Don’t Let Hurricanes Delay Your Vacation: Come to the Philippines

Your bags aren’t packed yet, but your boss already approved your vacation time, right? Even if Hurricane Irma didn’t care about your vacation destination, your much-needed vacation shouldn’t have to be postponed.

Hurricanes and tropical storms are devastating bringing destruction and grief to many island destinations. We are optimistic that the Caribbean Islands will rebuild better than ever. In the meantime, the Philippines can offer you all the amenities and similar exciting attractions for a vacation you’ll never forget.

Beautiful Diving Destinations

With new resorts and diving tours popping up across the islands, the Philippines is a perfect destination for both beginners and experienced divers. Filipinos have a history of helping divers experience the underwater beauty of the Philippines through Scuba Diving since 1966. Pick your favorite spot and get to diving today!

Shipwreck exploration in Coron

Below the surface, there are several sunken  Japanese warships leftover from World War II when the U.S. Navy attacked on September 24, 1944. The ships serve as a host to marine life and are a unique memorial from the war. You can visit the ocean floor to see the damage done to the ships by the 96 American planes, preserved by their home at the bottom of the sea and only available to SCUBA divers.

Hole in the Wall at Puerto Galera

At slack tide, this is a a perfect diving spot for inexperienced divers. Sitting at a depth of only 40 feet, thousands of divers have visited this big rock with a hole only large enough for one person to fit through. You’ll have a good chance of seeing snappers, scorpion fish, and turtles. Also, you’ll be hypnotized by the different soft corals, gorgonian fans, and sponges.

Apo Island Diving

There are dives sites circling Apo Island which offer beautiful seascapes and tons of marine life. The Apo Island Marine Sanctuary and Protected Seascape has been under rehabilitation and is currently prohibited from diving, however, you’ll still be blown away by diving at Coconut Point, Chapel’s Point, Rock Point, and Mamsa Point. Reef sharks, jacks, barracudas, Vlaming Unicornfish, tuna, snappers, eels and many more types of fish can be seen.

Sweet Surfing Spots

Peak surfing season happens in the Philippines September through March. However, in some areas, it is said to be possible to surf all year long.

Cloud 9 on Siargao Island
Often the first place Filipinos mention when asked where to go surfing, Cloud 9 landed in the No. 9 spot on the CNN Travel blog, “World’s 50 Best Surf Spots.” This is one spot surfers can catch a great wave all year long and is dubbed the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines”. Each year, surfers from around the globe meet in Siargao for the annual Siargao Cup, a surfing competition sponsored by the Surigao del Norte provincial government.

Charlie’s Point near Baler, Aurora

The movie Apocalypse Now changed life forever for the once-small fishing village of Baler. During filming in 1979, local Filipinos watched as the beach became scenes from the Vietnam war. They also watched the actors surfing, and when the actors left their boards, the locals taught themselves to surf. Each year, tourism grows at Charlie’s Point and the locals will gladly show you where the movie was filmed, teach you to surf, or join you in the waves.

Bagasbas Beach in Daet, Camarines Norte

Bagasbas Beach is known for being both long and wide with fine sand. The Pacific Ocean provides big waves that are known to become barrel waves between July and November. Waves break both to the right and left, providing a good learning spot for inexperienced surfers. The sandy bottom below the waves also helps beginners keep from scraping themselves up as they learn to surf.

Wildlife Swimming Companions

Have you ever wanted to swim with dolphins? Have you dreamed about a dive with sea lions and sea turtles? You can do it all in the Philippines!

Swim with the Sharks in Oslob

The largest fish in the world, the whale shark, can be seen in the water at Oslob, Cebu. Tourists gather along the beach and catch boats out into the water to get a closer view. Those who have paid to swim with the sharks must remove all sunscreen and agree to stay at least four feet from the sharks. There are fines for anyone who touches the beautifully-massive creatures. From 6 a.m. until noon, groups of people called “feeders” drop krill, small fish, and sea plants to keep the whale sharks in the area. You can set up tours and even combine the experience with a trip to the turquoise pools at Tumalog Falls.

