Philippines

Vivid green rice terraces, crystalline seas hiding coral wonderlands and mountains tempered with charming villages, the Philippines provides an answer for those in search of a slice of authentic Asia. Trek through the jungles, scale the volcanic landscapes, dive into warm waters and meet the unaffected people of the Philippines for an exotic and enlightening experience.

Philippines Tours & Travel

All our Philippines trips

Philippine Discovery

11 days from
USD $1,775
CAD $1,830
AUD $1,795
EUR €1,235
GBP £1,035
NZD $2,000
ZAR R17,965
CHF FR1,495

Embark on an adventure holiday in the Philippines. Visit non-stop Manila, trek through rice paddies and climb to the...

View trip details

Philippines Island Getaway

8 days from
USD $1,520
CAD $1,570
AUD $1,540
EUR €1,060
GBP £890
NZD $1,715
ZAR R15,415
CHF FR1,280

Travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido via spectacular Sabang. Cruise the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, island...

View trip details

Philippine Adventure

18 days from
USD $3,505
CAD $3,615
AUD $3,545
EUR €2,440
GBP £2,050
NZD $3,950
ZAR R35,485
CHF FR2,950

Travel from Manila to Puerto Princesa. Hike up Mt Pinatubo, cruise down the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River and...

View trip details

Philippines trip reviews

Our Philippines trips score an average of 4.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Philippine Discovery, January 2014

Philippine Discovery, January 2014

Articles on Philippines

take me with you to the philippines

Posted on Thu, 21 Jul 2011 by Sue Elliot

It was a paperback that inspired Sally Arnold to pack herself off to the Philippines...

Read more

welcome to the philippines

Posted on Thu, 18 Nov 2010 by Sue Elliot

Did you know that 7000 stunning, tropical islands make up the Philippines? We are overjoyed to return to this exciting archipelago, because as Intrepid traveller Esbjorn Torstensson explains, it’s the [...]

Read more

About Philippines

At a glance

Trips Available: 0
Capital city: Manila (population 1.65 million)
Population: 99 million
Language: Filipino (Tagalog), English
Currency: PHP
Time zone: (GMT+08:00) Kuala Lumpur, Singapore
Electricity: Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type B (American 3-pin)
Dialing code: +63

Best time to visit Philippines

With a year-round warm climate, expect hot weather when visiting the Philippines at any time of the year. Sea breezes prevail in the coastal regions between November and February, so travel during this time if you wish to take the edge off the heat. January to May are considered the optimum times to visit though, as it is best to avoid the typhoon season which runs from July to October and involves heavy rain, flooding and high winds.

Manila weather chart

Geography and environment

Shadowed grassy steps in Philippines
Consisting of more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines archipelago is located in South-East Asia, in between the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea. Being a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is home to many active volcanoes and a staggering amount of biodiversity, with thousands of plant, mammal, fish and bird species living on land and in the sea. As a very mountainous country, the Philippines is dotted with numerous peaks, which give way to deep valleys that are often studded with rivers and streams. Tropical rainforest occupies much of the landmass, with most of the population living on the low lying coastal areas.

Top Picks

Local boy in colourful dress performing at Grand Cordillera Festival

Top 5 Fun Festivals of the Philippines

1. Ati-Atihan

With a history that dates all the way back to 1210, this flamboyant festival is considered one of the Philippines' best. Think massive ostentatious costumes, loud drumming, floats of parading dancers, riotous crowds and a healthy dose of partying and you've got Ati-Atihan - the Philippines' best shot at Rio Carnaval.

2. Grand Cordillera Festival

Baguio reserves the fourth last week of November to celebrate life and local culture with ethnic songs, dance, costume and food. This festival spreads peace and tolerance and provides an interesting snapshot of the lives of the ethnic people of the northern Luzon area.

3. Dinagyang

Iloilo City gets its chance to party with its own version of Ati-Atihan. City streets are decked out with colorful banners, street stalls sizzle with barbecued pork, and chicken and costumed dancers compete for glory.

4. Feast of Our Lady of Candles

This annual display of epic religious pageantry features a procession of the patroness, fiesta queen and court through the streets and town centre of Jaro. Locals carry candles and a statue of the Virgin Mary to the town cathedral, where crowds of people wait. This spirited and vibrant festival is a great introduction to Filipino culture and religious celebration.

5. Obando Fertility Festival

Want to see couples dance through the streets in aid of hopefully producing a child? Each year, the town of Bulacan holds this festival for childless couples who wish to produce children. Couples dance down the street to the local church, dance up the aisle and attend mass in honour of the three local patron saints.

FAQs on Philippines

PHILIPPINES:
Australia: No - not required
Belgium: No - not required
Canada: No - not required
Germany No - not required
Ireland: No - not required
Netherlands: No - not required
New Zealand: No - not required
South Africa: No - not required
Switzerland: No - not required
United Kingdom: No - not required
USA: No - not required

Citizens of most countries are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay of up to 21 days, provided they hold a valid return ticket.
Tipping isn't mandatory or customary in the Philippines, but a tip of spare change or another small amount (20-40 pesos) would be appreciated by restaurants, drivers and other service workers, especially if the service has been particularly good.
Large cities and tourist areas have internet access available at cyber cafes, but expect limited internet access in remote and rural areas.
Mobile phone receptivity is at a high rate in the large cities, but coverage may be patchy or less reliable in mountainous places, remote areas and on some islands. Ensure global roaming is activated before leaving home.
You'll have to adjust to different standards of hygiene and sanitation whilst in the Philippines. The standard toilet is of the squat variety and this may take some getting used to although Western style toilets can be found in large hotels and some tourist areas.
Juice from a market stall = 10 pesos
Bottle of beer = 30-60 pesos
Basic lunch = 100-200 pesos
Sit-down dinner = 500-900 pesos
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in the Philippines. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found, some hotels we stay in may have drinking water available. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating
Credit cards are usually accepted by large hotels, restaurants, shops and tourist-orientated retailers, but less so by smaller vendors like small, family-run restaurants, market stalls and guesthouses. Be sure to carry enough cash to cover small purchases as credit cards may not always be accepted.
Travellers will be able to find ATMs that accept foreign cards in the large cities but less so in remote towns and rural areas. Be sure to have enough cash before leaving the city as ATMs may not always be available outside of metropolitan areas.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: [site:intrepid_insurance_link]
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Feb 25 EDSA Revolution Anniversary
Mar 28 Maundy Thursday
Mar 29 Good Friday
Apr 9 Bataan Day (Araw ng Kagitingan)
May 1 Labour Day
Jun 12 Independence Day
Aug 8 Eid Ul Fitr (end of Ramadan)
Aug 26 National Heroes' Day
Nov 1 All Saints' Day
Nov 30 Bonifacio Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 30 Rizal Day
Dec 31 New Year's Eve

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/philippines/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Philippines Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Philippines

1. Be considerate of the Philippines’ customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.

3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.

4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

5. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

6. Learn some of the local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

10. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
My Faraway HomeMary McKay Maynard
Invented EdenRobin Hemley
When the Rainbow Goddess WeptCecilia Manguerra Brainard
When the Elephants Dance: A NovelTess Uriza Holthe
Dead SeasonAlan Berlow