The Philippines is rapidly becoming one of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia and you’ll see why once you have experienced it first hand! This 3 weeks Philippines itinerary is filled with mecca of adventurous things to do such as island hopping, waterfalls, cave pools, beach bumming, viewpoints and much more!
In this Philippines Itinerary, you’ll find the top 4 most popular islands for first-timers backpacking Philippines and they are Cebu, Bohol, Siargao and Palawan.
Also in this Philippines Travel Guide, I have included some useful information on the best time to visit the Philippines, getting around, where to stay in each location, top-rated tours and what to pack for the Philippines!
Have you got travel insurance for Philippines? I know that nobody likes to talk about this stuff but accidents can happen and having World Nomads Insurance can save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong.
BEST TIME TO VISIT THE PHILIPPINES
The best time to visit the Philippines, weather-wise, is between April and July when temperatures are hot and there is barely any rainfall. This is also high season in the Philippines, so expect to see many tourists during these months.
I recommend planning your 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary on the shoulder months of the high season between November and March which sees a bit of rainfall but usually only lasts for a couple of hours and the rest of the day is sunny.
Try to avoid the typhoon season in the Philippines which is typically between August and October.
PHILIPPINES ITINERARY 3 WEEKS OVERVIEW
• Cebu (5 Days)
• Bohol (3 Days)
• Siargao (7 Days)
• Palawan (6 Days)
CEBU (5 Days)
Cebu Island is located in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines and it’s one of my favorite destinations in the Philippines. I highly recommend starting your 3 weeks Philippines itinerary here!
There are daily flights to Cebu Mactan International Airport welcoming international arrivals from around the world and also connecting domestic travelers from many destinations within the Philippines.
From Cebu Mactan International Airport, it’s approximately a 30-minute drive to Cebu City and you can pre-book a hassle-free transfer from the airport to your hotel.
Book Now ∼ Cebu City Airport Transfer
CEBU CITY TOURS
To maximise your time in Cebu City and to see all of the sites on the first day of your Philippines itinerary 3 weeks, I recommend booking a guided city tour online in advance with Klook.
There are a number of top-rated Cebu City Tours that I can recommend which I have attached below for you to choose which one best suits you:
WHERE TO STAY IN CEBU CITY
Cebu City has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Cebu to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Radisson Blu Cebu City
Radisson Blu Cebu is the best 5-star accommodation in Cebu City! The hotel is centrally and located features direct access to SM Mall, a large outdoor swimming pool, 3 dining options and close to the airport. The rooms offer panoramic views of the city and are fitted with flat-screen tv, large memory foam bed, 24 hour room service, air conditioning, spacious living and private bathroom. Breakfast is also included for all guests. Perfect for couples, families and friends.
Mid Range: Cebu Parklane International Hotel
Parklane International Hotel is a very affordable 3-star accommodation in the heart of Cebu City. It is walking distance to Ayala Center and other nearby attractions. This property features an outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre with sauna, 3 dining options and free wifi. The rooms are spacious and fitted with air conditioning, flat-screen tv, work desk, sofa seating and private bathroom. In-room massage services may be arranged at an additional cost. Breakfast is also included for all guests! Recommended place to stay for couples, friends and families.
Budget: Murals Hostel & Cafe
I personally stayed at Murals Hostel on several occasions and can’t recommend this place enough! Murals actually have 3 properties in awesome locations, one is in Mactan near the airport and the other two are in the city center. There are dorm rooms, private rooms and capsule-style rooms available perfect for solo travelers, friends and couples. There is also a really great co-working space at Murals Hostel & Cafe with high-speed wifi! Mika, the owner, is the most genuine lady that I hope you will get the chance to meet and her staff are just as lovely who will make you feel right at home.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN CEBU CITY, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
THINGS TO DO IN SOUTH CEBU
One day in Cebu City is more than enough time as there are many more fun-fuelled adventures to be had in Moalboal, South Cebu.
I have put together a complete 5 Days Cebu Itinerary including epic waterfalls, panoramic viewpoints, swimming with whale sharks, island hopping and more!