Experience an Animal Encounter at Ocean Adventure
In just one place, you can swim with sea lions and dolphins or dive with sea turtles, blacktip reef sharks, and giant jackfish. At Ocean Adventure, you can even get a fish spa pedicure where live fish tickle your feet as they nibble away all the dead skin. You can tailor each part of your day to fulfill your every expectation. Spend the day as an animal trainer, see the shows, and even dine by the bay.

Unique Catches for Fisherman

With more than 2,000 species of fish living in or around the islands of the Philippines, there is no shortage of places to fish. You can hire guided tours and boats, which also have rental fishing equipment. Take your chance at fishing for a record in the Philippines.

Go sport fishing in Cagayan

Fishing is one of the most popular pastimes in Cagayan. While you can productive fishing all year, the best times to catch fish are from March to June. During that time you can find fishing tournaments, or arrange for your trip to avoid the tournaments if you don’t want to fish with a crowd.

Fish for Largemouth Bass

Both Lake Lumot and Caliraya Lake on the island of Luzon are known for their bass fishing. Even though the American Largemouth Bass is not native to these waters, they thrive there. You might even be able to find bass larger than 10 pounds!

See How It’s Made

Spend more time getting to know the people of the Philippines and how they live through tours of local farms. Experience a day in the life on a Filipino farm and you’ll find something delicious to take home with you.

La Huerta de Rosario – Baao, Camarines Sur

La Huerta de Rosario is a privately-owned farm and tourist stop where visitors can experience harvesting fresh, local produce. In addition, guests are then served food–freshly harvested and cooked in the local style. La Huerta de Rosario is also a haven for local artists and their work is displayed throughout the buildings on the farm.

The Coffee Farmhouse, Cavite

From coffee to bean, serious coffee connoisseurs can enjoy a stay at the Coffee Farmhouse. About two hours away from Manila on the outskirts of Tagatay, you can escape the bustle of the city and learn about how coffee is raised, processed, and served on a family farm in the Philippines. In addition to the tour, you can play games, enjoy a bonfire, or schedule a relaxing massage.

Malagos Chocolate Cacao Farm, Davao City
Known for their excellent quality, the Malagos Farms’ chocolate bars start from cacao beans grown, harvested, and processed on their farm in Davao City. Chocolate lovers can take a half-day tour of the farm to get an idea of how the chocolates are made. For serious chocoholics, a three-day cacao farming seminar is also an option.

Sneak a Peek at Nature

The list of flora and fauna you can only see in the Philippines is extensive, both on land and underwater. Even if you aren’t a hiker or a diver, the people of the Philippines have found ways to share their unique landscape with you.

Bird Watching at Olango Wildlife Sanctuary

The first preserved wetland of international importance for waterfowl, the Olango Wildlife Sanctuary offers trekking tours with knowledgeable guides. Vulnerable and threatened species like the Chinese Egret and the Asian Dowitcher are protected here and can be seen while taking the tour. The amenities of the sanctuary are minimal, but guides will help you see the natural aviary on this important migratory route as well as arrange for your group to have fresh coconut juice.

Watch Whales and Dolphins at Pamilacan Island

The Pamilacan Island Dolphin and Whale Watching Tours began with one man’s dream to provide an eco-tourism adventure for the people living on Pamilacan Island, as an alternative to hunting whales and dolphins. Now, you can create a tour to satisfy your need for adventure, see dolphins and whales at play, swim and snorkel on white sandy beaches, tour the Bohol countryside, or visit the village on Pamilacan Island.

Create the Vacation of Your Dreams in the Philippines

When you come to the Philippines, people will make you feel at home. You can enjoy adventures of all sorts, lay on white sand beaches, or get treated like royalty at the spas and resorts. Don’t let mother nature steal your vacation plans, let us help you craft the most memorable vacation of your life today.

