The best and most remarkable places to visit in the Philippines
With over 7,000 gorgeous islands to choose from, planning a trip to the Philippines in 2020 can be a rather overwhelming and mind-boggling experience for any traveler. From the breath-snatching, idyllic rolling hills of Batanes to the fabulous cascades of Lake Sebu, the Philippines has a cornucopia of awe-inspiring destinations that are worthy of a traveler’s bucket list.
Whether you’re a history buff or a sun-kissed beach bum, you will find your bliss as well as ignite your innate sense of wanderlust in the Philippines. Even though stepping foot on all the county’s 7,105 islands in one year is nearly an impossible feat, this list of places to visit in the Philippines will at least give you some inspiration and a good start to your adventure.
To help you with your travel plans in this tropical hub in 2020, we’ve rounded up some of the best and most remarkable places to visit in the Philippines.
Here’s a list of some of the finest and grandest destinations as well as the up-and-coming sites in this gorgeous Southeast Asian hub:
1. Huma Island, Palawan
Want to take a break from the crowded cities and places to visit in the Philippines? Then, spend a luxurious getaway at the Human Island Resort – a heavenly refuge full of indulgence and adventure. Majestically cradled in the stunning turquoise waters of Palawan, this one-of-a-kind Maldivian-like resort beckons weary people who are longing for a tropical escape and a personalized zen-like experience of exploration and discovery.
Blending world-class facilities and cushy accommodations with mouthwatering dishes and fun-filled adventures, this remote island certainly has an array of treats in store for its guests.
Camiguin, aptly labeled as the “Island Born of Fire”, is a fascinating island-province brimming with volcanoes like Mount Uhay, Mount Hibok-Hibok, Mount Vulcan and Mount Mambajao. As a matter of fact, Camiguin holds the record for the island with most number of volcanoes for every square kilometer in the world. But, make no mistake about it – there is more to this small Philippine province than its volcanic riches.
After all, it is a secluded destination that boasts a plethora of natural wonders, including refreshing waterfalls, cold and hot springs, and an untouched sand bar. Plus, it has plenty of other intriguing attractions to offer to its visitors as well, including the infamous sunken cemetery, well-preserved ancestral homes and centuries-old churches.
And, did we mention that it is the host to the Lanzones festival – one of the most popular, dynamic and anticipated festivals in the Philippines?
3. Coron, Palawan
Coron, often revered as one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Philippines, is truly a spectacular tropical paradise that will wow you in a lot of different ways. Praised for its postcard-perfect scenery, this Philippine destination delights its visitors with its crystalline waters, pristine white-sand beaches, towering limestone cliffs, and picturesque remote islands.
What’s more, Coron has decent and colorful corals, and has a host of underwater wrecks, making it one of the best places to visit in the Philippines for diving aficionados.
Speaking of traveling to Coron, don't forget bring a stylish swimsuit on your trip. With its fashionable look and majestic design, a chic swimwear will surely blend perfectly with Coron's majestic natural backdrop.
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Batanes, one of the dream places to visit in the Philippines for local travelers, is a surreal haven that promises to give you a slice of heaven of earth. Famed for its sheer natural beauty and distinct landscapes, this remote wonderland leaves its beholders in awe with its majestic lofty cliffs, rolling hills, boulder-lined shores and deep canyons.
In addition, this paradisiacal place flaunts a myriad of sturdy and historic stone houses.
5. El Nido, Palawan
Blessed with a wealth of pocket caves and eye-catching beaches, El Nido is Mother Nature’s way of showing off her grand and supreme beauty. With its sunning inlets, clear waters vibrant beaches, El Nido indeed has one of the beautiful seascapes in the world.
More than just a stereotypic beach destination, El Nido is also admired for its verdant jungle and steep limestone cliffs, which magnificently form a Karst backdrop that is similar to those found in Guilin, Krabi and Ha Long Bay.
6. Cebu City
The city of Cebu is not just an awesome base and jump-off point to explore the Philippines, but it is a worthy destination in itself as well. Here, you’ll get a sweet taste of Philippine history and art with its collection of historic monuments like Casa Gorordo, Fort San Pedro, Magellan’s Cross and the Lapu Lapu Monument.
As an added plus, the city also has plenty of shopping malls, up-and-coming restaurants and interesting diversions, such as Crown Regency’s Sky Experience Adventure.
7. Camotes, Cebu
Want to get true taste of the laid-back island life in the Philippines? Head off the grid on the islands of Camotes – a couple of hours east of the city of Cebu. Just bring some extra cash since there are no ATMs on these places to visit in the Philippines.
