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The Philippines

"It's more fun in the Philippines." These words are without doubt the common thread through every travel story about the Philippines. And with reason, as you will soon find out for yourself! The country has over 7000 islands of which only 2000 are inhabited. In other words, an abundance of pearly white beaches with clear blue water, beautiful hotels or resorts and impressive bays. And, the most amazing thing? he country authenticity!.

On the largest island of Luzon, for instance, you will find the breathtaking rice terraces of Banaue. The stunning island of Bohol displays baffling Chocolate Hills where with a decent amount of luck you may come across the mysterious Filipino ghost. Frankly, do you not want to experience this first-hand? Add to all that the countless (sleeping and active) volcanoes, waterfalls, caves and uninhabited islands where you can go on your own Robinson expedition and the exuberantly colorful underwater world. Its habitat of corals, anemones, mandarin fish, seahorses, fox sharks and underwater species? On Sangat Island you can even go on a dive to Japanese shipwrecks from World War II. Unique? That's the least you can say. Now tell us how much longer can you resist the charms of this fascinating country?

Admit it, the picture is clear. The Philippines are diverse and have something to offer every type of traveler. Whether you are a nature buff, an adventurer at heart or just looking for a tranquil and different beach holiday; one thing is certain. Get ready to be showered by the hospitality of the locals. Tip: during your trip, make sure you also take a ride in (or maybe on top of) a jeepney, a striking and colorful means of transport, typical for the Philippines.

Insurances

Have a safe and carefree trip: travel fully insured with our Protections travel insurance! Our Protections insurance policies offer various formulas in order to offer you the widest possible cover (with even a fly-on-time, natural catastrophes and epidemics) for both single journeys or for the entire year.  We guarantee you the best protection at the best price. 

Tailored travel

The tours in our brochures are just a few examples of travel itineraries possible. Our trips can be tailored to suit your specific needs. If you want to book a specific destination or combine it with a mini-tour then we will gladly make you a tailor-made offer. For a personalised day-by-day program please contact our destination experts.

Would you like to travel in a group; with your entire family, friends or colleagues (min. 10 people required)? Put our know-how to the test and send us your details and wishes.  We will gladly turn the blueprints of your trip into a detailed quote and a lasting memory for you to cherish. Contact our Connections Group Service by e-mail at groups@connections.be or by telephone on +32 (0)2 550 01 65. We would love to hear from you. 

Travel Documents

All Belgian nationals travelling on a Belgian passport (children and babies included) must be in possession of an international e-passport (electronic) containing min. 2 blank pages, valid for at least 6 month at your departure from the Philippines. For each stay of 30 days or less, no visa is required. Updated travel advice can be found on the British government site based on information from a number of sources including local knowledge from British embassies abroad and in some cases information gathered by their intelligence services. Mind you; a stopover in another country on the way to the Philippines. Please check with the consulate of the concerned country. 

  • Travelers with a non-Belgian nationality and/or travelers travelling on a foreign passport are invited to spontaneously reported this matter to the Connections travel consultant and shall contact their respective embassy (s) or Consulate (ate) to obtain the latest updates concerning all current travel requirements and documents.

Health

There are no mandatory vaccines. Recommended vaccinations are DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio), Hepatitis A, BMR (only if you have not had measles or a vaccination against measles). Yellow fever is only mandatory if you have been in a country with yellow fever seven days before your stay in the Philippines. The most recent updates can be found on the page of the International Tropical Institute (ITG).

Time Zones

During winter : +7 uur  & During Summer  +6 uur in relation to Belgian time.

Currency

Currency

Philipino Peso (PHP) 100 PHP = 1.82 EUR & 1 EUR = 54.94 PHP (01/05/2020)

Methods of Payment

ATMs are present in all major cities and in more and more tourist spots. Keep in mind that you can only debit 1x / day and the maximum is 10,000 PHP (subject to change). In addition, every time you pin a fee of +/- 200 pesos (subject to change) is charged. ATMs are not available on every island or in each village. If you want to go diving near a remote island, it is wise to take your precautions. Credit card facilities are extending.

Climate

The Philippines have a tropical climate with high temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. The hottest months are April and May. There are basically two distinct seasons: the dry season and the wet season. The dry season starts in November and ends in April, although this varies slightly per region. The wet season runs from May until November. The likelihood of rain is higher during the wet season, but this does not mean that it will rain the entire day. The showers are usually short-lived and afterwards the sun comes out again. The archipelago often gets hit by typhoons during the wet season, but the possibility they occur is year round. 

