15 Totally Amazing Places to Visit in the Philippines

Looking at a globe map, you would believe the Philippines is a little nation. However, zoom in. If you look attentively, you’ll see that the Philippines is made up of approximately 7,000 islands.

In the Philippines, there are a LOT of islands to explore and attractions to visit. It would take you 19 YEARS to see everything if you spent one day on each island.

Needless to say, you could probably spend your whole life traveling throughout the Philippines and never grow tired of it.

But, Kay, what else is there to do in the Philippines but visit the beach?

Oh my goodness, you’re in for a tremendous surprise. Except for winter (and who enjoys the frigid cold anyway?! ), the Philippines offers pretty much everything. In addition to the world’s most gorgeous beaches, the Philippines has:

I’m simply stating that you should go to the Philippines as soon as possible and discover it for yourself. It’s one of Southeast Asia’s most underestimated locations, and its beauty and warmth will take your breath away.

Do you still not trust me? I’ve produced a list of 30 of the most beautiful spots to visit in the Philippines to help inspire and persuade you to go. If none of these stunning locations pique your attention or captivate you, I’m at a loss for words.

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Philippines’ Top Tourist Destinations

Luzon/Northern Philippines

The northern region of the Philippines, with its rice terraces and undulating hills, is mostly inhabited by the province of Luzon. The area not only has lush woods and gorgeous scenery, but it also has a lot of history and historical sites.

Rice Terraces in Ifugao

A lush, mountainous region located deep in the interior of the island of Luzon. The environment here is ideal for cultivating rice, and many farmers have toiled for years to develop their harvests here during the peak season.

As a consequence, kilometers of stark, emerald rice terraces have been cut into the sides of the mountains here, creating incredibly strange images. If you like adventure (and beautiful scenery), the Ifugao Rice Terraces should be on your list of places to visit in the Philippines.

The Ifugao Rice Terraces are tough to reach and will take at least 2-3 days to thoroughly explore. To get there, take a bus from Manila to Banaue (9+ hours), then continue climbing to the overlooks.

Ifugao has two major settlements where you may stay to visit the rice terraces: Banaue and Batad.


Tagaytay provides leisure, natural beauty, and seclusion in contrast to Manila’s traffic, bustle, and loudness.

Tagaytay, located less than two hours outside of Manila on a peak overlooking Taal Lake and Volcano, provides mountain bed and breakfasts, stunning vistas, and peaceful contemplation spots. It’s similar to the Philippines’ Pacific Northwest, sans the hipsters.

There is no better spot to spend a calm, refreshing weekend away than Sonya’s Garden. This locally-owned inn is a quaint and pleasant refuge, set in a garden with beautiful flowers, fresh foods and herbs, and plenty of tropical forest regions.

The grounds are dotted with luxurious cottages, and the kind staff will serve you great breakfast and warm pastries in the morning. There’s also a spa and restaurant for those who want to completely relax.

Volcano Taal

Want to see one of the prettiest volcanoes in the Philippines? Travel to Taal Lake, which is dominated by the little yet powerful Taal Volcano.

Taal may seem to be a minor volcano, yet it is the Philippines’ second most active volcano. This is one of the top locations to visit in the Philippines for adventure seekers since you can trek the volcano and view its crater.

You must take a boat from Precious Boating Station to Taal Volcano in order to trek it. The hike to the crater takes less than an hour from the trailhead. From the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the volcano’s interior as well as the whole of Taal Lake.


Sagada is the Philippine equivalent of a mountain community turned backpacker hotspot. It is located 6-7 hours west of Manila in several limestone valleys, ideal for trekking trails, caverns, and serene nature.

Visitors may get their outdoor fix without having to go too far from town. Sagada also has a rich local custom and history, with some of the most unusual attractions being native funeral ceremonies and graves.


Batanes is the Philippines’ equivalent of the Azores in Portugal. It is the island in this archipelago that is so far north that you probably had no idea it was part of the Philippines.

Batanes, located 200 kilometers from Luzon’s northernmost point, is an island with undulating hills, antique lighthouses, and verdant farmlands. You may trek here, discover old structures, or just rest and enjoy the solitude.

