With 7,107 islands to choose from, the Philippines has something for everyone. Visitors fall in love with its perfect white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, stunning landscapes, unique wildlife and its friendly locals. Plus it’s great value for money. Despite the difficulty in getting there, the Philippines is slowly becoming a must visit destination.
With more than 150 languages and dialects and 350 years of Spanish rule, the archipelago is a hotpot of cultures, cuisines and creeds.
Geographically, but also spiritually and culturally, the Philippines is a world apart from mainland Southeast Asia. Vestiges of the Spanish era include exhuberant fiestas (festivals) and ancient stone churches, such as the ornate San Agustin church in Manila. Malls and fast food chains give away the American influence. Despite the outside influences, however, the country remains its own unique entity. The people are, simply, Filipinos and proud of it. They are Welcoming, warm and enthusiastic and captivate visitors!
The Philippines is a beach bum's delight. The White Beach in Boracay, is constantly rated as one of the Top 10 beaches of the world. It's not hard to find the beach of your dreams, or a pristine island and have it all to yourself.
The archipelago offers so much more than beaches and is a paradise for outdoorsmen (and women).
For diving you can’t beat Visayas, where island-hopping opportunities abound.
Northern Palawan is ideal for sea kayakers, and Boracay and Pagudpud (North Luzon) are world-class kiteboarding destinations. Mountain-bike and canyoneering tours are gaining popularity, and the Philippines is also, unofficially, the zipline capital of the world. More adventurous travelers can camp on a deserted stretch of coastline in Palawan for a few days.
Trekking and hiking can be done virtually anywhere. You can climb one of the 37 volcanoes, such as Mount Pinatubo, or see the world's smallest volcano of Taal. Explore caves, lakes and waterfalls. If you love nature, you will love the Philippines. It is home of a diverse range of birds, plants, animals and sea creatures. There are nearly 200 mammal species in the Philippines including the tarsier, one of the smallest species of monkeys in the world.
There are more than 600 species of birds, over 300 species of reptiles and amphibians and at least 400 coral species. From the giant whale shark to the world's smallest fish (Pandaca pygmea), you can find everything in the beautiful islands of the Philippines.
Philippines has some stunning landscapes (and sea scapes), the fantastic Chocolate Hills in Bohol, the Rice Terraces in Banaue, the incredible Archipelago of El Nido.
WHEN TO GO
The weather in the Philippines is pretty pleasant year round, however, the most popular time to visit is during the dry season, between November and April. During this time, the country is fully accessible, including its many beautiful islands and more remote areas. Temperatures are highest during March and April, so best time to travel is in the cooler months, from December to February.
The wet season falls between May and October, but the rain isn’t constant and shouldn’t deter you from visiting. You’ll still enjoy hot, sunny days, fewer crowds and lush, green scenery.
The shoulder months of May and November offer good value for money – you’ll miss the crowds, the weather’s still pleasant and flights will be cheaper than during the high season.
Keep in mind that although the above weather is typical, it can be unpredictable, and typhoons can occur as early as August or as late as January.