Are you thinking about visiting the Philippines but heard that it is not a safe destination?
While scamming and pickpocketing do occur, the overall crime statistics show only 4.41 crimes per 100,000 people – which is not really high.
Most of the reported crimes in the Philippines involve those such as vandalism, drugs, bribery, and corruption.
But as no place is perfect, you want to be sure that your trip is as safe as it can be.
With that in mind, we share some of the safest destinations in the Philippines to plan your getaway as well as some tips you can follow to make yourself less of a target.
- 10 Safest Cities in the Philippines
- 5 Safety Tips for Traveling in the Philippines
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Safest Cities in the Philippines
Below are 10 of the safest places to visit in the Philippines.
If you are up for adventure and beautiful views, Davao makes a great destination.
You can enjoy some up-close time with tigers, crocodiles, and more at the Davao Crocodile Park.
You can also enjoy some island hopping and climbing.
Davao is considered one of the safest and most enjoyable places to visit in the Philippines.
According to the crime index, which is a range of zero to 100 with 100 being the worst, Davao lands at just below 28.
The safety index is on a scale of zero to 100 with 100 being the best according to tourists, Davao falls at 72.29.
Bohol is another great place for those with an adventurous spirit.
You can explore the Chocolate Hills and rainforests, hit the Danao Adventure Park, or go ziplining, diving, sky-riding, river tubing, boat riding, and much more.
And if you want to relax, there are some beautiful beaches for your pleasure.
Bohol just might be the safest area in the Philippines, with an overall crime index of just 7.14 – and that is with a pretty moderate rise in crime over the last few years.
Baguio is full of things to explore – either on your own or through various guided tours.
You can enjoy beautiful architecture, botanical gardens, the Philippine Military Academy, Mt. Pulag National Park, the Diplomat Hotel, and more.
A trip to Baguio can make for a nice, laid-back adventure with your kids.
Baguio has a crime index of just over 33, putting it in the low crime rate category.
Tourists suggest that basic safety precautions will keep you safe throughout your visit.
If you are looking for a nice mix of excitement and relaxation, Dumaguete is a great destination to consider.
You can take advantage of peace and serenity at a bird sanctuary, watching dolphins, or relax by the water.
Or you can feed your adventurous side with an active volcano, swim at Pulangbato Falls, or explore the outdoor market full of exotic food.
Dumaguete enjoys a low crime rate, with the index being just below 40.
And that is despite what is considered a high rise in crime over the last three years.
Iloilo is a combination of history, culture, beauty, and adventure.
There are plenty of hidden caves, mountains, lagoons, falls, and beaches to explore.
You also have access to buildings that are centuries old and some delightful food – if you dare.
There are also plenty of photo-worthy sites as well as activities like swimming, kayaking, ziplining, and live entertainment.
Iloilo has about the same crime index as Dumaguete, making it just as safe for tourists.
6. Makati City
For more of a big city feel, Makati City might be right for you.
It has features similar to New York, like the Ayala Triangle Gardens, which is an open park in the middle of three bustling streets.
You will also find plenty of museums, shopping opportunities, pubs, restaurants, bars, and more.
And if you love to exercise, you’ve got to visit Legazpi Active Park – an outdoor exercise space that is safe for children to roam while their parents get in a workout.
Makati City’s crime index is also similar to both Dumaguete and Iloilo – landing at 39.55.
7. La Union
La Union offers a more laid-back approach for those looking to get away and clear their minds.
You can take a stroll through grape farms and do your own grape picking.
You can surf, swim, or lie by the water to your heart’s content or view some beautiful architecture from the 1600s.
There is also some amazing food and quite a lively nightlife at your disposal – if you get tired of relaxing.
La Union comes in on the crime index scale a bit lower than the three previous cities at 32.50.
Palawan is full of activities for visitors of all ages.
Scuba diving, spelunking, ziplining, hiking, cave exploring, wildlife, beautiful beaches – you have got it all in one place.
And at the end of your day, Baker’s Hill is a great place to enjoy milkshakes, seafood dishes, and a stroll through their scenic garden.
Palawan has a bit of a higher crime index than La Union at 38.99, but it is one of the most highly recommended places by tourists.
They suggest taking precautions and taking the chance to visit such a beautiful area.
Just a couple of hours away from Manilla, Tagaytay has the reputation as an amazing tourist locale – at a fraction of the cost.
You can enjoy the spa village, amusement parks, a day at the zoo, water adventure, and the epic People’s Park in the Sky.
If you are just not looking to risk the potential of crime, Tagaytay can provide a little more peace of mind.
With a crime index of just 8.33 and a high safety index, it is definitely a safe destination to consider.
10. Valenzuela City
Valenzuela City is a great place to go if you want to dive into local history.
Museums, stone arches, ancestral homes, and notable architecture pepper the city, giving you a good glimpse into its beginnings.
Additionally, you can enjoy the amazing People’s Park to stretch your legs or let your children enjoy the interactive fountain, giant chess board, and mini zoo.
End your day with a trip to the Valenzuela Town Center to eat and shop to your heart’s content.
Valenzuela City enjoys a low crime index of 26.63, with some of the biggest issues being drugs and vandalism.
5 Safety Tips for Traveling in the Philippines
- Scams are one of the biggest issues for travelers, and they often happen when you use a cab to get around. Most tourists that visit have found that you can avoid this by using Grab. It is a rideshare company similar to Uber.
- Many people in the Philippines struggle with getting basic necessities, so pickpocketing and asking for money are common. Keep your valuables close at all times and leave what you can back in your hotel.
- Don’t dress up. Wearing nice clothing can make you stick out as a tourist in the Philippines, which can easily make you a target. Wear regular clothing when you’re out and about.
- Money exchange scams have been reported, especially in larger areas like Manila. Small establishments advertise generous exchange rates, but they don’t give you back the agreed-upon amount. You can avoid this by either counting the money in front of them when it’s handed to you or going to a bank instead.
- It can be very easy to fall prey to a tourist scam. For instance, you pay a vendor on the street to take you on a tour. Unfortunately, many reports have been made that these “vendors” are not legitimate and will overcharge you. You can typically avoid such scams by linking up with reputable tour companies before you take your trip.
Philippines Safety Overview
READ THE FULL REPORT: Philippines Safety ReviewSafety Index:
- OVERALL RISK : HIGH
- TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : HIGH
- PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
- NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH
- MUGGING RISK : HIGH
- TERRORISM RISK : HIGH
- SCAMS RISK : HIGH
- WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any places to avoid in the Philippines?
The Philippines is about as safe for tourists as most other countries, so with care and caution, you can travel just about anywhere.
If you want to truly limit your chances of crime or danger, go to the less traveled areas.
Any location around the world that thrives on tourism is likely to be riddled with scams.
By avoiding “tourist traps,” you can certainly increase your chances of safety.
How do I find a reputable tour company?
The Internet is always a great source of information and most reputable companies will have an online presence.
Just type in the city you wish to travel to along with “tour operators.”
You should have several results pop up, and when they do, you can check customer reviews on their website and social media pages.
Is Grab really reliable?
Grab was actually Uber at first, but Grab took over in 2018 – and yes, it is reliable.
You will typically find it available for use in areas like Davao City, Iloilo City, Manila, Cebu City, and Baguio City.