Asia

Travel Crush: 10 reasons why we love the Philippines

The Philippines is the epitome of an island paradise with its turquoise water, white sandy beaches, paraw boats and coconuts on tap. Well kids, it’s even better in the flesh … Here’s 10 reasons why we’ve fallen head over heels for the Philippines.

1. The Underground River

Glide by canoe into the mesmerising caves of stalagmites and stalactites of this UNESCO World Heritage site in Puerto Princesa. Spot bats and swifts as they fly among the ancient rock formations as well as monkeys and crab-eating macaques in the surrounding forests. Be sure to book in advance, this place is popular!

underground river

2. Camping under the stars

Pull up to remote Kalipayan Island and prepare for a night under the stars with nothing but the waves and rustle of the trees to disturb the silence. Go for a late-night swim, and if you’re lucky, catch sight of the plankton glowing and lighting up the way.

camping on the beach

3. Mermaid goals

It comes as no surprise that Palawan and its islands look just as insane below the shoreline as they do above. Get ready to plunge into an underwater world of coral reefs, starfish, tropical Nemo fish and cruising turtles so awesome you’ll never want to surface.

snorkeling with turtles

4. Kayaking in Big Lagoon

Work those biceps and explore the vivid, clear waterways of El Nido’s big lagoon. Look up and catch a glimpse of eagles circling the skyline as well as monkeys playfully swinging through the trees.

big lagoon kayaking

5. El Nido paradise

There’s only one way to see El Nido’s iconic islands, and it’s reclined, drink in hand on the top deck of a boat. Carve through azure waters and take in the views of floating limestone cliffs and white sandy beaches fringed with swaying palm trees.

el nido boat tour

6. Supermanning across the ocean

Ask most people what superpower they’d have and we can guarantee a fair few would choose to fly. Well here’s the next best thing… zip line from one island to another and take El Nido’s tropical glory along the way. Go head first a la superman or sit back and enjoy the ride!

el nido zipline

7. Learning from the locals

Beaming smiles, energetic and beyond polite; the Filipino locals are a welcoming bunch who are always open to sharing their lifestyle, history and traditions with you. Join an educational tour, climb a coconut tree, learn to cook or get involved in community projects and turn your adventure into more than just holiday.

coconut tree climbing

8. A coconut a day keeps the docs away

With coconut trees a plenty, sipping on fresh coconut water every day is a reality in the Philippines (without the £££ price tag). Prefer your beverage more party than healthista? No problem, add a shot of rum and coconut milk and get loco on a ‘Coco Loco’.

fresh coconuts

9. Food glorious food!

From traditional Adobo and creamy coconut munggo bean curry to fresh grilled fish and crispy veggie spring rolls dipped in banana ketchup (warning highly addictive). Treat your taste buds to the flavours of the Philippines, all washed down with a fresh watermelon shake.

Filipino food

10. Chasing waterfalls

Embark on a short walk through the jungle of Paradise Island and finally wash off all that freaking sand with a dunk in the cool, clear pools of Bigaho Falls. Be extra cautious on the last part of the climb, those rocks get real slippery.

bigaho falls

So feel like ditching the cold and living the dream in the Philippines? We don’t blame you. Get packing those bags and whizz off to sunnier climes. Find out more about the Philippines with our handy travel guide