Explore the Philippines. Take a peek at Filipinos’ history and culture mirrored by century-old churches, ancient forts and modern museums. See the best of nature in our white-sand beaches and three-layered virgin forests.
Discover the Philippine islands. Blessed with an extensive coastline, the Philippines is ringed with unspoiled beaches and first-class resort facilities. Its deep-blue, crystal-clear waters offer about 40,000 square kilometers of coral reefs teeming with a wide variety of marine life.
Endowed with a temperate climate, the Philippines offers a perfect treat to enjoy the sunlight. Lying in southeast Asia and surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines boasts of unsullied beaches, spectacular sunsets, luxuriant pastoral lands, cool mountain weather, brilliant man-made resorts and dazzling islands.
The Philippines boasts some of the best beaches and scuba diving waters in the world, supported by golf and an increasingly-impressive inter-island tour and transport system.
Witness the vast expanse of nature’s splendor under the spell of cool mountain breeze. A perfect setting for romance or nature tripping, the country’s mountain villages serve as a perfect hideaway from the lowlands’ summer heat.
If you have yet to see the Philippines, then embark now to what promises to be a trip to paradise!
Feel the breeze of summer at white-sand beaches deemed as among the world’s finest; be fascinated at the spectacular view of Baguio and Tagaytay; and take a dip in the refreshing waters of modern resort facilities.
Widely known as one of the finest swimming destinations in the world, Boracay is blessed with unsullied fine talcum powder-sand beaches. Its tranquil crystal clear waters are perfect for swimming, sailing, fishing and sunbathing. Boracay also boasts of sapphire seas and spectacular sunsets. Countless hidden coves dot the island and tall coconut trees line up along the beaches.
Boracay lies at the northwest tip of Panay, in the west Visayas region, off the Sibuyan Sea. The island is made up of little communities: Yapak in the north, Balabag in the middle, and Manocmanoc in the south. Hilly elevations up to 100 meters above sea level characterize Yapak and Manocmanoc. Intertwining trails link the small villages together but many sometimes lead to lush tropical jungles.
To get to Boracay, one has to book a flight to Kalibo, the capital of Aklan province. Air-conditioned coasters or public buses offer one-hour-and-a-half drive to Caticlan where one can board a motorized banca for a 30-minute trip to Boracay.
This newly discovered island boasts of white-sand beaches and surfing waves compared to that of Hawaii. Lying 800 kilometers southeast of Manila, the tear-shaped Siargao Island is a perfect haven for the sun, sea, and surf buffs. It lies on the eastern portion of Surigao del Norte and on the southeastern tip of Mindanao. The island is a mass of tropical land with scores of reefs, points and white beaches.
Its promise as a surfing mecca in the making was discovered in 1993 by American surf photographer John Callahan who went to investigate the rumors of spectacular waves in a little known Mindanao town. He came back from his trip armed with stories about the lovely sun-drenched island and documented his find with beautiful photographs.
Siargao opened itself to the international surfing community by playing host to the Siargao Surfing Cup in the municipality of General Luna. Siargao’s Cloud Nine break is said to be among the best in the world and foreign sportsmen view “the unparalleled surf of Siargao as a magnet for deep sea fishing, sailing, wind-surfing, kayaking, and sunbathing on miles of white sandy beaches that the reef-ringed island and its rich waters afford the visitor.
Samal Island offers unending fascination with its white-sand beaches, thick mangroves, coral reefs, rolling hills and rock formations.It is an archipelago of nine islands located in the Davao Gulf about 700 meters south of Davao City. An ideal model for resort and development, Samal Island provides a fabulous site for sunrise and sunset.
Samal Island, like the rest of Mindanao, is outside of the typhoon belt, and enjoys relatively calm weather. Its coastline is characterized by tall, swaying coconut trees, white sand beaches, rock formations, mangroves, coral reefs, and small fishing villages, all suggestive of a tropical island paradise.
Almost all of the beach areas have white sand, with widths varying from only a few meters to more than 10 meters. It provides ample space for picnic huts, reclining chairs for sun bathing, or for simply relaxing and enjoying the tropical scenery.
The water is crystal clear throughout the coastline, which varies in terrain from gently sloping sand beaches to steep cliffs and rock formations. The colors of the coastline at the beach areas transforms itself from the green lush vegetation of coconut trees, to the white sandy beaches, to the dark blue color of the sea, with its deep waters and coral reefs.
Among its popular attractions are the Aguinaldo Pearl Farm, the caves of Talikud Island, the White Stone Mountain, and the San Jose Muslim Fishing Village.
Bohol’s Springs and Beaches
Bohol is one of the loveliest islands in southern Philippines. It is situated at the heart of Visayas and with coastline skimmed by gentle coves and white-sand beaches. Many highways snake along sparkling beaches or leafy rivers where one can stop at any point and jump in.
With its rolling hills and plateaus, crystal springs and beaches, the province of Bohol is a picturesque province replete with ancestral homes and centuries-old churches. Bohol is composed of numerous isles -Panglao, Pamilacan, Cabilao, Jao, Mahanay and Lapinin, which are excellent dive spots.
The Chocolate Hills is but one of the many natural wonders to be found in Bohol. The province is the home of the world’s smallest monkey, the tarsier. The size of a fist, the tarsier lives on the hills of Corella, some ten kilometers from Tagbilaran. Other exotic flora and fauna may also be found amongst the forest of Bohol.
Bohol’s various mountainous and water formations also serve as a natural playground for the adventurous tourist. One can cruise its rivers, hike up the hills, swim the deep waters, or just stroll down the avenues. Bohol is just waiting to surprise you.
Tagbilaran, Bohol’s capital town can be reached by plane or boat from Cebu and Manila. Numerous tourist inns and excellent resorts are found in Tagbilaran and Panglao island.
The Beaches of Palawan
The exotic beauty of Palawan remains undefiled. Branded as the country’s last frontier, Palawan is a sanctuary to an amazing variety of exotic flora and fauna that are found nowhere else. Palawan is also home to Tubbataha Reef, the only national marine park that made it to the World Heritage List and whose grandeur is comparable to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
With more than a thousand islands and islets, Palawan boasts of white-sand beaches, scenic rock formations, underwater rivers and magnificent caves. Other well-known attractions include Saint Paul’s National Park which boasts of caves that nestle an underground river; El Nido, a world-class resort famous for its awe-inspiring seascape and limestone cliffs; and Calauit island, home of Philippine and African wildlife.
Also in Palawan is the primordial island of Busuanga, a perfect starting point for sorties to other nearby islands.In Palawan, each day is promising. The sun rises over the South China Sea and soon everything else sparkles, including the smiles of its people.
