15 Best Places to Visit in the Philippines
The Philippines is a destination that is easy to visit multiple times due to its more than 7,000 islands. The most difficult decision you make as a traveler, is figuring out which places to visit first. The Philippines is divided into the three main island groups of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, representing different regions in the country.
The scenery in each region of the Philippines ranges from mountainous and tropical to metropolitan. You can enjoy a day of walking the historical colonial streets of the capital city of Manila or catch a rare glimpse of tiny tarsier monkeys at a private sanctuary on the island of Bohol. The steep, plush mountains provide unforgettable hiking experiences.
Since you are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, it’s not surprising the Philippines has some of the best beaches in Asia, and the scuba diving opportunities are outstanding.
Plan your travels around this tropical island nation with our list of the best places to visit in the Philippines.
There is a reason that Boracay Island is considered the beach capital of the Philippines because there are more than 12 beaches. This tiny island in the west Visayas region is ideal for beach-goers who are after simple relaxation in the sun or water activities. White Beach, on the west side of the island, is one of the best beaches in the Philippines.
Puka Shell Beach is on the tip of the island and is a favorite spot for shell collectors. Cagban Beach is a quiet spot with nearby caves that are rumored to still contain treasure chests. Diniwid Beach is a tiny beach at the north end of White Beach that has the best view of the island from a platform rock located there.
This island is known for its many resorts, so finding a place to stay is easy. For a panoramic view of the island, take a day trip to Mount Luho, its highest point.
The island of Bohol in the Philippines’ central Visayas region runs at a slower pace, and it’s a destination that showcases the country’s natural beauty. One of the most unique natural wonders on the island is the Chocolate Hills in Carmen. This UNESCO-protected site is a collection of 1,200 geological formations that turn brown in the dry season, resembling a landscape of chocolate candy kisses.
Bohol is home to a family-owned sanctuary for the tiny tarsier primate, known for its large engaging eyes. For a small fee, you can take an intimate walk through the grounds, and stand inches away from the small nocturnal mammal.
The top draw of Bohol is the beach. Panglao Island features some of the best beaches in Bohol: Alona Beach and Danao Beach, which have fantastic diving; Dao Beach and Bingag Beach, which are popular resort areas; Bolod Beach, which has a large stretch of shoreline; and Doljo Beach, which is fairly remote but fantastic for finding seashells.
Snorkeling with a whale shark
The island of Cebu, in the central Visayas region, is considered the port to some of the best diving and snorkeling in the Philippines. If you are an underwater enthusiast, Cebu is one of your best options for excursions that get you up-close to whale sharks, coral reefs, and sea turtles.
Some of the most spectacular scenery from the water near Cebu are the sea caves that attract photographers and outdoor enthusiasts looking for unique diving and snorkeling sites. The Sudlon National Park, located approximately an hour from Cebu City, is a breathtaking park to explore and hike.
While Cebu’s greatest draw is its water, Cebu City is a metropolitan area, with tourist attractions like museums and cathedrals that will interest history buffs.
The rice terraces of Banaue are one of the most striking things to see in the Philippines. The emerald-green terraces are an agricultural wonder in this area. Some of the terraces are estimated to have been hand-carved into the mountainside more than 2,000 years ago.
The Batad Rice Terraces and the Bangaan Rice Terraces are protected UNESCO World Heritage sites.
For a deeper taste of this region, take a stroll through the Banaue Ethnic Village or the Hiwang Village to mingle with the Indigenous people who farm the rice terraces.
Your most impressive view of the terraces is at sunrise, when clouds and fog lift off the mountain to reveal the intricate landscape of the terraces. You can base yourself in the town of Banaue and hike or drive to the Batad rice terraces, or arrange a stay in a native hut of the Ifugao people for a more authentic experience.
Bantay Bell Tower in Vigan
The historical city of Vigan in the northern Philippines is one of the most charming towns to visit in the Luzon region. Its culture is a fusion of Chinese and Spanish influences originating from settlers to the area.
Take a ride in a horse-drawn kalesa through the streets and admire the colonial architecture, courtesy of the Spanish who colonized the area in the 18th century. Vigan is a city with many nuances to explore.
The best view of the area is from the Bantay Bell Tower, which is also a noted landmark in the area. The Calle Crisologo historic district is a walkable district, where you will encounter many local craftsman and see historical architecture.
A visit to the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral is breathtaking and a perfect spot to sit and people-watch as you take in the local culture.
Jeepney in front of the Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, Manila
The Philippines capital of Manila, on the island of Luzon, is a bustling city with non-stop activity. Hop on board one of the colorful jeepneys, the main form of public transportation, to get a taste of local life while you visit Manila’s top attractions.
Usually over-packed with locals, the bumpy ride through the streets on the iconic and kitschy jeep/bus hybrid vehicles will be one of the highlights of your visit.
