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There are so many places and islands to visit in the Philippines it’s hard to know which ones to visit! It’s also hard to plan a trip around the Philippines as most places are hard to get to and involve flying, buses and boats. Plus most of the most popular places to visit in the Philippines are far away from each other.
So in this Philippines travel blog are 5 amazing places in the Philippines that you can visit together as they all flow easil from one to the next (well as easily as travel can flow in the Philippines.. I’ll warn you now that the travel days are long!) so there’s no reason why you can’t visit all these islands on one trip to the Philippines!
My friend helped me with this post, she gave me details of what she really thought of the places, what she did there and where she stayed whilst travelling on a backpacker budget!
Islands to visit in the Philippines
Getting there: Cebu city to Malapascua by Bus
Start in Cebu City which is the main city and has a major airport.
Catch the Ceres Bus from Cebu Bus Terminal to Maya Port. The 1st bus is at 3:00 am.
Get a Boat from Maya Port to Malapascua. The 1st boat is at 7:00 am and the last boat about 5:00/6:00 pm.
Where to Stay in Malapascua:
Budget Inn– Nice Accommodation. They play films every night & it’s a sociable place.
Activities to do in Malapascua:
Day trip to Kalanggmann Island to visit Leyte and the Sand Bar. It’s a beautiful day trip with lunch included.
Enjoy the Beautiful Beaches
Getting there: Malapascua to Bohol by bus and boat
Catch the local boat from Malapascua back to Maya Port. Get the Ceres Bus again back to Cebu City Bus Terminal.
Take a taxi to the Ferry Terminal and the Ferry to Bohol.
Take a taxi/tricycle from Tagbilaran Port to Panglao on Panglao Island.
Where to stay in Bohol:
Moonfools Hostel – It’s a popular choice in Bohol in a good location to the beach although slightly overpriced.
Activities to do in Bohol:
A Day trip to the Chocolate Hills is the most popular activity in Bohol.
Visit the Tarsier Monkey Sanctuary.
Take a lunch river cruise.
If you’re confident enough then hiring a scooter and exploring yourself is a good idea here.
Not a fan of Panglao. It doesn’t live up to the Instagram photos but the Chocolate Hills are good and worth visiting for!
(Side note: Oslob which is a famous place for swimming with Whale Sharks is very close to Panglao however DO NOT do this. There are so many articles why, here’s one article by a Dive Centre in Bohol and here’s a video by Aly at Psycho Traveller which is a great, passionate video!)
Getting there: Bohol to Siquijor by boat
Take a taxi/tricycle back to Tagbilaran Port and Ferry Terminal.
Catch the Ferry to Siquijor. Note that these ferries are not regular. More info here.
Take a Tricycle from Siquijor Port to San Juan.
Where to stay in Siquijor:
Charisma Resort– Budget accommodation, fairly old in style but it’s on the beach and it has a swimming pool! It has one bog dorm room which means it’s very sociable. There are some private rooms available too.
Activities to do in Siquijor:
Go Waterfall chasing! – There are lots of Waterfalls on Siquijor island that you can visit. The most popular are Cambagahay Falls. There’s also Lagaan Falls and Lugnason Falls too.
Zodiac Falls is a free Waterfall Adventure Ecopark in the jungle which has waterfalls for each zodiac sign which seems quite unique!
Visit Paliton Beach in San Juan at Sunset. Siquijor Island is known as the Island of Fire and its sunsets may be why!
Be a beach bum on its many incredible beaches: Salagdoong beach, Kagusuan beach.
Snorkelling in Coco Grove and pop into Coco Grove Beach Resort which is the best hotel on the island.
Siquijor is popular among locals for folk healing and its known to have many stories about witchcraft on the island so a visit to a Sharman is possible.
Go up Mount Bandilaan for Sunset.
Go Cliff jumping at Salagdoong Beach.
Where to spend your evenings in Siquijor:
Thursday night- Cecilia’s Guest House where there’s a live reggae band and disco.
Friday night- Czar’s Place
Saturday night- The Sylvia for a band night.
Sunday night- Baha Bar to chill.
Visit Dagsa in San Juan for dinner, it’s a bit pricey but delicious!
Sarah – I LOVED SIQUIJOR IT IS INCREDIBLE!!!!!
4. Isla Gigantes
Getting there: Siquijor to Isla Gigantes by boat and bus
From San Juan take a tricycle back to Siquijor Port.
Take a Boat to Dumaguete. From there take the Ceres bus to Bacolod (be prepared for this to take a while).
Stay the night in Bacolod. The Hostelry is a good place to stay and contactable on Facebook here.
Sarah visited Isla Gigantes on a trip that she booked with Rye Art travel and tours (contactable on Facebook here) whilst in Bacolod and they organise travel from Bacolod.
What does the Isla Gigantes tour involve:
Island hopping to 6-7 beautiful islands
Endless seafood (literally, endless!)
Karaoke and some drinks in the evening if you feel like it.
Overall thought: Amazing Tour! This trip is not touristy yet enough to survive.
Getting there: Isla Gigantes to Boracay by bus and boat
Take the local Bus from Carles to Kalibo.
Catch a Minibus from Kalibo to Caticlan Pier.
Jump on the Boat to Boracay.
Take a Tricycle to where you’re staying in Boracay.
Where to stay in Boracay:
Friendz Resort & Hostel. Sarah and I stayed here in 2016 when we visited and she has stayed here each time she’s been to Boracay.
Activities to do in Boracay:
There are soo many things to do on the island of Boracay!
Riding an ATV around the island
Boat Trips to go Island hopping
Walking up and down Boracay’s Famous White Beach!
Watching the sunset from White Beach
Where to party:
Boracay is a good place to party, although it’s also good because if you don’t want to party then you can avoid it easily enough too! We loved – Our hostel Friendz Resort for pre-drinks and then going onto Exit, Coco Mangas, Epic and Summerplace.
Related Post: How I spent 1 week in Boracay.
From here: You can go to Manila or over to Palawan to visit El Nido and Port Barton.
Read my post on how to get from Boracay to El Nido which will help you get to Palawan, El Nido and to Manila as you need to go via Manila to get to Palawan!