The Republic of the Filipinas is located in the Pacific Ocean, constituted by 7 107 islands, a little more than 2 000 only are inhabited, while approximately 2 400 islands did not even receive a name. It is lined in the East by the sea of the Philippine, by the West by the China sea and in the South by the sea of Celebes
Luçon is the biggest island, it shelters the capital city, Manilla, as well as the Cordellera Central, mountains that we recommend you to visit, if you add to your trip some inland visits.
At the center of Phillipines, the Visayas count islands of Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Panay, Masbate, Samar and Leyte. It’s the most interesant archipelago for diving, with thefamous worlwide dive sites Moalboal, Pescador Island, Malapascua, Apo Island, Panglao Isand.
In the South, Mindanao is the second biggest island from its superficy. Its main towns are Davao & Zamboanga. On southwestern of Mindanao are Sulu Islands, close to Borneo.
Then, in the western part of Visayas, stretches the Palawan Archipelago which counts more than 1700 islands, amongst them Tubbataha and Apo Reef.
Spain and United States, which both colonized the country, had a big influence on the Philippine culture which is an unique mixture of East and West . The most important ethnic groups are Tagalogs (or Filipino), Visayas (or Cebuano). These populations are mixed, during their long history, with Indians, Chinese, Spaniards and Americans.
Most of these islands, mainly volcanics, are covered by cloud forests, Almost twenty volcanos are in activity. The archipelago is subject to typhoons, particularly between May and October.
The relief of these islands is characterized on one hand by mountain ranges in the narrow and little numerous plains and on the other hand by trenches amongst the deepest of the world, with more than 11 000 meters deep east of Mindanao. All the islands possess beaches, but these last ones are mostly narrow. Most of the islands were covered with rain forest, but the deforestation reduced considerely its surface.
The wet rain forests and the coast of the islands make the happiness of birds, plants, animals and the marine creatures. It is one of richest ten countries in terrms of biodiversity. Approximately 1,100 species of vertebrates can be found including more than 100 species of mammals and 170 species of birds. The wet rain forests abound in floral species, including rare types of orchids and rafflesia.
The Philippines waters cover 2.2 millions spm , offering an unique marine life, so diverse, and its an important part of Coral Triangle. One find 2,400 species of fishes and more than 500 species of corals. Apo Reef is the largest coral reef of the country and the second one at mondial scale.
Although the fishermen practised for a long time the dynamite or cyanide fishing, the tourist development stopped these destructive activities, replaced by the Eco tourism in full development.