The Philippines is the world’s second largest Archipelago comprising 7107 stunning Islands nestled in the Pacific Ocean’s Coral Triangle. Our journey is an epic island hopping adventure through the Visayas and Palawan regions of the Philippines. We travel to the spectacular Islands of Cebu, Bantayan, Negros, Panay and Palawan, sampling the best of the Philippines culture, food, history and scenery.
- Getting Around
- Top ten things to do
- Must see & do's
- Don't forget to pack
- Eating and drinking
- Tough Boats itinerary
- Where to stay
- Useful websites
The rainy (off peak) season in the Philippines is from June till October. Typhoons are more common between September and October and the peak summer season runs from November till May. All year round it is hot!
The Philippines is hot and humid. Even in the rainy season temperatures can soar to the mid thirties and the humidity levels will leave you sweltering. Take long sleeves and loose trousers for the evenings as the mosquitos can be bad in rainforest areas. The Philippines is not high risk for Malaria but there are other diseases like Zika which can be spread through mosquitos.
The Philippines major airport is in the capital Manila but international flights can also be taken to Palawan, Cebu and Iloilo. Domestic flights are very cheap as are the regular ferry services between island to island.
Inter-Island travel is most often completed by boat, ferries and bancas run frequently from Island to Island. On land take a taxi or a jeepney between towns.
PHP Philippines Peso
Note – not all islands have ATMs so you need to be prepared.
The Philippines has over 170 dialects! The two official languages are Tagalog and English but there are many other languages which are widely spoken including Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon (Ilonggo), Ilocano, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, and Waray. In most Touristy places English will be spoken so the Philippines is very easy to navigate.
Top ten things to do
- Masskara Festival, Bacolod, Negros
- Easter and the Crucifixion ceremonies
- Black Nazarene Procession
- Moriones Festival
- 5. Ati Atihan Festival
- Pintados Kasadyaan
- Rodeo Masbateno
- Pahiyas sa Lucban
- Christmas (Celebrated from October onwards)
- All Souls Day
Must see & do's
- The rugged Beauty of Palawan
- Diving – the marine life is unparalleled.
- Cebu City
- Sailing around El Nido with Tao Philippines
- Take a Banca Ferry trip
- Snorkel with Whale Sharks in Donsal
- Hike through the rainforests of Palawan
- Visit Jewel Mer Pearl farm at Flower Island Resort Palawan
- Visit Ifugao rice terraces
- 10. Party the night away at Borocay
Don't forget to pack
- Mosquito repellent
- An appetite
- Snorkel gear
- A hat
- Local currency
- A sense of adventure
Eating and drinking
The food in the Philippines is sensational. It’s an exotic mix of spices, sizzling stir fry’s, rice dishes and seafood. It can be very tricky being vegetarian or vegan as many of the vegetable dishes also have meat. If you’re feeling adventurous in Palawan ask for a deep fried Mangrove worm and in Bacolod ask for Balut, boiled chicken embryo. Drink bottled water everywhere that you go.
The Philippines has lots of local handicrafts. In Palawan the carved goods and chess sets are beautiful while Manila is known for its textiles. Most cities including Manila and Cebu will have Malls where you can find major brands and highstreet names.
Tough Boats itinerary
We started in Cebu City on Cebu Island exploring its history and culture. After a few days we travelled north to Hagnaya Port to catch a ferry to the stunning Bantayan Island for a spot of fishing. From Bantayan Village we took a ferry to Negros where we explored the sugar plantations of Silay and the Masskara festival in Bacolod (which is not to be missed!) After Negros we travelled briefly to Panay where we took a 2 day boat across the Sulu Sea to Palawan. Starting in Puerto Princessa we then headed north through the Island’s wild countryside to El Nido and the spectacular Bacuit Circuit.
Where to stay
The Mighty Manila Galleons
Pearl Divers of Palawan