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The Philippines Has Reopened: These Are The Top Places To Visit There
Good news for fans of Southeast Asia travel or those looking to visit for the first time. The Philippines has reopened for international tourism after being closed for nearly two years. The country, which is hailed as one of the most beautiful nations in the region, announced that it is allowing the entry of citizens from 150 countries, as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have received a negative PCR test result. The country is hoping to boost its tourism sector, which like so many others, has been decimated by the global pandemic.
The Philippines had originally prepared to begin welcoming visitors at the end of 2021, but with the advancement of the Omicron variant, local authorities postponed the reopening. Along with the Omicron surge, the Philippines also suffered greatly from the recent Typhoon Rai, which caused heavy damage and hundreds of deaths.
The newly reopened archipelago, made up of more than seven thousand islands, is now included in the list of visa-free countries for stays of up to 30 days. The measure aims to contribute “significantly to the recovery of employment, especially in communities dependent on tourism, and in the reopening of companies that have closed in the meantime,” Berna Romulo-Puyat, Secretary of State for Tourism, told Reuters.
Among the entry criteria, in addition to vaccines and PCR tests, which have to be taken 48 hours before arrival, tourists must have a return ticket and passport valid for more than six months. Those who arrive without a completed vaccination card must show a PCR test on arrival and be quarantined for 14 days. After that, the visitor must take a new PCR test.
The Philippines is a country with stunning landscapes, perfect for tourists who want to be surrounded by nature. White sandy beaches and marine sanctuaries are two of the islands’ main attractions. Thinking of visiting the Philippines? These are five must-do things you should be sure to add to your list:
1. Palawan Island
Palawan is an island that stretches from Mindoro to Borneo, between the South China and Sulu Seas. Home to large karst formations with an underground river, Puerto Princesa is the capital of the province.
Coron Reefs on Busuanga Island is a popular diving site, attracting divers who want to explore WWII Japanese shipwrecks.
Another popular destination is El Nido, a town situated between high limestone cliffs and the beautiful Bacuit Bay.
Breathtaking white sand beaches, turquoise waters, colorful sailboat rides, beautiful resorts, and a romantic atmosphere can all be found on this island that has consistently been ranked as one of the best beaches in the world by many travel review sites.
Boracay’s most populous area is the central part of White Beach, which offers delicious food, adventure, shopping, and entertainment. Here, accommodations range from budget bungalows to luxury resorts.
3. Donsol Bay
Located in Sorsogon Province, known for its pristine beaches, stunning waterfalls, and unexplored caves, the sleepy fishing village of Donsol is one of the best places in the Philippines to see whale sharks.
Protected species migrate through Donsol’s tropical waters between November and June, with a peak between February and May.
Mindoro is an island made up of two distinct regions, Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro, which are separated from each other by a high mountain range. The northern part of the region is mostly remote. The area is perfect for scuba divers, as the town of Sablayan is the gateway to Pangan Island and the Apo Reef Marine Natural Park.
In Oriental Mindoro, the main tourist destination is the city of Puerto Galera. This beach town offers spas and white sand beaches for water lovers, as well as jeep tours, orchid-filled rainforests, kayaking, rivers, and waterfalls for adventurous hikers.
5. Cebu City
Cebu is an island consisting of the main island and 167 surrounding islands. Its capital, Cebu City, is home to the country’s second-largest international airport. Just like The Philippines’ capital city Manila, Cebu City offers many urban benefits, including a taste of both the old and new, and an interesting and vibrant culture.
Mactan Island is one of the top destinations in the region, boasting a world-class scuba diving site that is just a short drive from the international airport. The island of Malapascua is another diving gem, and is considered the number one scuba diving site in the country.