Philippines offer something for everyone – rice fields, exotic wildlife and modern art are just a few examples. Visit Boracay Island’s white-sand beaches on or take an underground river tour at Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park – there’s sure to be something that appeals to everyone!

Banaue rice terraces, listed by UNESCO as World Heritage sites, provide an ideal respite from Manila’s hectic urban sprawl. Enjoy delicious lechon (pork) or balut (about-to-hatch duck embryo).


1. Manila

Filipino beaches and islands are world renowned for their year-round sunshine, beautiful pristine beaches and ample opportunities for island hopping, snorkelling and diving, making this beautiful equatorial paradise one of the world’s top travel destinations. Not to be outdone, stunning Spanish churches stand alongside stunning tribal villages and antique rice terraces dotted across this lush paradise – as do dramatic Spanish churches, stunning tribal villages and antique rice terraces. A vibrant blend of American, Asian and European influences make the Philippines one of Asia’s most charming cities; from edgy art galleries to an indie music scene to speakeasy bars offering single origin coffees…the Philippines truly has it all.

Manila is an invaluable source of Philippine history and should not be missed if you want to learn about its past. Intramuros is its most iconic landmark; once serving as the seat of Spanish political, religious, and military power during Spanish colonization. Within its walls are many ruins and museums including Manila Cathedral and San Agustin church as well as Mabini Shrine which honors Apolinario Mabini who helped fight for Philippine independence as well as Malacanang Palace which serves as official residence of Philippine president.

Jeepneys (repurposed and brightly painted American jeeps) serve as the main public transport method in Manila; alternatively taxis and Uber drivers are widely available. Foodies will find everything from balut to fish balls as well as mouth-watering samosas in this vibrant city; for shopping enthusiasts there’s always the tiangge market, where handicrafts, clothes and antiques can be bartered over for cheap.

2. Boracay

Boracay is well known for its white sand beaches and gorgeous sunsets, but this beach paradise also provides plenty of exciting activities. Take a scuba diving course or snorkel through schools of fish. Windsurfing and kayaking adventures abound as well! Additionally, Boracay boasts numerous small islands perfect for swimming – easily book tours to visit them!

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Boracay should be visited between November and April when its weather is at its warmest and driest; however, travel can also take place from May through September when its hotter but less wet than in peak season months.

Boracay is well known for its beautiful beaches, as well as being an exciting shopping and dining destination. D’Mall and D’Talipapa areas of Boracay offer souvenir shops and beachwear stores; in addition to numerous high-end eateries as well as more affordable beachfront spots serving seafood or snacks.

G Adventures’ tours cater exclusively to backpackers with epic itineraries at great value prices – this may be your ideal option!

3. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, provides visitors with unforgettable experiences on their Philippines holidays. Showcasing stunning limestone karst landscapes, the park boasts an extraordinary underground river that flows directly into the sea – offering unparalleled experiences!

The 4.4km cave’s caverns boast incredible rock formations that stand out, creating an amazing natural phenomenon unique in the world. Additionally, Palawan National Park encases an entire mountain-to-sea ecosystem and contains some of Palawan’s last intact forests important for biodiversity conservation.

Traveling to a national park can be tricky for travelers. To prevent delays and confusion, book your tours through a reputable travel agency and do it early enough that you’ll secure a permit.

An all-inclusive tour can make the experience much simpler and convenient, typically including pick-up from and return transfers from your accommodation, lunch, guides, entrance fees and processing of permits. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring drinking water. Feeding or taunting wildlife or insects is prohibited and insect repellent should also be brought along; additionally it’s wise to bring along a flashlight as the cave can get quite dark – an audio guide will ensure a virtually silent tour experience.

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4. Banaue Rice Terraces

As a traveler of Southeast Asia, chances are you have seen photographs of Kawasan Falls or Banaue Rice Terraces; commonly referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, these sites should not be missed during your time spent exploring Philippines.

Terraces are an incredible testament to the engineering skills of indigenous people from Ifugao over 2000 years ago. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these steps of mud and stone tracing the contours of mountains has been integral in life of Ifugao tribes since pre-colonial times.

Banaue offers more than its breathtaking terraces; visitors to Banaue will also be immersed in traditional culture of the region. Walking through town will reveal tilapia ponds and fighting cocks; women will carefully distribute seedlings or harvest rice fields – sights to witness on every corner!

Banaue is a small town with just a few roads lined with guesthouses and restaurants catering to foreign travelers who come for tours of its terraces. If you plan on staying for several days or just visiting Batad (typically part of a Banaue Rice Terraces tour), plan to travel by Victory Liner bus via Cubao or Sampaloc from Manila which depart multiple times daily throughout the week and cost approximately 470PHP (10 USD).

5. Mt. Pinatubo

Pinatubo was an inconspicuous volcano whose volcanic activity was hidden by surrounding mountains, with hunter-gatherer populations living on its lower flanks unaware of the mountain’s potential to explode. Before its 1991 eruption, however, Pinatubo had an explosive potential unknown to most and so went without incident for decades before finally erupting violently in 1991.

Modern Pinatubo eruptions have been remarkable stable, indicative of a steady source of relatively cool and crystal-rich cummingtonite-bearing dacite magma beneath its summit. Older known eruptions were significantly larger than 1991 blast, suggesting that magma had built up over centuries or millennia.

On June 12th 1991, during an explosive eruption at Pinatubo, a large caldera formed at its core, which is bordered on its northern edge by preeruption edifice and on its western by thick deposits from pyroclastic flows.

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The 1991 eruption produced an immense lava dome that reached all the way to the caldera floor and formed part of its crater opening. Airborne radar images reveal that this massive structure consisted of dark, relatively viscous breccia with interbedded lava flows and weakly stratified gray lavas.

The Philippine archipelago is an incredible collection of tropical islands, towering rice terraces, tribal villages and ancient tattoo traditions, not to mention ancient tattoo traditions and mummies. Home to Spanish, Chinese and indigenous cultures; one of Asia’s most welcoming places. This map serves as a durable foldable tool for travelers and includes highways, byways, hotels, banks, gardens, golf courses restaurants churches temples shopping centers plus much more!

6. Corregidor Island

Corregidor Island is an essential stop for history buffs seeking an in-depth knowledge of World War II events that took place here, while serving as a reminder of the horrors and devastation war can bring. A monument honoring General Douglas MacArthur stands near Lorcha Dock where he famously said his now infamous line, “I shall return.” Additionally, this island hosts Pacific War Memorial Museum as well as Spanish lighthouse, huge parade ground, Cine Corregidor movie theater ruins, Mile-Long Barracks as well as Battery Way; an awesome mortar gun which helped delay Japanese invasion of Australia by delaying Japanese invasion forces!

Corregidor Island once housed officers’ quarters, enlisted barracks, a movie theater, schools, underground Army headquarters and gun batteries. Subsequently, Navy ships docked both north and south sides. Furthermore, its rugged terrain houses Malinta Tunnel which cuts east-west across Corregidor Hill.

Corregidor visitors should book their accommodations early, particularly during the summer months due to typhoon risk, which often force tours, activities and budget accommodations to be cancelled or postponed. Carry an emergency kit just in case.

Kim Martin
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