Close your eyes. Inhale slowly. Picture yourself stretched out on a beach towel, sunbathing on a slice of paradise. The sizzling sun prickles your skin. The only time you need to lift the straw hat from your eyes is to take a sip from the fresh coconut within arm’s length. Napping underneath palm trees is perfectly acceptable, the gentle lapping of the waves lulling you into an afternoon slumber.
We promise this isn’t a dream, because we experienced this for ourselves. And you can too when you visit the Philippines. The archipelagic country is well-known for its stunning natural beauty. Jaw-dropping jurassic rock formations encircle saltwater lagoons, aquamarine coves shelter swathes of coral reefs and hundreds of tiny islands covert pristine sand beaches. It’s the ideal destination for water lovers. Your uniform will be a bikini and flip flops as you hop from boat to water day in, day out. There are plenty of opportunities for snorkelling, scuba diving, free diving and surfing. You’ll get a tan (or sunburn) without even trying.
We travelled to the Philippines in April 2019, dividing our time between Siargao, El Nido and Coron. Over 10 days, we lazed on smooth white sands, soaked in warm crystal clear waters and drank more than our fair share of mango shakes and coconuts. It didn’t take long for us to adapt to island time. Our days involved island hopping, swinging off ropes into lagoons, kayaking across open waters, hitching rides on tricycles and dining at roadside grills.
Starting our trip in Siargao, we found the teardrop-shaped island to be the most laidback of the three islands we visited. Hailed as the surfing capital of the Philippines, it’s an ideal location to learn how to surf, drive by smiling children in small towns and chill on the beach with a San Miguel. If you’re curious about Siargao, check out our 4-day itinerary with expenses to help you plan your visit.
Next, we travelled to El Nido where we spent 3 full days. Our first day, we arranged a private boat to do Tour B with an added stop to Big Lagoon in the morning. The second day, we opted to rent a kayak from ArtCafe, giving our arms a workout to explore the nearby beaches. In the afternoon, we hired a tricycle driver to take us up to Nacpan Beach. This was well worth the 45 minute trip. We certainly lucked out as we were treated to a long glorious sunset, which will not be forgotten in a heartbeat. For our last day, we decided to book ourselves onto group Tour D with ArtCafe. This was our favourite island hopping tour combining picture-perfect locations, a friendly crew and a delicious lunch. Our final two days were spent in Coron. Due to illness and our short itinerary, we were only able to book one full-day tour. We selected the Islands Escapades tour on a group option, visiting the outer paradises of Bulog Dos Island, Banana Island and Malcapuya Island.
We’re thrilled to have experienced a fraction of the sensational beauty of the Philippines. Fortunately, there are few drone restrictions (for now!) and so we’ve been able to snap some amazing footage from the air. Here, you’ll find 40 of our favourite photos from our adventure.
Let this album charge that wanderlust and make blue your new favourite colour! Enjoy.