Best 32 Places To Visit In The Philippines - Updated 2024

Isha
Isha 
Contributing Writer
Updated
| 16 min read

A giant among the famous tourist destinations of Asia, the Philippines is a country that needs no introduction. With picture-perfect beaches, rich biodiversity, colonial architecture, and indigenous culture, these islands attract millions of visitors each year. Whether you are looking for the best diving sites, most exotic jungle landscapes, thrilling volcano hikes, breathtaking natural wonders, best Spanish colonial buildings, or the most Instagram-worthy spots on the planet, this country has got them all. You will also have many accommodation choices that will suit your needs and style, from economy hotels to the most luxurious villas. From Luzon to Mindanao and every other province in between, we will give you a run-down on the best places to visit in the Philippines. Scroll down to know more!

Events to look out for:

  • Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival - This weeklong event takes place every January and ends with a bang on the third Sunday. It celebrates Saint Sto. Niño, the patron saint of some areas in the province of Aklan, through exciting street dancing. Various tribes dress up in battle regalia to participate. I think this would definitely be an interesting sight for travellers.

  • MassKara Festival - Every October, Bacolod City hosts this thrilling festival to honour its charter anniversary. The festivities include street dancing by performers wearing colourful masks and costumes.

1. Boracay

Recently reopened after a six-month ban due to overcrowding, Boracay is the ultimate beach destination in the Philippines and one of the top-ranked beach vacation spots in the world. Visitors to Boracay Island can enjoy a range of water activities like jet skiing, scuba diving, windsurfing, kiteboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, snorkelling, or swimming.

The powdery, white sand beaches of the island including White Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the country and in the world, are immaculately clean and the blue waters are crystal clear. I believe it’s definitely a must-see location in the Philippines! You can also enjoy delicious local treats, shop for shell jewellery, or explore the various beaches via a local mode of transport: an e-jeepney.

Good to know:

  • Godofredo P. Ramos Airport, commonly known as Caticlan Airport, is the closest airport to Boracay, since Boracay Jetty Port is about a 30-minute drive away. Kalibo International Airport is about two hours away depending on the traffic.

  • If you’re visiting Boracay soon, check out this guide for tourists from the Aklan government.


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Traveler's tips

Must Visit

Boracay is renowned for its white sand beach and picturesque sunsets, but the best way to view and experience the sunset is by joining a paraw sailing tour. The boat is called 'paraw' in the Cebuano language. I've tried it, and it's an experience on its own. Imagine the scenic view, the sound of the waves, and the water splashing on your feet.

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Boracay Tour Package (Island Hopping)

4245 reviews

2. Cebu

Located in the country’s Central Visayas region, Cebu is very easy to access from almost anywhere in the Philippines. There are beautiful beaches, spectacular diving locations, resorts and luxury hotels, heritage sites, and many beautiful islands in this famous tourist destination.

Diving and swimming with whale sharks and canyoning the river that leads to the Kawasan Falls are some of the popular tourist activities here. Visitors can even explore the nearby islands of Bohol Strait via boat rides. Several Spanish colonial-era churches, shrines and landmarks that dot its capital city, Cebu City, should also be visited while you’re here.

Good to know:

  • Travelers from all over can fly into the province via the solar-powered Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City.

  • Visit Cebu City in January to witness its famed Sinulog Festival. It’s celebrated on the third Sunday of the month and features a procession to honour Sto. Niño de Cebu and a vibrant parade.

  • For more information about the province of Cebu, check out its page on the Philippine tourism website.


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Traveler's tips

Canyoneering Canyoneering Canyoneering

I highly recommend canyoneering activity in Badian, Cebu. It is an exhausting but very fun activity, with lots of jumping, walking, wading, and swimming. Are you a daredevil? Then I suggest you try the high/cliff jump during the canyoneering. I am not sure about the height (some say it is 20 ft, some say it is more than that), but if you are like me, you can opt out from this. The activity took us almost 5 hours to complete. Be sure to bring along some snacks. You can give them to your guide if you don't have any dry bags with you. The guides have their own dry bags for your important belongings. 

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3 Day Cebu Highlights Tour, Cebu, Philippines

Duration: 3 Day(s) Duration

65 reviews

3. El Nido, Palawan

Constantly making it on the world’s top beach destination lists, El Nido in the Palawan region of the Philippines is blessed with mesmerising natural beauty that I would want to see while travelling. This hot spot is comprised of a group of islands with a very diverse ecosystem, home to many unique geological formations, as well as flora and fauna.

