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Philippines

Visit Philippines

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Formed by an archipelago of 7,641 islands, the Philippines is an excellent destination with paradisiacal beaches, great prices and a very tourist infrastructure, it is the perfect destination for an unforgettable vacation in Southeast Asia. While many travelers discover Thailand as the gateway to Asia, the Philippines emerges as a strong competitor, offering similar attractions with much more exclusivity and wonderful beauty.
Under Spanish rule for more than 300 years, the country has received strong cultural influences throughout history. Starting with the name itself, a tribute to King Philip II. Another legacy of colonization is the predominance of the Catholic religion, a curious exception in Asia. Familiar surnames like "Torres", "Lopez" and "García" christen neighborhoods, cities and local birth certificates. Colorful pickup trucks with patron saints stamped on the bodywork give the place an even more Hispanic feel. But make no mistake: almost nobody speaks Spanish there. The population of approximately 100 million inhabitants communicates in more than 160 different dialects. It is up to English, considered one of the official languages, to be the great national unifier and make life easier for tourists. The friendliness and ever-present smile of the Filipino people is the final touch, able to break down any communication barrier.

The attractive prices of hotels, restaurants and tours is one more reason to include the Philippines among your next destinations. Diving courses and activities in the middle of nature are accessible and easily found. For those who prefer the luxuries of modern life, the capital Manila is home to some of the biggest malls in the world. There's always something to do in the big cities or having a deserted island to call your own. You choose.

Newly reopened after a long shut down for environmental revitalization, Boracay is the most famous island in the Philippines. A tropical paradise, surrounded by crystal clear waters and white sand, which has exported the country's image as a destination with the best beaches in the world, competing on an equal footing with other popular destinations in the Caribbean and Pacific. The beachfront resorts spare no effort in offering experiences of luxury and sophistication, and there are always comfortable chairs to relax and sunbathe. Water sports enthusiasts will be sufficiently entertained with the variety of options for snorkeling, diving, jet skiing and other activities.

Boracay is just over 10 km² and 17 beaches. Still, there's room for everyone. Each beach caters to very specific audiences and it's good to choose the right beach according to your preference.

  Diniwid and White Beach Station 1 is the ideal destination for families and honeymooners, with a few restaurants, shallow and mostly empty beaches;

 

  White Beach Station 2 is recommended for those who want to stay in the middle of the action and don't mind too much party noise;

 

  White Beach Station 3 is a backpacker's paradise, with low costs and an environment that is closer to nature;

 

  Bulabog beach, with its 2.5 km of extension, is a good alternative for those who want excitement and tranquility in the right measure.

 

  The northernmost beaches on the island (Puka, Tambisaan, Ilig Iligan, Punta Bunga and Banyugan) are semi-private, occupied by resorts, ideal for travelers looking for luxury.

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The vast territory of the Philippines is spread across the Pacific Ring of Fire, giving it abundant natural resources but also a propensity for typhoons and other cataclysms. Setting up the itinerary is a task that requires attention, as it is necessary to check the best time to go and the attractions to be visited. The Philippines should be enjoyed without haste, considering the travel time between the islands and any unforeseen circumstances.

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How about diving next to sunken ships from the Second World War, crystalline water lagoons and lookouts with views that seem to have been made by computer graphics? From nature to history, go deep into the cultural legacies left by Spanish colonization, which influences language, religion and even food! In the Philippines, you'll find historic cities, neighborhoods and museums that preserve centuries of major changes in their walls, and much more!

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Your first stop will likely be Manila, the chaotic capital of the country. Don't make the mistake of skipping it. Although there are no beaches or great natural attractions close by, the city has a vibrant nightlife and excellent shopping and leisure options. In addition to an unforgettable sunset in front of the bay.

Take a trip in typical jeepneys, modified and colorful jeeps that act as public transport in big cities; or take a ride on the charming bancas/paraw, traditional Filipino boats with a peculiar appearance that crowd the beaches, taking you from one island to another. The Philippines is much more than El Nido and Boracay, make room to discover other islands such as Coron, Panglao, Cebu and Bohol, surprising yourself with the countless activities on each one of them.

