Bucket List #25: Swim with Sea Turtles ((Swam with sea turtles on Apo Island)
The Philippines is a piece of paradise on earth and is made up of 7,107 islands, each one ranging from world-class beaches and coral reefs to mountain ranges and tropical rainforests. If you are looking for a tropical getaway and do not have a destination in mind than I highly recommend visiting this incredible country. I had the most wonderful experience and will never forget the once in a lifetime opportunity I was given. Here are the top 5 MUST SEE Islands to visit in the Philippines!
Coron truly takes the cake as the most magical island, as it is filled with natural beauty including limestone cliffs, awesome diving sites, white sand beaches, and mountain lakes.
- How to get there: Fly into Busuanga with Cebu Pacific and take a 45 minute van to Coron.
- Tip: There is no where to stay on the island overnight.
- What to do: Go scuba diving or rent a scooter and explore the golden fields, dusty roads, and rolling hills.
- What it is known for: This island is known for having very few to no tourists, a few villages, and the fact that it is under-developed. This island does not have gourmet food and there is not much of a nightlife.
- Fun Fact: Coron was among the ‘Top 10 Best Scuba Diving Sites in the World’ by Forbes Travel Magazine.
Cebu Island has everything that you could ask for on a dream vacation.
- How to get there: The fastest way to Cebu is by plane. You can fly from Manila into Matan-Cebu International Airport through Cebu Pacific.
- What to do: Swim with Whale Sharks off the coast of Oslob Beach. You can also complete Kawasan Canyoneering, a hike down a canyon. Lastly, you can go parasailing, jet skiing, and banana boating.
- Helpful Blog Post #1: ‘7 Tips for Swimming with Whale Sharks in Oslob, Cebu, Philippines.’
- Helpful Blog Post #2: ‘Tips for Completing Canyoneering in Badian, Cebu, Philippines’
- What it is known for: Cebu is known as the Queen City of the South, because of its huge potential in terms of the economy.
- Fun Fact: The Sinulog grand and colorful Festival is held in Cebu! The festival features street dancing and novena masses.
- What to do: Swim with Sea Turtles
- What it is known for: Apo Island is also known as, “Turtle Island”, as you will see big sea turtles constantly surfacing for air all around you. I highly recommend jumping off the boat to swim with them.
Bohol is a magnificent tropical island located in Central Visayas in the Philippines.
- How to get there: Fly to Cebu City airport and take a ferry boat to Tagbilaran City.
- Tip: You can travel throughout Bohol by bus or rent a car.
- What to do: Visit their infamous Chocolate Hills and explore the Tarsier sanctuary to observe there cute primates.
- Fun Fact: The tarsier is the second smallest primate on earth!
- How to get there: Fly from Manila to Dumaguete in Negros Oriental. From there, get a tricycle or jeepney to the Dumaguete port where you will travel by ferry to Siquijor Island.
- Tip: Rent a bike, as public transportation is not reliable and always have change with you!
- What to do: Visit Cambuhagay Falls, Visit the Enchanted Balete Tree, Lugnason Falls, and there beautiful beaches. Some famous beaches are the Paliton Beach, Kagusuan Beach, and the Salagdoong Beach.
- What is the Island Known for? The island as a land of witchcraft, enchantments, and sorcery.
- How to get there: Fly to Palawan Island from Manila through Cebu Pacific.
- Tip: There are no hospitals in El Nido.
- What to do: Visit the small and big lagoon in El Nido, go scuba diving or snorkeling, visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River.Fun Fact: There are no sidewalks in town
- How to get there: Take the fastest route from Manila to Caticlan, a 35 minute flight via Cebu Pacific or Asian Spirit. Take a short tricycle ride to the Caticlan port where you then take a 15 minute boat ride to Boracay.
- Tip: Boracay is overcrowded with tons of activities and attractions.
- What to do: Watch the sunset and sunrise on the islands beautiful white sand beaches, experience the lively night life and events, and go cliff diving.
- Helpful Blog Post: ‘5 Best Things to Do in Boracay, Phillipines’.
- Fun Fact: The population consists of 12,000 people!
- How to get there: You need to take a bus ride to North Luzon that depart from Paway and Cubao in Manila.
- Tip: There is a TON of traffic and Luzon is way over crowded, as there are 12 million residents.
- What to do: Visit the 2,000 year old Banaue’s rice terraces in Northern Luzon and explore Mt. Mayon in Legazpi.
Below are photos from my experience swimming with Sea Turtles in Apo Island: