Country profile

The Philippines: Travel and accommodation

When a nation is spread across over 7,000 islands, with a mountainous interior, travel is always going to present something of a challenge and that is never more true than in The Philippines. In many ways, The Philippines is a modern country with high quality facilities in the cities, yet away from the main centres, less than 20% of the 125,000 miles of roads are paved and local transport is patchy at best.

In Manila there is a thriving local transport system, with the Manila Metro and the Light Railway, taxis, Jeepneys and the iconic tricycles, both pedaled and powered, ferrying around the thronging masses. There are also air conditioned commuter ferries along the main river through the city.

There are many regular ferries and tourist boats that operate between the islands. Some of these have been brought together as part of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway, a route stretching over 570 miles, which combines roads and ferries to link 17 cities.

By air, The Philippines are a serious long-haul flight from either Europe or the US, with London and Paris around 14 hours and 6,700 miles away and New York even further at 18 hours and 8,600 miles. The main airport is in Manila, Ninoy Aquino International, which is one of around 85 public and a further 110 private airports across the nation. Seaplanes are also a popular way to fly, especially to the smaller islands.

Accommodation is of the quality you would expect from a top international tourist destination, with smart hotels in the main cities and dedicated resort developments on the main tourist islands. Befitting their idyllic location, many islands have eschewed large hotels and instead opted for smaller private villas and bungalows, or even over-water bungalows, set within exclusive developments. Wherever you stay, you will enjoy the same outstanding levels of hospitality and the same smiling warm welcome that has made The Philippines such a popular destination.

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