The Philippines is made up of over 7,500 islands, making it the world`s second-largest archipelago. As a result, many things it`s well-known for relate to the islands. Travelers find it easy to island-hop, with the number of ferries and bangka boats connecting islands with one another. The Philippines is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and sparkling crystal blue waters in the world, including nationally protected ecosystems and extensive coral reefs. You can enjoy a fun-in-the-sun getaway on one of these many beaches, and perhaps on a private island you can call your own for a few days. The Philippines has its history on display in every city and town and on every island via its varied architecture and monuments, ranging from World War II memorials to ornate Spanish colonial-era cathedrals and buildings.
If you are visiting the Philippines for the first time, we recommend visiting the capital, Manila; the country`s first capital, Cebu, settled by Ferdinand Magellan; and the island getaway of Boracay, situated in between the two in the Philippine archipelago. We also recommend visiting idyllic El Nido on Palawan Island; the sun-kissed Chocolate Hills of Bohol; and Siargao in the southeast of the country.
Due to the Philippines being located in the tropics, the country has a tropical climate with little variation in seasons. The temperatures are warm throughout the year with humidity all year round. The beginning months of the year (January and February) are the best and coolest times to visit the country with refreshing weather and bright sunny days. March, April, and May become very hot and humid and the wettest months are July and August. High season starts in December and runs through April with Holy Week taking place in March. There are two typhoon seasons, from May-October and from November-April. For more information, see Best Time to Visit the Philippines.
We recommend approximately 7-10 days based on what you want to see and do. We offer flexible vacation packages so you can select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities. We suggest a minimum of 3 nights in Manila and major tourist centers.
We recommend that you travel between cities and islands in the Philippines by air and by ferry. The Philippines is a large country and many places of interest to tourists are on different islands. While it is quite possible to visit just Luzon and use road-based transportation from Manila, if you want to see places like Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, and others, you must fly. Philippine Airlines is the flag carrier and connects every part of the country with jet and/or charter flights. PAL`s hubs are located at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Clark International Airport near Angeles, and Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Ferries connect most provincial capitals in the islands with one another; there are regular ferries from Cebu to Bohol and other islands in the Visayas. Hundreds of ferry routes criss-cross other islands across the country as well.
The currency of the Philippines is the Philippine peso (₱). U.S. dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for pesos upon arrival. Currency exchange desks can be found at many locations throughout the country. For more information, see Tipping in the Philippines.
English and Filipino (Tagalog) are official languages of the Philippines. English is understood nearly everywhere in the Philippines and even if the person you are currently conversing with may not speak much of it, there will almost always be someone nearby who can assist you further. We suggest you learn a few common phrases in Tagalog such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10. To say `Do you speak English?` in Tagalog, say `Nagasasalita ba kayo ng Ingles?`