Maligcong, Bontoc, Mountain Province, Philippines
Maligcong, Bontoc, Mountain Province, Philippines

Maligcong

Remote Maligcong in the Bontoc highlands is known for sprawling rice terraces that are carved into the mountainside.
Photo by Michael Rivera

PHILIPPINES

Asia

Philippines Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Manila

Location:

Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam

Currency:

Philippine pesos (PHP)

Area:

300,000 sq km

Population:

110,818,325 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

unspecified Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan

Religion:

Roman Catholic 80.6%, Protestant 8.2% (includes Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches 2.7%, National Council of Churches in the Philippines 1.2%, other Protestant 4.3%), other Christian 3.4%, Muslim 5.6%, tribal religion 0.2%, other 1.9%, none 0.1% (2010 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC+8

Tel Code:

+63

Weather

Climate

The Philippines is a country located in Southeast Asia, and it has a tropical climate, characterized by high temperatures and humidity throughout the year. The country has two main seasons: the dry season (December to May) and the rainy season (June to November).

During the dry season, the country experiences little rainfall and lower humidity. This is considered the peak tourist season, and the prices for accommodations and activities may be higher.

The rainy season is characterized by higher rainfall and humidity. This is considered the low season for tourism, but it's also the time when the nature is more lush and the waterfalls are more active, making it a great time for nature lovers.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Philippines depends on the type of activities you want to do and your preferences. The dry season, from December to May is considered the best time to visit as the weather is more stable and the chances of rain are lower. This is also considered the peak tourist season, and the prices for accommodations and activities may be higher.

The rainy season, from June to November is considered the low season for tourism, but it's also the time when the nature is more lush and the waterfalls are more active, making it a great time for nature lovers. The weather during the rainy season is still warm and tropical, with occasional rain showers.

It's worth noting that the best time to visit the Philippines also depends on the location. For example, the island of Boracay is best visited from January to May, when the weather is dry and the sea is calm, while Palawan is best visited from October to June, when the weather is dry and the visibility for diving and snorkeling is better.

Transportation

Air travel

The Philippines has several international airports including Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in Manila, which is the capital city, Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) in Cebu, Francisco Bangoy International Airport (DVO) in Davao, and Iloilo International Airport (ILO) in Iloilo. From there, you can take a domestic flight to reach other destinations in the Philippines. Most of the domestic flights are operated by major airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia Philippines, and they connect the main cities and tourist destinations.

Bus travel

Buses are a popular and convenient way to travel around the Philippines, with extensive networks of long-distance and local buses that connect most of the cities and towns. Bus travel is relatively inexpensive, safe and comfortable. There are several bus companies that operate in the country, such as Philtranco, DLTB and Florida.

Car rental

Car rental is a great option for those who want to explore the Philippines at their own pace, it's widely available in most cities and towns. It's worth noting that the road conditions can be challenging in some remote areas, and it's important to have a valid driver's license and insurance. It's also important to be aware of the traffic rules and regulations.

Taxis

Taxis are widely available in most cities and towns, and they are a convenient and safe way to get around. It's worth noting that it's best to use a licensed taxi and to agree on the fare before starting the journey.

Motorbike rental

Renting a motorbike is also a popular option, particularly for island hopping, it's widely available in most cities and towns. It's worth noting that the road conditions can be challenging in some remote areas, and it's important to have a valid driver's license and insurance. It's also important to be aware of the traffic rules and regulations.

Accommodation

Hotels

The Philippines has a wide range of hotels, from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. You can find hotels in most of the major cities, towns, and tourist destinations. Many of the hotels in the Philippines are eco-friendly and have a strong focus on sustainability.

Guesthouses

Guesthouses are a popular option in the Philippines, as they offer comfortable and budget-friendly accommodations. They are typically run by local families, and they offer a unique way to experience the local culture and hospitality.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals such as apartments, villas, and houses can be rented on a short-term basis. This is becoming an increasingly popular option in the Philippines, and it can be a great option for those looking for more privacy and space.

Tented camps and lodges

Tented camps and lodges are a popular option for those who want to experience the natural beauty of the Philippines, they are typically located in the national parks and reserves, and they offer comfortable and eco-friendly accommodations.

Homestays

Homestays are a great way to experience local culture and hospitality. They are typically run by local families, and they offer comfortable and budget-friendly accommodations.

Luxury lodges

The Philippines is also a popular destination for luxury lodges, which offer a range of facilities and activities, and all meals and drinks are included in the price. They are popular with families and couples, and can be found in the major tourist destinations such as Boracay, Palawan and Cebu.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Philippines Closed
Test
Required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      s an archipelago located in Southeast Asia, known for its beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and rich culture. From the bustling cities to the tranquil islands, there is no shortage of things to see and do in the Philippines. Here are the top 10 things to do in the Philippines that should not be missed:

      1. Visit Boracay Island

      Boracay Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines, known for its beautiful white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. Visitors can enjoy various water activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

      2. Visit Palawan

      Palawan, an island located in western Philippines, is known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters and limestone cliffs. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful beaches, take a boat ride to see the Bacuit Bay and visit the Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

      3. Visit Siargao Island

      Siargao Island, located in the northeastern part of the Philippines, is known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters and world-class surf breaks. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful beaches, take a boat tour to see the island's mangrove forests, and also go for a surf.

      4. Visit Chocolate Hills

      The Chocolate Hills are a geological formation located in the Bohol province and it is known for its unique shape, and a popular tourist destination. Visitors can see the Chocolate Hills, take a ride on a small plane or helicopter to see the hills from a bird's eye view.

      5. Visit Mayon volcano

      Mayon volcano is an active volcano located in the Bicol region, it is known for its near-perfect cone shape, and it is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. Visitors can take a guided tour to see the volcano and also visit the nearby towns to see the traditional culture and customs of the Bicol region.

      6. Visit Tubbataha Reef

      Tubbataha Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a marine protected area located in the Sulu Sea, it is known for its rich marine biodiversity and is a popular destination for diving and snorkeling. Visitors can take a boat tour to see the coral reefs and marine life.

      7. Visit Batanes

      Batanes, an island group located in the northernmost part of the Philippines, is known for its unique culture, traditional houses and beautiful landscapes. Visitors can explore the island's many traditional villages, such as the Ivatan Village, and also see the beautiful landscapes, such as the Mount Iraya and the Basco Lighthouse.

      8. Visit Cebu

      Cebu is an island located in the central Philippines, known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and rich culture. Visitors can explore the island's many historical sites, such as the Magellan's Cross and the Basilica del Santo Niño, and also enjoy the island's nightlife and delicious local cuisine.

      9. Visit Bohol

      Bohol is an island located in the central Philippines, known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and rich culture. Visitors can explore the island's many historical sites, such as the Blood Compact Shrine and the Baclayon Church, and also see the famous tarsiers and the Chocolate Hills.

      10. Visit Vigan

      Vigan is a city located in the Ilocos region, known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture and rich culture. Visitors can explore the city's many historical sites, such as the Calle Crisologo, and also see the traditional Ilocano houses and the Vigan Cathedral.

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