The Philippine boasts of 7,107 islands rich in natural resources and beautiful sceneries. Each region of the country has a lot of things to offer—diverse culture, good food, breathtaking tourist spots, and hospitable natives. If you’re looking for the best place to take a vacation, then the Philippines should be one of your dream destinations. Here are 20 gorgeous places you shouldn’t miss out when visiting the country.
1. Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Puerto Princesa is the largest city in Palawan and holds the seat of government in the province. It’s also the center of trade and industry. The city’s main attraction is the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. This Underground River was recently named as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. It was also inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It’s also a habitat for biodiversity conservation. Puerto Princesa also has pristine beaches in the islands of Honda Bay and diving sites in Red Cliff and White Beach.
2. Bohol. Bohol is famous for the Chocolate Hills. The 1,268 hills are covered with grass that turns chocolate brown at the end of the dry season. Bohol is also home to Tarsiers, one of the smallest primates in the world. They also have a man-made Mahogany forest, butterfly sanctuary, historical places such as the Blood Compact site, and old churches with amazing architecture. You can likewise go island hopping in Bohol and visit the beautiful beaches in Panglao.
3. Camarines Sur. This province is located in the Bicol peninsula. Known as CamSur to its visitors, parts of the province were featured in different episodes of the reality show Survivor. CamSur is also famous for its water sports offerings such as wakeboarding and kayaking. The Caramoan Islands are the main feature of CamSur’s island hopping experience with crystal clear beaches and fine white sand. They also have a deer farm and a bamboo farm for lovers of flora and fauna.
(Photo by zwstr on Flickr. © All rights reserved)
4. Bagiuo. This mountain city located in Benguet province is known as the Philippine’s summer capital. Also known as City of Pines, it has a lot of relaxing places to offer such as the Burnham Park, Camp John Hay, Wright Park, and Mines View Park. The annual Flower Festival or Panagbega Festival in Baguio is held every February, which is one of the best times to visit the city. If you love shopping then you should stop by Session Road, the city’s commercial center filled with quaint shops you can choose from. (Photo by zwstr on Flickr. © All rights reserved)
5. Cebu. One will never run out of places to go to in Cebu. This island province will cater to the taste of history and art aficionados. The Lapu Lapu Monument, Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro, and Casa Gorordo Museum are some of the landmarks you can visit. Cebu has a lot of churches, too, such as the Taoist Temple, Cebu Cathedral, and the Basilica Minor de Santo Nino. There are also guitar factories in Mactan Island for music lovers.
6. Tagaytay. This paradise-like city overlooking Taal Lake and Taal volcano is another place you must visit in the Philippines. With its cool breeze throughout the year, Tagaytay is frequently visited by city dwellers to escape the heat in the metro. It’s perfect for picnics, horseback riding, zipline, and other fun and relaxing activities. Sonya’s Garden is a bed and breakfast cum restaurant that you should check out in Tagaytay. Set in a gorgeous English garden, this restaurant serves organic food only but delicious nonetheless.
7. Vigan, Ilocos Norte. Recently nominated in the New 7 Wonders Cities, this historical city is known as the home of Calle Crisologo. This cobblestoned street is replete with ancestral houses reminiscent of the Spanish regime. Vigan is also famous for its jar factories in Pagburnayan. You shouldn’t miss the Baluarte, too, which is an interactive wildlife sanctuary.
(Photo by sekart99 from Flickr © All rights reserved.)
8. Boracay. The island of Boracay is probably the most popular beach in the Philippines and one of the top beaches in the world. Its turquoise waters and white pristine sand attract tourists whole year round. You can indulge with various aquatic sports such as wind surfing, jet skiing, board sailing, and so much more! It also offers a lot of nature tripping adventures such as hiking, caving, trekking, and island hopping. You ought to try their famous refreshing fruit shakes, too!
9. Davao. This breathtaking province in Mindanao boasts of nature’s wonders and tranquil getaways. Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines is situated between Davao City and Davao del Sur. It’s also home to the monkey-eating Philippine Eagle. Pearl Farm Beach Resort is one place you should definitely visit. The Crocodile Farm, Sul Orchids, T’boli Weaving Center, and Aldevinco Shopping Center (for souvenirs) are some stops you need to visit make while in Davao.
