Up to 30% off Asia tours
Available on select tours from June - December 2020. Destinations include Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali, Hong Kong and more.
No more than an eight-hour flight from most major cities in Australia, and with flights often on sale for incredibly low prices, the Philippines is quickly becoming a hot destination for Australians looking for picturesque islands, lush rainforests, colourful reefs and pristine beaches. With more than 7,000 islands on the map, we're here to help you find the best ones to explore on your next visit.
If when you hear "Philippines", you think of pristine turquoise waters surrounded by limestone hills and colourful coral in crystal clear water, you're probably picturing Coron. Within those clear waters also lie about a dozen shipwrecks waiting to be explored by divers.
Perched on the northern end of the island of Palawan, El Nido town is the stepping stone to some of the province's most picturesque spots including lagoons filled with clear, turquoise waters, lengthy beaches and colourful diving and snorkelling sites – all easily available to those on a budget.
Home to both the second-largest metro area in the Philippines and natural wonders like beaches and waterfalls, the island of Cebu has something for just about every traveller.
From adventure parks with zip-lines and ATV rides through the countryside to picturesque river cruises and pristine beaches, Bohol is packed with things to do in the great outdoors. Its lush forests are home to the tiny tarsiers (pictured) and its coastal waters filled with colourful reefs and sea life.
Like a less-crowded and even more laid-back version of Byron Bay, but in the Philippines, Siargao and its surf have put this small island on the map for international travellers. But even for those who have never stepped onto a board, its beaches, swimming holes and small offshore islands make it well worth a visit.
After a brief six-month closure to tourists in 2018 to clean up the island and improve infrastructure, Boracay is back. In fact, with its picture-perfect White Beach and luxe resorts, Condé Nast Traveller called this seven-kilometre-long slice of paradise the best island in Asia in 2019.
Spend a day or two exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Listed city of Vigan. Dating back to the 16th century, the cobblestoned streets are lined with Spanish colonial-style buildings and are home to museums and cathedrals that are an ideal break in between beach destinations.
It may not be on most people's Philippine itinerary, but the Bicol Region, about a one-hour flight from Manila, is home to a host of attractions to keep any eco-tourist occupied, including conscious whale encounters in Donsol to trekking near the towering (and active) Mayon Volcano.
Disclosure: Alex Keshen travelled to the Philippines as a guest of Cebu Pacific.
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