Published June 7, 2021
With over 7,000 islands that provide a natural playground for your inner explorer, the Philippines is a tropical paradise in the Pacific Ocean. Its sceneries include various natural treasures, ranging from volcanoes and rice terraces to underwater rivers and limestone caves. And don’t forget about the gorgeous beaches!
The most challenging decision you’ll have to make as a traveler is deciding what to visit first. To assist you, we have compiled a list of the greatest tourist spots in the Philippines you can keep in your pocket while exploring the country.
1. White Beach, Boracay
Boracay is indeed a vacationer’s paradise. The 4-kilometer White Beach, recognized for its immensely appealing blue waters, fine white sand, and exquisite sunsets, take center stage. If you want to relax and enjoy a tropical resort experience, this is the island to visit.
As cliche as it may sound, White Beach is genuinely postcard-perfect, with tall coconut trees lined up and crystal-clear tranquil waters rounding off its unrivaled beauty, making it the top destination in Philippines tours.
Snorkeling is one of the favorite activities at White Beach, but if you don’t want to put in the effort, take a banana boat ride or arrange a glass-bottom boat trip.
2. Chocolate Hills, Bohol
The Chocolate Hills, a geological wonder on the island of Bohol, is a one-of-a-kind natural phenomenon. The area was formerly under the sea, and these remarkable hills eventually spread out in every direction. They are green for most of the year, but they turn into a chocolate-brown color during the dry season, giving rise to the term “chocolate hills.”
Aside from the Chocolate Hills, Bohol is a treasure trove of natural wonders and other enjoyable things to do and see. Panglao Island tours, Loboc River cruises, and excursions to the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, where you can view the world’s smallest primate, are just a few examples.
3. Puerto Princesa Underground River & Tubbataha Reef, Palawan
Taking a river tour at Puerto Princesa’s Underground River is one of the most breathtaking things to do in the Philippines. The boat cruises take you to see the magnificent five-mile underground river. Moreover, the journey takes you through a complex cave system flanked by towering limestone cliffs. The coolness within the cave contrasts the scorching heat outside, allowing you to see old stalagmite and stalactite formations.
The Park is also home to various species, including crab-eating monkeys, monitor lizards, and bats. Among the various things to do in Puerto Princesa, island hopping excursions in Honda Bay and a visit to the Crocodile Farm are highly recommended.
Accordingly, Tubbataha Reef is widely recognized as one of the best diving destinations in the Philippines, if not the world. It is regarded as a center of marine biodiversity and a haven not only for divers but also for marine conservationists. Furthermore, it is found in the middle of the Sulu Sea.
Reef sharks, manta rays, Napoleon wrasses, and more than half of the world’s coral species are among the creatures that call Tubbataha home. One of its islets also serves as a breeding ground for birds and sea turtles.
4. Cloud 9, Siargao
Siargao’s sudden rise to prominence as a top tourist destination in the Philippines has been nothing short of spectacular. What was once a peaceful island in Surigao del Norte has become one of the most popular tourist attractions and playgrounds, mainly owing to one activity: surfing. It is presently renowned as the surfing hub of the Philippines, and some consider it to be Asia’s surfing hotspot.
Moreover, Cloud 9 is the most popular surfing area in Siargao. This surfing paradise is in the village of General Luna in the southeast part of Siargao. Also, Cloud 9 is well-known for its barrelling right-hand waves and massive hollow tubes, which can make any skilled surfer’s heart skip a beat.
You don’t have to ride the waves to enjoy this island getaway because there are plenty of other exciting Siargao activities and stunning places to see, such as rock pools, waterfalls, and the neighboring Sohoton Lagoon, where you can swim with hundreds of non-stinging jellyfish.
5. Beaches, Diving Spots & Kawasan Falls, Cebu
Cebu’s major treasure is buried deep underground. Every year, approximately two million foreign visitors visit the island, who are met by rich seas filled with numerous marine life. Furthermore, Cebu has some of the best diving in the country, if not the world, including underwater caves, shallow shipwrecks, and marine sanctuaries.
