The Philippines is an adventure destination which is beyond the usual. From the largest to the smallest inhabitant of the wild, from easy to a heart-pounding experience – the Philippines prides itself as a multi-faceted destination for nature and adventure. It has a complete line-up of adventure activities that range from tropical mountaineering, canopy walking, caving, whitewater rafting, and surfing. Encounters with the wildlife may range from swimming alongside giant whale sharks, dolphin watching in the open seas or scuba diving amidst the colourful marine life. Here is a list of five ultimate things to experience in the Philippines.
JUMP OFF A CLIFF – SCREAM YOUR HEARTS OUT
For those who love an insanely good scream, ‘The Plunge’ at the E.A.T Danao Adventure Parkland, Bohol is one great way to scream your hearts out. It offers a hair-raising experience of free-falling from a 200-mt high cliff. The jump-off point is the edge of a steel bridge over the cliff. One can literally plunge into open air from this point and feel defenseless for about two seconds, and be left all alone to swing like a pendulum across a 300 mt wide scenic gorge for almost five minutes.
There are several flights from Manila to Tagbilaran. From Tagbilaran City, it will take two hours of land travel to reach E.A.T. Danao Park.
EXPLORE THE UNDERGROUND RIVER AT PUERTO PRINCESA
The Puerto Princesa Underground River at Palawan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of Nature’. A tour of this longest navigable underground river on Earth should be at the top of your to-do list in this part of the archipelago. Adventure lovers can enjoy the natural wonders of incredible stalactite and stalagmite formations here. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park here is a significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. It is home to most of the threatened and restricted-range birds of Palawan, such as the Palawan Peacock Pheasant and the Palawan Hornbill.
Palawan is accessible within an hour’s flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa City or via a 20-hour trip by sea.
EXPERIENCE THE WILD AT THE PHILIPPINE EAGLE CENTER
The Philippines is home to an impressive list of more than 600 species of birds. From the largest eagle (the Philippine Eagle) to the colourful flower-peckers and melodious babblers, the birds in the Philippines can offer a rewarding birdwatching experience for bird lovers. Located at the foothills of the majestic Mt. Apo in Davao City, the Philippine Eagle Center is open all year round. Here, one can have a lifetime experience in the wild, and see up close the remarkable eagle that is known to glide through thick-canopied forests, grab monkeys, snakes and even small deers.
Davao City is about 2 hours by plane from Manila.
SWIM WITH THE BIGGEST FISH ON EARTH
The Tubbataha Natural Marine Park at Palawan is considered the Mecca of Philippine diving and it is a well-known diving site in the world. Accessible only by live-aboard dive boats during the months between March and June, Tubbataha is a spot for serious diving business. One can encounter the mysteries of this planet’s underwater kingdom and simply hover above glistening corals and reefs or swim along amazing underwater fishes at this park. The park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993 because it is the only pure marine World Heritage Site in Southeast Asia.
Tubbataha is about 10 hours by boat from Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
FASCINATED WITH SHIPWRECKS!
EXPLORE THE REMAINS OF WORLD WAR II AT CORON ISLAND
Coron Island is a part of the Calamian Islands in northern Palawan in the Philippines. The island attracts many divers from across the world and it is famous for the shipwrecks of sunken World War II ships which are just a few minutes away from the shore. The area around the wrecks has rock formations which provide snorkeling opportunities with clear underwater visibility extending deep underneath. One should also consider a visit to the mysterious Kayangan Lake of the Tagbanua people. It is a picture-perfect blue-green lagoon surrounded by lush rainforest and stunning limestone karst cliffs as a backdrop. There’s a little wooden walkway and platform to stash your things if you go for a swim.
Palawan has boat connections to and from Manila, Iloilo (on Panay), and San José (on Mindoro).
There are also various boats and ferry services from Manila to Coron.