Sunset in Boracay Philippines Photo by Bambi Corro

Philippines Driving Guide

Explore Philippines by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2023-08-08 · 9min read


The Philippines islands have beautiful beaches and biodiverse coral reefs, with a rich cultural heritage influenced by Malay, Spanish, American, and indigenous cultures. It is also a more budget-friendly destination in Southeast Asia.

Traveling in the Philippines is a mix of experiences, particularly when talking about transportation.

As a local, using the public transportation system is a challenging prospect. I'd generally advise against it due to its lack of dependability, questionable safety, and lack of comfort. Moreover, traveling around Metro Manila suffers from a poor reputation due to severe traffic congestion.

Have a Hassle-Free Trip in the Philippines

Traveling in the Philippines has its ups and downs, especially if you plan on using a rental car.

According to a study done by insurance aggregator, the Philippines has one of the most stressful roads in the whole world.

The survey takes into account factors such as road quality, congestion levels, number of speed cameras, and road traffic fatalities before giving each country an overall weighted score (out of 100). Information was sourced from organizations such as The World Economic Forum (for road quality), and The Economist and CIA for number of vehicles and road network in kilometers.

Carguide's "The Philippines Is One Of The Most Stressful Countries To Drive In" explains that the Philippines ranked as the second most stressful country to drive in Southeast Asia.

But despite the traffic, traveling using a car rental can give you more peace of mind, flexibility, and convenience. We've put out this guide to familiarize yourself with the Philippines' driving culture, so you can enjoy the islands.

Let's take a closer look at the Philippines

Before we dive deeper into the Philippine Driving Culture, here are some interesting facts about this  Southeast Asian country:

Geographic Location

The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country in the western Pacific Ocean. It is an archipelago composed of three major islands: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The capital, Manila, is in Luzon, the largest island in the country. Luzon also holds the most populous region, the National Capital Region, which makes up 13% of the country’s population.

Languages Spoken

The Philippines is home to over 170 languages, but its National language is Filipino. Various ethnic groups and regions also have their dialects, but the country’s major dialects are Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Bicolano, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense.

Yet even if Filipinos speak many languages, foreigners wouldn’t have to worry as most locals can speak and understand English, making communication easy.


Early Filipinos were descendants of different ethnic groups from all over Southeast Asia. They lived in divisions known as “barangays” led by a chieftain called a “datu.” In 1521, Ferdinand Magellan and his crew first set foot on Cebu, marking the start of the Spanish expeditions to the Philippines.

By 1565, the Philippines had finally become a Spanish colony under King Philip II, the country’s namesake. The colonization would then continue for 333 years until the Philippines was handed over to the USA after Spain lost in the Spanish-American war.

Under American rule, the country experienced modernization and established a system of education. After trying to gain freedom from the Americans, Philippine independence was finally granted on July 4, 1946, a year after the Japanese occupation. This would eventually be moved to June 12 in 1962, and has since been adopted as the Philippines’ official independence day.


The Philippine government has a diverse past, but currently, it is a unitary state with a presidential system and a constitutional and democratic republic. The government has three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. The legislative branch is responsible for creating, altering, and repealing laws and is divided into the Senate, with 24 senators, and the House of Representatives, with around 250 members.


Tourism in the Philippines is one of the major contributors to the economy. And the boom in Philippine tourism has been prominent for the past ten years. In 2008, there were only around 2.9 million foreign tourists compared to the 4 million (and counting) that arrived in 2023.

To make the most of your trip to the Philippines, consider referring to our article on the best time to visit the Philippines. With its diverse range of travel destinations, from stunning white sand beaches to impressive man-made wonders, there is something for everyone. Engage in exciting activities such as island hopping, surfing, and immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of local street parties during festivals.

FAQs: International Driver's Permit (IDP) for the Philippines

How Do I Get an International Driving Permit in the Philippines?

If you want to get an International Driving Permit in the Philippines, you can get one from IDA. The process is simple and easy. First, you have to choose which bundle you prefer. After filling out the application form, be sure to upload a copy of your driver’s license and a passport-sized photo of yourself. After paying the fees, all you have to do is wait until you can finally get your IDP.

Do I Need to Secure An International Driving Permit?

Yes, when renting a car in the Philippines, foreign drivers are typically required to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) and a valid driver's license from their home country.

The IDP is a translation of your native driver's license and is recognized internationally. It is important to note that the IDP is only valid if accompanied by your original driver's license.

Does An IDP Replace My Native Driver's License?

No, it does not. The International Driver's Permit (IDP) serves as an additional document for use in countries that require it. It is not a substitute for your native license and is only valid in the country for which it is issued.

Is the Philippines using KpH or MpH?

The Philippines, like most countries in the world, uses KpH. If you come from any countries that use MpH, this may take some getting used to as the digits on your speedometer will be significantly higher.

Rental cars in the Philippines also use KpH, and display speed limits use the same unit. So, as long as you follow the road rules and stay within the designated speed limit wherever you go, you don’t have to worry about driving on Philippine roads.

