Top ideas for an active holiday in the Philippines

Sea kayaking in Thailand, trekking in Nepal or scuba diving in Vietnam. Why travel to all of these countries to have an adventure if you can combine them in one trip? Here are four reasons – slash – adventures why any active traveler should have the Philippines on his list as a travel destination.

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The 1486m high active volcano Mount Pinatubo on the island of Luzon is one of the most known trekking possibilities in the Philippines. The mountain used to be covered with lush forests until – after an inactivity of over 500 years – an eruption swept away the doubts if Mount Pinatubo really was a volcano. The trekking is offered daily in the capital Manila for tourist wishing to experience a splendid view over the boulder valley that is a home to Aeta Tribesmen. But there is more to the lahar-filled valleys and boulders. The true gem of Mount Pinatubo is its crater lake which can be seen after two and a half hours of trekking and climbing the boulders. The mountain is just one way of nature to show us that there is beauty in destruction.

Even though this day trek of Mt Pinatubo is regarded as one the most popular attractions of the Philippines, the region of Luzon has more to offer. The hiking is best in the Northern Cordillera Mountains where you can camp overnight on peaks such as the 2922m Mt Pulag and wake up to watch the sunrise over the sea of clouds.

Heading south of Manila, there are plenty of volcanoes to climb such as Mount Mayon (meaning beautiful in the local dialect). Several additional volcanoes line the nine-hour route between Manila and Mt Mayon along the ‘ring of fire’.

philippines-pinatubo-mountainCrater lake, Mount Pinatubo


Surfers speak in awe if anyone mentions the rugged island of Samar, an isle located in the east of the Philippines. With the barely accessible waves its a hotspot for surfers seeking a real challenge. Nonetheless, the biggest draw that is attracting adventurers all over the World is caving. Tours run by only a handful, guiding tourists through karst tunnels and under-low-hanging stalactites give them a ultimate Indiana Jones adventure. Equipped with a full-body spelunking suit and helmet you follow you leader in the spelunks only lit up by a gas lamp. True adrenaline junkies will enjoy the multi-day tours offered.

Pride of the region is the Langun-Gobingob Caves, the biggest cave in Southeast Asia and the 2nd largest cathedral cave in the World, composed of twelve caves with underground spaces, unique rock formations and streams. But the Philippines have yet more caves to be discovered. The Odessa Tumbali Cave in Cagayan, has a total length of 7650 meters and is connected with the village of Tumbali where the name comes from. The cave reserves a tremendously beautiful sight inside on terrific stone arrangements and has a lot of photographing spots. It also has a canal and lagoon for swimming and tremendous cave diving spots.

Situated in Mabinay, Negros Oriental, the large Odloman Cave is one the most visited caves in the Philippines. Five thrilling and exciting entrances give you the chance to spot large galleries, active streams and a mix of crystalline formations.


Being a mix of abseiling steep cliffs, river trekking and scrambling rock formations, canyoning is a sport for adrenaline junkies. As a location, you don’t need much. A small river gorge or a jaw-dropping waterfall can be a perfect scene for this hell of an adventure. Fortunately, this setting is to be found in a lot of places in the Philippines. The Montaneza Falls in Cebu is just one of those perfect settings. One of the highlights is rappelling down a 30m high waterfall with an overhang, a fall that has his source of the Montaneza River. The whole area is a lush tropical environment of plants and trees. The forest is the one that keeps the fresh water is being supplied for this waterfalls. Water is breaking through the heart of the forest like human veins in the human body keeping a person alive. The Montezuma Falls have four prominent falls challenging amateur adventurers who follow the falls. This is a challenging trip since you need to be very fit to climb slippery rocks. People who change their mind at the last minute can use the bamboo ladders to climb over.

white-sandy-beach-928100_1920White sand beach, Mindanao

Sea Kayaking

While Thailand is a popular tourist destination for adventurers wanting to sea kayak between the many tropical islands with Phuket as an ideal base, there are reasons why you should travel to the Philippines instead. The biggest advantage? Avoiding the mass tourism that is lured to Phuket as bees to flowers. The heavenly and paradise-styled beaches of the Philippines are simply amazing. White Sandy beaches and turquoise crystal-clear waters are a setback hardly to be outdone. Philippines is made up of over 7000 islands so it won’t be too hard to find your dream beach or a pristine island over there and having it all for yourself. One of the best places to island hop is Palawan, known for its spectacular limestone formations. Coron Bay, situated just off Busuanga Island is a bay dotted with idyllic islands that provide good camping spots. Sea kayakers will find no trouble spending up to a week in this serene aura of isolation.


There are plenty of high class diving spots around the world. There is no questioning that. Apo Reef, a glorious, mostly sunken atoll just two hours of the west coast of Mindoro, is just one of them. The reef is the habitat of both macro life and larger creatures. Sometimes you’ll even lose count of how many sharks, rays and sea turtles you spotted. The nearest town Sablayan used to be hard to access for many years. But now, the Construction of smooth highways and the improved flight connections from capital Manila gives you the option of flying in the morning and diving in the reef by midday.

It’s hard to argue that Philippines is a destination well worth a visit for adventurous travelers.
Its sublime natural environment offers great settings for any type of outdoor activity. Sandy beaches, blue waters and rocky formations. All warmed up? Book your ticket and have an adventure!

Read more: Seven natural wonders of the Philippines


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philippines-scuba-divingScuba diving in the Philippines

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