Whoever thought of making “It’s more fun in the Philippines” the official tourism slogan of the island nation was thinking right. From the country’s countless islands that offer some of the best beach experiences in the world to the lush-stepped rice fields that feed the charming and ever-welcoming Filipinos, life indeed is more fun in the Philippines.
Check out Flying Squirrel Holidays’ carefully curated Philippines tour packages from India and read on to get an idea of what visiting the Philippines will be like!
The Philippines is an archipelago in South-East Asia. Here Unesco World Heritage Sites lie close to decadent casinos and the populous mega city of Manila is just as popular as the spotless beaches of Boracay. Perhaps this is why the Philippines is one of the most striking and unforgettable countries in the world that one can visit.
The name of the country brings to mind its pristine tropical island beaches that are second to none. Constantly ranked among the best in the world, the soft sands of White Beach on Boracay Island is where most visitors like to spend a big part of their time in the Philippines.
The untouched shore of White Beach gently merges into the calm, warm turquoise water and with the fence of tall, swaying palm trees on the side, the beach is indeed postcard perfect. There are luxurious resorts in the area, and there are things to do and enjoy for everyone. Thrill seekers are spoilt for choice at Boracay, with premier water activities like kite surfing, jet skiing, and fly fishing.
A favourite activity here is parasailing, and the bird’s-eye view that parasailing offers of the island and the ocean is beyond stunning. For those who want to spend relaxing, laid back hours, Boracay, with its unparalleled views of the sunrise and the sunset and every stage in between, is simply heavenly.
El Nido, a district in the Palawan area of the country, is a striking island, with views of bright blue-green waters, veiled lagoons, gigantic natural limestone structures and miles and miles of soft sand. Island hopping is one of the best things to do in El Nido, and the hopping tours to the surrounding places are divided into 4 groups, namely Tour A, Tour B, Tour C and Tour D.
Tour A is the quintessential tour, covering the heavenly Big Lagoon, which is known for its emerald waters and limestone ridges, Secret Lagoon, a hidden pool inside a limestone cliff and Shimizu Island, a place known for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Another way to discover El Nido is to hike up the Taraw Cliff. The guided hike traverses up a limestone cliff and the top offers a breathtaking 360 degree view of the entire town and the surrounding islands. The short, half an hour hike sounds misleadingly easy, but the humidity and sharp rocks make the climb challenging. However, the fruits of effort are sweet, and the Taraw cliff hike surely proves it.
One cannot talk about treks in the Philippines without mentioning the Mount Daraitan trek, located in the Rizal province of Luzon. Suited for moderate to experienced trekkers, the route can be traversed within a day. The path uphill is extremely scenic, with verdant trees lining the roads and concealing diverse wildlife.
Old caves that are great for spelunking also dot the route, and trekkers are welcome to make stops at them. The view of the Sierra Madre range from the viewpoint at the top is overwhelmingly magnificent.
Vigan, also located on the Luzon Island, takes one back in time to when the Philippines was a Spanish colony. Horse drawn carriages called Kalesa are the transport of choice in the famous cobbled street of Calle Crisologo, where tourists can pick up souvenirs. Blossoming balconies overlook the streets of the town and with the pretty fountains scattered throughout, Vigan is truly charming.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vigan is considered to be the best planned and preserved Spanish town in Asia. The baroque styled Saint Paul Metropolitan Cathedral is another landmark of the town.
The island nation packs a range of experiences for tourists, and the diversity of activities offered ensures that every interest and taste is catered to.
Most trips to the Philippines packages start with a day or two spent on sightseeing tours of the teeming mega city, discovering Filipino culture, history and gastronomy. The old part of the city is largely found in a section called Intramuros, and it is here that visitors can learn about the history of the country. Fort Santiago, for example, is as old as the city itself, and has beautiful gardens and ancient structures. A museum commemorating Jose Rizal, a national hero, stands within the complex. Manila is also a great place to try out local dishes. Korean and Japanese restaurants are popular in the city too, and are well loved by tourists and locals alike.
The island of Cebu is a tropical delight, with azure waters and shores of palm lined white sands. However, it is best known for the activities it offers- Cebu has world class diving and snorkeling, and spotting thresher sharks, hammerhead sharks, sea turtles and whale sharks is not rare here. Cebu is also known for its treks, and its hills are the home for a diverse range of wildlife. The star of wildlife treks is the reclusive Tarsier, a nocturnal primate, and they can be spotted clinging to trees with their bulbous eyes shining brightly. Cebu also has mesmerizing waterfalls, and Kawasan Falls is the most popular. The plunge pool formed here is bright blue, and is known for activities like waterfall jumping, canyoning and rappelling.
