10 amazing destinations you have to visit in the Philippines

Pristine beaches, colourful marine life, lush jungles and waterfalls – the Philippines is a natural playground. We reveal the best things to do in the Philippines and the destinations you cannot miss.

The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands, with landscapes ranging from volcanoes and rice terraces to underwater rivers and limestone caves.

Since the country is so spread out, carefully plan your trip with these attractions at front of mind.

1. Boracay

With glorious White Beach and the country’s best island nightlife on its resume, it’s easy to understand why Boracay is the Philippines’ top tourist draw. Alas, the tiny island proved too popular for its own good.

In 2018 Boracay was placed in “rehab,” closed for six months to ease the strain on its fragile environment and fix the infrastructure and carrying capacity. After taking a break for six months, Boracay reopens greener than ever—and everything is pristine like never before.

things to in Boracay, Philippines
Boracay © Miko O. Unite

Meet the new Boracay. The most noticeable improvements? Cleaner beaches with no more annoying obstructions, a wider main road, new sidewalks, better drainages, and more e-trikes. But perhaps the biggest change is one of attitude. Islanders have collectively developed a green streak, with everybody from resort owners to paraw (native sailboats) skippers buying into Boracay’s newly forged identity as a model for sustainable tourism development.

There are those who love the new Boracay and those who prefer the old. But this debate probably won’t concern you much when you’re digging your feet into the sand on White Beach and taking in the Philippines’ most famous sunset. Parasails, seabirds, frisbees, and paraw cut across the technicolor horizon, while palm trees -some newly planted – whisper in the breeze and reggae wafts through the air. Boracay remains a master mixologist of that mellow island vibe.

2. Palawan

The paradisal province of Palawan is a constant feature in many international “Best In The World” lists, thanks to its rich and diverse flora and fauna, and much-preserved natural attractions. Discover why healthy ecotourism is such an essential part in maintaining the natural wonders of this heaven on earth.

El Nido, Palawan
El Nido, Palawan

To say Palawan is a beach bum’s fantasy is an understatement. Sailing the length of the province­ from the north to the southern tip of the main island-brings you up close and personal with paradise in countless forms. Drift away to coral-fringed dreamscapes of the Calamianes and the karst limestone formations of El Nido, to the wind-swept shorelines of central Palawan and the pristine sandbars of Balabac.

Palawan has always had an environmental streak. It was one of the first provinces to crack down on litter, noise pollution, and single-use plastics. A lot is at stake, as the province’s booming tourism industry relies on the successful preservation of its pristine ecology and natural beauty.

Against this backdrop, several award­ winning resorts are leading the way toward a more sustainable future, blending native design and low­ carbon elements like solar panels, composting, and edible gardens to create living spaces that will last.

3. Kawasan Falls – Cebu

Located in Matutinao, Badian, one can feel the coolness of the surrounding lush greenery of this panoramic waterfalls. Accommodation from cheap to moderate rates are available in the area.

Kawasan Falls, Cebu
Kawasan Falls, Cebu

4. Pasay – Manila

Pasay is the host city of the three international airport terminals in Metro Manila.

It is also a major tourist destination due to its several places of interest that tourists and visitors can see while in the city such as world-class accommodations, shopping and entertainment, as well as world-class international convention and events facilities.

Pasay is the centre for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE) as this the venue of choice for holding of major events such as seminars and conferences, trade fairs and exhibitions, as well as festivals and other socials.

Pasay, Manila
Pasay, Manila

5. Mayon Volcano – Albay

Dubbed as the “world’s most perfect volcano”, the best way to experience Mayon Volcano in Albay is to get up close rather have a glimpse from afar.

For tourists, Mayon ATV tours provides a more personal way of appreciating this beautiful volcano.

Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano © Jackson Groves

6. Anilao – Batangas

Anilao is brimming with marine life which makes it a world-class diving destination.

But aside from diving, visitors can do snorkeling, island hopping, and hiking at Mount Gulugod Baboy.

Experience the rich marine world for yourself. Meet our underwater residents, it’s more fun here.

Anilao – Batangas things to do in the Phillipines
Snorkelling at Anilao is easily one of the most exciting things to do in the Philippines.

7. Chocolate Hills – Bohol

The home of the famous Chocolate Hills, Bohol is one of the most visited destinations in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines.

The island province offers breathtaking spots for history buffs, beach lovers, and adrenaline junkies.

Bohol is comprised of one major island and 73 smaller ones surrounding it, so you’ll have plenty of places to explore during your trip here. One thing’s for sure: You’ll enjoy every second of your stay and love the diversity that Bohol offers.

Chocolate Hills – Bohol
Chocolate Hills – Bohol

8. Caramoan – Camarines Sur

The Mercedes Group of Islands is in the Bicol region. They feature turquoise oceans and a serene atmosphere far from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.

Caramoan Island is the crowning beauty of the region, with a 4,000-hectare limestone forest rich in biodiversity, as well as stunning white sand beaches, tranquil lakes, deep caves, coves and abundant marine life.

It is a fantastic diving location for experienced divers

Caramoan Island things to do in the Phillipines
Caramoan Island

9. Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar – Bataan

It is an open-air museum that is referred to as a heritage and convention center. It’s able to restore 60 heritage and archival houses for the present generation to feel like living in the past.

The tour will allow the tourists to experience the glory days of old Manila as you set foot on Asia’s Most Excellent Destination in 2017.

This resort also offers activities such as river and art tours, kalesa ride, and visit to the premier Hotel de Oriente.

Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar things to do in the Phillipines
Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar is one of the more cultural things to do in the Philippines.

10. Mt. Apo

Hike the Philippines highest peak now being promoted as an educational tourism site due to the richness of its flora and fauna and geological sites.

Explore its hidden waterfalls and lakes namely Lake Venado which mirrors the twin peak of Mt. Apo, Lake Agko, Lake Macadac, and Lake Jordan.

Soothe your sore muscles after the long trek at the hot springs located at the foot of hill – this is one of the most relaxing things to do in the Philippines.

Mt Apo at sunrise © Rhonson Ng

This article was produced by Vacations & Travel in partnership with The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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