10 Best Places to Visit in the Philippines
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes, 41 seconds
If you are looking for unending adventure, mind-blowing landscapes, and tropical islands for your next holiday destination, then the Philippines is a gem of a destination. But if this is your first time visiting the Philippines for your next holiday trip and you don’t know which island to see first then as a traveller, it is indeed one of the most challenging decisions to make. This is because the Philippines is one of those must-visit destinations that one can visit multiple times. After all, there are more than 7000 islands. Now if you are wondering about the island groups, then let us begin by saying that the Philippines is divided into three main island groups and they are Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Each of these three islands represents different regions in the country.
The scenery in each of these regions of the Philippines ranges from tropical to mountainous to metropolitan. From idyllic island with crystal clear turquoise waters to paradise-like beaches to century-old Spanish colonial fortresses and the world’s most perfect Mayon volcano, as a traveller, unlimited surprises are waiting for you in the Philippines. You can catch a rare glimpse of the tarsier monkeys at the private sanctuaries on the island of Bohol, or you can enjoy strolling around the colonial streets of the capital city of Manila.
Since the Philippines is an island, it is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Thus it’s not surprising that the Philippines has some of the best white sand beaches in Asia, and if you are into water sports, then you will be delighted by the outstanding opportunities the Philippines has for you.
It is a huge challenge to put up a Philippines itinerary, but to make your task simple, we have composed the top 10 best places to visit in the Philippines.
Boracay is considered the beach capital of the Philippines, and rightly so, Boracay has more than 12 beaches. This tiny island is in the west Visayas region. It is the perfect destination for beach lovers who wants to spend some relaxing moments on the beach sunbathing or engaging in some simple water activities with their family or partner.
If you love collecting shells and it is your passion and hobby collecting shells, then you must visit the Puka Shell Beach, which is on the tip of the island. Diniwid Beach is another must-visit place in the Philippines because of the amazing view of the island one can get from a platform rock located there. If you love treasure hunting stories and have always wanted to visit one such place, then you have to go to Cagban Beach. The Cagban Beach is a quiet spot that has caves nearby which are rumoured to have treasure chests still. If you want to have a panoramic view of the island, then take a trip to the highest point of the island Mount Luho.
Cebu is located in the central Visayas region and is the perfect spot if you are looking for water activities like snorkelling and diving. For any underwater enthusiast, Cebu is the best place to visit. The excursions will help you get up close to sea turtles, coral reefs, and whale sharks.
Cebu has some of the most breathtaking sceneries from the water like the sea caves that have been a significant point of attraction for outdoor enthusiasts and photographers from across the globe who are looking for unique snorkelling and diving sites. Another must-see place near Cebu is the Sudlon National Park which is approximately about an hour from Cebu City. It is a spectacularly, beautiful park if you are looking to hike and explore. If you couldn’t already guess from the above description that Cebu is known for its water attractions, but Cebu City also has some fantastic cathedrals and museums that are a must-visit if you are a history buff.
Vigan is a historic city in the northern Philippines in the Luzon region. It is a beautiful and charming town to visit that has a fusion of Spanish and Chinese influences that originated from the settlers in the area. You can admire the Spanish colonial architecture while riding the horse-drawn kalesa through the streets.
One of the most famous views of the area is the noted landmark Bantay Tower. You can also visit the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, which is not only breathtaking but also a perfect spot if you want to sit and watch the locals as you take in their local culture. And last but not least the Calle Crisologo which is a walkable historic district where you can find many local craftsmen and admire the landmark structures.
4. Puerto Princesa
The caves, natural parks, and rock islands are the hidden paradises of the Philippines. Puerto Princesa underground river is a must-visit place if you want to explore such gorgeous natural gems the Philippines has to offer. The Subterranean River National Park is a perfect spot for you if you are interested in limestone caves, you will also be able to see the underground river that runs for miles.
The UNESCO World Heritage site will provide you with boat tours which will take you through the national park. If you want to try caving or zip-lining, then you should visit Ugong Rock. Another popular spot is Honda Bay which is a famous snorkelling spot.
Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is on Luzon Island. It is a bustling city that you can see around by hopping on to the colourful jeepneys which are generally packed with locals with whom you can enjoy the bumpy ride while getting to know the local culture. This iconic jeep ride will be one of the main highlights of your trip to the Philippines.
The historic San Agustin Church and The Rizal Park, which is the main park in the city are perfect places to stop and have a look around while you are in Manila. If you are looking to buy some local handmade gifts or fruits, then the public market at Quiapo Church should be on your list. This place is a hotspot on Fridays when several people come to worship.
