f you are travelling in a Jeepney, exploring stunning rice fields and beaches or trying out adventure sports like ziplining, then we are pretty sure that you are at one of the Philippines’ 7,641 islands. The Philippines is an archipelago in South-East Asia and is a paradise for adventure seekers. Its diverse landscape is ideal for beach hopping, diving, hiking, trekking, mountain biking and is also one of the best places in the world for ziplining. Your trip here is made even better by the warm and friendly Filipinos, excellent cuisine and diverse culture. The Philippines also boasts of a rich Spanish legacy and Asia’s largest Catholic population, so be prepared to marvel at impressive churches throughout the country. The Philippines is divided into three island groups – Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao and the Palawan region in Visayas is one of its best destinations.
Luzon island is home to The Philippines’ capital city Manila. At first glance, Manila seems like a megacity with bad traffic and a chaotic environment but as you explore the city, you will be amazed. Along with a vibrant nightlife, the capital displays splendid Spanish architecture, national monuments, bustling marketplaces and top attractions like the Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church and Fort Santiago.
The lovely Banaue region north of Manila, is dotted with stunning greenery of rice terraces which were hand-built by the indigenous Ifugao people. This UNESCO site is also referred to as the eight wonder of the world, and once you witness its beauty, you couldn’t agree more.
Further north, Vigan City displays a fusion of Spanish, Oriental and native Phillipine architecture, a rare combination which earned it a UNESCO tag. With its cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages, this place is a perfect time-capsule to go back to Spanish-era Philippines.
Legazpi City, south of Manila, lies at the foot of volcanic Mount Mayon which will greet you with its dramatic and perfectly symmetric cone. Legazpi city prides itself as the ‘city of fun and adventure’ where you can visit Japanese underground tunnels from the WWII era, learn about its culture through historical monuments, marvel at Spanish architecture and get your adrenaline pumped by ziplining across lush greenery.
The Palawan region possesses some of The Philippines’ best-known attractions. Its stunning El Nido region has everything you ask for from an island – white-sand beaches, rich coral reefs, excellent diving and snorkelling. Another popular island in Palawan is Coron, which is home to the ethnic Tagbanua people and is known for its limestone karst landscapes, crystal-clear freshwater lakes and shallow-water coral reefs. It also has several Japanese shipwrecks from WWII, making it an exciting diving spot.
The Visayas group of islands are named after its native Visayan people and Boracay is perhaps the showstopper of the group. It is so popular with travellers that authorities had to close the whole island for six months in April 2018 for environmental rehabilitation. In this world famous relaxation spot, you can ride colourful paraws (traditional boats) and simply soak up the sun on its 4km long pristine white-sand beach.
Cebu island is the heart of Visayas and is known for Cebu City’s Spanish architecture and great diving scene in Moalboal and Malapascua.
Bohol Island is famous for its Chocolate Hills, an area of over 1200 hills spread over 50 square kilometres. The island is also famous for white-sand beaches, coral reefs diving, and river kayaking.
The adjacent Panglao Island is known for its holiday resort of Alona Beach which offers a vibrant nightlife and great underwater experience. The small islands of Siquijor and Apo are also diving and snorkelling hotspots.
The Mindanao island group is known for its unspoiled natural landscape. Camiguin has a volcanic landscape that offers great hiking and volcano climbing. Jungle waterfalls and hot and cold springs are easy to find throughout the island. Siargao island also offers similar DIY activities along with great surfing conditions. The island is full of rock formations, rivers, pools, mangroves, and wildlife.
From its exciting cultural mix to a rich diverse terrain that offers exceptional outdoor adventures, The Philippines present a distinct experience that sets it apart from its neighbours.
The Philippines is divided into three island groups – Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.