4 Awesome Backpacking Routes You Can Accomplish this 2018

Make the most of your local travel plans by expanding your destinations.

By: Patricia Marie Prado | December 29, 2017
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Recently, more and more Filipinos are enjoying the joys of traveling thanks to the promo fares of various low-cost airlines in our country . But instead of the usual itinerary of visiting one city at a time, have you ever considered a multi-city backpacking trip?

Going on a backpacking trip refers to literally carrying one backpack (or two) and traveling continuously for a long period of time. But for those who are confined by work schedules and can only travel for a couple of days, we created a list of multi-city routes in the Philippines you can accomplish this coming year so you can also take advantage of all the upcoming long weekends this coming 2018.

Ready your newly-bought planners, plot your VLs (vacation leaves), and read on!


Philippines backpacking route itinerary

Visit Cebu’s Magellan’s Cross, Bohol’s Chocolate Hills, and Dumaguete’s Rizal Boulevard with a side trip in Siquijor in one go. (Images: @gabrielleceazar, @feeltrip.club, and @mar.ali26)

Cebu has gained fame through the recent year thanks to the action-packed activities you can accomplish in the city. But why stop at Cebu when you can also visit Bohol and reach the sleepy towns of Dumaguete and Siquijor in one trip?

First stop: Cebu

For this route, you can start your itinerary in Cebu and visit famous spots like Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro, and Cebu IT Park. If you’re more interested on the beaches of Cebu, head to the northern part of the province and visit Camotes Island, Bantayan Island, or Malapascua Island. You can end your Cebu trip by visiting the Southern part of the City. Here, you can experience the famous Kawasan Falls canyoneering activity in Badian and hike to Osmeña Peak. Don’t forget to take some souvenirs with you.

Second stop: Bohol

From Cebu City Pier, you can hop on a ferry boat and travel to Bohol. Travel time is two hours and you’ll be dropped off at Tagbilaran City Pier. In Bohol, you can visit the majestic Chocolate Hills, join the romantic Loboc River Cruise, and see the cute tarsiers. You can also head to Panglao and visit various beaches, including Alona Beach, Bagobo Beach, Danao Beach, Bolod Beach, and Doljo Beach. You can also get some souvenirs while you’re here!

Third stop: Dumaguete

After your Bohol trip, you can return to Tagbilaran City Pier and ride a ferry boat going to Dumaguete Port for two hours. Known as the University Town, Dumaguete is home to thousands of students as the famous Silliman University can be found here. You can visit the university’s Anthropology Museum, stroll around Rizal Boulevard, and take a side trip to Apo Island and snorkel with the sea turtles.

Last stop: Siquijor

To end your backpacking trip, you can ride a ferry boat to Siquijor from Dumaguete Port. This sleepy town may have a scary reputation with all the aswang stories we heard growing up, but it’s a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Tricycle tours are popular in the city and you can hop on one to visit places like the Enchanted Balete Tree and Fish Spa, San Isidro Church and Convent, and St. Francis of Assisi Church. Make sure to also drop by Siquijor’s beaches including Paliton Beach, Salagdoong Beach, and Kagusuan Beach to name a few.


Philippines backpacking route itinerary

See an underwater river, a secret beach, and a picturesque lake in the province of Palawan. (Image: @gwtf528, @ms.luxuryworldtraveler, and Jackie Navarro Senecal)

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines is the province of Palawan. If you have the time and extra budget, you can actually visit Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and Coron in the province of Palawan in one go.

First stop: Puerto Princesa

Although most travelers skip Puerto Princesa and head straight to its more popular neighbor El Nido, it is still a place worth visiting. Puerto Princesa boasts its own white sand beaches, island hopping adventures, and it is also the home of the famous Underground River, recognized as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

Second stop: El Nido

From Puerto Princesa, you can travel to El Nido via bus or van. Buses are cheaper, but it’ll take you around six to seven hours as they have multiple stopovers on the way to El Nido. On the other hand, vans are a bit pricier, but will take you to El Nido within five to six hours.

El Nido is known for its island-hopping adventures, gorgeous rock formations, and remarkable nightlife. Some of the areas worth visiting include Nacpan Beach, Marimegmeg Beach, and a hike at Taraw Cliff. You might also want to pique your curiosity and visit the so-called “Secret Beach,” a popular hideaway in Matinloc Island.

Last stop: Coron

You don’t need to get out of El Nido just to go to Coron. Although it’s a little pricey, there are now ferry boats that travel from El Nido to Coron and vice versa. After three hours of sea travel, you’ll eventually reach the island of Coron and can immediately start your adventure.

