At first glance, the more than 7,100 islands that make up the Philippines may appear to be similar.
Those islands — of which some 2,000 are inhabited — differ by history, culture and religion, meaning they draw tourists for different reasons.
Here are six — some well-known, some not — and the types of travelers that gravitate to each.
Boracay was once known as the Philippines’ quintessential party island. That changed following a six-month closure in 2018.
Along with an intensive environmental cleanup, the island freshened its image. It now caters to family-friendly experiences over hedonistic beach raves.
Boracay is divided into three “stations,” or areas.
Station 1 is home to White Beach, an area famous for its sunsets, white sands and gentle waves where little ones can frolic and splash. To eat, drink and shop, travelers can walk down the beach or hop on a “tricycle” — a motorcycle with an attached passenger cab — to reach the busier Station 2.
Station 3 is generally less busy but those looking for the most secluded escape can consider the northwest part of the island — an area locals call “Station Zero.” Home to three luxury resort companies — Crimson, Movenpick and Shangri-La, it’s for travelers who want a quiet cocktail while their kids build sandcastles on the beach.
With beach shacks giving way to resorts, some travelers may say the soul of the island has changed. Boracay is different now, for sure, but some may say for the better.
The province of Palawan comprises one main island and more than 1,700 other islands and islets. Limestone rock formations descend into turquoise waters, and some islands house luxe resorts.
The municipality of El Nido attracts people who want beach culture, restaurants and small resorts. It’s also where travelers will find Pangulasian Island, an eco-luxury resort in Bacuit Bay, an area popular with divers.