PhilippinesExploring the Philippines' 7,000 tropical islands is a lifetime's work. But travelers who find their time limited to weeks rather than years will not be disappointed. A cultural mash-up of Spanish colonialism and Southeast Asian tradition make this archipelago unique. Explore the ornate San Agustin church in Manila, get lost in Vigan's pretty and iconic Mestizo District and marvel at the tumbling rice terraces of Banaue. If all that seems too much, the beaches here are among the world's best. Bacuit Bay in particular is a mecca for sun worshippers and outdoor types, with first-class diving and hidden sandy coves for lounging.

from edition.cnn.com