Plan stops to the main park in the city, Rizal Park, and the San Agustin Church, which was built in the 16th century. Buy local fruits and handmade gifts at the public market at Quiapo Church, where you are likely to see several thousand people show up on Fridays for worship.
7. Davao City
For a city scene outside of Manila, head to Davao City, which has a large metropolitan area. Davao City is the main city in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao.
Despite its malls and large population, Davao City features many natural elements, including the Eden Nature Park, Philippine Eagle Center, and the Davao Baywalk near the sea.
One of the best places to visit in Davao City is Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines. Davao City is a prime location for shopping, as there are several large malls, including Abreeza Mall and SM Lanang Premier Mall. For a peek into Davao City history and culture, the tiny Davao Museum of History and Ethnography is worth a visit.
Hanging coffins of Sagada
One of the most unique experiences you can have in the Philippines is in the northern tribal region in Sagada. Nestled in the rugged and remote Cordillera Mountains are tribes that embrace the occasional visitor.
This area is a paradise for the advanced outdoor enthusiast. The steep mountains and high elevation enhance the thrill and skill level required for outdoor adventure. Hiking is popular in Sagada, particularly to Mount Ampaco, which has the highest peak in the region or through Echo Valley, which has steep and rugged terrain.
One of the best places to visit in this region of the Philippines is the hanging coffins that hide deep in the mountains. It is best to connect with a local guide to take you to this incredible site because this is not a tourist area, but rather an authentic tribal region hiding an experience worthy of bragging rights.
9. Coron Island
One of the top diving destinations in the world, Coron Island is a tropical paradise, with electric blue and green water that almost seems unreal. The mountainous island sits on the tip of the Palawan island region, the western-most section of islands in the Philippines.
The island is popular for diving because of the numerous wrecks here. Many of the preserved shipwrecks are located in depths ranging from shallow water at just three meters to deep water at 42 meters.
Some of the wrecks require more than one dive to explore due to their size, but you can easily spend a week diving in this area. For non-shipwreck diving, check out Barracuda Lake, a former volcano with many unusual rock formations and fish.
Baguio is a city tucked away in a mountainous region on Luzon Island. Though it is a city, Baguio is intimate and reminiscent of a cottage-type environment. Baguio is called the City of Pines for the rich pine forests and cooler temperatures that surround it.
You can explore one of the many hiking and biking trails or take in a round of golf at one of the resorts in the area. Baguio is unique to other destinations in the Philippines because the city is surrounded by trees and not water.
Parks like Mines View and Burnham let you enjoy some of the flora and fauna that are special to this region. Be sure to spend some time along Session Road, which is the main drag through Baguio, where you can take in a slice of local life.
11. Puerto Princesa
The rock islands, caves, and natural parks of Palawan Island are the hidden paradise of the Philippines. The coastal city of Puerto Princesa is where you should base yourself in order to explore some of these natural gems of the country.
The Subterranean River National Park is a great first stop to see a five-mile underground river and impressive limestone caves. The UNESCO World Heritage site has boat tours that take you through the national park.
Other must-see spots in Puerto Princesa are Honda Bay, which is popular for snorkeling, and Ugong Rock, where you can try ziplining and caving.
On Samal Island, also called Garden City of Samal, hiking, diving, and kayaking are a way of life. One of the top things to do on Samal Island, besides relaxing at the beach, is visit the Monfort Bat Sanctuary, which is home to millions of bats in the caves.
An enjoyable day trip away from the beach is to Hagimit Falls, where you can walk on the nature trails and cool off in one of the pools below the tropical waterfalls. Samal Island is a short distance away from Davao City, which makes a great change of pace when you want a more metropolitan scene or a broader range of dining.
13. Apo Island
Sea turtle in the waters off Apo Island
If a swim with sea turtles sounds like the experience of a lifetime then you will want to head to Apo Island in the Philippines. The reason this location lends itself to swimming with turtles and other sea life is because of the protected marine sanctuary. The Apo Island Marine Reserve is where you can take guided trips to see the sea turtles up close and snorkel at the coral reefs.
The island is an eco-traveler’s dream. The protected landscape is some of the most untouched in the country. For great views of the island and the water go to the Apo Island View Deck. To get a sense of life on the island for the locals take a stroll on the Lagoon Trail through the Apo Village to see the local flora and fauna and engage with those who live on the island.
14. El Nido
Aerial view of El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
El Nido is a stunning place to visit in the Philippines for its clear water lagoons, marine life, coral reefs, and limestone cliffs. You can even take part in cliff climbing excursions, or go to Taraw Peak to experience a canopy walk with the best views of the landscape.
El Nido is also known for its pristine beaches, like Nacpan Beach and Lio Beach, and as the launch point for island-hopping adventures. Island hopping excursions to places like El Nido Big Lagoon or Snake Island to experience the cliffs and caves from the water are a memorable way to experience El Nido.