Visitors are attracted in droves to El Nido’s pristine beaches, dense forests, waterfalls, lagoons, caves, and enchanting cliffs. Diving is one of the most popular activities here, especially in Bacuit Bay. Swimming, snorkelling, hiking and visiting the various islands are other activities you can enjoy here.

Good to know:

  • If you want clear skies during your beach getaway in El Nido, visit the region between January and April when the weather is dry. April is the warmest month, so be sure to bring sunscreen and hats to stay protected from the sun.

  • The most efficient way to get to El Nido is by flying directly to El Nido Airport from Manila. However, it’s cheaper to fly to Puerto Princesa International Airport and take a five-to-seven-hour road trip to El Nido.

  • Find more useful facts about El Nido on its municipality page.


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Tip from Content Creator

El Nido, Palawan El Nido, Palawan

Photos and video of El Nido, Palawan, shared by content creator from the Philippines, Maria Luisa Oliver.

Traveler's tips

A photo of Big Lagoon A photo of limestone formation A photo of Seven Commando Beach

It was my first time traveling here in July 2023, and that trip was worth it. If you want to see beautiful limestone formations and enjoy the sea breeze, I recommend you to visit El Nido. I will give you two options to go here - you can book a direct flight going to Lio via Airswift, or if you are on a budget, you can book a flight to Puerto Princesa and travel by land for five hours going to El Nido. I am a budget traveller so I just booked a van transfer going to El Nido. It is tiring, but I will tell you that you will love the place. Also, just a friendly reminder when you are visiting any place in Palawan to make sure to have your own distilled water to avoid getting sick. 

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El Nido Island Hopping Tour A

Duration: 4hrs - 5hrsDuration

3259 reviews

4. Bohol

Famous for its dense forests and thriving jungle life, Bohol is another popular tourist spot in the Philippines’ Central Visayas region. It covers quite a large area consisting of the main island and 75 surrounding islands, no wonder plenty of beach resorts dot its extensive shoreline. You can explore the brown limestone mounds of Chocolate Hills, visit the fabulous diving sites at Panglao Island, or cruise on the Loboc River. Learn about Asia’s smallest primate, the Philippine Tarsier, at the Tarsier Conservatory.

I think visitors to Bohol will also enjoy admiring the beautiful architectural landmarks, beaches, caves, and waterfalls. The region’s capital, Tagbilaran, is worth checking out too, with its many restaurants, bars and shopping avenues.

Good to know:

  • Learn some common Cebuano or Boholan phrases to make travelling around Bohol easier. For example, “maayong buntag” means “good morning,” while “daghang salamat” means “thank you very much.”

  • See everything Bohol has to offer by reading through its official tourism website.


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Tip from Content Creator

Bohol

Photo and video of Bohol shared by content creator from the Philippines, Johnny Ferniz.

Traveler's tips

Cable car ride View from cable car ride

Check-out Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park, and try the activities they offer. We tried the cable car ride which crosses along the Loboc River. During the ride, you can see the Loboc River cruise below. So, conquer your fear of heights and take this ride.

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Bohol Day Tour from Cebu

Duration: 8hrsDuration

514 reviews

5. Vigan City

VIGAN CITY
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Obra19 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vigan City is the only surviving city in Asia that still has its original Spanish, oriental, and native Philippine structures intact. Visitors throng this 16th-century city to admire the amazing architecture, especially in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Walk through the cobblestoned streets of Calle Crisologo, and visit popular areas, including Plaza Salcedo, an Earthquake Baroque church known as Vigan Cathedral, Plaza Burgos, the many traditional Bahay na Bato houses and more.

Sampling the local food at restaurants and cruising along the Mestizo River are other popular activities that I think tourists will want to try here.

Good to know:

  • As exploring Calle Crisologo requires a lot of walking, wear comfortable shoes. Also, wear breathable clothes during the summer and bring a light jacket for cooler nights between December and February.

  • Check out the Vigan City government page for more information about the city and its tourism spots.


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Tip from Content Creator

Calle Crisologo
If you love architecture and history, walking down Calle Crisologo is a blast from the past that reminds you of the grandeur and rich cultural history of Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
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6. Puerto Princesa

puerto princesa
Source: www.klook.com

Nicknamed the ‘Eco-Tourism Center of the Philippines’, Puerto Princesa is a well-known city on Palawan Island, Philippines. It is often used as a start-off point for tourists heading to Coron, El Nido, and other similarly exotic destinations. But the city offers many attractions that warrant an extended stay. Check out the Emerald Beach and Nature Park, Palawan Rescue and Wildlife Center, Puerto Princesa, and Immaculate Conception Cathedral.