The Beaches of Glan, Sarangani
Glan, the largest town in the Sarangani province, boasts of world-class beach resorts and rich fishing grounds. The terrain of Glan is characterized by flatlands, rolling hills and mountains. Most land areas have been converted to agriculture and fishponds.
The town of Glan is bounded on the east by Davao Del Sur, on the north by Malapatan town, on the west by the South China Sea, and on the south by Sarangani Bay.
Many foreign and local tourists flock to the area during summer because of its splendid beach resorts. The sorrounding waters, particularly in Gumasa, Baliton and Margus areas are rich fishing grounds. As many as 2,400 species of marine animals have been found in the bay. The dominant catch include yellow-fin tuna, shipjack, and mackerel.
Glan can be reached from Manila and Cebu by airplane going to General Santos City and a 45-minute drive from the airport.
Subic, the former US naval base in the Philippines, is now a hub for commerce and tourism. Just two-and-a-half hour drive north from Manila, Subic offers a full view of the blue mountain and sea and of the green background of a three-layered virgin forest.
Points of interest include the 18-hole Binictican Golf Course and Clubhouse, a white-sand beach, bowling and arcade center,a ship wharf past a restricted forested area, firing ranges, fishing grounds and an area for bungee jumping.
Visitors to Subic can take a 12-hour jungle survival course, visit an Aeta tribal village, take a bay cruise, explore the coves, end up at the white-sand beach of Grande Island, engage in water sports, go horseback riding or simply enjoy the scenic view of the sea.
Subic Bay is complete with tourism-support facilities that include a marina, a yacht club, hotels, shopping arcades and food shops. It also boasts of an international airport.
Anilao, a resort village in Mabini, Batangas is considered the summer mecca of diving fanatics. The resort offers accommodations and diving facilities, plus the services of training clubs that provide courses on diving.
Situated in the southeast area of Batangas province, Anilao may be reached within three hours from Manila through public buses or jeepneys. From Anilao, one can start diving from the shore or go in bancas to nearby islands. Among them is Sombrero (Hat) Island, a marine preserve where sports activities are regulated.
Other dive spots in this side of Batangas are Mapating Rock at Maricaban Island, Caban Cove and Layag Layag Point.
Puerto Galera (which means Galleon Port) is one of the most popular beach resorts in the Philippines. A marine reserve, it is endowed with coves, fine sandy beaches and shallow coral reefs ideal for snorkeling.
The place can be reached from the port of Batangas City where a ferry service to Mindoro awaits the tourists. Bancas may be hired to go to Escarceo Point, the best dive spot in Puerto Galera. The area offers positive thrills and guaranteed excitement, with its sudden rushes of strong currents and steep slopes which are a favorite gathering place for large pelagic fish.Diving expeditions are usually organized by certified masters on specific dive spots.
Northern Philippines boasts of white-sand beaches in Pangasinan and Ilocandia. Among the best tourist destinations is the Hundred Islands which can be reached from the Pangasinan town of Alaminos, where the lodging accommodations and restaurants are situated.
At Hundred Islands, the visitor may rent an island for one’s own private beach for a day. Short boat rides take off from the village of Lucap to the Hundred Islands.
Beaches stretch along the western coast of Ilocos region. Among the popular beach resorts are Cresta del Mar, Bali Hai, Cabana and the Coconut Grove in La Union province.
Ilocos Norte also has fine resorts such as D’Coral Beach Resort and Fort Ilocandia.
Pools and Resorts
Aside from beaches and diving spots, the Philippines also has other beautiful places. You can either take a dip in the refreshing waters of modern resort facilities, feel the gush of volcanic hot springs or just have fun under the waterfalls.
A popular tourist destination, Pagsanjan Rapids and Falls is a series of 14 rapids punctuated by mini-waterfalls on the way to the main falls. Pagsanjan is a small Laguna town which served as the setting for Fracis Ford Coppola’s film “Apocalypse Now.”
The terrain towards the main falls offers a lot of exitement. As one negotiates the waterway, the trips becomes wilder, with the river flanked by towering cliffs lush with vegetation. Waters from the Cavinti and Luisiana dams cascade down Pagsanjan Falls and into a segregated part of the river which is about 150 feet deep. Here, one can rent a raft and enjoy riding under the falls.
Aside from Pagsanjan Falls, Laguna has a lot more to offer. Laguna has one of the Philippines’ incredibly beautiful countryside sceneries. The province offers a scenic view of a bay, considered as the largest in the country. The towns of Calamba and Los Baños abound with swimming pools and resorts. Many residents of Metro Manila head for these towns during summer.
In Calamba, one can proceed to the ancestral house of National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal. The house now serves as a museum and is a repository of Philippine history and culture.
Los Baños, on the other hand, is famous for its numerous hot springs. Considered as a flower basket in Luzon, Los Baños produces a wide variety of flowers and other ornamentals. Mt. Makiling, an extinct volcano, stands guard over the town.
Hidden Valley Springs
Hidden Valley Springs is one of the most popular resorts in Alaminos, Laguna. The valley nestles at the foot of Mt. Makiling, a mystical mountain associated with local myths.
A number of springs with hot, cold and soda water, lace a forest of huge fruit trees, tropical shrubs and flowering plants. A concrete path connects the pools and leads to the jungle’s interior where a waterfall has cut a gorge down the mountainside.
The resort has cottages for overnight stay and restaurants. It is an ideal base for visiting the surrounding provincial towns of Laguna and Quezon.
Bulacan, a progressive province just north of Manila, offers resort facilities that are generally clean and complete in amenities.
The towns of San Jose del Monte, Sta. Maria, Balagtas, Pandi, Malolos, Plaridel and San Miguel boast of resort facilities that draw visitors from Metro Manila and nearby provinces. The rural setting provides a perfect blend of countryside nature and modern facilities for fun and recreation.
Among the well known resorts in the province are DJ Paradise Resort in Malolos; Sibul Spring Resort in San Miguel; Grotto Vista in San Jose del Monte; 4k Garden and Lanesca Resort; Latian in Marilao and Villa Christina in Balagtas.
Bulacan is just a 30-minute drive from Manila via the North Luzon Tollway or through the Mac Arthur Highway.
Villa Escudero, a coconut plantation village in San Pablo City, was developed by its owners into a tourist destination complete with swimming pools, picnic area, fishing grounds, and modern amenities. Special packages can be arranged to include overnight stay with food and accommodation.