8. Boracay, Aklan
Boracay is, without a shadow of a doubt, the ultimate beach destination and one of the top places to visit in the Philippines. Voted as one of the world’s best islands in 2015 by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler, this world-famous island lures travel junkies from all corners of the earth with its magnificent sunsets, dazzling waters and soft white sands.
Furthermore, it has a buzzing nightlife scene that would give Ibiza – the world’s party capital – a run for its money.
9. Lake Sebu
Why should you pay a visit to Lake Sebu? While Lake Sebu is not as famous as Boracay and Palawan, it’s nonetheless a charming and lush destination with a burgeoning tourism industry.
One of the most underrated places to visit in the Philippines, Lake Sebu is home to a cluster of striking waterfalls and extremely clean lakes. Not to mention, a visit to this destination will give a taste of the wondrous culture of the Ubo and T’boli tribes.
To top it all off, it is home to arguably the best and most thrilling zipline ride in the Philippines. Trust me, Lake Sebu’s extraordinary zipline will literally take your breath away.
With its soothing ambiance and breathtaking overlooking views, it's no wonder Tagaytay is often named as one of the most gorgeous places to visit in the Philippines. To make things even better, it's just a short ride away from the capital city, Manila.
For the ultimate throwback adventure in the Philippines, visit Vigan – the country’s first and only UNECO World Heritage city. A delight for culture vultures and history junkies, Vigan is a unique and historic destination that rightfully deserves a spot on your bucket list. A visit here will give you a wonderful glimpse of the intriguing colonial past and culture of the country.
From Spanish-styled houses to a 17th century Augustinian cathedral, Vigan has an old-world charm to give your fix for history and culture.
Siquijor, dubbed as one the most mysterious places to visit in the Philippines, is a serene cove that is believed to be a breeding ground for witches, sorcerers and even mythical supernatural creatures. Although everyone knows that these rumors are not true, many still think that it is an island drenched in mystery and magic.
Nevertheless, folks who come to this place will be mesmerized by the beauty of its waterfalls, parks and beaches like the Kagusuan Beach and Salagdoong Beach.
13. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
If scuba diving is your cup of tea, then make sure to put Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park on top of your list of places to visit in the Philippines. Billed as one of the world’s best dive sites, this wonderful aquatic world is a protected sanctuary that serves as a home to vibrant coral reefs, the endangered hawksbill sea turtles, sharks, lionfish, clownfish, sea turtles and mantra rays.
Inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Tubbataha is a sanctuary to dozens of bird species as well.
On the lookout for a cheaper and closer alternative to Batanes? Then, make sure to include Catanduanes to your list of the places to visit in the Philippines in 2020! Nicknamed as the “land of the howling winds”, Cantaduanes is a typhoon-prone province that will sweep you away with its serene mountain tops, scenic grasslands, strong ocean breeze and towering cliffs.
As with Batanes, Catanduanes flaunts plenty of historic sites and Instagrammable rock formations.
15. Mount Pulag, Luzon
Mount Pulag is, as far as I’m concerned, one of the bucket-list worthy places to visit in the Philippines for adventurists and nature lovers. As you take a hiking trip in this adventure playground, you’ll get to treat yourself to majestic vistas of the famous sea of clouds and Milky Way Galaxy at daybreak.
The Chocolate Hills, one of the most iconic sights in the country, is a series of hills that spread beautifully over the municipalities of Batuan, Sagbayan and Carmen in Bohol. These natural wonders are called “Chocolate Hills” because their layers of green grass turn super brown during the country’s dry season, making these hills look like your favorite confections.
Besides these otherworldly hills, is also well-known for its eccentric wildlife (like the Philippine tarsiers), centuries-old churches, rivers and world-class white-sand beaches.
17. Langun Gobingob Caves in Samar
With tons of caves mapped and explore on this island, it’s no wonder extreme outdoor adventure junkies are calling Samar as the country’s caving capital. Langun Gobingob Caves – the country’s largest caving system, is found in Samar as well, specifically in Calbiga.
This cave system is so huge that it can easily fit a trio of soccer fields. So, if you want to add a spice of adventure to your life in 2020, make it a point to include Samar on your places to visit in the Philippines this year.
18. Kalanggaman Island, Leyte
Kalanggaman Island, the crown jewel of Leyte, is a supremely beautiful sand bar that is fast becoming one of most sought-after places to visit in the Philippines.
In fact, it’s becoming so gorgeous that countless of international cruise ships would make a stopover on this long, immaculate white sand bar.
