Where to Go in the Philippines: Destinations That Are Now Open To Tourists

Last Updated on February 12, 2022 by Tina

On January 28, 2022, the Department of Tourism announced that beginning February 10, 2022, the Philippines will start to accept fully-vaccinated* foreign leisure travelers from visa-free countries. In addition, qualified leisure travelers will no longer be required to undergo quarantine. The question now is where to go in the Philippines? What tourist destinations are now open? What are the requirements to visit these Philippine tourist destinations?

Even though provinces in the country are slowly opening up to tourists, they have travel requirements that travelers need to comply with to be allowed entry into that place. In this post, I will list down some tourist destinations in the Philippines that are now open and the travel requirements needed.

*An individual is deemed fully vaccinated if he/she received the second dose in a 2-dose series or a single dose vaccine more than fourteen days prior to the date and time of departure from the country of origin. In addition, the vaccine is included in the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) List or Compassionate Special Permit (CSP) issued by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration or Emergency Use Listing of the World Health Organization.

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What are the entry requirements to the Philippines?

Under the Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No. 160-B Series of 2022 all arriving visitors for tourism purposes must present the following:

  • A negative result of an RT-PCR test that was taken within 48 hours prior to the date and time of departure from point of origin/first port of embarkation in a continuous journey to the Philippines, excluding layovers. He/she must not have left the airport premises or have not been admitted into another country during such lay-over.
  • Passport valid for at least six months at the time of arrival in the Philippines.
  • Valid outbound tickets to their country of origin or the next country of destination not later than 30 days from their date of arrival in the Philippines.
  • Travel insurance for COVID-19 treatment costs from reputed insurers obtained prior to arrival to the Philippines.  It must have a minimum coverage of US$ 35,000.00 for the duration of their stay in the country.
  • Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 that are recognized by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). Acceptable proofs are the World Health Organization International Certificate of Vaccination and Prophylaxis, or VaxCertPH of the Department of Health, or a national/ state digital certificate of a foreign government that has accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal arrangement, or other proofs of vaccination permitted by the IATF.
  • Register at onehealthpass.com.ph at least three (3) days prior to departure to get a QR Code. When you register, you will be asked for a Philippine mobile number. But since you don’t have a Philippine number yet, you can use your current mobile number. If you have questions regarding your registration, you can inquire at +639686812217. That is the hotline for One Health Pass. They are very responsive according to someone I know. You need to submit the following documents:
    1. Proof of vaccination (except for children below 12 years old, who will follow the protocol for the accompanying parent or guardian)
    2. Confirmed bookings from the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) accredited hotels or accommodation establishments
    3. Return flight tickets to your port of origin or next destination, which should be not later than 30 days from the date of arrival in the Philippines
    4. A negative result of RT-PCR Test taken within 48 hours prior to departure. Only children who are three (3) years old and below are exempted from this requirement.
  • On the day of departure, update your OneHealthPass/OHP registration with your seat number, electronic Health Declaration Card (eHDC), and other details.
  • Download the Traze Contact Tracing App and register. Use your current number if you don’t have a Philippine number yet.

Once admitted into the country, foreign tourists are no longer required to observe facility-based quarantine but they have to self-monitor for any sign or symptom for seven days with the first day being the date of arrival. They are required to report to the local government unit (LGU) of their destination should they exhibit any symptoms.

Who Can Visit the Philippines Visa-Free?

Foreign nationals traveling to the Philippines for tourism purposes may enter the country without visas, provided:

  • They are former Filipino citizens with Balikbayan privilege under Republic Act No. 9174, including their spouse and/or children who are not balikbayan in their own right and are traveling with them to the Philippines; or
  • They are a citizen/national of countries listed under Executive Order 408, S. 1960 allowed to a stay in the Philippines not exceeding thirty (30) days. You can find the list of countries here: Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No. 160-B Series of 2022.

Where to Go in the Philippines

Below are some of the more popular destinations in the Philippines that are now open to tourists. I have included travel requirements for each destination. Please note that travel requirements are subject to change at short notice by the local government units (LGUs). I might not be able to update this post in real-time. But I have included the website/Facebook page of the destinations so you can confirm the requirements directly.

