1. Is the Philippines open to tourists in 2022?
As of 1st April 2022, the Philippines was opened to fully vaccinated travelers without the need for an Entry Exemption Document issued by the Bureau of Immigration.
This relaxing of entry requirements have been permitted to allow recovery of the economy, as tourism is a major industry in the Philippines.
However, while the Philippines may be open to tourists as of April 2022, there are still certain entry requirements under the COVID-19 regulations that must be complied with to obtain entry.
2. Do I need a visa to visit the Philippines?
If you are from one of the 168 countries that are entitled to a visa exemption for travel to the Philippines, then that visa exemption now reapplies and you will not need to obtain a visa prior to travel.
However, for everyone else, a valid visa is required in order to enter the country.
The Philippines provides a Visa on Arrival service for 30 eligible countries, who can get their visa when they arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport only.
For everyone else, all visas must be obtained in advance from an embassy or consular office in the country of residence.
3. What are the COVID-19 travel restrictions for traveling to the Philippines?
While travel is open, there are certain restrictions on entering the country.
These include: full vaccination, except for minor children below 12 years of age traveling with their fully vaccinated parents; an acceptable proof of vaccination from their home country; and travel insurance for COVID-19 treatment costs from reputable insurance providers, with a minimum coverage of USD 35,000.00 for the duration of their stay in the Philippines;
Also, as of May 30, 2022, travelers aged 18 and above will be exempted from the testing requirement as long as they can present proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination and at least one booster shot.
Minors aged 12 to 17 are not required to have a booster shot and only need to present proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination.
4. How many days are enough to visit the Philippines?
The Philippines consists of a variety of ethnic cultures and backgrounds and eight major dialects, incorporating 175 separate languages. With such a variety, you can spend months in the country and still not see all of it.
However, it is possible to see the highlights of Metro Manila and the immediately surrounding provinces in 4-5 days, and you can get to see the main highlights of Luzon and Metro Manila in around a week.
Ideally, two weeks is recommended, as this would give you the opportunity to visit several other island destinations as well, such as Boracay, Davao, Cebu, and much more.
5. What are the best things to do in the Philippines?
The Philippines has more than 7,000 islands, many of which are uninhabited, but with so much sea and sand, days out at the stunning beaches are a great way to relax and unwind.
If you like city tours, then Manila and the other cities that make up the conglomeration of the National Capital Region are well worth exploring for a few days.
Head north and you can experience the food culture of Pangasinan, renowned for its cuisine, or head east and visit the perfect cone of Mount Mayon, one of the country’s currently active volcanoes.
If you head out to the Island of Palawan, you can spend time enjoying the natural habitats of turtles and dolphins, while in the southeastern part of the archipelago you can see the cute Philippine tarsier, and visit the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol.
6. What are the top island and beach destinations in the Philippines?
The most renowned beach destination for locals in the Philippines is El Nido, on the island of Palawan, but for most foreign tourists, Boracay in Aklan is considered the top beach destination because of its numerous resorts and premier hotels.
Aside from these two, the top destinations also include Palaui Island in the Cagayan Valley region, Panglao in Bohol, and Bantayan Island in Cebu.
However, for those that want a beach for surfing, then the Siargao Islands in Surigao del Norte are one of the best locations for surfers from mid-August to mid-December. And if you are looking for some good diving locations, few can match Great Santa Cruz Island in Zamboanga Province.
7. Is the Philippines a cheap place to visit?
The Philippines is considered to be one of the cheapest places to visit in Asia, if you are traveling on a budget. While the country does cater to high-end tourism, for many travelers, daily expenses in the Philippines can be as low as $20 a day.
An average local meal will set you back only sixty pesos, or a little over a dollar, and there are plenty of cheap places to eat and street food vendors that cater to lower budgets.
An average hostel dorm bed can cost as little as 5-7 dollars a night, and restaurant meals can be had for just 4-5 dollars.
8. How to get to the Philippines?
Flights run daily from most major countries around the world to the Philippines, though some trips will usually need 1-2 transfers for long-haul travelers from Europe and the United States.
Flights generally land at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, Metro Manila, though if you are getting connecting flights or traveling from inside Asia, you can get flights to Cebu, Aklan, and other airports across the country.
9. How to get around in the Philippines?
Traveling around the Philippines can be done independently, or with a tour operator. with a tour, the operator will arrange your travel and transport to the different destinations, usually in air-conditioned transport.
Alternatively, you can travel independently, using taxis, air-conditioned buses, and other private transport, including privately-rented self-drive and driver-accompanied vehicles. And for inter-island travel, there are plenty of ferries between the islands and flights for longer distances.
However, if you want to be adventurous, traveling by public transport is the best and cheapest option. With one of the best public transport systems in Asia, that can take you almost door to door, you can opt to ride on local buses or jeepneys for longer trips inside and between cities, and traysikels (tricycles) for shorter local trips.