By Louise Brown
All sorts of travelers, both domestic and foreign, will find it easy to fall in love with the Philippines. This archipelago nation has over 7,000 islands, all ready to be explored. However, since the places are broken up into islands, getting around is not as simple.
On the other hand, getting on another flight, riding overnight buses and ferry boats, or hopping on a motorcycle add to the adventure. If your budget allows and if your schedule permits, you can stay as long as you can.
For the meantime, here are three of the best places beach lovers should visit in the Philippines:
The province of Palawan is the largest one in the country and it’s been dubbed as one of the best islands in the world. That’s probably why most foreign visitors already have Palawan on their list of places to visit. It is defined by scenic coastlines, turquoise waters, and very vibrant marine life – a dream destination for every beach lover.
The main entry point to Palawan is in Puerto Princesa, with several flights daily from Manila, Cebu, and Iloilo. Puerto Princesa is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Underground River tours are limited so make sure you make your arrangements ahead of time.
After Puerto Princesa, you can make your way down to El Nido, either by bus, private cars, or van shuttle. El Nido is the base camp for many island hopping tours. Check out the Big and Small Lagoon, Simizu Island, Secret Lagoon, and 7 Commando Beach. There’s also Helicopter Island, Snake Island, Cudugnon Cave, and Cathedral Cave.
Another point of entry is the airport in Busuanga, home to the popular town of Coron. This town also serves as a base camp for many island hopping tours. Both El Nido & Coron have surrounding islands that will give you the best beach experience. In Coron, check out the lakes and lagoons in Coron by kayaking/ You should also explore the amazing coral gardens and Japanese shipwrecks by scuba diving. Then, relax at the Maquinit Hot Spring, and see some African Animals in Calauit Safari Park. For a great sunset view, hike Mt. Tapyas.
Siargao, “The Surfing Capital of the Philippines,” is an island just off the coast of Surigao del Norte. It’s about 800 kilometers southeast of the capital, Manila. You can fly from Manila to Siargao via the Cebu route. Another option is to course through Surigao City, then ride a ferry boat to Siargao.
The main base for Siargao is in General Luna. There are many resorts and hotels in this area, with Cloud 9 only a few minutes away. Don’t worry if you haven’t tried surfing yet. There are many friendly instructors ready to give you lessons.
There are also so many other things you can do aside from surfing. There’s island hopping, scuba diving, stand-up paddling, kayaking, and snorkeling. You should also make your way down to Magpupungko Rock Pools, which is only about an hour away.
One unique experience you can have in Siargao is swiming with stingless jellyfish. Sohoton Lagoon is a sanctuary for stingless jellyfish between March to May. From General Luna, it takes about 2.5-3 hours to get to Sohoton. It’s not that short, but it’s worth it.
The third place every beach lover should visit is Cebu. It’s an hour flight away from Manila and is a great base point to many other places. North of Cebu, a 4-hour drive and an hour boat ride away, is the Island of Malapascua. It’s a great dive spot, with coral reefs and thresher sharks to see. Near Malapascua is another island called Bantayan, an island that can give Boracay Island a run for their money.
While these places are amazing, you don’t need to go far to see amazing beaches. Mainland Cebu also has these and more. You can swim with whale sharks, a school of sardines, and turtles. But another thing that’s making Cebu a top destination for adrenaline junkies are the waterfalls. There are many rivers and waterfalls to chase and jump off of (safely of course). There are also lots of establishments that offer water adventures like parasailing, stand-up paddling, and even water jet packs.
No doubt, the Philippines has some of the best places for beach lovers, and these three are only some of them. Remember there are over 7,000 islands in this archipelago! Being a tropical country, you won’t need to pack that much.
Skip the suitcase and pack a backpack instead. Also, if you’re planning on scaling the high peaks of the Philippines, you need a pair of hiking boots. Even then, a decent pair of rubber shoes will suffice.
Image Credits: Theadventureland.com
Louise Brown is the founder of TheAdventureLand.com, where she and her associate’s blog about Outdoor experiences, tips & tricks that will help you have an exciting adventure. She is also a tour guide of travel company where she learned many things about wilderness. “Let’s pack our bags and explore the world!”. Follow me on Twitter and on Google+
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