Baguio City

Baguio City

Baguio City is a highly urbanized city located approximately 250 km north of Manila. It is a favorite tourist summer destination due to its cool weather, that’s why the city is dubbed as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. To know more about Baguio City, check this Baguio travel guide.

Baguio Travel Requirements for Tourists

  • Vaccination card for adults. A negative RT-PCR or antigen test result is also required for those coming from Alert Level 3 areas. Unvaccinated adults are not allowed.
  • Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated minors aged 12-17 years old need to present negative RT-PCR or antigen test results.
  • Confirmed visit schedule through Baguio VIS.I.T.A. Have a copy of your QR-coded Tourist Pass (QTP) (electronic or printed) for easy reference at the borders and at tourism establishments.

For more information and updates about Baguio City, visit the Baguio Tourism page.

Boracay

One of the most popular destinations in the Philippines, Boracay has a long stretch of powdery white sand beach and lots of picture-worthy sights. It earned the eighth spot in the annual Conde Nast Traveler (CNT) reader’s choice awards for top islands to visit in 2021. The island has plenty of adventures and activities for all ages.

Boracay Travel Requirements for Tourists

  • Proof of identification (ID for domestic travelers and passport for foreigners)
  • Proof of vaccination status for fully vaccinated individuals (VaxCertPH or locally issued vaccination card with verifiable QR code or contact details of vaccination center; or WHO International Certificates of Vaccination and Prophylaxis/Vaccination Card or Vaccination Certificate issued abroad)
  • Negative RT-PCR  test result taken within 72 hours before the date of travel
  • Accomplished Certificate of Undertaking Traveling w/ Minors template from aklan.gov.ph for 12 years old and below
  • Copy of confirmed booking slip/form from DOT-Accredited accommodation establishment
  • Round-trip flight/travel details

Are Flights to Boracay Available?

Yes. Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and Air Asia have daily flights to Caticlan Airport.

For more information and updates about Boracay, visit https://www.touristboracay.com.

El Nido

 El Nido is a municipality in Palawan famous for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, lagoons, and massive limestone cliffs. It earned the third spot in the annual Conde Nast Traveler (CNT) reader’s choice awards for top islands to visit in 2021. El Nido has been consistently voted as one of the world’s best islands.

For more information about traveling to El Nido, check out El Nido, Philippines Complete Travel Guide and My Six Days Solo Travel Itinerary.

El Nido Travel Requirements for Tourists

  • A copy of the approved S-Pass Travel Coordination Permit
  • Valid ID
  • Confirmed hotel booking/reservation in a Department of Tourism (DOT) accredited hotel covering all dates on the flight itinerary
  • Roundtrip airline ticket
  • Proof of vaccination (VaxCertPH or Vaccination Certificate)
  • Negative antigen test result accomplished within the last 48 hours prior to arrival in Palawan for fully vaccinated tourists
  • Negative RT-PCR test result accomplished within the last 48 hours prior to arrival in Palawan for tourists with incomplete or no vaccination

Are Flights to El Nido Available?

Yes. Air Swift has daily flights to El Nido, Palawan.

For more information and updates about El Nido, visit the El Nido Tourism page.

Ilocos Norte

Located in the northern part of the Philippines, Ilocos Norte is known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial-era architecture that includes the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, the Paoay Church, and St. William Cathedral’s Sinking Bell Tower. It is also famous for its geographical features- the Kapurpurawan rock formation, La Paz Sand Dunes, and the beaches of Pagudpud.

Ilocos Norte Travel Requirements for Tourists

  • Proof of vaccination (VaxCertPH or Vaccination Certificate). Unvaccinated travelers are not allowed unless they can present a duly signed medical certification with the doctor’s name and contact details that states that their medical condition prevents full COVID-19 vaccination.
  • All tourists, regardless of vaccination status and length of stay are required to present a negative test result of either:
      • Antigen test done upon arrival at the border; or
      • RT-PCR test taken within the last 60 hours; or
      • Antigen test taken within the last 24 hours.
  • Children 0-11 years of age are not required to undergo testing as long as they are accompanied by fully-vaccinated and tested adults.
  • Online registration at ilocosnorte.ph
  • Confirmed booking from accredited accommodation or local travel agency

*Testing expenses of all registered tourists staying for at least 2 nights shall be shouldered by the provincial government.

