Backpacking in Philippines

Backpacking in the Philippines is a popular and growing trend among travelers seeking adventure and cultural immersion. With over 7,000 islands to explore, this Southeast Asian nation offers endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. From ancient rice terraces to pristine beaches, the Philippines has something for every type of backpacker.

The history of backpacking in the Philippines can be traced back to the 1960s when hippies and budget travelers started flocking to the country. They were drawn to the stunning natural beauty, warm hospitality of the locals, and the affordability of travel. Today, backpacking continues to thrive as more and more travelers are enticed by the Philippines’ diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage.

One enticing element of backpacking in the Philippines is the abundance of budget-friendly accommodations and transportation options. From guesthouses and hostels to local buses and ferries, backpackers can easily navigate their way around the country without breaking the bank. This affordability factor makes the Philippines an ideal destination for backpackers on a tight budget.

A compelling statistic further highlights the significance of backpacking in the Philippines. According to the Philippine Department of Tourism, the number of backpackers visiting the country has been steadily increasing over the years. In 2019 alone, over 8 million foreign tourists visited the Philippines, many of whom were backpackers. This statistic not only emphasizes the popularity of backpacking in the country but also its contribution to the tourism industry as a whole.

Apart from its affordability and increasing popularity, backpacking in the Philippines offers backpackers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture. From trying traditional Filipino dishes like adobo and balut to participating in cultural festivals and events, backpackers can truly experience the authentic local way of life.

The Philippines’ natural wonders also play a significant role in attracting backpackers. The country’s stunning landscapes include world-renowned destinations like Palawan, with its mesmerizing limestone cliffs and crystal-clear waters, and the Banaue Rice Terraces, known for their remarkable beauty and centuries-old agricultural practices. These natural wonders provide backpackers with unforgettable experiences and breathtaking views, making the Philippines a dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

In conclusion, backpacking in the Philippines offers an exciting and affordable way for travelers to explore this diverse and beautiful country. With its rich history, increasing popularity, and stunning natural landscapes, it’s no wonder that backpacking in the Philippines has become a favorite among adventure seekers and cultural enthusiasts alike. So grab your backpack, immerse yourself in local culture, and embark on an epic adventure in the Philippines.

Backpacking in Philippines
Backpacking in Philippines

What are the advantages of backpacking in the Philippines?

Backpacking in the Philippines offers a range of advantages for adventurous travelers. From its stunning landscapes and pristine beaches to its rich cultural heritage and friendly locals, the Philippines is a paradise waiting to be explored. In this article, we will delve into the top reasons why backpacking in the Philippines is so popular and what makes it an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re seeking breathtaking natural wonders, affordable adventure, or a taste of vibrant Filipino culture, read on to discover why backpacking in the Philippines is a must-do for every traveler.

The answer to Backpacking in Philippines

Backpacking in the Philippines is an extraordinary experience that offers travelers a chance to explore stunning landscapes, immerse themselves in vibrant local cultures, and indulge in thrilling adventures. With its diverse range of islands, breathtaking beaches, lush mountains, and rich heritage, the Philippines has become a popular destination for backpackers seeking an authentic and off-the-beaten-path adventure.

Best time to go

The Philippines experiences a tropical climate, characterized by two major seasons – the dry season and the wet season. The best time to go backpacking in the Philippines is during the dry season, which typically lasts from November to April. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and dry, making it ideal for various outdoor activities such as hiking, island hopping, and beach exploration.

However, it’s worth noting that different regions of the Philippines may have slightly different weather patterns. For example, the eastern part of the country is known to have typhoons during certain months. It’s recommended to research the specific region you plan to visit to ensure you choose the most suitable time for your backpacking adventure.

Must-visit destinations

The Philippines is home to countless breathtaking destinations, making it difficult to choose just a few. However, here are some must-visit places that should be on every backpacker’s itinerary:

  • Palawan: Known as the “Last Frontier,” Palawan is renowned for its stunning landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life. Highlights include the mesmerizing Underground River in Puerto Princesa, the picturesque islands of El Nido, and the remote paradise of Coron.
  • Banaue Rice Terraces: Located in the northern part of the Philippines, the Banaue Rice Terraces are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a testament to the indigenous knowledge and engineering skills of the Ifugao people. The terraces offer awe-inspiring views and fantastic hiking opportunities.
  • Siargao: Known as the surfing capital of the Philippines, Siargao has gained popularity for its world-class waves and laid-back island vibe. Apart from surfing, visitors can also explore enchanting lagoons, go island hopping, and immerse themselves in the local island culture.
  • Bohol: This island is famous for its unique geological formations, such as the Chocolate Hills and the stunning Panglao Island. Visitors can also get up close and personal with the adorable tarsiers, one of the world’s smallest primates.

