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

Mount Mayon enveloped in cloud, the Philippines

The Ifugao People of the Cordillera

The Ifugao People of the Cordilleras, the Philippines

The rolling hills of Batanes

The rolling hills of Batanes, the Philippines

Halo-halo, a popular Filipino dessert

Halo-halo, a popular Filipino dessert, Philippines

Sailing at sunset

Sailing at Sunset, Philippines

Age-old rice terraces wrap around Ducligan in Banaue

Age-old rice terraces wrap around Ducligan in Banaue, Philippines

The colonial streets of Vigan

The colonial streets of Vigan, Philippines

A man tends to his bangka in Sorsogon Province

A man tends to his bangka in Sorsogon Province, Philippines

The verdant land of Masbate

Verdant Land of Masbate, Philippined

Mount Iraya looms over the rugged coast of Batan Island

Mount Iraya looms over the rugged coast of Batan Island, Philippines

The hanging coffins of Sagada

Hanging Coffins of Sagada, Philippines

Vegetable terraces covered in mist

Vegetable Terraces Covered in Mist, the Philippines

Explore more of the Philippines with the Rough Guide to the PhilippinesCompare flights, find toursbook hostels and hotels for your trip, and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you go.

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