Tag Archive | islands

The Top Destinations For Beach Holidays In The Philippines

palawan_mimaropa_philippinesThis beautiful group of islands in the South China Sea is without doubt one of the best places in the world to enjoy blue seas and golden sands, and there are destinations to be found across the country depending on the features you’re looking for.  One of the most popular seasons to visit the country is between March and May which is the hot and dry season in the country, while December to February is still pleasant enough and avoids the worst of the monsoon season.  As well as the wonderful beaches, many of these islands also boast some wonderful cultural sites and events that can be enjoyed too.


This is probably one of the most well known beach holiday destinations in the Philippines, having won numerous national and international tourism awards for its stunning beaches.  Boracay is a small island that lies a short distance away from the much larger island of Panay, and has been one of the foremost sites to see tourism development, with numerous water sports being promoted.

Among the events that are held on the island of Boracay, it is one of the most important destinations on the Asian Windsurfing Tour, and also holds a water sports festival every January.  Visitors can enjoy varied activities such as scuba diving, kite boarding and cliff diving, while those looking for a more refined afternoon can enjoy one of the great golf courses available.

El Nido, Palawan

One of the more interesting beach holiday destinations to be enjoyed in the Philippines is the El Nido Marine Reserve Park, which is made up of the northern tip of the island of Palawan along with a number of small offshore islands.  The area itself has been protected because of its populations of birds and rare turtles, and the resorts within the reserve offer a very different type of experience.

The places to stay on El Nido tend to be much more basic than major hotel developments, and are particularly focused on being sustainable and not harming the environment.  However, for those who enjoy amazing beaches, then El Nido has a wealth of beaches around the island that are great places to relax.


An island that lies at the heart of the Philippines is Bohol, and this is wonderfully located as a beach holiday destination because the waters here are almost always calm during the holiday season.  This is because there are various islands around Bohol that take the brunt of the prevailing winds from the Pacific, meaning the beaches here enjoy clear waters and golden sands.

As well as being a beach holiday destination that is growing in popularity, there are also a number of attractions for those looking for some culture and sightseeing too.  The Chocolate Hills are unusual hills that rise from the forested valley floor, yet only grass grows on these hills, and this grass turns brown in the summer giving the hills their name.

Great Santa Cruz Island

One of the islands of the Philippines that enjoys enduring popularity among visitors is Great Santa Cruz Island, and unlike much of the rest of the islands across the country, the beaches here have a distinctive pink hue.  As the island itself is a protected area, those looking to enjoy time on these beaches will have to stay in Zamboanga City which lies a short boat ride away on the significantly larger island of Mindanao.

The distinctive color of the sand is caused by the erosion of the red coral that was until recent years a particularly attractive part of the island’s ecosystem, but illegal mining of this coral has left the majority of the reefs off the island dead or dying.  The island is receiving significant investment as an ecotourism site to bring more people to its wonderful beaches.

The Top Activities To Enjoy In Indonesia

indonesia-beachesAs a country which is made up of thousands of small islands, it is no surprise that much of the tourism activities in the area are associated with the sea.  However, the thriving melting pot of tribes and ethnic backgrounds to be found across the country also means that the culture of Indonesia is very varied, and adds to the experience of the visitor.  A holiday in Indonesia will usually be a step away from the traditional package holiday, and for many people the country benefits significantly from being more than the average destination.

Scuba Diving And Snorkeling

One of the most important aspects of tourism in Indonesia is that of scuba diving, with so many of the islands in the country being close to beautiful coral reefs that boast beautiful and colorful marine life.  Many of the islands with a well developed tourist industry such as Bali have a well developed scuba diving industry that will cater to novices as well as more experienced divers.  However, in the more remote islands such as in some of the Raja Ampat islands, divers will often have to explore by themselves or hire one of the locals as a guide.

For those lacking the confidence or the equipment for scuba diving, snorkeling is a pleasant alternative that involves staying much closer to the surface, but still offers a good view of the marine life.


This is another of the most popular activities for visitors to Indonesia, and with many of the islands enjoying great surfing conditions the destinations can be as developed or as remote as the visitor would like.  The island of Bali is one of the most popular locations for those looking for good surf, and along with the offshore island of Nusa Lembongan has over thirty five popular surfing locations to enjoy.

