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Best Islands in the Philippines for Outdoor Enthusiasts

The Philippines is home to over 7000 tropical islands, yes, you read that right - 7641 islands to be exact! It can be hard to narrow down the very best islands to visit during your trip, this article is going to give you some guidance on the best islands in the Philippines for the adventurous outdoor enthusiasts out there.

The Philippines is becoming a more popular travel destination with backpackers but remains more untouched compared to the big Southeast Asia contenders such as Thailand and Vietnam. With pristine clear aqua waters, white sandy beaches, fun backpacker scene, thriving underwater life, endless adventures.

Here are the top picks of the best islands in the Philippines for adventure seekers:


Palawan has endless opportunities for adventures, it is home to El Nido which has breathtaking cliffs in the north and is a must for any cliff jumpers looking for thrilling cliff jumping spots in the Philippines. You can also discover some of the worlds most beautiful natural pools in El Nido and Kayak around the lagoons, discover hidden beaches and marvel at the sparkling aqua blue waters. Go on a once in a lifetime adventure and enjoy snorkeling and diving around this beautiful island.


The island of Bohol is full of beautiful hidden nature gems such as waterfalls, you can enjoy an adventure of chasing waterfalls which are so unique. With bright turquoise waters and white dazzling stalagmites, be sure to check them out and even enjoy jungle trekking on your way. Take a journey down the Loboc River and test your balancing acts by River Paddle Boarding, this is one of the most eco-friendly ways to discover the river life and even learn about the Bohol tribes who live by the riverside.


Cebu offers great spots for canyoneering, where you can hike, climb, swim and abseil through Cebu’s beautiful river creeks and canyons. The most popular spot is beginning at Canlaob River on the island and ending at Kawasan Falls. You cannot visit the Philippines without swimming with Oslob Whale Sharks, you are guaranteed to be able to swim with these majestic creatures all year round.


The island of Siargao is thriving with wildlife and equally as vibrant with a young backpacker scene. You can take boat rides through the mangrove forests and stunning lagoons. Siargao is the ideal place to catch some waves too, surf the crystal clear waters, with perfect surf breaks for beginners to professionals. Tayangban Cave Pool is one of the best experiences in Siargao, you are guided as you swim through the cave until you reach an open cave pool which you can jump off from.


This island has got to be one of the most picturesque in the Philippines, most visitors find themselves on this islands to immerse themselves in the diving and to explore the sunken Japanese shipwrecks. Visit Kayangan Lake, which has the clearest water in all of Asia, float on top of the lake in typical Filipino bamboo rafts. Out of the water, you can go on a hiking adventure to Mount Tapyas and take in the view.


Boracay is south of the capital, Manila, with long stretches of sandy beaches and is known as one of the world's top beach destinations. Here enjoy snorkeling in the clear waters, and in the evening mingle and party with other backpackers, as Boracay, has a buzzing nightlife. In the daytime partake in thrilling sports like kiteboarding or windsurfing.


@Maxdoutlife on the Ta'al Volcano

Hike Ta’al Volcano and discover the world's smallest active volcano. This particular volcano is located within a lake, within a larger volcano, it has breathtaking views and can't be missed. Trek through some breathtaking trails at the Mayon Volcano National Park with rice paddies, river creeks, and lush green valleys.


@Maxdoutlife cliff jumping in Siquijor

Jump off of the popular Siquijor cliff, or swim in Siquijors famous Cambugahay and Lugnason Falls, here will be amazed at the magical waterfalls and tropical landscape. You can visit the hidden, Kagusuan Beach and experience the peaceful ocean. If you are looking to do something a little different, why not visit a holy tree which is said to be enchanted, the Old Enchanted Balete Tree is over 400 years old!

Know of any other islands in the Philippines worth checking out? Leave a comment below!

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About the author: Melissa Giroux is a full-time traveler who decided to base herself in Bali, Indonesia. You’ll probably find her in Southeast Asia while she is enjoying her life and sharing it with the world on her travel blog.

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