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Practical visitor information

Flying Seair over the Visayas

Flying over the Visayas

Visa

Visitors from the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, most countries in the E.U., and many other countries do not need a visa if they stay for 21 days or less. If you stay longer, or if your country is not on the list, you will need to get a visa from your local embassy or consulate.

Check the Visa Information page on the website of the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs, and/or contact the Philippines embassy or consulate in your country for further information on visa.

Getting there

There are many international flights to the main cities of the Philippines: Manila, Cebu and Davao. From there you can take a domestic flight into the Visayas region.

Getting around

Bus trip, Samar, Philippines

Bus trip

In a country that consists of over 7000 islands, getting around can be hard. There are many airports in the region, but not all of them have scheduled flights, and if they do it is often only to Manila or maybe Cebu. Some trips can also be done with a ferry.

If your destination can be reached over land, then renting a car with driver can be a good and affordable option. Don’t attempt to drive yourself, unless you are a regular visitor to the area and know what to expect on the Visayan roads.

Getting around in Cebu City and surrounding area is best done by taxi. In other cities get a tricycle – they are extremely cheap and a reasonably fast way to get around.


Money

The currency of the Philippines is the peso (sometimes called piso). Dollars are sometimes accepted in the main tourist areas, but in most places you need to pay in the local currency.

Major credit cards are only accepted in the main tourist areas and big cities, and even there only in the main shops, hotels and restaurants. Ask before you buy, or carry sufficient funds in local currency.

There are ATMs at banks and in malls, in the cities and in the main tourist areas. Don’t expect to see an ATM (or a bank, for that matter) when you travel off the beaten track.

Language

The Philippines have many languages, but only two official languages: Filipino (a dialect of Tagalog) and English. Both are widely spoken throughout the Philippines, though not everyone is fluent. The main language of the Visayas is Visayan (also known as Cebuano), but many regions have there own language. Foreigners are not expected to speak the local language, though, and as a tourist you can nearly always get by with just English.

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