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Getting around the Islands

Travelling around the Philippines is easy! Find out how to explore the 7,641 islands by air, sea, and land below.
Plan your trip

By Air

Fly within the country on our local airlines. You’ll find information on flight schedules, destinations, booking, and on-line ticketing on their websites:

You can also take a chartered flight to major domestic destinations and island resorts.

By Sea

If you prefer traveling by boat, try the roll-on-roll-off (RORO) or passenger ships between Manila and the country’s major ports. To and from smaller islands, take fast sea crafts and other ferry services. Resorts also offer island hopping by banca (small, local boat).

The Visayas region in particular, has a robust network of inter-island boats. Tickets are available through ticketing and travel agents or at the pier.  Hotels and resorts would also have information on ferry schedules. 

You can also start your search through these websites: 

By Land

It is possible to travel by air-conditioned bus from Manila to nearly all major destinations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. There is also a National Railway that transects Southern Luzon. Some of the trains have recently been replaced or refurbished though, so if you’re not in a hurry, it’s a viable way to get from Manila to Legazpi.

Within Metropolitan Manila, take the Light Railway Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transport (MRT). It’s the fastest and most economical way to travel throughout the metropolis. 

LRT lines go to and from the Roosevelt in the north to Baclaran in the south and from Recto Avenue to Santolan St. in the eastern part of the metropolis.

The Metro Rail Transport (MRT) Line go through Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), Metro Manila’s main circumferential road. Stations are located at major intersections of Makati City, Ortigas, and Cubao.

If there are no LRT or MRT lines where you’re going, take a bus or metered taxi. 

For short distances within the city, try taking a public utility jeepney (PUJ) or a tricycle.

Better yet, ask a local for directions. It’ll be fun!

Take a Jeepney


If you’d like to try our roads, an international driver’s license is valid for up to three months.

There are car rental services available in major cities, just ask your hotel to assist you. It might be easier to go around with a local driver, so you won’t have to worry about navigation and local traffic rules.

Off-roading is popular in the Philippines though, so if you’re into that, there are local 4WD groups in most adventure destinations.

Motorcycles are also available for rent in most of the cities.

Explore tours of the Philippines

Want to know more about our 7,641 islands? Join a tour. Day trips to five-day programs will help you discover as much about the country as you want. Go scuba diving, snorkelling, white-water rafting, trekking, spelunking, or game fishing. 

In one day, you can hike through a valley of volcanic ash to jump into a crater-turned-lake in a volcano (Mount Pinatubo). In three days, you can learn to dive and drop in on world-class reefs (Puerto Galera or Anilao). In five, you can go from tribe to tribe along the longest mountain range intersecting the Philippines’ largest land mass (Sierra Madre-Kalinga). There are a variety of itineraries to fill your days! And subsequent visits!

By travel inspiration
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Main image Guy Goddard

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