Southeast Asia done a little differently
Dive into the multi-faceted delights of the Philippines and be dazzled by the diversity of wildlife, scenery and humanity. More than 7,000 islands straddling the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ are lapped by limpid waters, topped by volcanic peaks and swathed in the verdant greens of dense jungle and rice paddies. There’s a thrilling melange of cultural influences here too, from Malay to Spanish and several points in between. Undertones of Latin America bubble up here in the form of colonial architecture and catholic fiestas, all adding to the sense that this is a corner of Asia like no other.
Top three things to do in the Philippines
There are many wonderful experiences to be had in this scattering of islands. For further inspiration take a look at the trip ideas put together by our trusted local experts at the foot of this page, but in the meantime here are our top three things to do in the Philippines.
Island hop to your heart’s content
With 7,000 slices of tropical paradise to choose between, there is an island to suit all amongst the Philippines’ many jewels. From tiny slivers of silvery sand to jungle-clad lands where volcanoes reach skyward. Right in the centre of the Philippine archipelago, the Visaya Islands offer a manageable way to see some of the many aspects of Filipino life, from festivals and rustic Spanish churches to volcanic mountain ranges. Don’t forget to pack your fins - you’ll likely spend just as much time underwater as on land.
Admire bountiful Banaue and beyond
In northern Luzon sections of the mountains have been whittled over the centuries into picturesque rice terraces, stepping up the flanks of the green hills surrounding the village of Banaue. Introduced 2,000 years ago by the Ifugao People, these ancient terraces are still in use today and are UNESCO-protected. Trails allow access to the shimmering scenery; stride out a little further into the surrounding countryside to find some of the more secluded hamlets.
Explore two cultural capitals
Manic Manila is not for the fainthearted. This densely populated megacity can be hard to get to know, but if you take the time you’ll find its creative heart beating strongly amidst the madness. For an altogether calmer vibe, head north to the coastal city of Vigan - one of the oldest settlements in the Philippines. Here, along cobbled streets and alleyways you’ll catch a glimpse of colonial times.
Tailor-made holiday ideas for Philippines
All holiday ideas on TravelLocal are curated by us - we make sure our ideas showcase the best of each country. Take a look and be inspired!