Take a tour of the Philippines, an island nation that belongs to Southeast Asia and is located in the western Pacific Ocean! Explore the largest islands such as Luzon, Mindanao, Samar, Negros, Mindoro, Panay and Palawan and discover the many national parks that are on them, as well as the diverse flora and fauna! Visit the important cities on a round trip, such as the capital and most important port of Manila with the National Museum of the Philippines, the Coconut Palace, the Governor’s Palace, the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park or the American war cemetery in Fort Bonifacio; the former capital Quezon with the University of the Philippines, the House of Representatives of the Philippines or the Philippine Central Bank; the sea ports of Davao with the 17th Century Caraga Church or the Tudaya Falls; Cebu with the Church of Santo Nino, the Cebu Business Park or the fortress Fuerza de San Pedro and the city of Zamboanga with the Fort Pilar, the city hall in the city center, or the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. Admire the numerous sights of the Philippines, such as the Chocolate Mountains, the rice terraces of Banaue and Batad as well as the Pinatubo, Taal and Mayon volcanoes on the island of Luzon, the baroque churches in Manila and Intramuros Paoay and Miagao, or the coral reef Tubbataha. On Mindoro Island you can admire Aroma Beach, Lymon Beach, Mondoro Beach or the Tamaraw Waterfalls; the island of Mindanao includes numerous waterfalls such as the Cotabato Falls or Twin Falls, the three largest lakes Lake Lanao, Lake Mainit and Lake Sebu or other attractions of this island such as the Bukagan Hill, the Macahambus Cave or the Atlas Mines. Get to know this island nation on a study trip!
The Banaue rice terraces
Whether “Steps to the Heavenly Worlds” or “Eighth Wonder of the World”: The rice terraces of Banaue – one of the most important sights in the Philippines.
The picturesque green hills with rice terraces, which are about 1500 meters above sea level, cover almost ten kilometers of the mountain slopes. Already around two thousand years ago, the inhabitants of the area began to cultivate rice fields. This makes the rice terraces the oldest structure in the whole of the Philippines. Meanwhile, some researchers even suspect that they have existed for almost three thousand years. And this tradition is maintained to this day. Locals still grow rice and vegetables on the terraces. This is not a safe thing: the slopes have an incline of up to 70 degrees. The water masses when it rains are evenly distributed by dams, many smaller ditches and bamboo tubes. In addition, the natural conical shape of the mountains that in the higher altitudes with less rainfall, the cultivated areas are correspondingly smaller. That’s why there are even fields that are just two meters wide.
The rice terraces have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. In the same year they were also included in the “List of International Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks” by the American Society of Civil Engineers. If you want to see and visit the rice terraces live, you should do so in the early hours of the morning or in the morning – then the view of the “steps to the heavenly worlds” is usually best.
The Taal volcano
The Taal volcano is an imposing volcano in a lake about 70 km south of the capital Manila on the Philippine main island of Luzon. The main crater was formed around 500,000 years ago and is a proud 30 kilometers in diameter. The volcano consists of a caldera (explosive funnel of volcanic origin) in which a lake was formed. Another island was created in this lake by several eruptions. Due to its proximity to the metropolitan area of Manila, the still active volcano poses a serious threat to the population in the area, which is why it is constantly monitored. The volcano has erupted a total of 33 times since 1572 – the eruptions in 1754 and 1911 were particularly devastating. At least 1,400 people lost their lives in the latter. There are currently indications that that the volcano could erupt again in the near future. In December 2012, several weak quakes and an increase in the temperature of the inner lake were recorded.
The volcano lies in the middle of a breathtaking landscape. Quickly accessible from the capital Manila, the volcano offers its visitors a unique experience. After a wonderful boat trip across the lake, you can climb the peak of the 320 meter high volcano either on foot or on horseback. From the summit, the Taal offers its visitors a magnificent view of the crater landscape and the pitch-black solidified lava flows. In the immediate vicinity, some dealers offer their goods and services. Common sense is required here, recently there have been increasing reports of rip-offs. If you want to visit the volcanic island as part of an organized tour, you should make sure that the program is not too tight.
The village of Tagaytay (approx. 62,000) is in the immediate vicinity. Especially for the individual traveler, it offers an ideal base for further exploration of the area.
Bohol nature experience
Bohol is the name of a province in the Philippines that includes several smaller islands in addition to Bohol itself. The capital with around 105,000 inhabitants and the largest port in the region is Tagbilaran.
The most famous tourist attraction on Bohol Island are the so-called Chocolate Hills in the Carmen region. The history of the origins of these unusual formations has not yet been fully clarified and gives scientists numerous puzzles. At the end of the dry season, the hills covered with grass and bushes are brown in color and stand out from the otherwise green jungle landscape. They are best viewed from the observation deck in Sagbayan, which is accessible via 214 steps.
Bohol has wonderful sandy beaches and is a wonderful diving and snorkeling area with a diverse underwater world because of the numerous coral reefs. There are around 1400 caves in total on the islands. In some of them you can see ancient wall paintings or underground lakes.
In the vicinity of Antequera are the Maga-Aso waterfalls, which are definitely worth a visit. The water plunges from 10 m into an idyllic little lake, which with a temperature of 20 ° C invites you to take a refreshing swim.
Anyone interested in the country’s history will quickly come across the Blood Compact memorial in Tagbilaran. It shows the historical moment in 1565 when the Spaniard Legaspi and the Filipino chief Sikatuna celebrated their blood brotherhood and thus sealed the beginning of friendship between the two peoples. The location of this bronze monument directly on the sea is very well chosen and attracts countless visitors every day. Nearby is the National Museum, which is also a must for every tourist. The building, which is rather inconspicuous from the outside, is astonishingly modern from the inside and provides all the important information about the history of the region.
Bohol is an ideal destination for a beach holiday in combination with some excursion options.