When we say the Philippines, what do you think; island paradise? It’s true — there are 7,107 white sand islands, miles and miles of secluded beaches, and luscious greenery adorning every mountain. We at Black Tomato have a couple secret, postcard-perfect destinations that we want to share with you. From the awe-inspiring landscapes of Bohol to the underwater paradise of Palawan and a dusting of desert island perfection courtesy of Amanpulo, this is one tailor-made island adventure you simply cannot miss. Floating lunches that meander down rivers, endangered creatures that clamber through treetops and warm waters that lap at your toes; eleven days of this southern journey will open your eyes to a paradise with a huge personality.
Touchdown in the Philippines’ Queen City of the South, Cebu, before hopping aboard a ferry across gentle waters to the enchanting island of Bohol. Before you’ve even dropped anchor, you’ll be blown away by the diverse environment on the horizon. White beach bays and tropical forests shade, whilst the island’s famous Chocolate Hill towers above it all. Situated in the heart of all this beauty is your luxurious hideaway; Amorita. Perched below the limestone cliff on Panglao Island, your private villa with infinity pool is the perfect spot from which to enjoy sundown each night. Skies faded to shades of dusky pinks and deep purples, take a seat at Bohol Bee Farm and marvel at the vast range of fresh and organic ingredients that are picked straight from the garden and served up on your plate. It’s all about the sweet potato wedges on a bed of fragrant wildflower salad; it’s an explosion of Filipino flavours.Read more
Wonders of the world
In the morning, be sure to set your alarm for there is a whole world of adventure amongst the Bohol landscapes to come. Today, you come face to face with one of the Wonders of the World. Cruise through intertwined coconut plantations and luscious nipa palms before you ascend up the famed Chocolate Hills for views across these iconic mounds that lend an ethereal glow to the surrounding landscape. As the afternoon approaches, sate your gnawing appetite with a spot of destination dining as you step onto an authentic raft to enjoy a traditional lunch on the beautiful topaz green Loboc River. Peace and tranquility with mesmerizing views, it’s our favourite spot for a touch of Filipino magic.
The endless rivers, springs and beaches on this island create a perfect adventure playground for water sports and activities. Over the few days take advantage of the world-renowned snorkelling and diving spots – and don’t forget to keep an eye out for the island’s smallest resident. No larger than a fist, the Tarsier clings to the trees with its adorable eyes; you’ll be desperate to catch glimpse of this little fella. To make sure you do, take a hike up to the Tarsier sanctuary where you can come face-to-face with these endangered, bug-eyed species in their natural habitats.
Paradise on Palawan
After four days on this island Paradise, it’s time to pack your bags as you hop across from Bohol to paradisaical Palawan. The undisputed gem in the Philippines’s crown, picture mountainous islands clad in a thick carpet of verdant jungle. Better still, encircling these island beauties you’ll find miles upon miles of candy coloured corals teeming with marine life that makes for some world class diving and snorkeling. Settle in on Lagen Island at the beautiful El Nido and simply relax into the beauty and peacefulness of a place where your hideaway lies nestled between lush forest and a calm, shallow lagoon. Shrouded by looming limestone cliffs you can take to the jungle and explore the flora and fauna, rent a sea kayak and explore the pristine waters and hidden caves. For a touch of extra indulgence you’ll always remember, why not pop to the spa for a traditional Filipino hilot massage? It’s island bliss at its finest.
Desert Island Dreaming
For one last sprinkling of desert island perfection, nowhere could beat Pamalican Island, home to the oh-so-gorgeous Amanpulo. Situated on an island just five kilometres long and 500 metres wide, this retreat truly is a slice of paradise where it’ll feels like just you and the ocean. Boasting its own diving school and a stunning reef fringing the island, you’ll be able to explore waters teeming with colourful marine life. Relax into your stylish beach casita where your doors open up onto the warm sands before padding across to their jaw-dropping floating bar for one last sundowner before returning home.
7,107 islands – but we think we’ve found three of our favourites.