Here is a short summary of our Philippine highlights. The islands are all incredible, and it was pretty hard to choose our 4 favourite places or things to do, but here is a list of things that WOW’d us a little more than the rest!
Sumillion Island, Oslob
Travelling by Boat
Sumilion Island is a short, 10-15-minute boat trip from Oslob on Cebu Island. The island is known for its sandbar – a small stretch of sand that changes both shape and locations depending on the season. For those of you who read the word sandbar and understand a bar in the sand, you’re not alone. Both T and I thought we were heading to a beach bar for the afternoon until we arrived and were shocked to see nobody selling beers. (Also, our friend Lou explained to us what a Sandbar actually is – and was very disappointed with us ha!).
The water is crystal clear and perfect for both snorkeling and diving. There is not much to do, but the sandbar is the perfect sun trap to spend the day relaxing on this remote island.
There is an environmental fee of 50 pesos to access Sumilion as the island and its marine life are protected by the government. The boat from Oslob to Sumilion island will vary depending on where you buy your ticket and how many people you are. Originally, the locals were trying to charge us 350 pesos, excluding the 50 pesos entrance fee. After a lot of negotiation, we ended up paying 300 in total.
Swimming with Whale Sharks
Swimming with Whale Sharks in the Philippines was probably one of the most incredible things we have done to date.
This attraction is also in Oslob so it is perfect to combine with a day at Sumillion island. Swimming with Whale Sharks starts around 6am which means you have the rest of the day to explore the rest of Oslob. You have a total of 30 minutes in the water with the sharks and it is hands down the best thing to do in the Philippines. If you would like to know more about Swimming With Whale Sharks, check out my post.
Coron Day Tours
Coron was my favourite place in the whole of the Philippines. It is located just across from Palawan Island and holds the most stunning views.
The day trips around Coron are not something you want to miss out on. There are numerous options to choose from but we highly recommend visiting 2 tours; one based on the lagoons, and the other visits 3 beaches over an 8 hour day. The lagoon tour may feel quite rushed as they try to squeeze in a total of 5 destinations throughout the day, including travel time, but it is still worth it.
The beach tour is probably the most incredible tour we have been on to date. One of the main beaches in this tour is called Malcapuya island and it is absolutely breathtaking. You have a total of 8 hours to enjoy 3 beaches, giving you around 1-2 hours in each place before moving on to the next. Read about my 6 Top Tips for Travelling the Philippines for more information.
Underground Caves, Puerto Princesa
The Underground caves recently made the Seven World Wonders of Nature list and for good reason. They’re stunning. There is something so surreal about going into the caves on a steady boat tour and seeing them in their natural, un-touched beauty. The guides row the boat from the back, and you are provided with a head set to listen to the history of the caves. Unlike other audio devices I have listened to before, this one is extremely interesting and the voice recording is completely soothing. The Underground caves are a must-do when you are in Puerto Princesa (or El Nido). They are about a 2.5 hour drive from Puerto Princesa and around a 3.5 hour drive from El Nido. A lot of people did the tour on the way to either one, so used it as a stop off point. The only issue with that is the fact that hardly any luggage fits in the cars. If you are travelling with a big backpack, I highly doubt you’ll manage to squeeze it in.
Talk to the tour company you book with and see if they can organise something for you. You never know!
Leave a comment below if you have any other favourite things that you did in the Philippines! We’d love to hear your thoughts.