The village offers a glimpse of plantation living. The whole area is surrounded by coconut trees and flowering plants. The estate also houses a museum whose collection ranges from fabulous antiquities to kitsch. Bamboo cottages grid a river that flows to a dam where picnickers gather around the tables set up on the water.
The village is a one-and-a-half hour drive south from Manila.
Situated on the southern entrance to Manila Bay and opposite Corregidor Island is Puerto Azul, a beach resort that offers a breathtaking sight with all its elegance and mystique.
Puerto Azul, a tourists’ paradise in the outskirts of Ternate town in Cavite, boasts of flowery bushes, verdant hills and forests, blue sea, and fine sand beaches. Here, one can imagine one’s self in the Biblical Garden of Eden (a little bit in the modern era, though).
The resort complex, which nestles within a 3,300-hectare nature reserve, houses two entities: the Puerto Azul Beach Hotel and the Puerto Azul Beach and Country Club. The club manages a world-class golf course designed by Gary Player and Ron Kirby and completed in 1978. It is now a popular venue for many prestigious championship tournaments.
Though Puerto Azul has always been synonymous with golf and the beach, now there are other things that one can do within the complex. Puerto Azul Beach Hotel has, in fact, prepared 30 fun-filled activities which can be done on one’s own or with family.
Camiguin Island, known for its lanzones festival, offers white-sand beaches, spring resorts and magnificent caves untouched by industrial development. The island lies off the north coast of Mindanao. Aside from its beaches, Camiguin boasts of spring resorts and waterfalls.
The 62-square kilometer island-province has more volcanoes per square kilometer than any other island on Earth. Most famous of the island’s seven volcanoes is Mt. Hibok-Hibok whose last eruption was recorded in 1951.
Among its popular attractions are the Ardent Spring Resort run by the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA), the Mt. Hibok-Hibok itself, Santo Niño Cold Spring, Medano Islet, Mantigue Island and the lanzones festival.
There are local flights to Camuigin island.
Witness the vast expanse of nature’s splendor under the spell of cool mountain breeze. A perfect setting for romance or nature tripping, the country’s mountain villages serve as a perfect hideaway from the lowlands’ summer heat.
Rising 1,500 meters above the sea, Baguio City enjoys a relatively cool weather throughout the year. On the average, Baguio is at least eight degrees cooler than any place in the lowlands. Not surprisingly, Baguio has become the “summer capital” of the country.
It is awarded with a variety of cultural, historical and scenic attractions which make it an important and interesting destination. As early as March, tourists and locals take the six-hour trek up the zigzagging Kennon Road. Within a mile of the city, the sweet scent of pine trees and flowers already permeate the air.
Designed by Daniel Burnham during the American occupation, Baguio City is situated in the midst of pine-covered hills and valleys at the southern end of the Cordillera. Among its popular attractions are the well-manicured lawns of Club John Hay, the Mansion House and the Burnham Park.
From Baguio City, one can proceed to the Banaue Rice Terraces, also considered as the eighth wonder of the world. An engineering marvel, this “Stairways to the Sky” was constructed by hand by the Ifugaos.
With an altitude of 2,250 feet above sea level, Tagaytay City enjoys a cool climate all year round.
This city perched on a ridge is located in the province of Cavite, some 56 kilometers south of Manila. It overlooks Manila Bay on the north, Taal Lake and Taal Volcano on the south, Laguna Bay on the east and the China Sea on the west. The city is linked to the Metropolitan Manila and the province of Batangas by the Aguinaldo Highway.
Among its attractions is the Tagaytay Picnic Grove where one can get an unobstructed view of Taal Volcano, which lies within a lake. Taal Volcano, which rises 406 meters from the lake, is reputedly the world’s smallest volcano.
Taal Lake itself is an immense body of water formed when the old crater collapsed and the walls of the larger volcano caved in and sank.
A visit to the Volcano Island can be arranged through the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology in Quezon City which maintains a monitoring station on the island.
For visiting tourists, support facilities are readily available in this idyllic city. Tagaytay is the “sister” city of Las Vegas and Nevada, U.S.A; Tainan City, Taiwan; and Bankstown City, New South Wales, Australia.
This Mountain Province town, situated west of Bontoc, boasts of its cool weather and spectacular sceneries. A pastoral upland valley, Sagada provides an endless expanse of mountain ranges which are clothed by fogs in the early morning.
Among its attractions are towering limestone cliffs, subterranean caves and unexplored forests. Some of Sagada’s caves remain unconquered. Because of their length and depth, Sagada’s natives believe that these caves lead to the center of the Earth.
Other sites to visit in Sagada are the Kitongan bottomless pit and underground river, Calvary Hill, Bukong Falls and Alipine Lake Banao. Sagada has accommodation facilities and can be reached by public buses from Banaue in Ifugao province or from Baguio City.
Another popular destination, specially during the Lent period, is Mount Banahaw, an extinct volcano which rises 2,100 meters above sea level.
Banahaw towers over the southeastern towns of Laguna and Quezon. Revered as a mystical mountain, Banahaw has become a sanctuary for different religious cults. Up on Banahaw’s leafy slopes live members of various religious sects who adhere to what seems to be a mixture of Catholicism, Buddhism, the cabala, animism and other forms of pagan worship. Down below, in the foothill towns, dwell amulet-makers, soothsayers, faith healers, diviners and dedicated UFO watchers.
Banahaw comes alive during the Lent when various religious sects re-enact the passion of Jesus Christ.
People ascend to Mount Banahaw to experience its cool weather, bathe in its hot springs or simply stand amazed at the sight of nature’s beauty.
Mount Banahaw can be reached from both east and west. From the east, the ascent starts in Lucban, Quezon, while from the west, in Dolores, Laguna. For both climbs, it is advisable to have a guide to ensure a safe trip.
Thousands of people head south of Manila to spend a day of fun-filled relaxation and adventurous excitement within the American-style walls of Enchanted Kingdom, a 17-hectare world class theme park conveniently located in the outskirts of Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Enchanted Kingdom, a short five-minute ride from the Sta. Rosa Tollgate of South Luzon Expressway, brings the closest version of Disney-type leisure in the country. The theme park, managed and operated by Amtrust Leisure Corporation (ALC), offers educational entertainment tours to students and “gastronomic treats” to families.
The P1.2-billion park, which has been operating since July 28, 1995 was conceptualized by Landmark Entertainment Group and designed after the Knott’s Berry Farm, America’s first amusement theme park located in Buena Park, California. It is a member of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). As such, it provides visitors with thrilling rides, stunning sights, and wondrous experience.
In the words of the Enchanted Kingdom operators, “the place is an active mix of thrills, attractions, entertainment, food service, celebrations and shopping set amidst an enthralling place that presents the past and the future, the quaint and the sophisticated, the picturesque and the dazzling in one unique package.”
