While most people opt for nearby Thailand or Malaysia, those travelers booking airline tickets to the Philippines have one distinct advantage over other travelers: privacy. The 7,000 or so islands that make up the Philippines are blessed with secluded beaches, friendly people and electric cities seldom explored by tourists.
Most people take trips to the Philippines for its laidback environment. The locals are friendly, English is widely spoken and there’s always a place to stay. Most people who fly to the Philippines enter through Manila, the country’s capital and a hotspot for excellent shopping, restaurants and nightlife. Keep traveling on local Philippines flights and you’ll land in the rice fields of Banue, where the mountains line the landscape and tourists line the beaches.
Cheap flights to the Philippines and discounted hotel and resort rates can be found throughout the year, as the country has yet to develop a tourist industry that rivals its neighboring countries.
Book a vacation to the Philippines to experience a fusion of Spanish and Chinese history.
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- Great spots for surfers include Cloud 9 and Tuason Point on Siargao Island, Majestics in Catanduanes and Cemento in Baler, Aurora. El Nido on PalawanIsland is said to be the best diving spot in the Philippines. Also on Palawan is the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, on the UNESCO World Heritage list, featuring a limestone karst landscape with an underground river.
- A super spot for diving is Subic Bay, on the west coast of Luzon, which has a fantastic combination of wrecks such as San Quintin, a 19th-century Spanish gunboat; Oryoku Maru, a Japanese luxury liner; and New York, the ex-USS.
- The rice terraces of the Cordilleras in Northern Luzonare more than 2,000 years old and are still in use by the Ifugao people. The terraces are fed by an irrigation system from rainforests above the terraces. A World Heritage Site, they are noted for their altitude (up to 5,000 feet) and very steep slopes (up to 70 degrees). The World Heritage Site is composed of four sites at: Banaue (Batad and Bangaan), Mayoyao (Mayoyao Central), Klangan (Nagacadan) and Hungduan.
- Manila is capital and within it is Intramuros, a walled city built by the Spanish in the 16th century. It was mostly destroyed during World War II, but restored in the 1980s and now has the best remnants of the Spanish era. Manila also has several museums including the National Museum and the Museum of Arts and Sciences. The American Military Cemetery and Memorial has the largest number of WWII graves; more than 17,000 soldiers lie here. Marikina City Footwear Museums in the shoemaking district of greater Manila. The museum has about 200 pairs of shoes that used to belong to former First Lady Imelda Marcos.
- Cebu is where Ferdinand Magellan, the explorer, first planted the flag – and a large Christian cross – for Spain in 1521. The cross hangs in a small chapel beside the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino on Magallanes Street.
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US citizens need only a passport valid for six months beyond their trip’s end date, as long as their visit lasts no more than 21 days.
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