Backpacking Philippines Travel Guide


travel guide to the Philippines

We have been 20 days in the Philippines And we have found it to be the most different country in all of Southeast Asia: the food, the words, the people … the truth is that if you are looking for beautiful beaches and pure nature, this is THE destination. The journey led us to discover Boracay, Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, El Nido and Manila. Although 20 days are definitely few to get to know such a fascinating country: we will have to return!

Here we bring our backpacker travel guide to the Philippines. A complete guide to our trip through the Philippines. Visa, currency, when to go, route, how much it costs, what is the best and the worst, reference prices, transport and more!

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For most countries there’s no need have a visa to enter the Philippines for a period not exceeding 30 days. It is necessary to have a passport valid for more than 6 months and an outbound flight. And yes, it is free !!

There is possibility of enlarge the stay 29 more days, for this you will have to go to an immigration office. If you are clear that you want to stay longer than the 30 allowed, you can get your 59-day visa directly at a Philippine embassy.

800px Visa policy of the Philippines

The official currency of the Philippines is the el Philippine peso (PHP). You can calculate the updated exchange rate in the following table.

We always recommend using a card on trips. Both for payments and to withdraw money. But watch out for commissions! The two cards that we use now are the Bnext card and the N26 card. Although there are other solutions, here we tell you about them.

The Philippines is a country especially hit by typhoons, so be aware of the best dates to visit. The general dry season across the country goes from November to April. The rains begin in May-June and increase in August. However, there are some areas where the seasons are changed, raining between December and March, especially in the south.

In the Philippines there have been some cases of malaria and the risk exists, although it is very low. There is also a risk of dengue fever and Chikungunya fever. There are vaccines for none of these diseases, so take all possible precautions: always wear a good mosquito repellent, sleep every night with a mosquito net, avoid the hours with the highest concentration of mosquitoes (sunrise and sunset) and the areas with the highest concentration (rivers , lakes and wet areas) and wear appropriate clothing.

The recommended vaccinations They are: Hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever, and tetanus and rabies (which you probably already have).

Our expenses (€ 1 = approx PHP 53). In total we have spent € 13.37 per day / person broken down as follows:

  • Accommodation: 17 nights, € 5.82 (two by boat and one at the airport) / person. Between 20 days: € 4.94 / person
  • Food: € 3.61 / person
  • Transport: € 2.81 / person
  • Taxes, tickets and activities: € 1.76 / person
  • Various: € 0.25 / person

Some reference prices

  • Local food (rice + meat tapa): 30-50p
  • Double room: 500-700p
  • Water: 30-40p one of the most expensive in Asia
  • Cocacola: 30p per liter !!! Heaven for an addict like me (or hell… it depends on the point of view.
  • Cinema: 200p
  • Jeepney: 8-12p

The plugs that can be found in the Philippines are of three types: type A, B and C, the latter is like the European ones with two round pins. You can buy a universal adapter or get a specific one as soon as you arrive at your destination.

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type b large300px C plug

Our free trip to the Philippines lasted 20 days and took us to know:

  • Manila
  • Boracay
  • Iloilo
  • Puerto Princesa
  • The nest

Of course there are a lot more things to see and do in the Philippines, so while we decide to come back to explore them hehe, we leave you the blog Viajar por Filipinas, where you can find all the info you need (it is managed by Jairo and Claudia, great travelers and friends , who are all experts in the country).

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The Philippines is one of the Southeast Asian countries where it is more difficult to get around. As it is a group of islands, it is normal for you to move between them with internal flights. You can take a look at the lowcost company Cebu pacific which operates many connections.

In addition to this, you may have to deal with ferries that link the islands with the coasts, or between them, both fast and slow (cheaper). There is even boats larger ones to make long trips, like the La Milagrosa company that we take to go from Iloilo to Puerto Princesa.

To move around the land the normal are the “Jeepney“, Some Jeeps enabled as shared vans that make defined routes: you get on, pay the amount (it is usually quite cheap) and get off at your stop.

In Philippine gastronomy, Asian flavors come together with Spanish reminiscences, so you can find a plate of “piglet” (roasted pork), “top“(Cured meat or fish),”dressing”(Meat or fish marinated in vinegar, soybeans and garlic)… although being Asia you already know, the base is the rice!

This is one of our favorite sections, here we tell you anecdotes of the trip, personal sensations of the place, things that we have loved but also that we have not liked at all … in a small summary of our passage through the Philippines.