Philippines

Hitta reseguider till platser i Philippines

Sagada

Sitting among mist-shrouded mountains, tiny Sagada is the closest thing the Philippines has to a Southeast Asian backpacker hub, yet it's possible to find tranquillity along its many hiking trails and get your adrenalin pumping on adventures in the depths of its caves. There's a mystical element to this village, a former refuge for intelligentsia fleeing dictatorship: the centuries-old coffins high up along limestone cliffs lie close to the sky, and days and nights are peaceful thanks to the lack of tricycles or much other traffic.

Puerto Galera

Just a few hours’ travel from Manila, this gorgeous collection of bays and islands is one of the country’s top dive destinations. Puerto Galera is Spanish for “port of the galleons”. Its deep natural harbor, sheltered on all sides, was a favored anchorage well before the Spanish arrived in 1572, and today it remains a favored anchorage for long-term yachties and short-term vacationers.

Davao

This sprawling city – the culinary, cultural, economic and commercial capital of the south – is, for better or worse, becoming more like Manila. More traffic, more malls, more multinationals, more subdivisions hidden behind security gates. However, Mt Apo looms majestically in the distance, symbolizing the typical Davaoeño's dual citizenship as both an urbanite and someone deeply rooted to the land outside the city. Locals know that Davao (dah-bow, and sometimes spelled “Dabaw”) has more than enough action to keep them satisfied, and yet it’s only a short drive or boat ride from forested slopes and white-sand beaches.

Sabang

Tiny Sabang has a beautiful, wind-lashed beach, huge tracts of pristine jungle and a famous underground river that draws van loads of day-tripping tourists from Puerto Princesa. While the underground river is certainly worth doing, Sabang's main appeal lies in its wild setting. The surrounding rainforest is part of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and offers world-class hiking and birdwatching.

Panglao Island

Low-lying sun-baked Panglao Island is generally associated with Alona Beach, a busy holiday resort on the southern side of the island. Alona is renowned for its nightlife, and there's a real buzz about the place on weekends when Filipinos cruise into town to join vacationing Koreans and Europeans.

Cebu

Cebu is the hub around which the Visayas revolve. It is the most densely populated island in the Philippines and is second only to Luzon in its strategic and economic importance to the country. This is one of the most prosperous regions in the country – the 2016 growth rate was 8.8%, considerably higher than the national average. Tourism numbers are booming, Cebu draws almost two million foreign travellers a year. The island's prime attractions are its white-sand beaches and spectacular diving, chiefly off the northern tip of Cebu at Malapascua and down on the southwest coast at Moalboal. And don't ignore much-maligned Cebu City, which has lively bars, emerging eateries and burgeoning retail appeal.

Cebu City

The capital of the Southern Philippines, Cebu City is a bustling metropolis, the hub of a three-million-strong conurbation. Aesthetically, it's gritty and not exactly easy on the eye, but the city is also relatively cosmopolitan thanks to a surging English-language school industry (many Koreans and Chinese study here) and well-regarded universities (which draw Filipinos from across the nation). Historic sights are slim on the ground, though there are some colonial-era buildings, and the traffic is notorious – but you'll still find plenty to do. Cebu City's energy is infectious: its bar and club scene is justly famous throughout the archipelago and dining out is a delight, with a dizzying choice of restaurants. And with Cebu airport being expanded to accommodate many more domestic and international flights, the city's continuing prosperity seems assured.

Mactan Island

If you're flying into Cebu City, nearby Mactan (sometimes referred to as Lapu-Lapu) is where you'll actually land. Connected to Cebu City by two bridges, this busy island has some great diving off its southeast coast, and its all-inclusive resorts are popular with weekending visitors from Manila, Hong Kong and Korea. For independent travellers, the main draw is island-hopping trips in the Bohol Strait between Cebu and Bohol.

Iloilo

Panay's largest city is just right. It's big enough to offer a scaled-down version of the urban comforts you get in Manila, yet small enough to remain accessible and down-to-earth. Ilonggo, the people of Iloilo, are rightfully proud and connected to their city's past and invested in its future. Come here for fascinating history, buoyant nightlife and a side trip to rural Guimaras island.

The Cordillera

To many travellers, North Luzon is simply the Cordillera. These spiny mountains, which top out at around 2900m, are beloved, worshipped and feared in equal doses by those who witness them and those who live among them.

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