Situated in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is an archipelago boasting over 7,000 islands scattered across the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to its geographical features, the country is adorned with extensive stretches of pristine white sand beaches.
Embarking on a journey to the Philippines promises immense joy. Immerse yourself in perfect beaches, encounter the warmth of friendly locals, and witness the allure of beautiful nature. Moreover, it’s a budget-friendly destination where you’ll extract remarkable value for your money.
Having the Philippines, we can attest—this place is beyond extraordinary! Yet, despite my enthusiastic recommendations to fellow travellers, some still hesitate, adhering to the standard “Thailand-Laos-Cambodia-Vietnam Route.”
We implore you not to overlook this incredible country. Before you decide on your next vacation spot, delve into our top 13 reasons to visit the Philippines. Discover the unique aspects that set the Philippines apart and beckon visitors to return, enticing them to explore more of this tropical paradise. In our view, the Philippines surpasses the combined charm of all those countries. Wondering why? You will learn in the next minutes!
1. The People of the Philippines – Welcoming and Affectionate
Experience unparalleled hospitality in the Philippines, where the warmth of Filipinos stands out on the global stage. In my encounters with Asians, Filipinos consistently emerge as the most kind and amicable individuals, exuding genuine friendliness while maintaining respect. Their perpetual smiles and love for celebration create an inviting atmosphere, making it easy to form connections and friendships.
Beyond the country’s scenic wonders, the Filipinos’ genuine warmth is a compelling reason to explore this destination, often recognized as the friendliest country in Asia. Upon landing, expect authentic and affectionate smiles from the locals, proud of their country’s beauty and culture.
Filipinos readily take on the role of informal guides, sharing local phrases and recommending the best places and culinary delights. Embracing the concept of the “extended family,” Filipino hospitality extends to inviting visitors into homes, treating them like cherished members. Prepare to be delighted with home-cooked feasts, showcasing the rich flavors of Filipino cuisine. With English as an official language, communication with locals becomes effortless, enhancing the overall travel experience.
2. The Paradise Beaches and Islands of the Philippines
The Philippines stands as one of the world’s largest archipelagos, boasting an impressive count of 7,107 islands dispersed across its maritime territory. A visit to the Philippines unveils a coastal haven that can only be described in superlatives—Heaven, Paradise, and simply Amazing. The country’s shorelines offer an unparalleled spectacle; We can attest that few places in the world rival the breathtaking beauty of Philippine beaches.
The Philippines stands proud as the residence of some of the planet’s most exquisite islands, featuring gems like Boracay, Palawan, and Siargao. Among these, Boracay emerges as a prime tourist spot in Visayas, ranking high among the must-visit places in the Philippines. Its renowned White Beach, adorned with powdery white sand, serves as an idyllic canvas for a range of water activities, including the captivating experience of Boracay helmet diving. Delight in the stunning hues of sunset, accessible through Manila to Boracay packages, and indulge in a choice of opulent accommodations with numerous options for 5-star hotels scattered across the archipelago.
3. The Nature and Wildlife of The Philippines
The Philippines boasts an extraordinary wealth of biodiversity, showcasing a captivating tapestry of nature and wildlife that is among the most diverse in the world. Home to a remarkable array of birds, plants, animals, and marine life, the Philippines houses nearly 200 mammal species, including the adorable Philippine Tarsier, one of the world’s smallest monkeys.
With over 600 species of birds, 300 species of reptiles and amphibians, and a minimum of 400 coral species, the country’s natural wonders are truly enchanting. From the majestic giant whale shark to the diminutive Pandaca pygmea, the world’s smallest fish, the Philippines encompasses a dreamlike assortment of flora and fauna within its beautiful islands.
The Philippines features stunning landscapes, such as the renowned Chocolate Hills in Bohol, the historic Rice Terraces in Banaue, the picturesque rivers in Siargao, and the breathtaking Archipelago of El Nido. Exploring these unique natural wonders is a must when visiting the Philippines.
Puerto Princesa Underground River tour, an awe-inspiring journey through the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Declared both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, this underground river cave system unveils impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations, showcasing some of the best caves in the Philippines.
The Chocolate Hills in Bohol, resembling giant chocolate Kisses, are a testament to the country’s geological wonders, formed by coral deposits over time. To experience these mounds in their rich brown color, consider taking Chocolate Hills tours during the dry season from November to May, as they turn lush green during the rainy season from June to October.
Journey to the Cordilleras in North Luzon to witness the Rice Terraces of the Ifugao, crafted by an indigenous group living in the Cordillera mountains. These terraces, a marvel of pre-colonial Philippine ingenuity, stand as a testament to the country’s rich culture, tradition, and craftsmanship.
The enchanting waterfalls of the Philippines by joining tours to Kawasan Falls in Cebu, Pagsanjan Falls in Pangasinan, and Bomod-ok Falls in Sagada. This spectacular mountain landscape, adorned with terrace after terrace of rice fields, provides a glimpse into pre-colonial Philippine life and is a must-visit destination in Luzon.
You can also climb one of the 37 volcanoes, such as Mount Pinatubo, or explore the world’s smallest volcano, Taal. Uncover hidden caves, serene lakes, and mesmerizing waterfalls, creating a paradise for nature lovers in the Philippines.
4. The Best Diving and Snorkeling Spots in Southeast Asia
The Philippines is a country renowned for its extraordinary marine biodiversity. Recognized in 2006 as the geographic center of marine diversity globally, the Philippines offers more than just stunning beaches and islands; it’s a haven for captivating underwater life.
Cebu stands out with diving spots that rival the world’s best. Experience the mesmerizing Moalboal sardine run, immersing yourself in the spectacle of millions of sardines gracefully navigating the ocean depths. Another gem in Cebu is Malapascua, where thresher sharks often make appearances. Dive into the vibrant underwater world of lionfish, batfish, tunas, and more by booking a Cebu tour package.
Venture to Palawan for the Tubbataha Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses over half of all known coral species. Explore this underwater paradise where turtles, black and white-tip reef sharks, and manta rays gracefully coexist amidst breathtaking coral formations.
In Visayas, discover Apo Island Dumaguete, a diving spot where you can share the waters with giant sea turtles, creating unforgettable moments beneath the waves. For those with limited time, Anilao in Batangas, just a few hours from Manila, offers an ideal diving experience for beginners. Dive into the rich marine life of Anilao while enjoying the convenience of proximity to the capital.
If you find yourself near Manila, Puerto Galera in Mindoro beckons with its renowned diving spots, positioned strategically in the heart of the Coral Triangle. Immerse yourself in the incredible marine diversity that defines Puerto Galera’s underwater landscapes, making it a must-visit destination for scuba diving enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner, the Philippines promises an enchanting and diverse underwater world that will leave you in awe.
5. Weather and Climate – Summer Weather Almost All-Year
Escape the winter chill with a trip to the Philippines, where the tropical climate ensures summer-like conditions almost all year round. Boasting only two seasons—dry and rainy—the Philippines maintains an average yearly temperature of approximately 26.6°C, creating an environment that avoids extremes of heat or cold, allowing for easy adaptation to the tropical weather. The prime time to visit is from November to May, characterized by delightful weather conditions.
From June to October, the archipelago experiences a monsoon season accompanied by abundant rainfall. However, this shouldn’t deter you, as the magic of swimming in the sea on a rainy day, with the sun piercing through the clouds and the water at a comfortable 30°C, is an enchanting experience worth savouring. Despite some unpredictability attributed to global warming, the allure of the Philippines remains intact.
The dry season, spanning from November to May, invites visitors with sunny and warm days, while the rainy season from June to October offers its own charm. Even during rainy months, the weather remains conducive to outdoor and indoor activities such as surfing, waterfall tours, river adventures, and food explorations. Cancellations are only necessary in the event of a typhoon warning, ensuring that your exploration of the Philippines continues unabated, no matter the season.
While Filipino cuisine might not be as globally renowned as its Asian counterparts, the unique blend of Malay, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, and American influences creates a gastronomic experience unlike any other.
Filipinos take pride in their cuisine, a fusion of flavors that has successfully carved its own niche in the culinary scene. Among the notable dishes is the iconic adobo, featuring chicken or pork cooked in a delectable blend of soy sauce and vinegar. The lechon, a succulent roasted whole pig, earned the acclaim of the late Anthony Bourdain as the best pig he ever tasted.
For the adventurous palate, balut, a Filipino street food consisting of a boiled duck embryo, offers a unique and exotic taste. Meanwhile, the popular halo-halo, a refreshing summer delight, combines crushed ice, milk, and sweetened fruits, making it a must-try dessert best enjoyed shared.
Embrace the Filipino spirit with calamansi juice, a citrusy delight, and explore the inventive banana ketchup—a testament to the abundance of bananas in the Philippines. From the hearty pancit noodles with veggies and meat to the flavorful sinigang, a tamarind-based sour soup, the culinary journey in the Philippines is diverse and enticing.
If seafood is your weakness, indulge in the bounty of fresh options, from lobster to crabs, tiger prawns, and octopus, all at remarkably affordable prices. And fear not, if you crave international flavors, cities like Manila, Cebu, and Boracay boast an array of dining options, from Thai and sushi to Indian, pizza, pasta, burgers, and the comforting familiarity of German bakeries. The Philippines invites you to savor a tapestry of tastes that mirrors its vibrant cultural tapestry.
7. The Philippines is Budget Friendly Destination
The Philippines as a budget-friendly destination, where your travel expenses won’t break the bank. With day tours priced around PHP1000 (USD20), you can explore the wonders of the Philippines without denting your wallet. Accommodation options cater to every budget, from affordable dorm-type hostels to charming bed-and-breakfast homestays, while resorts offer a range of pricing, often featuring enticing package deals for savvy travelers. Planning a Philippines staycation? The options abound.
You can indulge in the culinary delights of the Philippines without burning a hole in your pocket. A budget of around PHP100-150 (EUR 2-3) will secure you a hearty breakfast with classic Filipino fare and coffee, extending to satisfying lunch and dinner options. Services like spa treatments, haircuts, massages, and fine dining are surprisingly affordable, even at top wellness resorts in the country. Incorporate these into your itinerary for an extra touch of luxury.
Alcohol prices are a pleasant surprise. Rum enthusiasts, rejoice, as a Rhum with juice might cost less than the juice itself. Don’t miss the chance to try the renowned Red Horse beer, stronger than regular beer, and famously economical at just 20 pesos for a 0.5l bottle in the supermarket. Delve into the world of Tanduay Rhum, a steal at 1 EUR, or opt for the delightful Boracay Coconut Rum, a mere 90 Pesos for a 0.7l bottle. Revel in the affordability of libations and make your trip to the Philippines a celebration of both experiences and savings.
Indulge in the exquisite world of massages during your Philippines adventure, where pampering your body becomes one of the most rewarding experiences. Throughout the country, a plethora of massage establishments and spas await, ranging from luxurious retreats to beachside practitioners, ensuring you can unwind almost anywhere.
The diverse offerings from high-end spas that epitomize luxury to the simple charm of beachside massage ladies, and discover the unique flavors of wellness that each location offers. Among the myriad options, a Swedish massage stands out, beckoning you to experience a full-body treatment enhanced by the soothing touch of aromatic oils.
9. No Language Barrier
You can xperience the convenience of a seamless linguistic journey in the Philippines, where the absence of a language barrier becomes a notable feature of your travels. Surpassing 90%, the majority of the population is proficient in English, setting the Philippines apart from many other Asian destinations.
This linguistic proficiency extends across all age groups, from articulate 3-year-olds to wise 90-year-old grandmothers, providing you with unparalleled ease in communication throughout your journey. English not only serves as the universal language of the people but also holds prominence in government affairs and written communication, shaping the educational and business landscape.
10. Jeepney Rides in the Philippines
A genuine Filipino adventure is not complete without the iconic jeepney rides which are an integral part of local transportation. As soon as you land in Philippine airports, these vibrant vehicles adorn the streets of Manila and other bustling centers across the country. Known simply as jeepneys or jeeps, they represent a distinctive form of public transport, offering an affordable fare.
Many travelers consider a jeepney ride a must-do experience in the Philippines for its immersive touch of local culture. Why? Because it’s not just practical; it’s enjoyable, economical, and delightfully breezy – no air conditioner required!
Adorned in lively colours and displaying their routes prominently, jeepneys are easy to spot. Familiarize yourself with essential local phrases like “para” (stop) and “bayad po” (here’s my payment) for a smooth jeepney journey. The Filipino spirit of helpfulness is evident, with passengers aiding each other in passing payments to the driver, especially if you’re seated near the door.
Adding to the unique transportation mix is the tricycle, the Philippine equivalent of a motorized rickshaw, resembling Thailand’s tuk-tuk but with a motorbike and attached sidecar. There’s also the pedal-powered version known as the pedicab, ideal for short distances in provinces with narrow roads and fewer jeepneys.
You Might Be Interested In
Begin your search for the perfect accommodation now while the excitement is still fresh in your mind. Discover stylish and affordable options, and find the best accommodations at the lowest prices:
- Explore a wide range of hotels in Philippines by clicking here (Booking.com)
- PhilippinesExplore a wide range of hotels in Philippines by clicking here (Tripadvisor)
- Explore a wide range of hotels in Philippines by clicking here (Agoda)
- Discover affordable hostels in Philippines by clicking here (Hostelworld)
- Easily compare prices and book hotels in Philippines by clicking here (Hotellook).
As a trusted platform, 12Go Asia offers convenient booking services for trains, buses, ferries, and flights across multiple Asian countries. 12Go Asia has a user-friendly interface and reliable connections, you can easily plan and book your transportation, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey throughout your Asian adventure.
Private Airport Transfers
Kiwitaxi is a popular online platform that specializes in providing private airport transfers and transportation services worldwide. It offers convenient and reliable door-to-door transfers between airports, hotels, and other destinations. With Kiwitaxi, you can pre-book private taxis or minivans with professional drivers, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free journey.
Rental Car in Philippines
If you enjoy guided tours, here you can find a wide variety of options to suit every preference. Discover and join fascinating guided tours across Philippines.
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Enjoy the day!
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Rest assured, we only recommend products and services that meet our high standards and that we genuinely believe in. The opinions expressed are solely our own and are based on our personal experience.