10. Coron, Palawan. This incredible island is a haven for divers. It has a coral garden filled with stony, leathery, and soft corals. At 13 ft you can already see these amazing underwater wonders like anemones, sea stars, clownfish, sea turtles and reef fishes. It’s also known for the Kayangan Lake, the cleanest and greenest lake in the country. The Twin Lagoon and Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary are among the other must-see sites in Coron.
11. Rizal Park. If you love to stay in the metro, then Rizal Park is one place you should visit. Located at the heart of Manila, the Rizal Park is home to the monument of Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero. There are a lot of scenic spots in this park that depicts the city’s history.
(Photo by eazy traveler from Flickr. © All rights reserved.)
12. Ilocos Sur. Rich in culture and history, Ilocos Sur reflects colonial Spain when you visit the province. The Burgos Museum and Crisologo Museum narrates the story of this region. It’s also famous for The Santa Maria Church that sits on a hill and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Church. The Heritage Village or Mestizo District will take you back to the Spanish era.
13. Batanes. This island province has a diverse range of flora and fauna. It’s seeing nature at its purest form—free from pollution and overflowing with flourishing greens. Batanes is known for its zero crime rate, making tourist feel safe and comfortable in the place. It boasts of breathtaking mountain ranges, historical churches, and honest Ivatan natives.
14. Bataan. This coastal and progressive city offers a lot to travellers. Bataan is famous for its ecotourism offerings such as migratory bird watching and the Pawikan Conservation Center. It’s also rich in natural falls. The Dambana ng Kagitingan is one historical site you must visit in Bataan. Montemar and Waterfront Beach Resorts will mesmerize every aquatic lover.
15. Camiguin. Known as the “Island Born of Fire,” Camiguin is one island paradise that the Philippines is proud of. Filled with beautiful beaches, this province is a popular diving destination with exotic marine life. The island also has historical places like ancestral houses, old churches, and a sunken cemetery. You’ll enjoy its abundance of pure waterfalls, hot and cold springs, and lagoons.
16. Hundred Islands. This group of islands is located in Lingayen Gulf, Alaminos City. It consists of 123 gorgeous islands. There are 3 developed islands you can visit—the Quezon, Governor’s, and Children’s Islands. Perfect for island hopping and snorkelling, this destination is for every lover of sea and sand.
17. El nido, Palawan. Rich in white beaches and pocket caves, El Nido is nature’s way of showing off its supreme beauty. Some of the sites you need to visit are the Cudugnon Cave, Cadlao Island, Dibulan Beach Club, 7 Commands Point, and Miniloc Island.
18. Baler. Located in Aurora province, this place offers you the chance to plant Mangrove trees via local environmental guide. You can lounge in Baler’s clear beaches and soothing rainforests, explore historical churches, and take on the thrills of surfing and jet skiing. The Baler Church is a must-see as well as the Cunayan Falls.
19. Laoag. Laoag City is one of the tourist centers of Ilocos Norte. This province is famous for its heritage sites such as the Sinking Bell Tower, Spanish colonial structures, Marcos-era mansions and Paoay Church (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). It also boasts of fine white-sand beaches in Pagudpud. The Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, the highest lighthouse in the Philippines, is a landmark you shouldn’t miss.
20. Cagayan de Oro. This provincial city will surprise you in many ways. Travail the Monigue Cave and Macahambus Hill Cave. Enjoy the Malasag Eco-tourism Village, Mapawa Nature Park, and Macahambus Adventure Park. Lastly, push yourself to the limit and take on the famous white water rafting adventure.
The Philippines abounds with nature’s wonders that will captivate you at every turn. It’s one of the best countries to visit, offering you pure unadulterated beaches, historical sites, and wild adventures. The Philippines’ Department of Tourism’s slogan is “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” and you can bet it really is!
Nicole So is a freelance writer, regular runner and a former backpacker. Her hobbies are writing, photography and traveling. She also writes for other blogs and for some clients. Follow her escapades in google+.