Enchanted Kingdom is an aggregate of seven theme zones: Victoria Park, Portabello, Brooklyn Place, Spaceport, Jungle Outpost, Midway Boardwalk, and Boulderville. These zones serve as enclaves to 21 thrilling rides and attractions meant to provide daring visitors with a sense of flight, twist, twirl, and other acrobatic stunts.
The rides include the Grand Carousel, Flying Fiesta, Rialto, Space Shuttle, Log Jam, Wheel of Fate, Condor, Up Up and Away, Roller Coaster, Anchors Away, Dodgem, Stone Eggs, Air Pterodactyl, Swan boats, and Bump n Splash. In the near future, the park is set to introduce other exciting rides such as the Kiddie Train Ride and the Rio Loco River Rapid Ride.
Aside from the rides, Enchanted Kingdom also charms its visitors with various treats such as the fireworks show every weekend, dance presentation by the park’s in-house talents, theater shows, seasonal shows, well-manicured gardens, classic American brownstone facades and establishments, and a variety of characters and mascots led by the Wizard.
Rediscover Manila like you’ve never seen it before. Be charmed by the city’s glorious past mirrored by its century-old churches, gallant forts, classic plazas, ancestral edifices, stately museums, and historic monuments. At the same time, relish the beauty of a modern city rising from the ruins of yesteryears. Beyond Manila’s busy streets and crowded commercial centers lie festive joints that celebrate life.
The Old City
Manila, which was named after a white-flowered mangrove plant called nilad, was a tiny Malay settlement along the Pasig River ruled by Rajah Sulayman in the 16th century. The Spanish colonizers moved the capital of the Philippines from Cebu to Manila in 1571. They built the walled city of Intramuros, which for the next 300 years, was to become the nerve center of the Spanish rule.
Intramuros was the political and commercial center of the Spanish regime. From this walled city, the Spaniards extended their cultural and religious influences to the different parts of the country. They built churches, Catholic-run schools and universities, government buildings, and magnificent artifices, which reflect the Castilian architecture.
At the turn of the century, the Americans came and ruled the Philippines for 50 years. They introduced their own architecture, language, education and system of governance. During this period, Manila underwent a facelift. A blend of American and Spanish influences gave way to a new Manila, which was to evolve into a giant urban area known as Metro Manila.
Today, Metro Manila is an aggregate of 10 cities and seven municipalities.
Among the popular attractions in Metro Manila are Intramuros, Rizal Park, Binondo, Malacañang, Malate, the CCP Complex, Nayong Pilipino, Ayala Avenue, the Fort, Ortigas Center, Quezon Memorial Circle, and countless bars and restaurants scattered around the metropolis.
Traces of the Spanish influence still loom in Intramuros. A tour of this landmark will provide the visitors a deeper understanding of Manila’s rich heritage. Intramuros protects within its walls a number of national treasures like the Fort Santiago (once a prison for revolutionary Filipinos, now a peaceful park-cum-museum), San Agustin Church (the oldest structure in the country with its Baroque interiors and trompe l’oeil murals), Manila Cathedral (a magnificent architectural feat with its intricate stone carvings, stained glass mosaics, and rosette windows), Casa Manila (a former colonial house and now a museum of national relics), and San Juan de Letran school.
Intramuros has been restored for the tourists. Today, it houses a museum, art galleries, an open-air theatre, fine restaurants, craft shops and souvenir stalls. It also keeps a park lush with tropical flora and homing pigeons. The park, Puerto Real, is the venue of Saturday musical performances during dry months.
Just beside Intramuros is Rizal Park, a 60-hectare conglomerate of gardens, historical markers, plazas, an artist’s sanctuary, a 1913 bronze monument of Jose Rizal, a grand stadium, an observatory, an open-air concert hall, a light-and-sound theatre, restaurants, food kiosks and playgrounds, with dozens of fountains. Fronting the northwest side of the park is Manila Hotel, whose lobby is one of the most imposing in the world. Along the park’s bayside, tourists can have an unobstructed view of the fabled Manila Bay sunset.
A five-minute walk from Rizal Park is the National Museum, the official keeper and guardian of the country’s cultural, historical and natural heritage. It houses the representative works of the National Artists, as well as the renowned paintings of Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo and Juan Luna. It puts on display some prehistoric finds, including the Tabon skullcap, pottery, ceramics and other artifacts from China and Indochina and remnants of pre-Hispanic boats that brought Malay immigrants to the Philippines dating to about 1250. Other establishments worth visiting in the area are the Metropolitan Theater and the National Library.
Across the Pasig River from Intramuros is the Binondo area, home of Chinatown. The district is filled with all things Chinese from Peking duck and Buddhist temples to gold watches, snake soup, and wonder herbs. The high chords of Chinese songs and the permeating smell of incense complete the uniquely Chinese ambiance. It is said that this quaint district was already a hub of Chinese commerce even before the Spaniards came in 1571.
In particular, Ongpin offers a lot of variety: restaurants, pet shops, bakeries, grocery stores, jewelers, traditional medicine shops, acupuncture clinics, kung-fu schools, and mahjong parlors. Ongpin leads to Plaza Santa Cruz, which is where Rizal Avenue curves to meet the MacArthur Bridge. Escolta, now a shadow of its former self, leads off from here. The plaza is dominated by Santa Cruz Church.
From Escolta, one can proceed to the San Miguel district, known for its Spanish-style houses and the Malacañang Palace, seat of the Philippine government. This ornate Spanish colonial palace, with its arches and balconies, was built as a private country house in the late 18th century and purchased by the government in 1825. At first the governor-general’s summer residence, it became his permanent residence in 1863, after the Palacio Real in Intramuros was destroyed by an earthquake. In 1986, the palace museum was opened for the public. Visitors are advised to call first. The telephone number is 521-2307.
The CCP Complex
The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex is the arts center of the country. Located along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City, this is the premier venue for ballet presentations, concerts, stage plays, performances, exhibits and trade fairs. Inaugurated in 1969, the CCP comprises a fine concert hall seating 2,000 plus an intimate 400-seat theater as well as a library, museum, art gallery, and an upscale restaurant. The lobby is opulent, with marble floors, curving staircases, and glass and kapis-shell chandeliers.
Also within the complex is the Coconut Palace, an architectural wonder made from the coconut tree mixed with other indigenous material. The Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the Product Design and Development Center, the Folk Arts Theater, Philippine Center for International Trade and Exhibitions (PHILCITE), Westin Philippine Plaza Hotel and Manila Film Center are also found here.
