Philippines

Head to the Philippines to experience part of Asia with a very different feel thanks to its European influences. Emerald rice terraces, volcano crater lakes and vibrant festivals mix well with plentiful white-sand-beach fringed tropical islands.

If it’s endless sun, crystalline seas, white sand, deserted islands and some of the world’s best diving sites you’re after, then the Philippines awaits. Amazingly, the 7,000 islands that make up the archipelago are still little explored and remain virtually unspoilt. It is a beach lovers paradise and island hopping on the outrigger boats is masses of fun.

There are a number of legendary dive sites off the different islands. Head to the little visited Palawan and beyond to the hardly heard of Calamina Islands for wreck diving at its best. Luxury is also close at hand, as Amanpulo on the nearby Palawan has been voted as the Philippines most luxurious resort.

Swim with the whale sharks off Donsol or visit the famous marine sanctuary on Gato Island. Here sea-snakes are bred and there are almost daily appearances of the Monad Shoal.

The Philippines, with its fantastic landscapes, is about much more than just diving. Enjoy the area of El Nido on Palawan, spend each day playing Robinson Crusoe on your own private coral island or visit the 2000 year old UNESCO World Heritage ‘ifugao’ rice terraces on Luzon, often labelled the Eighth Wonder of the World.

The Philippines archipelago is one of Southeast Asia’s less explored tourist jewels.

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