In their Top 10 Countries to visit in 2014 Rough Guides puts the Philippines on the 10th spot. This is their reasoning:
In the wake of the terrible devastation wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan, tourism has become even more important to the Philippines, bringing crucial support to the economy. An estimated 97% of the country remains unaffected, including Boracay and the southern parts of Cebu. Though the Philippines boasts a dazzling array of pristine reefs, volcanoes, sleepy backpacker islands and the famed rice terraces, the country mostly remains off the beaten path, despite being relatively safe for travelers – flare-ups of political violence (mainly in Mindanao) are easily avoided. New direct flights from London to Manila mean that it’s now even easier to get there from the UK.
The Philippines was named the “Best Tropical Island Destination” by the Shanghai Morning Post January 7, the Department of Foreign Affairs said. The award was based on a consumer survey done by the Chinese New Daily and Shanghai QQ.com, one of the biggest social media platforms in China. The DFA said the award affirms the Philippines’ reputation as an “exciting and fun destination for the ever growing Chinese outbound travelers.” Growth in Chinese tourist arrivals, it added, may be attributed to the aggressive “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign as well as expanded air access. Direct flights are now being mounted from different cities in China to the country’s top destinations including Boracay, Clark, Laoag and Cebu. DFA added that there are plans to open chartered flights to Legazpi, which will be anchored on Misibis Bay, as well as Puerto Princesa and Bohol.
The UK Telegraph explains in it’s article why despite the fact that the Philippines made the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the autumn (when Typhoon Yolanda – one of the biggest storms in history – brought devastation to the country) you should go this year to the archipelago. Not just as a vote of sympathy. While a handful of islands lay in the storm’s path, the vast majority, including the main tourist destinations, were unaffected. About Palawan it says it is a region of limestone peaks, caves and crystal clear bathing spots waiting to be discovered by kayak or boat tour. “…..the Philippines should be on your bucket list.”
When times are tight Lonely Planet suggest you travel more, not less – but also warn you to pick carefully. To help people with that they came up with their best value travel destinations for 2014.
“This is where your wallet will smile at the memories for years to come.”
Of the ten destinations they picked, Palawan is one of them. This is what they wrote about Palawan: Jungle rivers, limestone cliffs and awesome beaches – Palawan’s no secret, but it certainly rewards those who visit. This mix, combined with stand-out attractions such as Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and the Bacuit Archipelago (all available at a competitive price), makes it a great-value pick for old Asia hands and novices alike. A journey on from Palawan leads to the Calamian Islands where apparently Alex Garland saw the strip of sand that inspired The Beach. Watch out for the May to October monsoon: it brings heavy rain, usually in the afternoon.
For their 18th annual poll Travel + Leisure asked their discerning readers once again to cast their votes for the hotels, destinations and companies that define the very best in travel. The result? One of their most robust list to date! In the category World’s best Island Palawan came with a score of 95.04 in the first place.
CNN published a Top 100 World’s Best Beaches. Is it possible to rank the world’s best beaches? CNN thought it was; they have scoured the planet, demanded answers from their most well traveled friends, colleagues and cohorts, absorbed passionate pleas from readers, researched, investigated and examined the evidence then finally tipped the sand from their shoes, washed the brine from their eyes and put together a pretty good guide to the best beaches on the planet. We were pretty pleased to see that the number 14 on the list is: El Nido, Palawan, Philippines! They described El Nido as follows: “… is the gateway to adventure, ‘the last frontier’ of the Philippines. Powder-fine beaches and gin-clear waters complement the stunning views of karst limestone formations, empty lagoons, marble cliffs, prehistoric caves and waterfalls.”
CNN Travel rated the best beaches and Islands in the Philippines. Number 1: El Nido, Palawan! “If Palawan is indeed “the last frontier” of the Philippines, as it’s been dubbed, the coastal town of El Nido is the gateway to wild adventure. Sure, it’s got powder-fine beaches and gin-clear waters. But the views are what really sell the place. Off the coast of El Nido are majestic karst limestone formations, empty lagoons, marble cliffs, prehistoric caves and waterfalls. All are easily explored. Wet your fins: El Nido is a popular base for divers. Surrounding waters contain more than 50 species of coral, and attract whales, whale sharks, sea cows, manta rays, dolphins and endangered turtles.”
The Lonely Planet came with their Best In Travel 2013: Top 10 Best Regions. Guess what? They valuated Palawan as one of them. “The ultimate archipelago for adventurers! Palawan incorporates thousands of sparkling, rugged islands and is fringed by 2000km of pristine coastline. So far Palawan’s natural marvels have only been sampled by plucky backpackers. Not for much longer. The trail these pioneers have blazed is set to explode, with regional airlines waking up to Palawan’s potential and clambering to schedule direct flights to the capital. Throw in the mushrooming growth of style-conscious boutique hotels normally found in places like Ko Samui or Bali, and you can feel that Palawan is ready to hit the big-time in 2013.”
The Lonely Planet came op with a Top 5 Tropical Islands. Of course Palawan is in there! “Palawan: the one for diving; The island of Palawan is stretched out thin over nearly 300 miles, as if caught in a tug-of-war between its larger neighbor Borneo and the main islands of the Philippines, to which it belongs. Not yet in the celebrity league of tropical islands, Palawan still has plenty of undeveloped corners, and the pristine waters off its coast and countless outlying islets conceal a submerged world of reefs, wildlife and wrecks that offers exceptional snorkeling and diving. Five hours north from the main city of Puerto Princesa is El Nido, the port gateway to the clear waters and dramatic rock formations of the Bacuit Archipelago, which offers great snorkeling opportunities over shallow coral gardens and more than two-dozen dive sites to suit all abilities. Beyond the tip of Palawan, Busuanga Island offers a different type of seabed scenery – Japanese warships and merchant ships, sunk here during the Second World War, make a world-class location for wreck diving.”
Puerto Princesa Underground River is now confirmed as one of the New7Wonders of Nature. The New7Wonders of Nature was an initiative started in 2007 to create a list of seven natural wonders chosen by people through a global poll. It was led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the New7Wonders Foundation, a Swiss-based foundation. The initiative followed an earlier New7Wonders of the World campaign, and attracted 100 million votes from around the world before voting finished on November 11 2011.
“This confirmation is wonderful news for Puerto Princesa, and a great example of how now its more fun to be in the Philippines,” said Mayor Hagedorn. “World-wide exposure of our natural beauty on this level is critical both for tourism and for our image nationally and internationally.”