The Philippine government’s continuous efforts in growing the tourism industry is paying off the past years. The Philippine archipelago with more than seven thousand islands has a lot to offer not just for local travelers but for foreign travelers as well.
Philippines has a lot of heritage sites and this alone signifies that the country really is rich in culture, natural resources, and historical sites. Here are a list of some of the things you need to look for when you visit Philippines:
- Friendly People
- Paradise beach and Islands
- Diverse wildlife
- Weather and Climate
- many more
If you’re finding a place you can call paradise, in this article, you’ll learn about the best tourist destinations in Philippines recommended by travelers around the world.
1. El Nido, Palawan
El Nido, Palawan, Philippines is probably one of tourist spots that will definitely blow your mind. If you want stunning and breathtaking seascape views, you can’t go wrong with El Nido. The waters are crystal clear, outstanding diving experience, white sand all over the island, and it’s got beautiful lagoons and caves.
Do not leave El Nido without exploring all the nearby islands. There are a lot of Island hopping tours where you can visit different awesome places. Another thing you can do is snorkeling the beautiful underwater world. El Nido is one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines and arguably, the world.
2. Coron, Palawan
If you want to visit a paradise here on earth, Coron is the place to go. Although its a bit rough to actually get there but that’s the cost of going to a place where you can have an unforgettable experience. You can either have a 5-hour trip from El Nido or have a direct flight from Manila which can be very expensive.
There are a lot of things you can do in Coron. You can visit the majestic lakes and lagoons, do some island hopping and experience amazing sunsets, explore different coral gardens where you can dive and see beautiful coral formations, and a lot more.
There are a lot of untouched & undeveloped islands in Palawan where you can go. Although many places have no electricity during the night, you can either go back to your hotel before the night or rent
Many tourists said that snorkeling spots here are better than El Nido. So if you’re a traveler specifically looking for sweet diving spots in Philippines, Coron Palawan is the way to go.
3. Boracay Island, Aklan
This is probably one of the most popular, if not on top, tourist spots in the Philippines. Boracay is known to have the bluest waters and finest white sand in the country. However, there’s a lot of discussions going on the internet as to whether Boracay is still a good place for tourists because of the “over-developed” placed.
There are people who are still in-loved with the place and still calling it a paradise. If you’re an introvert type of guy and and still want to see the beauty of the island, try to go there during low season where there’s less people so you can relax.
If you’re a party goer, just go there whenever you like. It is perfect place for people like you. The nightlife there is “crazy” as what many people have said.
4. Oslob, Cebu
Oslob is extremely popular for their whale sharks called Butanding. These whale sharks are gentle beasts that you can actually dive with these beautiful creatures. Just remember to not touch them and stay away from their fins and tail or you might get whipped.
Another places to go are the Tumalog Falls and Aguinid Falls. These waterfalls have became the side trip for people after swimming with the whale sharks. Philippines is so much blessed with really amazing natural wonders and these waterfalls are definitely part of it.
5. Mayon Volcano, Albay
Mayon Volcano is famous for its “perfect cone” shape and is the most active volcano in the Philippines. If you want to go here, there are a lot of things you can do in Albay aside from climbing Mt. Mayon. You can go waterfall hoping and the must-try activity, the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) ride.
6. Kawasan Falls, Cebu
If you want a unique traveling experience, you need to check this destination out. If you’re into challenging stuffs, not afraid to get wet, and you’re not afraid of heights, this is one of the coolest things you can do in the Philippines.
Badian Canyoneering is a guided activity and that means you can never do this alone. Else, you are risking your life in danger. There’s a lot of cliffs you need to jump over and you need to face really rough route. A guide is a must have because one wrong move and it may cost you your life.
At the end of the canyon, you’ll see the Kawasan Falls. The river below has its weird color, like a Gatorade Factory, where you can swim through its cold water coming up from the falls. There are some issues today with the Badian Canyoneering (you can research it for yourself) but I hope it is still open today for such activity.
7. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Palawan
Situated at 80k north of center of Puerto Princesa, Palawan lies a amazing wonder of nature. In November 11, 2011 Puerto Princesa Underground River was chosen as one of the New 7 Wonders of nature and was confirmed the following year.
