Airbnb Travel Guide 2022: The Philippines

The Philippines has been making waves around the world as the up-and-coming paradise for ardent beach-goers. With over 7,000 islands and a coastline of over 36,000 km, the archipelagic country boasts gleaming white beaches and turquoise waters, warm tropical summers all year round and some of the best surfing spots around. Yet as most of us know, there’s far more to this beautiful country than clear waters and big waves. 

Beyond the coast are equally stunning destinations waiting to be uncovered by local and overseas travelers alike. Take an even closer look and you’ll discover ancient rice fields, hidden lagoons, little-known tribal villages and a vibrant array of colorful festivals throughout the year.

Rediscover the Philippines this year with Airbnb’s Travel Guide 2022: The Philippines! Airbnb reveals the hottest destinations to visit and off-the-beaten-path hidden gems unbeknownst even to most locals. Read on for thrilling activities you shouldn’t miss, and the most extraordinary stays that will surely make your adventures one for the books.

Airbnb’s Top 5 Hottest, Most Underrated Destinations of 2022

Sorsogon: The ecotourist’s favourite
Tucked away in sprawling Bicolandia is the province of Sorsogon, where nature is always around the corner. Home to the butanding (whale sharks), the gentle giants of the Philippine seas, Sorsogon also offers up incredible surfing spots, beautiful lagoons, hot springs and mangrove forests with herds of migratory birds.
Catanduanes: The happy island
Located at Luzon’s easternmost fringe, the island of Catanduanes remains off most tourists’ radar, and has remained rural, rugged and laid-back, making it a spectacular destination for nature lovers. The island is lined with gorgeous white beaches and hidden coves, with stunning waterfalls Solong Falls and Hicming Falls just further inland. 
Siquijor: The mystical land
When someone mentions Siquijor, you can’t help but think of magic and enchantment. Avid adventurers can dive along the coral wall running from Paliton Beach to Tubod Beach, or snorkel in waterfalls and lagoons surrounded by lush green foliage. Cambugahay Falls is a popular choice with its three tiers of cascading waters flowing down into a bright turquoise pool.
Biliran: The untouched paradise
Biliran is one of the country’s newest provinces, and according to locals best explored by riding a habal-habal (motorcycle taxi). The province is surrounded by mountains which explains its abundant waterfalls, including Ulan-Ulan Falls – one of the most spectacular falls rising over 90 feet that shower visitors with mist-like ‘rain’ as the waters rushes down.
Zamboanga Peninsula: The pink beach
With its famous cherry-coloured beaches, a wonderfully diverse cuisine, and a mix of languages spoken including Spanish and those of several indigenous tribes such as Chavacano, Bisaya, Tagalog, Maranao, and Subanen — Zamboanga Peninsula is truly one of a kind. Sun seekers can also take a boat trip to Once Islas or Eleven Islands, where rock formations and crystal clear waters abound. 

Top 5 most unique Airbnb Stays in the Philippines

Rustic treehouse by the riverside in Balamban, Cebu
Ever wondered what a rural tabing-ilog lifestyle is like? Treehouse de Valentine can help satiate that curiosity! An elevated treehouse next to a tiny river, it comes with a wooden hot tub, a patio overlooking the rainforest and even a laptop-friendly workspace for digital nomads. 
Private island paradise in the middle of Talacanen Island, Palawan
Enjoy island paradise in this luxurious beach hideaway nestled within Talacanen Island. Savour sumptuous Palawan must-eats, go snorkeling and kayaking, or get a massage on the private veranda.
Vintage airstream suite on top of a hill in Calaca, Batangas
The first Airstream accommodation in the Philippines, this 25-foot remodeled vehicle offers the best of modern campervan furnishings, plenty of natural light and an outdoor grill so you can fully embrace the great outdoors.
Tropical tiny bamboo house in General Luna, Siargao
The best experiences can sometimes come in small packages, as this tiny house will prove. Located in Santa Fe, this bamboo home combines minimalist appeal indoors with a lush tropical garden outside. The best part? It’s just a few steps away from Siargao’s white sand beaches!
Magical glass treehouse amidst pinewood forests
Combine your treehouse dream with contemporary and classy design, and you’ll get Baguio’s Tudor in the Pines. With full-length glass walls, you’ll be able to enjoy the magnificent outdoors even when staying in.

Most interesting things to do

Spend the night on the ledge of Kiokong White Rock Wall
Literally live on the edge of this rock wall in Bukidnon! You’ll set up camp in an opening on the face of the cliff, 400 feet above the ground. Scary as it seems, you’ll wake up in the morning to the most breathtaking sunrise — making the extreme climb totally worth it.
Shop around a floating market in the southernmost province
When talking about floating markets, neighbouring countries Thailand and Vietnam come to mind. But did you know there’s also one in Tawi-Tawi, the southernmost province of the country? You’ll find an abundance of dried seaweed, fresh fish, and delicious rare fruits.
Zipline over seven waterfalls in Lake Sebu, North Cotabato
Yes, you read that right — seven waterfalls! Embrace the adrenaline rush as you zip through the foliage and over the breathtaking falls on one of Asia’s tallest ziplines.
Ride a Pinoy-style go-kart
The Ligiron, a four-wheeled wooden cart found only in Valencia, Negros Oriental, was originally used by farmers to bring their produce down from the mountains to the market, until local kids started having fun with it. You can now grab a ride downhill too – and maybe even join the yearly Ligiron race for adrenaline junkies!

Most interesting things to eat

Sinuglaw: A most curious but absolutely delicious culinary pairing, sinuglaw combines two different dishes: pork belly and ceviche. You’ll get crispy, chewy, and citrusy all in one bite!
Betute Tugak: Not for the faint of heart, this exotic dish from Pampanga is essentially a deep-fried baby frog stuffed with a mix of ground pork, vegetables and spices. What’s the taste, you ask? Kapampangans say it tastes like fried chicken — but even better! 
Tiyula Itum: Tiyula itum, which literally means “black soup”, may come across intimidating at first sight. But this Tausug dish is more than its color — spices like ginger, turmeric, and chilis lend warmth while tanglad and burnt coconut add delicious depth. 
Tuslob-Buwa: Reportedly invented in Barangay Pasil in Cebu, this street food dish is a mix of pig’s brain and liver, simmered in a series of aromatics and spices. With a name that translates to “dip in bubbles”, Cebuanos say tuslob-buwa is  best savoured by dipping rice balls into its bubbling gravy.
Dulce Prenda: A rare culinary delicacy that is increasingly hard to find, dulce prenda is a traditional cookie filled with sweetened kundol. Each piece is painstakingly made by hand, and special not only for its melt in the mouth texture but also the rich stories behind this century-old recipe.

Airbnb’s Top Travel Tips 

  • Make health and safety your top priority! Philippine health and travel requirements continue to change on the go, so always remember to check the latest guidelines at home and with the local government unit in your destination before planning a trip. Remember to bring your vaccination documents at all times. 
  • Always treat your destination like your home: make an effort to understand the local rules and practices, and clean as you go.
  • Go local so the community can benefit from your travels! Bring small bills along and check out smaller neighbourhood shops run by local artisans. 
  • Follow the Philippines Department of Health’s public health standards – wear your masks properly, ensure a physical distance of at least 1m, and wash your hands and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers regularly.