Wooden walkway for surfers to access the Cloud 9 surf break on Siargao Island
Travelers that enjoy making an itinerary up as they go should put Siargao Island on the agenda. The small island is big with experiences, from sought-after surfing waves to unusual rock formations and stunning waterfalls.
Surfing is what Siargao is most known for. The famous Cloud 9 break is here, but there are many coastline spots that bring in large waves. So, even if you do not surf, watching some of the championship surfers that come to the island is a fun activity.
Deep sea fishing is popular out of Siargao as anglers try year-round for sailfish and mahi-mahi. Another trip option when you visit Siargao is to do a bit of island hopping to places like Bucas Grande, where you can see the Sohoton Caves and the non-sting jellyfish.
10 Best Places to Visit in the Philippines
The Philippines is an island nation located in the Western Pacific. The region boasts one of the world’s longest combined coastlines due to the nation’s seven thousand tropical islands. These islands have beautiful coral reefs and spectacular diving, wildlife like whale sharks and dugongs, and mountainous tropical rainforests.
Filipino people are smiling, warm, and generous. Flights can be found to Manila or Cebu, and interisland travel is easy to find via plane, car, train, or ferry. Here is a look at some of the best places to visit in the Philippines:
10. Vigan [SEE MAP]
Obra19 / Wikipedia
A visit to the Crisologo St region of this town is like a step back to colonial times. Horses pull carts along cobblestone streets, and dark-wood mansions flank the sides, as a reminder of the grand life that many enjoyed in this colonial Spanish trading post. At the time, many goods like beeswax and gold were traded to China for exotic Asian items.
Today, the main income for this port is tourism, though the splendor from its trading history remains. Vigan has two hearts, a shopping center in the North, and a business district in the South. Tourists will enjoy the museums that have been created from several mansions, St Paul’s Cathedral, and the Mestizo district.
9. Bohol [SEE MAP]
oldandsolo / Flickr
The huge orange eyes and tiny fingers of the miniscule tarsier serve as the spokesmodel for the island of Bohol. Just a short trip from Cebu, this area is one of the few remaining homes for this tiny primate. The unique geologic oddity of the chocolate hills serves as the second draw for the non-divers to the region.
The mogul-like hills come with a legend of being formed by the rocks thrown by an angry giant. Most of the visitors to this region are, however, here to partake in the breathtaking dive opportunities that the region has to offer. It is the jumping off point for the marine reserves off of Pangalo and Pamlican islands.
8. Manila [SEE MAP]
anykeyh / Flickr
This Asian megacity is the capital of the Philippines, the fly-in point for most tourists, and a bustling opportunity to appreciate bounds of culture new and old. From tall gleaming buildings on the skyscraper gazing tour to the turn-of-the century landmarks on the self-guided downtown tour, there is much to see in Manila.
Food, whether from a street cart or high cuisine restaurant, is excellent and diverse, representing much more than the blend of Spanish, indigenous, and Chinese heritages that have found their way to this island nation. There is never a bad time to go to Manila, as there are almost two-dozen annual festivals to keep the city celebrating.
7. Donsol [SEE MAP]
Located in the province of Sorsogon, a place of pristine beaches, stunning waterfalls and unexplored caves, the sleepy fishing village of Donsol is the place in the Philippines to see whale sharks. They like tropical waters, which makes Donsol Bay a great habitat for them.
The protected species migrates through Donsol between November and June, with the numbers peaking between February and May. This huge fish is not shy about approaching boats; indeed, some carry scars from encounters with propellers.
6. Tagaytay [SEE MAP]
lulaymb / Flickr
The Taal volcano that sits majestically above the town of Tagaytay is a combination of active and extinct craters that create a beautiful tapestry of must-sees. Lake Taal is nestled inside the old Taal volcano crater, and the central island for the lake is the currently active volcano craters, which can be seen steaming on certain days.
Those who have never seen the pristine waters of a crater lake in person will be astonished at their pristine beauty. The long town of Tagaytay sits along this ridge, and is known for being clean, laid back, and a haven for foodies. Tourist attractions in town include the Punta de Santiago lighthouse, St Anne Shrine, and the large local flower farm.
5. Cebu [SEE MAP]
dbgg1979 / Flickr
Cebu is an island province in the Philippines, consisting of the main island itself and 167 surrounding islands. Its capital, Cebu city, is the oldest in the Philippines, and home to the nation’s second international airport.
The city is a smaller but similarly busy version of Manila, with many of the same urban benefits of new, old, cutting edge and cultural. One advantage that Cebu has is Matcan island, featuring a premiere dive site that is a short drive from an international airport. Another diving gem, the island and resorts of Malapascua, is about a four hour drive to the port town of Maya, and then must be accessed by boat. It is well worth the trip, however, as it is often considered the number one dive site in the country.