Transportation and accommodation

Getting around the Philippines while backpacking is relatively easy and affordable. There are several options available, including buses, ferries, tricycles (motorcycle with sidecar), and jeepneys (colorful, modified jeeps used as public transport). Local transportation varies in each region, so it’s advisable to research the transportation options specific to your chosen destinations.

When it comes to accommodation, backpackers in the Philippines have a wide range of choices. Hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels can be found in most tourist areas, offering affordable and comfortable accommodation options. Camping is also possible in some locations, adding an adventurous twist to your backpacking experience.

A backpacker’s budget

The Philippines is generally an affordable destination for backpackers. However, as with any travel experience, the budget can vary depending on the traveler’s preferences and choices. On average, a backpacker can expect to spend approximately $25-40 per day, excluding international flights. This budget should cover accommodation, meals, transportation, activities, and some miscellaneous expenses.

It’s worth noting that prices may vary across different regions, with more popular tourist destinations generally having slightly higher prices. It’s a good idea to research and plan your budget accordingly before embarking on your backpacking adventure in the Philippines.

Statistically Speaking

According to the Philippines Department of Tourism, the number of international backpacker arrivals to the Philippines increased by 9% in 2019 compared to the previous year. This statistic showcases the growing popularity of the Philippines as a backpacker-friendly destination.

Backpacking in Philippines FAQ

1. Can I find cheap accommodation options while backpacking in the Philippines?

Yes, the Philippines offers a variety of affordable accommodation options for backpackers, including budget guesthouses, hostels, and even camping sites.

2. What is the best time to go backpacking in the Philippines?

The best time to go backpacking in the Philippines is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to April. This period offers more predictable weather and fewer chances of encountering typhoons.

3. Are there any safety concerns for backpackers in the Philippines?

While the Philippines is generally a safe country for backpackers, it is always important to take precautions. Be cautious of your surroundings, avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas, and secure your belongings.

4. Do I need a visa to backpack in the Philippines?

Most nationalities are granted a 30-day visa-free stay in the Philippines for tourism purposes. If you plan to stay longer, you may need to apply for a visa extension at an immigration office.

5. Is it easy to navigate public transportation in the Philippines as a backpacker?

Public transportation in the Philippines can be a bit challenging to navigate, especially in congested cities. However, options like buses, jeepneys, and tricycles are readily available and can be used to reach popular destinations.

6. Are there any must-visit islands for backpackers in the Philippines?

Yes, some of the must-visit islands for backpackers in the Philippines include Palawan, Siargao, Bohol, and Cebu. These islands offer stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and unique cultural experiences.

7. What are some popular activities to do while backpacking in the Philippines?

  • Island hopping
  • Scuba diving
  • Trekking to waterfalls
  • Exploring underground rivers
  • Surfing

8. How much money should I budget for backpacking in the Philippines?

On average, backpackers can expect to spend around $40-50 per day in the Philippines. However, the actual amount will depend on your desired level of comfort, activities, and travel duration.

9. Can I use my credit/debit card while backpacking in the Philippines?

While major tourist areas and cities accept credit/debit cards, it is advised to carry cash, especially when traveling to more remote areas. ATMs are widely available, but it’s always good to have a backup in case of limited access.

10. How should I dress while backpacking in the Philippines?

The Philippines has a tropical climate, so it is best to pack lightweight and breathable clothing. Opt for comfortable footwear, swimwear, and don’t forget to bring a hat and sunscreen for protection against the sun.


In conclusion, backpacking in the Philippines offers a unique and unforgettable experience for adventure seekers. This article has highlighted several key points that demonstrate the beauty and allure of this stunning destination. Firstly, the Philippines is blessed with incredible natural landscapes, from pristine beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters to lush mountains and enchanting waterfalls. Travelers have the opportunity to explore these wonders through hiking, diving, and island hopping, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Secondly, the warm and welcoming Filipino culture adds an extra layer of richness to the backpacking experience. The locals are known for their genuine hospitality and infectious positivity, creating a friendly and safe environment for travelers. Moreover, the diverse cuisine tantalizes taste buds with a fusion of flavors, from exotic fruits to delicious street food.

Lastly, the affordability of backpacking in the Philippines makes it an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers. Accommodations and transportation options cater to a range of budgets, allowing visitors to maximize their experiences without breaking the bank.

All in all, backpacking in the Philippines embraces adventure, beauty, culture, and affordability. It offers an opportunity to connect with nature, immerse in a welcoming community, and create memories that will be treasured forever. Whether it’s exploring stunning landscapes, indulging in delicious food, or simply enjoying the warmth of the Filipino people, the Philippines is truly a backpacker’s paradise.

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