The Philippines has many incredible dive sites including those off Cebu Island, a one-hour flight from Manila. From here, you can also explore dive sites off smaller islands including Moal Boal, Bantayan Island, and Malapascua. Moal Boal is famous for the so-called “sardine run” where you can snorkel or dive with a school of more than a million sardines off the beaches of Panagsama. Malapascua is famous for thresher shark sightings and offers a great opportunity to see these magnificent creatures.
Fly to Coron Island, in Palawan, and head to Coron Bay to dive on and explore seven sunken WWII shipwrecks. As you swim through the massive engine rooms and above desolate ship decks, you’ll be swimming alongside large groupers or friendly turtles. On the north of the island, Barracuda Lake has ethereal, alien-like underwater caverns to explore.
Luzon Island is the biggest and most populous in the Philippines and is home to the capital, Manila. It's also the location of some great treks. Mt. Pulag, north of Manila, is the second-highest peak in the Philippines and can be summited on a two-day trek: the reward is sunrise views as you stand high up above the clouds.
Other day hikes that you can do from Manila are Mt. Batulao, southwest of Manila, Mt. Pico de Loro and Mt. Pinatubo. Head to Northern Luzon by bus, and spend a few days trekking through the remote rice terraces and villages of Banaue, Batad, or exploring the ancient cave networks in Sagada.
Wakeboard parks can be found near Manila at Lago de Oro, Republic1 Wakeboard Park. If you want to venture a little further, you can also visit the popular Camsur Waterpark Complex that's on the island of Camarines Sur, which is accessible by overnight bus or a flight from Manila.
On the stunning island of Siargao, you can enjoy fantastic surf on the infamous Cloud 9 Reef. There are also surf breaks at La Union, Baler, and Zambales on Luzon.
The Philippines is beautiful to sail around; you can charter your own vessel by speaking to local boatmen to take you island hopping. If you want to take your sailing experience to the next level, you can also join sailing events including the 10-day Philippine Sailing Challenge, every November.
Wakeboarding in the Philippines. Photo credit: Anna Faustino
Ziplining is very popular in The Philippines with many parks across the country. Glide above the clouds as you zip your way from tree to tree. While in Bohol, visit E.A.T Danao, an eco-adventure park home to long ziplines and insane canyon swings. At the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, you can pedal your way across a zip line on a bicycle.
It might seem like a big adventure to go to less-travelled parts of The Philippines, but be warned, you'll be taking a big risk if you ignore warnings about the kidnapping of foreigners.
Like its southeast Asian neighbors, the Philippines offers a wealth of street food. With so many delicious things at your fingertips, here are the foods you should try.