Renting a Car in the Philippines

Car Rental Companies

The Philippines offers an array of car rental options, particularly in its cities, where international travelers can conveniently hire a car either upon arrival or through online reservations.

When looking for the best car rental options in the Philippines, you can find well-known agencies like Hertz, Avis, Europcar, and Budget Rent a Car. It's worth noting that while these rental companies are available, it's important to consider that the Philippines is made up of multiple islands. This means that a single-vehicle rental may not be sufficient for inter-island travels.

Moreover, while some rental services like Hertz have outlets across various regions such as Luzon (Clark Pampanga and Metro Manila), the Visayas (including Cebu, Bohol, and Palawan), and Mindanao (Davao), others may have more limited locations.

For instance, Budget Rent a Car does not extend its services to Mindanao. Therefore, when planning a trip that encompasses Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao, you will need to arrange for separate car rentals when traveling between these islands.

Documents Required

Ensure a smooth car rental process by having all the essential documents on hand. Here's what you need:

  • Local driver’s license
  • International driver’s permit
  • Debit/credit card
  • Passport

Some rental companies may also request additional documents like:

  • Proof of billing abroad
  • Evidence of accommodation
  • Copy of your plane ticket

These precautions are in place to enhance security and prevent potential scams.

The scams resulted in rental companies asking for more requirements from foreign drivers, so be sure to have all the documents listed above.

Vehicle Types

Choosing the type of vehicle to rent would depend on the number of passengers and the destinations you plan on visiting. Most rental car companies in the Philippines have a wide variety of cars to choose from, so this won’t be a problem.

If you have a few passengers and little luggage, you may opt for a hatchback. You can also upgrade it into a Sedan if you carry more luggage. For groups of five to eight people, you can rent an SUV or settle for an AUV if you have no plans for off-roading activities. Larger groups can also choose to rent a van or minibus.

Is island hopping part of your itinerary? Most tourists rent a motorbike since it’s easier to bring and to drive. Driving a convertible in the Philippines also has perks if you’re road-tripping in the scenic countryside.

Car Rental Cost

Car rental prices would differ among rental companies, but the average cost of renting a car in the Philippines is around $54. Prices would also depend on the car type. These are the estimated average prices of rental cars in the Philippines:

  • Economy - $30/day
  • Compact - $33/day
  • Intermediate - $33/day
  • Full-size - $49/day
  • Minivan - $38/day
  • Full-size SUV - $71/day
  • Passenger van - $40/day
  • Premium SUV -$86/day
  • Compact SUV - $37/day
  • Standard SUV - $51/day
  • Intermediate SUV - $52/day

Additional fees may be included if you rent a car one way. Car rental companies would also charge you extra if you avail of certain services like a chauffeur, return your car late, or extend your rental period.

Age Requirements

The legal age for driving in the Philippines is 18 years old, but the minimum age to rent a car depends on the company. This can range from 21 to 25 years, and some agencies may even require a minimum driving experience of three years.

Car rental companies can also charge a Young Driver’s fee of around $25 to $30 per day to drivers below 25.

Car Insurance Cost

Costs for rental car insurance would usually depend on the agency. Rental car companies charge different rates, and the total amount you’d spend on the insurance would also depend on which types you’d purchase.

For example, a Loss Damage Waiver or Collision Damage Waiver would cost around $20 to $30 per day. So if you want to know how much you’d really spend, it’s important to talk about this with your rental car company.

Car Insurance Policy

Car troubles or getting into accidents is the last thing you’d want to experience when driving abroad, but sometimes the inevitable could still happen. And purchasing car insurance from your rental company could help in cutting back the costs.

To ensure you make an informed decision, it is advisable to review our article on the best car insurance options in the Philippines. It is common for car rental companies to provide insurance coverage, which may include liability insurance, loss damage waiver, personal accident insurance, personal effects coverage, natural disaster coverage, and roadside assistance. However, it is important to avoid purchasing insurance that duplicates coverage you may already have, to prevent unnecessary expenses.

Road Rules in the Philippines

Every country has its own set of road rules and regulations, and the Philippines is no different.


There is a relatively high rate of drunk driving accidents in the Philippines. This is why Republic Act No. 10586 or the “Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013” was established.

It states that motor drivers driving under the influence will be subjected to punishment, depending on the severity of their violation. With this act carried out, officials are hoping that drunk driving accident statistics in the Philippines will drop.

Drivers suspected of driving under the influence shall conduct sobriety tests. At the same time, drivers involved in vehicular accidents resulting in casualties are subjected to mandatory chemical tests. If a driver refuses to undergo a field sobriety or drug test, this will result in the confiscation of his or her license.