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The only method to reach Batanes is via plane. Fortunately, numerous cheap airlines in the Philippines fly to Batanes from both Cebu and Manila, so you won’t be short of alternatives for travelling to the island.


If you desire the remoteness of Batanes but don’t want to be as far away, travel to Catanduanes.

This region is a fantastic retreat for rejuvenation and unplugging, with jagged, rocky mountains, gorgeous green woods, and isolated beaches, and it’s situated off the coast of Luzon.


Vigan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the Philippines’ most historically important areas.

Vigan, which was founded in the 16th century, was one of the first Spanish colonial towns and commercial ports in the Philippines. The city is an architectural and historical wonder due to its unique combination of Philippine, Spanish, and Chinese architecture – a meeting of many cultures.

Calle Crislogo, Vigan’s center neighborhood, now features cobblestoned streets, vividly colored residences, lovely guesthouses, and numerous historic monuments that visitors may visit.

You may also take a trip along Vigan’s river or watch local artists weave beautifully colored textiles and tapestries.

Corregidor and Bataan Islands

Remember how I said the Philippines has a number of historically important sites? Two of them are Corregidor Island and Bataan.

This location was home to an American military post and was one of the primary combat fields during WWII. It is most known for the Bataan Death March in 1942.

Visitors and history fans may now visit the region to learn more about the effects of WWII in the Philippines, as well as the crucial role these islands and people played throughout the war.

Natural Park of Bulusan Volcano

If you’ve had your fill of volcanoes in Taal and want to see more, Bulusan, Philippines in Sorsogon is the place to go. Hiking here provides spectacular views of Mount Bulusan.

There is also a center here where you may learn more about the area’s and the country’s volcanic activity. A visit to Bulusan is not only a terrific outdoor and academic experience, but it is also quite attractive.


Donsol, located in Sorsogon, is most known for one significant perk: whale shark sightings.

Unlike in Oslob (Cebu), where people feed whale sharks, possibly disrupting their natural behavioral patterns, visitors in Donsol are urged to calmly witness these gentle giants going about their daily activities. This kind of remote observation is considerably beneficial for both the whale sharks and the visitors.

If you want to observe these amazing animals, I strongly suggest going to Donsol and watching them as little as possible.

Central Philippines/Visayas

The Visayas region is both physically and metaphorically the heart of the Philippines. The Visayas (pronounced “Bees-eye-yas”) region of the Philippines has some of the most beautiful islands in the nation.

Some of the most colorful and unusual snorkeling and diving in the nation may be found here, as well as volcanic islands and magnificent fauna. The Visayas area is definitely my favorite destination to visit in the Philippines.


Camiguin Island is known as the “island born of fire,” and its volcanic environment explains why.

Camiguin, although being one of the Philippines’ smallest populated islands, packs a lot of activities. Waterfalls? Yup. Volcanoes? You’ve got it. Ruins from the past? They’ve arrived. White sandbars and clear blue water? Check, check, and check again.

Camiguin is a vast playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering everything from diving to trekking, sunbathing to swimming.

You may also try local favorites like fern salad (prepared from actual Camiguin ferns), lanzones, turones, or the Philippine version of ceviche while you’re here.

City of Cebu

Cebu is one of the Philippines’ major cities, and although I typically urge travelers to spend as little time as possible in the cities, I believe Cebu is worth a visit.

From Spanish-style Catholic cathedrals to Taoist temples, and a colossal monument of Lapu-Lapu (Ferdinand Magellan’s murderer) just outside the city, there are traces of the different civilizations that contributed build the Philippines.

There are so many possible possibilities for any Cebu itinerary that it’s no surprise that many travellers use it as a base for their excursions throughout the Philippines!

While many cities in the Philippines have terrible traffic, massive retail malls, and ritzy districts, a visit to Cebu may open your eyes to the variety of cultures and customs that exist here.


Moalboal is a tiny hamlet located a few hours outside of Cebu. While there are a few tourist stores, beachfront eateries, and little cabanas to stay in here, the nicest part of Moalboal is hidden under the surface.

Yes, you got it: it’s a diver’s paradise. Just under the surface, you may see schools of fish, wild turtles, and vibrant reefs. One of the numerous dive shops in the area may also provide you with your open-water certification.

