Getting Around

By Air

Fly within the country on our local airlines. You’ll find information on flight schedules, destinations, booking, and online ticketing on their websites:

Cebu Pacific
Interisland Airlines
Philippine Airlines
Air Philippines
SEA Air
Zest Airlines

You can also take a chartered flight to major domestic destinations and island resorts.

By Sea

If you prefer traveling by boat, try the roll-on-roll-off (RORO) ships between Manila and the country’s major ports. To and from smaller islands, take fast sea crafts and other ferry services. Resorts also offer island hopping by banca (small, local boat), or fishermen and other locals offer their boats for hire.

The Visayas region in particular, has a robust network of inter-island boats. For commercial options, tickets are available through ticketing and travel agents. Schedules are published in dailies and the Buy & Sell publication. You can also start your search through these websites:

Two major shipping lines 2Go and Montenegro Lines
A list of ships and ferries from Marine Traffic
A helpful blog for boat travel is Cebu Boat Trips

By Land

It is possible to travel by air-conditioned bus from Manila to nearly all major destinations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

There is also a National Railway, that, sadly, only really transects Southern Luzon. Some of the trains have recently been replaced or refurbished though, so if you’re not in a hurry, it’s a viable way to get from Manila to Legazpi.

Within Metropolitan Manila, take the Light Railway Transit (LRT). It’s the fastest and most economical way to travel throughout the metropolis:

LRT Line 1 – to go to and from the Roosevelt in the north to Baclaran in the south.
LRT Line 2 – to go to and from Recto Avenue to Santolan St. in the eastern part of the metropolis.
The Metro Rail Transport (MRT) Line 3 – to go through Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), Metro Manila’s main circumferential road. Stations are located at major intersections of Makati City, Ortigas, and Cubao.

If there are no LRT lines where you’re going, take a bus or metered taxi. You’ll find taxis in Manila and major parts of Metro Manila, and they can usually be flagged down right where you’re standing.

For short distances within the city, try taking a public utility jeepney (PUJ) or a tricycle.

For more info on the Philippine National Railway:

Philippines National Rail
The Light Railway Transit (LRT)
The Metrotren (MRT)

Some helpful blogs for getting around Manila:

PH Commute
MetroManilaDirections
Parasatabi

Better yet, ask a local for directions. It’ll be fun!

Driving

If you’d like to try our roads, an international driver’s license is valid for up to three months. There are car rental services available in major cities, just ask your hotel to assist you. It might be easier to go around with a local driver, so you won’t have to worry about navigation and local traffic rules.

Off-roading is popular in the Philippines though, so if you’re into that, there are local 4WD groups in most adventure destinations.

Underbone motorcycles are also available for rent in most of the cities. If your hotel can’t help you and you don’t spot a “Motorcycle for rent” sign anywhere, just approach any tricycle driver for a lead.


Image by Stefan Munder, CC BY 2.0

 

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