Manila and its Southern Outskirts

Summer is almost here, and you just can’t wait to bathe under the scorching sun. Coron, Cebu, and Boracay are some of the famous destinations in the Philippines where you can enjoy the tropical weather. Comprised of more than 7,641 islands, it might be hard to move from one place to another unless you have the time and the resources. Good thing there are world-class destinations a few hours from Manila. Go down South Luzon and experience accessible world-class destinations without spending too much of your time!

Laguna

Located Southeast of Metro Manila, Laguna is engulfed in rich culture, nature and plenty of attractions you could discover yourself. The promising destination is home to Pagsanjan Falls, Mount Makiling, Paete – the wood carvers’ town, and Los Baños Hot Springs. If you’re fond of a serene atmosphere where you could contemplate about life, Lake Pandin in San Pablo offers a calm adventure and you may even dine in the middle of the lake with your special someone. Make sure not to miss Villa Escudero, a resort plantation, reputed as a showcase for the Philippines’ rich cultural heritage, offering a charming glimpse of history, cuisine, dress, customs and nature.  The villa has become famous for its restaurant at the foot of a man-made waterfall which is truly a unique dining experience.

Tagaytay

Tagaytay is the most popular choice among locals looking for a cooler climate. Its chilly atmosphere, refreshing sights and outstanding restaurants offer an easy escape from a buzzling city life. People who are in dire need of a quiet time alone deserves this haven called Tagaytay. One can drop by Palace in the Sky, situated on top of Mt. Sungay where you could overlook and enjoy the interesting landscapes. Another noteworthy spot is Tierra de Maria which is an ideal place for spiritual contemplation and healing. It is famous for its 50-foot tall statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and a replica of the Virgin of Manaoag. Several vantage points are available for you to visit and be amazed with the overlooking views that can be seen in Tagaytay.

Batangas

Having one of the longest coastlines in Southern Luzon, Batangas offers a variety of beaches perfect for your travel adventure. Batangas is known to have it all –historical structures, a volcano within a lake, pristine beaches, diverse marine life, and everyone’s favorite, irresistible delicacies. Tourist activities in Batangas include overnight stays in resorts in Nasugbu, Calatagan, Mabini, and San Juan, hike to Taal Volcano island, pilgrimage to the numerous churches in the Archdiocese of Lipa, and visits to well-preserved ancestral houses in the Heritage Town of Taal. If you are an underwater adventure enthusiast, a trip to Anilao is a must. It is a world class diving destination belonging to the waters of the Verde Island Passage labeled as the “center of the center of marine shore fish biodiversity”.

Enjoy the beauty of the Philippines with these provinces and secure yourself with the best tropical vacation without the expense of your time! Contact our travel experts and embark on another meaningful journey.

Viva Visayas- 4 must-see destinations in Central Philippines

There’s more to the Philippines than the picture-perfect seascapes of Boracay and Palawan. In fact, more and more travel writers are becoming gateways to the world as they beautifully narrate their adventures in this amazing archipelago. The great thing about this country is that with over 7,000 islands, you will surely find the kind of escape you are looking for. So how about experiencing four amazing islands in the Visayas, in just 8 days? Some may say it’s crazy, but we say it’s possible! To help you fully appreciate the beauty of this country, let’s go on a wild ride through Cebu, Panglao, Bohol, and Siquijor.

First stop- Cebu

It only makes sense to start this tropical escapade in the Queen City of the South. This part of Visayas is like a bite-sized version of the country’s capital Manila with its electricity but with an additional serving of mother nature’s best creations. So, if you the vacation of your dreams is a perfect combination of the pulsating city life and the quaint charm in the arms of amazing oceans, then Cebu is the place to be.

We’ve done a few articles highlighting the many destinations you should experience in Cebu. For places that are rich in history, you definitely should pay a visit to Magellan’s Cross which Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan erected to commemorate the conversion of King Humabon of Cebu and his Queen, son and daughters, together with some of 800 of their subjects to Christianity. Another historical site worth visiting is the Minor Basilica of Santo Niño, the home of the original and oldest religious relic in the Philippines in honor of the Holy Child Jesus.

