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Overview to The Philippines: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

The Philippines

Somehow, the 7,000 odd islands that make up the Philippines have slipped through the backpacking net. The country does ‘tropical’ like few others, and yet so many fail to reach its gorgeous, sun-kissed shores. Those who do visit, however, tend to return – and return again!

Much of the country’s appeal lies in its landscape, and there’s a lot to mention before you even get to those beaches. Following colonial influence from Spain (and then America) life in the Philippines could be considered eclectic and diverse even by Asian standards.

Despite the natural openness and eagerness of Filipinos to accommodate visiting travelers, its occasionally chaotic infrastructure can make traveling an adventure. But get into the spirit of things, and soon any potential frustrations are swept aside by a wave of relaxation.

Which is, of course, where those beaches come back in! With just under 60,000km of sparkling white sands, the Philippines are a veritable haven for beach-lovers. What’s more, with a variety of marine life attracted to its incredible reefs, it’s a diving and snorkeling mecca.

The central island group – known as the Visayan Islands – attracts most beach-goers, with Puka Beach and White Beach on Boracay amongst the favorites. For those who want to do more than sleep and sunbathe, the area is also known for its fishing and diving opportunities.

The northern collection of islands (known as Luzon) is home to volcanic mountains and the obligatory crystal clear seashore. The capital, Manila, is found here, and its singular mix of chaos warrants at least a couple of day’s stay.

Inland Luzon is also home to one of the most remarkable manmade structures on the planet. The construction of the UNESCO-protected Banaue Rice Terraces (which cover some 10,360 square kilometers of mountainside) is thought to date back to 2000-6000 years ago.

To the south, the lower islands of the Mindanao group are often completely uninhabited. Here, it’s quite possible to find a deserted tropical island and proclaim it your very own... Well, for a few days, at least!

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