The total number of islands in the Philippines has increased to 7,641 from 7,107 with the discovery of new islands, giving you extra reasons to tour the country. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient Seas’, this energetic island nation has a lot going for it, and a visit to the archipelago is an unforgettable sojourn, whether you’re absorbing the unique beauty of magnificently carved rice terraces or screaming at the top of your lungs while zip lining. Here’s a roundup of adventure tours that you can do in the Philippines.
1. Go Island-hopping
Without a doubt, island hopping is a fantastic way to discover the country, and with good reason, as there are so many to choose from. Flying into Manila, Cebu or Davao and then travelling on to an island is a feasible option. The wide availability of multiple destinations and promotional vacation tickets ensures that visitors are guaranteed a great trip. Visit Palawan, voted one of the best islands in the world by Travel + Leisure, and relax at the unspoiled beaches of El Nido. Bask in the sun and sink your feet in the powdery white sand beaches of Boracay. If you’ve had enough of the crystal-clear waters, explore the Ifugao rice terraces in Banawe or the hanging coffins in Sagada. In Mindanao, check out the eagle sanctuary, and if you’re yearning for the mountains, scale Mt. Apo, the Philippines’ tallest.
2. Surf in Siargao
While in Mindanao, try surfing in Siargao. It is home to Cloud 9, considered one of the ‘finest surf breaks in the world’, according to a CNN list. The location is fantastic as it is on the edge of the Philippine Deep surrounded by beautiful reefs. Ride the waves or watch the swells, unwind at its gorgeous beaches, dive its waters and visit untouched mangrove forests. The surf culture in Siargao is vibrant but there are also things to do if you’re not into it.
Kayak or paddleboard on the river in Malinao. Sugba Lagoon boasts of emerald waters surrounded by mangroves and limestone cliffs. It’s a good place to practice your backflips from the diving board of the pontoon house. Otherwise, swim in the lagoon, enjoy a leisurely picnic or just revel in the beauty of your surroundings. Other fantastic tours that you can easily do include a trip to the natural rock formation in Pilar and an excursion to the Sohoton Cove in Bucas Grande Island.
3. Discover Local Delicacies and Produce
The Philippines has an abundance of dishes that you absolutely must try, but there are some delicacies that are only for the brave. ‘Balut’, which might just look like an ordinary hard-boiled egg, is one those titbits. Crack it open, and you’ll find a developing duck embryo, incubated between 14-21 days. Drink the broth and eat the rest from the shell which is soft enough to be chewed and swallowed.
For the more adventurous eaters, sample crunchy Kamaru which are deep-fried crickets, or taste Tuslob-buwa, a simmering dish made of pig’s liver and brain. Then there’s Tamilok, woodworms that are reported to taste like oysters, and Soup No. 5, a broth prepared using the bull’s penis and testicles.
From beach hopping and surfing to island excursions and food tours, there’s no shortage of amazing activities that you can do in the Philippines. And for the adventurous, the list of places to visit just got longer with the additional islands on the list.