Still relatively undiscovered, the Philippines is made up of 7,107 idyllic islands in the Western Pacific. The only Spanish colony in Asia, it is home to heavenly beaches, unbeatable outdoor adventure, tantalizing cuisine, and eternally cheerful people. Philippines travel is slowly growing more popular with travel saavy North Americans, and visitors can unlock incredible experiences in Manila, Boracay, and many more destinations.
It’s more fun in the Philippines… here is our mini guide to see why!
Manila – Pearl of the Orient
Manila is emerging as one of Asia’s most happening capitals. Travellers arriving from North America almost always first land in “Mani,” making it a perfect opportunity to spend two or three nights here to adjust to the new time zone and explore some of the most interesting neighbourhoods.
Intramuros (“within the walls”), is the oldest district and historic core of Manila. It features San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as the San Agustin Museum just beside the church. Binondo, Manila’s Chinatown, is brimming with amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Explore Tayuman, where religious icons and handcrafts are sold in the streets, and Escolta, for its impressive art deco buildings and street art.
3-Day Majestic Manila
Banaue Rice Terraces
From Manila, travel north to the Banaue Rice Terraces area. This UNESCO World Heritage site is also listed as a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines and the 8th Natural Wonder of the World. 2000-year-old rice terraces are built into the mountain sides, reaching a height of several thousand feet. Drink in stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. This area is home to local native tribes. Visit the nearby small town of Sagada, with its cool and refreshing climate, and see fascinating burial caves and hanging coffins. Dive into centuries past at the Bontoc Museum, which features native Philippines objects and artifacts.
4-Day Banaue Rice Terraces Private Tour
If you crave space and beauty, head to Palawan (fly to El Nido or Puerto Princesa), an island in the Philippines’ most sparsely populated region. The island forms a long sliver, stretching 650 km all the way to Borneo. Savour untouched islands, limestone cliffs, coral reefs, misty mountains, and teeming wildlife. Puerto Princesa (Puerto) is the culinary capital and primary gateway of Palawan, and it makes a great place to start. El Nido offers gorgeous resorts and overwater bungalows at great value for money. This is true paradise!
4-Day Palawan El Nido
If you crave nightlife and glamour, head to Boracay (fly to Caticlan). Only 7 kilometers long and 500 meters wide, this slice of paradise is the Philippines’ top tourist destination. Boracay’s centre of activity is White Beach, a postcard-perfect stretch of sand lined with hotels, restaurants, bars, and dive shops. There’s no shortage of activities for you in Boracay. With around 25 dive sites that cater to all levels of experience, as well as parasailing, outrigger boats, waterskiing, snorkeling, and more, you’ll never have a dull moment.
4-Day Boracay Beaches