Beside the CCP Complex is the World Trade Center, while fronting it is the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) building. The BSP houses two museums: the Money Museum, which showcases excavated antique gold jewelry and the Metropolitan Museum, a repository of classic Filipino paintings and a host of rotating international art exhibitions.
Roxas Boulevard is also lined up by de-luxe and standard hotels, lively nightclubs, and the Cuneta Sport Center, home of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
Parks and Zoos
From the CCP complex, one can proceed to Nayong Pilipino. This 32-acre theme park is also just a 10-minute drive from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The park features scaled-down replicas of the country’s top tourist destinations such as Mayon Volcano, the Banaue Rice Terraces and the Chocolate Hills.
A smaller park, which offers a venue for relaxation is also within close distance. The Paco Park, which was built as a cemetery in 1820, is now a frequent site of mini-concerts and musical performance by the country’s finest artists.
The park is surrounded by trees and plants, which are properly identified. Behind the park is the Paco Hong Giarn Taoist Temple. Nearby are the New Swiss Inn, with bar, restaurant, and delicatessen, and the Park Hotel, with lounge, restaurant, and swimming pool.
Not far from the area is the Manila Zoo on Adriatico street. Manila Zoo, the country’s largest and oldest, hosts international and indigenous animal species such as the Tamaraw and Philippine crocodile. It is open everyday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The northern part of Metro Manila takes pride in maintaining two animal sanctuaries, Parks and Wildlife Nature Center and the Malabon Zoo. The former, located at the corner of Quezon Ave. and the Elliptical Road in Quezon City serves as the protection center for exotic animals confiscated from smugglers and illegal collectors.
A stone’s throw away is the Quezon Memorial Circle, a park noted for its 30-meter-high monument of former President Manuel Quezon. Its underground chambers house the Quezon City Museum and Art Gallery. The Malabon Zoo and Aquarium, located along Gov. Pascual Avenue in Potrero, Malabon also has a collection of interesting fish and animals. It is open everyday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
In Makati City, an air-conditioned zoo at the Glorietta mall is frequently visited by parents and their small children. The area also has a small playground.
South of Manila is Makati City, considered as the financial capital of the country. Along Ayala Avenue rise modern skyscrapers, which are home to multinational companies, foreign embassies and local banks. The trendiest leisure spots – hotels, restaurants, bars, music lounges, fashion boutiques and department stores – converge around the sleek Ayala Center. Across EDSA is the posh subdivision of Forbes Park, home of the country’s rich and famous. One area that now competes with Makati in terms of its modern architectural landscape is the Ortigas Center between Mandaluyong City and Pasig City. Home to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), it is also the site of three of the country’s richest shopping malls – SM Megamall, Robinson’s Galleria, and Shangri-la EDSA Plaza.Also within Ortigas is the striking leisure enclave, Saint Francis Square, with its fine restaurants and fashionable music lounges.
The town of San Juan, just next to Manila, boasts of its large mansions and modern houses. It is home to some of the richest Filipinos, including the present president. Quezon City is the site of many government installations, leading universities, and television stations. Marikina City, on the other hand, is considered as the shoe capital of the Philippines. It takes pride in having maintained a clean river, planked by greens.
Las Piñas City in the southern part of Metro Manila has retained much of its provincial appeal. Its main attraction, however, is the world-famous bamboo organ, found in the town’s picturesque Catholic church. The centuries-old musical instrument was constructed between 1792 and 1819. It has 174 bamboo pipes, 122 horizontal reeds of soft metal, a five-octave keyboard, and 22 stops arranged in vertical rows. The church is open daily except Sunday morning.
As a shopping haven, Metro Manila offers almost all kinds of products, from the most fashionable to the rarest items. And they can be found almost anywhere, in the most luxurious department stores as well as in small bargain shops. Depending on the traveler’s budget, there is always a place where one can find the best buys. The giant shopping malls, SM, Robinson’s, Glorietta, Shangri-la, and Rustan’s, carry most of the well-known international labels. They also have stores, which sell the best of Filipino products.
Unique souvenirs are being sold at Silahis in Intramuros, and SM Department Store, Makati Commercial Center and Landmark in Makati City. The best place to search for Philippine handicrafts are “Ilalim ng Tulay Market” on Carlos Palanca Street, and the handicraft stalls at Nayong Pilipino. For antique collectors, the best spots to visit are Padre Paura, Ermita and Intramuros.
Attractive buys are also available in the metro’s flea markets, such as Quiapo, Tutuban and Divisoria in Manila and Baclaran in Parañaque. Bargain-hunters will surely have a feast while picking from the widest collection of fabrics, RTWs, home furnishings, bags, shoes, watches, handicrafts, office supplies and other interesting items.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Thiruvananthapuram
Trivandrum (official name Thiruvananthapuram), lying on the southwest coast of India, is the capital to the state of Kerala. The city extends from latitude 8°29′ N to longitude 76°59′ E. The place is well connected to most of the other major cities of India through rail, road, and air network.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Kochi
In Cochin or Kochi, dawn is not often a thing of breathtaking beauty, but just a careless smear of tinted light where sea and sky unite. Daybreak is full of indeterminate promise. A slow lividness at the mist-obscured harbor mouth meets the swelling untamed surge of the ocean. Cargo-laden barges and vallams or country boats move, ponderously slow, over the sprawling vastness of the Vembanad Kayal, Kerala’s largest lake that spreads full bosomed and silver gray in the sultry sun.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Kayamkulam
Kayamkulam is a small village on the western coast of India in the state of Kerala. Washed by the waters of the Arabian Sea, the place is almost equidistant from Alleppey and Quilon, both of which connect the Kerala backwaters. The place is connected by rail and road with other cities in the region as well as other parts of the country.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Kottayam
The word Kottayam is a composition of the words Kotta (meaning fort) and Akkam (meaning inside). Kottayam is one of the exotic backwaters sites attracting tourists throughout the year. Being a mountainous region with scenic landscapes, backwaters, bird sanctuaries, temples and churches make this a place of tourist attraction. Lying below the sea level, some of its nearby places are also a treat to the eyes
Tourist Places in Kerala – Kovalam
Kovalam, meaning “a groove of coconut trees,” is just 10 km from the state capital of Kerala- Thiruvananthapuram. Kovalam is actually a combination of three small beaches. Among these, the southernmost beach, named Lighthouse Beach, is the most frequented beach in Kovalam. Earlier this beach of Kovalam was an anglers’ paradise. It still has some small villages, just a few kilometres away, which belong to the fishing community. Gradually, this beach of Kovalam has been transformed to a tourist spot of great interest. Kovalam is an ideal place for a sunbath during the winter. Tourists to Kovalam can also experience the typical Kerala massage from the parlours available a few kilometers away along the Kovalam beaches.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Kumarakom
