The Philippines offers an incredibly diverse mix of cultures, traditions and sights, each seemingly intended to entice and intrigue… and is a perfect place for the adventure seeker. Beautiful, exotic, lush and with more than 7,000 islands packed to the brim with natural wonders, this country is just waiting to be explored.
Blessed with breath taking scenery and warm inviting people who have created some of the most unique man- made structures in the world, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Banaue Rice Terraces. There’s also the well preserved Spanish style architecture of the historic town, Vigan, Ilocos sur, numerous Baroque style World Heritage churches such as the San Agustin Church in Paoay, the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila, and the Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo just to name a few!
The country boasts one of the longest coastlines in Asia at 36,289 KM with numerous fine powdery white sand beaches. Some top beach locations include, Boracay Island, Aklan, Camiguin Island, Puerto Galera, Nasugbu and Ternate in Cavite. All perfect spots for sunbathing and enjoying the beach life style.
If you’re a scuba-diver, or are looking to get certified, then this is the perfect destination, as it is Asia’s diving capital. No matter your skill level, there is a diving option perfect for you, with the highest density of coral species in the world to boot. The Philippine seas are some of the most diverse and marine rich waters in the world, with tons to see and explore. Amateur divers are able to get their license at any of the many training areas located at diving spots. After training is done you then take open-water dives side by side with professional diving instructors, something you’ll never forget.
The Philippines not only offers great diving experiences it also offers a wide variety of sport and adventure. You could snorkel and interact with the gentle giants of the sea as you swim with the whale sharks, an incredible expereince! For the golf player, there are a multiple courses around the country designed by some of the most famous professional golfers in the world. Hikers and serious rock-climbers should head to Davao City, perfect with Mt. Apo with a peak of 9,689 feet. Nearby you could go river rafting in the Chico River, or explore the caves of Tuguegarao. For something more leisurely try a slow kayak or canoe ride at the Bacuit Archipelago and at the St. Paul Subterranean National Park.
Now food deserves a big mention, as there is no shortage of delicious dishes that are all a must try! There’s Lechon, which is spit-roast whole pig served with liver sauce, Adobo, pork, chicken or a combination of both which are marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic and stewed until tender. Kare-Kare is a meat and vegetable dish cooked with peanut sauce served with shrimp paste is a popular treat. Plus being an island nation means the freshest seafood is available matter where you are — fish, squid, shrimp, lobsters— all grilled to perfection.
There is no shortage of areas to enjoy the diverse night-life of the Philippines. Each major city in the country has plenty of hubs with restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and karaoke bars, which all promise to make for a fun night of unforgettable entertainment. Most of the clubs in each city are within walking distance of one another so bar hoping is no problem.
The festivals in the Philippines are stunning, colourful street parades, loud ethnic drum beats, trumpets, costumes, dancing, singing you name it and the festivals got it. There are over 100 festivals taking place across the archipelago during the year, so no matter what time of year your trip is you’re likely to experience one of these wonderful events, but doing some research beforehand is recommended as these events are not to be missed.
Some travellers may be overwhelmed by the sheer volume or human traffic as well as vehicle traffic in the streets of the capital of Philippines, Manila, which is actually made up of five cities, but like any other bustling metropolis one needs to get under the surface, and past first impressions. Intramuros, which means ‘inside of the walls’, is the Old Spanish Quarter where one can visit Fort Santiago and Cathedral Manila which will give one a glimpse into the fascinating colonial history of the Philippines. For a more relaxed way of traveling through the cobbled streets of Manila, take a horse and carriage.
The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras is an absolutely amazing example of an evolved, living cultural landscape that can be traced as far back as two millennia ago. These terraces are located in the more remote areas of the Philippine Cordillera mountain range. The more historic terraces cover a wide area that consists of five clusters of the most intact, impressive terraces.
We offer some great 4 day travel ideas starting at 1550USD/1643CAD the Banaue Rice Terraces private tour offers an amazing views in this unique setting. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s not hard to see why this spectacularly laid-out, beautiful rice terraces are the perfect union of nature and the human hand
If beaches are more of a relaxing vacation the 4 day Boracay Beaches starting from 429USD/449CAD offers some of the best white sand beaches in the Philippines. Idyllic and stunning really do apply to these beaches which are almost incomparable in their beauty. With white sand, coral reefs and a turquoise sea, Boracay will fulfill your expectations.
Another great option is the Cebu Island and the Chocolate Hills starting at 515USD/549CAD. Visit Historic Cebu which combines perfectly with a full day to the nearby island of Bohol to view the Chocolate Hills, incredibly shaped limestone karsts seen on a barge cruise.
For more of Goway’s travel ideas, visit our Philippines web page.