Top 7 Thrilling Outdoor Activities in the Philippines

The Philippines may be famous for its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture, but it’s also abundant in thrilling activities and outdoor pursuits. This tropical paradise offers adventurers an array of exhilarating experiences that could take them from canyoneering down cascading waterfalls to conquering the peaks of majestic mountains. This article contains adventure activities in the Philippines that thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts will want to do. 

List of Thrilling Activities in the Philippines

With the country’s diverse and stunning landscapes, adventurers will never run out of outdoor activities to do in the Philippines. Here are some of the most exciting experiences everyone can enjoy: 

Surfing in Siargao

One of the top activities to do in the Philippines for adventure seekers is surfing in Siargao. Known as the “Surfing Capital in the Philippines,” Siargao offers world-class waves that entice surfers from around the globe. Whether one is a seasoned pro or a novice, the island’s breaks cater to all levels.

Adventurers are free to surf all year round, but locals recommend visiting the island’s most popular surfing spot, Cloud 9, from September to November or during the rainy season. If thrill-seekers want to test their surfing prowess, these months provide waves as high as 12 feet. However, the peak surfing season in Siargao runs from May to November. Tourists who want to see real talent can wait for the annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup to see top international surfers show off their skills.


Canyoneering in Kawasan Falls, Cebu

Canyoneering in Kawasan Falls, Cebu, is one of the most unforgettable adventure activities in the Philippines. Kawasan Falls is a series of stunning waterfalls in Badian, Cebu’s lush jungle. It’s surrounded by dense greenery and towering cliffs, where the waters of the falls cascade down in tiers to create a mesmerizing backdrop for canyoneering.

Adventurers have the option to start their route upstream or downstream. The downstream starts at Barangay Sulsogan, Badian, and ends at Kawasan Falls. If tourists prefer a more challenging canyoneering adventure, the upstream route will suit them better. It starts at Kawasan Falls, where they’ll climb several waterfalls with ropes, and ends at Barangay Sulsogan, Badian.

Whitewater Rafting in Cagayan de Oro

Adventurers must try whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro if they want an adrenaline-pumping activity. The city’s river winds through lush forests and rugged terrain, offering a picturesque backdrop for the adventure. This activity is certainly a must-try for those who enjoy thrilling water adventures.

The whitewater rafting experience is led by certified guides, who will instruct the group with paddling techniques and strategies to navigate the rapids. Keep in mind whitewater rafting is a team sport, so expect to collaborate and coordinate with fellow rafters to successfully navigate through the river. Besides that, enjoy the heart-pounding drops, exhilarating waves, and thrilling twists and turns whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro offers.

Whale Shark Snorkeling in Donsol, Sorsogon

Snorkeling with whale sharks is one of the most thrilling activities in the Philippines. These gentle giants migrate to the waters of Donsol between November and June because they’re drawn to the rich plankton blooms. These creatures are a sight to behold, and tourists who see them are left in awe.

The whale shark snorkeling experience typically begins with a guided boat tour led by local guides. The group will set out early in the morning to maximize the chances of encountering the whale sharks as they feed near the surface. Once a whale shark is spotted, the boat carefully approaches the gentle giant, allowing adventurers to slip into the water with a snorkel and a mask.


Hiking in Mount Pulag, Benguet

Mount Pulag is the third-highest mountain in the Philippines. If adventurers want to conquer its peaks, they must add hiking to the mountain in their list of must-do adventure activities in the Philippines. If you’re looking for one of the best hike experiences in your life, add this thrilling attraction to your bucket list.

Mount Pulag is part of the Cordillera Central mountain range, so expect to see scenic vistas like mossy oak forests, pine forests, and grasslands when hiking. Adventurers will have the option to choose between three trails: the Ambangeg, Akiki, and Tawagan. The Ambangeg trail is best for beginner hikers and takes approximately 4-6 hours to finish.

One of the highlights of hiking Mount Pulag is the chance to see the famous “sea of clouds” at sunrise from the summit. As the sun rises above the horizon, a blanket of clouds fills the horizon and creates a breathtaking and memorable view. Make sure to bring a device to document your achievement of reaching the summit so it can live on forever.

Ultralight Plane Flying in Pampanga

If adventurers want to see Pampanga through an aerial view, they must try flying an ultralight plane. It’s a small aircraft with an open-air cockpit, so prepare to feel the wind on one’s face as the aircraft soars above the clouds. This rare experience makes it one for the books, an event one could surely remember forever.

The Ultralight will have a pilot onboard to assist in flying and landing the aircraft. Depending on the plane’s capabilities, the pilot may even perform a variety of flight maneuvers to enhance the experience! Remember to bring a camera since there will be plenty of opportunities to capture stunning aerial photos of the scenery below.

Spelunking in Sagada

Spelunking in Sumaguing Cave, Sagada offers adventurers the chance to explore the intricate cave systems of the Cordillera Mountains. Each cave awaits distinct rock formations, underground rivers, and cavernous chambers. However, to navigate the caves, adventurers will have to go through narrow passages, scramble over rocks, and cross slippery terrain that makes spelunking thrilling.

The activity will be led by experienced local guides who are familiar with the cave systems and safety protocols. Adventurers will wear helmets, headlamps, and ropes to make navigation easier.


Final Thoughts

The Philippines offers an array of thrilling activities and outdoor pursuits that every type of adventurer will love. From scaling the heights of Mount Pulag to plunging into the depths with whale sharks, the Philippines promises an adventure like no other. So, people should pack their sense of excitement if they want to explore adventure activities in the Philippines!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before taking the plunge and booking your next adventure to the Philippines, here are a few frequently asked questions that might help you plan your trip:

What is the adventure capital of the Philippines?

Although it’s not official, Camarines Sur has the potential to be the adventure capital of the Philippines. The province offers an array of activities, from eco-tourism to extreme sports pursuits.

What is the difference between outdoor and adventure activities?

Outdoor and adventure activities both involve doing recreational activities outdoors. However, adventure activities involve more exhilarating and challenging pursuits that push people out of their comfort zones, like zip-lining, paragliding, and snowboarding. 

Some of the most popular adventure activities that tourists can do in the Philippines include whitewater rafting, canyoneering, and spelunking.

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