6 Popular outdoor adventures in the Philippines
Many travelers refer to the Philippines as the land of infinite adventures. We already know that this Southeast Asian country is the land of infinite islands, but what makes it so adventurous? The main reason that this is the perfect destination for adrenaline-seeking travelers is that the amount of outdoor adventure activities in the Philippines is nearly endless.
Travelers often fill their Philippines itinerary with one exhilarating activity after another. Whether you enjoy breathing from a SCUBA tank or jumping out of a plane, the adventure of a lifetime is just one plane ticket away. Here are the most popular outdoor adventure activities throughout the islands of the Philippines that are keeping travelers busy.
1. Visit the Banaue Rice Terraces
Traveling from Manila to Banaue takes between 8 and 10 hours on the tourist bus. The good news is that it costs less than $15 USD, so you can spend your cash elsewhere – like hiking through the Banaue Rice Terraces. These rice terraces are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They are carved into the Ifugao mountains long ago by the indigenous Filipino people living there.
Many people go as far as to call this the eighth wonder of the world, and it’s no surprise why. This site is one to behold and something that no traveler should miss out on. The most impressive aspect of the Banaue Terraces is that they were thought to be carved out almost entirely by hand.
2. Go surfing in Siargao
The Philippines is one of the best surfing destinations in the world. But is this really a surprise from a country that is made up of more than 7,000 islands? That’s a lot of coastline, and much of it offers the ideal conditions for surfing. Although there are plenty of amazing surfing spots throughout this island chain, nowhere quite compares to the island of Siargao.
Siargao is the ideal surfing destination for avid surfers with lots of experience. The breaks can be extremely challenging here, especially at peak surfing season. However, there are still plenty of opportunities for beginner-level surfers to learn in Siargao waters.
3. Spelunking in Puerto Princesa
Other than Manila and Cebu, Puerto Princesa is one of the most visited islands in the Philippines. But unlike Manila and Cebu, travelers don’t come here to experience Filipino city life. No, they come to Puerto Princesa for a taste of adventure, specifically for spelunking and cave exploration.
The island is home to one of the largest underground river cave systems in the world. In order to enter the underground river, you’ll go by boat with the help of a Filipino guide. As you glide along the water through the caves, the guide will tell you all about the history of this world heritage site. Then, you’ll strap on a headlamp and start exploring.
TIP 1: Visiting underground river in Puerto Princesa might be the most famous experience, but there’s other things to do in Puerto Princesa you could consider.
4. Diving, diving, and more diving
Just as the Philippines is known for surfing, it is also known for SCUBA diving. Some of the best dives sites in the world can be found in Filipino waters. You can see everything from elusive thresher sharks to massive whale sharks to teeming schools of sardines. If you’re into history, consider diving at the shipwreck found in Coron.
Diving isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all that the ocean has to offer. If you’re not comfortable with breathing underwater, sign up for a snorkeling tour instead. Apo Island is a great spot for snorkeling, but you’re certainly not limited on options. Even if the water doesn’t entice you, simply chill on the stunning beaches of El Nido or Coron.
TIP 2: If you are looking for a great island for diving, maybe check out Malapascua island located North of Cebu island. I fell in love with Malapascua so much that I wrote a very useful article about it. Here’s 23 things to do on Malapascua.
5. Kayak along Abatan River
For a more serene outdoor activity, hop in a kayak and paddle down Abatan River. Tons of travelers choose to kayak here because of the magical opportunity to see millions of fireflies. The fireflies start lighting up as soon as dusk begins to fall, making the mangroves look like Christmas trees. It is truly a magical sight that is likely to leave you mesmerized.
6. Sign up for white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro
After the Abatan kayaking tour, try out a different on-water experience with white water rafting. The ultimate rafting destination in the Philippines is Cagayan de Oro. The waters are powerful here, so this activity is not for the faint of heart. Don’t worry though, you’ll have a guide helping you to navigate the rough river rapids.