HOW TO GET FROM CEBU CITY TO MOALBOAL
From Cebu City to Moalboal, the best option is to take the public bus from South Cebu Bus Terminal in Cebu City.
There are hourly departures from Cebu City to Moalboal from South Cebu Bus Terminal starting as early as 5am. From Cebu City to Moalboal, the journey time is around 3 to 4 hours on the bus and the cost is 160 pesos.
When you arrive at the bus station in Moalboal it’s best to take a tricycle to your accommodation in the tourist area of Moalboal which is a 15-minute drive and the cost is around 100 pesos.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN SOUTH CEBU
Full Blog Post ∼ 5 Days Cebu Itinerary
Cliff jumping at Kawasan Falls – Backpacking Philippines
Osmena Peak – Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks
Oslob Whale Sharks – 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
Inambakan Falls – Philippines 3 Week Itinerary
Sumilon Island – Backpacking Philippines
Dao Falls jungle hike – Philippines Itinerary
Aguinid Falls – Philippines Travel Itinerary
WHERE TO STAY IN MOALBOAL
Moalboal has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Moalboal to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Dolphin House Resort Moalboal
Dolphin House is the best luxury accommodation in Moalboal. A stone’s throw away from the ocean, this accommodation offers a swimming pool, restaurant and bar, free wifi and ocean views. There are double rooms, triple rooms, family rooms and bungalows available at Dolphin House Resort. Snorkeling, diving, activities and bike rental can also be organised at reception. Best place to stay for families, friends and couples.
Mid Range: Pescadores Seaview Suites
One of the most recommended places to stay in Moalboal. For less than $40 a night, Pescadores Suites offers double rooms, twin rooms and a garden villa. There is an outdoor swimming pool and sun terrace, restaurant, mini-market, table tennis, billiards, board games, karaoke room and wellness spa. Great place to stay for friends and couples.
Budget: Chief Mau Hostel
The best budget accommodation in Moalboal! Centrally located just minutes from the beach, Chief Mau hostel offers dorm rooms and private rooms for as little as $8. There owner Trish is super lovely and goes out of her way to make all of her guests feel welcome and comfortable. There is a shared lounge with hammocks, billiards table and an in-house restaurant and bar serving up the best western food in Moalboal. There is free wifi throughout the property. Perfect for solo travelers and friends.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN MOALBOAL, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
BOHOL (3 DAYS)
The next stop on this Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks is Bohol Island, boasting amazing waterfalls, pristine beaches, cave pools, cliff jumping, island hopping and, of course, the famous Chocolate Hills!
There are so many epic things to do in Bohol that you could spend weeks here if you had the time but 3 days is enough to see all the highlights!
I have also put together a massive guide of the 31 Best Things To Do In Bohol if you want to take a look at that!
HOW TO GET TO BOHOL
The most common route is the ferry from Cebu to Bohol which takes approximately 2.5 hours and the cost is around 600 pesos. There are daily ferry departures from the Cebu Pier 1 Ferry Terminal and it arrives at Tagbilaran Port in Bohol.
Get Your Ticket ∼ Cebu to Bohol ferry
BEST THINGS TO DO IN BOHOL
• Alona Beach
Full Blog Post ∼ 31 Things To Do In Bohol
Alona Beach – Philippines Itinerary
Sunrise at Chocolate Hills – 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
Man-Made Forest Bohol – Philippines Travel Guide
Tarsier Conservation Area – Philippines Itinerary
Balicasag Island Hopping
Dimiao Twin Falls – What to do in the Philippines
Drone shot of Panglao Beach
Hinagdanan Cave – Things to do in Philippines
Molave Cliff Jump – 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
WHERE TO STAY IN BOHOL
The main tourist area on Bohol is Panglao which is located on the west side of the island and is most famous for its beach resorts, restaurants and bars, shopping streets and other fun activities such as cliff jumping, island hopping and cave pools. Here is a list of accommodations that I can personally recommend:
Luxury: Donatela Hotel
Donatela Hotel is the best luxury accommodation in Panglao. Centrally located and close to beaches and other attractions on Panglao island. The hotel offers a private beach area, swimming pool, restaurant and pool bar. There is a garden villa, pool villa, family villa and honeymoon villa available at Donatela Hotel. The rooms are air-conditioned featuring a balcony, flat-screen tv, dining area, tea/coffee maker, mini-bar, private bathroom, bathtub and plunge pool. They can also help you to organise scuba diving, snorkeling and other activities in Bohol. Great for families, friends and couples.
