Philippines Travel Guide
Comprising over 7,000 islands, and with a range of activities as diverse as its landscapes, the question faced by many travellers to the Philippines is not so much ‘What to do’ but rather ‘What not to miss’.
Holidays in the Philippines might feature treks through unspoilt rainforest to tribal villages surrounded by rice terraces or diving off deserted tropical beaches, but one thing is certain - if you’re looking for a slice of paradise, the Philippines is where you’ll find it.
Where to travel in the Philippines
Broadly speaking this immense Pacific archipelago, the second-largest in the world, can be divided into three regions: Luzon to the north, then down to Visayas and Mindanao in the south. Most Philippines holidays begin in the capital, Manila, on the main island of Luzon, and from here other island groups are easily accessible by boat or domestic flight.
An almost unlimited number of itineraries is possible, but first-time travellers may want to explore the ancient walled city of Intramuros in Manila, the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ifugao Rice Terraces in Banaue and snorkel the clear waters and spectacular reefs of Apo Island in search of turtles.
For those with a little more time and wanting to get off the beaten track, there is the majestic Palawan province with its stunning wildlife and pristine beaches, the enticingly named Chocolate Hills of Bohol Island or, for the really adventurous, the opportunity to trek up an active volcano.
Reasons to love the Philippines
- Many islands in the Philippines remain relatively untouched, allowing you to indulge in your personal Robinson Crusoe fantasies even during peak months. The northern Batanes region, humid and prone to typhoons during the season, is nevertheless alluringly remote.
- The Philippines is justifiably world-renowned for its diving and snorkelling. Remote World War II shipwrecks and vibrant tropical reefs are waiting to be discovered beneath the turquoise waters, populated with a staggeringly diverse range of marine life from sea turtles, octopus and sharks to endangered wrasse and the endearingly lethargic dugong.
- Tarsiers, the almost unbearably cute little primates known for their wide eyes, are endemic to the Philippines. Although they’re shy, and there are relatively few now left in the wild, you’ll occasionally hear their distinctive calls when trekking through rainforest. Alternatively, for a guaranteed sighting visit the Tarsier Sanctuary on Bohol Island.
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