Rough Guides writer Kiki Deere shares some of her best photographs of the Philippines from her latest trip to Southeast Asia.
Comprising 7107 islands, the Philippines boasts some of the world’s most incredibly diverse landscapes – nowhere more so than Luzon, the country’s largest island.
Northern Luzon is home to the country’s remotest wildernesses, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts: here it’s possible to white water raft on gushing mountain rivers, bike and trek on mountainous paths, climb active volcanoes, go spelunking (potholing) or surfing at some of the country’s best spots.
I travelled along the west coast, sprinkled with laidback beach and surf resorts, before heading inland to the Cordilleras, the tribal heartland of the country. Here age-old rice terraces weave around the mountainside, and the tradition of burying the dead in hanging coffins is still very much alive.
The region is also home to the Philippines’ best-preserved Spanish colonial town, Vigan, and the country’s remotest island province, Batanes, where weather, topography and language differ greatly from the mainland. Southern Luzon is equally enthralling, with its powdery white-sand beaches and limestone formations in the Caramoan Peninsula, the largest concentration of whale sharks in the world at Donsol (it’s possible to swim with these gentle giants), and the country’s most famous active volcano, Mount Mayon, said to have the world’s most symmetrical cone.
Mount Mayon enveloped in cloud
The Ifugao People of the Cordillera
The rolling hills of Batanes
Halo-halo, a popular Filipino dessert
Sailing at sunset
Age-old rice terraces wrap around Ducligan in Banaue
The colonial streets of Vigan
A man tends to his bangka in Sorsogon Province
The verdant land of Masbate
Mount Iraya looms over the rugged coast of Batan Island
Vegetable terraces covered in mist
Explore more of the Philippines with the Rough Guide to the Philippines. Compare flights, find tours, book hostels and hotels for your trip, and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you go.