In the enticing Philippines archipelago of 7,000 islands there are more idyllic white sand beaches and private island paradise than you could possibly visit, simmering volcanoes, pristine coral reef and steamy jungle.
In the north, Luzon is the scene of extraordinary natural beauty. In the south lie the grand volcanoes of Bicol and the centre features the region of Cordillera, famed for mountains, dramatic waterfalls and UNESCO listed rice terraces. Off the west coast lies the tranquil Hundred Islands national park, home to sea turtles, dolphins and dugong.
For a taste of urban life, Manila hosts a wonderful Spanish colonial quarter, great bars, bakeries and restaurants. The Farm is one of the most luxurious spa and wellness centres in Asia.
The beaches in the Philippines are the main draw. Boracay is home to soft white sand and water so clear you can see the ocean floor a hundred metres out. Southeast lie the islands of Cebu and Bohol. The former has wonderful beaches and a vibrant coral reef. Bohol is famous for the endangered tarsier monkey and the surreal Chocolate Hills: over 1,500 grassy hills formed by coral deposits and shaped by erosion.
West is Palawan, a UNESCO biosphere reserve of wild landscapes including rugged volcanoes, vast beaches and limestone cliffs. Here you’ll find the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, where the diverse reef ecosystems support over 350 species of coral and almost 500 species of fish. There’s also the Puerto Princesa Underground River, the largest navigable subterranean river in the world.