Mid Range: Conrada’s Place Hotel & Resort
Conrada’s Place is located 450m from Alona Beach and close to shops, restaurants and other nearby attractions. The accommodation features an outdoor pool, restaurant, snorkeling activities and wellness spa. There are double rooms, deluxe rooms, family rooms and suites which have air-conditioning, free wifi and breakfast is included for all guests. Conrada can also help you book island hopping tours and other activities in Bohol. Great place to stay for families, friends and couples.
Budget: Bohol Coco Farm
Bohol Coco Farm is rated the best budget accommodation for a solo traveler in Bohol. Enjoy a rustic experience with modern luxuries of free wifi and a restaurant. Great location close to beaches and other attractions. The rooms and fan-cooled with shared bathrooms and towels are included. There’s also a shared lounge with free coffee and a tour desk.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN PANGLAO, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
BOHOL TOUR PACKAGES
Another great way to see all of the best Bohol tourist spots is to book a Bohol Countryside & Panglao Highlights Tour.
This particular tour is the most top-rated tour in Bohol for less than $50 with hundreds of great reviews and thousands of bookings. I can’t recommend this amazing tour enough, especially for first-timers to Bohol!
The Bohol Tour includes the following:
- Chocolate Hills
- Bilar Manmade Forest
- Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary
- Loboc River Cruise with lunch
- Hinagdanan Cave
- Panglao Watchtower
- & more
SIARGAO (7 DAYS)
Siargao Island was awarded for being the BEST island in the world (2018/2019) and since then, it has now become the most popular island in the Philippines!
Siargao is almost completely covered in coconut palm trees and surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters, making it a ‘hard to beat’ tropical destination!
The reason I have allocated 7 days in Siargao to this Philippines 3 weeks itinerary is that there are many fantastic things to do to keep you entertained and I guarantee you won’t want to leave by the end of the week!
HOW TO GET TO SIARGAO
This leg of the 3 weeks Philippines itinerary will likely be a full day of travel just to get to Siargao from Bohol. It’s not ideal but that’s just the way it goes in the Philippines.
From Bohol, you’ll have to take the ferry from Tagbilaran Port back to Cebu City and then fly directly to Siargao from Cebu Mactan Airport.
Get Your Ticket ∼ Bohol to Cebu ferry
Search All ∼ Flights from Cebu to Siargao on Skyscanner.com
BEST THINGS TO DO IN SIARGAO
Full Blog Post ∼ 15 Things To Do In Siargao
Cloud 9 – Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks
Magpupungko Rock Pools – Backpacking Philippines
Palm tree swing – Philippines Itinerary
Siargao Island Hopping – Backpacking Philippines
Sugba Lagoon – Philippines Vacation
Sunset at Secret Beach – Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks
Sohoton Cove – Places to visit in Philippines
Exploring Corregidor Island – Backpacking Philippines
Palm Tree Road – Philippines Tourist Spots
WHERE TO STAY IN SIARGAO
General Luna is the place to be when it comes to finding the best places to stay Siargao! General Luna has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of my personal favorite places to stay in Siargao to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Nay Palad Hideaway Villas
Nay Palad Hideaway offers the perfect ‘island resort vibe’ that you may be seeking for your visit to Siargao. Choose either a sea view or a garden view luxurious room, take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool and enjoy your very own private palm tree fringed beach! On top of this, resort guests can make use of the complimentary paddleboards, surfboards, kayaks, bicycles and even jump on board an island hopping tour.
Mid Range: Sunset Bay Beach Villas
Sunset Bay provides beachside villas that are comfortable and peaceful, overlooking the Philippine Sea. The famous Cloud 9 surf break is just a few minutes walk away. The villas are air-conditioned with a flat-screen TV, private bathroom, kitchen, fridge and stovetop. Perfect for solo travellers or couples.
