Islands of Enchantment: The Definitive Online Guide to the Philippines

Philippines can meet any traveler’s wishes: from deserted tropical beaches and jungle viewpoints to ancient tribal villages.

Experience art at its finest with when visiting Spoliarium by national hero Juan Luna at the National Museum of the Philippines; or immerse yourself in Philippine culture by attending one of their cockfights (sabong in Filipino).


Manila, as the Philippines’ only metropolitan capital and a key link between Southeast Asia and Oceania, is an extraordinary city of contrasts. Though known for its chaos, Manila nevertheless manages to remain functional despite this perception.

Intramuros is the premier tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage site of Manila, making for easy walking tours around this historic district. From there it’s just a quick trip over to Binondo’s lively Chinatown district for further exploration before Makati and Ortigas offer up their business districts known for malls.

Manila offers one of Asia’s liveliest nightlife scenes. Republiq, an Las Vegas-themed club that opened its doors in 2010, stands out among many clubs, bars, and restaurants as the city’s premier party spot.

Filipinos are warm-hearted people who welcome visitors with open arms. They’re not suspicious or greedy and usually wear a smile on their face; budget travelers can get by in Manila on less than $100 per day when staying in basic hotels, eating at moderately-priced restaurants or cafes, and sharing rideshare transport services.

Are you looking for an active way to explore Manila? G Adventures provides excellent ethical small group tours that support local operators while leaving minimal environmental impacts. Their tours can be tailored specifically to fit your interests and budget; or take one of their three epic itineraries which are designed for completion over one month but can easily be broken up if your visa allows for less.


Cebu is an archipelago of beaches and islands located off of the southwest coast of Asia with a unique culture and breathtaking natural landmarks that make for an exciting cultural adventure and picturesque landscape. Explore everything from Temple of Leah to Siyuan Waterfalls while traversing this Philippine paradise!

This region is an idyllic beach-goer’s haven with white-sand beaches and spectacular diving opportunities around Mactan Island, Bantayan Island, Oslob, and Moalboal. Additionally, you may discover hidden treasures such as Kawasan Falls which stands as one of the world’s most stunning waterfalls.

History and architecture enthusiasts will delight in the many religious structures that dot the landscape of Cebu province, such as Basilica del Santo Nino in downtown Cebu or Taoist Temple Beverly Hills – among many more sacred spots throughout.

Cebu offers more than its share of cultural attractions to keep visitors busy; among these activities are street food offerings popular among students and seven-to-five workers alike, such as tempura, spider conch, and kwek-kwek vendors located around Metro Colonade. Furthermore, you may enjoy visiting one of Cebu’s numerous karaoke bars.

Cebu, Philippines’s busiest port, serves as your entryway into Visayas and some destinations on Manila and Mindanao by ferry. Within main cities, most travellers use taxis or jeepneys (adapted buses designed specifically to carry passengers). A word of advice: avoid arriving during peak travel times as that’s when most jeepneys will be full with music blasting through their speakers!


Bohol has long enthralled travelers from all over the globe with its stunning natural landscapes and cultural treasures, captivating visitors from every country around the globe. Bohol maps make exploring this delightful island easier than ever and help uncover endless experiences sure to charm.

Bohol offers so much to see and do, from charming churches and museums to quiet beaches and spectacular coral reefs – it will give you many memorable experiences! In order to take full advantage of everything this stunning region has to offer, be sure to plan your itinerary wisely so you can maximize what the island can provide you.

Bohol is best-known for the Chocolate Hills, an amazing geological formation made up of 1,776 cone-shaped hills with various heights that turn a beautiful shade of light brown during dry season. These unique hills have become one of the island’s premier attractions.

Baclayon Church, constructed during Spanish colonial rule and housing an impressive collection of religious relics related to Mary Magdalene as patron saint, should also not be missed. You may also enjoy taking a river cruise through Loboc or viewing fireflies alight mangrove trees on Abatan River.

An enjoyable visit to Bohol would not be complete without sampling some of its delicious local cuisine, from fresh seafood and delicacies such as puto (steamed rice wrapped in banana leaves) and bolo (machete). For some sweet treats, don’t miss the famous “Peanut Kisses.”

Mt. Pinatubo

Pinatubo was an unassuming volcano until 1991. Merely slightly taller than nearby hills and concealed by dense forest cover, its slopes were home to Aeta people who practiced both hunting and gathering as well as farming on its rich volcanic soils.

The eruption on June 7-12, 1991 enlarged Pinatubo’s crater by filling it with lava and ash, expanding it significantly. Airborne side-looking radar (SLAR) images taken March and November of that year demonstrate this by showing the steep cone of modern Pinatubo (A), which lies adjacent to relict walls from Tayawan caldera of ancestral Pinatubo (B). Additionally, 1991’s lava dome vent lies approximately 750 m north-northwest of its broad preeruption summit on its ancestral volcano (B).

Pinatubo was transformed by its 1991 eruption into a symbol of national pride. A small lake, now one of the smallest globally, formed within its crater. Additionally, this volcano produced new geological formations including basaltic and dacitic lava flows as well as pyroclastic deposits.

Geologic evidence shows that the 1991 eruption was just one in a long series of explosive eruptions to take place since modern Pinatubo first rose up over 35,000 years ago. Eruptions may have become less violent over time due to erosion and burial, or because their explosive power has decreased.

Pinatubo River Systems flow out of Pinatubo Volcano. Due to the 1991 eruption, many valleys became filled with pyroclastic deposits which cause frequent lahars. Over time these rivers will return to normal.

Corregidor Island

Corregidor Island is a small Philippine island guarding Manila Bay’s entrance. Once used as an Allied naval defense base during World War II, today Corregidor is one of the Philippines’s premier historical sites and can be visited year-round by visitors interested in military history. Visitors will discover its long history of conflict here with remnants like silent guns and abandoned barracks from war still standing to remind us all about what took place there during WWII.

Corregidor Island may have had a bloody military past, yet today it’s an idyllic and tranquil environment. Far removed from Manila’s hustle and bustle, you may hear nothing more than wind in the trees or waves lapping against its shore – hard to imagine how noisy and chaotic things must have been during its turbulent history when bombs were dropping and guns were shooting!

On the highest point of the island is the Pacific War Memorial, established in 1968 by the US government to honor those Filipino and American soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for freedom. Also worth seeing is Malinta Tunnel which served both as defensive bunker and hospital facility during World War II.

Visit Corregidor during May to October when weather is generally dry and comfortable.