10 Reasons to Visit

1. Play pretend castaway

Our beaches are the perfect escape from cold, icy-water beaches.
Your own private island awaits in Bicol’s Caramoan. Hire a boat to take you from one island to the next, until you find your dream getaway.

2. Dive the Apo Reef

There are many renowned dive sites in the Philippines. But none quite like Apo. This is a diver’s chance to earn bragging rights. Look out for trophy creatures like the hammerhead, whale shark and manta ray.

3. Trek Mt Apo

Head to Davao for a volcano that has never blown its top. Standing at 2954ft, Mount Apo is the highest peak in the Philippines. A hike up this mountain will take you through virgin forests so keep your eyes peeled for pitcher plants, orchids and wildlife that include the Philippine eagle.

4. Surf in Siargao

A gem unknown to the average tourist, the tranquil island of Siargao needs no introduction to seasoned surfers. Most head to the wooden pavilion on Cloud Nine for the infamous Siargao break. But waves for both experts and novices abound elsewhere on this island too.

5. Swim with whale sharks

You’ll need to be a decent snorkeller to keep up with these gentle giants but when you do, it’ll be a ballet you’ll never forget. The peak months of March and April almost guarantee this chance.

6. Volcanoes

Hundreds of volcanoes dot the land — sizzling peaks like Mt Mayon to make you think that the gods must have been on edge. Steal a view from the top, soaring by private plane over the smoking mouth, or ascend these fiery mountains by foot, through lava-rock trails. The choice is yours.

7. Explore an underground river

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park features a spectacular limestone landscape with an underground river. One of the river’s distinguishing features is that it emerges directly into the sea, and its lower portion is subject to tidal influences. The site also contains a full “mountain to sea” ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia.

8. Bacuit Archipelago

Take a short bangka ride from El Nido to Bacuit Bay in Palawan. This archipelago will thrill island lovers with imposing limestone escarpments, palm-tree-lined white sand beaches and coral beaches.

9. Boracay

This world famous beach is a serious contender among other Southeast Asian party beaches. But according to Lonely Planet, Boracay is still generally mellower than the likes of Kuta or Koh Samui. If it’s quiet solitude you’re looking for, head to the southern end of White Beach.

10. Rice terraces of Banaue

A testament to the skill and perseverance of the Ifugao people, these terraces were carved into the mountains so they could grow rice. World heritage listed, they’re impressive not only for their chiselled look but also because they were created about 2,000 years ago.

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