Average max temperatures (in °C):

Destination J F M A M J J A S O N D
Baguio 23 24 25 26 25 25 24 23 24 24 24 23
Bohol 29 30 31 32 32 32 31 31 21 31 31 30
Cebu 30 30 31 32 33 32 31 31 32 31 31 30
Manilla 30 31 32 34 34 32 31 30 31 31 31 30
Palawan 30 31 32 33 33 32 31 30 31 30 30 30
Surigao 29 30 31 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 31 30

Highlights

  • Rice Terrasses of Banaue, Ifugao
  • Banaue, located in the mountains of north-central Luzon, is a conglomerate of several villages known for their irrigated rice terraces. They were constructed more than 2000 years ago by the Ifugao people, about 350 km from the capital Manila. The total length of the staircase terraces is estimated at 12,100 km, about 10,360 sqkm in total. Batad is the best known spot to access this attraction from.

  • Chocolate Hills, Bohol
  • Over 1268 conical hills constitute The Chocolate Hills of Bohol. This collection of hills baffles geologists worldwide! Varying in height from 30 m to 150 m they dot the horizon over a length of 50 sqkm. Seen from the 360° observation platform of Carmen or from a plane these exclusively grass-covered hills resemble a majestic field with mole hills. Rumors have it this very place in Bohol is home to the Filipino ghost.

  • Coron, Palawan
  • Another breath-taking destination in the Philippines where you feel like you're smack in a movie setting. Make sure you visit Lake Kayangan, Twin Lagoon, Banol Beach, Lake Barracuda well-known to divers for its fresh and salt water layers and large water temperature differences or the Busuanga and Coron Island where diving enthusiasts can explore 10 Japanese shipwrecks from the Second World War!

  • El Nido, Palawan
  • Stories about the stunning beauty of El Nido itself may sound exaggerated when you get there, but the breath-taking character of its surroundings is more than a fact! El Nido is located in Bacuit Bay with its crystal clear water and tropical vegetated cliffs. Many tropical islands here are uninhabited. By the way, the archipelago is even the largest Marine Sanctuary in the Philippines. A sight for sore eyes, both above and below sea level!

  • Kawasan Falls, Cebu
  • The spot par excellence for canyoneering and cliff jumping! These waterfalls boast to be the best in the Philippines, even in the entire world. It is a tropical oasis offers large bamboo rafts you can rent to cruise across the powerful turquoise pool. Its undeniable beauty has been recorded in one Travel magazine after another.

  • Manila
  • Manila has been referred to as one gigantic slum and yet it may be worth a visit. Here, you can tour Intramuros, the historic centre, with highlights such as the St Augustin church and Fort Santiago as well as Smokey Mountain, Manila's largest garbage dump. Manila's China Town is among the oldest worldwide.

  • Siargao
  • Siargao is reputed to be the most beautiful island of the Philippines, located 1h10min by plane from Manila. It is authentic and pristine with what looks like millions of palm trees, paradisiacal islands, azure waves, lagoons, coral reefs ... Too much beauty to ever want to plan on leaving the island.

  • St Paul’s Subterranean River National Park, Palawan
  • The Underground River in Palawan is part of the 7 new Natural Wonders and has since became very popular in a very short time. It is part of St Paul's Subterranean River National Park and accessible from Sabang. Going there without planning ahead may result in hours of waiting patiently before you can cash in on a seat aboard one of the tourist boats. The caves are also natural habitats to bats.

  • The Enchanted River, Surigao
  • This is a magical place. The nearly 80 m deep abyss enforces respect. Here at night, according to local tradition, fairies, pixies and mermaids rendez vous and frolic. Daredevils can go for a dive in this complex network of underwater gorges.

  • Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
  • This unique nature park in the Sulu Sea includes both the Tubbataha and Jessie Beazley reef. In short: a 100,000 ha quality marine habitat. It is home to whales, dolphins, fox sharks, turtles, 350 species of coral and 500 species of fish. Impressed? Wait until you see it with your own two eyes!

  • Jeepney
  • This is not a location but a vehicle! As the matter of fact an elongated, colourfully painted jeep with a lot of bling bling which seems to be everywhere you look in the streets. These vehicles would descend directly from the jeeps left behind by the Americans at the end of the Second World War. Each one has its own unique character and destination.

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