Are you looking for a fun, adventurous vacation with tropical beaches, gorgeous scenery, and lively culture and nightlife? If so, you’ll find it all in the Philippines. Some of the most amazing beaches in the whole of Asia are here in the Philippines, and you’ll also find jungle, mountains, traditional villages, and vibrant cities – find it all in our guide to the Philippines.
Where should you go in the Philippines? Take a look at these ideas. The Philippines is a rewarding destination, whether you enjoy lazing on a beach or taking an active vacation with adventure and water sports. Here are some of the highlights of the Philippines.
The White Beach in Boracay may not be as tranquil as it once was after the influx of tourists learning about its pleasures, but it is a wonderful place to relax and take it easy. The sand is indeed bright white, and the water is vibrant turquoise, so you’re in for a true visual treat. And you’ll find plenty to occupy you with bars and restaurants flanking the white sands.
There are other beaches to explore in the Philippines’ Boracay. Take a trip to Puka Beach which is more rugged, or to Bulabog Beach, which attracts kite surfers and you can also try out a number of other water sports options.
If you want to get away from it all, and you want to experience true beauty in a beach, get to Palawan in the Philippines. This is a white-sand paradise. Beaches are fringed with palms and watched over by towering limestone outcrops. Wildlife is plentiful. Palawan can be reached from Manila by a small plane, and then you need to take a bus or a car towards Coron Town. From here you can make a getaway to some of the most stunning islands in the country. It’s a great idea to explore some of these islands via a bangka, one of the traditional wooden boats. Look at stopping at Siete Peccados and you can go snorkeling off the boat, or stay on Coron Island where you can swim through limestone tunnels into lagoons.
There is also Puerto Princesa, one of the most popular places in Philippines. This is reached by Manila and you can go snorkeling here, explore the underground river, and go to El Nido – another highly popular Philippines destination.
Want to see some Chocolate Hills? Go to Bohol. The Chocolate Hills are limestone mounds that stretch across a flat plain. They are a fine sight to behold, and certainly different to anything else you can see in the country. Once you’ve checked out the Chocolate Hills you can also check out the tarsiers – small monkey-like creatures that have made Bohol their home.
Go across from Bohol to Panglao Island, which you can reach by bridge. Here you will find the traditional white sand beach with plenty of space to spread out. You will also find some great diving here and it is a fine place to relax a little and do some snorkeling. For even more amazing diving, take a boat to Balicasag Island where the waters are clear and full of abundant life.
The capital Manila is certainly a shock to the system after the beaches and peaceful jungle of the rest of the country. It is a chaotic, busy and colorful place with plenty going on, all the time. There are some more peaceful places within the city, where you can rest a little after a long flight – such as the shopping and business district of Makati. There are more traditional neighborhoods to be found at Guadalupe and areas like Poblacion. Here you’ll find some lively bars, street snacks, and local life.
And for a bit of culture, visit Intramuros. This 16th century attraction is the heritage zone in the city and hosts a number of important historic buildings including the National Museum, the museum park, and San Agustin church.
If you are not impressed by massive cities and want a gentler introduction into urban Philippines, Cebu City is the place to be. It is a little more laidback than Manila and boasts some interesting historical sites including the Basilica del Santo Nino and the Casa Gorordo. You’ll find plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes and some good nightlife here – and the options are generally more low-key and casual than in Manila.
This is an isolated place and one of the most rewarding to reach in the Philippines. There are some gorgeous beaches but it is the laidback vibe and the adventurous nature of the trip to reach the island that most impress visitors.
For more information and guide to the Philippines visit PhuketOn. The PhuketOn blog is your destination for Asian travel adventures.
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