Ensure Your Car is in Good Condition

Before getting behind the wheel, LTO advises drivers to check the car’s BLOWBAGA. BLOWBAGA stands for:

  • Battery - Clean and free of corrosion; battery clamps should be tightly fastened and covered
  • Lights - Free of dirt; should be functional
  • Oil - Leak-free and should be changed regularly
  • Water - Must also be leak-free, and levels should be maintained
  • Brake - Leak-free and must be checked regularly
  • Air - Must be regularly checked for anomalies on the tires; inflated or deflated if tires are cold
  • Gas - Fuel should be sufficient
  • Accessories - Regularly check the:
    • Body (if there are scratches)
    • Spare tire and jack
    • Doors and windows
    • Wiper
    • Side and rearview mirrors
    • Cluster instrument
    • Seatbelt
    • First aid kit
    • Reflective triangles
    • Fire extinguisher
    • AC, electrical, and engine components
    • Basic tools

This is to ensure the driver’s safety and prevent any accidents from happening. Besides checking your vehicle, don’t forget to bring all your relevant documents. You don’t want to have a penalty for driving without a license in the Philippines. If your license is not in English, make sure to have an IDP.


Park your vehicle in designated parking areas, and never park in no-parking zones to avoid getting fined. Although parking fines in the Philippines are affordable, it isn’t worth the hassle.

Also, when parking, don’t forget to turn off the engine and engage the hand brake. If you’re parked at the side of the road at night, use your emergency flashers to signal other motorists. Lastly, before leaving your car, never leave your belongings inside just to be sure.

Driving Laws in the Philippines

The Philippines has implemented other driving laws for the safety of the people and even the environment. However, there are still some violators, causing traffic enforcers to be stricter and more vigilant when observing motorists. Here are some road policies in the country:

  • Republic Act No. 10054 or the “Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009"

According to this act, all motorcycle riders, except for tricycle drivers, must wear helmets for protection. These helmets must be for protective purposes and should be approved by the Department of Trade and Industry. Penalties for violators include fines and even the suspension of a driver’s license.

  • Republic Act No. 10913 or the “Anti-Distracted Driving Act"

Drivers are banned from using mobile phones, game consoles, calculators, and other electronic devices to reduce road accidents caused by distracted driving. Those exempted are motorists calling for emergency purposes. Violators must pay fines or surrender their license, depending on the violation’s degree.

  • Republic Act No. 10666 or the “Children’s Safety on Motorcycles Act of 2015"

This act is intended for motorcycle users who bring along small children. Kids are only allowed to ride motorcycles if their feet can reach the footpeg and if they can wrap their arms around the driver’s waist. Wearing helmets is also mandatory. Once again, penalties include fines and the revocation of the violators’ licenses.

  • Republic Act No. 8749 or the “Clean Air Act of 1999”

A lot of drivers don’t usually think about the environment when they’re on the road. However, this act bans all possible causes of air pollution, including exhaust smoke released by vehicles, forcing motorists to be sensitive toward the environment and aware of the vehicles they drive.

Penalties include fines, pollution management seminars, and confiscation of Motor Vehicle Registrations (MVR), depending on the weight of the violation.

Speed Limit

Overspeeding is one of the most common causes of road accidents in the Philippines. This is why different speed limits are implemented in the country.

There are speed limits designated for various areas, including mountainous roads, city highways, and even crowded streets. Some of the important maximum speed limits set by the Department of Transportation are:

  • Open country roads with no “blind corners,” not closely bordered by habitation: 80 kph for cars and smaller vehicles; 50 kph for trucks, busses, and bigger vehicles
  • Through streets or boulevards, clear of traffic: 40 kph for cars and smaller vehicles; 30 kph for trucks, busses, and bigger vehicles
  • City and municipal roads with light traffic: 30 kph for cars and smaller vehicles; 30 kph for trucks, busses, and bigger vehicles
  • Crowded streets approaching intersections at blind corners, school zones, passing stationary cars, or other dangerous circumstances: 20 kph for cars and smaller vehicles; 20 kph for trucks, busses, and bigger vehicles

Seatbelt Laws

Due to the high rates of road accidents in the Philippines, Republic Act 8750, or the “Seat Belts Use Act of 1999” was created to lessen casualties and severe injuries from road crashes.

It mandates both drivers and passengers to wear their seatbelts no matter what. Children six years old and below are also banned from staying in any running vehicle’s front seat. Penalties include fines and license suspension determined by the severity of the violation.

Driving Directions

You’d most likely encounter roundabouts, more commonly known as rotundas, on Philippine highways. If you’re about to enter the rotunda, note that you must always yield to vehicles that are already in them. And before exiting a roundabout, don’t forget to signal your intention and check your side mirror.

If you’re going to overtake a vehicle, remember that the maneuver must be performed on the left as the driving side is on the right. Overtaking a vehicle on the right is not allowed, and if you get caught doing so, you might be fined.

Right of Way

The right of way in the Philippines is defined by Republic Act 4136. It states that:

  • When two vehicles are simultaneously approaching an intersection, the vehicle on the left must yield the right of way.
  • A vehicle approaching but has not entered an intersection must yield the right of way to a vehicle on the intersection.
  • A vehicle in a business or residential area must yield the right of way to pedestrians on a crosswalk.
  • Upon a highway, a vehicle must fully stop before crossing any “through highway” or railroad crossing.

