From sun-drenched beach towns and lush tropical rainforests to bustling cities and ancient churches, the Philippines offers something for every traveller. With more than 7,000 islands to explore, there are plenty of opportunities to bask on pristine beaches and explore kaleidoscopic dive sites. In the city, you’ll see sleek skyscrapers standing alongside magnificent 16th-century churches.
Things to do in Philippines
The Philippines is a paradise for scuba divers and boasts some of the best dive sites in the world. Marvel at rainbow-coloured corals at Amos Rock in Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and swim with whitetip reef sharks in Malapascua. From October to May, divers flock to Donsol and Southern Leyte for whale shark season.
In the Bacuit Archipelago, you’ll find stunning sugar-white beaches and jewel-toned coves fringed by rugged limestone cliffs. El Nido, a lively beach town filled with bars and restaurants, is a great base for exploring the archipelago.
Adventure seekers will find plenty of thrills on offer in the Philippines. You can launch a sea kayak in Palawan or check out world-famous kiteboarding beaches in Boracay. A trek up Mount Batulao showcases the rugged peaks of the Calabarzon region, while Banaue offers a chance to hike through ancient rice terraces.
A trip to Bohol offers a unique chance to spot tarsiers, one of the most famous animals in the Philippines. Head inland to marvel at the famous Chocolate Hills, a geological formation featuring more than 1,200 grass-covered mounds.
The Philippines was colonised by the Spanish for more than 300 years and has retained much of its European charm. Strolling around Manila, you’ll find gems like San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Cebu, Basilica Minore del Santo Niño is home to one of the oldest holy relics in the Philippines.
Getting around Philippines
In major towns and cities, jeepneys are often the fastest and cheapest way to get around, instantly recognisable by their bright colours and kitsch decorations. Long-distance buses are a good way to travel between towns and cities while ferries connect most major islands. Ninoy Aquino International is the largest airport in the Philippines.