15 BEST TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
Because of its over 7,000 islands, the Philippines is an easy destination to return to. The most difficult decision a traveler must make is deciding which places to visit first.
Planning an itinerary might be challenging, especially for first-time tourists, given the variety of places and activities the Philippines has to offer. Thus, we have put together a list of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines to aid you in making your decision.
Boracay Island is known as the "Beach Capital of the Philippines" for a reason: it has more than 12 beaches. This small island in the west Visayas region is ideal for beachgoers seeking simple sun relaxation or water activities. White Beach, on the island's west coast, is one of the best in the Philippines.
Puka Shell Beach, located on the island's tip, is a popular destination for shell collectors. Cagban Beach is a peaceful location with nearby caves rumored to still contain treasure chests. Diniwid Beach, located at the north end of White Beach, has the best view of the island from a platform rock.
This island is well-known for its numerous resorts, so finding a place to stay is simple. A day trip to Mount Luho, the island's highest point, provides a panoramic view of the island.
The island of Bohol, located in the Philippines' central Visayas region, moves at a slower pace and is a popular tourist destination for its natural beauty. Carmen's Chocolate Hills are one of the island's most unusual natural wonders. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a collection of 1,200 geological formations that turn brown in the dry season, resembling a chocolate candy kissed landscape.
A family-run sanctuary for the tiny tarsier primate, known for its large, engaging eyes, can be found on the island of Bohol. You can take an intimate walk through the grounds and stand inches away from the small nocturnal mammal for a small fee.
The beach is Bohol's main attraction. Panglao Island has some of the best beaches in Bohol, including Alona Beach and Danao Beach, which have great diving; Dao Beach and Bingag Beach, which are popular resort areas; Bolod Beach, which has a long stretch of shoreline; and Doljo Beach, which is a little more remote but great for seashell hunting.
Cebu, in the central Visayas region, is known for having some of the best diving and snorkeling in the Philippines. If you enjoy diving, Cebu is one of the best places to go for excursions that allow you to get up close and personal with whale sharks, coral reefs, and sea turtles.
The sea caves near Cebu offer some of the most spectacular scenery from the water, attracting photographers and outdoor enthusiasts looking for unique diving and snorkeling spots. Sudlon National Park, about an hour's drive from Cebu City, is a beautiful place to explore and hike.
While Cebu's main attraction is its water, Cebu City is a metropolitan area with tourist attractions such as museums and cathedrals that will appeal to history buffs.
Banaue's rice terraces are one of the most striking sights in the Philippines. In this region, the emerald-green terraces are an agricultural marvel. Some of the terraces are thought to have been carved into the mountainside by hand over 2,000 years ago.
Both the Batad Rice Terraces and the Bangaan Rice Terraces are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Take a walk through the Banaue Ethnic Village or the Hiwang Village to meet the Indigenous people who farm the rice terraces for a more in-depth understanding of the region.
The terraces are most impressive at sunrise, when clouds and fog lift off the mountain, revealing the terraces' intricate landscape. You can stay in Banaue and hike or drive to the Batad rice terraces, or you can stay in an Ifugao native hut for a more authentic experience.
Vigan, in the northern Philippines, is one of the most charming towns in the Luzon region. Its culture is a synthesis of Chinese and Spanish influences brought to the area by settlers.
Take a ride through the streets in a horse-drawn kalesa and admire the colonial architecture built by the Spanish who colonized the area in the 18th century. Vigan is a city full of nuances to discover.
The Bantay Bell Tower, a notable landmark in the area, provides the best view of the area. The Calle Crisologo historic district is a walkable neighborhood with many local artisans and historical architecture.
A visit to the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral is breathtaking, and it's a great place to sit and people-watch while learning about the local culture.
Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is a bustling city with nonstop activity on the island of Luzon. Take a colorful jeepney, Manila's main mode of public transportation, to experience local life while visiting the city's top attractions.
The bumpy ride through the streets on the iconic and kitschy jeep/bus hybrid vehicles, which are usually overcrowded with locals, will be one of the highlights of your visit.
Plan visits to the city's main park, Rizal Park, and the San Agustin Church, which dates from the 16th century. Buy fresh fruits and handmade gifts at the public market at Quiapo Church, where thousands of people gather on Fridays for worship.
7. Davao City
Outside of Manila, visit Davao City, which has a large metropolitan area. Davao City is the capital of the southern Philippine region of Mindanao.
Despite its malls and large population, Davao City has many natural elements, such as the Eden Nature Park, the Philippine Eagle Center, and the Davao Baywalk near the sea.