Budget: Secret Spot Siargao
I personally stayed at Secret Spot Siargao and I can’t recommend this place enough. The Secret Spot Siargao Hostel features an upstairs dormitory with 20 comfortable beds, downstairs bathrooms, spacious living area, fully-equipped kitchen, outdoor chill zone, free wifi and hanging hammocks in the garden.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN SIARGAO, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
BEST SIARGAO TOURS
PALAWAN (6 DAYS)
Last but not least on this Philippines itinerary 3 weeks is Palawan Island which is where you’ll find the two most talked-about locations – El Nido and Coron!
There is so much to do in Palawan itself that you could spend weeks here, but seeing as you only have 6 days left on your Philippines itinerary you’re going to want to focus on seeing the highlights!
HOW TO GET TO PALAWAN
Once again, this leg of the 3 weeks Philippines itinerary will be a full day of travel to get from Siargao to Puerto Princesa in Palawan but it’s the only way to go.
From Siargao, you’ll first have to fly to Cebu Mactan Airport and then transfer flights from Cebu to Puerto Princesa in Palawan.
Search All ∼ Flights from Siargao to Palawan on Skyscanner.com
Here’s a quick overview of how to spend 6 days in Palawan:
• Arrive at Puerto Princesa Airport in the morning
• 6 hour bus ride from Puerto Princesa to El Nido
• Sunset at Las Cabanas Beach in El Nido
• El Nido – Full-day Island Hopping Tour
• Sunrise hike to Taraw Peak
• Depart El Nido at 9am for 3D2N Island Hopping Expedition to Coron
• El Nido to Coron Island Hopping Expedition
• El Nido to Coron Island Hopping Expedition
• Arrive in Coron at 4pm
• Coron – Full-day Island Hopping Tour
• Mt Tapyas viewpoint for sunset
BEST THINGS TO DO IN EL NIDO
El Nido Island Hopping
Big Lagoon El Nido – Philippines Itinerary
El Nido Island Hopping – Backpacking Philippines
Taraw Peak Sunrise – Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks
Taraw Peak El Nido – 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
El Nido to Coron Island Hopping Expedition
Cobra Island sandbar – 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
Lunch on the boat! – El Nido To Coron
3D2N El Nido to Coron Expedition
Beach camp on the 3D2N Expedition
El Nido to Coron Tour – Philippines Itinerary
Beach volleyball – Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks
WHERE TO STAY IN EL NIDO
El Nido has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in El Nido to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Lagùn Hotel
Lagùn Hotel is one of the best and most modern hotel in El Nido featuring an outdoor swimming pool, terrace, restaurant, bar and free wifi throughout the property. The rooms are fitted with a flat-screen tv, wardrobe, work desk, fridge, kettle, private bathroom and some with a balcony. A buffet breakfast is also included for all guests. Recommended for couples, families and friends.
Mid Range: Sea Cocoon Hotel
I personally stayed at Sea Cocoon Hotel and can’t recommend this place enough! Located right in the heart of El Nido town and just minutes walk to the beach. Sea Cocoon Hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, terrace, restaurant, bar and a shared lounge. The rooms are spacious and modern with air-conditioning, large comfy beds, wardrobe, balcony and private bathroom. A buffet breakfast is also included for all guests. Affordable place to stay for couples, families and friends!
Budget: One Hostel El Nido
One Hostel is one of the best budget accommodations in El Nido with great reviews! Centrally located and walking distance to the bus terminal, shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and beaches. There are dorm rooms, double rooms and quadruple rooms available with air-conditioning. The Hostel also has free wifi and a shared lounge area for guests to hang out. Perfect place to stay in El Nido for solo travelers, couples and friends!
