Places to Visit in the Philippines
Separated from the rest of Southeast Asia by the South China Sea, the Philippines have developed their own distinct culture and geography, with the 7,107 sun-drenched islands offering far more than just a beach break. While the numerous white sand beaches are the Philippines’ number one draw, as well as the world-class diving found just offshore, the rugged island interiors offer hiking trails among the rice terraces, tranquil crater lakes and crumbling colonial towns. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find an array of indigenous wildlife too, including the bug-eyed tarsier and the graceful whale shark, the world’s largest fish.
Below we've listed some of our favourite places to visit in the Philippines. For more ideas or to start planning your Philippine holiday, talk to a Travel Expert today on 0800 707 6010.
Once known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, Manila is lively, animated and completely cosmopolitan. A fusion of Malay, Spanish, American, Chinese and Arabic influences, the bustling capital of the Philippines flaunts ancient medieval architecture alongside the world’s largest Chinatown. Discover the history of the city at Fort Santiago, consult with a fortune teller on Plaza Miranda, then head to Rizal Bay Park for a spectacular Manila Bay sunset.
A tiny island less than half a mile wide, Boracay is home to peaceful beaches, beautiful offshore islands and a wide variety of upmarket hotels. It’s a great base for a day’s island-hopping, especially if you’re into snorkelling, or you can stay put on White Beach, so-called due to its pristine sweep of white sand, grab a book, and relax. Kite surfing is another craze here - if you haven’t had a go at this exciting sport, try it out on Bulabog beach, perfect for beginners.
Hire a kayak or dive beneath the waves and discover the colourful underwater world of El Nido, set against an eye-catching backdrop of dramatic jungle-covered cliffs, a popular rock climbing spot. El Nido is a region of Palawan Island, a beach-fringed landmass where the lagoons, coves and caves are best explored by sea kayak, while inland you’ll find plenty of lush waterfalls and springs.
The Philippines’ most densely populated island is surrounded by white sandy beaches, impossibly blue waters and coral reefs home to myriad colourful fish. Once you’ve explored the museums, churches and temples of Cebu City, head out to sea and get island hopping to the idyllic Malapascua Island and the so-laid-back-it’s-horizontal Bantayan Island where you can drink, eat and laze to your heart’s content.