The Philippines are situated in the western Pacific Ocean. This vast archipelago consists of more than 7000 islands. The country can be categorized in three major parts: Luzon in the North, the Visayas in the central region and Mindanao in the South. The capital is Manila, located on the main island of Luzon. Local time GMT +8.
Manila and Cebu are the two main entry points into the Philippines. Depending on your origin of travel there are several international gateways to choose from:
Philippines Airlines and Qantas offer regular flights from Brisbane (3x per week), Sydney (daily) or Melbourne (5x per week). Domestic flight connections are available through Philippines Airlines to Cebu. Cathay Pacific operates daily from Brisbane or Sydney to Manila via Hong Kong; and 3x weekly connections to Cebu. Singapore Airlines offers daily flights out of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne or Perth to Singapore with regular connections to Manila and Cebu. Malaysian Airlines operates daily from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur with connections to Manila; and 2x weekly connections to Cebu.
From North America
Philippine Airlines operates daily flights from the US west coast to Manila. Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver are the main gateways. Flight connections to Cebu and other outer islands are available from Manila.
Many Asia based airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Singapore Airlines/Silk Air, Malaysian Airlines or Cathay Pacific offer direct services from within Asia into Manila and Cebu.
Daily flights operate out of Frankfurt to Cebu and Manila with Singapore Airlines connecting through Singapore or Cathay Pacific through Hong Kong. Malaysia Airlines operates daily to Kuala Lumpur and Manila and twice per week to Cebu. Out of Munich, Qatar Airways via Doha offer regular flights to Manila and Cebu. Emirates Airways and Thai Airways offer regular flights via Dubai or Bangkok respectively, to Manila.
As part of your travel plan we will happily assist you in finding the most suitable flight connections to your dive destination. In many cases we can issue the tickets on your behalf.
Air taxes are subject to strong fluctuations and can change daily or until your flight ticket has been purchased. Taxes generally include local airport/security fees, departure taxes, ground handling fees and fuel surcharges.
Should the most convenient route involve instant purchase airfares we can still issue them with your authorisation. All airfares issued by us will attract a small service fee and might be slightly more expensive then the cheapest offers online.
In general, airfares available for purchase online depend on day of departure and time of travel. Those instant purchase airfares require full payment at time of booking. If you choose to arrange your own flights online, we won?t be able to provide any services for seat reservations, schedule or itinerary changes.
Most airlines have restricted the amount of luggage to be checked in free of charge.
For most carriers operating between the US and Asia, the 2 piece system still applies. You are allowed to check in 2 pieces at 23kg (50lbs) per piece.
Coming from Australia and Europe, the checked baggage allowance is generally 20-23kg (44lbs) and airlines can charge excess baggage fees for dive gear.
Manila is the main hub for domestic air travel in the Philippines. From Manila, there are domestic flights to the outer islands of Bohol, Dumaguette (Negros), Boracay, Palawan and Cebu. The free baggage allowance on domestic flights is between 10-20kg (22-44lbs).
Airlines are strictly enforcing their checked baggage limit and can charge excess baggage fees for additional checked pieces and dive gear.
Regulations can vary from airline to airline and with each tariff booked. Please let us know your specific requirements so we can advise you of the options at time of booking.
International airport information
Please note that Ninoy Aquino airport has separate international terminals which are linked by surface streets only. Traffic in Manila is always busy, and connecting flights arriving and departing from different terminals require a minimum stopover time of 4 hours. Please contact your ticketing agent to make sure you have sufficient time on the ground.
Passengers arriving from other south east Asian gateways into Clark Manila airport, the former Clark air force base, will have to arrange transfer to Nino Aquino International Airport which is more than 200km south. Airport shuttles exist, and private transfer is comparatively inexpensive for western standards. An overnight stay before is highly recommended in-between flights.
In Cebu, Mactan International Airport is located on Mactan Island. Cebu city is about 20km southwest of the airport. The airport serves as the main southern hub for travel in the Philippines. Domestic and international flights operate out of the same passenger terminal building.
Visa & passport requirements
A valid passport for at least six months beyond the intended period of stay and a ticket for return or onward travel is required. Visas are not required for Australian, US, Canadian, British and most western European passport holders for a stay up to 21 days for tourist purposes. All tourists wishing to stay longer than 21 days need to arrange a visa.
NOTE: As visa requirements can change at any time, we recommend you confirm visa requirements prior to your departure.
Links to more information
The following information is supplied by the foreign affairs section of the relevant country or the tourism authority of the destination. Please check the links for up to date information on visa and safety requirements, embassy and consular contacts, general information: