If you’re a backpacker, then it’s probably one of your goals to visit as many places and meet as many people as possible. But at the same time, you probably have a budget you need to stick to.
Fortunately for you, there are lots of destinations in the Philippines that you can include in your itinerary! From the mountainous regions in Luzon to the beautiful beaches of Visayas and Mindanao, you can explore the country and make new friends without spending too much money.
1. El Nido
This once quiet spot north of Palawan is now a popular destination for both local and foreign tourists. Gone are the days when electricity didn’t last for 24 hours and ATMs were nowhere to be seen in town. Despite the changes, however, El Nido is still a prime destination you should include in your to-visit list.
There are now more hostels with dorms and budget guesthouses for backpackers who want to experience the beauty of El Nido without spending too much. This is also ideal for those who want to hangout and meet other local and foreign travelers.
If you’re unable to stay at a dorm, you can meet others by joining the different island hopping tours offered around town. These will take you to some of the most beautiful beaches and landscapes in the country. The towering karst formations, the glistening and mirror-like waters, and the powder white sand are sights and experiences worth sharing with good company.
Batad, found in the country’s mountainous region, is an adventurer and nature lover’s dream come true. The pictures of the terraces you see online and in print are more beautiful once you see them for yourself in real life. The experience of climbing up and down these terraces is something you’ll never forget, figuratively and literally, as your muscles will be sore after the trip.
Batad is an ideal backpacking destination because its remoteness prevents it from being a mass tourist attraction. Although the local government is doing their part in constructing a paved road to shorten the trek people have to make on the dirt road, it still requires effort to get to the small town. Accommodation, food and tours are affordable, making it easy for backpackers to budget their trip. It is also a great place to meet other like-minded travelers, both local and foreign.
Mindanao has many natural wonders and attractions that backpackers can visit and one of the places you can add to your itinerary is Camiguin. This small island province has plenty to offer those who are adventurous enough to explore it.
Camiguin has a little bit of everything–a white sand beach that has glass-like waters, a spectacular waterfall and a challenging mountain to climb called Mt. Hibok-Hibok. The island is an idyllic place to visit, ideal for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Going around the island is affordable as well as staying over for a night or two, making it perfect for backpackers. You can also tour the island on a rented motorcycle, if you know how to ride one, further reducing your expenses.
Boracay may no longer be as cheap as the other destinations in the Philippines, but it is still an ideal destination for backpackers who want to meet people. The hostels around the island, the party vibe, the beautiful beach, the mesmerizing sunsets, the fun activities and the pub crawls provide you with plenty of chances to mingle with others.
You might make lifelong friends or at least travel buddies for your next trips during your stay in one of the country’s most popular islands.
Bohol is a popular destination for both local and foreign tourists because the province has beautiful beaches, an awe-inspiring marine ecosystem and the breathtaking Chocolate Hills. Other noteworthy attractions are the tarsier sanctuaries, the Loboc River cruise, the bee farm and Balicasag Island. This island has what backpackers are looking for–affordable accommodation, food and group tours (if they are traveling solo).
If you don’t want to rent a car, tricycle or your own motorbike, some of the main attractions are accessible by public transportation. Take the bus all the way to the Chocolate Hills and work your way down to the other destinations such as the tarsier sanctuary, man-made forest and others.
To get to Bolinao, a favorite weekend destination for many living in Metro Manila, backpackers can take the day or night bus. It has a bit of everything that visitors may want to see. Some of the places to include in your itinerary are Patar Beach, Bolinao Falls, the Enchanted Cave, Cape Bolinao Lighthouse and the rock formations.
There are cheap accommodations and restaurants near the beach, whether you’re traveling alone or with a group of friends. Touring is also easy because you can rent a tricycle for an entire day.
These are only some of the places that backpackers will enjoy visiting, whether they are looking for an affordable place to explore or if they want to meet other people. These destinations provide visitors with nature, beaches, budget-friendly accommodations and all the other things that a backpacker looks for.