Must-Visit Islands in The Philippines for Adventure Travelers

 The Philippines, with over 7000 tropical island gems scattered across the archipelago are a true adventurer’s playground. While 7000 islands sound like an almost inconceivable number, I was initially shocked to find out that the true record was held by none other than… Sweden!

In fact, the Philippines only runs in at a measly 7th place in the world’s island-tallying rankings. Number’s aside, we’re honestly more excited about vivid tropical reefs, coconut palm-lined beaches, and epic volcano hikes than cold-rocky outcrops – the maxim law of “quality over quantity” seems to appropriately rule the roost here.

So, sorry Björn, we’re going island hopping in the Philippines!

1. Cebu

Cebu - Must-Visit Islands in The Philippines for Adventure Travelers:

Where in the world can you find epic canyoneering adventures, exquisite diving conditions, and incredible jungle waterfalls? Well, I can think of a select few places, but none are as epic and adventure-filled as the island of Cebu.

With an international airport, its very own backpacker town, and well-maintained roads and transport, Cebu is also as accessible an adventure location as any.

2. Malapascua

Malapascua - Must-Visit Islands in The Philippines for Adventure Travelers:

Famous among scuba divers worldwide, Malapascua is located a short Bangka ride away from Northern Cebu. People flock from far and wide in hopes to get an up-close and personal underwater view of the incredible Thresher Sharks, who call the island home.

The popularity of the Thresher dives has thrust this tiny Filipino island into the adventure travel limelight as of late.

If you’re into diving, snorkeling, or anything to do with marine life, add Malapascua to your Philippines island-hopping itinerary. You won’t regret it.

3. Siargao

Siargao - Must-Visit Islands in The Philippines for Adventure Travelers:

On the eastern edge of the Filipino archipelago lies the surf and smoothie-bowl capital of the Philippines. Many say that Siargao is a glimpse of what Bali used to be, just with better waves.

Even non-surfers will have a hard time checking off all of the epic things to do here. Cliff jumping, caving, rock pool exploring and palm swings are a taste of the adventure that Siargao has on offer.

4. Surigao

Surigao - Must-Visit Islands in The Philippines for Adventure Travelers :

Suri-what? Surigao is Siargao’s brother, known for wild lagoons that look like something straight out of a National Geographic magazine.

Although Surigao is not as accessible or developed as Siargao, it’s easy to organize an island-hopping day trip to explore the gems of Sohoton Cove and the iconic stingless-jellyfish lakes.

5. Apo Island

Apo Island - Must-Visit Islands in The Philippines for Adventure Travelers:

If you’ve never swam with a turtle before, you might even leave this place bored of it. Just kidding, how could you be? Apo Island is a tiny 34-square-kilometer paradise off the coast of Negros.

Complete with sunset viewpoints, pristine coral reefs, and more resident turtles than you can count, Apo Island is a must-visit destination for anyone!

6. Palawan

Palawan - Must-Visit Islands in The Philippines for Adventure Travelers

Honestly, what list of best islands in the Philippines would be complete without Palawan? Jurassic limestone cliffs tower out from the bluest water you’ve ever seen and are crowned with jungle and palms. Palawan Island is an adventure lover’s paradise.

Snorkeling, cliff-jumping, jungle hikes, island-hopping adventures, and more await on the island of Palawan. So, what are you waiting for?

More Adventures in South East Asia

I hope this roundup got the tropical juices flowing. For more free adventure travel guides, including in-depth and location-specific articles, you can find them on my website.

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