HIT THE BEACHES AND HEAD FOR THE HILLS
BOHOL ISLAND, VISAYAS: Bohol is home to about 1200 limestone mounds known as the Chocolate Hills, which are a bit like giant Maltesers melted across a huge tray. Pleasantly unusual to behold, go in the summer (January to May) when they’ve dried out to brown. Also living on the island are tarsiers, one of the world’s smallest primates. At less than 15cm high, these furry little fellows have huge adorable eyes but are rather shy and endangered, which is why they can be found at a sanctuary in Corella.
BORACAY ISLAND, VISAYAS: Imagine a gently sloping shore of talcum powder, and you’re close to visualising Boracay’s White Beach. This white-hot little treasure has been internationally praised to the skies, so is anything but quiet, with dozens of restaurants and bars. On Boracay’s northern tip, Puka beach has more of a rugged castaway wilderness feel.
BANTAYAN ISLAND, VISAYAS: Unknown even to most Filipinos, Bantayan is not the easiest place to reach but the island’s quiet, beautiful white-sand beaches deserve the effort. Its splendid isolation has so far saved it from package travellers and hotel chains. By motorbike, you can tour Bantayan in half a day, or, as it has few contours, cycling on quiet roads shaded by coconut trees is an easy, invigorating way to beach-hop. Kota Beach has the advantage of a mini lagoon, protected by a white sandbar formed between January and June. Con-
NEGROS ISLAND, VISAYAS:
BANAUE RICE TERRACES, LUZON:
The Chocolate Hills on Bohol Island, Visayas