The Absolute Best Travel Destinations In The Philippines

With more than 7,000 islands, it is easy to see why tourists return time after time to the incredible Philippines. The most challenging part of your vacation will be deciding where to visit first. 

From crystal clear waters to unique indigenous experiences, you will be booking your next visit before you even leave. Be sure to pack your Crocs adorned with your favorite Jibbitz, the perfect shoe to explore this tropical paradise.

 

Related: “Ultimate Travel Guide to Vietnam”

Boracay

Boracay Island is considered by many as the beach capital of the Philippines. With more than 12 beaches from which to choose, this tiny island is the dream vacation spot for beach lovers looking for the perfect place to relax in the sun or engage in exciting water activities. 

White Beach, along the west coast, is considered the best beach in the entire country, while Puka Shell Beach is a wonderful spot for shell collectors. Cagban Beach is a quiet stretch, with nearby caves that are said to contain lost treasure chests.

Banaue

The iconic rice terraces of Banaue are some of the most dramatic and striking views in the Philippines. This agricultural wonder is packed with history, with some of the terraces estimated to have been hand-carved into the mountains more than 2,000 years ago.

The Batad Rice Terraces and the Bangaan Rice Terraces are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a stroll through the Banaue Ethnic Village or Hiwang Village will give you the opportunity to meet and mingle with the local people who farm the rice.

Manila

Manila, on the island of Luzon, is the bustling capital city of the Philippines, with non-stop activity and plenty of sights to explore. Catching a ride with one of the colorful jeepneys, the main form of public transportation gives you a taste of the authentic life as you visit the many main attractions. 

Plan your itinerary with stops at the main park of the city, Rizal Park, the San Agustin Church, a relic from the 16th century, and the public market at Quiapo Church, a popular spot for buying local fruits and handmade goods.

Coron Island

Considered one of the top diving destinations in the world, Coron Island can best be described as a tropical paradise, with mesmerizing blue and green water that looks too perfect to be real. The mountainous island is situated at the top of the Palawan Island region, located in the westernmost collection of islands in the Philippines. 

The islands’ popularity is largely due to the wide range of shipwrecks that litter the coastline, ideal for exploring. These wonderfully preserved wrecks are nicely located in ranging depths, from shallow waters to depths of 42 meters. For those looking for a non-ship diving location, Barracuda Lake is a former volcano with many unique rock formations and colorful marine life.

Vigan

Vigan is a beautiful historic city in northern Philipines, considered one of the most picturesque towns in the Luzon region. It is the perfect blend of Chinese and Spanish influence brought to the area by settlers.

A horse-drawn kalesa will take you through the streets to admire the Spanish colonial architecture, with the best view of the area from the Bantay Bell Tower, a noted landmark. The Calle Crisologo is a historic district filled with many local artisans and architecture.

Bohol

The island of Bohol can be found in the central Visayas region, where life runs at a slower pace thanks to the natural beauty that dominates this stunning location. The Chocolate Hills, in Carmen, is a UNESCO-protected site, home to a massive collection of 1,200 geological formations that change color during the dry season, resembling a sprawling landscape of chocolate kisses. 

 

Bohol is also home to a family-run sanctuary dedicated to protecting and preserving the tiny tarsier primate, a small nocturnal mammal known for its massive, piercing eyes. For a small fee, you can take an intimate walk through the grounds, observing these incredible creatures up close and personal.

Puerto Princesa

The scenic rock islands, caves, and natural parks of Palawan Island are certified hidden treasures of the Philippines. And the coastal city of Puerto Princesa is the ideal location to base yourself to explore these natural wonders.

The Subterranean River National Park is an impressive five-mile underground river lined with spectacular limestone caves. This UNESCO World Heritage site has regular boat tours that will take you through the park, allowing you to get up close and personal with this incredible place. 

For activities closer to home, Puerto Princesa has Honda Bay, a popular destination for snorkeling, and Ugong Rock, perfect for ziplining and caving.

Sagada

If you are after a truly unique experience, a visit to the northern tribal region in Sagada is going to tick all the boxes. Nestled away in the remote Cordillera Mountains, these indigenous tribes live primarily a removed life but are willing to embrace the occasional visitor under the right circumstances. 

For any advanced outdoor enthusiast, the area is a slice of paradise, with many steep mountains and rugged terrain to explore. Hiking is a popular activity, particularly on Mount Ampao. The main attraction of this region is the hanging coffins hidden deep in the mountains. It is strongly recommended to connect with a local guide who can help you safely navigate this authentic tribal region.

When you travel somewhere after planning for a long time, you’re bound to create memories. To hold on to these memories, you need to make sure you commemorate and celebrate the day with the people you went on the journey with. 

Having a personalized plan to spend those special moments will create a lasting impression on you that you’re going to remember for the rest of your life. So, get as creative as you can and make the day as memorable as possibl

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