There is an opinion that the Philippines, a state lost among the seas and oceans on seven thousand islands (this, by the way, is a real figure, and not a poetic epithet), can calmly “catch” the most popular areas of Southeast Asia.
There is plenty of exotic (like in Cambodia), delicious cuisine, developed resorts, and dizzying skyscrapers. Let’s not forget about the wonderful climate, amazing flora and fauna and, of course, luxurious diving.
In addition, holidays in the Philippine Islands pleases with an exotic “excursion”, developed infrastructure and a wide selection of hotels. A tiring flight is perhaps the only thing that even the most optimistic agent will not be able to turn into a plus.
Here are our Top 10 places to visit in the Philippines
Palawan and the underwater world around the island offer some of the best world-class diving. There is a lot to do and see in the Philippines, and visitors who have made their choice in the Palawan never regret it!
Palawan – this is a wide-open area with many islands, an amazing landscape of endemic flora and fauna, peace and quiet, low crime and low population density, as well as an abundance of fresh seafood and low prices. Puerto Princess (Puerto Princesa) – the main city and capital of the province of Palawan, is especially popular among Philippine tourists.
With about ten flights a day from Manila, mostly low-cost bonfires, the Puerto Princess in Palawan has become a cheap tourist destination. Foreign visitors still make up the majority of tourists here, due to the high cost of an air ticket and long travel times by land to El Nido. Recent years have seen the growth of tourism in Coron, thanks to cheap flights and a large number of new inexpensive hotels/resorts.
Cebu City, about the size of Manila; energetic, exciting and fast-paced, or loud, dirty, and ruthless, depending on your perspective. At first glance, this makes it the worst to attract tourists, with its buzzing jeeps spraying exhaust fumes, shopping culture and shopping centers, and a lack of world-class attractions.
Nevertheless, give the capital city a chance, and you will find that there is much to do and see. Cebu City has a rich history that is well documented with several awesome museums and churches. The upscale Lahug district comes alive at night with bars and clubs for every taste. And immediately across the bridge lies Mactan Island, one of the few places in the world where you can try world-class diving, and it is only a few minutes from the international airport.
Cebu City is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines with a high reputation. The capital of Cebu province has the busiest port in the country and is also home to the Philippines’ second-largest international airport. Add to its prestige the fact that it is the gateway to the stunning Visayas, which is a collection of island areas, you will forget about the chaotic world of Manila and you will be able to relax on the white sandy beaches of the Queen of the South.
Sitio Pungayan in Benguet, also known as La Presa, has recently attracted crowds of tourists thanks to its surreal landscape and fabulous strawberry farms that have been immortalized by the television hit Forever. Although the entire area is rightfully popular because of its green fields and strawberry plantations, it definitely has more surprises for discerning travelers in the bosom.
Visiting Benguet, you must climb Mount Pulag, and capture a stunning view of a fabulous sea of clouds, and then bask on vegetable terraces and flower farms. If you are traveling on a rental car, drive along the Atok Halsema Highway, where you will pass through the highest mountain pass in the Philippines.
Every year gaining more and more popularity among tourists, the charm of Batanes is simply endless, with beautiful stone houses and picturesque landscapes of rocks and hills torn by waves. From its green pastures to extraordinary beaches, Batanes offers great pleasing views at every turn.
But, if you really want to experience a real adventure in Batanes, face the raging sea waves, going on a trip to Itbayat – the northernmost island of the province, which lies closer to Taiwan than to the mainland Philippines.
Pristine sandy beaches, dramatic mountain scenery, and isolated bays await avid travelers during their trip to the underrated Northern Samar. Biri Island, a provincial postcard, has lured tourists in recent years with its stunning and majestic rock formations.
But in this part of the Philippines, there is much more to do and see. Try to see its neighboring places and you will be rewarded with tons of pleasant surprises along the way.
The catastrophic earthquake of magnitude 7.2 in 2013 and a series of typhoons have recently hindered the Bohol tourism industry. Bohol is generally praised for its impressive dive sites, ancient colonial churches, Philippine tarsiers, and iconic Chocolate Hills. However, despite these sad events, Bohol has gracefully recovered and is now on the verge of becoming a major player in the Philippines tourism scene.
In fact, new and interesting offers of attractions and activities were added to the recreation program, including cycling on a steel rope (bike zipline) in the Adventure Park Chocolate Hills, and fun tours on the boards on the Lombok River.
One of the most underrated destinations in the Philippines, Batad is a secluded and weird village that offers the best and most phenomenal views of the world-famous Banaue rice terraces. A haven for nature and adventure lovers, Batad also offers its visitors a fresh mountain breeze, amazing sights, and good hiking opportunities. In addition, it has several other interesting places to visit, such as Patpat Sitio Village, Tappiyah Waterfalls, and an observation deck.
Masbate – a fairly remote province in Bicol – it’s not only about the funny cowboys that fill the city during the annual Rodeo Masbate Festival. One of the amazing tourist destinations in the Philippines, Zamboanga’s pockets are also full of marine reserves and pristine white sand beaches laced with attractive stone formations, mangrove forests, and historic colonial houses of the 20th century.
Interestingly, Masbate is home to one of a kind waterfall that falls right into the sea. To top it all off – this is the main place for diving in the Philippines to watch the giant manta rays.
Siquijor is a beautiful island-province that is believed to be filled with magic and mystery. In fact, some would even say that Siquijor is home to magicians, witches, healers, and supernatural beings like tikbalang and kapre. Whether these rumors are true or not, travelers who come to this island will certainly be fascinated by the magnificence of its parks, waterfalls, and beaches such as the beaches of Salagdoong Beach and Kagusuan Beach.
No list of the best places in the Philippines in 2020 would be complete without the inclusion of one UNESCO World Heritage Site – Wigan. Take a walk along the historic Calle Crisologo street, take a quick look at the country’s colonial past, and admire the extraordinary architecture that combines 16th-century European designs with Chinese aesthetics. Admire antique furniture from Asia and Europe at the Syquia Mansion Museum, and visit the old Pagburnayan pottery, where techniques introduced by the Chinese more than 400 years ago are still used by local artisans.