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The Perfect 3 Weeks In The Philippines Itinerary

The Perfect 3 Weeks In The Philippines Itinerary

A 3 week Philippines itinerary can be hard to map out without visiting. So here’s our tried and tested guide to the best islands in the Philippines.

3 Week Philippines Itinerary Map

So we heard travelling the Philippines was one of the tougher countries when it comes to making decisions and planning a route, and it certainly was.

There is no easy way to do it. With over 7,500 islands to choose from and the popular tourist destinations scattered across the scale, here’s how we decided to it. Along with our favourite places/must sees!

This 3 week Philippines itinerary is just for guidance. You can obviously give or take a few days, minus a few activities and even add different ones on, but we hope it helps you on your way to experiencing some of the most beautiful islands in the world.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

Book your Philippines Tours: Philippines: Top Tours & Activities

3 Week Philippines Itinerary Map

3 week Philippines itinerary map – covering the best islands in the Philippines.

Best Time To Visit The Visit The Philippines + Tips

The Philippines are most popular during the dry season, between November and April.

At this time the country is fully accessible, including its many beautiful islands and more remote areas.

Temperatures are high during March and April, so it’s best to travel during the cooler months of December to February.

WHAT TO PACK

Underwater Camera: GoPro HERO7

Waterproof Phone Case: LifeProof Fre Waterproof Phone Case

Sunscreen: Banana Boat Sunscreen SPF-50

Dry Bag: Earth Pak – Roll Top Waterproof Dry Bag

Microfibre Towel: Microfibre Quick Dry Towel

Siquijor itinerary siquijor tour Lugnason Falls Siquijor Waterfalls Philippines Waterfalls

Lauren arriving at Lugnason Falls on Siquijor

Palawan

Things to do:
Puerto Princesa Underground River
El Nido Island Hopping
Las Cabanas Beach
Lio Beach
Taraw Cliff

The most crystal waters and insane islands!

Palawan is the furthest West of the islands and a perfect place to begin your backpacking Philippines itinerary. Also, home to the clearest water and incredible landscapes.

Palawan is a world class cultural, adventure and nature destination. From trekking through the hills, valleys, and rivers to snorkeling and diving, there are truly remarkable experiences awaiting you in Palawan. 

The island province of Palawan has so much to offer to those who want to get to the heart and soul of the Philippines.

Palawan also boasts about it’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, Puerto Princesa underground river, which you can book tickets for here.

If there’s one place you HAVE to add to your 3 week Philippines itinerary, it’s El Nido and Coron. Most people go to Palawan for these two specific places. We didn’t make it up to Coron but you can access it via ferry from El Nido. 

We’ve allowed 4 day’s for Palawan in this 3 week Philippines itinerary, purely because it’s so unbelievably beautiful. Once you’ve flown into the Philippines, you will probably want some down time straight away and that includes making a start on your tan. 

Whether your jet lagged and want to chill or geared up and ready for adventure, on the island of Palawan, you can achieve anything.

Book your Palawan Tours: Palawan: Top Tours & Activities

Getting To Palawan

The most common way to get to El Nido, is by taking a plane to Puerto Princesa, and then taking a mini bus from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. Which can be booked in advance here.

It will take you a day, but it’s the cheapest way to go. Another good option is to take a direct flight from Manila to El Nido.

Flights generally tend to be more expensive if you’re flying straight into El Nido, but if you want to avoid the 5 hour mini bus ride, it’s the option for you.

Palawan also flies in and out to other airports in the Philippines.

Click HERE for our full Things To Do In El Nido – Top Spots Not To Miss blog.

El Nido Tour A & C El Nido Tour Packages In El Nido 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks In The Philippines

The El Nido island hopping is a must on your 3 week Philippines itinerary

Siargao

Things to do:
Magpupungko Rock Pools
Sugba Lagoon
Siargao Island Hopping
Man Made Forest

Surf, good food and good vibes!

Next up, we flew right out East to our second favourite island, Siargao.

Siargao is a tear-drop shaped island known as the ‘Surfing Capital of the Philippines’, but you don’t need to be a surfer to enjoy the beautiful scenery and natural attractions on the island.

Its laid back vibes and hippie atmosphere captured our hearts and if you’re looking to chill, surf or eat green, then Siargao is the place for you.

Siargao is the Philippines’ new Bali. With smoothie shacks, surfing communities, and a completely different local culture, it’s becoming one of the ‘coolest’ places in the Philippines.

We also gave Siargao a generous amount of time on the 3 week Philippines itinerary. This is because the 4th and the 8th day will be travel days (the only downfall to wanting to see as much of the Philippines as possible).

