The Philippines is an archipelago in Southeast Asia. This archipelago has a total of 7,641 islands, only half of which actually have a name. The two largest islands are Luzon and Mindanao, which cover nearly two-thirds of the country’s total area. The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is located on the largest island of Luzon. The Philippine landscape is very hilly and mountainous on most islands. Besides mountains you will also find volcanoes, tropical rainforest and forests, rivers, lakes, bays and jagged coastlines. And since the Philippines has a tropical climate with high humidity and a lot of rain, this results in a very diversified biodiversity. You will find countless different plant and animal species, many of which are only found on this archipelago. Do you know where the Philippines get their name from? The country was first known as the San Lorenzo archipelago, until a Spanish explorer landed there and renamed the country in honor of the then Spanish Crown Prince (and later King) Philip II. Check topmbadirectory for how to get to Philippines.
Top 10 Sights of the Philippines
Vigan is one of the largest cities in the archipelago, with more than 50,000 inhabitants. You will find this city on Luzon, just over 400 km from the capital Manila. The historic center of this city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it is one of the world’s best preserved examples of Spanish colonial architecture, characterized by cobbled streets in a checkerboard pattern. Initially Vigan was a town with wooden (or bamboo) houses on large stilts, but when the Spanish conquistadors arrived, they expanded the town in their typical style. So you’ll find an intriguing mix of European and Asian architecture. In addition, since 2018, Vigan has been recognized as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities. Check simplyyellowpages for mass media and culture of Philippines.
Those who like to soak up a magical and dark atmosphere will undoubtedly find what they are looking for on the island of Siquijor! This island is the second smallest island in the Philippines, both in terms of inhabitants and area. Yet this is one of the most famous islands, also known as the “Isla del Fuego”, or island of fire, because of the numerous fireflies that you can see here. The second reason why this island is so famous is the mystical traditions such as witchcraft, magic and voodoo that attract so many tourists. Besides healing rituals and all kinds of drinks, you can also enjoy the beautiful beaches and waterfalls, the Bandila-an nature park and butterfly garden on Siquijor.
The Philippines is an archipelago, so of course you will find countless beaches. The vast and jagged coastlines have so many beaches that it is difficult to visit them all. The pearly white sandy beaches, surrounded by crystal clear water and swaying palm trees, are huge tourist attractions. In addition, several of those beaches have been declared the most beautiful beach in the world by various organizations. Palawan’s Nacpan Beach is a must because there aren’t that many tourists around, while Palawan’s Corong Corong Beach is one of the most popular beaches on El Nido.
Anyone visiting the Philippines will most likely arrive at Manila International Airport. This growing metropolis may feel chaotic, but it is also a veritable Asian metropolis. At first sight you may be disappointed by the meter high skyscrapers, the busy traffic and the many shopping centers against the poverty that is visible in the slums, but look further. You will find beautiful museums about Asian history, numerous craft markets, the people are very friendly and you can also go out well. In Malate and Ermita you can admire the old center of Manila, while in hip Makati you can explore the touristic.
#5. The Rice Terraces of the Cordillerra
In the Ifugao province in the Philippines you will find 5 sites of rice terraces: the Bastad, Bangaan, Mayoyao, Hungduan and Nagacadan rice terraces. These terraces were built on high, steep mountain slopes, surrounded by stone or mud walls. The terraced pond fields were supplemented with irrigation systems to harvest water from the forests of the mountaintops. Based on the knowledge of the past, these terraces are still cultivated with respect for the lunar cycle and extensive soil protection and pest control. These more than 2000 years old terraces are therefore also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Besides rice fields, sandy beaches and floating restaurants, the island of Bohol is mainly known for the Chocolate Hills and the tarsier. The Chocolate Hills are, as the name suggests, hills that turn brown in the summer. These hills consist of limestone covered with grass and stems from the Ice Age. Erosion has given them their distinctive conical shape and they are on average 30 to 50 m high. When the grass dries out in the summer, it turns brown – hence the apt name: Chocolate Hills. The second attraction of this island is the Tarsier, the smallest primate in the world. These endangered nocturnal creatures are no bigger than a fist and have huge eyes in their heads.
#7. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
Are you a diving fan? Then you should definitely go to the Tibbataha Reefs! According to CNN Travel, this is one of the world’s best diving sites. You travel there by boat via Puerto Princesa, because this coral reef is located midway between Mindanao and Palawan, in the Sulu Sea. Due to its remote location, the underwater area has been beautifully preserved and has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. To keep all that natural beauty, you pay an entrance fee that goes directly to the protection of this coral reef. This coral reef is also located in the middle of the Tubbataha Reef National Park, a protected nature reserve of about 100,000 hectares. In this way the countless marine animals remain protected, such as whales, sharks, dolphins, but also turtles. More than 500 species of fish live in this protected area, as well as some 350 species of coral. The crystal clear water allows you to see up to 25 meters in a pleasant 26°C water temperature.
#8. Cebu City
Cebu City is the largest city on the island of Cebu and also the second largest city in the country. It is also the oldest city in the Philippines and you will find many Spanish influences. The Fort San Pedro is one of the main attractions on the coast. This is the oldest Spanish fortress in the Philippines, built in 1565 by Miguel Legazpi. It is impressive architecture that is well worth a visit, especially since it has been converted into a museum. You will also find a beautiful cathedral that was built between 1719 and 1811. In the mausoleum that was added in 1982, a number of bishops have found their final resting place.
#9. Princesa Subterranean River National Park
The Princesa River runs for 8.2 kilometers underground, through limestone cliffs, and eventually ends in the South China Sea; This has created one of the most complex cave systems in the world. Man has not intervened to beautify these caves, not even lighting. Everything still looks exactly as it was made by Mother Nature. You will find caves as big as a football stadium, but also so small that you can barely get through. The government protects this area, one of the most important protected areas in the Philippines, so you should plan your visit well in advance because the number of tourists per day is limited.
#10. Mount Mayon
Mount Mayon is a volcano almost 2500 m high, on the island of Luzon. This volcano is known as one of the most active in the world and because of its almost perfect cone shape. The land around the volcano is very fertile and clearly shows signs of previous eruptions. Active tourists will enjoy themselves here, as the area is perfect for mountain biking or quad biking. You can also climb the volcano, the ideal period for this is between February and April. It then takes about 2 days to reach the top, passing forests, grasslands and even stretches of desert.