Another of the country’s most popular surfing sites is to be found on the island of East Java, where the G-land surf break was discovered in 1972.  Today the bay that lies around a half day’s journey from Bali is another popular surfing destination.

Animal Spotting In Sumatra

Sumatra is one of the main islands that make up the country of Indonesia, but it is the mountainous region of the island that will be of particular interest to animal lovers.  There are nine species of animals to be found on the island that are only to be found in Sumatra, and many of these are now critically endangered, including the Sumatran variants of the tiger, rhinoceros, elephant and orangutan.  The three main national parks in which these species can be found are high on the list of natural places to visit within Indonesia.

White Water Rafting

Although the water sports industry in Indonesia is dominated by sports associated with the sea, there are also many companies offering white water rafting excursions along some of the exciting rivers in the country.  Because of the established tourist industry on the island of Bali, there are several companies offering rafting trips, with the Balian river during high water periods offering particularly thrilling excursions.

For those wanting to combine rafting and animal spotting, it is also possible to arrange some rafting trips in Sumatra, where the river Alas offers grade three to four rapids while cutting through stunning deep gorges and primary rainforest.

Visit The Buddhist Temple At Borobudur

The temple complex at Borobudur is probably one of the most historic sites in Indonesia, and it is also somewhere the visitors really should visit to appreciate the sheer scale and ambition of this ninth century temple.  The structure of the temple sees six large stone steps topped by three circular platforms on top of these, and it is the thousands of artistic stone carvings and the hundreds of Buddha statues that make this site unique.  A visit to Borobudur is unlikely to be a peaceful one however, as it is the single most visited tourist attraction in the country.

The Top Activities To Enjoy In The Maldives

scuba-diving-maldivesFor those who dream of golden beaches and exciting water sports, then the Maldives must be one of the most idyllic destinations in the world.  This small nation is made up of hundreds of small coral islands rising from the Indian Ocean, and the capital Malé is located on one of the largest of these islands.  With none of the islands rising above ten meters above sea level, rock climbing isn’t on the menu, but there are still plenty of fun and exciting activities that people can enjoy in this wonderful corner of Asia.

Scuba Diving

This is certainly one of the most popular activities for visitors to the Maldives, and many of the staff to be found at each resort are likely to have some experience leading diving groups.  The clear waters to be found off the islands are perfect providing excellent visibility, and along with the islands themselves there is also plenty of coral to be enjoyed in the reefs lying off the inhabited islands here.  The marine life here is also particularly impressive, with over a thousand different fish species to be found in the waters around the Maldives, including Butterflyfish, Lionfish, Angelfish and the wonderfully named Oriental Sweetlips.

For those who are looking to gain experience or learn more about Scuba Diving, then the Maldives is a great place to learn.  There are many different guides who can teach you the basics about Scuba Diving in shallow, clear waters, and there are also plenty of intermediate sites for people to test their improving skills.

Explore Malé

Malé is a city that is squeezed on to one of the larger islands in the Maldives, and because of the scarcity of space most buildings will have several stories.  Although it is not a huge city it does have a few places worth exploring, with the Hukuru Miskyi mosque being one of the most historic buildings on the island, dating from the seventeenth century.  The Islamic Centre is another of the most attractive buildings in the capital, although for tourism purposes it is a shame that the RoyalPalace was destroyed when the monarchy was overthrown in 1968.

Water Sports

Along with Scuba Diving, the stunning waters around the islands of the Maldives also offer a wide range of other sports to enjoy too, with swimming in the shallow lagoons perfect for younger or inexperienced swimmers.  There are also a number of well noted surfing spots to be found, where the waves can be between three and eight meters in height.  There are also great opportunities such as wind-surfing and sailing to be enjoyed, and whilst you’re enjoying a boat trip why not try out some fishing too?

For those looking for a little more power in their water sports, the Maldives also have opportunities for people to water ski and ride a jet ski in the calm open water a little further from the shore.  It is also recognized as a popular destination for people to go kite-surfing.

 Relax And Be Pampered

The most attractive feature for the majority of visitors to the Maldives is the peace and tranquility that is on offer on these islands, and probably the most popular activity of all is relaxing in the sunshine.  The golden beaches are quiet and calm, and particularly on the more exclusive islands it is often possible to go hours without seeing anyone else.

The reputation of the Maldives as a luxury destination is also well deserved, with many of the resorts boasting five star spa facilities and top restaurants to enjoy, so it is also a great place to be pampered.