When soaking up the sun, you can explore Puerto Princesa seafront, Sabang Beach, and the nearby island of Honda Bay. Many restaurants and bars that serve excellent seafood and local dishes are also available here. A tour of Puerto Princesa Underground River is another experience you should not miss in this coastal city.

Good to know:

  • The best time to visit Puerto Princesa is from April to June, as the rain is least likely to dampen your holiday. Meanwhile, you can enjoy chillier weather from November to February.

  • Tricycles are the usual public transportation mode in the city, but note that these only transport two people at a time. However, you can hire one if you would like to go on day trips.

  • Puerto Princesa’s tourism website can tell you more about the city’s best destinations and events.


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Puerto Princesa City Heritage Tour

Duration: 4hrsDuration

701 reviews

7. Batan Island

As the main island of Batanes in Northern Philippines, this destination offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy the wild and raw beauty of the country. The scene of the Japanese invasion during WWII, Batan Island is known for being home to many active and inactive volcanoes that are responsible for the lush greenery and hilly geography of the island.

Visitors can admire the beauty of the rugged coastal cliffs and quaint limestone and coral houses, or visit Valugan Boulder Beach and Basco Lighthouse. Taking a boat trip to the nearby Sabtang Island is another popular thing I would want to do from Batan Island.

Good to know:

  • If you want to see the entirety of the island allot one to two full days to see all it has to offer.

  • Note that the locals speak a local dialect called Ivatan, so look up some languages to help you communicate.


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2 Day North Batan and South Batan Tour, Philippines

Duration: 2 Day(s) Duration

4 reviews

8. Siquijor

Paliton Beach, Siquijor, Philippines
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Checawey used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Shrouded in mystical traditions, the island of Siquijor is an up-and-coming tourist destination in the Philippines. During the Spanish occupation of the island, it was known as Isla del Fuego (Island of Fire) from the magical glow it emits due to the thousands of fireflies inhabiting the island. In reference to its mystical practise of sorcery and magic, the island holds many festivals where mountain healers make potions and practise ancient rituals. As a writer, I think this place would inspire many people to come up with magical stories of their own.

Siquijor is also home to the beautiful Cambugahay Falls, the 100-year-old Balete tree, and several beaches and caves. Siquijor, along with its neighbour Apo Island, is ringed by coral reefs that offer amazing diving and snorkelling opportunities to visitors.

Good to know:

  • Travelers from Manila will need to fly to Dumaguete–Sibulan Airport, drive to Port of Dumaguete, and then take a ferry to Siquijor.

  • Once you’ve reached it, you can travel around the municipality via public transportation, such as habal-habal, tricycles and jeepneys. Or, rent a motorbike to drive yourself around.

  • Learn more about Siquijor from its municipality page.


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Traveler's tips

Salagdoong Beach Salagdoong Beach

A trip to Siquijor Island is not complete if you don't visit Salagdoong Beach. It is one of the most famous beaches in the island. I love how crystal clear the water is on this beach. Other beaches on Siquijor Island have beautiful and clear water too, but for me, Salagdoong Beach is the most beautiful. You cannot help but take a dip. 

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9. Donsol

Whale shark
Source: Maxpixel.net

Known as the best spot to swim with whale sharks in the Philippines, Donsol has firmly established itself on the tourist map of the country, which I believe is for good reason. To go swimming with whale sharks here, the easiest way is to book guided tours with recognised dive centres in the area. This municipality also offers offbeat tours like night shrimp-catching or firefly watching. There are plenty of hills in this area which provides great biking and hiking opportunities. Diving trips to nearby islands can also be arranged from here.

Good to know:

  • Travel around Dansol via tricycles or jeepneys. The former costs about 50 PHP (0.87 USD) for short trips, while the latter is great for travelling a bit farther.


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10. Sabtang Island

sabtang island
Source: www.klook.com

Another awesome island in Batanes is Sabtang Island. It is the smallest among the three major islands of Batanes but is well known for its traditional limestone-walled and cogon grass-topped houses, beautiful beaches, and Mission-style churches. Visitors can admire the well-preserved Chavayan and Savidug villages and learn about the Ivatan culture on the island. The San Vicente Ferrer Church, ruins of ancient fortresses, and the natural stone arch on Morong Beach are a few must-visit tourist attractions on Sabtang Island.

Good to know:

  • Reach Sabtang Island by taking a ferry ride from Ivana Port in Basco. The trip will take about 30 minutes depending on the waves.

  • Make the most of the pleasant weather on the island by planning a visit during the summer, which runs from March to June.

  • For places to visit in Sabtang, check out its page on the Batanes tourism website.


