Solo female travel in the Philippines can be an incredible experience. But knowing where to go, what to see and how to stay safe is paramount before you set out.
Here’s our guide to traveling solo through the Philippines.
Is the Philippines Safe?
Yes, the Philippines is generally a safe place to visit. But just like with any other destination, you should be cautious, especially in public transport and in main squares of town. There are some key factors you need to keep in mind while traveling here.
Use your best instincts. Avoid dark streets and alleyways especially in the cities, and avoid wearing flashy jewelry. By and large, Filipinos are friendly and hospitable and they will be happy to help you when needed.
You might get a lot of questions especially from kids as to why you are alone, or where your partner is, but most of the time it’s curiosity and not a safety risk.
It is uncommon for Filipinos to see foreign females traveling solo as it’s usually men who travel by themselves. But nevertheless, Filipinos are great hosts!
Luxury in the Philippines comes easily and often. There are various spa treatments even in the malls where you can enjoy VIP treatment and state-of-the-art technology for a fraction of the price you pay in other countries.
Get your hair done by professional stylists, or get pampered with a foot spa, manicure and pedicure for a cheaper price in the Philippines. The options are endless! Here’s the cost of spa services in the Philippines.
Moreover, the Philippines is also a shopping mecca with 5 of the biggest shopping malls in the world, all sporting the most popular brands.
Greenbelt and Glorietta Malls in Makati are the more high-end malls in the country.
Where Solo Female Travelers Should Go in the Philippines
Palawan has been called one of the best islands in the world and it is perfect for solo travelers. The scenery is amazing and you can join a group tour of the spectacular islands and lagoons – and meet new friends as you visit these beautiful places.
Alternatively, rent a private boat and have these stunning beaches all to yourself. The best way to do that is by booking a private Palawan luxury tour package.
Coron and El Nido are two of the places in Palawan that you must visit, but they are not close together (you can take an overnight ferry to get from one to the other).
Palawan also offers some of the most luxurious eco-friendly resorts in the country and if you want ultimate peace and quiet, this is the place to be.
If you’re heading to El Nido, consider staying at the Spin Hostel — it’s awesome! We spent 3 nights here and took part in all of the activities.
If you love gorgeous beaches, Boracay is the best place for you. It is the country’s party paradise. The government recently closed Boracay to help curb pollution to this beautiful island, but it has re-opened as a quieter, cleaner version of its former party self.
There is no shortage of things to do on the island and once it is opened again after the rehabilitation, certainly Boracay will soar again as one of the best islands.
Consider staying at Discovery Shores to be on a white sand beach with all the amenities.
Head to Bohol to see the world’s smallest primate, the Tarsier.
These cute little guys can be seen at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary.
You might also see men on the beach handling them — do NOT touch a tarsier. They are endangered and unfortunately have become a tourist scam. Handling a tarsier can kill them, and furthermore, they’re naturally nocturnal and shouldn’t really be seen during the day.
Alona Beach in Bohol is popular and busy. If that’s not your thing, then head to Dumaluan beach on the farther side of Panglao Island for a little more quiet.
In terms of remoteness, nothing beats Batanes except maybe the southern provinces of Mindanao (though civil fighting in Mindanao is sadly common).
Batanes looks more like Ireland with sprawling hills, cliffs, windy beaches and stone houses. It is so beautiful and serene and it is the safest place in the country with zero crime rate, which makes it perfect for solo travel in the Philippines.
Rent a motorcycle or a bicycle and just go around and do a lot of sightseeing. You don’t need a companion to marvel at Batanes’ beauty, really.
Lately, a new flight route has been announced, going from Clark to Batanes on a daily basis. Since Clark is only 2 hours drive from Manila, you should check this website for cheap flights to Batanes and other islands mentioned here – it can be much better than flying direct from the capital.
Sagada is a small mountain town in northern Luzon, about a 10 hour drive from Manila. Here, you’ll find something you won’t see any other place in the world: hanging coffins.
In older times, the dead were hung from limestone cliffs in wooden coffins, and many still exist.
It’s difficult to get to Sagada, but it is absolutely one of the most majestic places you’ll ever see. We hired a private driver and guide through Filipino Travel Center, to drive us from Manila up north, and they were incredible. We highly recommend you do the same!
Too many travelers spend their entire vacations in the islands of the south. But northern Luzon will show you another side to this country: rice terraces, hanging coffins, limestone caves, and a far more relaxed vibe.
Other Things to do for Female Solo Travelers:
Aside from beach bumming and island parties, there are still so many things to do and enjoy for female solo travelers in the Philippines. The country is rich in nature and adventure. The rugged landscapes give you endless options for fun even when you are traveling alone.
1. Swim with the whale sharks in Donsol
Whale sharks in Donsol are migratory and they have regulated policies unlike the one in Oslob. Swimming with these gentle giants is one of the best experiences you will have as a solo traveler.
2. Mountain hiking
There are numerous mountains in the country and you can choose which one you’d like to conquer. From beginner’s paradise to the most challenging, the options are endless. If you want something a little extra special, try out the 3 day camping trek through the Banaue Rice Terraces.
3. Try new things and Immerse in the local lifestyle
Traveling solo does not restrict you in any way especially in terms of schedule and finances. You are free to do as you wish within your boundaries at your pace so enjoy while trying on some local foods and immersing into some local traditions.