Some of the top attractions in Coron include seeing Kayangan Lake, diving into Barracuda Lake, and hiking Mt. Tapyas.


Philippines backpacking route itinerary

The next time you visit Boracay, make sure to include Iloilo and Guimaras on your itinerary. (Images: @goseasia, @marcus_j81, and David Shak)

Most people might only recognize Iloilo for its La Paz batchoy and Dinagyang Festival every January, but it’s actually rich in history and natural beauty and also the gateway to Guimaras and Boracay.

First stop: Iloilo

You can start your day by having a hearty La Paz batchoy, and after that, you can explore the streets of Iloilo filled with old charming buildings perfect for a photo walk. You can also stop by Iloilo River Esplanade perfect for an afternoon stroll or an early morning jog. Beach bums can also take a day trip to the beautiful Isla de Gigantes.

Second stop: Guimaras

From Iloilo, take a cab to either Ortiz Wharf or Parola Wharf where you can ride a boat going to Guimaras. Travel time is just 15 minutes and you’ll immediately be greeted by tricycle drivers offering a tour around the province. The island-hopping tour that starts at Raymen Beach Resort is a must-try when you visit, but the city is also filled with great attractions like the Guimaras Windmills, Mango Research Center, and Museo de Guimaras to name a few.

Last stop: Boracay

After your trip to Guimaras, just hop on a boat back to Iloilo and catch a bus going to Caticlan. Buses can be found at Tagbak Terminal and will take around five hours of travel time. Once you’re in Caticlan, just ride the boats going to Boracay.

Boracay needs no introduction as it is one of the most famous islands in the country. It is known for long stretches of powdery white sand beaches and crazy parties at night. Aside from the numerous water sports you can do in Boracay, you can also try other activities like cliff diving at Ariel’s Point or go on a dining adventure at D’Talipapa.


Philippines backpacking route itinerary

Itching for adventure? The CDO-Camiguin-Bukidnon route is as adventurous as it gets. (Images: Ian Hermoso, @iamluckboi, and Dahilayan Adventure Park)

Here’s one backpacking route you can try this coming 2018: the Cagayan de Oro-Camiguin-Bukidnon route. If you’re a fan of taking roads that are less traveled, these provinces are often under the radar of tourists, which makes them all the more exciting.

First stop: Cagayan de Oro

For this trip, you can begin your journey in Cagayan De Oro or CDO. For thrill-seekers, CDO is the home of the Whitewater Rafting Adventure where you get tossed by giant waves of surging waters from the Cagayan de Oro River. For nature lovers, you can also try the Mapawa Nature Park where they offer horseback riding and mountain biking activities to name a few.

Second stop: Camiguin Island

From CDO, you can then transfer to the beautiful island of Camiguin. Just go to Agora Market Terminal and hail a bus or van going to Balingoan Port. From the port, you can ride the ferry boats going to Benoni Port in Camiguin. Travel time will take around two hours.

Some of the places to see in Camiguin include the Sunken Cementery in Catarman, the White Island or Medan Island and the Katibawasan Falls in Mambajao.

Last stop: Bukidnon

After a day or two in Camiguin, you can head back to CDO and go straight to Bukidnon. From Agora Market Terminal in CDO, you can ride vans or buses going to Bukidnon with a travel time of around an hour and a half. Your drop-off will be at Manolo Fortich and you can start your adventure there.

For those who are looking for an adrenaline rush, Dahilayan Adventure Park is known for their dual zip line, 120-foot freefall ride, and skytower base jumping activities. Bukidnon is also the home of Del Monte’s Pineapple Plantation where you can buy different kinds of pineapple products and inspect the American-styled houses where the previous owners of Del Monte used to live.

From this list, you can mix and match your adventure and stay as long or as short as you want from one place to another. The beauty of backpacking is you can freely move and change your itinerary whenever you feel like it. Now book that flight and go travel to your heart’s content!

Check out our list of travel agencies in Metro Manila, Cebu, Bohol, or Negros Island or browse the Travel & Transportation category of the ShoppersGuide Directory.

Are you ready to make 2018 your year of travel? Let us know in the comments section which of these routes you are going to try next year.
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About Patricia Marie Prado
Patricia came from the field of business and accounting but is now pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She is a self-confessed introvert and is passionate about reading, travelling, writing, movies, coffee and God. When she's not writing, she loves discovering new coffee shops/cafe and doing TV-series marathons.
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