In total you’ll get a good amount of time to island hop, surf, eat smoothie bowls, walk through the main town and visit all the amazing beaches the island has to offer.

Book your Philippines Tours: Philippines: Top Tours & Activities

Getting To Siargao

The only way to get to really Siargao is by plane.

Cebu Pacific Air flies daily from Cebu to Siargao Island and there are also direct flight from Palwan to Siargao too.

Click HERE for our full Siargao Tourist Spots – Things To Do In Siargao blog.

Guyam Island Siargao Island Hopping Tour 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks In The Philippines

Relaxing on Guyam Island – part of the Siargao Island Hopping tour

Cebu

Things to do:
Kawasan Falls
Moalboal Diving
Snorkel The Sardine Run
Aguinid Falls
Tumalog Falls

Waterfall hunting and underwater activities!

Cebu is the largest island in the Visayas region, and is particularly rich in Spanish colonial history. It was the original capital of the Philippines until the 17th century.

As it’s the most central island to the main places in the Philippines, it acts as a hub for flights, ferries and other efficient modes of transport.

Cebu boasts of it’s ethnically diverse population. Its inhabitants are made up of Malay, Chinese, Filipino and an ever-growing number of westerners. It’s now considered to be the most dynamic island in the Philippines, attracting tourist from all over the world.

Home to Kawasan Falls and Oslob’s famous whale sharks, these are two of the top reasons tourists come to the Philippines! So if you’re looking to tick them both off, it may be worth booking a two in one tour like this one.

Cebu island also gives easy access to Bohol and Siquijor by ferry. 

After flying in from Siargao, a few days in Cebu is generally enough. This is where the waterfall adventures start. You can tick a couple of waterfalls off in a day and also try everything that Moalboal has to offer.

Down south there are some incredible waterfalls, such as Aguinid Falls and Tumalog.

Book your Cebu Tours: Cebu: Top Tours & Activities

Getting To Cebu

The fastest way to reach Cebu is by plane.

Cebu is an international destination with flights from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

Arrival is at at the Mactan International Airport almost daily.

From Manila, Cebu is just an hour away by plane.

Once in Cebu you can use it as a base to ferry over to Siquijor and Bohol from.

Click HERE for our full Things To Do In Moalboal – Activities Not To Miss blog.

Kawasan Falls 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks In The Philippines

Kawasan Falls is one of the most famous spots in the Philippines

Bohol

Things to do:
Chocolate Hills
Panglao Beach Hopping
Chase Waterfalls

Jump on a scooter and adventure!

Bohol is well known for its Chocolate Hills. There’s no doubt that it has some of the best waterfalls and beaches too.

The island of Panglao, attached to the bottom of Bohol, is a beach lovers heaven and the mainland is just screaming with adventure!

Bohol is also the home of the tarsier, the big eyed insect insect-eating primate whose size is smaller than your fist. Scientists regard the tarsier as the oldest mammal now inhabiting the earth. 

We definitely recommend hopping on a scooter to explore the waterfalls if you’re adding Bohol to your 3 week Philippines itinerary.

In our opinion a couple of days in Bohol is enough. A lot of people tend to only visit for the famous chocolate hills but the waterfalls and beaches are definitely worth checking out too. 

Book your Bohol Tours: Bohol: Top Tours & Activities

Getting To Bohol

Bohol is located southeast of Cebu and you can access the island via plane. However Bohol is easiest to get to via ferry from Cebu and probably much cheaper and more convenient.

The Tagbilaran City Pier in Bohol handles more than 4,000 travellers on a daily basis.

Click HERE for our full Tourist Spots In Bohol & Things To Do blog.

Ingkumhan Falls Bohol Waterfalls 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks In The Philippines

Bohol is great if you love waterfalls!

Siquijor

Things to do:
Cambugahay Falls
Lugnason Falls
Salagdoong Beach
Century Old Balete Tree
Paliton Beach For Sunset

More scooter adventures, and even more water fuelled adrenaline!

Another one of our faves! We loved Siquijor, we guess it’s because we’re big waterfall chasers.

For most Filipinos, Siquijor is a mysterious other-world of witchcraft and the unknown.

However, these days Siquijor’s most popular healing practice involves a deck chair with a cocktail, relaxing at one of it’s wonderfully affordable beach resorts.

Attractions include great diving, waterfalls, caves and forest walks in the hilly interior.

In terms of snorkelling, you’ll find that just about everywhere on Siquijor Island is good for sticking on a mask and jumping in. However, don’t forget to take your flip flops with you because there is the possibility of stepping on sea urchins. And that’s not nice!