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If you’re a reasonably competent diver who believes you’re ready for the big game (literally), come to Malapascua. This is yet another diver’s paradise off the coast of Cebu that allows advanced certified divers to sight and dive with enormous marine species such as thresher sharks and manta rays.

I made a few of deep water dives (30 meters) while there and saw a bunch of thresher sharks – incredibly awesome! It was my 22nd birthday gift to myself, and it was an unforgettable experience.

Deep diving in Malapascua is a fantastic chance to appreciate natural beauty and interact with enormous marine animals that we don’t frequently get to witness.


Bohol, home to the famous chocolate hills, is an ideal place for scenery, beaches, and animals. You may get a taste of the Chocolate Hills by climbing one of them. Please, however, obey all signs and only climb slopes intended for humans.

While in Bohol, you may also view the world’s smallest primate, the tarsier monkey! There’s a refuge where you may see (but not touch) these small, big-eyed animals.

Disclaimer: There are several additional animal watching areas on the island. However, before participating in any animal activity (in Bohol or elsewhere), I strongly advise you to do extensive study. Places that provide wild animal riding, stroking, and holding are usually a negative omen.


Siquijor is another tiny island in the Philippines with a variety of outdoor activities and stunning beaches. There are a few private beach locations here, surrounded by palm palms and dazzling white sand. There are also jungle oasis where little fish nibble on your feet. Waterfalls and hiking paths on the island provide guests with much-needed fresh air as well as scenic jewels.

The Philippines’ eastern region

While the eastern section of the Philippines is continuously hit by typhoons, there are a few intriguing and noteworthy sites to visit in this area. The region is most recognized for its historical features and for housing the Philippines’ biggest cave.

Legazpi Metropolis

Legazpi is one of the most beautiful cities in the Philippines. It’s rich in history and environment, and there’s something to do for each kind of tourist.

There are ruins, tunnels, zip lines, and views of Mayon, one of the Philippines’ most gorgeous and pristine volcanoes. Spend the day exploring nature, hanging out at the Cagsawa Ruins, or just relaxing in the shadow of the enormous volcano.

Caves of Langun-Gobingob

The Langun-Gobingob Caves, the Philippines’ biggest cave system, are situated on the island of Samar. Thousands in stalagmites and stalactites cling from the walls of this lesser-explored cave.

But getting here isn’t easy. Visitors must go on an 8-9 hour round trip guided hiking excursion along routes outside and within the cave to explore these gigantic caverns.

Western Philippines/Palawan

The Western section of the Philippines provides magnificent white sand beaches, wonderful trekking and climbing, unique scuba diving, and incredible island hopping to secluded lagoons with the purest blue water.


Coron is a lonely island off the coast of El Nido that is nearly untouched by time. Fortunately, there are two ways to get here: by boat or by aircraft.

Visitors that go to Coron are delighted with beautiful hidden lagoons, relaxing beaches, breathtaking scenery, and vivid sunsets. In Coron, you may also spend a day island hopping.

Coron is not only beautiful on the surface, but it also offers numerous hidden treasures under the surface. Divers may explore colorful, shallow reefs or historic WWII Japanese warships that were sunk during the war. It’s also a popular destination for individuals to earn their diving certification.

El Nido

As much as Coron is a haven for divers, El Nido is a haven for everyone else. El Nido, located on Palawan’s northern shore, is a sanctuary for island hoppers, snorkelers, and swimmers.

You may go on one of numerous island hopping cruises from here, which will transport you to other deserted islands in the region to swim, sunbathe, and explore. These cruises are relatively reasonable and provide travelers with the opportunity to discover secret lagoons, breathtaking, fjord-like perspectives, marine life, and miles of pure water.

One of the most crucial things to know before visiting El Nido is that it is not easily accessible. To get here, fly to Puerto Princesa from Manila and take a 5-hour van, or fly into Coron & take a boat. In any case, it’s a great journey to view some of the most vivid scenery in the Philippines.

Puerto Princesa, Philippines

Puerto Princesa, one of the easiest destinations to get to in Palawan, is packed with famous sites and activities to do.

The Underground River, a river that travels through a massive cave system, is the most prominent activity in the Puerto Princesa area. Visitors to the Underground River may explore the caverns by boat with an expert guide.