4. Mindoro [SEE MAP]
Jun Acullador / Flickr
Mindoro is an island that consists of two different regions, Mindoro Oriental and Mindoro Occidental, which are separated from one another by a high mountain range. The north of the region is mostly remote, and home to the primitive Mangayan tribe. This trip is well worth it for divers, however, as the town of Sablayan is the doorway to the island of Pangan and the pristine Apo Reef Marine Natural Park.
There is only one resort on the island, so reservations are recommended. In Mindoro Oriental, the main tourism location is the town of Puerto Galera. This is the ideal beach town, with resorts and white sand beaches for the water lovers, as well as jeep trips, orchid-filled rainforests, kayaking rivers and waterfalls for the trekkers in the group.
3. Banuae [SEE MAP]
IRRI Images / Flickr
The mud-walled rice terraces in Banuae are reason enough to take the bus trip from Manila to this unique indigenous town. The agricultural engineering system represented here was built 2000 years ago and passed on from generation to generation.
Though the serene and impressive flats would be enough to make this a must-see, the spectacular wood-carved rice guardians make the trip even more worthwhile. The ancient, crude sculptures are reminiscent of tikis, and believed to protect the crops from harm.
Though tourism has brought the Western world to an ancient way of life and created a large tourist market here, there are opportunities to visit less touristy towns whose rice crops are still the main staple of their economy for those seeking a more authentic experience.
2. Boracay [SEE MAP]
Endless white sand beaches, colorful outrigger sailboat rides, and beautiful resorts grace this island that has been consistently in the top three beaches in the world by travel review sites. The most populous region of Boracay is the central part of White Beach, which has the most opportunities for food, adventure, shopping, and public merriment.
Moving further away, more remote options are available, but they come with reduced amenities. Lodging ranges from budget shacks to high-end full-service resorts, but the white sand beaches, turquoise water, and romantic ambiance are open to all.
1. Palawan [SEE MAP]
Philippine Fly Boy / Flickr
One of the best places to visit in the Philippines, Palawan is an island province that stretches from Mindoro to Borneo between the South China and Sulu seas. Puerto Princesa, which is close to large karst formations with an underground river, is the provincial capital.
Coron Reefs on Busuanga Island is a popular diving spot, drawing divers who want to explore Japanese shipwrecks from World War II. Another popular destination is El Nido, a town sandwiched between towering limestone karst cliffs and the beautiful Bacuit Bay.
Map of the Philippines
© OpenStreetMap © MapTiler © Touropia
Best 30 Places To Visit In The Philippines – Updated 2022
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!
1. Boracay (from USD 16.0)
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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. 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.
Boracay Tour Package (Island Hopping)
2. Cebu (from USD 99.0)
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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.
3 Day Cebu Highlights Tour
Duration: 3 Day(s) Duration
3. El Nido, Palawan (from USD 17.0)
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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. 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.
El Nido Tour A
Duration: 4hrs – 5hrsDuration
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4. Bohol (from USD 60.0)
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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.
Vistors 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.
Bohol Day Tour from Cebu
5. Vigan City
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 to try here.
6. Banaue (from USD 950.0)
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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.
Banaue rice terraces and Sagada
Duration: 4 days
7. Puerto Princesa (from USD 11.0)
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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.
Puerto Princesa City Heritage Tour
8. Mactan Island (from USD 102.0)
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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.
Mactan Island Hopping and Snorkeling
Duration: 6 to 8 hours
9. Batan Island (from USD 66.0)
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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 to do from Batan Island.
2 Day North Batan and South Batan Tour
Duration: 2 Day(s) Duration
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.
Siquijor is also home to the beautiful Cambugahay Falls, the 100-year-old Balete tree, and several beaches and caves. Siquijor, along with its neighbor Apo Island, is ringed by coral reefs that offer amazing diving and snorkelling opportunities to visitors.
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. 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.
12. Sabtang Island (from USD 48.0)
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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.
Sabtang Island Day Tour from Batan Island
13. Taal Volcano (from USD 69.0)
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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.
Taal Volcano Day Tour from Manila
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).
15. Manjuyod Sandbar (from USD 194.84)
Nicknamed ‘The Maldives of the Philippines’, Manjuyod Sandbar is a seven-kilometre (4.3 mi) 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.
Dumaguete: Dolphin Watching & Manjuyod Sandbar Private Tour
Duration: 10 hour
16. Iloilo City
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.
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.
17. Mayon Volcano
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. It is a testament to the violent nature of the nearby volcano when it buried nearly 1200 residents in 1814. Visitors can also attend one of the numerous festivals held in honour of the volcano, or explore Albay Biosphere Reserve.
18. 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.