Philippines Driving Guide
Another archipelago situated in South-East Asia, the Philippines consists of over 7000 islands lying between the Philippines and South China Sea. Known for its stunning beaches and lengthy coastlines, these islands are a popular tourist destination and tourism is one of the biggest contributors to its GDP as well as creating over 1 million jobs.
Other than the stunning beaches, tourists flock to the country to discover beautiful rainforests, mountains, excellent water sports opportunities (including diving) as well as the rich historical and cultural heritage on offer.
Exploring the various islands by rental car is a great way to discover the Philippines at your pace. Again, like most of Asia, drivers can be a little impatient and are not known to follow the rules of the road, so always err on the side of caution.
Luzon Island — Baguio to Sagada — Halsema Highway
5 hours (148 km) (91 miles)
The Halsema Highway between Baguio and Sagada, although not that long will take a fair time to navigate. Halsema, the highest highway in the country travels through extremely mountainous terrain.
Along the way, traditional Filipino villages can be found, all having various monuments outside them. These normally take the form of a vegetable and signify the crop the village is best known for. They all make great photo opportunities, so you might want to add a little more time to your journey.
Of course at a relatively high altitude, the views along the highway of the surrounding countryside, farmlands and the mountains themselves are magnificent!
Take care if it is raining as landslides onto the road are common.
Manila to Batangas City
1 hour 22 mins (82 km) (51 miles) via R-3 and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road
Situated roughly an hour outside the capital, Batangas is the perfect place to explore the beautiful waters of the Philippines.
The seas around the town are teeming with various marine life and are a favourite for both divers and snorkelers alike. This is one of the premier dive spots in the country. A word of warning, swimming in the area is not recommended as the terrain is extremely rocky. Many other activities can be found outside of the town including zip lining, hiking trails and sightseeing.
The town itself also caters to tourist so expect to find curio shops, bars and restaurants. Accommodation in Batangas City includes hotels, resorts, guest houses, bed and breakfast establishments and backpacker’s lodges.
The beautiful island of Boracay is situated 2km off Panay and in turn around 315km south of the capital, Manila. Often the best way to get there is by plane, but the island’s sun-kissed white beaches and crystal clear waters are worth the effort.
This small island is home to all the waters sports you could think of including swimming, snorkelling, diving, windsurfing, jet skiing and sailing. Don’t expect any sleep here, when the sun goes down the party starts!
Although not massive, the island does have a road network and is a great place to explore at your own pace especially by ATV or Buggy Car.
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