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It’s important to note that this attraction becomes highly packed, so get there as early as possible.

Visitors to Puerto Princesa may also go on an island-hopping trip across some of the neighboring white sand islands, or enjoy a night-time firefly boat cruise through a bioluminescent river.

My favorite activity was the night boat – I’d never seen so many fireflies on my life, and our boat and oars lighted up spectacularly in the sea with bioluminescent plankton!


Boracay, the fabled island. For better or worse, it should be included in any “top things to do in the Philippines” list.

Boracay is the Philippines’ quintessential “lay on the beach and do nothing” destination, with its white beaches, luxury resorts, and throngs of visitors. Consider it a type of Cancun. If you’re searching for a simple and peaceful all-inclusive resort, this is the place to go.


This one is for all you foodies out there. Yes, the Philippines offers places for you to visit! The food of Iloilo and its neighboring regions is among the best and most distinctive in the nation.

Head to the markets and local sit-down eateries to enjoy batchoy (a noodle and beef stew), pansit molo, chicken binakol, and seafood variants. Iloilo is a city waiting to be discovered by the most adventurous of spirits.

Island of Apo

Apo Island is a small island located in Negros Oriental. Apo Island, another marine paradise on the list, is home to some of the Philippines’ most colorful and diversified reefs.

Snorkelers and divers may witness a variety of fish, turtles, and corals here. A charming hamlet, a historic lighthouse, and a few rocky beaches are also nearby.

There are several outdoor activities, beaches and diving, and historic sites to enjoy here. Malalison Island Sand Bar, Pico Island, and the Cold Spring are the most significant natural places to explore in this region.

There are also beautiful rice terraces nearby to walk around and enjoy. The Patnongon ruins are a must-see for history buffs. For those interested in culture and artisan craft, you may watch weavers create colorful textiles in Bagtason (and perhaps learn yourself).

Looking for more activities in Antique? This article is an excellent starting place!

The Tubbataha Reef

Tubbataha is one of the world’s most pristine and well-preserved reefs, lying far off the shore of the main archipelago.

The ideal method to see the reef is on a diving liveaboard, which may take anything from a few days to more than a week.

While many of the reef sections are very shallow, I’d suggest having prior diving experience before embarking on a Tubbataha liveaboard. TripAdvisor has reviews about Tubbataha reef and liveaboards.

Mindanao/Southern Philippines

Mindanao Province and the southern half of the Philippines are two of the country’s least explored areas. This is due in part to warnings of terrorist activity in the region, and in part because many of the most popular tourist destinations are located elsewhere in the country.

However, if you’re planning a trip to the south, there are some extremely gorgeous spots worth seeing.


Surigao is one of my favorite destinations in the Philippines. It is PACKED with various outdoor activities.

Surigao is home to the “Enchanted River,” a brilliantly blue spring hidden in the woods. You may also take a boat from there to go sandbar island hopping, stopping at numerous caves and rugged deserted islands along the route.

Finally, Surigao is home to numerous breathtaking waterfalls, such as Tinuy-An Falls, where you may swim and climb. Needless to say, I had a great time there, and if you have the opportunity to go, you will as well.

City of Zamboanga

Zamboanga makes up for what many major cities in the Philippines lack in character. There are many wonderful historic strolling areas, ruins, plazas, and promenades to explore in this city.

In many aspects, it resembles a Central or South American metropolis. Zamboanga is one of the few locations in the Philippines where you may visit a mosque due to its location in a Muslim-majority region. The Taluksangay Mosque is notable for its vivid red dome set against whitewashed walls.


Bukidnon, situated in the middle of Mindanao, is one of the Philippines’ most underappreciated and gorgeous regions.

It’s a beautiful spot to relax and appreciate nature, with big trees, rolling hills, and little settlements. Bukidnon’s views of the neighboring farmlands and vivid sunsets are very breathtaking.


Siargao is a famous surfing destination in the Philippines, and it’s the kind of island where you’ll come for a few days and end up staying for many weeks. Yes, it’s that laid-back and seductive.

As a hiker and surfer haven, it’s simple to surf your heart out here and lose sight of time and day. Fortunately, it’s a laid-back and pleasant environment that could just win your heart.

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