The Philippines is actually 7,000+ islands--an archipelago that offers a nearly endless amount of exploring. From big cities like Manila
to nearly deserted island beaches, from rain forests to urban jungles, you'll find fascination no matter where you go or stay. Vacation rentals are a great way to experience the Philippines, since they give you a unique, native insight into this remarkable nation.
Typically, an island in the archipelago includes a mountainous interior thick with rain forest jungles and teeming with exotic wildlife. As you move closer to the shore, you'll see beautiful sandy beaches lapped by the waves of an aquamarine ocean. As you make your way off the island and into the warm, inviting waters, you can snorkel or scuba dive around ecologically important coral reefs. Of course, with 7,000 islands, there's quite a variety of islands. The entire area of the Philippines is about the same as Italy. Luzon is the largest of the island, and home to the capital city of Manila. Mindanao is the second largest. The archipelago consists of three island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
One of the great things about the Philippines is the variety of tourist activities. If you're looking for a tropical forest shang-ri-la, you can find it, and just as easily find a nearly deserted beach island where you can feel like a castaway. The climate is hot and humid--typical tropical weather. In the interior you'll find incredible sights like the Banaue rice terraces, which some consider to be an 8th wonder of the world. They were carved nearly 3,000 years ago by hand, stepping their way to an altitude of nearly 5,000 feet. Laid end to end, they'd stretch halfway around the planet. You'll find hiking trails and many experience guides to help you navigate this man-made wonder.
The Philippines isn't just rain forests and beaches, of course. The urban areas offer a fast-paced night life and world class shopping and restaurants. Manila is a vibrant city, where you can find a variety of old and new. It's the heart of the Philippines and its rich Spanish colonial heritage can be seen throughout the city.