Named one of the best diving spots to see shipwrecks from the Second World War, Coron also offers an above-normal amount of aquatic life, present in the extremely preserved coral reefs. With lagoons surrounded by cliffs and lots of vegetation, it's hard to resist an invitation to snorkel!

One of the best tours in Coron and our favourite! Start the day by climbing the stairs to the iconic Kayangan Lake for an absolutely enchanting view, where the dense green of the forest meets the impeccable blue of the sea. Be careful when swimming in the lake, wearing a life jacket is mandatory and there are guards around demanding its use. The next stop is for snorkeling on the coral reef, at a strategic point in the middle of the sea. Don't forget the waterproof camera! In the middle of the tour there is lunch, which can be served both on board and on one of the beaches. Banol beach is usually chosen, but some tours may prefer White Sand, Atwayan, Smith or Beach 91, equally beautiful. End the tour with an unforgettable swim through the narrow passage that connects the two twin lagoons.

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El Nido is a famous Philippine beach, located on the touristic island of Palawan. Until recently unknown to foreign tourists, the beach has become fashionable thanks to its idyllic landscapes, which mix crystalline waters, forests and rocky walls in a scenario that enchants at first sight.

Wherever you go in El Nido, there are breathtaking views. Beautiful and well-preserved coral reefs are an invitation to go snorkeling on offshore tours. Kayak-accessible lagoons, caves and waterfalls complement the daily tours that leave from the main beach. The tiny city center and surrounding harbor area offer nothing much; the highlights are the neighboring islands and beaches explored by the tours. Upon arriving in El Nido, it is virtually impossible not to come across countless agencies and tour operators offering tours

The Big Lagoon is a salty water lagoon, surrounded by limestone walls. Depending on the tide, boats can enter and circulate through the lagoon, which has incredibly green waters. It is also possible Kayak across the path to Small Lagoon. Further ahead, to access Secret Lagoon you need to go through a hole in the middle of the rocks and find the lagoon inside, which is very shallow. While Shimizu Island is perfect for snorkeling in its coral reefs, 7 Commandos beach stands out as one of the most beautiful in the region, with its long stretch of sand and bars close by.Be aware: it is common to see sea turtles in the region.

One of the most popular tours in El Nido, starting with a quick stop by Helicopter Island, an island with a peculiar shape, although many agree that it more closely resembles a camel, dolphin or even a dinosaur! Think about it until the stop for lunch at the beautiful Matinloc Sanctuary, where schools and convents once operated in the middle of the sea! The trip is not complete without visiting several of the most paradisiacal beaches in the entire El Nido region, such as the secret beach, the star beach and the hidden beach.

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The territory of the Philippines spreads over more than 7,000 islands in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Choosing where to stay goes through several variables, from the order of your itinerary to how many days to stay in each place. In big cities, the golden tip is to always choose the best location over the best price. The closer to the center (or public transport), the better. On the islands, make sure that your hotel is in the area of the main beaches — and, if not, that transport is available there.

Manila the capital of the Philippines is a gigantic megalopolis, with one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. The first impression can be very negative, with constant traffic jams and lack of urban planning. However, there are not so many attractions and they are relatively close to each other. Choosing the right place to stay will be the secret to a good experience in the city. First-time visitors are strongly recommended to stay in the Makati area, Manila's main financial district, with everything you would expect from a modern and commercial area, good prices and opportunities for shopping and nightlife. Nearby, Bonifacio Global District is also recommended, especially for those who want to be close to green areas.

The Malate region and Emirta are areas offering cheap accommodation and located right in the heart of Manila. Which doesn't necessarily mean a good thing, as you'll soon realize. But it is possible to walk to attractions such as the Baywalk and some of the largest malls in the country. Intramuros, the historic district with heritage from Spanish colonization, is possibly one of the most fantastic locations in the entire city, breathing culture and history wherever you go. However, there is a price to be paid, generally higher than in other regions.

Visitors who have more time in the city and want to explore more authentic areas can opt for exotic Chinatown or more outlying districts such as Quezon and Mandaluyong, although the time spent in transit may not be worth it. If you're staying for just one day in the city, don't think twice and choose something close to Manila International Airport.

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