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Sabtang Island Day Tour from Batan Island, Philippines - Klook

Duration: 9hrsDuration

11. Catanduanes

Binurong Point, Catanduanes
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ASEBASTIAN1218 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The island province of Catanduanes consists of several islands and islets and is often known as ‘The Land of the Howling Winds’ due to its typhoon-prone location. Despite this, it is a popular tourist spot famous for its lagoons, beaches, bays, churches, prehistoric caves, and a variety of flora and fauna. Snorkelling or swimming in the lagoons and glimpsing the diverse wildlife are some family activities you can enjoy here.

Visitors can go surfing at Puraran Majestic Wave Beach, check out the stunning Luyang Cave, or admire the rugged mountainous topography from Binurong Point. Don’t forget to marvel at the architecture of the Holy Cross of Batalay Shrine, as well as the Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church (otherwise known as Bato Church).

Good to know:

  • Note that the island does not have taxis, and most people get around in jeepneys, vans, motorbikes, buses and tricycles. However, ask your accommodation about whether they provide transportation too.

  • For more information about the province of Catanduanes, visit its official website.


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Tip from Content Creator

Binurong Point, Guinsaanan Bote Lighthouse, Bato

While you are in this province, I recommend visiting Bote Lighthouse, Bato, Catanduanes. It has striking views of the idyllic coast, and you will find yourself staring and wondering what stories the lighthouse can tell. Another place with beautiful sea views is Binurong Point, Guinsaanan, Baras.

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12. Iloilo City

Jaro Cathedral
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kguirnela used under CC BY 2.5

The very modern and urbanised Iloilo City is located in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Amidst modern features, there are plenty of charming attractions here, including numerous museums, art galleries, and historic churches. Many cultural and religious festivals are also fervently celebrated here, and I believe witnessing any one of them would be a great way to get to know Philippine culture.

Visitors can check out Museo Iloilo, Western Visayas Regional Museum, Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art, and Museum of Philippine Economic History. Admire the Spanish colonial architecture in Calle Real, Iloilo Customs House, and the old Iloilo City Hall of the American colonial period. Marvel at the opulent mansions like the Mansion de Lopez and Villa Lizares, or visit religious buildings like Jaro Cathedral and Molo Church. Several parks and shopping areas are also scattered across the city.

Good to know:

  • One of the best months to visit the city is February when the weather is dry and you don’t have to worry about rain. Avoid coming here in August, as it is the wettest month.

  • Check out Iloilo City’s city page to learn more about it.


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13. Kalanggaman Island

Kalanggaman Island
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Exec8 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The idyllic island paradise of Kalanggaman Island looks like something out of a movie, with its blue waters, brilliant white sand beaches, swaying coconut palm trees, and an overall laidback island vibe. The sandbar extending out to the side is the main attraction of this island. The surrounding crystal clear waters are suitable for diving, snorkelling, standup paddleboarding, swimming, and kayaking. Or you can just laze around on the beach and mingle with the friendly island locals.

Good to know:

  • The easiest way to get to Kalanggaman Island is by flying to Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport (Tacloban City Airport) and then taking a three-and-a-half-hour van ride to Palompon. You will then have to pay an entrance fee at the Ecotourism Office before taking a boat to the island.


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14. Manila

manila

Since it is the capital city of the Philippines, most tourists use Manila as a base to hop off to other exotic beach destinations in the country through cheap flights. But there are a number of natural, architectural, and culinary attractions in this highly urbanized city that travelers like me will want to see.

The most famous spots to visit here are the historic Walled City of Intramuros, where you can admire the stunning architecture, the National Museum Complex in Rizal Park which is home to a number of museums, Manila’s Chinatown (otherwise known as Binondo), where you can shop for inexpensive items or eat delicious fusion food, and Manila Ocean Park for some theme park fun for the whole family.

Good to know:

  • Be sure to wear light and breathable clothes and sunscreen while going around Manila between April and May when the temperatures can rise to 33°C (91.4°F) and above.


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Traveler's tips

Main street of Intramuros The Manila Cathedral Ongpin Street in Binondo

Manila is just less than 1 hour from the airport, so if you want to experience the Filipino culture in a short period of time, I suggest that you stop by the capital. There are several tourist destinations here such as Intramuros, Luneta Park, the National Museum, and Binondo. If you love trying different foods, I recommend that you go to Ongpin Street located in Binondo, Manila, and try different Chinese dishes. 

Intramuros is one of the most visited places in Manila because there are several historical churches and museums that you can discover. If you are the kind of person who loves to walk, you should visit Intramuros because you can finish exploring the place in a day just by walking around the walled city. Just expect that when you go to Manila, it is a bit hot, especially during summertime. 

