The Philippines is a cultural melting pot, with its rich history combining influences from across Asia, America and Europe.
Officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, the country is an archipelago made up of more than 7,000 islands, although it is generally categorised into three main geographical areas – Luzon, Mindanao and Visayas.
Tropical rainforests cover most of the mountainous islands, making the Philippines home to a huge and diverse population of wildlife. It’s one of the ten most biologically mega-diverse countries, with around 1,100 vertebrate species – including more than 100 mammal species and 170 bird species – living in the nation.
Spanish settlers arrived in the Philippines in 1521 and almost immediately made their mark on the Southeast Asian nation, building Intramuros, a walled city comprising European-style buildings and churches. Intramuros has survived to this day and is the oldest district in the capital city, Manila.
The best time to visit The Philippines is generally considered to be the first half of the year, before the rainy season, which is characterised by typhoons. However, some areas – such as Cebu – are warm and comfortable in all seasons and are ideal year-round destinations.
Whenever you visit The Philippines, you’re sure to be wowed by the blend of cultures that means the country truly represents the point where east meets west.