Travel Guide Philippines
White sandy beaches, turquoise sea and unspoiled natural areas – many travellers consider the Philippines as a popular destination. The island paradise in Southeast Asia not only boasts beautiful natural landscapes but is also home to an exciting and colourful culture as well as an unparalleled variety of species. Our Travel Guide Philippines reveals more about the fifth largest island state in the world.
Highlights in the Philippines
Geography of the Philippines
The Philippine archipelago covers approx. 350,000 square kilometers and extends over an area between 116° 40'and 126° 34'E longitude, and 4° 40' and 21° 10'N latitude. The Philippines mark the border between the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea / the Pacific Ocean. The island nation’s more than 7500 different islands, of which about 880 are inhabited, are divided into three large archipelagos: the archipelago of Luzon in the north and west, the archipelago of Visayas in the centre and the southern archipelago of Mindanao. The capital Manila, located on the main island of Luzon, is the political and cultural centre of the nation.
The formation of the Philippines is primarily based on a tectonic plate shift. A collision of the Eurasian Plate with several microplates as well as the Australian Plate and the Philippine Plate created a region that is now known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. There are currently 53 active volcanoes on more than 7000 islands which is why the Philippines is one of the most active volcanic regions on Planet Earth. Due to increased lava seepage from the seabed, the Philippine archipelago rose out of the water and today contributes to the shallow seabed covered by sand and sediments. The great volcanoes form the big islands of the Philippines and can still be observed today as unique natural spectacles. Rocks of volcanic origin as well as metamorphic rocks are, in addition to the favourable climatic conditions, a good breeding ground for a species-rich and diverse natural landscape.
Travel Tips and Trivia for the Philippines
Climate in the Philippines
The Philippines has a tropical climate. Due to the proximity to the equator as well as to the sea, seasonal and daily temperature fluctuations are very small. Especially the southern islands are located in the wet tropics. High temperatures and precipitation are present there all year round. However, particularly the northern and central islands are strongly influenced by the southwest monsoon. This means heavy rainfalls between June and October. Monthly average temperatures in the Philippines vary between 25°C and 29°C. Especially in the months of April and May, peak values of 40°C can be reached despite the maritime climate. The best time to travel to the Philippines is between December and February. During this time, it is quite dry, the temperatures are not too high and it is unlikely to experience a typhoon.
Flora and Fauna in the Philippines
The Philippines is particularly known for their exotic flora and fauna. About 14,000 different plant species are native to the island nation. These include a large number of vascular plants, i.e. plants that contain a liquid in a vessel-like flower which they use to attract, trap and digest insects. The beaches of the islands are covered with palm trees from which you can enjoy a fresh coconut every now and then. The rubber and bamboo plants known for the South Asian region can also be found in the Philippines.
The terrestrial fauna of the Philippines is home to large animals like the Philippine buffalo as well as small mammals like the Philippine tarsier. Tarsiers are related to monkeys and resemble the Galagos which are native in Africa. The treetops of the rubber trees offer tarsiers shelter and food. Moreover, the green depths of the island nation are home to a large number of reptiles and amphibians.
Especially the underwater world of the Philippines is often regarded as a true highlight. A colourful world of blooming corals and countless species of fish surround the coastal regions of the country. With a little bit of luck, rays and even whale sharks can be observed off the Philippines’ coast. Since the coral reefs of the Philippines are one of the few that are not affected by coral bleaching, an almost magical underwater world can be explored here.