Laws on Overtaking

Republic Act No. 4136 or the “Land Transportation and Traffic Code” states that:

  • When on the highway, the driver shall not drive to the left of a centerline in overtaking the vehicle ahead.
  • The driver must not overtake another vehicle if approaching the crest of a grade or the curve in the highway.
  • The driver must not overtake another vehicle at a railway grade crossing or a highway intersection without traffic signals or officers.
  • The driver must not overtake any vehicle if signs indicate construction or men working on the highway.
  • There must be no overtaking or passing in any no-passing or overtaking zone.

Driving Side

On March 10, 1945, President Sergio Osmeña signed Executive Order No. 34. This order declared that Filipino motorists should drive on the right side of the road, making the Philippines a left-hand drive country.

For drivers from right-hand drive countries, this would take some getting used to, especially if you’re still not accustomed to the Philippines’ traffic rules and regulations. But once you’ve eased your way in, navigating Philippine highways will be much easier.

Other Things to Remember While Driving in the Philippines

  • When reversing your car, keep an eye out for other vehicles and pedestrians. You wouldn’t want any accidents before hitting the freeway.
  • Once you’ve settled into Philippine traffic drives, it’s important to pay attention to the traffic lights and signals, especially if the streets are busy.
  • Also, avoid tailgating and maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. This gives you enough room to stop your car if needed.
  • In case of heavy rains or fog, find a rest area to park your car. You can leave once it’s already safe for you to drive.
  • If you’re feeling sleepy, you can pull up your vehicle at a designated parking bay to get some rest. Remember that you must always be alert when driving.

Driving Etiquette in the Philippines

Car Breakdown

Experiencing car troubles for first-time travelers can be quite scary. Here are a few things you should know if your car breaks down when driving in the Philippines.

1. Pull Your Car Out of Traffic

Whether you’re on the busiest highways of Metro Manila or the quiet roads of Siargao, try to get your car off the middle of the road. Drive your car to the closest emergency bay if you can find one to avoid traffic violations such as illegal parking. Don’t get out of your car if you’re unable to pull it aside.

2. Make sure also to use your signal lights to warn drivers if you have plans to change lanes.

If there are huge vehicles behind you, try to stay away or instead give way to them to avoid accidents. Never try to get ahead of them.

3. Use Emergency Signals

Turn on your hazard lights to get the attention of other drivers. If it’s dark, use your sidelights as well. Once your car is parked correctly, place a reflective triangle 10 feet behind your vehicle, so other drivers are alerted that you’re experiencing car troubles.

4. Call for Roadside Assistance

Once your car is pulled over, and your emergency signals are on display, call someone you know to alert them of your situation. 

5. Ask Help From Strangers — But Always Be Careful!

If you have a hard time contacting family members or authorities, you can reach out to strangers. Filipinos are generally hospitable people and would be happy to assist you. But cases of scams and petty crimes are common in the Philippines, so always be on guard when asking for strangers’ help.

Here are some important hotlines to remember if you’re visiting the Philippines:

  • National emergency - 911
  • National police - 117
  • Philippine Red Cross - 143

Also, don’t forget to provide your current address in the country, so your IDP will be shipped to you quickly. You may ask yourself at times: Why do I need an IDP? If you intend to drive around the country, then securing it is a must to avoid any transportation inconvenience.

Police Stops

The Philippine police won’t stop you unless they have a good reason to do so. So unless you’re breaking traffic rules or committing crimes, just stay calm. You may prepare your documents, but you’re not required to show them unless you willingly do so. Nevertheless, always bring them with you to be safe.

Police may also ask to check your tires and the trunk of your car. But again, remember that they are not required to do these. If they are committing any violations, dial 8888 or go to the People’s Law Enforcement Board to file complaints against them.

Moreover, be careful if they try to confiscate your license, especially since you’re driving in the Philippines with a foreign license; only the Land Transportation Office and its officers are authorized to do so.

Asking Directions

Suppose Google Maps still confuses you and driving instructions from Waze just aren’t working, you can ask help from locals instead to make your journey easier.

The majority of Filipinos can understand and speak in English, so asking for directions won’t be difficult. If you want to include some basic Filipino words and phrases in a conversation with the locals, here are some that you can use:



  • Magandang araw - Good morning
  • Magandang hapon - Good afternoon
  • Magandang gabi - Good evening
  • Oo/Hindi - Yes/No
  • Salamat - Thank you
  • Walang anuman - You’re welcome
  • Paalam - Goodbye


  • Nawawala ako - I’m lost
  • Hinahanap ko ang - I’m looking for
  • Nasaan ang - Where is
  • Kaliwa/Kanan - Left/Right

Other Phrases

  • Para po - Please stop here
  • Bayad po - [Here’s] my payment
  • Paumanhin - I’m sorry
  • Ingat - Take care



  • Maayong adlaw - Good morning
  • Maayong hapon - Good afternoon
  • Maayong gabii - Good evening
  • Oo/Dili - Yes/No
  • Salamat - Thank you
  • Walay sapayan - You’re welcome


  • Nasaag ko - I’m lost
  • Gipangita nako ang - I’m looking for
  • Asa dapit ang - Where is
  • Wala/Tuo - Left/Right

Other Phrases

  • Para - Please stop here
  • Bayad - [Here’s] my payment
  • Help - Tabang
  • Amping - Take care


Checkpoints in the Philippines are established to tighten security and lessen crimes, so there’s no need to be intimidated by them. And since Filipinos are friendly people, police might make small talk. However, some officers violate their protocols, so it’s important to know what to do during checkpoints.

