Winter Get-a-Way to the Philippines

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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Summer has ended in California and the drizzly rain has arrived. About this time each year I start searching online for far off places to visit where I can bask in the sun and escape the cold.

In years past I’ve enjoyed going to South East Asia because it’s so beautiful and reasonably priced versus traveling in the United States. We have done Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia.

Recently, our dear friends came back from vacation in the Philippines and their photos were STUNNING. A quick Google search told me the best time to visit the area was between November and April during the dry season. That works out well since that’s when we are shivering at home. I’m sold!

I spent some time researching the best prices for flights. I’m really interested in spending time on one of the quintessential, stunning islands so I focused my efforts trying to get affordable flights to Boracay.

While we are still forming our finalized itinerary, here are a list of the places we are interested in visiting. Please leave comments below if you have other suggestions. There are more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines so it’s tough to figure out how to pick the best spots for a two week trip!

We narrowed it down to Boracay, Manila, Cebu and Bohol. I realize there are a ton of other worthy destinations but for the sake of time we had to stop somewhere.

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Boracay

Photos of Boracay are what inspired my desire to visit the Philippines. A quick Google image search will make your jaw drop. Unlike the other destinations I don’t want to over plan our time in Boracay with activities. I will be happy if our daily schedule consists of laying on the white sand and every 45 mins or so walking to the bar to refill our coconut drinks. If we are feeling really ambitious perhaps a stroll through the underwater discovery tunnel or a trip out on an ATV may be in order.

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Manila

Manila is a big city. Our style of travel usually involves no more than 3 days in big cities before escaping to the beaches. There is a lot to do in Manila so the length of time you want to stay depends on how much you want to pack into each day. We are interested in the San Agustin Church, Riztal Park, Manila Bay and the Divisioria Market. Plus, we want to eat at Spiral, the aristocrat and check out the sky deck at the Bayleaf hotel.

Cebu

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Cebu seems like a great home base for exploration in the region. In the city’s core there are a number of historical sites like the Basilica del Santo Nino,  Cebu Taoist Temple the the Museo Seguo.

Within a short drive you can find waterfalls and white sand beaches. We love hiking so the proximity to Osmena Park was a big selling point for us. Cebu is only and hour from Manila so again it’s not too painful if you home base in Manila.

Bohol

We were initially drawn to Bohol because of the famous Chocolate Hills. Upon further research it’s a great choice because you can see so much more than just the hills in this one destination. There are beautiful beaches, heritage sites and the tarsier sanctuary. It’s only an hour south of Manila by plane so it’s do able as a day trip if needed. For our planning purposes we would likely take the fast craft ferry because we would be coming from Cebu. The ferry is less than 2 hours so not too terrible.

Thoughts? For more information about the Philippines make sure to check out their tourism council’s website here. Also, if you want to be overwhelmed by stunning photography follow the #Philippines hashtag on instagram. It doesn’t disappoint.

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