An archipelagic country in Southeast Asia
The Philippines, as tropical country, consists of about 7,641 islands that are broadly categorized under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Home to a plethora of spectacular islands perfect for your holiday vacation. With all its lovely attractions and destinations, is truly a tropical wonderland that would give you a taste of heaven on earth.
From dynamic cities to bucolic provinces, the list of places to visit in the Philippines is practically endless. Honestly, planning a trip to this Southeast Asian country can really be a tough assignment due to the enormous number of destinations to choose from. But don’t worry, as I would unravel to you the Philippine destinations that you should visit this year from north to south.
Here are the 15 places you wouldn’t want to miss when you set foot in the Philippines:
1. Palaui Island, Cagayan
Located in the extremely remote part of the Luzon Island, Palaui Island is truly a piece of paradise in the Babuyan Channel, ideal for the brave souls who are willing to endure a very long drive. This island offers unspoiled landscape of grass meadows, lush rice fields and thick tropical forests with a 10- kilometer stretch of white sand shoreline.
2. Baler, Aurora
When you think of Baler, the first thing that may pop out of your mind is surfing. While surfing is undeniably the main highlight of this town in the east coast of Luzon, Baler is more than just being a surfing spot. Heritage sites are well-preserved and Baler’s rich cultural heritage and tradition is still vibrant.
3. Carabao Island, Romblon
Often dubbed as the untouched neighboring island of Boracay, the Carabao Island is an island of exotic grandeur. Despite being close to the commercialized island of Boracay, it retains the tranquility of the place.
For this year, make sure to travel to Marinduque as it is where the country’s heart lies. A perfect getaway during holidays, Marindique flaunts a handful of stunning tourist attractions that would keep you busy for days. Furthermore, it is so easy to get to Marinduque, and the people there are very warm and hospitable. If you don’t have plans on Holy Week, then you might want to go to this destination, and experience the very famous Moriones Festival.
Known as a sentinel unfazed by the constant passage of typhoons in the country, Catanduanes is an island province off the coast of Bicol region. The rustic and rugged charm of this province is so unique proving its worth to be travelled.
6. El Nido, Palawan
Powdery white sand beaches, tranquil blue waters and colossal rock formations are some of the gorgeous things you can expect in El Nido. As far as I’m concerned, calling it as an island full of immense natural beauty is an understatement. If you haven’t been here, there’s no reason not to include it on your bucket list of places to visit in the Philippines this year.
7. Gigantes Islands, Northern Iloilo
Stunning island mountains, pristine white sand beaches, clear salt-water lagoon, accommodating locals and good food are some of the things that make the Gigantes Island a must-visit destination in the Philippines this 2015. Travelling here is neither hard nor easy; the keyword is timing. Located in the northern part of Iloilo, Gigantes Island consists of 6 beautiful islets and is considered one of the destinations often less traveled.
8. Guimaras Island
This tiny neighboring island of Iloilo City has an endless array of delights to offer to its visitors, from captivating white sand beaches to rocky terrains and historical heritages. Plus, it home to the world’s sweetest and best-tasting mangoes. Indeed, it makes a perfect side-trip if you happen to travel Iloilo.
9. Northern Samar
Despite being a usual route of the past super typhoons in the Philippines, Northern Samar still holds some of the country’s most eye-catching natural wonders, including the colossal beauty of the rock formations on Biri Island. Unique white beaches and secluded coves are also just waiting to be discovered in this destination. Moreover, the different towns in Northern Samar have bits of surprises for every traveler who learns to appreciate its beauty.
10. Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte
You may have heard about this place from the Filipino history books, and probably considered it as just an old named town from the past, but it actually exists! Deemed as the site of the first mass in the Philippines, Limasawa is rich with history as well natural wonders, such as stunning rock formations, beautiful coral reefs, and crystal clear blue waters of the sea. If you want to get off from the hustle and bustle of the city and the sheer pressure of work, then you might consider going in this serene island in the Philippines, where peace and serenity is absolute.
11. Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Located in the heel of the boot-shaped Negros Island, Sipalay City is without a doubt one of the underrated and less-visited destination in the Philippines. As you visit this city, you get to fall in love with the creamy sand of the kilometer-stretch Langub Beach, and enjoy the ethereal view of the sun as it curtail down at dusk. And if you’re up to some adventure, Sipalay has around 30 diving sites lush of underwater treasures.
12. Dinagat Island
The Dinagat Island in the Philippines isn’t short of exciting and amazing things to offer, such as the breathtaking view of a Bonsai forest from the Mt. Redondo. Despite its grand beauty, it may possibly perish soon enough because of the mineral extraction projects in the area. That’s why you should visit it before it loses its charm and beauty. The province, by the way, is composed of many islets with virgin white beaches waiting to be explored.
Bukidnon, for years, has been considered the food basket of Mindanao. It is a landlocked province in the highlands of Northern Mindanao. As a traveler in the Philippines, make sure to experience a one-of-a-lifetime adventure in Dahilayan Forest Park, and cruise into one of the longest zip line in the country.
14. Mati City, Davao Oriental
This hidden marvel of the southern east side is the capital and the only city of the Davao Oriental province in the Philipines. Mati City is a three to four hour drive from the Davao City with undiscovered tourist attractions. Aside from serene white sand beaches, the city is also the home of the “sleeping dinosaur”. Yes! You’ve read it right. There in Badas Point, you can see the stunning view of a land.
A unique and one-of-a-kind destination is all there is to say about Tawi-tawi. Going there might be tough since it is pretty far from the urban jungles of the Philippines. But trust me, it will be worth it, as you will be stepping on a different world. Tawi-tawi has plenty of things to offer to its pilgrims, including the monumental beauty of Bud Bongao, the Little of Venice of Sitangkai, the enormous marine life, and the glamorous cultural heritage and tradition, which is very evident in the entirety of the province.
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