The Philippine National Police released a 10-point guideline so drivers would know what to do when encountering a checkpoint.

1. Checkpoints must be done in well-lit areas, and personnel should be in uniform with
proper identification.

2. Slow down, dim your headlights, and turn your cabin lights on when approaching

3. Never step out of the vehicle.

4. Keep all doors locked during an inspection as visual searches are only allowed.

5. Never allow physical and body searches.

6. Inspection of glove compartments, trunks, and bags is not required.

7. Be polite yet firm when talking to the officers. Know your rights as a driver.

8. Always keep your driver's license and car registration within reach (For foreign tourists, always bring your IDP, car insurance, and other related papers).

9. Keep your phone at bay for emergency purposes.

10. Report violations right away.

Driving Conditions in the Philippines

Accidents Statistics

Road accidents are quite frequent in the country, and they seem to be increasing each year. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported that Metro Manila alone reached an all-time high of 121,771 accidents in 2019. Some sources of these accidents include the use of mobile devices, overtaking, and overspeeding.

Cases like drunk driving accidents in the Philippines are also common despite the laws against driving under the influence. Sadly, many drivers continue to get behind the wheel despite their intoxication and the repercussions this may cause.

Toll Roads

While traveling through the Philippines, you may encounter toll roads, primarily concentrated in Central Luzon. Managed by the Metro Pacific Tollways, these include 223 kilometers of expressways as part of the nation's key toll systems.

The toll network in Central Luzon encompasses the SCTEX, NLEX, NLEX-SLEX, Harbour Link, Citi Link, CAVITEX, C5 South Link, and CALA Expressway. There's also an impending toll project in the Visayas, the Cebu-Cordova Link.

Toll booths are situated along these expressways for entry and exit points, offering payment options in cash or via Electronic Toll Collection (ETC). It's important to be aware that toll fees vary depending on your vehicle's classification.

Road Situations

The condition of roads in the Philippines can be quite inconsistent. Urban highways are typically paved and multi-laned, but they can also be congested, particularly during peak hours.

For those inclined to explore, rural areas provide an escape, though they often feature less-developed roadways, including gravel and dirt paths.

In mountain regions, roads can be particularly treacherous, marked by sharp turns with the possibility of landslides. When navigating such terrain, caution is paramount, and sometimes, selecting an alternative route is the wiser choice.

Driving Culture

Despite stringent traffic regulations, the Philippines still witnesses a fair share of reckless driving. Many traffic incidents are attributed to preventable human errors, such as illegal overtaking and impaired driving—actions prohibited by law.

Road discipline can often be lacking, with some drivers disregarding the basic rules of the road.

Nonetheless, the bulk of traffic challenges are found within city limits, which may not be the typical destination for international visitors.

For those venturing to the more secluded or pastoral areas, the driving experience can be much more pleasant. Here, not only can you typically avoid the inconvenience of urban traffic, but you are also treated to the serene and scenic vistas that the Philippines offers.

Reporting Reckless Driving in the Philippines

Reckless driving is one of the top causes of road accidents in the Philippines. Document their vehicle to file a complaint against a reckless driver. Jot down the plate number and car details, or take a video of the car in action. If your car has a dashcam, you can use its footage as evidence. Finally, approach any traffic enforcer nearby and tell them about the issue.

You can also contact the Philippine National Police via 117 or dial 911 in emergencies. If you want to report public utility vehicles, dial 1342 to file your complaint. Lastly, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Facebook page is permanently active.

Top Destinations in the Philippines

After securing your documents and settling in, you can finally focus on the best part of your Philippine experience: Your road trip destinations! This is why you see our International Driving License pricing to experience a seamless road trip for your next visit to the archipelago.

The Philippines is full of natural and man-made wonders you may want to witness. Here is a short list of the best places to visit and best things to do activities for tourists and locals:

El Nido, Palawan

One of the hottest places to visit in the Philippines is El Nido, Palawan. With its white-sand beaches, vibrant waters, and stunning coral reefs, El Nido is definitely every tourist’s weekend getaway fantasy. The municipality houses 45 islets, each with its own unique rock formations that you can explore via island hopping or kayaking.

Visitors won’t have a problem with their accommodation as they can choose from a wide array of luxury resorts or the cheaper and more modest hostels and inns. Aside from hanging by the beach, tourists can also enjoy island life by doing other things like hiking, kayaking, and even partying.