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Manila: Old & New 4-Hour City Tour

Duration: 4.0 hour

296 reviews

15. Banaue

Home to one of the six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Banaue is another well-known destination on the Philippine tourism map. Said to be at least 1000 years old, the Bangaan and Batad Rice Terraces go up thousands of feet in the mountains. These mud-walled rice fields are not just beautiful to look at, but they are awe-inspiring too, considering the ingenious irrigation method used to maintain them.

There are more than 48 rice terraces in this area, and they occupy a large portion of the mountainous region of Ifugao province. In Banaue, you can also learn about the Ifugao culture while visiting the villages, which I think would be an enlightening experience for those eager to learn about different people.

Good to know:

  • Travelers can take a private car or a bus to Banaue from areas such as Manila, Baguio, and Sagada. From Manila, the journey takes nine hours.

  • Don’t forget to bring cash when you visit, as there are no ATMs in the area.

  • Learn more about the famed Banaue from its government page.


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Banaue rice terraces and Sagada

Duration: 4 days

16. Siargao

Shaped like a teardrop, Siargao is a beautiful island in the Philippine Sea. It is renowned for its epic surf breaks, which attract professional and amateur surfers from across the world, especially at the Cloud 9 surfing spot. But for those who are not into surfing, Siargao Island also offers other fantastic experiences like snorkelling, swimming, and lazing around on the beach.

Some things I think travellers will find interesting are checking out the cliff-jumping opportunities at Magpupungko Rock Pools, caving at Tayangban Cave Pools, or the island-hopping excursions to Dako Island, Guyam Island, and Naked Island.

Good to know:

  • Siargao has some rocky reefs sitting before the ocean, so bring rubber surfing boots to protect your feet. A first-aid kit is also recommended in case of accidents.

  • Bring plenty of cash with you when you visit this island, as ATMs are limited. The ATMs also only accept Philippine cards.


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Guyam Island, Surigao del Norte
Photo of Guyam Island shared by content creator from the Philippines, Maria Luisa Oliver.
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Siargao Island Hopping

Duration: 4 to 10 hours

6 reviews

17. Mactan Island

Located in the famous province of Cebu, Mactan Island is a relatively overlooked destination by most tourists. It is an island that showcases diverse marine and rich coral species, it offers some of the best diving and snorkelling spots in the country right off its shores. Island hopping to the Bohol Strait is another popular activity here, along with water sports like sailing, jet-skiing, and more. Many marine conservation centres like Nalusuan Island Marine Sanctuary and San Vicente Marine Sanctuary are also located nearby.

Good to know:

  • Travelers from Luzon and Mindanao or foreign countries can fly into Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Alternatively, you can take a ferry to then ride to Mactan.


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Cebu All Inclusive Private Guided Mactan Island Hopping Tour

Duration: 6 to 8 hours

18. Tagaytay

Known as the “second summer capital of the Philippines”, Tagaytay enjoys a cool climate and scenic views all around. It is a popular destination for domestic tourists due to its proximity to Metro Manila. The main attractions of Tagaytay include breathtaking views of Taal Volcano and Taal Lake, which can be enjoyed from various points in the city.

Besides this, visitors also flock here for the shrines and churches, Picnic Grove Complex, Ayala Malls Serin, and People’s Park in the Sky. If you’re travelling with your kids, you should also add Sky Ranch to your itinerary as it’s one of the best theme and amusement parks in the Philippines.

Good to know:

  • Tagaytay is only 59 kilometres (36.66 miles) from Manila, and you can drive down via Emilio Aguinaldo Highway.

  • While in the city, keep your eye out for some of the city’s most iconic dishes, including “bulalo” and “buko” or coconut pie.

  • Tagaytay’s tourism website has more information about the city and well-known attractions.


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Tagaytay Day Tour Sightseeing From Manila (Private Tour)

Duration: 14 hours

19. Camiguin Island

Situated off the Bohol Sea, Camiguin Island is a picturesque piece of paradise that will enthral all kinds of visitors. The island is home to four volcanoes that have given rise to dense forests, waterfalls, and springs. Several beautiful beaches are also found on the island, enabling snorkelling, diving and swimming opportunities.

Visitors to Camiguin can climb a volcano, participate in the annual Lanzones Festival, which celebrates the sweet fruit, and admire many cultural landmarks, including the Old Bonbon Church ruins, Santo Rosario Church in Sagay, the Spanish-era watchtower in Guinsiliban, the old Mambajao Fountain, and Sunken Cemetery of Catarman.

Good to know:

  • The island is known as the “Island Born of Fire” because its shape is continually being moulded by seven volcanoes.

