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  • Sustainable Tourism: Eco-friendly Vacation in the Philippines
  • Sustainable Tourism: Eco-friendly Vacation in the Philippines
  • Sustainable Tourism: Eco-friendly Vacation in the Philippines

Sustainable Tourism: Eco-friendly Vacation in the Philippines

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The Philippines offers each traveler everything they can imagine: paradisiacal beaches and resorts to relax, stunning and unique landscapes, rich biodiversity, and adventure activities, from hiking on volcanoes to diving, as well as an interesting offer of cultural tourism, closely linked to its past as a Spanish colony.

However, due to its natural landscape and geographical formation, the Philippines is an archipelago country particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels - one of the impacts of climate change. Thus, it is essential to carry out policies that promote sustainable tourism in this beautiful tropical country. In this post, we want to give you some tips and information about how you can enjoy an eco-friendly vacation in the Philippines.
happy woman traveler in the Philippines raising hand facing mountain

Tourism in the Philippines: When Nature Meets Perfection

The Philippines is a dream destination for many eco-tourists - the sea and the jungle allow activities in nature that demand to be respectful with the environment.

Exploration can begin on Mindoro Island, 150 km from Manila. Some claim that it contains the most beautiful landscapes in the country. Just think of the incredibly diverse and lush vegetations around Mount Halcon (alt. 2,587 m.), Tamaraw Falls, white sand beaches - one aptly named White Beach, not to mention the underwater world represented by the Apo reef, phenomenal for its size and its preserved fauna.

As you go further to the Visayas, there’s the island of Cebu, blessed by nature and the gateway to a myriad of natural attractions in the country. Thus, the chic Mactan opens on a reef, which makes it a rare diving spot. The discreet Olango, whose lagoon is home to huge colonies of migrating birds, or the dreamlike island of Camotes that boasts virgin forests and caves. Everywhere, from Malapascua to Copton Point in Moalboal with breathtaking underwater gardens, will never disappoint those who are into diving.

The same charm resonates in Bohol with its corners of paradise highlighted by beaches with powdery sand. In its interior lands, you can’t miss visiting the one-of-a-kind natural wonder, the Chocolate Hills, which consist of over a thousand cone-shaped hills, while the tarsier - a tiny primate endemic to the country - finds refuge in a sanctuary that can be visited in silence. 

Finally, head to the splendid Siargao, a tear-dropped shaped island in the northeastern tip of Mindanao, where the locals are rallying for sustainable tourism.
For a memorable adventure experience in the country, the island of Luzon has plenty to offer. The winding roads will lead you through exceptional viewpoints on the heights of the island. On the Cordillera Central, small quaint villages, and caves are waiting to be explored. In Banaue, the majestic rice terraces will never fail to leave visitors in awe of its beauty. Further on, Sagada is home to deep caves, waterfalls, and hanging coffins.

Meanwhile, the country’s exceptional natural wonders shouldn’t overshadow the country’s vibrant cities. In Cebu City, the country’s oldest city, visiting its oldest farmer’s market, Carbon Market is a local affair. In Manila, the country’s capital on the island of Luzon, it is a mix of architecture, a whirlwind of cultural creativity and atmospheres, because the city is a boisterous, booming frenzy that seemingly never sleeps. Your historical journey through the country is not complete without experiencing Vigan, former colonial capital, which to this day is a UNESCO World Heritage site characterized by cobblestone streets, well-preserved Spanish colonial architectures, and horse-drawn carriages.
 palm trees, white sand, nipa cottages tropical paradise Philippines

Environment-friendly vacation in the Philippines

Without a doubt, travel lovers will find their way into the natural beauty and rich heritage of the Philippines. And, in order to keep it that way, the topic of sustainable tourism has become paramount. If you would like to make your contribution to sustainable tourism in the Philippines, we would like to give you a few tips:

Sustainable Accommodations

You make an important contribution to sustainable tourism in the Philippines by choosing your accommodation. Instead of booking an all-inclusive luxury resort, we recommend you opt for eco-friendly lodges or to check into environment-friendly hotels that foster sustainable and green living practices. 

How about a bamboo hut as accommodation, where you can provide yourself with local food and are closer to nature than ever? Below are some suggested eco-friendly accommodations in the Philippines:
Tarzan’s Treehouse (Siargao)

This romantic treehouse on Siargao at Tuazon Point immediately enchants every visitor with the view of the palm groves and the sea. The location not far from the surfer's paradise Cloud 9 is simply perfect. Up to three guests can enjoy the proximity to nature.

Bamboo Huts by the River (Bohol)
Mount Purro Nature Reserve (Antipolo, Rizal)
Coconut Treehouse (Occidental Mindoro)
Atmosphere Resorts and Spa (Dauin, Negros Oriental)
El Nido Resorts Apulit Island
swimming with the whale sharks in the Philippines

Vacation and Excursions

If you visit smaller and less touristic places, you will not only get to know the culture more authentically but also invest your money where it is needed. Avoid regions that already suffer from over-tourism.

In addition, it is important to previously review the impact of our leisure activities on the functioning of the local ecosystem. A great example that we find in the Philippines, is the well-known attraction of swimming with the whale sharks found in Oslob. These animals are fed daily to maintain tourism in the area, which means that they do not live according to their natural environment but remain stuck in that area of ​​the coast waiting for food (which is not what they would naturally consume either). Supporting this type of tourism, whether we like it or not, is to contribute a grain of sand to the imbalance of ecosystems.

On the other hand, there are several points in the country, including Moalboal, Malapascua, and Donsol where you can snorkel in a fun way while leaving as minimal impact possible to the natural environment of these species.
 transportation in the Philippines iconic jeepney


Opting for public transport, which includes the iconic Philippine jeepney,  or renting a bicycle is always a commitment to reducing the impact we generate when we move. In the Philippines, it is also very common to rent motorcycles to tour the islands.

smiling traveling family sitting on car trunk with luggage's

More Tips for the Responsible Travelers:

  • If you leave your accommodation, always turn off the lights everywhere and do not use electricity unnecessarily. 

  • Go shopping at local markets, buy regional fruit and vegetables, and use jute bags for your purchases. 

  • Choose local food. This way, you will be increasing the chances that the food is indigenous. The karinderías common in each town and city are usually self-managed by the family to which it belongs and they prepare their dishes with local ingredients.

  • You should always use water sparingly and avoid unnecessary waste. 

  • Bring your reusable water bottle with you on vacation

  • You can bring reusable cutlery and refuse to buy street food plastic cutlery, as well as straws. 

  • Show respect for nature and wildlife, but also for the locals. 

  • Never dispose of trash in nature or on the street. 
More and more projects are being launched with the aim of preserving the beauty of nature in the Philippines in the recent years. This was demonstrated in particular by the closure of the island of Boracay in 2018 to counteract mass tourism and protect the environment. On the island of Malapascua, garbage is collected together on the beaches and the sea is kept clean. In addition, the islanders are trained in sustainability. Hotels and other accommodations are increasingly focusing on effective waste management, trees are being planted and green cities are being planned.

An environmentally friendly trip to the Philippines doesn't have to be difficult. On the contrary, you will have unique experiences, be close to nature, and learn to appreciate the country and the unique culture of the locals more. Now, if you want to show real commitment even on vacation, you can also participate in environmental projects, such as supporting volunteer projects for animal or environmental protection. Even if your vacation is not only about relaxation, it still feels really good to have done something good, doesn't it?

Remember, sustainable tourism is a decision we make in every action we take during our travels - even when we do not find places on our tour that have a conscious philosophy on sustainability and environment protection.

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