1. From Puerto Princesa International Airport, you head west on Airport Rd.

2. Turn right twice on Rizal Avenue.

3. Make a right and left turn on Puerto Princesa North Road.

4. When you reach the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Taytay-El Nido National Hwy.

5. Turn left onto Real St.

6. Make a left turn onto Amban St.

7. Turn right onto San Joaquin St.

8. Take a right turn again.

9. Turn left.

El Nido is one of the places tourists love to visit, and if you’re going to the island, do know that there are so many fun things you can do that don’t always involve the waters. Here is a list of activities visitors can enjoy when visiting El Nido, Palawan.

1. Try Out Glamping

Instead of checking in at a resort or a hostel, one unique activity you can try out is glamping, a glamorous form of camping. Tents are set up at beach fronts and usually have various amenities and services that make visitors feel pampered. If you want to connect with nature while preserving that semi-luxurious experience, then make sure to try glamping.

2. Participate in Island Hopping Tours

Of course, an island getaway is incomplete if you don’t go island hopping. Many full-day tours in El Nido typically include guides, boat transfers, and even lunch, so you don’t have to worry about packing your meal anymore. Lastly, don’t forget to always book in advance, especially if you’re visiting during peak season.

3. Experience Marine Life by Diving

If you want to experience marine life and see how sea creatures live underwater, you can go diving at the many diving spots in El Nido. Some of the most famous diving sites are South Miniloc, North Rock, Entalula Wall and Entalula Drift, Pasandigan Beach, and more. Remember that there are over 40 diving spots in El Nido, and each of them is unique, guaranteeing you an unforgettable experience with every one of them.

4. Go Hiking or Trekking

Palawan has many mountains that are home to rich biodiversity. And one activity you can also do in El Nido is hiking. If you want a break from the ocean, you can hike along the mountain trails instead and admire the view once you’ve reached the top. Taraw Cliff is one popular place to trek; note that the cliffs are pretty steep and rocky, so it’s essential to wear a good pair of hiking shoes.

Chocolate Hills, Bohol

If you want a change of scenery from the Philippines’ usual white sand beaches, visit the Chocolate Hills in Carmen, Bohol. The Chocolate Hills is the country’s third National Geological Monument, with around 1,776 400-ft high peaks making up this famous tourist destination. It is named after its vegetation, which turns into chocolate brown during the hot season and remains mint green throughout the wet season.

There are different things you can do to experience the beauty of the Chocolate Hills. But don’t forget to climb the viewpoints and marvel at the beauty of the hills first. Afterward, you’re free to do as many activities as you want, particularly at the nearby Chocolate Hills Adventure Park.


1. From Panglao International Airport, head east and drive straight.

2. Make a slight left onto Panglao Island Circumferential Rd.

3. Turn right.

4. Turn right onto Borja Bridge.

5. Turn right onto Bohol Circumferential Rd/Tagbilaran East Road.

6. Turn left onto Ligason St.

7. Turn right onto Carlos P. Garcia East Avenue.

8. Turn left and continue on Provincial Rd.

9. Turn right onto Tagbilaran City-Corella-Sikatuna-Loboc Rd.

10. Turn left and continue on Corella-Balilihan Rd.

11. Turn right onto Cortes-Balilihan-Catigbian-Macaas Rd.

12. Turn right onto Balilihan-Hanopol-Batuan Road.

13. Turn left onto Loay Interior Road.

14. Turn right onto Chocolate Hills Rd.

The Chocolate Hills is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bohol. And do know that there are many activities you can do if you’re dropping by the hills. Here is a list of some of the most fun things to do for visitors of all ages:

1. View the Chocolate Hills

Make sure to climb up the viewpoints in Bohol if you want to take pictures of the stunning scenery. If you’re in Carmen, you can visit the Chocolate Hills Complex, which is a resort that serves as the main viewpoint of the hills. There’s even a restaurant, swimming pool, activity area, and more that guests can enjoy. Now, if you want a less crowded place to view the hills and relax, you can drop by Sagbayan Peak, which is around 10 miles from the Chocolate Hills Complex.

2. Ride an ATV

One fun way to view the hills and sightsee the area is to rent an ATV. There are typically different packages depending on the route you take, and travelers have the option of choosing an excursion with a guide or without one. If you don’t want a guide, just make sure that you’re willing to get a little lost or maybe encounter a bit of bumps along the way. Nevertheless, it won’t change the thrill of the experience.

3. Visit the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP)

If you want a different escapade when viewing the Chocolate Hills, visit the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park. You can sightsee the hills by ziplining or midair biking, giving you that exhilarating feeling as if you’re a bird. Note that CHAP is an eco-tourism park, and you can do other sustainable nature activities as well. These include rope courses, horseback riding, hiking, and more.


Learn some Philippine history by visiting the walled city of Intramuros in Manila. For 333 years, Spain colonized the Philippines, and during this era, the Spaniards built Intramuros to serve as a military and political base. Since then, the walls have stayed erect and maintained good condition.

Tourists can roam around the area and sightsee historic structures such as churches, plazas, and other buildings. Museum tours are also offered so visitors can learn more about colonial Manila.