  • Discover the best of Camiguin Island by reading through the tourism website.


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Camiguin Island Tour

Duration: 6 hours

20. Baguio

Aptly nicknamed the ‘Summer Capital of the Philippines’, Baguio City is situated in a mountainous area and enjoys a year-round cool climate that attracts both domestic and international tourists. Visitors can go boating in Burnham Lake, enjoy views of the Cordillera mountains from Mines View Park, admire the architecture of the Mansion, or visit the Baguio Cathedral.

Several museums that highlight the culture and history of the area are also worth visiting, like Baguio Museum, Museo Kordilyera and Laperal White House. It is also well-known for its folk art and craft traditions like weaving, tattooing, and silver craft.

Good to know:

  • Make sure to pack a jacket because Baguio’s average temperature ranges from 15°C (59°F) to 23°C (73.4°F). The temperature rarely exceeds 26°C (78.8°F) even during the summer.

  • Find the best museums, places to dine, and more by clicking on Baguio’s tourism website.


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Traveler's tips

Swan Boats in Burnham Park The White House The Igorot Stone Kingdom

If you love going to a place with a low temperature and located in a mountainous area, you should visit Baguio. It has several tourist attractions such as Burnham Park, Mines View Park, Igorot Stone Kingdom, and the Botanical Garden. I've been to the place thrice but it is always a nice place to visit. You can buy fresh strawberries and green vegetables here because they're low in price and super fresh. If you love thrift shopping, there are a lot of thrift stores in Baguio that give a variety of choices when it comes to clothes. One thing that I love to buy in Baguio is the "Mikasan White Chocoflakes", so if you visit Baguio don't forget to buy this delicacy. Also, don't forget to bring your jacket when visiting Baguio because it's quite cold, especially at night.

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Baguio City Sightseeing from Manila (Private Tour)

Duration: 13 hours

21. Coron Island

coron island
Source: www.viator.com

The stunning Coron Island is situated in the Calamian Islands in the Philippines and is a popular spot for ecotourism. It is best known for its breathtaking natural beauty. This destination boasts amazing diving and snorkelling opportunities since there are a number of WWII shipwrecks in the surrounding waters.

Other famous natural attractions in the area include the rock formations, postcard-perfect cliffs of the Twin Lagoons, the crystal clear waters of Kayangan Lake and Barracuda Lake, various white sandy beaches and more. Coron Island also serves as a perfect base to go island-hopping. From here you can check out beautiful spots like Maquinit Springs, Malcapuya Beach, Coron Town, and more.

Good to know:

  • There are many ATMs on the island so you can easily withdraw money. Do also remember to carry small bills—below 100 PHP (1.73 USD)—to make street transactions easier.

  • While the locals speak Filipino, many of them also know English, so foreigners won’t have much trouble communicating.

  • Find out more about Coron Island by visiting its page on the Philippine travel website.


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Full-Day Coron Island Ecotours

Duration: 8 hours

22. Corregidor Island

Another strategically important island in the Luzon area, Corregidor Island was significant to the liberation of the Philippines from Japanese forces during WWII. The ruins of the American naval base, fortifications, barracks, bunkers, mortars, and secret tunnels can be explored via guided tours on the island.

Visitors can even go walking, hiking, or biking along the many woodland trails. Enjoy birdwatching, take in spectacular sunsets from several viewpoints, go on a guided night visit to Malinta Tunnel or view the nearby sites of Fort Drum, La Monja, Mariveles, and more on boat tours.

Good to know:

  • This island’s main attractions will allow you to cherish the striking views and fresh air. Since you’ll be outdoors a lot, plan your visit for the dry season between December and May.

  • See all the exciting things you can do on Corregidor Island by clicking on its website.


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Corregidor Island WWII Tour from Manila

Duration: 9 hours

43 reviews

23. Davao City

Even though it is one of the most populated cities in the country, Davao City is a thriving tourism hub in Southern Philippines. A number of museums and historical sites dot the city, including Mindanao Folk Arts Museum, Japanese Tunnel, Davao Museum, and Philippine-Japan Museum. Visitors should also check out the Philippine Eagle Foundation and Nature Center which is home to the endangered Philippine eagle. On your trip here, climb the majestic Mount Apo, sunbathe on the scenic beaches of Samal Island, or participate in the Kadayawan Festival.

Good to know:

  • For a taste of the city’s vibrant culture, plan your visit for the third week of August when the Kadayawan Festival is celebrated through lively parades, street dancing, and fairs.

  • Make the most of your vacation by learning all about Davao City from its tourism website.