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN EL NIDO, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
BEST THINGS TO DO IN CORON
Kayangan Lake – Coron Ultimate Day Tour
Underwater cliffs at Kayangan Lake
Siete Pecados Marine Park – 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
Turquoise lagoon – Coron Ultimate Island Tour
Twin Lagoon Coron – Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks
Mt Tapyas Viewpoint – Backpacking Philippines
Rolling hills at Mt Tapyas – Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks
Mt Tapyas Viewpoint – Things to do in Philippines
WHERE TO STAY IN CORON
Luxury: Bacau Bay Resort Coron
Bacau Bay Resort is a 4-star accommodation close to the town and beaches of Coron. Featuring an outdoor swimming pool, on-site restaurant, bar, fitness center, kids club, relaxation spa and free wifi throughout the property. Choose from a deluxe room or premier suite which are fitted with air conditioning, flat-screen tv, seating area, wardrobe, kitchenette, private bathroom, spacious living and large comfortable beds. Breakfast is also included for all guests. Perfect place to stay in Coron for couples, families and friends.
Mid Range: Vienna Hotel
One of the best mid-range accommodations in Coron is Vienna Hotel. Centrally located in Coron town featuring a swimming pool, massage services, in-house restaurant, bar, free wifi and a rooftop terrace overlooking Coron Bay. The rooms are fitted with a desk, flat-screen tv, fridge, seating area, private bathroom, outside balcony and large comfortable beds. American, Asian, Continental, English or buffet breakfast is included for all guests. Recommended for couples, families and friends.
Budget: Hop Hostel
Hop Hostel is one of the best and most popular hostels in Coron. Perfect for couples, friends and solo travelers on a budget. Centrally located in Coron town and walking distance to Mt Tapayas, cafes, restaurants, bars and public markets. Choose from either a Dorm room, Queen room or Quadruple room with air conditioning and comfortable beds. The private rooms are fitted with a fridge, microwave, coffee machine and wardrobe. There’s also free wifi, a shared kitchen, lounge area and rooftop bar/terrace with incredible views of Coron Bay. Breakfast is also available for all guests.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN CORON, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
CORON TO MANILA
When it comes time to depart the Philippines, the most convenient option is to fly from Coron to Manila, which takes around 1.5 hours.
From Manila, there are daily international flights available, onwards to your next destination.
Search All ∼ Cheap flights on Skyscanner.com
WHAT TO PACK FOR PHILIPPINES?
• Waterproof Phone Case: Universal Waterproof Case
• Reusable Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle
• Rain Jacket: North Face Rain Jacket
• Water Shoes: Slip-on Water Shoes
• Day Bag: Nomatic 20L Day Bag
• Power Adapter: Universal Power Adapter
• Packing Cubes: 4 Set Packing Cubes
• Microfibre Towel: Quick Dry Travel Towel
• Travel Insurance: World Nomads Travel Insurance
• Money Belt: Hidden Money Belt
Want to travel full-time? ∼ Click Here To Learn How!
Another option for accommodation in the Philippines is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals.
MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES
Philippines Travel Guide: 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
Cebu Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Cebu
Bohol Travel Guide: 31 Epic Things To Do In Bohol
Siargao Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Siargao
El Nido Travel Guide: El Nido Island Hopping
Coron Travel Guide: Coron Island Hopping
Boracay Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Boracay
Siquijor Travel Guide: 3 Day Siquijor Itinerary
Bantayan Island Guide: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
Malapascua Island Guide: 11 Things To Do In Malapascua
Camiguin Travel Guide: 13 Best Camiguin Tourist Spots
Romblon Travel Guide: 12 Epic Things To Do In Romblon
Tablas Travel Guide: 10 Things To Do In Tablas
Carabao Travel Guide: 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao
Dumaguete City Guide: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots
Sumilon Island Guide: Sumilon Island Itinerary
MY CAMERA GEAR
• DSLR Mirrorless Camera: Sony A7ii
• Drone Camera: DJI Mavic Pro 2
• GoPro: GoPro Hero 8 Black
• Everyday Lens: Sony F2.8 24/70mm
• Camera Bag: Lowepro Protactic 31L
• Selfie Stick: Sandmarc Metal Edition 1.2m
• Tripod: Joby Flexible GorillaPod
• GoPro Dome: Underwater GoPro Dome
• Power Bank: Anker Powerbank
• External Hardrive: WD Elements 4TB
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about this Philippines Itinerary 3 Weeks, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.