Of course, you can’t leave Cebu and move on to the next destination without treating yourself to an actual magnificent tropical getaway. The seascapes here are incredible with marine life that would definitely make you want to stay underwater. Our recommendation- Tingko Beach, Mactan Island, and Malapascua.

Second stop- Panglao

The beautiful Central Philippines is located in the north Bohol Sea and is home not just to breathtaking white-sand beaches but also to gorgeous terrains like mountains, hills, and limestone formations. Out of all the many islands that make Panglao (like Gak-ang, Pontod, and Balicasag), the most popular is Alona Beach, recognized for its white sand and pristine waters. This island is also perfect for travelers looking to take their adventure travel to the next level through water activities such as scuba diving, dolphin watching, snorkeling, and island hopping. In fact, around 250 new species of crustaceans, as well as 2500 new mollusks species, were found around the island, this discovery actually revealed that Panglao has more marine biodiversity compared to the Mediterranean Sea and Japan.

Third stop- Bohol mainland

Now, we go to the mainland of, an island province filled with natural wonders. Yes, Panglao does the fair share of bringing in tourists to this destination but Bohol mainland is known for its lush forests and white-sand beaches, and more importantly for the majestic Chocolate Hills.

The Chocolate Hills makes for some breathtaking landscape views you would ever see in your lifetime and what makes it even more amazing is the many stories and legends that surround it; one of which is of two giants in a battle throwing boulders at each other. But this place is just the tip of the iceberg that is Bohol because you still have those cute bug-eyed tarsiers, the delectable local delicacies, the historical attractions, and the white-sand beaches to see and experience.

If you want your #SummerGoals achieved, Bohol is definitely a place to visit because you will go back home with a suitcase filled with unforgettable adventures.

Last stop- Siquijor

Known for being a place of mystery and magic, Siquijor is a must-visit destination for those who are after a truly unique tropical adventure travel. If you’re up for it, you could time your vacation to witness their festivals which focus on rituals of healing. On these local occasions, incantations are being sung while the elders brew potions made out of herbs, insects, tree barks, and roots. In fact, if you’re lucky, a few locals would gladly share legends of witchcraft on the island.

But stories of wizardry are not just what makes Siquijor a must-experience destination; it has plenty of natural wonders that would make any traveler come back time and again. With a 102-kilometer coastline of white-sand beaches, it comes as no surprise that Siquijor is home to some of the best diving spots in the Philippines. It also has caves, waterfalls, a natural park, and a butterfly sanctuary.

Ready to take on these four amazing islands? Check out the eight-day tour of Central Philippines our travel partner has for you and start booking your flight for another summer to remember!

Philippines: Where to scuba dive

The Philippines is known not just for the hospitality of the Filipino people but also its islands that make up some of the world’s best tropical destinations for dream holidays. Being an archipelago allowed this country to continuously capture the attention of tourists on a global scale with its breathtaking beaches, scuba dive spots and other natural wonders.

Of course, when it comes to booking a flight and spending a few well-deserved holidays to get your dose of vitamin sea, you’d probably want to create some new memories through adventures you either haven’t done before or want to do again. One of these sought out water thrills that consistently entices the market is scuba diving. Through this, you won’t just enjoy the clear blue waters of the sea, but you actually get to experience it while being introduced into this wonderful country’s underwater riches. To help you out, we’ve listed the top three must-visit dive destinations for your next tropical vacation:

1. Tubbataha Reef, Puerto Princesa

Scuba diving in the Tubbataha Reef in Puerto Princesa, Palawan is something you would surely not want to miss. Here, you can experience the ocean in multi-colors of marine biodiversity especially since Tubbataha Reef is part of what is called the Coral Triangle.

The Coral Triangle is globally-recognized as the center of marine life making up 75% of the world’s coral species and 40% of the world’s reef fish. Scientists who have been studying and visiting Tubbataha since the 1980s have found that this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to over 359 species of corals, over 600 species of fishes, 14 species of sharks, 12 species of dolphins and whales. If you’re all about coral gardens, then you won’t be disappointed as the reefs boast of an amazing 100-meter perpendicular wall, two coral islands, and a few extensive lagoons. You can also expect to see over a hundred bird species, including migratory birds.

