chocolate hills


Does your family like taking things to the limit? How about experiencing out-of-this-world activities? Do the kids like to try too-good-to-be-true kinds of foods? From the biggest pizzas to the tallest tower drops, take your family to a place of unique experiences during your trip to the Philippines. This list of crazy activities gets better: the father you read through the list, the crazier it gets! How adventurous will your family be? Read on and witness the beauty of this world crazy Filipino style!


Giant Pizza


It’s always nice to start the day with a nice meal, but it’s even better to start it with a huge meal! At Pizzaville, in Manila, your family can snarf down a whopping 70-inch (175 centimeter) pizza (about $160 USD). Yes, that’s right, even those eaters with bottomless stomachs might get full! Your pizza’s diameter is even wider than than Tom Cruise and Daniel Radcliffe are tall! Now, you might think that eating this big pizza will tire out your taste buds. Don’t worry though, because you can choose different toppings for each enormous slice. Does one kid like anchovies while another can’t stand them? No problem! They also serve 50-, 30-, 20-, 14-, and 10-inch pizzas for more reasonable appetites.


Manta Ray Diving


Have you ever dreamt of being a fish? Are any of the kids mermaid enthusiasts?  Do you like experiencing the beauty of the underwater world? Try manta ray diving while you are journeying around the Philippines. The mechanics of this activity are simple: there’s a Jet Ski, there’s a rope, and there’s you! The rope is attached to a plank-like apparatus that determines your swimming direction: tilt it upwards and you’ll go up, or tilt it downwards and you’ll go down. You don’t have to bother moving your feet in order to swim or move underwater. Just let yourself be carried away and experience the ocean world around you. Pay $9 USD per person for the first fifteen minutes of diving, and then pay $1 USD for each additional five minutes. Journey with the kids to Anilao, Batangas (Manila → Buendia Bus Terminal → Batangas City Bus Terminal → Mabini → Anilao), to visit the manta rays yourselves.


Waterfall Restaurant


Do you think that going to eat at a run-of-the-mill restaurant is boring and mainstream? Have you ever eaten whilst inside a waterfall? Sometimes the kids need a little mealtime excitement! This restaurant in Villa Escudero plantation resort is literally in a river. Imagine the scenery of waterfalls unveiling its beauty right in front of you while you eat. You’ll be enjoying traditional Filipino fare while your feet prune in a clear stream! The kids will enjoy frolicking around the water features and tasting local delights.


Boil an Egg… in a Volcano!


Do you like exploring? Do you like a wonderful view? Do you like volcanoes? Taal is the best option! It is one of the world’s smallest volcanoes, and it has been inactive since 1977 (and it is expected to stay in that state!). You and the kids can hike right up to the crater, and little kids or those who aren’t fond on hiking can ride horses that locals rent at the trailhead. The funny part is that after you take photos and enjoy with your family through the journey, you can boil an egg! There are geothermal waters on the way to the volcano’s crater that are boiling–just don’t forget to bring your egg! Visit this volcano in Taal, Batangas!


EKstreme Tower Fall


Do you like heights? Do you like an adrenaline rush? Then this tower is for you! It is called the Ekstreme Tower in the Enchanted Kingdom. The tower is one of the best rides in the amusement park. The slow, upward movement will fill riders with anticipation as the ride approaches its full height of 40 meters (minimum height to ride is 4 feet/122 centimeters), before you’ll drop at about 76 kilometers/hour. There are some restrictions for tourists having health issues, so be sure your family is fit to ride. Otherwise, the staff will assist and attend to everyone before starting the ride. The higher it gets, the more beautiful the view is! Enchanted Kingdom’s totality will be seen on one side while the busy city of San Pablo will come into view on the other side. If the children don’t like this level of a rush, other rides in the park are also available. And you can rest easy–the park is internationally certified for the safety of their rides. Tickets cost $17 USD per adult and $11 USD for kids. Visit the park on a weekday for an extra discount!


Roller Coaster Slides


Do you like slides? Do you like an adrenaline rush? Well, a visit to Splash Island in Biñan, Laguna will be perfect for your family! These slides are not the normal pool slides–they are extremely long, curvy, and steep. Riding in one will feel like riding a rollercoaster. For less adventurous water lovers, there are varieties of activities to choose from, like lazy rivers and beach pools. Family slides are also available where the whole brood can go together while riding in a giant inflatable apparatus. It is truly an extreme experience for the whole family, and it won’t break the bank, either! A mere $9 USD per person will grant you access to this waterslide heaven.


Bike on a Zipline!


