Digital Nomad Philippines: Ultimate 2024 Guide

After having spent 3 months in the Philippines I’ve decided to write this digital nomad Philippines post that will help you find the best WiFi in the country!

Throughout the 3 months of traveling around the Philippines, I received a lot of questions from other remote workers and Digital Nomads that wanted to know whether it was possible to be a Digital Nomad in the Philippines.

My short answer is YES! It is possible. I did it. But I wish someone would have told me beforehand where the best wifi in the Philippines was and where I would be best just to take a day off.

So here are some tips and tricks that will hopefully make your stay as a Digital Nomad more enjoyable by knowing where to find the fastest wifi in the Philippines.

Ps: I only need the most basic internet connection for the following things:

  • WordPress dashboard
  • Uploading images
  • General internet browsing
  • Emails, WhatsApp, Messenger, Skype etc.
Digital Nomad Philippines Ultimate Guide

Digital Nomad Philippines – Overview

Let’s start this digital nomad Philippines guide with some questions I often receive, from what’s special about it, the visa, and the best places.

What Makes the Philippines an Attractive Place for Digital Nomads?

The Philippines offers a unique combination of affordable living, diverse cultural experiences, beautiful landscapes, and a warm tropical climate.

The country is known for its friendly locals, English-speaking population, and an increasing number of coworking spaces, making it an ideal destination for digital nomads.

While it isn’t as developed as other countries in Southeast Asia, most people speak English and the culture is similar to Western countries, which is an advantage.

What are the Visa Requirements for Digital Nomads in the Philippines?

Digital nomads typically enter the Philippines using a tourist visa, which allows stays of up to 30 days and can be extended for up to 36 months.

There’s currently no specific digital nomad visa, but the long-term tourist visa is a popular choice. It’s important to check the latest visa regulations before traveling though.

What are the Best Places for Digital Nomads in the Philippines?

Popular spots for digital nomads include Manila for its urban amenities, Cebu for a mix of city and beach life, and Siargao for its surf and laid-back vibe.

Palawan and Boracay are also favorites for their stunning beaches and relaxed atmosphere.

Best Places for Digital Nomads in the Philippines

How to Get the Best WiFi In the Philippines

Let’s start with the most essential factor for digital nomads – WiFi. And it’s a very important detail to keep in mind when traveling to the Philippines as not all islands have good network.

Get a SMART SIM Card

You will definitely need a SIM card as sometimes you can’t rely on wifi. Make sure you get a SMART sim card and not a Globe one.

If you want to save some money I highly recommend buying a Philippines SIM card at the next closest SM Mall. The SIM card and packages that are being sold at the airport are much more expensive.

I always bought 8GB for 500 pesos which lasted usually between 7 – 12 days (I use data a lot). The SIM card also came in handy to hotspot my laptop at times when the wifi wasn’t reliable.

Best WiFi in the Philippines is in the Cities

In the big cities, mainly Manila and Cebu, you’ll have some of the fastest wifi in the Philippines. There are lots of cafés with free wifi and even coworking spaces that are designed for the Digital Nomad lifestyle.

There are actually quite a few Filipinos that make a living online as Virtual Assistants and therefore, the connection is solid.

However, if you’re planning to explore more of the Philippines and go island hopping, you’ll have to rely on your accommodation’s wifi or hot-spotting your smartphone.

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Island Hopping and Working Online

If you are planning on discovering different islands in the Philippines it will be hard to find a ‘western-style’ café with wifi. Therefore, you’ll have to rely on your accommodation’s wifi.

I can’t stress how important this is as certain parts of some islands don’t have an internet signal and you will want to avoid booking accommodation that is in a no-service zone.

I spent a significant amount of time reading reviews on Agoda, Booking.com, and Hostel World each time before booking a new accommodation just to make sure their wifi was reliable.

Starbucks internet is Not a Thing

Even though every single Starbucks I went to in the Philippines was always packed, the internet there is not suitable for your remote work.

To get wifi at a Starbucks in the Philippines you’ll have to register with your phone number only to discover that you have a limited time of 60 minutes access to the wifi. Also, signing up with 2 devices at the same time won’t work.

Most Starbucks and cafés use the city-wide Go-Free-wifi which is accessible in most cafés and restaurants but are always limited to a 60 minute browsing time.

In fact, even in the big cities, I struggled quite a bit to find cafés that had their own unlimited wifi, that had charging stations, toilets within the facility and good food.

Further, I also realized quite quickly that the popular hostels usually had the worst wifi because all the tourists are on it. So sometimes the very simple guesthouses, hostels, pensions had the best wifi because no one was there.

That’s why I started writing down the accommodations and cafés where the internet was good enough to get some work done.

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Best Places to Work in the Philippines as a Digital Nomad

Below is a list of all the places and islands that I visited in the Philippines including where to find the best co-working spaces, the best cafes with high-speed internet, and the best accommodations with fast wifi and working areas.

Manila

The best wifi in Manila will be found in Makati and BGC area.

