The Philippines - home to over 7,000 tropical islands, breath taking landscapes, towering volcanoes, lush farmland and friendly locals. Its capital city, Manila, was formerly commonly referred to as the "Pearl of the Orient', and for those with the time to dig deep in to this eclectic, bustling and vibrant place, it will reveal itself to be just that. The city's cultural gumbo of Malay, Spanish, American, Chinese and Arabic influences is heady and rich, but takes a while to fully appreciate. As in many developing-world cities, the traffic is stifling, the poverty pervasive and the urban sprawl daunting. But it's the Philippine capital's very elusiveness that gives it the edge over places that readily reveal their spoils. Embrace its beautiful chaos, even for just a day, and you'll be rewarded.
With Philippine Airlines now flying directly from New Zealand, Australia, the USA and Middle East plus a raft of other Asian hubs, the Philippines is easily accessed. Once there, travel is straightforward with numerous internal flights and a choice of buses ranging from 5 star options with hostesses to shared minivans.
There is a good range of accommodation in the main centres, a wide selection of hotels in coastal resort areas and a range of guest houses and motels in the more rural areas. English is widely spoken throughout.
The Philippines has 2 distinct seasons with October to May being dry and June to Septemeber being wet with frequent typhoons.
We visited the Philippines in 2010 with our children, aged 6 and 9, and again in 2017.
Click on the sample itinerary below to view a suggested self-guided tour for this destination. This is based on our own travels but can be amended to suit differing ages, group sizes and duration. Accurate travel times, accommodation and guide details will be provided once your personalised itinerary is confirmed.