Coron, in the Palawan area of the Philippines, is best known for its spectacular dives around World War II wrecks. Much like El Nido, the island has limestone karsts and spotless sandy beaches overlooking blue green water, but it is also less crowded. Coron’s many heavenly lagoons and incredibly vibrant and diverse coral reefs make it unforgettable.
Visit the active Mayon Volcano that has an appealing symmetrical conical peak.
Unwind on the picturesque White Beach in Boracay.
Explore the historical section of Manila.
Dive into the underwater and explore the stunning reefs.
Hike up the hilly areas and spot the diverse wildlife.
Mingle with the warm Filipinos.
Bohol’s Chocolate Hills are the favourite of those interested in geology. The hills are shaped like Hershey’s kisses, and they turn brown in the summer as the vegetation dries out, giving them a chocolaty colour and, hence, the name. There are a lot of local legends surrounding the hills, and they are all interesting to know. Sagbayan Peak offers the best 360 degree view of the hills.
The underground river is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national landmark. Stunning cave formations and limestone karsts surround the river, and a number of endemic species including bats, swallows, fish and crabs call the river and the caves their home. There are tours run to help tourists discover the portion of the river that is open to visitors.
The 2000 year old rice terraces of Batad are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The steps on which the paddy is grown was carved out almost entirely by hand ages ago, and till date the ancient irrigation system feeds the crop. The lush green fields are a sight for sore eyes and hikes across the terraces are a special favourite of landscape photographers.
(Please note that the following are sample itineraries. Flying Squirrel Holidays works with your requirement to tailor make your dream Philippines tour itinerary for you.)
Charming Philippines Package: 8 Nights, 7 Days
Unforgettable Trip to Manila Package: 7 Nights 6 Days
Visiting Philippines Package: 9 Nights, 8 Days
Day 1Arrive in Manila and transfer to the hotel. Spend the day leisurely, visit the nearby markets. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 2After breakfast, board a flight to Puerto Princesa and check into the hotel. Enjoy a relaxing spa at the hotel. You have the day to yourself.
Day 3Following breakfast, head to take a tour of Puerto Princesa Underground River National Park. As you paddle down the river and the cave, you will come across rare endemic species, so keep your camera handy. Head back to the hotel for dinner.
Day 4After a hearty breakfast, start on the scenic drive between Puerto Princesa and El Nido. The drive lasts around 6 hours, so take the day leisurely once you reach El Nido and explore the town.
Day 5After breakfast, start on a day filled with adventure as you explore the charm of El Nido. Visit the picturesque beaches and marvel and the limestone structures. The beaches are great for diving and snorkelling, windsurfing and jet skiing, so take your pick and have fun. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 6Day 6 is for more fun. Following breakfast, we start the guided hike up the Taraw Cliff. The hike is short, not lasting more than an hour, but it is challenging, so ensure you wear proper shoes. The view from the top is breathtaking. After lunch, try zip lining or kayaking between the islands of El Nido. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 7After breakfast, board a flight back to Manila. Spend the day leisurely and you can enjoy Manila’s vibrant nightlife as you move between pubs, or spend time at the casinos. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 8Following breakfast, head to the airport to go back home.
Please email me a copy of the sample itinerary
Philippines holiday packages can be expensive or affordable depending on the luxury one requires, mode of transportation, type of hotel you choose, and how long you plan on staying in the country. Get in touch with us to plan your amazing Philippines package!
Is the Philippines more expensive than India?
The Philippines is an affordable place to visit and one can enjoy a comfortable vacation without emptying their wallet.
What is the best time to visit the Philippines?
The country enjoys warm temperatures throughout the year, but December to February is the best time to visit it.
What is the coldest month in the Philippines?
The Philippines enjoys a warm, tropical climate throughout the year, with temperatures rarely dipping low. January is the coldest month on average, and the mean temperature is around 25 degrees Celsius.
Do Indians need a visa for the Philippines?
Yes, Indian citizens need a visa to visit the Philippines.
Visiting the Philippines is sure to take your breath away. The natural beauty of the beautiful country is simply stunning. With its white sands, coral reefs, diverse marine life, hilly treks and historical tourist attractions,island hopping in the Philippines is sure to fill up a significant part of your camera’s- and your- memory. The energy of the capital city of Manila mixed with the laid back, leisurely life of the beaches will have your senses in a riot, and the trip will be unforgettable.
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