The Philippines is any backpacker’s dream with its crystal-clear waters and colourful fish. Hike the volcanoes, relax on the beautiful sandy beaches, and have amazing diving experiences. The Philippines have a lot to offer travellers: yummy food, lots of accommodation options, a well-functioning infrastructure (most of the time), helpful locals, and countless islands to discover. We do have a warning for shoppers though - you might go crazy in the Philippines since it is very cheap, even cheaper than Thailand.
Palawan – a fascinating island
These islands have many wonders to offer and are home to diverse landscapes. Nowhere else in the world will you find such big variations of landscapes in one location, as in this extraordinary archipelago. The tropical island of Palawan is the most variated of them all. From stretches of jungle, high rock formations with deserted white palm beaches to black volcanic beaches and even underground rivers, Palawan has it all. The island has been voted the most beautiful island in the world several times!
UNESCO sites in the Philippines
There is off course much more to the Philippines than just Palawan. No less than six different spots of the country are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the rice terraces on Luzon Island, the four Baroque churches, the historical city of Vigan, the reefs of Tubbataha and the longest subterranean river of Asia in the Puerto Princesa National Park.
Ring of fire
The Philippines are part of the Pacific 'Ring of Fire', meaning you will find various volcanoes here of which many are still active. Therefore, a lot of the tropical islands are volcanic, mountainous and covered with rainforests. Mount Apo Mindanao ranging up to 2,954 metres is the tallest mountain in Philippines. There are active volcanoes like Mayon and Mount Pinatubo, both on Luzon Island. Its crater-lake is simply spectacular. Another amazing crater lake to visit is Lake Taal by the Taal volcano.
Activities in the Philippines
The Philippines are an amazing diving destination. Scuba divers and snorkellers are drawn to these waters because of their rich marine life and amazing diving spots. Coron is the place to be for the ones that love shipwreck diving. The whole area is covered in Japanese ships that sunk during World War II. Marine conservation is very important, and you will find many protected marine areas.
If you want to do some trekking, head to Camiguin Island near Cebu and Bohol. There are seven volcanoes offering nice hikes on the hills, as well as volcanic springs.
You can also volunteer and contribute to the development of local communities or the conservation of the marine life in the Philippines. Through a volunteering project, you will experience the culture and life through the eyes of local people.