Philippines is an ideal travel destination, boasting both beaches and culture on philippinesguides.com as well as offering a range of accommodation from budget accommodation options up to 5-star resorts.
Filipino culture places great emphasis on parties, where boats, booze and bikinis may all play an integral part.
Manila, known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient,’ truly lives up to its moniker; the chaotic metropolis only shows its treasures to those willing to penetrate its maze-like streets and find its jewel. Intramuros’ 16th-century stone bastions offer glimpses into Manila’s past while Malay, Spanish, American and Chinese cultures can all be explored within its sprawling palaces at Malacanang or museums such as Ayala Museum.
Manila may just be passing through, but it’s worth spending some time here. At least two full days will let you see the main sights without becoming overwhelmed by traffic and pollution; three to four would be ideal if you wish to add on guided tours, food/coffee/tea exploration, shopping or casinos into the mix.
If you want a comfortable visit with minimal rain and affordable flight prices, November – April is ideal. Flight prices also remain at their lowest levels and crowds tend to be at their smallest point. For island beaches it is better to travel between May – October as temperatures still stay high but less rain falls than is found during that period.
A ferry, bus or minibus is usually the best way to travel between destinations in the Philippines, while Uber or Grab are popular ways for shorter distance travel. When exploring more remote regions, consider hiring a private driver for several days so they can guide you along your journey – this way you won’t miss any wonderful attractions such as hidden lagoons, Banaue Rice Terraces or Mount Pinatubo peak! Finally, Filipino cuisine should not be forgotten either: explore fish balls, ukoy (fish balls with batter), adobo or their famously unique dish called balut!
Boracay Island in the Philippines is unquestionably one of the country’s premier holiday destinations, topping various publications’ lists of world’s best islands. Boasting beautiful beaches with white powdery sands and an exciting party scene – Boracay is irresistibly attractive to travelers from around the globe; yet many visitors remain unaware of all its offerings! Though popular, not everyone realizes there are numerous exciting activities and sights waiting to be experienced here!
Boracay attracts millions of tourists each year, with good reason. The island’s primary draw is undoubtedly its beaches – they truly define paradise! From White Beach and Ilig-Iligan Beach to Tambisaan and Ilig-Iligan, with 17 more in between to choose from on this small island, and numerous watersport activities available like kitesurfing, windsurfing kayaking stand-up paddling and snorkelling to enjoy too!
But even if these activities don’t interest you, this magnificent island offers much to discover. Foodies will find something of interest here too: from fancy Western restaurants to affordable Filipino fast-food chains; cafes and bistros offering sweet delights as well as cozy spots perfect for people watching!
The waters surrounding the island provide the ideal environment for many forms of water sport activities, including snorkelling, windsurfing and diving. April through June provides ideal opportunities to spot underwater wildlife such as crabs and nudibranchs!
Boracay offers various tours for visitors, including day trips to Crocodile Island or Ariel’s Spot. If nature is your thing, explore Boracay’s surrounding beaches by island hopping!
Boracay can easily be reached from Manila and Cebu by taking a short flight to Caticlan Airport, from which you will board a ferry to take you directly to the island and on arrival check into your accommodation.
Cebu, commonly dubbed the ‘Queen City of the South,’ boasts big city sophistication with pristine white beaches, luxurious dining and nightlife. As one of the first Philippine cities colonized by Spain and home to some of its historic relics; as well as an active arts scene and several iconic cultural landmarks like Magellan’s Cross in Mactan Island – Cebu offers big city sophistication in all areas.
Cebu boasts the busiest domestic port in the Philippines and serves as an entryway into central Visayas region. Additionally, Cebu houses Mactan-Cebu International Airport which features both domestic and international flights for travellers making this far more user friendly than Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Now, day trips can easily be planned to most major attractions in the region including Oslob for swimming with whale sharks, Kawasan Falls on the south coast for canyoneering, and Pescador Island for diving. Furthermore, numerous sightseeing tours are available so that visitors can learn about its rich history and cultural heritage.
Mopeds are the go-to means of transport in Cebu. Moped rentals can be found throughout most major tourist towns like Ginatilan and Alegria for between $8 – $18 per day; it is important to keep in mind however that roads may not always be in great condition when heading inland to waterfalls and hikes.
Cebu stands out amongst its counterparts by way of its language; locals speak the Cebuano dialect which differs significantly from Tagalog spoken in Manila and some older generations may still speak native dialects such as Hiligaynon or Bagog.
Cebuano culture includes many notable aspects, such as cock fighting which is a hugely entertaining pastime and can be found at small stands throughout the island. Furthermore, you’ll notice plenty of delicious Filipino bakeries which provide tasty sweet treats.
Regarding safety, it’s essential to recognize there are certain areas in the city which should be avoided at night, such as Carbon Market in the centre. Pickpocketing can occur often in touristy spots of the city; ensure your belongings are always close at hand.
Luzon, the Philippines’s most populous and significant island, lies at its core and serves as home to Manila – its capital city. From here you can visit Intramuros, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; experience famed sunsets over Manila Bay; as well as witness many natural beauties like its towering mountains, lush jungles, numerous beaches and ancient Chinatown. National memorials and monuments abound here too, along with an expansive selection of museums.
From the north of the island, you can escape theme parks and beaches to discover its breathtaking mountainous terrain. Sagada and Banaue provinces of this region host traditional tribal communities that make these sights even more captivating to see.
Manila lies to the east of Luzon and boasts an exciting and vibrant cityscape characterized by a maze-like network of streets, plazas and churches designed by Spanish colonists whose influence can still be felt today. Museums provide insight into its rich history while modern shopping centres and restaurants make up its centre.
Take time out from the bustle of capital life to stroll along Baywalk, a waterside promenade that provides stunning bayside views. Or visit Binondo and its vibrant Chinatown for even more experiences.
To travel from place to place, taxis and jeepneys are an easy solution in most towns and cities. While you should always attempt to negotiate prices with drivers directly, many post a set rate on their window; overall fares in India tend to be significantly less than in western countries.
Before booking a trip to the Philippines, be sure to familiarize yourself with its latest travel restrictions through Flatten the Curve and review visa requirements on their website. Furthermore, your passport should include at least six months of validity remaining before travelling there.