There are over 7,000 islands in the Philippines archipelago. Handfuls of pearls scattered across a blanket of turquoise. There are more idyllic beaches than you could possibly visit, smouldering volcanoes, pristine coral reef and steamy jungle where monkeys rule the roost; it remains one of the world’s greatest untouched paradises.
In the north, Luzon is the largest and most populated island, but also the scene of the archipelago’s most impressive natural drama. In the south lie the grand volcanoes of Bicol, in the north is the beautiful region of Cordillera, famed for its mountains and waterfalls, as well as the Unesco-listed rice terraces. There are countless paradise beaches, while off the west coast lies the tranquil Hundred Islands.
Even the huge and frenetic capital, Manila, is not immune to the charms of the Philippines with a wonderful old Spanish colonial quarter, great bars and restaurants. A short drive south from the city is The Farm, one of the best and most luxurious spa and wellness centres in Asia.
But it’s beaches that are the main draw in the Philippines. And nowhere does beaches like Boracay. It’s the dazzling whiteness that hits you first. But as your eyes adjust in the tropical sunshine, a heavenly scene unfolds. Of long regiments of swaying palms guarding swaths of powder and water so clear you can see the ocean floor a hundred metres out. In the distance a fishing boat may be trawling off the coast, and you may catch the occasional glint of a cocktail glass in the corner of your eye. With Boracay, for once the hype is true.
Southeast of Boracay, lie the neighbouring islands of Cebu and Bohol. The former, a narrow strip of an island, has wonderful beaches in the north and south rivalling even Boracay, and labyrinths vibrant coral reef off the coast. Quieter than Cebu, Bohol is famous for the tiny and endangered tarsier monkey and the Chocolate Hills, one of the world’s most unique natural landscapes. The tiny neighbouring island of Panglao is one of the world’s top diving spots.
West is Palawan, often described as the “Last Frontier” of the Philippines. A Unesco Biosphere Reserve, its wild landscapes include rugged volcanoes, vast beaches and spectacular limestone cliffs. The two stars of the show are the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park and The Puerto Princesa Underground River, the largest navigable subterranean river in the world.
Our team are Philippines experts, we love it here and we’ve travelled extensively throughout the archipelago. When booking a luxury holiday to the Philippines with Lightfoot Travel, you’ll benefit from our specialist knowledge and insider tips, and we’ll offer impartial advice for your bespoke itinerary.