The best time to visit Tubbataha for a dive is during mid-March to mid-June and is reachable only by boat leaving from Puerto Princesa’s harbor at sunset for a 10 to 12-hour journey arriving at this marine sanctuary by sunrise.

2. Monad Shoal, Cebu

Considered as the number one dive site in Malapascua, Cebu, Monad Shoal is the only place in the whole world where divers can witness Thresher Sharks in their natural habitat. But there is more to this underwater island than that. Since Monad Shoal is part of the Coral Triangle as well, this wall is a marine protected area making it possible for visitors to still see its soft coral species as well as other pelagics fishes like Manta Rays. Critter lovers will also have a good time diving in Monad Shoal is home to various species of Nudibranchs, Mantis Shrimps, and Pygmy Seahorses, among others.

If you’re into underwater macro photography as well, it’s best to visit this during summer so you won’t have to worry about sudden rains ruining your plan to scuba dive. Visibility ranges from 10m to 15m, with a maximum depth of 24m. Currents can be strong but if you are an experienced diver, you’ll surely enjoy the waters.

One final word of advice, make sure not to sleep too late the night before so you can witness the magnificent Thresher sharks at early in the morning, which usually requires a 5 a.m. departure from Malapascua.

3. Panglao Island, Bohol

In Bohol, besides the world-famous Chocolate Hills, adventurers can also enjoy scuba diving at Panglao Island with an area that stretches to over 94 kilometers. Inside this island lies one of Bohol’s treasured beaches called Alona, popular for its white sand, clear blue waters, and rocky cliffs. Since Alona Beach is situated in close proximity to a house reef, water thrill seekers can expect colorful corals and fishes with or without diving gear. This makes Panglao Island famous for a number of underwater activities such as snorkeling, freediving, and scuba diving.

Alona Beach dive site boasts of colorful species of western clown-anemone fishes, angel fishes, Moorish idols, pufferfishes, and baby barracudas. Night dives are also possible here and is the perfect time to scuba dive if you want to see boxer shrimps, cleaner shrimps, moray eels, and decorator crabs.

Summer in the Philippines usually begins the moment the month of March steps in so if you want to experience this tropical destination has to offer in terms of adrenaline-pumping water activities, then we suggest you book now! If you’re a first time or amateur diver, no worries, Filipinos are known for being warm, welcoming, and accommodating so they’d gladly guide you as you discover the diver in you! Plan your trip with us now!

What to do in Bohol

Home of the cute Tarsiers, Bohol is serene but adventurous version of the entire archipelago. The endless possibilities found in Bohol will not only calm your screaming tired soul but also awaken the sleeping adrenaline junkie within. Listed below are four things you must not miss when in Bohol.

1. Exploring Loboc River

Surrounded by captivating rainforests, Loboc River is a jaw-dropping turquoise-colored river that Bohol takes pride in. While most people opt for a cruise along the impressive river, adventurous people can take an extra mile by stand-up paddle boarding along the river. It is a lot easier to paddle board in Loboc due to tranquil waters which involves less friction and smooth-sailing. Stand Up Paddling offers a quiet time and re-connecting with nature. You paddle at your own pace, meditatively as you cruise down this river paradise in Loboc. You’ll get to see the ruined 17th-century coral stone San Pedro Apostol Parish Church which was destroyed by consecutive natural disasters. Watching the colors of the sky change as the night time approaches is an added bonus to end your relaxing day at Loboc River.

2. Island Hopping in Panglao, Bohol

What would a vacation mean without getting a luxurious time at a beach? But in Bohol, you should not stay at just one beach. Known to have a lot of beaches with light blue waters and defined sandbars, it would be hard to discover them all. There are plenty of activities you can do depending on the island you are about to encounter. Passing by fish pens can be arranged so you could feed the tiny schools of fish., you can also check snorkeling off your list in an island called Gak-ang or scuba dive in the neighboring island of Balicasag. Immeasurably protected and preserved by the government, you will only find unspoiled beaches with clear waters free from litter and any kind of trash. Since they are strict with implementing rules, you must enjoy the lovely sceneries while abiding the rules. Leave nothing but memories, good friend!