Mount Apo, the Philippines' highest mountain, is one of the best places to visit in Davao City. Davao City has several large shopping malls, including Abreeza Mall and SM Lanang Premier Mall. The tiny Davao Museum of History and Ethnography is worth a visit if you want to learn about Davao City's history and culture.
Sagada's northern tribal region offers one of the most unique experiences in the Philippines. Tribes in the rugged and remote Cordillera Mountains welcome visitors.
This area is a haven for advanced outdoor enthusiasts. The steep mountains and high elevation heighten the thrill and skill level required for outdoor adventure. Hiking is popular in Sagada, particularly to Mount Ampaco, the region's highest peak, or through Echo Valley, which has steep and rugged terrain.
The hanging coffins hidden deep in the mountains are one of the best places to visit in this region of the Philippines. It is best to hire a local guide to take you to this incredible site because it is not a tourist destination, but rather an authentic tribal region hiding an experience worthy of bragging rights.
9. Coron Island
Coron Island is a tropical paradise with electric blue and green water that appears unreal. It is one of the top diving destinations in the world. The mountainous island is located on the westernmost tip of the Palawan island region in the Philippines.
Because of the numerous wrecks on the island, diving is popular here. Many of the preserved shipwrecks are found in depths ranging from three meters to 42 meters.
Because of their size, some of the wrecks require more than one dive to explore, but you can easily spend a week diving in this area. Barracuda Lake, a former volcano with many unusual rock formations and fish, is a great place to go for non-shipwreck diving.
Baguio is a city in the mountains of Luzon Island. Despite being a city, Baguio is small and reminiscent of a cottage-style setting. Because of the lush pine forests and cooler temperatures that surround it, Baguio is known as the City of Pines.
You can go hiking or biking on one of the many trails, or play a round of golf at one of the nearby resorts. Baguio differs from other destinations in the Philippines in that it is surrounded by trees rather than water.
Parks like Mines View and Burnham allow you to enjoy some of the region's unique flora and fauna. Spend some time on Session Road, Baguio's main thoroughfare, where you can experience a slice of local life.
11. Puerto Princesa Island
Palawan Island's rock islands, caves, and natural parks are the hidden paradise of the Philippines. The coastal city of Puerto Princesa is a good place to start exploring the country's natural wonders.
The Subterranean River National Park is an excellent starting point for exploring the park's five-mile underground river and impressive limestone caves. The UNESCO World Heritage site offers boat tours of the national park.
Honda Bay, which is popular for snorkeling, and Ugong Rock, where you can try ziplining and caving, are two other must-see spots in Puerto Princesa.
Hiking, diving, and kayaking are popular pastimes on Samal Island, also known as the Garden City of Samal. Aside from relaxing on the beach, one of the best things to do on Samal Island is visit the Monfort Bat Sanctuary, which is home to millions of bats in the caves.
A day trip away from the beach to Hagimit Falls, where you can walk on the nature trails and cool off in one of the pools below the tropical waterfalls, is an enjoyable day trip. When you want a more metropolitan scene or a broader range of dining options, Samal Island is a short distance away from Davao City.
13. Apo Island
You should travel to Apo Island in the Philippines if swimming with sea turtles sounds like the experience of a lifetime. Because to the protected marine sanctuary, this spot is well suited for swimming with turtles and other marine creatures. You can go on organized excursions to the Apo Island Marine Reserve to witness sea turtles up close and snorkel among coral reefs.
The island is an eco- tourist’s paradise.The protected landscape is among the most pristine in the country. The Apo Island View Deck offers spectacular views of the island and the water. Take a stroll through Apo Village on the Lagoon Trail to see the local flora and fauna and interact with those who live on the island to get a sense of life on the island for the locals.
14. El Nido
El Nido, in the Philippines, is a stunning destination with clear water lagoons, marine life, coral reefs, and limestone cliffs. You can also go on cliff climbing excursions or visit Taraw Peak for a canopy walk with the best views of the landscape.
El Nido is also known for its beautiful beaches, such as Nacpan Beach and Lio Beach, and as the starting point for island hopping excursions. Excursions to places like El Nido Big Lagoon or Snake Island to see the cliffs and caves from the water are a memorable way to see El Nido.
Siargao Island should be on the itinerary of anyone who enjoys making their own travel plans. The small island is packed with experiences, from popular surfing waves to unusual rock formations and breathtaking waterfalls.
Siargao is best known for its surfing. The famous Cloud 9 break is located here, but there are numerous coastline spots that attract large waves. Even if you don't surf, watching some of the world's best surfers visit the island is a fun activity.
Deep sea fishing is popular off the coast of Siargao, with anglers attempting to catch sailfish and mahi-mahi all year. When visiting Siargao, you can also go island hopping to places like Bucas Grande, where you can see the Sohoton Caves and non-sting jellyfish.