Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper BrandedUp Hello! Create with us Privacy Policy

LIST: Philippine destinations ideal for first-time solo travelers

By Kara Santos Published May 20, 2024 4:49 pm Updated Jun 03, 2024 7:00 pm

Do you think traveling alone equates to loneliness or independence?

Actress Loisa Andalio recently said that she doesn’t understand why people would choose to travel alone, as she prefers to travel with loved ones. Often accompanied by her boyfriend Ronnie Alonte, Loisa said that she could never envision herself traveling solo. 

“Basta ini-enjoy lang naman yung mga moments na magkakasama kami [ni Ronnie]. Siyempre mas naa-appreciate natin yung napupuntahan natin pag mahal natin yung kasama natin,” she said in an interview with the Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP).

“Gumaganda rin yung view dahil sa kasama natin. Minsan kasi, ang ano lang, hindi ko maintindihan yung mga tao na nagso-solo travel— parang ang lungkot. Kasi, sino yung kabatuhan mo na 'ang ganda ng view'? Yung wala taga picture mo,” she said.

Admitting that she had never tried traveling solo, the 25-year-old actress surmised that those who choose to do it must probably be going through something to pick the lone wolf route.

“Grabe yung pinagdadaanan talaga siguro nila para gusto nilang magiging solo na lang,” she said.

There’s a common notion that doing things like eating out alone or traveling alone automatically means you’re sad and lonely. However, those who have actually tried it often equate it to freedom. It can be liberating to experience a destination independently without having to consider other people’s schedules or travel preferences. For sociable travelers, solo trips can also be a chance to widen one’s circle, engage with locals, and meet new people. 

A survey by tour operator Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) reveals that solo travel is on the rise globally. Based on survey data released last year, tour operators predicted that 2024 would be the “year of the solo traveler.” 

“The solo trend started more than a decade ago and has continued to gain steam. Back in 2017, 27% of our travelers were solos. In 2019, it was 39%, and 47% in 2021. Today, it’s 50%,”  OAT CEO Brian FitzGerald told Forbes in 2023.

“Post-pandemic, many travelers didn’t want to waste any time. They decided if no one wanted to travel with them, they’d go alone. That’s continuing to have a big impact,” said FitzGerald.

While traveling alone admittedly isn’t for everyone, it’s worth trying at least once in your life. Here are just a few tried-and-tested local destinations in the Philippines ideal for solo travel.

View of Mt. Iraya in Basco, Batanes.

If you’re in the mood to reflect and enjoy quality alone time, Batanes is one of the best places to do it in the country. The town proper of Basco is small enough to walk around on your own, and you can easily rent bikes or motorcycles to explore on your own. There are loads of affordable homestay options with single rooms as well, where you can meet fellow travelers. And if you want to socialize, you can always join group van tours for sightseeing to North and South Bataan or Sabtang Island or get to know your homestay hosts and locals.

View from GAIA Cafe, Sagada.

As a relatively isolated mountain town, Sagada offers a safe place for anyone who wants to enjoy peace and quiet. This long-time favorite among backpackers has charming cafes where you can sip coffee with mountain views and nature trails you can trek to your heart’s content. Sagada has a host of affordable lodging houses and pension houses catering to lone wolves. Spelunking activities to caves and hikes to waterfalls that require tour guides can easily be arranged once you get there. 


Siargao has been getting a lot of buzz lately from local and international solo travelers for its backpacking scene. Numerous hostels and budget resorts have sprouted catering to modern digital nomads and solo travelers. Gael Hilotin, the travel blogger behind The Pinay Solo Backpacker says that while Siargao is best enjoyed with family and friends, it’s also a good place for solo travelers.

“You can easily join group tours for island hopping, land tours, and even day tours to Sohoton. Don't worry about being alone because you'll also meet other friendly travelers here. There are also a lot of budget places to stay that are perfect for solo travelers. Locals are really friendly, helpful, and warm to tourists,” Hilotin told PhilSTAR L!fe.

She says lone travelers don’t need to worry about souvenir photos because the tour guides in Siargao take good photos, including the famed “human drone videos” for tourists. Most tourists stay in General Luna, but exploring other areas of the island will bring you to quieter coastal towns where you can still commune with nature minus the crowds.


While at first glance, Boracay seems to cater more to families and groups, according to solo traveler Marco Dennis Esplana of The Pinoy Traveler, it's an excellent choice for solo travelers as well. He points out that traveling solo is not just for single people or those with problems. Those who are happily married or have partners can still enjoy quality alone time in beautiful destinations.

“With its stunning sunsets, turquoise waters, and powdery sands, it's the perfect place to relax alone on the beach while reflecting on your plans and goals. You'll feel safe on the island, and there are plenty of accommodations specifically catering to solo travelers," he told L!fe.

Behind the row of upscale hotels lining the main beach, you can find dorms and cheap rooms hidden in inner alleys and hostels in less crowded spots. It’s very easy to get around the main beaches of Boracay just by walking. You can also hire a tricycle for land tours or rent a bicycle if you prefer to go around the whole island on your own.

In case you don’t want to dine where all the couples and groups hang out, you can head to smaller cafes and local eateries that serve more affordable food. While the island is a tourist hotspot, Boracay has its share of quiet and uncrowded spots too if you know where to look.


Palawan, which is consistently ranked as having the best islands in the Philippines, is also ideal for solo travelers who want to enjoy beaches and snorkeling. Locals are friendly and go out of their way to offer a helping hand to tourists.

For those looking to socialize, some areas of Palawan like Coron and El Nido naturally attract other solo travelers, digital nomads, and expats. El Nido offers a lively party atmosphere and chill nightlife, with easy-to-join island-hopping tours. Meanwhile, Port Barton and San Vicente are ideal for those who prefer remote beach destinations to get away from it all.