Discover the Archipelago: The Essential Online Guide to the Philippines

Philippines are home to over 7,000 islands, boasting world-famous white sand beaches such as Boracay or exploring an underwater faultline like Bacuit.

As one might expect from a country so passionate about food, there are numerous culinary tours available in Manila’s Chinatown – it should not be missed!

Air-con is always recommended on planes, ferries and buses when travelling through the Philippines due to its humid environment.

Philippines Travel Guide


Philippines archipelago stands out among Asia’s many alluring archipelagoes with its limestone cliffs, sandy beaches and sparkling waters. Visitors flocking to its shores are welcomed by friendly locals whose broad smiles brighten any traveller’s day – increasingly more visitors are discovering this delightful country’s charms!

Philippines tours will never disappoint – from Manila’s old city center’s ornate palaces and cathedrals, to Cebu’s vibrant night markets, from whale shark-scuba diving off Donsol Beach in Cebu Province to trekking through rainforest in Bulusan Volcano National Park, there is so much excitement waiting to be experienced in each and every visit!

North Luzon gives visitors a taste of lesser-travelled Philippines with towering rice terraces and tribal villages. If you want something different, visit Bohol’s Chocolate Hills; for birding enthusiasts there’s also the world’s smallest tarsier living freely on Mindoro island!

With more than 7,000 islands to discover, island hopping will play a central role in your trip. Take the fast ferry from Cebu to Moal Boal for snorkelling over enormous sardine shoals before visiting Kawasan Falls and Catanduanes’ rugged coast offers great surfing; while Marinduque serves as a bucolic pastoral island backwater only really visited for its annual Moriones festival at Easter.

Philippines accommodation offers exceptional value. There are an abundance of cheap yet cheerful guesthouses and hostels, though their quality can vary widely; some can even be quite basic. Luxurious 5-star resorts and spas can be found throughout the islands as well as atolls and beach hotels for private atolls or beach hotels as well as homestays/family-run guesthouses especially in rural areas.

Though safety in the Philippines is generally high, caution must still be exercised in areas with high concentrations of people or hotspots for petty crime such as public buses and train stations in urban areas. Bag snatching and pick-pocketing are not uncommon among larger cities; Malaria and Zika viruses both exist here so using repellent and mosquito nets are recommended to stay protected.

Philippines Itinerary

The Philippines are an idyllic tropical archipelago boasting sun, sea and sand in abundance. Here you’ll discover lush rice terraces, indulge in fresh seafood dishes like you never have before and visit towns adorned with classic Spanish-Filipino colonial architecture – not forgetting over 7000 islands to choose from when planning an itinerary for one month in this exotic nation!

Hire a car with driver to travel around the Philippines efficiently on budget, reaching more remote areas without public transport hassle. Most rentals also include fuel and insurance for added peace of mind; always review terms and conditions to make sure that should an accident arise, you are protected financially.

Joining a tour group is the ideal solution if you prefer an organized travel experience, relieving the stress associated with transportation and accommodation arrangements while giving you an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals. Many tour companies provide customized trips which can easily fit within your personal preferences; you can book these online.

Your Philippines itinerary should begin in Manila. This city offers much and provides a great introduction to Philippine culture, from local restaurants and historic structures to organized tours offering the highlights.

From there you should travel to Boracay. Although it has become somewhat of a tourist trap, Boracay still boasts stunning beauty that warrants spending some time here. If your funds allow, consider staying at one of the luxurious Shangri-La Boracay Resort’s luxurious rooms; alternatively smaller hotels such as HQ Hostel offer excellent value with adult-only facilities such as their bar and garden.

Next on your Philippines itinerary should be El Nido on Palawan island. El Nido is an absolute must-see and will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of any visit here, with breathtaking cliffs, lagoons, and beaches that simply won’t let go. Though a bit more expensive than other locations across the Philippines to stay here – but totally worth every cent spent.

Philippines Map

Philippines, with its relatively modest size and abundant natural and manmade wonders, boasts one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems and welcomes ecotourism with open arms.

Philippines’ beaches boast stunning stretches of soft sand and are filled with abundant marine life – it’s no secret why the country is one of Asia’s premier tourist spots!

Most islands in the Philippines are volcanic in origin and covered with thick rainforest; unfortunately, illegal logging has reduced forest cover to only 10% today. Due to being part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Philippines are particularly prone to earthquakes.

Philippines is divided into 17 regions that serve to coordinate planning and organize national government services, acting not as replacements but instead supplementary to local government units and their mayors. Regional offices may often but not always be located within or nearby a city designated as their regional center.

Regions in the Philippines are organized along island lines and designated with numbers and names from their major islands, each being led by its own governor and cabinet/council of ministers. Prior to 1984, regions had representation in parliament through this method but this system has since been changed back into province and city representation for legislative elections.

Regarding the legal system, the country is organized into various judicial regions that can be found through the Department of Justice website.

Quadripoints in the Philippines refer to geographic points that span four distinct regions. It’s not unusual for this phenomenon to exist given that Micronesia, Guam and Hawaii all bordering it are all possible sources.

Philippines Travel Tips

Philippines archipelago boasts stunning white sandy beaches, clear blue waters and majestic volcanoes glimmering with emerald hues. Its ancient cultures are warmly welcoming; take an island-hopping trip or visit villages where life has not changed for millennia! A mix of Spanish, Malay and Chinese influences can be seen in its cuisine, vibrant fiestas and traditions.

Though Filipino is widely spoken as an official national language, many prefer communicating in their local tongue – learning some words can come in handy! A dictionary is also useful when travelling here as menus, street signs and the unique Filipino spelling may prove challenging!

Filipino food may initially appear monotonous, but the abundance of fresh fruit and salty sauces quickly transform it. For an authentic experience of Filipino cuisine try lechon (spit-roasted pork) or balut (about-to-hatch duck embryo boiled in its shell). Seafood lovers should visit dampas – fish markets where you can purchase what to cook yourself or have it done for you – where dampas provides fresh seafood at its peak. Filipinos are well known for their hospitality so don’t be surprised to be invited over for homecooked meal by local residents!

To get around, the easiest and cheapest method of travel is via jeepney bus. These buses are full to capacity with people packed onto each seat – but it can be one of the most entertaining ways of exploring! Plus, it may lead to lifelong friendships!

As internet access can be hit-or-miss in these parts, bringing an external charger is highly recommended – along with plenty of backup battery power!

Booking accommodation early will ensure the best rates. Comparing airfares and ferry fares will allow for the most cost-effective route; Couchsurfing may also help cut down costs in the Philippines while hostels and locally run guesthouses offer affordable accommodations options.