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Traveler's tips

When you're in Davao try checking out the Crocodile Park Complex. I recommend you try their crocodile sisig and crocodile ice cream. I can say that the meat taste like chicken but is just a little chewy. The ice cream has crocodile eggs as a part of the ingredients, and some bits of crocodile meat. 

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Davao City Tour

Duration: 4 to 5 hours

24. Subic Bay

subic bay

Located in the South China Sea, Subic Bay is a strategically important part of the Philippines. It was once home to a U.S. Naval Base. As such, there are several shipwrecks in this area perfect for wreck diving and snorkelling.

The forest reserve of Pamulaklakin Nature Park provides visitors with a range of walking trails through lush jungles. Several theme parks and Zoobic Safari are also available near Subic Bay, making it an ideal family-friendly holiday destination. Visitors should also check out Malawaan Park, which offers scenic views of the bay area. While you’re here, catch a glimpse of the sunset at the Boardwalk, or admire the architecture of the Spanish Gate.

Good to know:

  • The area surrounding Subic Bay is known as the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, a special economic zone that is known for its duty-free stores and outlets. If you’re shopping here, note that some establishments are priced in USD.

  • Check out what adventures Subic has to offer by clicking on its tourism website.


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From Manila: Subic Bay and Zoobic Wildlife Zoo Adventure

Duration: 9.5 hour

6 reviews

Must-visit attractions in the Philippines

25. Taal Volcano

taal volcano
Source: www.klook.com

Taal Volcano has a rather interesting geography, which is aptly described by its moniker “island within a lake within an island within a lake”. It is located next to the hill town of Tagaytay and is a popular weekend destination for Manila residents.

Taal Volcano is considered to be the smallest active volcano in the world, with 30 eruptions recorded thus far. Visitors can hike to the top of the volcano and enjoy panoramic views of the crater, Taal Lake, and the surrounding mountain landscapes from the rim. The views from atop the volcano are said to be wallpaper-worthy and absolutely breathtaking, and I can imagine that the hike up to this point would be well worth the view.

Good to know:

  • Before going near Taal Volcano, check the daily bulletins posted by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology to find out whether conditions are safe enough for tourists to be in the area.


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Taal Volcano Day Tour from Manila, Philippines - Klook

Duration: 12hrsDuration

26. Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano and Cagsawa Church Ruins
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user nish.iona used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located on the Luzon Island of the Philippines, Mayon Volcano is a perfectly conical active stratovolcano that erupted as recently as 2018. Despite threats of eruption, tourism has continued to boom in this famous attraction in the Bicol region.

Besides taking pictures of the incredible Mayon Volcano, the most popular draw here is the Cagsawa ruins. It consists of a dilapidated stone church belfry standing alone in the grass, which I think would be a striking sight to see. It is a testament to the violent nature of the nearby volcano when it buried nearly 1,200 residents in 1814. Visitors can also attend one of the numerous festivals held in honour of the volcano, or explore Albay Biosphere Reserve.

Good to know:

  • So the rain doesn't dampen your views of Mayon Volcano, visit the area during the dry season from March to May.


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Tip from Content Creator

Mayon Volcano, Daraga, Albay

Photo of Mayon Volcano shared by content creator from the Philippines, Juls Santos

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27. Pagsanjan Falls

As the Philippines’ most famous waterfall, Pagsanjan Falls sees a steady footfall of tourists each year. The waterfalls are characterised by their unique three-tier shape and can be accessed in two ways—either by an adventurous canoe trip on 14 rapids from Pagsanjan or a short hike from Cavinti town. The canoe trip is the most popular form of travel to the falls since it takes visitors through the spectacular boulder-lined Pagsanjan Gorge and ends at a natural pool under the falls.

Devil’s Cave, which hides behind a curtain of water, is also a must-visit place here.

Good to know:

  • When you visit the falls, make sure to adhere to the safety precautions. You may have to wear a helmet because there are monkeys that throw rocks and branches around.


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Pagsanjan Falls Dugout Canoe Tour from Manila with Lunch

Duration: 8 hours

33 reviews

28. Manjuyod Sandbar

manjuyod sandbar

Nicknamed ‘The Maldives of the Philippines’, Manjuyod Sandbar is a seven-kilometre (4.3 mile) strip of white sand in the Negros Oriental province of the Philippines. To reach the sandbar, visitors have to take a ferry that often includes a dolphin or whale-watching tour as well.

Depending on the tide, you can choose to sunbathe or laze around on the shoal, or you can swim, snorkel, and frolic in the water. Starfish are easily spotted in the surrounding turquoise waters. Other nearby attractions include the natural rock formation of Himampangon Cave and the protected Candabong forest.

