Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Top 10 Philippine Destinations

Are you planning a vacation to the Philippines for the first time?  Don’t know which of the 7,107 islands to choose from?  Have you been saving up for a 2-week vacation and want to make the most out of it? Or maybe you’ve traveled the Philippine Islands and want to discover more and go to somewhere you’ve never been to yet?

Our list of the top 10 Philippine tourist spots can give you a preview of what the Philippines can offer.  It can jumpstart your vacation plans as you have a travel guide and a shortlist of the Philippines destinations and their main attractions. 

Boracay Island, Philippines

Boracay is best known for its famous white sand beach that stretches for 4 kilometers.  Boracay Island has been voted many times over as one of the best beaches in the world. Aside from its powdery white sand beach and clear blue waters, it is a favorite destination because Boracay has a lot to offer. From the vibrant Boracay nightlife and party scene, to the many activities one can do in the island like diving, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and so much more! There are several Boracay beach resorts one can choose from.  

Palawan, Philippines

Palawan is one of the most biodiverse islands in the Philippines and was cited as the best island destination in East and Southeast Asia by the National Geographic Traveler in 2007.  Palawan is composed of one big main island and several smaller islands and islets surrounding it.  Its capital, Puerto Princesa, boasts of the Underground River National Park, a finalist for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.  From Puerto Princesa, one can go island hopping to the nearby white sand islands or go diving in Tubbataha Reef – an underwater sanctuary and marine natural park with some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Both the Underground River Park and Tubbataha Reef has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Banawe Rice Terraces and Sagada

The Banawe Rice Terraces were carved some 2000 years ago by the ancestors of the Ifugao, the indigenous people of the Cordillera region where the terraces were built.  The rice terraces are often called the 8th Wonder of the World and is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is located in Northern Luzon, some 240 kilometers north of Manila.  A further yet worthwhile trip into the Cordilleras in Mountain Province is the town of Sagada.  More popular as a backpacker’s destination, Sagada has a lot to offer. It also has rice terraces like in Banaue, plus other points of interest like the hanging coffins, waterfalls, underground river and caves.


Bohol in Central Visayas is home to the famous Chocolate Hills.  It is also a major tourist destination because of the other major attractions of this island.  The white sand beaches in Panglao Island are very popular and from there, one can go dolphin watching, island hopping and diving in Balicasag Island and nearby dive spots.  Bohol is also home to the second smallest primate in the world, the Philippine Tarsier.   There are also the old Churches in Bohol that are worth visiting, although some have been destroyed by the 2013 earthquake.


Siargao is known as the surfing capital of the Philippines because of its famous world class surfing break called Cloud Nine.  There are numerous surfing breaks in and around Siargao as it is located at the Southeast part of the Philippines where it meets the Pacific Ocean swells.  Aside from its fabulous surf spots, Siargao is a beautiful island and because of its remoteness, it has unspoiled beaches and a distinct idyllic charm.  For non-surfers, there is plenty to see, do and discover.  One can go kayaking around the island’s vast natural mangrove forest, go diving or island hopping in the lagoon and nearby islands which have natural white sand and crystal clear blue waters.

Mt. Pinatubo
Mt. Pinatubo is an active volcano in Luzon, about 87 km northwest of Manila. It erupted in June 1991, after 500 years of being dormant.  The catastrophic event affected many lives and had a major environmental impact globally.  But several years after the devastation, Mt. Pinatubo has become a major tourist destination.  Day trips and treks to the Mt. Pinatubo and its crater has been a favorite activity and destination to both local and foreign tourists.  One can also take an aerial tour from Clark Airport.  Recently a volcanic ash spa has opened offering spa services and unique treatments from the mineral rich surroundings such as a volcanic mud pack, hot springs and a treatment using hot volcanic ash.


Cebu is a narrow island located in the center of the Philippines, particularly in Central Visayas.  It’s capital, Cebu City, is the oldest city in the country.  It was the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines and a number of significant Spanish colonial buildings can be found in the city such as the Santo Niño Basilica and Magellan’s Cross.  Aside from the Cebu mainland, there are 167 surrounding islands that are part of Cebu, making island hopping an ideal tourist activity.  Nearby Mactan Island offers an several world-class beach resorts.  For those seeking a quieter and idyllic island experience, a few hours away is Bantayan, Malapascua and Camotes Islands.  Cebu is also a jump off point for other island destinations such as Bohol, Dumaguete and Siargao.


Manila is the Capital of the Philippines and Metro Manila is the center of business, government and trade in the country.  It is the gateway to most international flights as well as domestic.  A notable tourist spot is the old Spanish walled city called Intramuros where there are centuries old churches, buildings and walkways.  Nearby is the Manila Ocean Park, an oceanarium with several species of marine life including those found in the waters of the Philippines.  For a wide array of hotels, restaurants and bars to go to at night, Makati City, which is the central business district, offers a lot to choose from. It’s neighbor, Fort Bonifacio, which is a new “global” city, also offers several restaurants, bars and clubs.

Bicol Region – Donsol and Mt. Mayon Volcano

The Bicol Region is in the southeast part of Luzon and has 6 provinces.  One of which is Albay province, home to the world-renowned perfect-coned volcano due to its almost perfect conical shape.  Further down south is Donsol, in the province of Sorsogon, a popular tourist destination because of the whale sharks that swim in its seas.  This has attracted thousands of tourists where one can actually swim with the harmless whale shark and have a unique experience and memorable encounter with the friendly marine creature.  


Camiguin is a small island province in the northern coast of Mindanao.  It has 7 volcanoes, with more volcanoes in the island that towns. Although only there is only 1 active volcano, Camiguin has the most number of volcanoes per square kilometer than any island on earth.  It has several unspoiled natural resources for the traveler and tourist such as a lush forest, hot and cold springs, white sand beaches and sand bar, majestic waterfalls and exotic marine life.  It is also know for its underwater sunken cemetery, submerged by a volcanic eruption in 1871, marked with a huge cross.  All these plus its mystical charm and idyllic island lifestyle make Camiguin a great Philippine destination.

No comments: