Picture: White Beach on Boracay   

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El Nido










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If you know the Philippines, with their tropical climate, then you would not immediately expect that there are places where pinetrees grow in the wild.  Well, those places do exist high up in the Cordillera mountains of Luzon.  Sagada is a small town located in a valley in the country's mountain province.  Although the region is stunning with its mountains and rice terraces, the town is primarily known for an ancient burial tradition: the coffins of the deceased are either stacked in burial caves or hung on the rocks [explore Sagada]


El Nido
El Nido is a community in the north of the island of Palawan.  It consists of the small town of El Nido and several barangays.  It lays in the Bacuit archipelago which has about 45 islands and islets and is considered as one of the best island desinations.  What makes it really exceptional is the natural beauty: secluded beaches, limestone cliffs, clear ocean, pristine forests, mangroves and abundant marine life.  Some places to make you dream: Paradise Beach, Cathedral cave, the small Lagoon, the big Lagoon, the secret Lagoon, helicopter island, snake island,.. [explore El Nido]


The small island of Boracay is a real paradise on earth and one of the most well known touristic hotspots in the Philippines: white sandy beaches, palm trees, crystal water combined with a tropical climate.  Equipment for water sports which is sometimes hard to find in many places in the Philippines or which is in limited supply, is available here: jetskiing, parasailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing,...  At daylight the beach is a dream location for getting that nice tan you always wanted or for water sports, but at night the island transforms into a party island [explore Boracay].

Highlights in the Philippines 

Island hopping.  The Philippines consist of more than 7000 islands, each one having it's own charm, but all of them are little pieces of paradise on earth (at least if you avoid the big cities). The coastal landscape varies from sandy white beaches in Boracay to stunning limestone formations around the Bacuit Archipelago.  Island hopping, although time consuming, is one of the favorite ways of travelling in this country.

Marine wildlife.  The Philippines are known as one of the most popular places for diving. That's no wonder when you see what lives underneath the surface of the ocean: an endless list of wildlife that varies from micro organisms till the largest fish on the planet.  The pinnacle of it all is having a dive with the great whale shark (hotspot: Donsol).  And amateurs of wreck diving will see their wettest dreams come through in Coron, where several ships from the Japanese marine were sunk during Word War II. 

Volcano trekking.  Being part of the so-called "ring of fire", the Philippines have a large number of volcanoes amongst which some of them are active.  Some of the most well-known are Mount Mayon (Legazpi), the Taal Volcano (Tagaytay) and Mount Pinatubo (Mabalacat).  Some consider it a challenge to climb a volcano.  Be sure to get information locally before you climb.  Certain volcanoes can only be climbed under guided supervision.

Cultural heritage.  The cultural heritage ranges widely from native culture, monuments from the Spanish rule and remains from the Second World war.  Some of the sites are inscribed on the Unesco list such as the Ifugao rice terraces (also referred to as the eight wonder of the world), the Spanish colonial churches and not to forget the historic town of Vigan.  Despite it's very metropolitan charachter, Manila managed to keep a part of it's colonial past intact (Intramuros).

Jungle and native tribes.  More inland and away from the bigger cities, the Philippines also hold some primeval jungle; most of which is tropical except for the area around Sagada. The latter is situated high in the mountains and is a very cool place for Philippine standards; you will even find pine trees here.  In the more remote parts of the country you can still find some native tribes.  Be sure to inform locally if you can visit them because not all of them are friendly towards foreigners.

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