19. Mayon Volcano, Albay
Listed by CNN as one of the world’s most photogenic volcanoes, Mayon Volcano boasts a perfectly-shaped cone that can surpass the allure of any grand and celebrated volcano in the world.
20. Southern Cebu
Cebu’s southern side has a deluge of outdoor thrills, nature trips, beaches and waterfalls to keep a traveler busy for a week or even a couple of months. Beach lovers will be put into a state of euphoria with the clean and sparkling shorelines of Alcoy and Aloguinsan.
Diving connoisseurs, meanwhile, will get a chance to meet and greet the friendly giants of Oslob as well as relish Moalboal’s kaleidoscopic marine life. Those who are on fond of extreme adventures will find their bliss by scaling the rocks and jumping off the cliffs and waterfalls in Badian.
The fun, however, doesn’t stop there. Take a trip to the city of Carcar, and admire its old heritage houses and structures. While there, don’t forget to sample their well-known delicacies, such as the crispy chicharon and the ultra tasty lechon.
21. Banaue Rice Terraces, Ifugao
Deemed as the “Eight Wonder of the World”, this national treasure is definitively one of the best places to visit in the Philippines for sightseeing and nature trips. Likewise, a trip here will give you an opportunity to get in touch with nature as well as meet the Ifugao tribes.
22. Northern Samar
Dramatic rock formations, cloistered coves, and untouched beaches await travelers who visit Northern Samar, which is one of the most undervalued gems and places to visit in the Philippines. Biri Island, the undisputed star in the province’s burgeoning tourism, will delight you with its incredibly beautiful and jaw-dropping rock formations.
But, there’s more to Northern Samar than this beloved island. Try to discover the island’s neighbors, and you will surely be rewarded with heaps of wonderful surprises along the way.
23. Manjuyod Sandbar
Manjuyod Sandbar isn’t dubbed as the “Maldives of the Philippines” for nothing. With clear waters and a stretch of majestic white sands, this enthralling sandbar will definitely make you feel that you are standing in one of the premier beach destinations in the world. Additionally, it has cottages that seem like they are floating on blue shallow waters, adding more flavor and Maldivian atmosphere to this sandbar.
As an added plus, a visit here gives you an opportunity to spot a cluster of dolphins and whale sharks.
24. Iloilo City
For an unforgettable culinary experience in the Philipines, head to the city of Iloilo and appease your gastronomic cravings to a wide array sumptuous treats, including La Paz Batchoy and Pancit Molo. More than just a culinary paradise, this city is also drenched in history and culture, teeming with intricate historic sites, like Molo Church, Plaza Libertad, Museo Iloilo and Jaro Cathedral.
Not to mention, it’s a gateway to another splendid beach destinations in the Philippines – Guimaras Island.
25. Bontoc, Mountain Province
For years, Bontoc has been overshadowed by its incredibly popular neighbors – Banaue and Sagada. But the good news is, Bontoc is slowly making waves, and is getting some spotlight as well as love from intrepid travelers.
One of the most underrated places to visit in the Philippines, Bontoc will sweep you off your feet with its enthralling sights, such as Mount Fato, Mount Kupapey and Maligcong Rice Terraces.
26. Siargao, Surigao del Norte
They don’t call Siargao as the surfing capital of the Philippines for nothing. A paradise for surfing aficionados, Siargao is beloved across the world for its healthy daily dose of huge swells as well as undisturbed winds from the world’s largest ocean.
If, however, you’re not overly fond of surfing, the island still has a heap of attractions to appease your wanderlust, including Guyam Island, Daku Island, Suhoton Cove national Park, Pacifico beach and Magpupungko Tide Pools.
Although it’s one of Asia’s top capitals for culture and sightseeing, the city continues to get unfairly a bad rap. Horrendous traffic jams, overpopulation and pollution are all normally associated with Manila, but this paints an unsymmetrical and one-sided picture.
Yes, Manila has a few faults and drawbacks, but with a thriving economy and a fascinating new wave of galleries, nightlife and restaurants, the capital has renewed its self-confidence and vitality.
28.Surigao del Sur
Sure, it may not be a household name, but don't sleep on Surigao del Sur. After all, it is home to two of the most prominent attractions in Mindanao - Tinuy-an Falls and Enchanted River. Plus, it has a burgeoning beach paradise - Britania Islands.
Aside from enjoying its wild and rip-roaring parties, a visit to Philippines also allows you to enjoy its majestic and gorgeous beaches. So, if you are looking for an exquisite beach destination with a zippy nightlife scene, plan a trip to Philippines with Trekeffect!
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