Travel Guide

Destinations » Philippines Travel Guide

Philippines Overview

With over 7,000 islands, the Philippines has some of the most stunning beaches in the world, described by many visitors as paradise on earth. It also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with almost two hundred ethnolinguistic groups and a unique mix of Spanish, Chinese and Malay influences. It is also home to world-renowned natural wonders such as the impressive limestone cliffs in Palawan and Coron, mighty volcanoes such as Mount Mayon and a unique fauna such as the tarsiers in Bohol. But, above all, what really makes the Philippines special is the kind and fun-loving spirit of its peoples, always engaging in vibrant festivals, karaoke sessions and parties. As the slogan goes: "it's more fun in the Philippines".

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Philippines Destinations

Palawan & Coron

Palawan is home to some of the most amazing beach and diving destinations in the world. El Nido, in the north, is famous for its boat tours to nearby islands, islets and lagoons, as well as the beautiful Nacpan Beach. Port Barton offers a similar but quieter experience, with equally pristine beaches and turquoise waters but much less visitors. Puerto Princesa, Palawan's capital city, is the main base to visit the world-renowned Subterranean River National Park. Finally, the nearby islands of Coron and Culion are also a paradise for island-hopping, scuba diving, kayaking, snorkeling or simply relaxing and enjoying the scenery.

Aerial view of wooden boats docked in blue lagoon surrounded by limestone karsts


The small island of Siargao, located in the Pacific ocean, was relatively unknown by most travellers until fairly recently. Just like Bali in Indonesia, this hidden gem started being known as a paradise for surfers, especially in the Cloud 9 surfing area. Most travellers stay in the small town of General Luna, from where they can explore Siargao's wonderful beaches, including Cloud 9 Beach, Secret Beach, Doot Beach, Magpoponko Beach, Alegria Beach and Pacifico Beach; nearby small islands, such as Guyam, Daku, Naked Island and Kawhagan, as well as countless snorkeling and diving areas, mangrove forests, caves, lagoons and rock-climbing spots.


Cebu island is home to Cebu City, the fourth largest and one of the most vibrant urban centres in the Philippines and the cultural centre of the Visayas. Besides its modern and growing business district, it is famous for its colourful Sinulog Festival in January, as well as for its Spanish colonial heritage, including the Basilica of Santo Niño, Fort San Pedro and the Magellan's Cross, which symbolises the beginning of Christianity in the country. The city is also the gateway to picturesque destinations such as Moalboal, Bantayan Island or Malapascua Island, which offer great diving spots, gorgeous beaches and waterfalls.

Silhouette of cottage on beach at sunset

Bohol & Panglao

The islands of Bohol and Panglao, which are physically connected by two bridges, are two of the most visited destinations in the Philippines and offer a good diversity of activities and experiences. Panglao is famous for its numerous resorts, its world-class diving spots and its beautiful beaches, including Alona Beach, Dumaluan Beach and Doljo Beach. It is also a great base to discover smaller islands such as Pungtud, Balicasag and Pamilacan. Panglao's big sister, Bohol, is well known for its iconic Chocolate Hills and its tarsier conservation areas, but it also has many more interesting sights such as the Loboc River, countless waterfalls, ancient colonial churches, rice terraces, white sand beaches and underground cave pools.

Tarsier on branch


Despite its small size, Boracay is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. This little gem located at the geographical centre of the Philippine archipelago is famous for its resorts, its clear blue waters and its white sand beaches, including White Beach, Puka Beach, Bulabog Beach, Ilig-Iligan Beach and Punta Bunga Beach. The island offers plenty of activities, such as island hopping, kitesurfing, parasailing, scuba diving, massage or enjoying its countless beach bars and nightclubs.

White sand beach and turquoise blue sea with palm trees and blue sky


The largest and most populated island in the Philippines, Luzon, is often overlooked by most travellers, although it does have a good number of places that are worthy to visit. Manila, the Philippine capital, is a huge metropolis famous for its traffic jams, but it is also home to Intramuros (the colonial city centre), Binondo (or Chinatown, offering some of the best food in the city) and the modern business and shopping districts of Makati and Bonifacio Global City (a.k.a. BGC). Beyond Metro Manila, Luzon is also known for Banaue and its rice terraces; the town of Baguio, with its cool weather and greenery; Vigan, with its Spanish colonial architecture; Tagaytay, with its great views of Taal Lake; Batangas, with its world-famous diving spots, and Legazpi, which serves as the gateway to the iconic Mayon Volcano.

Useful Information about the Philippines

  • Capital City


  • Population

    113 million (as of 2022)

  • Language

    Filipino (or Tagalog), English and other regional languages including Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Kapampangan, etc.

  • Religion

    Christianity (85%), Islam (11%), Buddhism (3%) and other (2%).

  • Gastronomy

    Some must-try Filipino dishes are adobo (braised meat), sinigang (sour soup), chicken inasal (grilled chicken), halo-halo (shaved ice dessert), lechon (roasted piglet), sisig (chopped pig parts and chicken liver), lumpia (spring rolls), kaldereta (goat or beef stew), arroz caldo (rice porridge), pancit (stir-fried noodles) and crispy pata (deep-fried pork knuckle).

  • Currency

    Philippine Peso (PHP)

  • Electricity

    220V/60Hz, European plug (two round pins) and North American plug (two parallel flat pins)

  • Climate

    Tropical weather in most locations. March, April and May are slighty hotter, while January and February are slightly cooler than the average of 26.6ºC (80ºF). The rainy season is from June until October, when the probability of typhoons is higher. However, it does rain throughout the year, so all months are similarly good for visiting the Philippines.

  • Required Travel Documents

    (1) Passport with more than 6-months validity from the entry date
    (2) Return plane ticket
    (3) Visa exemption for up to 30 days for most western countries

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