Activities & Adventure 6 MINS READ

7 Best Budget-Friendly Things To Do In The Philippines

7 Best Budget-Friendly Things To Do In The Philippines

Activities & Adventure 6 MINS READ
Budget-Friendly Travel To The Philippines

Philippines: 7641 islands with sunshine, birds, and Chocolate hills. What not to like?

The Philippines is a paradise for travelers, but it doesn’t have to break the bank! From island hopping adventures to exploring cultural wonders, there are tons of amazing experiences you can have on a budget. Here’s a glimpse into what awaits you in the Philippines without spending a fortune:

Things To Do On A Budget In The Philippines

Visit Magellan’s Cross

Budget-friendly things to do in the Philippines - Magellan's cross

Magellan’s Cross is one of the most famous historical landmarks in Cebu City, Philippines. It is a Christian cross that was planted in 1521 by explorers of the Spanish expedition of the first circumnavigation of the world, led by Ferdinand Magellan.

The original wooden cross was encased inside another wooden cross made of tindalo wood to protect it from people who chipped away parts of the cross believing it to possess miraculous healing powers. There is debate, however, on whether the original cross is still inside the enclosure.

Chocolate Hills

Budget-friendly things to do in the Philippines - Chocolate Hills

The Chocolate Hills are a geological formation in the Bohol province of the Philippines. These hills are covered in green grass that turns into a chocolate-like brown during the dry season, hence the name. They are featured in the provincial flag and seal to symbolize the abundance of natural attractions in the province.

The Chocolate Hills form a rolling terrain of haycock-shaped hills—mounds of a generally conical and almost symmetrical shape. One of Bohol’s best-known tourist attractions, these unique mound-shaped hills are scattered by the hundreds throughout the towns of Carmen, Batuan, and Sagbayan.

Philippian Palengke

Budget-friendly things to do in the Philippines - palengke

The Philippine Palengke, also simply called palengke, is the word for “market” and refers to a traditional public market in the Philippines. It’s a vibrant and social place where Filipinos can buy fresh produce, seafood, meat, household goods, and even prepared food.

The palengke is more than just a place to shop; it’s a central part of Filipino culture. It’s a place to meet friends and neighbors, haggle over prices, and get a taste of Filipino life.

Visit A Butterfly Farm

Budget-friendly things to do in the Philippines - Butterfly Farm

Butterfly farms in the Philippines are a thing. There are several butterfly gardens in the Philippines where you can experience the beauty and wonder of these colorful insects. Here are a couple of the more popular ones:

✦ The Butterfly Garden, also known as the Butterfly Eco-Garden and Tribal Village, is located in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. It is a butterfly sanctuary and cultural experience facility that showcases several species of butterflies endemic to the South Philippines and even from neighboring regions. The Butterfly Garden also houses other kinds of insects and a wide variety of flora.

✦ The Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village is another popular spot in Puerto Princesa. This place reflects the beauty of Palawan and showcases a variety of tropical butterflies from the Southern region of the country. The butterflies here are free-flying, and the garden also features live exhibits of scorpions, green-crested lizards, phasmids, and mantises, which are considered their natural predators.

Go Tarsier-watching

Budget-friendly things to do in the Philippines - Tarsier watching

The Philippines is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, and one of the must-see creatures here are the adorable tarsiers. These tiny primates, with eyes bigger than their brains, are nocturnal insectivores and the second-smallest primates in the world. Tarsier-watching in the Philippines is a unique experience that allows you to get up close with these fascinating creatures.

The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Bohol is the most popular spot for tarsier-watching. The sanctuary is a protected area where tarsiers can live in a semi-natural habitat. There’s also the Tarsier Conservation Area, another option in Bohol. There are other sanctuaries on Leyte and Samar where you can see tarsiers, but Bohol is by far the easiest and most accessible location.

Learn How To Dive

Budget-friendly things to do in the Philippines - Diving

The Philippines is a scuba diving paradise. It’s located in the Coral Triangle, the world’s center of marine biodiversity, so you can expect to see an incredible variety of fish, coral, and other marine life. There are also many different types of dives to choose from, from wreck dives to drift dives to wall dives.

Diving in the Philippines is a must. Have you tried it yet? The best places to go diving in the Philippines are Barracuda Lake in Coron Island and Puerto Galera in Mindoro.

Try Halo-Halo

Budget-friendly things to do in the Philippines - Halo halo

Halo-halo, which translates to “mix-mix” in Tagalog, is a popular and beloved cold dessert in the Philippines. It’s a truly unique and delightful combination of shaved ice, evaporated milk or coconut milk, and a seemingly random assortment of sweet and savory ingredients (boiled kidney beans, coconut gel, tapioca, and the like). This dessert is not only sweet and refreshing but it is extremely budget-friendly.

Tips For A Budget-Friendly Trip To The Philippines

Philippines on a budget is a must if you wish to enjoy the Southern Asian destination without breaking the bank. The British pound is strong here, and US citizens don’t require a visa, so one can surely say that budget travel is possible here! Here are some tips to ensure your trip is well budgeted:

✦ Pack your hammock

Sleeping in a hammock in the Philippines is allowed, and as long as you can find a beach (of which there is plenty), there will be no problem with getting your body rested for the night under the starry night sky.

✦ Hitchhike to the beach

Hitchhiking to the beach and back! What could be better than not missing out on meeting locals while taking on hitchhiking?

✦ Avoid Manila Island

Manila island is probably one of the most expensive places you can possibly go to in the Philippines. Avoid the crowds and go for less touristy and posh places.

✦ Eat Lumpias and shop local

Eating lumpias is probably one of the best ways to explore the Filipino islands. Make sure you do not overdo it, though!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to travel to the Philippines on a budget?

The Philippines is a very budget-friendly destination, especially compared to other Southeast Asian countries. You can expect to spend around $30 to $50 per day on a shoestring budget, though this will vary depending on your travel style and preferences.

What is the best time to visit the Philippines on a budget?

The Philippines has a tropical climate with two seasons: dry (November to April) and wet (May to October). The shoulder seasons (April-May and September-October) offer the best combination of good weather and lower prices. However, even during the peak dry season, you can still find good deals on flights and accommodation if you book in advance.

What are the best places to visit in the Philippines while on a budget?

  • El Nido, Palawan: This island paradise is known for its stunning beaches, clear turquoise waters, and limestone cliffs. There are plenty of affordable guesthouses and hostels in El Nido, and you can find delicious and cheap eats at the local markets.
  • Coron, Palawan: Coron is another great option for budget travelers. This island is home to several World War II shipwrecks which are now popular diving and snorkeling spots. There are also several beautiful lakes and lagoons in Coron, all of which are free to visit.
  • Cebu: Cebu is the second largest island in the Philippines and is home to the bustling city of Cebu. There are many things to see and do here, from exploring the historical sites of Fort San Pedro to swimming with whale sharks in Oslob.
  • Bohol: Bohol is famous for its Chocolate Hills, which are unique geological formations that resemble Hershey’s Kisses chocolates. You can also see tarsiers, the world’s smallest primates, in Bohol.
  • Banaue: Banaue is home to the Banaue Rice Terraces, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These terraces are a testament to the ingenuity of the Ifugao people, who carved them into the mountainsides centuries ago.

Ritesh Raj

COO at CuddlyNest

Editorial Policy

Last update: 5 June 2024

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