1. From Ninoy Aquino International Airport, head southeast toward Multi-Level Parking
Access Rd and continue straight.

2. Merge onto Andrews Ave/Sales Rd and keep left to stay on the road.

3. Drive straight and keep right to stay on Andrews Ave. Continue onto Airport Rd.

4. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Airport Rd.

5. Turn right onto Roxas Blvd/R-1.

6. Turn right onto Remedios St.

7. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Roxas Boulevard East Svc Rd.

8. Turn right onto Kalaw Ave.

9. Turn left onto Ma. Orosa St.

10. Continue onto General Luna St.

11. Turn right onto Muralla St.

12. Turn left onto Cabildo St.

Although there are a lot of modern establishments, tourists who want to venture into the cultural and historical aspects of the Philippines can still do many things in Intramuros. Here is a list of activities tourists can enjoy in the walled city:

1. Tour Around Intramuros

Visiting Intramuros is incomplete if you don’t tour around the area and see some of the historical landmarks within. Visitors can join a guided tour, wherein a tour guide walks them through different monuments and buildings on foot, eventually via a kalesa. If history is one of your interests, make sure not to miss a tour around Intramuros, as you’re guaranteed to learn a lot about colonial Manila.

2. Roam Around the Walled City on a Bamboo Bike

Another unique way to tour around Intramuros is by riding a bamboo bike. This is another guided tour, but instead of walking around Intramuros, you can choose a bike and ride it throughout the area. If you’re uncomfortable biking, you can always choose a different mode of transport. Remember that cycling is eco-friendly, and nothing’s more fun than leaving only a small carbon footprint behind

3. Visit the Museum

It’s one thing to have an outdoor tour around the historical monuments in Intramuros, but it’s another to view the museums’ different artifacts. If you’re not joining a guided tour, make sure to drop by some of the museums if you want a peek at the history and lifestyle within the walled city back then. Some museums that might interest you are Casa Manila, Bagumbayan Light and Sound Museum, and Bahay Tsinoy.

4. Have Dinner at Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant

One great way to end your visit to Intramuros is by having dinner at Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant. This is a perfect way to immerse yourself in Filipino culture and cuisine simultaneously. Not only do you get a restaurant with a very historical ambiance, but you also get cultural and heritage performances while eating.

Oslob, Cebu

Oslob is a small coastal town at the southern tip of Cebu that is widely known for its pristine beaches. They also offer one of the most famous tourist activities, which is swimming with whale sharks.

However, this does not promote sustainable tourism as it exploits these gentle giants by luring them with food to certain areas where they don’t belong. Instead, be sure to choose other activities on the island that don't harm the ecosystem yet are still enjoyable.


1. From Mactan International Airport, head southeast toward Airport-Departure Rd and
turn left.

2. Turn left onto Airport Access Rd/Lapu-Lapu Airport Rd.

3. Turn right onto Lapu-Lapu Airport Rd/Terminal Bldg Access Rd.

4. Turn left onto M.L. Quezon National Highway.

5. Take the ramp to Mandaue City and continue onto Marcelo Fernan Bridge.

6. From U.N. Ave, turn left onto Mandaue Causeway/Ouano Ave/Plaridel St.

7. Continue onto Sergio Osmeña Jr Blvd and keep right.

8. Keep left to continue onto CSCR Tunnel.

9. Turn slightly left as the road becomes Cebu South Coastal Rd.

10. Turn left and continue onto Cebu S Rd/Natalio B. Bacalso S National Hwy.

11. At Carcar City Cir, take the 2nd exit onto Natalio B. Bacalso S National Hwy.

12. Continue driving until you reach Poblacion, Oslob, Cebu.

Oslob is one of Cebu’s top tourist destinations, and many foreigners have visited the coastal town to experience its most famous attraction: swimming with whale sharks. Unfortunately, this activity is not sustainable and eco-friendly. So, if you’re going to Oslob, here are other fun things you can do that won’t hurt the ecosystem.

1. Explore Sumilon Island

Sumilon Island is one of the most popular destinations in Oslob. Many visitors flock to see its sandbar. But most importantly, guests can also do other activities like island hopping, diving, cave tours, and kayaking.

2. Go Paragliding

One of the newer attractions tourists can do in Oslob is paragliding. Daanglungsod, a small town in Oslob, conducts paragliding activities from its local hills. With Paragliding, you get to see the turquoise sky instead.

3. Visit Tumalog Falls

For travelers who want a change of scenery, drop by Tumalog Falls. The attraction is a horsetail waterfall, wherein the cascading waters are in contact with the rocks, resulting in a curtain-like effect. If you want to go somewhere aesthetic without going to the ocean, then Tumalog Falls is the place to be.

4. Sightsee Some Old Ruins

Aside from the cerulean waters, Oslob has its fair share of ruins. The Cuartel Ruins, as well as the Baluarte Ruins on Sumilon Island, are some historical sites you can visit if you also want to keep in touch with Oslob’s heritage and history.


Lately, tourists have been flocking to a newer hotspot on the northeastern coast of Visayas. Siargao, also dubbed as the Philippines’ surfing capital, is a small island that has captivated both experienced and amateur surfers.

