Traveling to the Philippines is a backpacker’s dream: cheap food, budget-friendly accommodation, and an affordable cost of living that won’t break the bank. So many travelers head to this island country as a way to stretch their local currency as far as possible.
To give you an idea of just how affordable the Philippines can be, consider the 6 to 7-hour bus ride from El Nido to Puerto Princesa. This journey costs about 10 USD, and you’ll be more than comfortable throughout the journey. Accommodation is just as affordable, and the same goes for food and adventure activities.
The fact that you can island hop on an extreme budget is great and all, but what if your budget allows you to live a life of luxury? This is another perk of traveling to the Philippines; if you want to go all out with a luxury lifestyle, you can easily do that.
The best way to make that happen is to book into one of these off-the-beaten-path luxury resorts.
Tugawe Cove Resort, Caramoan Island
Caramoan Island is an idyllic spot that is located in the south-central Philippines, surrounded by calm waters and lush tropical jungles. The island’s most luxurious place to stay, Tugawe Cove Resort, is in the heart of it all. The resort overlooks Lauing Bay and the rest of Caramoan as well as a few islands in the distance. The best spot to take it all in is at Tugawe’s open-air restaurant and infinity pool.
The resort staff will take care of everything for you, from kayak rentals to snorkeling excursions. The only downside of booking a luxury stay at Tugawe is that it isn’t easy to get here. You’ll have to take a short flight from Manila to Virac, a 45-minute car ride to the port, and a 30-minute boat ride to Tugawe. But you’ll quickly see that the long journey is worth it.
Amarela, Panglao Island
Located on the quiet Panglao Island, Amarela is the perfect spot for a relaxing beach getaway and an escape from reality. Staying here means that you’ll experience the carefree Filipino lifestyle, but you won’t have to do so in local accommodations. Similar to Tugawe, Amarela is a remote spot that requires a bit of planning ahead of time.
What guests love most about Amarela is the all-natural decor that stays true to island living. Step out of your room that is naturally decorated with hardwood furniture and palm fronds onto white sand beaches that are surrounded by vibrant coral reefs. During your time here, be sure to check out the island’s main attractions – Puntod Sandbar and Hinagdanan Cave and Lagoon.
Apulit Island, El Nido
If you’ve done any research on the Philippines at all, you’ve probably read a thing or two about El Nido. This is the epitome of an island paradise – it consistently ranks as one of the 20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World and has been recognized by CNN, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic as THE ideal spot for beachgoers.
Many islands make up El Nido and many hotels and resorts dotted throughout these islands. When it comes to a remote location paired with a luxury lifestyle, none compare to the resort on El Nido’s Apulit Island.
Staying here isn’t just about getting a hefty dose of sun, salt, and sand while sipping on Mai Tais. It’s the perfect spot to get your adrenaline pumping through diving, snorkeling, cliff jumping, rock climbing, rappelling, spelunking, snorkeling, and island hopping.
Ticao Island Resort, Ticao Island
If secluding yourself and disconnecting from the real world is on your agenda, Ticao Island Resort is the place for you. This luxury resort in the Bicol Region has its very own stretch of sand that is only for Ticao guests. The main perk of staying here is that nearly everything is all-inclusive, even activities like snorkeling and paddleboarding.
Getting to Ticao Island Resort is no easy feat. From Manila, book an hour-long flight to Legazpi City. From there, you’ll take a 90-minute drive followed by a 2-hour boat ride. But as soon as you arrive, you’ll be welcomed with open arms – and of course, a cold beverage.
Cauayan Resort, El Nido
Cauayan Resort is another destination located off the coast of El Nido. It’s a private island resort, which means you and the fellow guests have the entire island to yourselves. Cauayan is decently easy to get to; from the El Nido Airport, take a 15-minute drive to the port and a 30-minute boat ride to the island.
The resort is comprised of private villas, most of which are located directly on the beach. Don’t be surprised if you see baby whale sharks roaming the waters just off the beach. Because of the island’s central location in the El Nido island chain, guests can easily organize island hopping to neighboring islands.
Siargao Bleu Resort & Spa, Siargao Island
Siargao is the prime destination for passionate surfers traveling to the Philippines. The island has been recognized worldwide for its Cloud 9 swell, which is within walking distance of Siargao Bleu Resort & Spa. If surfing is the main reason for your trip to Siargao, the resort offers an all-inclusive surfing package that includes daily lessons and equipment rental.