The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary in Kumarakom is spread across 14 acres is a favourite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist’s paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live in flocks, in Kumarakom, are a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Palakkad
The tourist destination of Palakkad known as the granary of Kerala is a land of valleys, hillocks, rivers, forests, mountain streams, dams and irrigation projects. Situated at the foot of the Western Ghats, Palakkad is the gateway to Kerala from the north. Palakkad derives its name from the Malayalam words Pala (a tree Alsteria scholaris) and Kadu (forest), which goes to prove that this place was once a beautiful stretch of forests covered with the sweet-scented flowers of the Pala tree.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Kozhikode
Calicut or Kozhikode is situated in the south Indian state of Kerala on the southwest coast of the Arabian Sea. The district extends from latitude 11°15′ N to 75°49′ E. Basking in the idyllic setting of the serene Arabian Sea on the west and mesmeric peaks of the Wayanad hills on the east, this district has all the required ingredients to fascinate a tourist.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Munnar
Munnar is a small hill station set amongst the Kannan Devan hills. It is famous for its lush green surroundings, lakes, reservoirs, forests, and tea estates. The quiet environs of Munnar attract the traveler to relax in the lap of Mother Nature. Munnar also beacons the adventure-seeking traveler, who is interested in paragliding. It has some of the highest tea estates in the world.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Alappuzha
Alappuzha (Alleppey) is one of the exotic backwater sites of India’s southern state Kerala. Washed by the Arabian Sea, interlocked by a number of canals and bridges, this tiny marketplace is also famous for its Nehru Trophy boat race held every year. Alappuzha attracts tourists not only by its natural beauty but also through its locally made coir products that are of a very superior quality.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Kannur
Cannanore or more appropriately Kannur as it is known today is a place with a rich history right from the time of the Aryan migration. The word Kannur may have evolved from a village named Kannathur around which the modern town of Kannur grew. Or according to some it is a combination of Kannan (Lord Krishna), a deity in the Hindu pantheon and Ur meaning a place or an abode. With the advent of the Europeans, the name underwent yet another change – Cannanore!
Tourist Places in Kerala – Ponmudi
A mere one and a half hour’s road journey separates the beaches of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) from the invigorating climate of Ponmudi Hills. The name Ponmudi, a hill station so close to the sea, in Malayalam means golden crown.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Quilon
Quilon (also Kollam) is situated in the southwest corner of India in the state of Kerala. The district is encircled by Alappuzha in the north, Pathanamthitta in the northeast, Thiruvananthapuram in the south, Tirunelveli (Tamilnadu) in the east, and the Arabian Sea in the west. It extends latitude 9°28′ and longitude 76°17′ north.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Nilambur
Nilambur is a beautiful town in the Malappuram district of the Indian state of Kerala. It is situated on the banks of the Chaliyar River. It is at a distance of about 70 km from Calicut and 100 km from Ooty (Uddagamandalam). Nilambur is a small sleepy town has a surprise in store for its visitors.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Varkala
Varkala, a new destination in Kerala, is for those who prefer to do absolutely nothing while holidaying. Due to a spillover resulting from the over saturation of Kovalam, foreigners started coming to the town about six years ago. The trend that started as a trickle became a steady flow within two years. Today, there is a constant stream of visitors. However, because of the area’s comparative inaccessibility, a large influx of ‘outsiders’ has not happened here. At the Varkala platform, there is no indication that this town is on many a tourist itinerary.
Tourist Places in Kerala – Amritapuri Ashram
At the Mata Amritanandamayi Math in Amritapuri near Quilon, South Kerala, there is a beautiful temple that houses more than seven hundred full-time residents. The day dawns early in Amritapuri Ashram (monastery) located in the backwaters of Kerala. At 4.30 a.m. in the morning, most residents are up and begin to involve themselves on various activities.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
India is a globally famous tourism destination. It attracts tourists through out the entire globe with its great tourism potential, picturesque tourist places and excellent tourist facilities. It is the country of diversity and many seasons. The beauty of this country can be enjoyed on every season in different ways and styles. Even during the scorching summer season, India attracts tourists with some of cool summer tourist places. Have a look at some of cool and enticing tourist destinations which are very popular in summer season.
Almost all regions of India have some of fascinating places which are worth visit on summer and ideal for summer vacations.
The western region of this country has picturesque destinations like Goa, Mahabaleshwar, Matheran, Alibaug, Lonavala, Khandala, Ganapatipule, etc. Goa is a beautiful tourist state noted for its beautiful beaches, exotic wildlife, lush hills and many magnificent churches & convents. Traveler from all over the world head for Goa beaches in summer to spend their vacation. Mahabaleshwar, Matheran, Lonavala and Khandala are picturesque hill towns in western India noted for cool and cheerful ambiance. These destinations are ideal for summer holidays in India.
The southern region has beautiful holiday spots and destinations like Coorg, Ooty, Kodaikanal, Munnar, Ponmudi, Nagarhole, Mysore and Bangalore. These fascinating destinations are known summer holiday destinations in country known for cool and cheerful climate. Bangalore and Mysore are among top cities of India with lots of tourist attractions. Coorg, Ooty, Kodaikanal and Ponmudi are picturesque hill stations known for cool and healthy climate. Nagarhole is wonderful destination of wildlife tourism in southern India. These destinations are among top tourist places in India you will love to visit on your summer holidays in this country.
The northern region has picturesque hill stations like Srinagar, Gulmarg, Kashmir, Manali, Mussoorie, Shimla, Dalhousie, Ranikhet, Almora, etc. These hill stations are known for abundant nature beauty and cool & healthy climate. Jaipur, Corbett National Park, Rishikesh, and Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary are some other north Indian tourist places to visit in India. These fascinating destinations are very popular in summer.
The eastern region of India has beautiful tourist destination like Puri, Digha, Raichak, Shantiniketan, Kolkata, etc. Visiting these important places in eastern India would be a truly charming experience.
The northeastern region has fascination summer tourism destinations like Gangtok, Shillong, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Pelling, Guwahati, Kaziranga National Park, etc. Excellent time to visit these destinations is summer. Darjeeling is also a favored honeymoon destination in northeastern region of India. Kaziranga National Park is noted for one-horned rhinos.
If you want to visit India during summer, I hope this article will help to plan your summer holidays in India. I will reveal information about some other destinations which are especially known for monsoon tourism or monsoon holidays in India.