Moreover, Kawasan Falls in Cebu is ideal for those who enjoy leaping into or swimming in cold flowing waters. It is a multi-layered waterfall in Badian that is well recognized for its turquoise waters.
In many respects, this growth in popularity can be attributed to Instagram. Fortunately, Cebu is featured on practically every Instagram profile or travel blog of anybody who has visited the Philippines.
6. Banaue Rice Terraces, Ifugao
Seeing the Batad Rice Terraces at sunrise in Banaue is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Landscape photographers who want to capture stunning photographs of Philippine agriculture should check out this place. Some of these terraces date back more than 2,000 years and are typical for farming in the area.
Sit in a bright jeepney as it glides around Banaue’s twisting roads and let the sight of stunning mud-walled rice terraces take your breath away. The Ifugao people are expert carvers of both wood and mountainsides. During the rice-growing seasons of April-May and October-November, it provides stunning views of emerald colors. Since Banaue has many tourists, you can go further to the tranquil Batad Rice Terraces and have a quick plunge in the majestic Tappiya waterfalls.
7. Kayangan Lake, Coron, Palawan
Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan, is without a doubt one of the most photographed and famous sites in the Philippines. On a bright, sunny day, its lagoon is a lovely blend of blues and greens.
It has been termed the “clearest lake in the Philippines,” and others consider it the “clearest lake in Asia.” The water here is pure, making it ideal for swimming. Kayangan Lake is surrounded by tall limestone formations, and for a panoramic view of the entire area, simply climb a 300-step hill.
The actual gem is concealed underneath the lake’s glass-like waters, as magnificent as the vistas are above ground. The location is popular for snorkeling and free-diving due to the abundance of rock formations and schools of fish.
8. Taal Volcano and Lake, Tagaytay, and Batangas
Taal Volcano is one of nature’s most impressive and eye-catching wonders, even in its most damaged state. Because of its picturesque qualities, it has become a must-visit place for every traveler around the world. Locals and foreign travelers from Manila frequently make their way down south to Tagaytay, a pleasant town known for its temperate weather and breathtaking landscapes.
Taal Volcano, the world’s smallest active volcano, provides the greatest views. The volcano is located on an island within a lake in an island. If that isn’t enough, you can really trek up to the volcano crater with Taal Volcano excursions.
While in Tagaytay and Batangas, warm up with a bowl of Bulalo, a clear soup with beef shanks, bone marrow, and corn swirling in all its incredible beauty.
9. Nacpan Beach, El Nido
El Nido in Palawan is most known for its gorgeous islands and lagoons. Nacpan Beach is a 45-minute land journey from the main town that leads you to an exquisite destination.
A visit to the tranquil Nacpan Beach is highly recommended and should be on your list of things to see and do in El Nido. Nacpan Beach is one of El Nido’s must-see sights, with its long stretch of fluffy white sand beach flanked with coconut palm trees and crystal-clear turquoise waters.
Moreover, Nacpan is one of Palawan’s best-kept secrets, and it’s devoid of tourists.
10. Calle Crisologo, Vigan
The famed Calle Crisologo comes to mind while discussing the best tourist site in Vigan. To visit the magnificent heritage houses, tourists can ride a kalesa or simply take a fun walking Vigan tour.
As you walk through Vigan’s Calle Crisologo, you’ll be transported back in time. The major attraction in Vigan is this 16th-century town, which discreetly offers old-world elegance and Spanish colonial splendor.
Among the many things to see and do in Vigan are sampling the famed and tasty Ilocos empanada and walking along cobblestone alleyways dotted with souvenir shops selling pottery and Abel Iloko weaves.
No matter where you go or how long you stay, tourist spots in the Philippines have a lot to offer, and you won’t even have to spend a lot of money. It will seem like home as long as you know where to go and how to live like a native. Don’t second-guess whether it’s worthwhile to arrange a trip to the Philippines because it most certainly is, and you’ll most likely find yourself looking forward to your next visit here.