3. Getting cozy with tarsiers

Traveling around Bohol without visiting the tarsiers in their sanctuaries would be incomplete. These cute googly-eyed mammals are most active at night and lives on a diet of insects. One of the smallest primates in the world, Tarsiers even have a special adaptation in the neck which allows its head to be rotated 180 degrees. While visiting these shy lemur-like animals, always move in with caution. As they are extremely introverted, flashes of cameras and loud sounds can startle them in an instant. Make sure to ask your guide for any questions to fill up those tarsier trivia you’ve been dreaming of learning.

4. Sight-seeing the Chocolate Hills

Last but not the least, the essence of Bohol, Chocolate Hills. Spread in a wide area of 50 square kilometers, the majestic hills are covered with grass, which, at the end of the dry season, turns chocolate brown making it one of Bohol’s main attraction. One travel tip would be to ask locals or your tour guide on famous folklore about the chocolate hills that you could brag and pass on to your friends. Make sure you have eaten before watching over the symmetrical chocolate-colored hills as it would just make you crave more for Hershey’s kisses.

Convinced of the ultimate Bohol getaway? Contact our travel partners and we’ll arrange everything according to your taste. See you soon!

Packing for a trip to Boracay

The year 2016 is about to come to an end (finally) and with its inevitable closing comes another year for you to explore and travel the beautiful Philippines. With spring break just a few months away, now is the perfect time to book your flights and take advantage of various year-end airfare sales. But with 7,107 islands waiting for you in this tropical destination, which one deems worthy of your spring break? We have one word for you- Boracay.

There’s probably a very slim chance that you have not heard of Boracay because this small island and its breathtaking beaches have taken the world by storm by receiving numerous awards from various travel publications and awarding bodies. The island is renowned worldwide for being home to some of the best white-sand beaches and if there is a place that could make you forget the daily city chaos and school pressure, it’s definitely with some sand, sea, and sun. To help make your visit to this tropical destination fun not fiasco, here are a few essential that you should pack for a trip to Boracay:

1. Sunblock

Let’s start with the obvious. Frolicking under the sun is well and good until you wake up feeling like a slightly cooked chicken leg. If you want to enjoy your time at one of the top beach destinations in Asia, it’d be wise to slather on some good ol’ sunblock, unless you want to spend your time with red skin that stings with every move.

2. Personal Toiletries

Hotels in Boracay usually provide free basic toiletries like soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste but if you have sensitive skin and scalp, it’s best to bring your own. Transient homes and Air BnB accommodation are also not likely to provide those so if you are not willing to allocate time and money trying to look for a store that sell those, the most convenient way is to pack it up before getting on that flight.

3. Plastic and Eco Bags

An experienced and self-proclaimed beach lover knows that packing extra plastics and ecobags comes in very handy on trips to tropical destinations. Whether it’s for a quick, makeshift hamper for dirty or wet clothes or storage for souvenirs you’ve purchased on your trip, you can never have too many plastic and eco bags

4. Spare Phone

If you do not have a camera to capture the mesmerizing land and seascape Boracay has to offer, then the next best thing you have to document your adventure is your smartphone. But your smartphones can only do so much especially if you will also use it to connect to the internet, make calls, and send SMS. Our advice? Bring a spare phone assigned only for those three activities and use your smartphone solely for taking photos. If you do not have a spare phone, then invest in a reliable…

5. Power bank

Thank your lucky stars for technology because power banks are now here to save you from strolling around with a smartphone that has an empty battery. Just make sure both your smartphone and power bank are fully charged before you head out to your tropical vacation.

There are probably a number of other essentials you should pack on your trip to Boracay (like clothes and flip flops) but these 5, on our opinion, are a few that most people tend to forget so make sure to include it in your checklist. Check out our promo deals here and you might just find an airfare sale for your Boracay trip!