Are Flights to Ilocos Norte Available?

Yes. Philippine Airlines flies to Laoag City every Tuesday and Friday.

For more information and updates about Ilocos Norte, visit the Ilocos Norte Tourism page.

La Union

La Union, more popularly referred to as Elyu, is a favorite weekend beach getaway because of its proximity to Metro Manila. San Juan, one of its municipalities is dubbed as the Surfing Capital of the Northern Philippines. Aside from surfing, there are plenty of things to do in La Union such as visiting natural and historical sites, attending a clay pottery class, and grape picking.

For more information about traveling to La Union, check out San Juan, La Union Travel Guide During the Pandemic.

La Union Travel Requirements for Tourists

  • QR-Coded-Tourists Pass (QTP) from Tara Na Visita System
  • Government-issued ID
  • Tour booking confirmation with La Union-based travel agency or pre-booked accommodation from DOT Accredited Establishment for overnight tourists
  • Tour booking confirmation with La Union-based travel agency or pre-booked appointment from Tourism Establishment for day tourists from Alert Levels 1 and 2 areas. Tourists coming from Alert Levels 3 and 4 areas are not allowed for a day tour in La Union.
  • Covid-19 Vaccination Card and negative antigen test result within 3 days for fully vaccinated individuals from Alert Levels 1 and 2 areas
  • Negative RT-PCR test results for tourists who are not fully vaccinated and tourists from Alert Levels 3 and 4 areas. The result must be within 3 days before the actual arrival in La Union.

For more information and updates about La Union, visit the Love La Union page.

Puerto Galera

Dubbed as the Summer Capital of Southern Luzon, Puerto Galera is popular for its beautiful white-sand beaches and numerous diving spots. It was designated a Man and Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO in 1973 and has some of the most diverse coral reef diving in Asia located at the very heart of the ‘Coral Triangle’.

Puerto Galera Travel Requirements for Tourists

For more information and updates about Puerto Galera, visit puertogalera.gov.ph.

Sagada

Tucked in the Cordillera mountains, Sagada is famous for its hanging coffins, limestone caves, waterfalls, rice fields, sea of clouds, and breathtaking mountain views.

Sagada Travel Requirements for Tourists

  • Proof of vaccination (VaxCertPH or Vaccination Certificate). Unvaccinated travelers are not allowed. Minors aged 11 and below are exempted from presenting a vaccination card provided they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Negative RT-PCR test result
  • Visitor registration through https://umali-kayo.sagada.gov.ph

For more information and updates about Sagada, visit sagada.gov.ph.

Siquijor

Siquijor

Located in the Central Visayas Region, Siquijor is an underrated tourist destination in the Philippines. It is a small island midway between Visayas and Mindanao Islands and the third smallest province in the country. It is known for most Filipinos as a land of magic potions, sorcerers, and witchcraft. The island has amazing sunsets, beautiful waterfalls, white sand beaches with crystal clear waters and there’s something about the place that makes you want to stay there forever.

To know more about Siquijor, read Solo Travel Guide to Siquijor, Philippines.

Related Post: Why You Should Include Siquijor in Your Travel to the Philippines

Siquijor Travel Requirements for Tourists

  • Approved S-Pass Travel Coordination Permit
  • Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (VaxCertPH or Vaccination Card); Must be fully vaccinated
  • Valid ID: for local tourists, any government-issued ID and passport for foreign tourists
  • Booking confirmation from a DOT accredited accommodation

I hope I was able to help you with planning your trip to the Philippines. If you have other questions regarding this post, write them down in the comments below or send me an email or message me on my social media accounts.

And if you haven’t subscribed to my blog yet, please do so you don’t miss any of my posts. I’ll try to update this post as much as I can to add the other tourist destinations in the country. And please follow my Facebook page @iwentanyways and like my Instagram accounts @iwentanyways and @tnadeperalta for updates.

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