Does one kid love heights? Is another a biking enthusiast? Do you like ziplines? Then cycling on a zipline at Chocolate Hills Adventure Park will tickle everyone’s fancy! Unlike a normal zipline, the rider can actually control his or her speed. Speed up if you like that roller coaster experience, or slow down to enjoy the moment and indulge in the beautiful surroundings. Anxious about safety? The ride is complete with safety features, and orientations are held before you embark on the journey. The entrance fee for the adventure park costs a mere $1 USD per person, while the bike-zipline costs $8 USD per person. Other activities include a surf-zipline (what?!), a collection of ropes courses, and a petting zoo for the tiniest tots.


Dive with a Whale Shark!


Do you like the sea? Do you like giants? Do you like whale sharks? Go diving at Donsol Bay, Sorsogon, and be with gigantic friendly ocean life! Needless to say, this is an absolutely incredible experience. Imagine bobbing in the sea with creatures who are about 30 times bigger than you! You’ll see whale sharks, manta rays, and maybe even a hammerhead shark if you’re lucky. And it’s perfectly safe! The diving instructors are fully-equipped with all the necessary gear and ensure that you are acquainted with all safety procedures. Try a “Discover SCUBA Diving” course for an introduction to the activity, which will certify you to dive up to 40 feet for one year ($86 USD per person). For an open-water diving certification, expect to pay around $300 USD. Even though it is much more expensive, this option might suit your family best if you’re looking to dive around different Philippine islands, as the certification gained through this course lasts for life! Make sure you do not skimp in this department–the last thing you want while SCUBA diving is faulty, unreliable gear.




Being in the Philippines is all about water activities, and if you and the kids haven’t had enough yet, then try flyboarding! While the less adventurous family members go swimming near the shore, the craziest children can try this exciting activity. A piece of equipment attached to your feet shoots out a strong stream of water, and the high pressure of water enables the rider fly over the sea. Feet movements determine where you are going and if you’re going to fall or not. Some professionals can actually do tricks while riding this apparatus! Experience it at Subic Bay for around $80 USD and we guarantee you to have the best time of your life.




Riding on an airplane is thrilling, and you and the kids have certainly done a lot of that during your international travels… but what if you were going to jump out of it?  We don’t need to say anything–you know skydiving is crazily awesome! Visit Cebu to try skydiving, but the experience is only available for those 18 and up, and an ID or passport is required. This one won’t be cheap. The price runs about $350 USD per person–but again, you don’t want to go on a cheap skydiving expedition, do you? You and your brood will remember this experience for the rest of your lives, so if you have the funds, go for it!


Need some more ideas for fun family destinations? Check out our article on more amazing Philippine locales here!


An extended trip to the Philippines is never going to be your traditional family vacation. The topography–islands, islands, islands as far as the eye can see–means that any itinerary will involve a different type of planning than most family trips. Those who get their head around the logistics of family nature breaks in the Philippines will be richly rewarded for their efforts, though: As well as gorgeous beaches and uninhabited islands, the archipelago offers everything from mysterious mountain towns to some of the most spectacular beaches on the planet.

There’s a lot to pack in, but our 30-day itinerary for a nature-packed trip to the Philippines with kids allows plenty of time for R&R as well as action-packed adventures, and can be adapted to suit everybody from toddlers to teens.

Day 1-5 Cebu and surrounds

Many international visitors heading to the Philippines with kids fly straight to the capital, Manila. It’s not the best place to touch down though, and here’s why: Manila’s a traffic-choked, noisy and cramped city, and can be too much too soon for younger family members. For a gentler introduction to the Filipino pace of life, fly into Cebu, and use it as a base for exploring the islands. With some good value places to stay, eat and drink, it’s worth spending a day or so in the Philippines’ laid-back second city (it’s also the oldest, and as such has plenty of historic attractions), but the real draws for nature-loving families in Cebu lie outside the city proper, in the coral reefs and white sand beaches of nearby Mactan and Oslob (whale watching is an option here, but does raise a few ethical issues and families may want to think twice before signing up).

here is our favorite, family feindly hotel in cebu.

?Boxout: Surfing in Siargao

The Philippines rarely gets a mention as a top surfing destination, but the island of Siargao, some 400km from Cebu (one daily flight, with Cebu Pacific prices from around $100 pp if booked in advance) is beginning to make headlines for its world class waves. There are lessons for everybody from experienced surfers to absolute beginners, and what kid wouldn’t want to return from their break to the Philippines boasting that they’ve learned to ride the waves? If you want to see some stellar surfers at play in this still under-the-radar destination (for now) this is your chance.

