Philippines weather is unpredictable. Although there is a typhoon season, they can come at any time due to its tropical climate. Most tourists prefer to visit during the dry season between November and April. The ideal time would be December to February as March and April can be very hot and humid. The wet season lasts from May to October when tropical rainstorms can be experienced, however it is less crowded, and rates are often cheaper.
With so many places to visit, Feet Do Travel share a handy list of 10 islands to visit in the Philippines.
The capital of the Philippines Manila is located on the island of Luzon, and this will be most people's first stop. As mentioned, the Country has a tropical climate, but the hills of Sierra Madre protect it from extreme weather. Manilla is a busy city with a lot of traffic, so the best way to explore Manila is on a Jeepney. The jeepneys are US army jeeps which have been converted into colourful vehicles.
Manila is a combination of historical sites and modern life. The city is divided into 16 smaller cities. The best part of the city is near the St. Augustin Church and Fort Santiago. This is the oldest church in the country, and you can watch policemen dressed in colonial costumes in Fort Augustine. A visit to nearby Malinta is easily accessible by hopping on a fast ferry to Corregidor island.
The rice terraces of Banaue is a UNESCO world heritage site. The rice terraces are maintained using 2000-year-old traditional farming techniques. Tourists usually flock here to trek the rice terraces, with the most popular being Batad, Bangaan, and Mayoyao. Hapao is also another trekking option.
Finding accommodation can be a bit challenging here, however, small hotels with basic facilities are good for a few night’s stay.
If scuba diving or freediving has been on your bucket list then head straight to Palawan province. Home to more than 2000 species of coral fishes, Palawan it’s also good for bird watching. With strong eco-tourism protocols, you can find eco-friendly hotels to stay in.
Island hopping is very popular here, and the stunning islets in the municipality of El Nido were the inspiration for Alex Garland’s book “The Beach” which was made into a Hollywood movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Taal volcano rises right in the middle of Taal Lake. This is an active volcano and there are trekking options along the lake’s edges. Taal town is also a good historic place with fine Spanish architecture, or you can visit the camera museum in a town called Galleria Taal where you can look at old cameras and photography equipment.
Boracay is a popular destination with both tourists and locals, it’s also famous for its parties and the island can become crowded during the weekends.
The White Beach is the most popular place to hang out, with its 4 km stretch of white sand beach where you will find most of the restaurants, and hotels. White Beach has often been selected as one of the best beaches in Asia.
The whole island of Boracay was closed by the Government for 6 months in 2018 to rehabilitate and redevelop the island. As a longer term project, there are plans to replace petrol run trikes with energy efficient electric tricycles.
Cebu was the first place where settlers. Situated in the heart of the Philippines archipelago this island is an ideal place to relax and unwind.
This island is most famous for its world class scuba diving, freediving and snorkelling. In Moalboal, you can snorkel with turtles, or swim at the famous sardine run right off the shore. North of Cebu is Malapascua where you can scuba dive with the Thresher Sharks.
From Cebu, you can take a boat to Bohol, Siquijor, Dauin in Negros, or Leyte for an eco-friendly encounter with the whale sharks.
7. Batanes Island
Batanes is a traditional island where the local people still wear traditional costumes. The houses are built using traditional methods made from limestone and coral, and have cogon grass roofs. Batanes island has forests, green hills, coastlines, and lighthouses, and is an ideal place to relax. Walk down the village roads, meet the locals and taste some delicious local food.
8. Siquijor Island
This is not a popular tourist destination and tourists are yet to find out about this secret island with a dark history of black magic and sorcery. The highlight of Siquijor is Cambugahay Falls, although some of its secluded beaches are picture-perfect and Instagram worthy. The beautiful warm ocean is a gorgeous aquamarine colour ,and an ideal place for swimming or watching a famous Philippine sunset.
Bohol is famous for its ‘chocolate hills’. In this area, more than 1000 hills rise like chocolate drops, and the entire stretch can be viewed from one of the taller hills. It is a unique and amazing view. This place is also ideal for trekking. The endangered species tarsier can be seen at The Philippine Tarsier Foundation, Corella.
This small island has an airstrip, and small aircrafts carry passengers from Manila to Pamalican in around one hour. An exclusive island visited by the rich and famous, a 7km area around the island is protected to save marine life. Turtles swim freely near the island.
Need more inspiration for the Philippines?
Ultimate 10 Day Philippines Itinerary
Montpellier Falls, Alegria and Mainit Hot Springs, Malabuyoc, Cebu
Off the Wall Street Art in Cebu - Unusual Expression of Art
Diving Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines
Biodiversity of the Philippines, and the Fight to Protect It
7 Things to Know About The Philippines
If you are visiting Cebu Island for the famous Sardine Run and turtle snorkelling, we recommend Moalboal Eco Lodge.
Moalboal Eco Lodge have eco-friendly bamboo cottages with partial outdoor showers, and are the perfect place to stay if you love nature, wish to be close to amenities, but value a good night's sleep.
Nestled in amongst palm trees, bamboo and coconut trees, Moalboal Eco Lodge is suitable for solo travellers, couples and friends. There is plenty of space to observe physical distancing at the Eco Lodge, and it only has two private rooms, plus a spacious 4-bed friends/family room. Other amenities include a kitchen, breakfast area, and a beautiful hammock/yoga/sunset deck.. Contact Moalboal Eco Lodge.