With gorgeous beaches, clear waters and a sprawling landscape, the Philippines is a fabulous destination for families. Growing increasingly popular, it’s the ideal place for toddlers, kids, and teens to explore, get at one with nature and to have fun. And while they’re wearing themselves out, grown-ups get to kick back and enjoy some R&R. But with over 7000 tropical islands dotting the region, where should you to next on your Philippines family holiday?
Water sports are rife in Boracay and once you spot those beautiful turquoise waters just off the island’s famous 4km-long White Beach, you’ll see why! Parasailing, zorbing, banana boat rides, glass bottom boats, kayaking - the options for entertainment are endless. The island also offers other attractions that are less wet and just as much of a giggle. The Bat Cave - to see the Old World Flying Foxes - is a unique experience, and climbing Mount Luho to view the local wildlife makes for an educational and exhilarating day out.
Where to stay: Shangri-La Boracay ticks all the boxes. The one and two bedroom villas can accommodation an entire family comfortably under one roof. Their Kid’s Club is also fantastic, providing parents with some much-needed alone time while the little ones make new friends.
A direct flight away from Hong Kong, Cebu is the perfect destination for families searching for nice beaches but who are short on time. The island is resort-orientated, but there are numerous opportunities for island hopping for those looking to venture out, and the nearby snorkeling and diving is great. The Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary and the Cebu Happy World Museum - which is full of surrealist art - provides some pretty hilarious Facebook uploads!
Where to stay: Shangri-La Cebu’s facilities for children are fantastic as children aged three and below have their own Toddler Zone (rare for hotels!), and there’s also a big children’s water playground and an indoor playground. Even hard-to-please teens can be happy here as they meet friends at the E-zone that comes equipped with arcade games and football.
Palawan is a true diver’s paradise. It’s remote, the waters are pristine, and it really is a world apart from the rest. The best way to experience this magnificent underwater world is by island hopping: Snake Island, Pandan Island, Starfish Island – all names for truly special places. If you don’t like getting your head under water, kayaking through the spectacular underground river - the world’s longest that winds through a cave - is a must-do.
Where to stay: AmanPulo is a gorgeous escape that is only accessible by private plane, and it will give your family a wonderful sense of freedom. This is the place to roam and reconnect with your nearest and dearest. An excellent children’s club hosts arts and crafts, movie nights and gardening, and those over the age of eight can join in with the diving.
Where to stay: Nay Palad just 40 minutes away from the airport on the mainland, is pure magic and delivers on all fronts. Activities abound for children of every age including stand-up paddle boarding, surfing, kayaking and snorkeling, and a quirkily designed Children’s Village where they can run, jump and scream to their heart’s content. The major perk? It’s an all-inclusive resort so no surprise bills upon check-out!
A little quieter than its sister island, Cebu, Bohol is famous for its Chocolate Hills, a nice little day trip for those tired of lounging by the beach. Legend has it that these huge mounds were formed by the calcified tears of an old, broken-hearted giant – a story to entertain the kids! Hiking is a popular activity, but as with all islands in the Philippines, the beaches aren’t too shabby either and it’s hotspot for dive and snorkeling enthusiasts.
Where to stay: On Panglao Island, The Ananyana is our pick for families. The atmosphere is warm, welcoming and laid-back, which immediately puts everyone into holiday-mode. Rooms are built in traditional Filipino style and the two-story options with sea views are ideal for larger groups.