Philippines Travel Guide

Philippines Holidays – Tours & Adventure Travel Guide

“The Republic of the Philippines is a Southeast Asian country which sits in the western Pacific Ocean. To the north of the Philippines over the Luzon Strait is Taiwan and west over the South China Sea is Vietnam. To the southwest over the Sulu Sea is Borneo and over the Celebes Sea in the south are the islands of Indonesia. The Philippines’ 7,000 odd islands, population of 84 million friendly people, cheap transport, good food and comfortable accommodation, laid-back, stable and safe environment make it a perfect adventurous holiday destination. The seven cities, Manila, Puerto Galera, Cebu, Boracay, Baguio, Iloilo and Vigan are full of scenic sights and buzzing nightlife.”

Philippines Holiday Highlights

Walking & Trekking – When trekking along the Chocolate hills, it is best that one walks when it is dry to ensure the best view of the hills. When it is dry, the hills will appear more like actual chocolate. Most people who have been here confess to enjoy that chocolate look. The serenity of these hills will enchant your senses.

The Siquijor caves, also known as the Catcabon caves, are also a wonderful direction to take a walk. The caves are narrow with vertical climbs and there is waist deep water that you will have to pass through if you make a decision to trek here. Once you are armed with a safety helmet, a torch and a tour guide from the Catcabon village, you are ready to go. This trek will provide both exercise and enjoyment for all adventurous trekkers.

The lake Taal and the Taal Volcano are the next places where you can also enjoy a walk. This should take a whole day in order that you get the best out of it. Trekking in the middle of the Lake Taal is amazing with the volcano. This volcano can produce eruption at any time and adds to the excitement of the visit. Otherwise, you can also walk to Tagaytay and take in the mountain-view. You can climb the mountain to view the lake and the volcano from the ridge. This view is something that should be in the plans for all visitors.

Culture & History – The city of Manila will give a better taste of the Philippine culture. The museums, monuments, cultural centers, mosques and even the stadium will help you gain a feel of the culture here. There is also an art gallery to visiting or walking for benefit on your trip to Manila. The cultural experiences will draw one closer to the heart of this country, giving you a sense of belonging and appreciation for the Philippine culture.

The Chinese cemetery in the Philippines can also help one understand the culture related to death and the deceased in this country.

In Vigan there is the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, there are remnants of the splendid architectural Spanish legacy. There are museums of national heroes like the Crisologo museum and the Padre Jose Burgos National museum. In this city, there are Christians who worship at the St Paul Cathedral. The carrying of legacies in this country is an important step in the daily life of those who live here.

Barguio city, constructed as a mountain retreat by the US Military, remains destroyed due to the bomb attacks from the US that were aimed at driving out the Japanese. Massive earthquakes that hit this area in 1990 further destroyed this city. There is an art gallery, cemetery, park, Balatoc mine, bell church and St Louis University Museum now located in this area. For the history buffs, a visit to these sites should be high on their list of site-seeing activities.

Hiking – The Banque provides the best opportunity to hike while visiting the Philippines. The mud walled rice terraces, ranging over two millenniums old, make this location a hike among beautiful scenery. The Ifugao put their engineering skills together and made a very beautiful finish that will take your breath away. It is quite surprising to know bamboo remains the material used for construction of the tubes used to irrigate the rice terraces. Hiking in this location offers a show of skill and beauty wrapped into one people.

Adventure Tours – An adventure tour around the hundred Islands National Park will give you the most amazing treat. A Tandem Kayak is necessary for the experience for there are three islands that you will tour as you visit this park. The islands are Quezon’s, Governor’s and the Children’s Islands. That does not mean though that it is a big park, it is relatively small. It has 123 islets and it is located off the Alaminos coast. However, the park may appear on the smaller side, the adventure and awe that comes from this tour will leave lasting impressions for future stories.

The Iloilo city in the south Philippines is the most cosmopolitan city after Cebu with its vibrant nightlife. It is surrounded by three suburbs named Molo, Jazo and La Paz. Those that like nightlife will feel right at home here in this lovely and fast paced city.

When to Go

Cooler and drier seasons are the best times to visit the Philippines. December through the middle of the month of May is the best time. Christmas festivals, Easter holidays and the holy week, which is usually around the same time of Easter will be busier.

For a better view of the rice terraces, March and April are the months to visit. During these months, the terraces look their best.

October through March is the best time to experience Island hopping. The weather presents comfortable travel conditions and allows for one to experience the most out of their island hopping adventures.

Top Tips

  • Stay away from large groups and political gatherings.
  • Check the latest advice if wishing to visit Mindanao and North Cotabato, as these may be unsafe.

Philippines Holidays In Focus

Walking and Trekking

get to the famous Chocolate Hills. There are cars from Manila that can take you to the location where you can begin your trekking experience. Generally, the choices of travel in the Philippines can be limited.

To the Siqijor Cave, which is the next famous trekking site, the best and possible means is walking. It is not far a distance, just a few kilometers away and so walking starts immediately. Again, it is best to have a guide with you who will guide you around and ensure you are fully equipped with a safety helmet and a torch.

You can also catch buses to the lake and volcano Taal. There are two choices here; either you brave the trek through the lake Taal, or you can begin to climb the mountain. The view from the mountain is a real delight. The walk to this lake highlights the fact that they are enormous prehistoric craters and will give you some good memories and photos.

Culture and History

There are a good range of hotels and accommodation within the Phillippines to suit all budgets. You will find a wide range of cuisine for dining such as Filipino, Korean, Chinese and European.

You can visit the Golden Mosque, cultural centre, Binondo church, the Bahay Tsinoy museum to learn some of the treasured cultures around here. There are monuments where you can learn about the culture while here in Manila.

At the GSIS Museong Sining, you can enjoy the art gallery. The Cuneta Astrodome Stadium is the other place to seek cultural education. At Vigan, the artwork of the Philippines is located at the RG jar. This is a pottery industry with over 100 jars. Vigan is a kiln that is about 50m long built in 1823. At Baguio city there is an art gallery at the Tam Awan artists’ village. Here, art and culture of the Cordillera people is taught and preserved.

At the same city, there is Camp John Hay. There is also historical core with Bell Amphitheatre landscape and a mountain resort with a restaurant, hotel, shops and a golf course.

Adventure Tours

There is a good beach at the Hundred Islands National Park and a park with an office to assist you. The office is off the wharf in Barangay Lucap, which is also the starting point to the park.

You will notice that the tides have slowly eaten the base of the limestone giving a better view of the mushroom appearance.

The thrill received from watching the miracle that comes when the bamboo tubes manage to irrigate the rice terraces perfectly will just amaze you. You will be lost in thought for a moment as you try to understand how the idea came to the minds of the engineers to make that possible. The thought that it has lasted for more than 2,000 years will make it even more complex.

It is a great place to hike and the mountains, national park, beach, volcano and caves combined will give you a memorable adventure tour.

Visiting Puerto Galera will open the view of white sands, secluded coves, natural harbor and marine reserves that are available around Sabang.

Classic Itineraries

- Hike at Banque.
- Trek at amazing Chocolate Hills.
- Visit the Hundred Islands National Park.
- Trek at Lake Taal and the Taal Volcano.
- Trek at Siquijor Caves.

Southeast Asia Travel Resources

Vietnam holidays adventure travel guide
Cambodia adventure travel guide


Local Operator Tours

Philippines Articles

Walking in the Philippines

When trekking along the Chocolate hills, it is best that one walks when it is dry to ensure the best view of the hills.

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