 list! It’s such a fabulous country with beautiful scenery, stunning beaches, friendly locals, funky transportation and delicious food. Come and see for yourself.

For more information on travelling through this awesome archipelago, check out our Budget Backpacking Guide To The Philippines.

Have you ever been to the Philippines? What are your favourite things to do there? Leave a comment below!

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Top 10 Things To Do In The Philippines

Dariece Swift author's bio Goats On The Road

Written by

Dariece Swift

Dariece is a co-founder of Goats On The Road, and an expert in saving money, finance management, building an online business and of course... travel. She loves meeting new people, trying new cuisines, and learning about the unique cultures of our world. She has over 12 years of experience helping others to realize their travel dreams and has worked in numerous jobs all over the world to help pay for travel.

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23 thoughts on “Top 10 Things To Do in The Philippines”

  1. Nice take aways from your trip to the Philippines! You should have also done spelunking in Sagada or Samar. What and where is that beach in the number 4 spot?

  2. Spelunking is something we’ve never tried…but really want to! I know, we wanted to make it to Sagada, but just didn’t have the time. Next time I hope!

    The number 4 beach is on an island just off of El Nido, Palawan. It’s about an hour boat ride away. I don’t know the name of the island though. We just asked to be dropped off at a deserted island to fend for ourselves for a couple of days, and that’s where the boatman took us!

    We’d recommend that to anyone in the Philippines.

    Cheers for the comment!

  3. So where and when did you guys snorkel with the whale sharks? Weird, my husband was just talking about wanting to go to the Philippines for whale shark season as I was reading this blog . . .
    Happy Travels! 🙂

  4. Surfing in Siargao, visit the pineapple plantation and Ziplining (longest in southeast asia) in Bukidnon and white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro. These places/activities are found in the Island of Mindanao.

  5. Hello both,

    Oslob in Cebu is a great place to go swimming with the whale sharks. Youll definitely get good shots with these giants. 🙂 happy travelling

  6. Heading to Philippines solo – female
    Looking to get as much out of the trip as possible. Am ok to be go-go-go. Looking for adventure, culture, a general good time.
    Have a total of 9 days (travel time will take off two days)

    Thoughts on the locations/itinerary for my trip last week of July?

    You are definitely living the lifestyle I have always yearned for. I am looking forward to reading your blog very much so!

    Thanks so much!!!

  7. Hi Michelle!

    The Philippines is a great country to travel through. It’s so sprawled out though that you’ll probably have to base yourself on two islands in order to be able to enjoy yourself and not move every day for 7 days! Try SEAir, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia for flights around the Phils. Technically you will be visiting during the beginning of typhoon season, but with the weather being so unpredictable these days, you could go there and have pure sun! We were there in the driest season and it rained almost every day!

    We love rice terraces, so went to Banaue. If you love deserted islands and beaches, check out the island of Palawan (port Barton and El Nido) Bohol has awesome “chocolate hills”..the list could go on!

    Have a look at our Guide to Backpacking the Philippines

    Enjoy 🙂

  8. Going to El Nido next month, have you guys been to Batanes? Go there and enjoy the scenic view. Do go to Coron and stay in Malcapuya Island, its like you have your own Island go Surfing or visit the Enchanted River in Surigao. Hope to bump into you guys in one of our travels here in the Philippines.
    Safe Travels

  9. great post ! i have not yet been to the Philippines although since living in Hong Kong have been frequently looking at flights and pondering a trip there!! I will have to check out the budget packing guide you have written on the Philippines also ! I have seen a lot of information pop up on my newsfeed and articles on Manilla and some of the islands and it looks worth exploring, great for a break from the city life here! But i won’t be watching the cock fighting arghh :/
    Nice blog i like your videos too !

  10. Thanks Jasmine!

    The Philippines is really easy to get to from Hong Kong for sure. I definitely recommend it! Ya, the cock-fighting isn’t ideal, and we watched only for a few minutes, but it is a huge part of the culture there, so we figured we should have a quick peek.

    Happy trails 🙂

  11. Just when I was thinking about where to travel next, this popped up on Facebook! Amazing post, would love to go there and be stranded at a secluded beach for my own cast-away story.

  12. We will for sure make some of these top10. We will arrive 3rd of march at El Nido and depart 17th same month.
    But I wish you could erase cockfighting. That is animal cruelty.
    Looking for a budget accommodation ON the beach and what are the jems so visit ?
    Have a blast living Life

  13. Awesome! You’re making me very excited to visit the Philippines. I was wondering, how do you book to stay at a deserted island? Thank you!

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