Do you know anyone who has traveled or who plans to visit the Philippines someday? Probably not. Who would want to travel the world to see this typhoon-wracked Southeast Asian archipelago, as well as being one of the poorest countries in the world? The answer is: anyone who has seen pictures of the Philippines and loves to travel to breathtakingly beautiful places. And we’re not even talking about the famous Island of Boracay, the Philippine Caribbean with its five-star resorts. We are talking about Puerto Princesa, El Nido and Corón, three places full of islands, beaches, lakes, shipwrecks, snorkeling and diving spots. All still working in simplicity, no need for ostentatious tourism. There are low-cost hostels and inns, as well as simple snacks and restaurants and tours with honest prices.
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Of course, the logistics of moving around the region is still quite complicated, as we are talking about a very poor country that has been receiving mass tourism for only a few years. But if you don’t mind jolting around for a few hours in vans and wooden boats, the effort will be fully rewarded by the unforgettable places you’ll visit and wonderful photos of the Philippines that you’ll take.
In Puerto Princesa, on Palawan Island, is the Underground River, a place so surreal that it was elected one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The one-hour tour takes in stalactites, stalagmites, gigantic caves, lots of bats and rock formations that remind you of Jesus to the Titanic. Also on Palawan Island is El Nido, a coastal city that serves as a base for tours of numerous islands in the region, whose trademark is the black rocks of unusual shapes and that sometimes seem to float on the fluorescent blue water of the Sulu Sea.
Changing the island, but not the landscape, Corón, located in neighboring Busuanga, has yet another ‘plus’: numerous World War II shipwrecks that have become excellent snorkeling and diving ‘spots’. Want even more? There are at least four fantastic lagoons in Corón, all connected by underground tunnels and with a killer look. If you are one of the many Brazilians who never thought of visiting the country before this post, don’t worry…