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Friday, July 27, 2012

Beaches, Diving and Adventure: Philippines Destinations Part 2

 In this second installment, travel writer Caryl Joan Estrosas takes us from the historical destinations of the Philippines to the adventurous ones, including the best beach and diving destinations to other outdoors destinations.

Beach and Diving Destinations

An hour flight away from Manila is a famous beach destination, Boracay. At par with the best beaches in the world, this small island is blessed with a long stretch of white sand and mesmerizing azure beach. Ranked as the world’s fourth best island by Travel + Leisure in 2011, Boracay offers tourists with endless of fun from daybreak to sundown. It has a long chain of hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars, and other commercial establishments. Nightlife is vibrant in this island; hence, tourists get to enjoy the waters and sport activities during the day and party by night.

White Beach, Boracay, on Wikitravel
Regarded as the last frontier of the Philippines, Palawan is a great travel spot with remarkable seascapes. In 2007, National Geographic Traveler magazine recognized Palawan as the best island destination in Southeast Asia. It is the home of many breathtaking beaches, diving spots, rivers, and caves. Recommended sites to visit are Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, Coron Reefs, El Nido Marine Reserve Park, and the Malampaya Sound Land and Seascape Protected Area.

Entrance to the Puerto Princesa Underground River.

Malapascua Island in Cebu, located in the Southern part of the Philippines, is known for the excellent diving spots to explore the diverse marine life and to dive with the tresher sharks.

Brown soft corals on Quiliano Reef, Malapascua
Brown soft corals on Quiliano Reef, Malapascua

Panglao Island located in Bohol, which is just a ferry boat-ride from Cebu, is another fantastic island destination for beach bummers and divers. The fine white sand, pristine blue waters, and the line of commercial establishments—these make the island feel like Boracay, but with fewer crowds.

Many tourists visit Donsol in Sorsogon to dive with the whale sharks sometimes December to May when planktons are abundant.

Known as the surfing capital of the Philippines, Siargao was placed in the international map through John S. Callahan who featured the island and the Cloud 9 wave in many of his photos.
Ride the Barrel

Outdoor Activities

Famous for the hanging coffins, Sagada is a great destination for travelers who enjoy exploring caves, trekking or hiking, rock climbing, white water rafting, and joining tribal celebration.

Sagada big cave

The mesmerizing province of Batanes is a perfect place for weary travelers who wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life. Since it is located in the northernmost tip of the country and is far from the rest of the Philippine islands, Batanes has developed its unique culture. Activities organized in Batanes include sightseeing, hiking, bird- watching, diving, and island hopping.

The Philippine’s Tilapia capital Cagayan Valley is regarded as a paradise for spelunkers, trekkers, and gamefishers. The Callao cave, Palaui Island, Portabaga Falls, and Cagayan River are some of the interesting spots to visit.

So, if you are in the mood for adventure above or under water or just looking for a beautiful destination for some R&R, The Philippines has something to offer.

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This article is the first part of a three part feature brought to you by Caryl Joan Estrosas, a freelance travel and food writer.


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