Our 3 week trip to the Philippines
The Philippines is an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, of which about 2,000 are inhabited. The Filipino territory is very vast, so that it is difficult to know where to go if you travel in the Philippines!
In order to guide you as well as possible, we have prepared a detailed itinerary of our 3 weeks in the Philippines. You will find an article dedicated to each island below. The practical information, related to transport, budget, climate and security, are at the end of this page.
Detailed itinerary of our 3 weeks in the Philippines :
First step : Coron
For our first days in the Philippines, we decided to visit the island of Coron, which belongs to the famous Palawan archipelago.
Siargao Island was our favourite stop in the Philippines! It has a special atmosphere and the island is beautiful. If you like surfing, it’s the best.
Less frequented than the others, Siquijor nevertheless has many assets. The island’s beaches and waterfalls are worth a visit. For relaxation, Siquijor is ideal!
Bohol is a very touristic island. It is known for its Chocolate Hills! Should you go to Bohol despite the world? We answer you on the article .
Originally, we had not planned to go to El Nido. The reviews we had read on some blogs had discouraged us a bit. Finally, we decided to go there to make our own opinion about El Nido. We do not regret going there at all.
We can say it without shame: El Nido is beautiful! We are preparing our guide to El Nido as soon as possible. It should arrive this week 🙂
📝 Travel to the Philippines: practical information
WHEN TO GO?
The climate in the Philippines consists of two periods: the dry season and the monsoon. The best time to travel to the Philippines is obviously the dry season, when the weather is mostly sunny.
Dry season: December to April, the most touristic period in the Philippines = higher prices.
Mid-season: May and October/November, high risk of rain, low traffic = lower prices. You can still try and pray to the weather god.
Monsoon: May/June to November, rainy season very unfavourable to travel, with risks of typhoons. We do not recommend travelling to the Philippines during this period.
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HOW TO GET AROUND?
Transportation between the islands is one of the major issues of a trip to the Philippines. It is absolutely necessary that you organize your itinerary in advance. It can quickly become a headache. We advise you to take a lot of time if you are making two trips in a row (in case of a stopover). Transport is not always reliable, and you risk losing your plane ticket if your first transport is late.
There are two ways to get from island to island:
The most economical solution. Most often, these are ferries. Be careful to go to the port in advance (1 hour before departure) because the companies sometimes overbook. You can buy your tickets on the spot, the same day. We did not experience any delays on the boat trips.
Tickets can be expensive if you book them last minute. So get them in advance as soon as possible. Again, take some margin if you are chaining two flights from different airlines or taking a boat before the plane. If your first journey is delayed, you will not be reimbursed for your second journey! Flights are often subject to delays in the Philippines, particularly on internal flights from Manila.
Getting around the islands in the Philippines
During your trip to the Philippines, the easiest way to get around is to rent a scooter. Depending on the islands, this will cost you between 6 and 10€ per day. A French driving licence is sufficient for rental.
If you don’t want to rent a scooter, you can always take a tricycle (a kind of tuktuk) or a private driver on each island.
If you compare the cost of living in the Philippines (for tourists) to other countries in the south-east, you come to one conclusion: it is expensive. We were unpleasantly surprised by the price of transport, especially scooter rentals, which are twice or even three times more expensive than in Bali. But the most disturbing thing is the quality-price ratio of the hotels, often bad!
For example, in Vietnam, you can find a hotel with a nice air-conditioned room and swimming pool for 15/20€ a night. In the Philippines, for the same price, we had some creepy rooms in guesthouses. Island hoping tours are also expensive, especially if you do several!
For your accommodation, check out the deals on Booking.com
Here is what we spent in 3 weeks in the Philippines, with accommodation/transportation/food and 3 island hoping days. You have to add to that the plane from France (on average 700€) and your other activities, souvenirs etc.
First of all, we did not get any vaccinations to go to the Philippines. If you feel the need to do so, contact your GP.
The islands of the Philippines which are on our 3 weeks itinerary do not represent any danger. However, there are some areas that are considered risky in the Philippines, especially all the islands in the south. Indeed, the region is known for its jihadist groups. However, 80% of the Filipino population is Catholic, and the Muslim religion represents about 5% of believers. Find all the recommendations on the French government website.
Our 3 week trip to the Philippines