New decade = new places to travel to! For the 2020s, why not make a solo trip part of your bucket list? There are tons of pros when it comes to traveling solo: you're in control of your own itinerary (or free to just wander alone), plus it could be a great way to meet other travelers! It might just be the adventure you never knew you needed. We all know that the Philippines is filled with thousands of places to go that are rich in culture and nature—why not take a trip alone to see some of these places for yourself?
Bohol is known for its must-visit spots like the Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Conservation Center, Loboc River Cruise, and more. Getting there from Manila is fairly simple, as direct flights to Tagbilaran are available. Several solo travelers love Bohol because it's filled with places to see and activities to try, all while being fairly affordable. Reserve a day for the Countryside tour that will take you to tons of natural and cultural sites like the Chocolate Hills, Baclayon Church, the Bilar Man-made Forest, and more! You can also visit Panglao Island for a beach trip and other spots to tour.
It's no secret that this island's popularity has skyrocketed over the past few years. Siargao has become one of the top spots on everyone's travel list, whether it's solo or with a group— not to mention, it's extremely popular with foreign visitors, too! To get there, you can take a flight to Surigao City, then a ferry to Dapa Port, followed by a tricycle or motorcycle to General Luna. A few airlines also have direct flights from Manila to Sayak Airport in Siargao. The island is a hot spot for surfing, island hopping, and the nightlife. Awaken the social butterfly in you and get ready to make friends with people you meet in your hostel, along the beach, or at the bars! You may arrive in Siargao alone, but chances are you'll barely spend the trip that way.
Palawan boasts of the most breathtaking beaches and sceneries the Philippines has to offer. If you're planning to travel alone to Palawan, Coron would be a good place to go. Coming from Manila, the easiest way to get there is a direct flight to Busuanga Airport (less than an hour away from the Coron town proper), or you could opt for a ferry ride. Aside from pristine beaches and islands to explore, it's also known as one of the top dive sites in the country; explore coral gardens, lagoons, marine life, and even shipwrecks when you go snorkeling or diving here. Group tours are the popular choice in Coron, and is likely the best way to ensure you'll get to see all the best islands. Just make sure to book your tour in advance!
For a picturesque, reclusive solo trip, Batanes is the place to go. Though the airfare from Manila can be notoriously pricey, it will be well worth it once you're there. The remote province made up of 10 islands is perfect for touring the stunning landscapes and visiting historical sites. The North Batan tour will take you to places like the Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel from the World War II era, and Vayang Rolling Hills to view the perfect sunset. In South Batan, you'll find many other famous spots like Honesty Coffee Shop, Tayid Lighthouse, and lagoons to take a dip in. All this and much more to explore on the different tours you can take! A trip to Batanes would be an amazing way to treat yourself, unwind, and just connect with your surroundings.
Thanks to social media and the Pinoy rom-com "That Thing Called Tadhana," Sagada is known as a destination for 'soul searching.' It has long been a dream destination for solo travelers and backpackers as somewhere cool, safe, and serene, yet filled with adventure. The best way to get there from Metro Manila would be via bus: either a bus that goes directly to Sagada (around a 12-hour trip) or a bus to Baguio then a change of bus and terminal to get to Sagada. The local government of Sagada imposes fixed tour rates and a tourism/environmental fee, and having a tour guide when you visit is a requirement. Sagada is filled with many attractions — like Echo Valley, the Hanging Coffins, and Rice Terraces — but the most famous spots are where you can view the horizon. To be high up in the mountains, surrounded by clouds, with a spectacular view of the sunrise, you'll want to visit Kiltepan Viewpoint and Marlboro Hill. Take it all in!
No need to book any flights or prepare yourself for a lengthy road trip for this next spot — Bataan is fairly close to Manila, about four hours away. It might be an underrated spot for solo travels, but there is actually much to see and do when you go here! History buffs can visit Las Casas De Filipinas De Acuzar, a large complex filled with Spanish-era heritage houses (known as "bahay na bato"), or revisit the historic Bataan Death March. Another must-see is the Five Fingers Cove in Mariveles, where you can go cove hopping, cliff diving, and other fun water activities.
La Union, often called "Elyu," is another destination that's easily accessible from Manila, and is a great spot for solo travelers who want to surf, relax, and experience the social scene. You can take your own car or ride a bus to La Union that will take approximately 5 to 6 hours from the metro. San Juan is one of Elyu's most well-known spots for surfing, eating, nightlife, and events— tons of local music events happen here throughout the year, so keep an eye out if one of your favorite artists has got a gig in the area! Locals are friendly, and hostels are plenty, so even though you come alone, you might just meet more people you can enjoy your trip with. San Fernando is another popular destination and the capital city of La Union, where you can check out the Ma-cho Temple built by the Chinese community.
Dumaguete & Siquijor
These two destinations are usually visited on the same trip because of how easily accessible the island of Siquijor is from Dumaguete. Getting to each destination is simple enough: a flight from Manila to Dumaguete, and a ferry from Dumaguete to Siquijor. Located in Negros Oriental, Dumaguete is known as the "City of Gentle People," so you can expect a warm welcome and great hospitality during your stay. There are plenty of spots to tour around the city, like the famous Siliman University that houses an anthropology museum, and Rizal Boulevard, where you can take a leisurely stroll and try the different food stalls along the road. Then you have Siquijor: a fairly small province full of beautiful islands, waterfall, and caves you can explore. The islands around Dumaguete and Siquijor are also known for being amazing dive spots!