Good to know:

  • To get to Manjuyod Sandbar, travellers can take a three-and-a-half-hour flight from Manila to Dumaguete, where they will need to drive for an hour and a half to reach Bais. From here, Manjuyod Sandbar is only a 20-minute boat ride away.

  • Rent a boat for the whole day and start your journey to Manjuyod Sandbar in the early morning so you can enjoy the views for as long as possible.

  • For more information about this attraction, check out its website.


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Traveler's tips

Majuyod Sandbar Sandbar Boat ride

Manjuyod Sandbar was dubbed as the Maldives of the Philippines by vlogger Lost LeBlanc. When you visit the Sandbar, I recommend you try some of the activities like the banana boat ride, especially during high tide. On low tide, you can walk through the 7 km sand bar and feel the sand on your toes. Also, try the fresh buko juice and salawaki (fresh sea urchin) sold by locals on their boats. 

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Dumaguete: Dolphin Watching & Manjuyod Sandbar Private Tour

Duration: 10.0 hour

3 reviews

29. Hidden Valley

hidden valley

Located only a short drive away from Manila, Hidden Valley is home to natural springs in the middle of a lush, tropical rainforest. There are six natural hot and cold pools to be enjoyed here, along with several waterfalls, lagoons, and the majestic century-old Amlang tree.

The family-friendly Hidden Valley has been featured in many television programmes and offers plenty of opportunities to relax, walk around, soak in the calm waters, or simply unwind in the lap of nature. Several species of bird and plant life can also be observed here. This seems to me like a great place to go if you’re eager for some quiet time to just enjoy nature.

Good to know:

  • One of the attractions in Hidden Valley is Lover’s Pool, a secluded natural spring perfect for those who want quiet time. You may also want to swim in Soda Pool, which has waters reminiscent of Japan’s Fuji Water.

  • If you want to learn more about this attraction, check out the Hidden Valley Springs website.


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From Manila: Day Tour to Enchanting Hidden Valley

Duration: 8 hour

10 reviews

30. Mount Pinatubo

Nestled in the Zambales mountain range of Luzon is the volcanic Mount Pinatubo. Though it had catastrophic effects on the surrounding areas after it erupted in 1991, Mount Pinatubo is a safe place to visit today.

Due to its proximity to Manila, the mountain is a popular trekking destination for locals and visitors alike. The lake formed in the crater of the volcano, Lake Pinatubo, is filled with crystal clear water that is majestic to look at, but not suitable for swimming. For those who wish to admire the beauty of this area, adventure tours offered by multiple operators are available from Manila.

Good to know:

  • If you plan to trek to Mount Pinatubo crater lake, do note that the allotted time for tourists is only between 5am and 10am, so you might have to start your journey as early as 3:30am.

  • Note that those who want to hike to the summit of Mount Pinatubo must have previously completed two major hikes to show that they are physically and mentally fit. They are also required to purchase insurance.


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Tip from Content Creator

Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake, Botolan

Photo of Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake shared by content creator from the Philippines, Retlyn.

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Mt. Pinatubo Crater and 4x4 Off-Road Tour from Manila

Duration: 15 hours

5 reviews

Paradisiacal Philippines!

A group of islands with astounding natural beauty, friendly locals, and ancient culture mixed with colonial influences, the Philippines should be featured on every traveller’s list. Adventurers will surely find the many cool places to stay for backpackers exciting and newlyweds won’t have problems looking for the most romantic honeymoon spots.

If you’re planning a holiday to this magical country, be sure to arm yourself with our list of the best places to visit in the Philippines. I’m sure that you won’t regret visiting any one of them!

31. Sulu

Contributed by Content Creator, Rex Lim Lim

Source: Rex Lim Lim

Those who attempt the journey to Sulu will be rewarded with pristine beaches, including Biradali Beach and Tanduh Beach in Parang, which are off the radar. However, getting here still needs you to coordinate with the Provincial Tourism Office. The province of Sulu was once a hotbed of insurgency, but as of today, safety concerns have mellowed down drastically, allowing locals and tourists alike to rediscover this beautiful province.

32. Basilan

Contributed by Content Creator, Rafael Madrilejo

Basilan
Source: Rafael Madrilejo

Basilan is in the Sulu Archipelago and has numerous attractions. Lamitan City Tulip Garden in Panansangan was once a dump site. Named “Forever Tulip Garden,” it is now Basilan’s symbol of war against plastics. Make sure to check out Malamawi Island as well while here.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Isha is a former corporate employee who now leads a tranquil life centered around travel, writing, and minding her own business.

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Beautiful Places In Philippines

Beautiful Places In The Philippines