The Philippines are an archipelago of 7107 beautiful tropical islands north of Indonesia and east of Vietnam. Its position on the “Pacific Ring of Fire” give the deep blue waters one of the richest marine life ecosystems on earth.
The arrival of Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the 16th Century led to colonisation by Spain, which remained in force until the early 20th Century. The Spanish influence can be seen in the architecture and in the names of the different regions.
The Filipino people are warm, fun-loving and very friendly. Their flair is reflected everywhere, even the wildly decorated Jeepneys, the public transport, roaming the land in every colour of the rainbow. The Filipinos are also world famous for their exceptional musical ability.
Manila is the international gateway to the Philippines. This bustling city offers world-class shopping opportunities with duty free shops, local malls and inexpensive markets.
Dumaguete (pronounced “doomagetty”) is on the island of Negros, just opposite the southern tip of Cebu island. Diving is at the famous Apo Island Marine Sanctuary, where you will find walls, schooling pelagic fish, turtles and clear water, or along the Dauin coastline where you will find exquisitely rare macro critters. You might even see a wonderpus or a hairy frogfish, and don’t miss the mandarin fish mating dances at dusk. The extremely rare clown frogfish can be found in this area.
Atmosphere Resort & Spa
Atmosphere is an exceptional resort built on a seven acre old coconut plantation. The rooms are scattered throughout the property, creating a private and tranquil atmosphere. Choose between suites in bungalow-style accommodation to fully equipped apartments and penthouses, perfect for families. All rooms are air-conditioned with private balconies and small private gardens, and have luxurious amenities inside.
The spa at Atmosphere is something special. This secret garden has four pavilion treatment areas amongst waterfalls, ponds and even a heated pool, perfect for a relaxing treat. Atmosphere is also a fantastic resort to take kids under 5, with babysitting and early childhood programs available. You really can relax here!
Meals are served as a beach BBQ, fine dining in the “Blue” restaurant or even private dining, and include both Asian and European offerings. The chef will tailor the cuisine to the tastes and needs of the guest, ensuring a highly personalised experience.
Entry Requirements: Australian passport holders require six months beyond your intended stay and an onward or return air ticket. Visa will be issued on arrival for stays under 21 days. For more information and for holders of other passports, please refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for the latest travel advice.
Money: The Philippine Peso (PHP) is the unit of currency. One Australian dollar buys approximately 38 PHP.
Language: Tagalog is the national language, with many dialects spoken locally. English and Spanish are widely used.
Electricity: Electricity is 220 volts and uses either the European or USA plug type, depending where you are.
Time Zone: GMT+8 (2 hours behind Sydney)
Clothing: Cool, lightweight clothing is recommended. The local dress can best be described as lively and informal.
Climate: The Philippines is a tropical climate. Rainfall differs between four climate areas, but in the main diving areas the dry season is November to April and the wet season is during the rest of the year. The temperature average is 26-28°C year round
Water Temperature: 25°C in July to 28°C in December
Departure Tax: An airport tax of 550 PHP (approx $15) is payable on departure in local currency only.
Tipping: Tipping is never expected but always appreciated.
View Philippines in a larger map