One of Asia’s hidden gems, the Philippines is an exotic archipelago boasting over 7,000 islands. With its untouched beaches, warm ocean waters that are rich with marine life and a laid-back island atmosphere, this country offers a beautiful getaway that evokes a flavour of an Asia of old. Experience Manila, the frenzied capital of the Philippines, which wins you over with its disjointed charm, or flee to more relaxing spots, such as the paradise beach island of Boracay. Picture perfect, the gorgeous powder-white sands of Boracay fade into the lapping ocean, creating glorious shades of turquoise and blue. Take a lazy stroll along the White Beach Path where motor vehicles are banned, and switch yourself to island mode.
Popular Tailor-made Philippines Holidays
With thousands of islands making up the Philippines, it can be difficult to know what places to visit on your holiday. To help, our Experts have created a range of tailor-made Philippines holidays called Journeys that take in the best of the region. To help avoid the guesswork, these holidays also include international and internal flights, hand-picked accommodation, transfers and unique experiences such as dolphin watching and island-hopping excursions. To book or to tailor one of these itineraries to suit you, talk to our Experts today.
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Philippines Holiday Types
A holiday in the Philippines offers a veritable platter of experiences, from beaches to luxury to nature. So if you’re looking to simply relax on a beach, set off on island adventures, or enjoy a little bit of both in complete luxury, we have a Philippines holiday type to suit you.
Things to do in the Philippines
Explore the untouched beaches or scuba dive in El Nido
If there’s a better place on earth to embody the term ‘paradise’ I have yet to find it. El Nido is an enthralling concoction of rugged limestone cliffs, azure waters and lush palm tree lined beaches. The best part is that there is something for everyone, if you are after secluded serenity you can find your own secluded part of paradise or, if you are after a livelier beach with a bar that can be found here too. As if that wasn’t enough El Nido has some unbelievable marine life with corresponding scuba and snorkelling opportunities.
Walk through the Banaue Rice Terraces
Commonly referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” these rice terraces were carved out of mountains of Ifugao by the indigenous people to cultivate their staple food. They are believed to be over 2,000 years old and are still tended by the indigenous people’s ancestors. The UNESCO world heritage site is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and the panoramas will leave you completely breathless.
Dive the wrecks at Coron or the iconic Malapascua
With the exception of the specialist Tubbataha reef the Philippines best underwater adventures on a holiday to the Philippines can be found in Coron and Malapascua. Malapascua, situated off the coast of Cebu, is a delightful little island and one of the best places in the world to see Thresher sharks, on top of this Manta rays can often be seen from here. Although equally scenic, Coron attracts divers for reasons other than the marine life – some of the world’s best wreck diving. Explore the Irako, Akitshima or Kogyo and many more.
Take a boat tour through hundred islands national park
Scattered across the Lingayen Gulf are 123 different islands peeking out of the sea which create a beautiful backdrop through which to cruise whilst enjoying a cocktail and dipping in and out of the waters.
Swim with Whale Sharks
It’s rare that you get the opportunity to swim with a true legend of the deep, but that opportunity is exactly what is afforded to you at so many locations in the Philippines. So much is unknown about the world’s biggest fish, however, what is sure is that they love the waters that surround the Philippine islands. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to get up close and personal with these unbelievable creatures.
Top places to see in the Philippines
Palawan and Puerta Princesa Subterranean River
The Puerta Princesa subterranean river is unique, not just for its geology, but also for the fact it is both a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the “new 7 wonders of nature”. This river is located on the island of Palawan and runs through cavernous limestone landscapes and you can paddle past stalagmites and stalactites.
Beautiful white beaches of Borocay
The small, yet well known, island of Borocay is one of the most visited places in the Philippines and for good reason. A postcard perfect length of white sand runs the entire length of the island (a not insignificant 4km) which is the perfect place to relax, sip cocktails and view perfect sunsets with a deink in hand.
The one-of-a-kind Chocolate hills
Found in Bohol Province, the chocolate hills are a fascinating geological formation of more than 1,000 cone shaped hills varying in height from 30 to over 120 metres in height covering an area of 50km. Their name originates from the way in which their grass covered domes turns brown during the dry season. Although there’s much debate about their formation the local tale is of two giants who hurled stones at each other until they both became tired, regardless of how they came to be make sure that you don’t miss this landscape on your Philippines holiday.
Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991 and, although the eruption was extremely destructive, it has left a caldera that beautifully covers it’s violent past and beautifully dramatic scenery that is made all the more epic by the knowledge that you are staring into a volcano.
When to go to the Philippines
The Philippine year has just two seasons: wet from June to November, and dry from December to May. Unsurprisingly, the dry season is the most popular time to visit. Having said that, the wet season is a fine time to visit too, as long as you come prepared. Showers rarely last long and there’s still plenty of sunshine about.
More About the Philippines
Capital city: Manila
Currency: Philippine piso
Language: Filipino and English
Vaccinations: We recommend visiting your doctor or our Travel Clinic at least six weeks before travelling. Travellers from the UK to the Philippines are recommended to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid.
Flight time: The London to Manila flight time is 13 hours, 10 minutes.
Visas: British Citizens do not require a visa if staying for under 30 days.