This archipelago of more than 7,000 islands receives far fewer foreign visitors than its Southeast Asian neighbors. Maybe travelers are deterred by the country’s increasingly eccentric brand of politics. However, the Philippines’ extraordinary natural riches deserve a closer look. The capital, Manila, reflects the country’s complex history, but its smog, congestion and poverty can be overwhelming. The tropical south beckons: Cebu City is a jumping-off point for sea-oriented excursions, such as those to the celebrated scuba diving destination of Mactan Island. Laguna Province (self-designated “resort province of the Philippines”) is home to hot springs, waterfalls and championship golf courses.
To phone hotels in the Philippines, dial 011 (international access) + 63 (Philippines code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
Philippine peso (PHP). Fluctuating rate valued at PHP48.36 = US$1.00 as of October 2016. Note: Aman quotes rates in US$.
Manila, Tel. 2-301-2000.
The climate is tropical, with summer monsoon winds bringing heavy downpours. Typhoons are possible from June-December. The best time to visit is January-April.
12 hours ahead of New York (EST). (Time listed is for DST in the West. Difference is one hour more November to mid-March.)