The emerald green rice terraces of Banaue are striking to watch. These terraces are considered an agricultural wonder. You will be able to watch the most beautiful sunrise as clouds and fog lift off and reveal the intricate and wonderful landscape of the terraces.
The Bangaan Rice Terraces and the Batad Rice Terraces are UNESCO World Heritage sites. If you want to experience nature sincerely then take a walk through the Hiwang Village or the Banaue Ethnic Village where you can meet and mingle with the indigenous people of this region who maintain the rice terraces.
The island of Bohol is in the central Visayas region of the Philippines, Bohol is known for its natural beauty and slow pace of life. One of the most honest and unique wonders of the island is the Chocolate Hills in Carmen. This UNESCO-protected site has a collection of 1200 geological formations that becomes brown in the dry season, hence the name.
Bohol is also home to the tiny Tarsier primate that is famous for its large engaging eyes. You can quickly pay a small fee and have a walk around this family-owned sanctuary and get to see these small nocturnal mammals up-close. Bohol also has many beautiful beaches.
If you are an avid traveller, then you should have Siargao Island on your itinerary. Although this island is small, it has some stunning waterfalls, surfing waves, and unusual rock formations that are bound to leave you amazed.
Siargao is mostly known for its surfing, and numerous coastline spots are excellent if you are planning to go surfing. Even if you are not a particularly big fan of surfing, you can easily spend your time watching some extremely talented championship surfers who come to these spots for surfing.
Deep-sea fishing is also very popular on this island as anglers try catching mahi-mahi and sailfish throughout the year. Another great option is island hopping to places like Bucas Grande or Sohoton Caves where you get to see the non-sting jellyfish.
If you are looking forward to the experience of a lifetime in the Philippines, then you should visit the northern tribal region in Sagada. Sagada is nestled in the remote and rugged Cordillera Mountains, and the tribes here occasionally do welcome one or two visitors. If you are an advanced outdoor enthusiast, then this area will seem like a paradise to you. The high elevation and the steep mountains are bound to enhance your skill level and thrill that is required for outdoor adventure.
One of the must-see places in this region is the hanging coffins that are carefully hidden deep in the mountains. It is highly recommended to hire a local guide who will make sure you get to see this incredible site because this is not your usual tourist spot. Instead, it’s a bona fide tribal region hidden and worth a brag-worthy experience. Hiking is also very popular here, especially Mount Ampaco, which is the highest peak in the Echo Valley which has rugged and steep terrain.
10. Coron Island
Coron Island is considered a tropical paradise that is also one of the top diving destinations in the world. The crystal clear electric green and blue water will almost feel unreal, especially if it’s your first time. This mountainous island is located in the western-most section of the Philippines and on the tip of the Palawan island region. Because of the numerous wrecks, this island has become a popular diving destination and liveaboard diving is also very popular here too.
Many of these shipwrecks are preserved and are located in depths ranging from deep waters at 42 meters to shallow waters at just 3 meters. Most of these wrecks aren’t sufficient to explore with only one dive. You will need almost a week exploring this area. If you are not interested in shipwrecks, then do check out Barracuda Lake which was a former volcano with lots of unusual fish and rock formations.
Reasons why you need to visit the Philippines now
Below are some reasons why the Philippines deserve to be on your bucket list:
- It’s almost always summer in the Philippines. The Philippines is a tropical country; it is a dream paradise for people who are craving the sun rays. Even during the rainy months, the Philippines are sunny and warm.
- The hospitality and the warmth of the Filipinos is another reason why you would love to visit the Philippines. Aside from the picturesque spots, the Filipinos are very hospitable, and most of them can speak English which is why you won’t even have any language barrier and also doesn’t have to worry about getting lost.
- The Philippines has indeed been nature’s wonder, and this is why it has always been a top destination for people who love beaches. With the crystal clear water, white sand beaches, and over 7000 islands, no one can deny the magic of this place. These islands are in the lap of nature and untouched by modern resorts; hence they will give you a much-needed break you might be looking for.
- The cost of travelling and living in the Philippines is affordable. And that’s not all you will also be able to find cheap hostels and bed and breakfast accommodations that are perfect particularly for backpackers. Food is also affordable, and finding a decent place isn’t going to be difficult at all. Even alcohol is cheap here so you can also enjoy the nightlife without any money worries.
Finally, the Philippines have an official tourism slogan that says “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”. And this is true because no matter what kind of a fun experience you are looking for you are bound to find it here.