With everything happening in the world, sometimes you just want to travel to escape and get away from it all.
While some destinations in the country are great for spending time in the company of friends, others are more suited for self-reflection when you want to enjoy quality alone time away from the crowds.
For some people, traveling solo is the best way to move on from a relationship. For others, solo trips can be a break from the stresses of daily life and having to deal with other people in noisy and congested cities. For introverts especially, there’s nothing like exploring a new destination (or revisiting old favorites) on your own to heal the heart, soothe the soul, and clear the mind.
Here are five highly recommended healing destinations for solo travelers worth visiting around the Philippines.
If you want to go as far away from people as possible and just enjoy nature’s beauty at its finest, Batanes is one of the best destinations in the country you can visit. With its breathtaking landscapes, peaceful vibe, and warm locals, this northernmost island province of the Philippines offers a meditative sanctuary. While you can join packaged van or tricycle tours and meet up with fellow travelers for sightseeing, you can also rent bicycles to explore the island on your own.
Famous tourist spots in Basco include the Honesty Store, where visitors are trusted to pay the right amount for what they buy, and a Blank Library, where you can reflect and write anonymous messages to help unload some of your darkest thoughts. You can also visit several lighthouses around Batanes, which offer some of the best panoramic views.
With the picturesque rolling hills and sweeping views of the ocean everywhere you look, it's easy to forget work problems and the normal everyday struggles you have back in the city.
Aside from exploring the main sights around Basco island, make sure to visit Sabtang Island with its traditional stone houses and charming seaside restaurants. If you need more time to reflect and really go off-the-grid, head to the even more remote Itbayat Island.
From Manila, you can get to Batanes by air. Domestic flights to Basco can take between 70 and 110 minutes.
There’s really something about the natural mountain scenery, cold weather, and tranquility of the mountain town of Sagada that soothes the soul. After a long drive or overnight bus ride from Manila, you can just walk around town with the refreshing view of pine trees. For decades, Sagada has attracted backpackers who come here specifically to find peace and quiet.
Sagada has been dubbed as a place for moving on after a heartbreak as popularized by the 2015 movie That Thing Called Tadhana. However, to keep the peace with locals, screaming out your feelings in the mountains is not recommended.
Instead, you can enjoy plenty of peaceful moments while hiking through rice fields or forest trails, visiting waterfalls, and exploring caves. Spend a quiet afternoon dining in one of the local restaurants, indulging in lemon pie, yogurt and good coffee, or get lost on your way to a microbrewery hidden in the middle of a pine forest.
Sagada is the type of place that will make you appreciate the little things in life and question why you choose to live in the city every time you visit.
You can get to Sagada from Manila by bus. Travel time usually takes 12 hours.
If you’re after rest and relaxation, Romblon Island is a charming yet unassuming peninsula where you can enjoy local living. This small island, known mostly for its marble industry, has many other places to offer. A fort and a baroque church are highlights for the more history-minded tourists. There's also the scenic Bonbon Beach, just five minutes away from the main town proper.
From the capital of Romblon Island, you can cross over and explore other larger and less explored islands that make up the province, including Tablas and Sibuyan, home to the white sand paradise of Cresta de Gallo as well as Mt. Guiting-Guiting, one of the most difficult and technically challenging Philippine mountains on most mountaineers' bucket lists.
For years, the most common and most affordable way to get directly to Romblon Island is by ferry. From the Batangas port, the ferry ride usually takes 8 hours.
However, last September 2022, Air Swift officially inaugurated its commercial flights to Romblon Airport in Tugdan Airport in Alcantara, Tablas Island to cut down travel time. From here, you will still have to take a boat ride to Romblon Island.
Renowned for its mystic charms, the island province of Siquijor in Central Visayas has been known to enchant all those who visit the place. While the island has been associated with stories of witchcraft and sorcery in the past, the island is famous today for its folk healers as well as for its natural wonders.
If you're looking for bustling beach nightlife or a party scene, you won't find it here, but you will discover many quiet, laid-back spots where you can take the time to reflect and re-energize from the daily grind.
In recent years, Siquijor has become a rising destination for backpackers looking for something a little offbeat.
There are no flights directly to Siquijor, but you can get there via sea travel from Dumaguete CIty (ferry rides usually take about 1.5 hours) or ferry from Bohol (travel time is about 2-3 hours).
Dubbed “The Island Born of Fire,” Camiguin is another beautiful island province in the country that offers refreshing natural sights from sea to summit.
You can spend the day basking on the beach at Mantigue Island Nature Park or White Island sandbar or soak your worries away in the cool and hot natural spring waters of the volcanic island. Meanwhile, history buffs can visit recently-declared National Heritage Sites such as the Bonbon Church Ruins and the famous Sunken Cemetery.
While Camiguin is a rising tourist destination, the island still maintains its natural charms for those who just want to take it slow. Those up for a workout can commune with nature by hiking up Mt. Hibok-Hibok, or hop on a mountain bike to loop the entire island on a self-drive tour.
For a true YOLO adventure, you can also try boarding a one-seater aircraft to enjoy the scenery Camiguin has to offer. Camiguin Aviation offers rides with views of sea-level sandbars to the peaks of Mt. Hibok-Hibok.
From Manila you can reach Camiguin by air travel, with flights making transits in Cebu. Those coming from Mindanao can board a ferry to Benoni Wharf from Cagayan de Oro.