GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES AND THE VISAYAS:
The Philippines, an archipelago with more than 7000 islands, is located in Southeast Asia. Besides the national language, Tagalog, most people know how to speak English. About 90% of the Filipinos are Christians; the remaining 10% are Muslim, living mostly on the southernmost islands.
Your flight will take you either to the international airport in Manila or directly to Mactan/Cebu City, and then by domestic flight or ferry to your destination.
The Visayas, the heart of the Philippines, have their own language, Cebuano and offer some of the most famous vacation and dive destinations. From Cebu City fast ferries or land transportation will take you to your final destination.
The time difference to CET in summer time is +6 hrs. and in winter +7 hrs.
ENTRY AND VISA:
Since August 1, 2013, 151 Nationalities may enter the Philippines without a visa and can stay for a maximum of thirty (30) days, provided they are holders of a passport which is at least valid for six (6) months beyond the period of stay in the Philippines. It is also required to present a return or outward bound ticket to the country of origin or to another country of destination.
MONEY AND CURRENCY:
The Philippine currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP). US$ bills as well as EUR bills are easy to change almost everywhere. Payment with VISA and Mastercard is accepted almost everywhere but in many resorts credit cards are only accepted with a 3-3.5% service charge. No service charge will be added in Pura Vida Beach & Dive Resort and Sea Explorers. In bigger cities it is possible to get cash out of the ATM machines. Please note that the Peso comes in 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 bills. Try to break down the 500 and 1000 bills since many places and taxis won’t be able to give you change.
Exchange Rate: Click here
At the moment there are no vaccinations required. There is no need to take malaria prophylaxis in the Visayas. It is only recommended if you’re traveling to Palawan or some parts of Mindanao. Like in every tropical climate typhus and hepatitis prophylaxis is recommended. The Tetanus vaccination should be updated as well. Please contact your medical doctor for any questions you might have.
FOOD AND DRINKS:
Almost every resort offers international as well as local cuisine. Specialties are of course fish and seafood dishes. You will find a big variety of tropical fruits like mangos, bananas, pineapples and so on.
Tap water is usually not drinking water and sometimes slightly salty. Mineral water is therefore everywhere available. Enjoy fresh and delicious fruit juices and shakes. For beer enthusiasts we can recommend the local San Miguel.
CLIMATE AND CLOTHING:
All around the Visayas is tropical climate; the temperatures are between 28-35ºC. There is not really a rainy season in this area but normally you will find the most stable weather condition from December to June.
Shorts and T-shirts are normally sufficient. A pair of long pants, a sweater or jacket should be in your hand luggage because of very cold air-conditioned waiting areas and fast ferries.