Monday, April 12, 2010
The beaches of Goa are speckled with quaint little beach shacks that serve ice cold beer and spicy Goan cuisine. The list below includes some of my favorite Goa beaches. You won’t find any of the more popular, overcrowded beaches here – like Colva and Calangute beach – that are done to death in every Goa travel guide or information brochure. These are only the best beaches to visit, some a little off the beaten track.
Candolim is the birth place of Abbe Faria, a Goan Freedom Fighter and the Father of Hypnotism. When we stay at Candolim, we usually book one of the rent-back apartments a stone’s throw away from the beach. There is little or no shelter close to the beach, but you can hire out a beach umbrella, sample the good food available at the beach shacks that dot the beach, and sun yourself in solitude. This Goa beach is very popular with package tourists, but is still not too crowded.
Sinquerim beach has clean, white sand, and is close to the historic Fort Aguada, the early 17th century Portuguese fort that was built by the Portuguese to control the entry into River Mandovi and to protect old Goa from enemy attack. You can take a long walk from Sinquerim beach all the way up to Candolim beach, which continues all the way north to Baga.
Baga is a small fishing beach with a grove of shady palms close to the water’s edge. There are few buses that come all the way to the beach’s edge, but none after dark. It’s a long walk to the Calangute taxi stand from the beach, so if you plan to stay after sundown, make sure you have your own transport. Baga is really an extension of Calangute beach. But unlike Calangute, which is crowded, steep and marred by dangerous undercurrents, the beach at Baga is flat, safe for swimming, and has clean, white sand.
Bambolim beach is a small, clean, largely undiscovered beach, in a shaded spot before the mouth of the river Zuari. The entrance to the beach is easily missed and lies along the hill between Goa Medical College and the Goa University. The road goes all the way down to the Bambolim beach resort from where you can make your way to the beach. The beach is carpeted with broken mother-of-pearl and other shells, which makes it a haven for shell-collectors. Thick coconut groves line the beach and provide shade and privacy. Its a beautiful beach for a quiet, cozy picnic.
You can enjoy lunch at the Bambolim Beach Resort restaurant, serenaded by one of the local singers or bands. When you decide to head back home, take the road that goes to the beautiful Goa University all the way up to Dona Paula. A little off the road before Dona Paula just before the National Institute of Oceanography, is a restaurant called White House. It serves excellent seafood and has a view of the bay to die for.
Arambol Beach is near the traditional fishing village of Arambol and is an isolated stretch of beach known for its rocky and sandy terrain. Until recently Arambol was a favorite Goa beach for hippies and its claim to fame was the wild parties it was host to. The main beach is relatively good for swimming. To the north are quiet bays where you can take long walks with starfish underfoot. There’s a hot spring near the main beach that runs into a freshwater lake. Sporty types can enjoy activities like dolphin watching boat trips and paragliding.
Vagator is one of the more beautiful white sand Goa beaches. To reach the beach, you have to walk down a steep cliff. The sea here is not safe for swimming, but during the tourist season, it has an active nightlife. The south beach is fairly spread out and more secluded. A little further south of the main beach you’ll find the quiter Little Vagator or Ozran beach with a fresh water pool. You can also visit the nearby Chapora Fort. Accomodation is not always easy to find because there are few hotels here.
My strongest memory of Benaulim is that of being bitten by a stray dog. But I also remember all of us – the entire family – feasting on a delicious meal of shellfish we dug out in bucket-loads from the sand. Benaulim beach is more peaceful and serene than Colva and still rather undiscovered by domestic tourists.
According to Hindu mythology, this is the place where the arrow of Lord Parsurama landed when he created the state of Goa. Known in Sanskrit as Banali, it was changed to Benaulim by the Portuguese. The main attractions on this beach are the dolphin cruises. The church of St. John the Baptist on the hill is a wonderful example of Goan Christian architecture. With the first drops of the Indian monsoon, the village breaks into a celebration of thanksgiving for the Feast of São João.
Palolem beach, situated in the Canacona district, is also known as “Paradise Beach”. Until a few years back, it was among the virgin beaches of Goa. It is a fishing beach popular for its dolphin cruises and fishing trips. At the northern end of the beach is a tiny, island in the middle of a fresh water stream that can be reached by swimming across at low tide.
Agonda is a virgin stretch of beach twelve kilometres from Palolem and, until recently, was undiscovered by tourists. It is sometimes frequented by day picnickers. The waters are crystal clear and its easy to see the bottom of the shore while swimming. Watch out for the sharp barnacles if you decide to climb any of the rocks there.
Mobor and Cavelossim Beaches
Cavelossim Beach is a small stretch of beach eleven kilometres south of Colva beach. South of Cavelossim beach is the Mobor beach that currently boasts of five star resorts like the Leela Beach Resort. Both beaches are relatively isolated and there are few beach shacks here. Mobor has a fishing village with a small lagoon near the mouth of a river, and its fun to watch the seagulls that come to feast on the fish drying on the sand.
Posted by Emma Thompson
By Hasan ⋅ January 16, 2009
We live in a world blessed with sights that are beautiful beyond words. Every human being probably dreams of visiting at least one of those places in their lifetime. Living in modern cities with high-rise buildings, we tend to miss out on what Mother Nature has to offer as well as some of the most incredible man-made structures built throughout the course of history.
Look at the places below, and you will see beauty that fills the eye and warms the heart. It wouldn’t be appropriate or humanly possible to just pick a few places from the huge collection of amazing sights around the world and call them the “best.”
They say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and there are perhaps other places that have touched your heart. For this reason, we do not claim the places included in our list are the best, but rather among the vast collection of the most beautiful places of the world.
Skardu Valley – Pakistan
Photo by bogavanterojo
Photo by NotMicroButSoft
Skardu Valley is part of the Baltistan. Baltistan is spread over an area of 26,000 square kilometres – just right below the jagged and glaciated ramparts of the Karakoram. Once part of Laddakh, it was known as Tibet-i-Khurd – Little Tibet. Archaeological exploration has proven that it was encompassed by the Silk Trade Route.
Shangrila – Pakistan
Photo by NotMicroButSoft
Shangrila Resort Skardu, also known as “Heaven on Earth”, is nestled amongst some of the world’s highest peaks. It encircles the heart shaped “Kachura Lake” and is surrounded by fruit laden orchards and flower filled gardens.
Lake Saiful Muluk – Pakistan
Photo by Fahd Murtaza
Lake Saiful Muluk is a lake located at the northern end of the Kaghan Valley near Naran. A fairy tale called Saiful Muluk, written by the famous sufi poet Mian Muhammad Bakhsh, is associated with the lake. It is the story of prince of Persia who fell in love with a fairy princess at the lake. The impact of the lake beauty is of such extent that people believe that fairies come down to lake in full moon.
