Made up of more than 7,000 small islands, the Philippines is a friendly and ethnically diverse country with some of the most spectacular shoreline in Asia. Located in the South China Sea, the Philippines is less visited by foreign tourists than other countries in Southeast Asia, yet shares the gorgeous beaches and azure ocean that have made Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam famous.
For most visitors, a trip to the Philippines is synonymous with a relaxing and inexpensive beach vacation. Along the miles and miles of coastline that surround the islands, visitors enjoy some of the world's best scuba diving, snorkeling, and water sports.
With so many different islands comprising a single country, the Philippines is home to a variety of ethnic groups, languages, and traditions. Fortunately for travelers, English is spoken throughout the islands. Most trips to the Philippines begin in Manila, a large and bustling city with interesting culture and great food. When there, be sure to visit the walled city of Intramuros, as well as the Ayala Museum, which features Filipino art, craft, and history. From Manila, quick flights or ferries will link you to the many islands around the country.
If you are planning to visit the Philippines, consider including the following stops on your itinerary:
-Banaue: In Banaue, you can climb amidst the fascinating rice terraces, carved into the steep sides of towering mountains more than 2000 years ago.
-Boracay Island: This lovely isle is home to White Beach, one of the most famous stretches of sand in the Philippines.
-Pagudpud: A perfect paradise, the beach in Pagudpud is a long stretch of white sand surrounding tranquil sapphire waters.
-Palawan: Palm trees fringe the tranquil shores of Palawan, a spectacular resort island with some of the nicest beaches in the country.
-Bohol: This island is known for its lush and geologically unusual ecological reserve, The Chocolate Hills, as well as its beautiful beaches and great diving off the coast.
Plan an unforgettable trip to the Philippines with a vacation rental along the country's pristine shores. For a romantic getaway, seek out a luxury villa along one of the country's azure coastlines. For fun in the sun, rent a condo in one of the country's many beach towns.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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