If you want to experience the amazing boat trip inside the subterranean river, you better ready your camera before the ride. The trip lasts around 30 mins inside the cave and takes you to around 1.5 km from the cave’s entry. You will see beautiful stalactites and stalagmites which took thousands of years to form and the inhabitants of the of the cave.
8. Banaue Rice Terraces, Ifugao
Commonly referred to as the “Eight Wonders of the World” by Filipinos because of its 2000 years existence as per declaration of American anthropologist. It’s a part of world heritage for its cultural and historic significance and is protected by international treaties.
Bohol is one of the magical islands in the Philippines where you can do a lot of things when you go there. It is located in Visayas region, a 2-hour boat ride distance from Cebu. Beautiful beaches, the chocolate hills, and the Tarsiers are some of the main attractions for tourists.
One of the places you can check out are the mangrove forests around its rivers. This place is known to have one of the highest biologically diverse mangrove ecosystem. Another thing that might get your interest are the caves and holes that are like precious gems which can be found in unexpected locations.
There are a lot of not so talked-about places in Bohol. You can do the research yourself before going there.
10. Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Philippines was once a Spanish colony for more than 300 years and the cultural traces of Spanish Colonial Era are very evident in many parts of the country. One of the most evident traces is architectural designs of houses and churches that are designed by Spanish Friars.
One of the Hispanic towns in the Philippines that has been well preserved is Vigan which is located in Ilocos sur. It’s also a world heritage site and it was even titled as one of the new 7 Wonder Cities in 2014.
If you will walk along Crisologo Street, you can experience how it feels like to be in the 16th century. If this sounds awesome to you, you definitely need to visit Vigan. Going to Vigan can fulfill your Instagram goals so don’t forget to bring your best selfie camera with you.
11. Samar Caves
If you’re into adventures and loves going inside amazing rock formations such as caves, you definitely need to visit Samar. It is dubbed as the Caving Capital of the Philippines. The largest cave in the Philippines and world’s third largest cave system can be found in this place.
Make sure to bring all your gears for spelunking adventures in many caves in Samar. Some of the most popular traveler’s destinations are the Lobo Cave, Langun-Gobingob Cave, Megalodon Cave, Central Cave, Linao Cave and Sulpan Cave. If you want to discover other caves, you can do your own research regarding it.
12. Malapascua Island
Malapascua Island can be found in the northern part of Cebu. It still remains as a beautiful sleepy island which still not spoiled by tourism. It has got white sandy beaches, green palm trees, and surrounded by clear blue waters.
This may not be a go-to place for all but definitely a must-visit place for divers and for those who want to see animal that can be found in Malapascua, the Thresher Shark, the shark that is known for using its long tail to catch prey. These sharks are solitary creatures and known to be able to do a full jump out of the water.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to see the Thresher shark’s friend, the Hammerhead shark. You can contact the diving team in Malapascua for more information.
13. Sagada, Mountain Province
Sagada is one of the those places that you must visit if you’re a Filipino. I personally don’t think this is a good tourist destination for foreigners but if you’re living in the Philippines, you should definitely put this in your list of places to travel.
What’s in Sagada? Well there’s a bunch of things you can do in Sagada. You can visit the famous hanging coffins. It’s a traditional way people bury their loved ones. You can ask the tourist guides there about the information and history of the coffins.
The popular activities you can do in Sagada such are trekking, spelunking, exploring caves such as the Sumaguing cave, visiting historical sites, visiting the Bomod-ok falls, rappelling, and a lot more. You can check all the activities at the tourist-office in Sagada Town Proper. You can also find a native Igorot guide there for a small fee.
14. Manjuyod Sandbar
Manjuyod Sandbar is also known for travelers as the Maldives of the Philippines. This place is like a taste of heaven here on earth and is located in Negros Oriental, Philippines. It’s a peaceful paradise you can go through a boat ride. You can visit this awesome place with your friends and family and fulfill everybody’s Instagram goals.
If you’re planning to visit the Manjuyud sandbar, it is recommended to book in advance for boat to take you there. You can contact the Manjuyud Tourism Office for accommodation rates.
Philippines is a country that has a lot to offer for tourists. There are still many untouched places that are yet to be explored. If you have your personal favorite tourist spot you previously visited in the Philippines, you can share it on the comment section below.