This 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.