Best Places to Visit in Philippines
With over 7,000 islands, the Philippines is an easy-to-visit destination multiple times. The hardest decision you’ll ever make as a traveler is deciding which island to visit first. The Philippines is divided into three main island groups namely Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, which represent different parts of the country.
The landscapes of each region of the Philippines range from mountainous and tropical to metropolitan. Enjoy a day wandering the historic colonial streets of the capital, Manila, or browse baby tarsiers at a private sanctuary in Bohol. The steep, plush mountains make for an unforgettable hiking experience.
Because you’re surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, it’s no surprise that the Philippines has some of the best beaches in Asia, and scuba diving opportunities abound.
Plan your trip to this tropical island country with our list of the Best Places to Visit in Philippines and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Philippines
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Philippines:
Located in the central Visayas region of the Philippines, Bohol runs at a slower pace and is a destination that showcases the country’s natural beauty. One of the island’s most unique natural wonders is Carmen’s Chocolate Hills. This UNESCO-protected site brings together 1,200 geological formations that turn brown during the dry season to resemble a chocolate candy kiss landscape.
Bohol is a family sanctuary for the small tarsier primate, known for its charming big eyes. For a small fee, you can take an intimate walk through the grounds and stand within a few inches of this tiny nocturnal mammal. The highlight of Bohol is the beach.
Cebu Island is located in the Central Visayas region and is considered a port for the best diving and snorkeling in the Philippines. If you are an underwater lover, Cebu is one of the best places to visit whale sharks, coral reefs and turtles.
Some of the most spectacular water features near Cebu are the sea caves, which attract photographers and outdoor enthusiasts looking for unique diving and snorkeling spots. About an hour’s drive from Cebu City, Sudlon National Park is a breathtaking park for exploration and hiking. While Cebu’s biggest attraction is its water, Cebu City is a metropolis with tourist attractions like museums and cathedrals that will appeal to history buffs.
The historic city of Vigan in the northern Philippines is one of the most fascinating cities in the Luzon region. Its culture includes Chinese and Spanish influences that came to the area from the settlers. Ride a horse-drawn kalesa through the streets and marvel at the colonial architecture provided by the Spanish who colonized the area in the 18th century.
Vigan is a city with many nuances worth exploring. The best views of the area come from the Baan Tai Clock Tower, which is also a well-known landmark in the area. The Calle Crisologo Historic District is a walkable neighborhood where you will meet many local artisans and visit historic buildings. Visiting St Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral is breathtaking and is the perfect place to sit and people watch while learning about the local culture.
Located on the island of Luzon, the capital of the Philippines, Manila is a bustling city with nonstop activity. Hop in a colorful jeep, an essential public transport vehicle, and experience local life as you visit the city’s main attractions. Often packed with locals, a bumpy ride through the streets in an iconic and tacky Jeep/Bus hybrid will be one of the highlights of your visit.
In Rizal Park, the city’s main park, and the historic St. Plan stop at St. Augustine’s Church. Shop for local fruit and handmade gifts at Quiapo Church’s public market, where you’ll see thousands come to worship on Fridays.
5. Davao City
For cityscapes outside of Manila, head to Davao City, which has a metropolitan area. Davao City is the main city in the Southern Philippines’ Mindanao region. Despite its shopping malls and huge population, Davao City has many natural features such as the Eden Natural Park, the Philippine Eagle Center, and the Davao Bay Trail near the sea.
One of the best places to visit in Davao City is Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines. Davao City is a prime location for shopping as it is home to several major malls such as Abreeza Mall and SM Lanang Premier Mall. The small Davao Museum of History and Ethnography is worth a visit to learn about the history and culture of Davao City.
One of the most unique experiences you can have in the Philippines is in the northern tribal region of Sagada. Set in the rugged and remote Cordillera Mountains, the tribe welcomes occasional visitors. The area is a paradise for advanced outdoor lovers. Steep mountains and high altitudes add to the excitement and skill level required for outdoor adventures.
One of the best places to visit in this part of the Philippines is the hanging coffin hidden deep in the mountains. It is best to contact a local guide to take you to this incredible site, as this is not a tourist area but a genuine tribal area with hidden experiences worth bragging about. Hiking is popular in Sagada, especially on Mount Ampaco, which has the region’s highest peak, or the steep and rugged Echo Valley.
7. Coron Island
One of the best diving spots in the world, Isla Colon is a tropical paradise with almost unreal blue and green waters. The mountainous island is located at the tip of the Palawan region, which is the westernmost tip of the Philippine island. The island is perfect for diving because of the many shipwrecks here.
Most of the well-preserved shipwrecks are found at depths ranging from shallow waters of just 3 meters to 42 meters deep. Some wrecks require multiple dives to explore due to their size, but you can easily dive for a week in the area. For non-submerged diving, head to Lake Barracuda, once a volcano, with many unusual rock formations and fish.
Baguio is a city hidden in the mountains of Luzon Island. Despite being a city, Baguio resembles a friendly, cottage-style setting. Baguio is known as the City of Pine Trees due to its abundant pine forests and the cool air around it. You can explore one of the many hiking and biking trails, or play a round of golf at one of the area’s resorts.
Baguio is unique from other destinations in the Philippines because the city is surrounded by trees rather than water. Parks like Mines View and Burnham allow you to enjoy some of the flora and fauna native to the area. Make sure to spend some time on Session Road, Baguio’s main street, where you can experience local life.
9. Puerto Princesa
Palawan’s rock islands, caves and natural parks are a hidden paradise in the Philippines. The coastal city of Puerto Princesa is where you can explore these natural gems of the country. Underground River State Park is a great first stop to see the 5-mile underground river and impressive limestone caves.
The UNESCO World Heritage site has boat tours that take you into the national park. Other must-sees in Puerto Princesa include Honda Bay, famous for snorkeling, and Ugun Rock, where you can try zipline descending and caving.
Hiking, diving and canoeing are a way of life on Samal Island, also known as Samal Garden City. Besides relaxing on the beach, one of the best things to do on Samal Island is to visit the Monfort Bat Sanctuary, which is home to millions of bats in caves.
A pleasant day trip away from the beach is to Hagimit Waterfall, where you can walk on nature trails and cool off in a swimming pool under a tropical waterfall. Samal Island is not far from Davao City, which is a big change of pace when you want a more urban scene or a wider range of dining options.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Philippines. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Philippines, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.