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If you think the Philippines is all about beach resorts and cocktails, think again.
While this chain of islands located in the Western Pacific is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, it’s actually the perfect destination for your next outdoor adventure.
The tropical climate, stunning ocean and mountain views make it easy to spend the majority of your time outdoors. Adventurous visitors will spend their trip surrounded by nature, snorkeling through azure waters, trekking through forests, and sliding down waterfalls.
Planning travel to the Philippines is generally pretty easy, but if you’re the type who prefers to have everything planned out for you, there are tons of options for Philippines tour and vacation packages that include just about every outdoor activity under the sun. Check out which outdoor activities in the Philippines make this the perfect destination for adventurous travellers.
Hike dense jungles and explore volcanoes
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The mountains and volcanoes of the Philippines make the ideal spot for hiking fanatics. Whether you prefer trekking to waterfalls, exploring volcano craters, or following trails through dense island jungles, come prepared with sturdy comfortable hiking boots and your trusty backpack.
If hiking is your main interest while in the Philippines, head to Mount Batulao in Batangas. It’s not too far from Manila, so getting there is an easy task. Hiking to the mountain’s summit takes about four hours, and most beginners can make the summit with no trouble at all. Even though the hike is suitable for beginners, experienced hikers won’t be bored while climbing Mount Batulao. The views are enough to take your breath away, and if you wish to spend even more time on the mountain you can opt to camp overnight.
Another great hiking spot is Rizal’s Masungi Georeserve, which is a huge conservation area of lush rainforest filled with flora and fauna native to the Philippines. The main trail takes between three and four hours to finish, and its twisting paths and rope obstacles keep the excitement up along the way.
Looking for more? Some other spots to fill your hiking urge are Tarak Ridge in Bataan, Mount Daraitan in Rizal, and Mount Pulag in Nueva Vizcaya.
Dive and snorkel world-class reefs
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It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that scuba diving is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the Philippines. With clear waters, colourful reefs, and so much marine diversity, this tropical paradise offers some of the best diving opportunities in the world.
Most people consider Tubbataha Reef to be the best dive site in the area. It is so remote and far from land that it is only reachable by a liveaboard during certain months of the year. This dive site has become a protected area, since it’s home to over 600 species of fish and 350 species of corals, making it one of the most colourful and liveliest diving spots in the Philippines.
If diving is not for you, snorkelling is always an option. Some of the best snorkelling spots are Nalusuan Island in Cordova, Coral Garden in Puerto Galera, Apo Reef in Sablayan, and Matinloc Island in El Nido.
Whitewater raft between stunning mountain ranges
If you have never tried rafting before, the Philippines might be a good place to start as there’s something for every level of thrill seeker here.
The best places to raft are in the mountainous areas of the country such as Tabuk City in Kalinga. The Cordilleras mountain range stretches through this island, as does the Chico River. This river has some of the most exhilarating rafting in the Philippines, but the fun doesn’t have to stop there.
Another great rafting spot is along the Calbiga River in Samar. The strong currents and rough rapids here are not necessarily for beginners, but more advanced rafters will find their adrenaline rush. Other great rafting spots to can be found on the Balanac River in Magdalena, the Davao River in Mindanao, and the Cagayan River in Cagayan de Oro.
Surf the Philippines’ best breaks
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Though the Philippines are not known for being a surfing mecca, there are some spots that are pretty close. From December to April, when ocean winds are the strongest and waves are the biggest, surfing is quite popular here. So whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just hoping to learn how to stand up, consider hiring yourself a board during your trip.
One of the top surfing destinations in the country is Siargao Island – surfers from all over the world come here to catch some waves. It’s definitely not a place for beginner surfers but the more advanced will appreciate the huge waves.
When people arrive in Siargao they head directly for General Luna, where perfect barrel waves are common. Beware of the coral reef below the surface. Many surfers bear battle wounds from surfing here.
Other top surfing spots around the Philippines are San Juan Beach in La Union, San Antonio in Zambales, and the beaches throughout Eastern Samar.
Kayaking the Philippines’ most spectacular rivers and coastline
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Kayaking is one of the most common outdoor adventure activities in the Philippines, mainly because just about anyone can do it. There are parts of the Philippines that offer relaxing kayaking experiences, but also parts that are more challenging.
El Nido is the main destination for kayaking experiences. Here you can explore the inner island through fast-moving rivers, or venture out to sea to check out the surrounding islands.
Other kayaking hotspots worth checking out are San Jose in Tarlac, Moalboal in Cebu, and Hundred Islands in Pangasinan.
Have you visited the Philippines? Got it on your bucket list? If you’ve got any questions, comments, updates or corrections? Let us know by commenting below.