Our advice is to rent a bike and search the rope swings and cliff jumps throughout the island! Siquijor is easily in the top three of our best islands in the backpacking Philippines itinerary.

For this 3 week Philippines itinerary, we chose 3 nights for Siquijor. In our opinion, this island is very quirky and different. It has some of the best waterfalls in the whole of the Philippines. Don’t forget to go to Paliton beach for at least one sunset too!

Book your Philippines Tours: Philippines: Top Tours & Activities

Getting To Siquijor

There is no direct connection from Cebu Island to Siquijor. However, you can take the ferry to Tagbilaran (Bohol) from either Cebu City (central Cebu) or Santander (South Cebu), then catch the ferry to Larena (Siquijor Island). 

Tourists generally stay in the San Juan area of Siquijor, so you can get a taxi from there.

We were staying in Dumaguete before visiting Siquijor, so we got the ferry straight over to island from there. We rented mopeds at the port and made our way to our accommodation. There are alternative ways to get to the island but it all depends on where you’re staying. You can ready our Dumaguete to Siquijor Ferry blog here.

To put it simply though, the only two ways you can access Siquijor is via Bohol or Dumaguete. The island is too small to run a commercial airport so ferries are the only mode of transport in and out of the island.

Click HERE for our full Tourist Spots In Siquijor + The Best Things To Do blog.

Salagdoong Beach Siquijor Salagdoong Beach Cliff Jump 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks In The Philippines

Salagdoon Beach is a must visit!

Negros

Negros Island is split into two provinces, the North (Negros Occidental) and the South (Negros Oriental).

We decided to visit both areas, the capitals being Bacolod and Dumaguete.

Things to do in Bacolod:
Lakawon Island
Tawhai Floating Bar
The Ruins
Duyan Cafe

Things to do in Dumaguete:
Casaroro Falls
Pulangbato Falls & Red Rock Hot Spring
Manjuyod Sandbar
Apo Island

Be prepared for lots of food and culture!

With a mixture of things to do in both capitals, you can really grab a feel for the Filipino culture or jump on boats at either end and head to the closest paradise islands.

We can highly recommend Lakawon in the North and Apo in the South!

Bacolod

Bacolod is not so common for tourists, so if you like to go off the beaten track then it’s definitely a good option to add to your 3 week Philippines itinerary.

You should definitely visit Lakawon Island if you make it up that way though!

Click HERE for all the Bacolod Tourist Spots & Things To Do In Bacolod

Dumaguete

Dumaguete however, is super popular for Apo Island as we previously mentioned. You’re very likely to spot the most beautiful turtles when snorkelling or diving around Apo Island.

There are many boat trips to and from the port of Dauin, which is South of Dumaguete. To find out more information on Apo Island, read our Apo Island Dumaguete – A Complete Guide To Visiting Turtle Heaven blog here.

Make sure you definitely check out what else Dumaguete has to offer, like Manjuyod Sanbar and it’s beautiful waterfalls.

On this 3 week Philippines itinerary, we’ve left 3 days for the whole Negros island. Although we’ve listed so many potential things to do, you probably won’t get them all done in 3 days.

As we previously mentioned Negros Occidental (Bacolod) is off the beaten track and we only visited here to stay with a Filipino friend. If you’re interested in visiting a local city in the Philippines with minimal tourists then definitely take the Negros Occidental route.

On the other hand, if you’re visiting the Philippines on holiday, then the Negros Oriental (Dumaguete) route gives you more of a touristy touch, with snorkelling tours and commercialised hotels and home stays. 

Book your Philippines Tours: Philippines: Top Tours & Activities

Getting to Dumaguete

Dumaguete is accessible via plane, but again it’s cheaper, more efficient to catch the ferry.

If you’re visiting Dumaguete from Cebu, then ferries are always most common option, especially when the islands sit so close together.

Or click HERE for all the Dumaguete Tourist Spots – The Ultimate Guide.

Lakawon Island Bacolod 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks In The Philippines

Lauren taking some time out at Lakawon Island

Where To Stay In The Philippines

For pre-booking accommodation when travelling, we always recommend booking.com!

From 5 star hotels, to budget backpacker hostels, it’s got everything and the site is super easy to use.

So to compare deals, and pre-book all of your Philippines accommodation, you can check the latest prices here.

More Philippines Blogs

El Nido Tour Package – Island Hopping Explained

Philippines Waterfalls – The Must Visit Falls Guide

Tourist Spots In Siquijor + The Best Things To Do

Things To Do In Moalboal – Activities Not To Miss


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