There are many coworking places in both Makati and BGC where you can get day passes starting from 700php and you usually get free coffee and tea for the whole day.

My favorite coworking place was Common Ground Rockwell in Makati, but here are other good places to get some work done.

Cafés with Great WiFi in Makati

  • Dean & DeLuca (my personal favorite)
  • Single Origin
  • UCC Mentore
  • Refinery
  • Eight Cafe by UCC

Cafés with Great WiFi in BGC

  • Arabica
  • Luna Café
  • Harlan & Holden
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Cebu

The best wifi in Cebu will be found in IT Park and surrounding suburbs.

  • Coworking space at Murals Hostel & Café (my absolute favorite. I actually used this as a base in between travels to other islands)
  • Plenty of coworking spaces that are 500php / day
  • Coffee Bay in IT Park (open 24/7 lots of students come here to do their assignments so be prepared to be surrounded by them)
Cebu digital nomad Philippines

Camiguin Island

This island was one of my top three places to visit. The scenery reminded me of Tahiti. Absolutely beautiful and definitely worth a visit.

Make sure you stay close to the ‘Checkpoint’ area as there are a couple of places on the island where there is no service.

  • Paguia’s Cottages (Simple accommodation with great WiFi)
  • Mabini Hotel (Hotel with great rooms and fast WiFi)
Camiguin Island digital nomad Philippines

Bohol

Panglao Beach is very popular amongst tourists and has some of the best wifi in the Philippines. There are several resorts that I assume would have great wifi.

  • Conrada’s Place Hotel & Resort (accommodation with good wifi)
  • Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort (accommodation with great internet speed)
  • Tamper Coffee & Brunch (cafe near the main town of Tagbilaran with good internet)
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Siargao

My absolute favorite place in the Philippines. Make sure you stay in the General Luna area for a good internet connection. In some places up north in Pacifico there is little to no signal.

In General Luna, there are cafés with good wifi and also accommodations that have solid wifi.

In 2023, many accommodations and cafes have started to use Starlink, which makes it very convenient to work here.

  • Bravo (great accommodation with great restaurant and wifi)
  • ALTER SPACE Workspace (small coworking space with good wifi)
  • Harana Surf (great accommodation, restaurant and wifi. Every Digital Nomad seems to come here)
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Siquijor

A typhoon went through Siquijor when I was there but luckily that didn’t affect the wifi at the hostel I was staying at.

  • Lazy Lizard Hostel (very basic hostel with great wifi and working area)
  • Dolce Amore Resort (premium hotel with some of the fastest WiFi on the island)

Malapascua

There are several Diving resorts with good wifi connections however, I decided to stay on the other side of the island which still had some of the fastest wifi in the Philippines.

  • Neverland Hostel (Hostel with great wifi and working area)
  • Angelina Beach Resort (Nice hotel with good WiFi)
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Tablas Island

Tablas Island is actually quite a big island, however, there are little to no tourists there. The wifi connection is ok in the two places I stayed in.

  • Cummings Highlands (Great accommodation with good wifi)
  • Footprints Beach Resort (Good accommodation with good wifi)

Romblon Island

A small island with several beach resorts. Definitely not the best wifi in the Philippines but the beauty of the island makes up for that.

  • Reggae Vibes (Good accommodation with wifi)

Bantayan Island 

One of my top three places to visit in the Philippines.

  • SF Cantina (basic accommodation with good wifi)

Boracay

Boracay is covered with resorts and hotels so it will be easy finding good WiFi there.

  • Ferra Hotel (Amazing hotel with great wifi)
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Carabao Island

A tiny undiscovered island close to Boracay. There aren’t too many accommodations here but the main ones will have wifi but it’s not the best internet in the Philippines.

  • Lanas Beach Resort (Good accommodation with okay wifi)

Puerto Princesa

Puerta Princesa has a lot of accommodations and restaurants and cafés. So you’ll easily find some of the best wifi in the Philippines here.

  • White Breeze Hotel (Amazing hotel with great wifi and working area)

El Nido

El Nido is quite touristy with lots of restaurants, cafés and accommodations. You shouldn’t struggle to find good wifi.

  • Sea Cocoon Hotel (Great hotel with fast wifi)
El Nido digital nomad Philippines

Coron

The most popular Hostel in Coron is Hop Hostel and we were going to stay there but it was booked out (life of a digital nomad in Philippines booking last minute!).

Instead, we decided to book a very basic local accommodation and after hearing from our friends that the internet at Hop Hostel was not working since everybody was on it, I’m glad we didn’t stay there.

  • Apo Pension House (Basic hostel with great wifi and working area)

Conclusion – Digital Nomad Philippines

The affordability, friendly community, and scenic beauty make the Philippines an ideal destination for both work and leisure.

In conclusion, the Philippines isn’t just a place to work remotely; it’s a destination that invites you to grow, explore, and connect, and you’ll love choosing the Philippines digital nomad life!

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