Many visitors drop by Cloud 9, the island’s most famous surf spot, to experience the waves that gave this famous site its name.

If Cloud 9 gets too busy, there are many other places to see. You can drive around the municipalities and take a dip at their beaches or do other activities like island hopping, diving, and cliff jumping.


1. From Siargao Airport, head east and turn right onto Siargao Circumferential Rd.

2. Continue straight onto Dapa - General Luna Rd.

3. Turn left.

4. Turn left onto Tourism Rd.

Siargao is one of the best islands to visit if you want a tropical getaway far from the most crowded beaches in the Philippines. And although the number of tourists is growing each year, Siargao has kept its charm and beauty. Here is a list of activities tourists can enjoy when visiting Iao.

1. Surf at Cloud 9

If you’re not afraid of the ocean, surf at the island's most famous surf spot. Cloud 9 draws in many surfers, both novice and professional. And those who don’t know the sport's rules can learn it through surf instructors who willingly give lessons to eager students.

2. Swim with the Jellyfish in Sohoton Cove

Sohoton Cove is another popular tourist attraction home to many natural wonders and thousands of stingless jellyfish. Guests who want to dive and swim with these stunning sea creatures can do so if they follow the guidelines set by the tour guide.

3. Go Island Hopping at the Nearby Islets

Since Siargao is an island with many islets, one of the best ways to explore the area would be to go island hopping. If you want to sightsee and discover the numerous lagoons, limestone caves, and rock formations, island hopping would be one of the best options.

4. Experience Siargao’s Nightlife

Aside from surfing, Siargao has one of the craziest nightlives out there. If you’re a partier or just a curious tourist wondering what Siargao is like after nightfall, know that multiple bars and clubs depend on your taste. Experiencing the nightlife also allows you to mingle with other tourists and make new friends, making your stay in Iao more memorable.

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, is another place to visit if you're interested in the colonial era. Once you tour around the town, you will appreciate not only Spanish architecture but also a fusion of Chinese and other European architectures.

Vigan attracts many visitors due to its heavily preserved state. Although you can get around the city by car or bike, you can also try riding a Kalesa for the whole cultural experience.

Turn on your hazard lights to get the attention of other drivers. If it’s dark, use your sidelights as well. Once your car is parked correctly, place a reflective triangle 10 feet behind your vehicle so other drivers are alerted that you’re experiencing car troubles.


1. From Laoag International Airport, head north toward Airport Rd and continue driving.

2. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Laoag-Paoay Rd.

3. Continue onto Marcos Ave.

4. Turn right onto Otis.

5. Turn left onto McKinley.

6. Turn right onto Currimao-Paoay-Suba-Balacao Rd.

7. Turn right onto MacArthur Hwy/Manila N Rd/Manor.

8. Turn left onto Bantay - San Vicente Rd/MacArthur Hwy/Manila N Rd/Manor.

9. Turn right onto Quezon Ave.

If you don’t want your trip to the Philippines to be entirely about the beaches and other natural wonders, try visiting Vigan. The well-preserved Spanish elements of the city are sure to attract guests who’d surely enjoy doing a wide range of activities in the area. Here are a few things tourists can do when visiting Vigan.

1. Tour Around Calle Crisologo

If you want to go back in time and walk along the streets of colonial Philippines, you can do so by strolling around Calle Crisologo. The cobblestone paths are well preserved and lined with different bars, hotels, cafes, and other shops that would attract tourists, making this area the perfect place for travelers to start exploring Vigan.

2. Visit an Abel Showroom and Learn About the Craft

Vigan is known for its Abel cloth. Guests can visit an Abel showroom to learn more about the craft, as well as know more about the craftsmen and the products they’ve been creating. Also, if you want to support local Filipino goods, don’t hesitate to buy some of their traditional blouses, shawls, napkins, and other products created by the weavers.

3. Climb the Bantay Bell Tower

Are you in the mood to visit some ruins? If you are, you can climb the Bantay Bell Tower which is found atop a hill that overlooks Bantay, Vigan. The place offers its visitors picturesque views of the sky as well as the surrounding landscape.

4. Taste the Traditional Food

Again, the Philippines has very diverse dishes. Each region has its unique cuisine, and Vigan has its own as well. You can try the Ilocos sinanglaw, a soup dish made out of beef that’s flavored with kamias and bile; the Ilocos empanada, an empanada with an Ilocano twist; Vigan style Pakbet; longganisang Iloko; and more.

5. Buy Some Jewelry or Antiques

If your hobby is collecting antiques, you might find some old coins, furniture, paintings, and other interesting trinkets. So take the time to drop by Lucy’s Antique Shop along Calle Crisologo to check out some of its items.

Get an IDP to Explore the Philippines

Set a schedule and experience adventure across the diverse landscapes of the Philippines by obtaining your International Driver’s Permit (IDP).

Witness the captivating charm of the country's various islands, and discover firsthand why the Philippines proudly claims, "It's more fun here!" With an IDP in hand, you're not just driving; you're embracing an unforgettable journey through the heart of this enchanting archipelago.

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