The Philippines’ archipelago is made up of almost 7500 Indian Ocean islands, it has one of the world’s longest coastlines and several of its loveliest beaches, including El Nido on Palawan: considered to be the most beautiful on earth. But is a country famous for idyllic white sands, and bluest of blue seas, any fun for families?

From extremes of surfing to more stupendous natural phenomena than seems fair, the Philippines is end to end exciting, and surprisingly accessible too. Here are just seven of the top hundred or so incredible family experiences to prove it.

1/7  Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, Palawan Island

The world’s longest, navigable subterranean river is one of the Philippines’ 10 UNESCO World Heritage sites, and you’ll find it on Palawan: known as the world’s most beautiful island, and home to its loveliest beach, El Nido.

Puerto Princesa flows for eight kilometres through dark, underground caverns and guided cruises by torchlight, sail half the river’s length. Whether you’re disconcerted or enchanted, depends on how you feel about thousands of bats; low-hanging roofs of ragged rock, and a powerful smell of guano.

This one is definitely best for older kids and teenagers, and has the added attraction of monkeys and monitor lizards at the entrance to Puerto Princesa.

Where: Palawan Island, south western Philippines.

When: During the dry season from December to March.

How: Daily flights from Manila to Palawan take one hour. Guided cruises of Puerto Princesa leave from Sabang Beach on Palawan’s west coast.