The Grand Canyon, United States
A steep gorge by the Colorado River, Arizona in the United States, the Grand Canyon has some truly enjoyable scenery. It is 277 miles in length, 4 to 18 miles in width, and about a mile deep. Scientists believe that the canyon was created by the Colorado River over a six million year period.
Native Americans built settlements in the caves within the canyon before the emigration of Europeans. It was also considered to be a site of pilgrimage by the Pueblo people. The first recorded visit to the Grand Canyon by the Europeans was in 1869. Although it is not the deepest canyon in the world, it is known for its extremely large size and beautifully intricate landscape. The Grand Canyon National Park is said to be one of the first national parks in the United States and it attracts more than five million visitors a year. Weather conditions in the Grand Canyon vary greatly between seasons as well as varying at different elevations. While winter snow is experienced by the higher forested rims, the inner gorge has a desert temperature because of the low elevation.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
One of the natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef off the east coast of Australia is the world’s largest coral reef. It has the distinction of being placed in the World Heritage as well as the National Heritage lists.
With more than 600 islands and coral cays, the reef covers more than 300,000 sq. km. Corals make up the reefs and cays and are responsible for a huge variety of sea life in the reef — green turtles, several varieties of whales and dolphins, the dugong, about 4000 types of mollusks, 1500 different species of fish, as well as beautifully colored bird life encompassing at least 200 species. The Great Reef Marine Park is a huge tourist attraction with millions of tourists visiting the area each year. Sporting activities include reef sailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling, amongst others.
Cape Town, South Africa
Aptly called “Heaven on earth,” this beautiful town at the tip of the African continent, with small roads surrounded by huge mountains, makes a person feel small; showing how marvelous and dominating nature can actually be.
The Cape Dutch style buildings depict the architectural heritage of the place. Beauty abounds in the black clouds that seem to pay homage to Table Mountain at all times. Cape Point, Signal Hill, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Robben Island, Rhodes Memorial, and the beaches are some of the famous tourist attractions. Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town is famous for its natural floral kingdom as well as its harbor. This town is one of the most popular tourist attractions of South Africa with its wine tasting day trips, whale watching, and dolphin watching.
Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal in India is one of the wonders of the world and is one of the most beautiful mausoleums constructed by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, in memory of his favorite queen, Mumtaz Mahal. Located in Agra, white marble was used in the construction of this symbol of love, and the Taj Mahal is considered to be the pinnacle of Mughal architecture.
As the story goes, the emperor was grief-stricken when he lost his beloved third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It took thousands of craftsmen and artisans, and about twenty years to construct it. The masons, stone cutters, carvers, inlayers, calligraphers, painters, and others were brought from throughout the entire empire as well as from Iran and Central Asia. Semi-precious stones were used for inlay ornamentation. It later became the mausoleum of Shah Jahan too. This is a huge tourist attraction with one to two million tourists visiting it every year.
Canadian Rockies, Canada
The majestic Canadian Rockies are the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains. They are a visitor’s wonderland and the playground for western Canada. They are older than the American Rockies and are formed from over thrusting.
The Canadian Rockies house five national parks, and four of those national parks (along with other provincial parks) combine to form a single UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of beautiful mountain landscapes, lakes, canyons, waterfalls, glaciers, peaks, limestone caves, and fossils. Mount Robson is the highest peak of the Canadian Rockies and climbing it is considered a challenge. These beautiful mountains are a haven for hikers and walkers alike.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu in Peru, which means ‘Old Peak,” is one of the most enigmatic ancient sites in the world. According to legend, Machu Picchu was long ago considered to be a sacred place. The credit for the creation of the extraordinary city goes to the Inca people who have erected many stone structures and turned the place into a work of art.
Two thousand feet above the Urubamba river, these ruins consist of baths, temples, palaces, and about 150 houses, all very well preserved. These gray granite structures, some of which weigh more than 50 tons, are so perfectly sculpted that they are nothing less than works of architectural genius. They were rediscovered by a Yale archaeologist in 1911. The ethereal beauty, workmanship, and history of the place attracts millions of tourists each year.
The Pyramids, Egypt
The Egyptian pyramids are massive monuments with a square base and four triangular sides rising up to a point. There is still a lot of curiosity (and many theories) as to how the pyramids were actually constructed.
It is generally believed that the Egyptians began constructing them after 2700 B.C. and that they were built as tombs for the pharaohs. The most well-known (and the largest) pyramids of Egypt are the Pyramids at Giza which are said to be the largest ever built. It’s said that the Great Pyramid at Giza took 23 years to complete, using a work force of around 30,000 people. About 118 pyramids have been identified, and they are popular and intriguing to tourists and home researchers alike.
Described by the UNESCO as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”, Petra is an archeological site on the slope of Mount Hor. It is one of the new wonders of the world and is famous for its rock-cut architecture.
This site was kept hidden until 1812 when it was discovered by a Swiss explorer. It was said to have been prepared by God for the Jewish people. Petra once flourished under the Roman empire but a rapid decline began with the Arabian trade being taken elsewhere. Then an earthquake caused a great deal of destruction. Tourists frequent the place to get a glimpse of the ruins of this beautiful city.
Great Wall of China, China
One of the seven wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China is a man-made structure that was constructed over two thousand years ago and took about 100 years to complete. The vastness of this project brings to light the immense capabilities of man.
The constructions started in the 5th Century B.C. It is actually not a single wall, but rather many walls put together, and it stretches over 4,000 miles. It was constructed to protect the Chinese Empire from the Xiongnu people in the north. The wall was initially built of stone, grass, earth, and wood, but bricks were used once the production started. It is believed that about 2-3 million Chinese died during the construction project.
The Iguazu Waterfalls, Argentina-Brazil Border
Heralded as the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, the Iguazu Waterfalls are a true wonder of nature. They are located at the border of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. While the Argentinean side allows visitors to walk right around the water or explore the National Park, the Brazilian side is known for its panoramic views and splendor.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt is believed to have exclaimed upon seeing these falls, “poor Niagara.” The area surrounding the falls provides ample opportunities for rock climbing as well as water sports. Iguazu has the distinction of having a greater annual flow than any other waterfall in the world.
With all of these, and many more beautiful places that exist in our world, we surrounded by choices. The only way to decide on the places to visit is to follow your heart. While some may love the tranquility of water, others may bury themselves deep in architectural miracles, ancient sites, or the serenity of a small town.