Day 7-12 Bohol

Boats leave Cebu’s port for the gorgeous island of Bohol, and it’s well worth setting up camp here (possibly literally–should you feel like sleeping under the stars, there are some good family campsites here as well as guest houses and hotels) for at least five or six days in order to make the most of the magnificent natural attractions. Landing at Tagbilaran, the island’s colorful capital, you’ll be well placed for treks through the Chocolate Hills (maybe pre-warn younger kids that these perfectly-round humps are named for their brown hue, and are not actually edible hills!) and boat trips (or kayaking) along the Abatan River, as well as zip-lining through the jungle canopy and other high-energy kid-pleasing pursuits.

? Box Out: Tiny Tarsiers: No nature-based family trip to Bohol is complete without checking out the teeny Tarsier monkeys at the dedicated sanctuary here (Tarsier Sanctuary Rd, Corella). These titchy, tree-inhabiting primates are endemic to the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, and for a few dollars entry visitors can watch them napping in their natural habitat (they’re nocturnal animals, so don’t expect to catch them up and about).

Day 13-16 Boracay

You’ll need to head back to Cebu for the next leg of your trip, up to the northern islands around Boracay. Inexpensive flights (from around $40 pp) leave Cebu for Boracay’s airport at Caticlan and the journey takes less than an hour. Once here, families can check out the famous (and aptly-named) White Beach, try windsurfing or kite surfing at the Bulabog Beach, or goggle at colorful sea creatures on a snorkeling (or scuba diving, there are several PADI schools here) adventure around the coral reefs.

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Day 17-22 El Nido, Palawan

While there’s plenty to do on Boracay it’s a little too popular with partiers for some families’ tastes, so nature-loving families are likely to appreciate the more under-the-radar vibe at El Nido.

As of 2017 there are direct 45-minute flights between Boracay and Palawan islands, and while El Nido town itself is a little underwhelming, there is enormous joy to be had in exploring the 40-plus small islands that surround it. Here are pristine dive spots, mangrove rivers, caverns and caves, and an awful lot more elbow room on the picture-perfect beaches than you’ll find at more celebrated spots.

? Box out: A Giant Adventure Playground

The island of Palawan has been the subject of something of a buzz in the international travel press of late, but El Nido remains largely off the beaten tourist trail. It’s unspoilt beaches are like a giant adventure playground for kids, and prices are still among the cheapest in the area. From a base at Coron Coron or Orange Pearl beach (interconnected and dazzlingly beautiful strands) visitors can take to the waters on paddle board or kayak, or for more leisurely days, jump aboard a beach hopping cruise. Backed by enormous rocky mountains and with monkey-filled jungle spilling right down to the town it’s a wild adventure that will linger long in the memory.

Day 23-25: Manilla

Ok, after some serious chilling on the beaches, families in the Philippines should be ready for the sensory assault that is Manilla. There are direct flights to the capital from El Nido, with AirSwift making the 70-minute journey (prices from $100 pp) around five times per day.

This smog-filled city isn’t the ideal spot for families looking to explore wild nature, so spend just a day or two exploring the scenic Old Town, with a side trip to the wonderful volcanic hot springs Hidden Valley Springs Resort. The naturally heated pools sit amid tropical jungle, and are an easy day trip from Manila (around one hour’s drive) at idden Valley Springs Resort. Take in the natural beauty and lush vegetation of this tropical region. Explore the resort’s massive crater, believed to have been formed by a violent volcanic upheaval thousands of years ago. Take a refreshing dip in one of the naturally heated, volcanic water pools. Visitors can stay overnight at the resort, or head back to the big city.

Day 26-30 North of Manilla

North of the capital, Luzon Island (the Philippines’ largest) the big city gives way to pristine nature, and families can board overnight buses up to the beautiful Mountain Province of Benguet, where treks through centuries’ old rice terraces at Banaue offer magnificent views and the freshest of fresh air, as well as the impressive Tapia Falls where the mighty rush of water feeds into freshwater pools that make for incredibly refreshing dips – bring your swimwear.. Sagada, a beautiful mountain town, is a kid-pleaser thanks to its famous hanging coffins, creepy caves, natural swimming pools and the chance to mingle with the Igarot tribes people that inhabit the region.

? Boxout: The Hanging Coffins of Sagada

For some 2,000 years, the Igarot people have been burying their dead in coffins that are tied or nailed to the sides of cliffs. The bodies are placed in the foetal position, wrapped in blankets and carried in a procession to the burial place, resulting in an unusual tourist attraction that will thrill kids with a taste for the macabre.

Day 30-Manila, and home

Take another overnight bus back to Manila, where you might want to overnight, take a direct flight home, or take a connection back to the starting point at Cebu.

Here is another route for families going to the Philippines.