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Overview

Although Manila is still the main port of entry into the Philippines, growing numbers of people are skipping the capital in favor of the smaller international airport at Cebu, the Philippine's second city and the capital of the Visayas. There are six main islands in the Visayas group — Cebu, Panay, Negros, Bohol, Leyte and Samar — plus a host of smaller islands and islets, including famous Boracay, which has some of the best beaches and scuba diving in the Philippines. Other highlights include the dive sites around Cebu island and sleepy Bohol with its curious Chocolate Hills, shaped like Hershey's Kisses. Only a few visitors make it to ...

Although Manila is still the main port of entry into the Philippines, growing numbers of people are skipping the capital in favor of the smaller international airport at Cebu, the Philippine's second city and the capital of the Visayas. There are six main islands in the Visayas group — Cebu, Panay, Negros, Bohol, Leyte and Samar — plus a host of smaller islands and islets, including famous Boracay, which has some of the best beaches and scuba diving in the Philippines. Other highlights include the dive sites around Cebu island and sleepy Bohol with its curious Chocolate Hills, shaped like Hershey's Kisses. Only a few visitors make it to Leyte and Samar, which are characterized by quiet villages, peaceful beaches and dense jungles. Transport between the islands is by small planes and outrigger boats. Some of the most interesting islands are also the smallest — tiny Malapascua is a dot of white sand with great diving; while Siquijor has beaches, caves and resident spiritual healers.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Visayas is one of the three island groups in the Philippines, along with Luzon and Mindanao. It consists of several islands, primarily surrounding the Visayan Sea.
  • Language: Filipino, Tagalog, English
  • Currency: Peso and Piso
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    December to June, for dry weather and minimal risk of typhoons