About Philippines beaches
Paradisiacal images of white sand caressed by clear blue Pacific Ocean often spring to mind when you mention the Philippines. Boasting more than 7,000 islands, a coastline that measures a whopping 36,289km (22,548 miles) and masses of dense tropical rainforest, the country has a seemingly infinite number of pristine beaches.
Thousands of kilometres of coastline mean that the Philippines are literally overflowing with world-class beaches. Regardless of resort choice, holidaymakers are bound to come across abundant white sand beaches, warm azure waters, and as many seaside activities as they want. One of the country’s most popular beaches is White Sand on Boracay and is consistently ranked amongst the best on the globe. Good surfing on the islands of Pagudpud and Siargao meanwhile have spawned comparisons to Hawaii. Divers tend to make a beeline for Panglao, while Camiguin and El Nido are also stunning.
Beyond the beach:
If you want to get away from the coast altogether, then trekking in the country’s dense tropical rainforest is a good option. Some resort hotels organise adventure sports and mountain treks. Meanwhile, those who want to keep the water in their sights can take boat trips, or go island-hopping (with numerous tour operators packaging up this option to include ferries and accommodation). Swimming with whale sharks and dolphins and whale-watching excursions are also popular.
Vast sandy beaches, warm seas and a raft of watersports are all on hand to keep young and older children happy. Islands geared up to family tourism, like Boracay and Mactan, also offer a wealth of land-based activities including cycling, horse riding, tennis and even golf lessons for kids. The warm hospitality extended to families (children are generally welcome in restaurants and bars) and hotels that genuinely cater to children (with the likes of swimming pools and kids’ clubs) complete the package.
For those staying on Luzon, Manila is an obvious choice. The remnants of the 16th-century-walled city (Intramuros), Rizal Park and Paco Park are highlights. The mountain settlement and summer capital of Baguio City, meanwhile, tempts with cool temperatures and historic buildings. Often dubbed the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, the UNESCO World Heritage Banaue Rice Terraces ascend the hillside in a series of stepping stones. They also boast myriad walking trails. On the islands of Bohol, Mindanao and the island province of Palawan, excursions into the tropical rainforest are popular.
Check into the Amanpulo resort (www.amanresorts.com/amanpulo/resort.aspx) on the private island of the same name. Crystal clear waters, fluffy white sand and gently swaying palms create a breathtaking setting in which to enjoy private dining on the beach, massages, snorkelling and diving in the offshore coral reef. Guests are accommodated in private hillside and treetop casitas, each with a golf cart to aid exploration of the island.