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The Philippines as a country is graced by beautiful beaches, lovely weather and excellent opportunities for island hopping, diving, and surfing. For years this small yet surprisingly famous country has attracted a decent stream of travelers from across the world. However, the state offers you a lot more than just snorkeling and sand with many other tourist attractions in the Philippines.
Besides the coastlines and beaches, there are plenty of places to visit in the Philippines including mystical villages, smothering jungle peaks, ancient rice and paddy fields, and highlights of Spanish churches. On a more closer look, you will find the island to have a vibrant mix of cultures like American, Malay, Islamic and Spanish in an array of celebrations, dazzling colonial towns and tantalizing food with more resemblance to Latin America than Asia.
Filipinos welcome visitors with colorful fiestas held throughout the year based on the Roman Catholic calendar with food heavily influenced by native and Spanish traditions. With more than 7000 en-thralling island beauties to choose from, if you have been planning your first or n-th Philippines travel, get ready for idyllic hills of Batanes, breathtaking cascaded of Sebu Lake and much more.
Many awestruck famous Philippines destinations are worthy to be included in your travel bucket list. Whether you love the sun-kissed lazy beaches or historic sites, you will get a complete sense of wanderlust in the Philippines.
There are famous cities in the Philippines like Cebu, Manila, etc. where travelers can learn more about the development, mixed cultures or can find out about other Philippines points of interest. To make your visit less confusing on selecting where to go on this tropical hub, here’s the list of some of the most remarkable sightseeing places to inspire you with a lovely start to your Filipino adventure.
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Table of Contents
Here’s the list of the top places to visit in the Philippines
Banaue is a small hill town in the Northern Philippines which is a part of Ifugao Province. So, what’s unique about this small town? Banaue is famous for ancient rice terraces going back in history as around 2000-year-old. These rice fields are also dubbed as the “stairway to heaven” because of the terrain rising like stairs from the base to the highest mountain point.
These rice terraces are also under UNESCO World Heritage Site as they showcase how the indigenous tribe of Ifugaos built the rice terraces without any tools or equipment. For those looking to get away to some quiet and quaint place with the dash of history the town of Banaue is a must-visit. Another nearest breathtaking neighborhood famous for its rice fields in the same province is Batad. The travelers would love these unusual remote locations to get away from bustling city life.
While exploring the North Philippines, you will find yourself exploring the beauty of the mountains as well as the beach islands. One of the stunning locations for travelers who love spending time near the water is Batanes.
Batanes is famous for its vast pasture lands, towering volcanoes, crystal clear waters, dramatic cliffs, and rolling hills. The untouched natural beauty is also proof of Batanes’ local people Ivatan’s respect for nature. Make your plans to travel to the Philippines and experience the adventure of wanderlust.
Bohol offers travelers a balance of both touristy and unexplored tracks. The island has scenic views of famous Chocolate Hills, secluded island of Panglao, and not to miss the sight of bug-eyed Filipino Tarsiers. The tourists can enjoy a complete nature safari and dive into jungle rivers with paddle boarding and kayaking.
It’s a place that gives you a very raw, wild, yet naturally personal experience. The best time to travel to the Philippines, especially to Bohol would be anywhere between November and April.
Another unspoiled territory is known for an imposing silhouette in Camiguin. It’s similar to Maui and Hawaii. Camiguin comprises of over 20 plus 100 m high cinder cones and has the most number of volcanoes on a square km stretch than all the islands on the planet.
You can enjoy everything from snorkeling, diving, sandy beaches to cold springs and the chance to climb volcanoes. Everything on the tranquil island is separated by a 10 km stretch of Gingoog Bay.
Welcome to the “Land of howling winds” which attracts many intrepid surfers for a majestic surfing break. The stunning coastline, fishing villages, jagged caves, and waterfalls have made it a perfect budding Philippines tourist attraction in the last few years. The little province is located on the southeastern side of the country, and it gives you an all natural experience.
Catanduanes is named “The Happy Island.” Travelers can pick from a number of things to do in the Philippines Catanduanes: fishing, surfing, swimming, and exploring nature.
Most of the people who travel to the Philippines are already aware of the offerings of this famous southern capital, Cebu City that is also a cosmopolitan hub. Thanks to surging English language institutes, schools, and universities, students from Korea are China come to study here.
The city has some old colonial-era gems such as the historic church of Basilica del Santo Niño, Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro, and many more sites. The city has crazy energy and gives all its traveler’s delight with great food.
Donsol was once a small sleepy obscure village in one of the remote areas of Sorsogon which is located almost 45 km southwest to Legazpi. For those adventure lovers who want to swim with gentle giant sharks, Donsol is the place of your choice.
The little rural town has now become a famous tourist destination where thousands of people from across the world visit to catch a glimpse of the whale shark. There are many beach resorts, homestays and various water activities in the Philippines to keep you engaged.
While the Philippines is still quite an unexplored country, there are places like Iloilo City which are famous tourist hubs. The city is renowned for the best restaurants, nightlife, shopping, and heritage sites.
The city boasts of Spanish style colonial churches, old commercial buildings, and old houses from the history. The peaceful walk at Iloilo River Esplanade offers you a space of peace and beautiful dazzling sunset views. So, whenever you are preparing your Philippines travel plans and looking for places to visit in the Philippines, don’t forget to add one day of exploration in Iloilo City.
Albay Province’s capital, Legazpi is famous for active Mt Mayon volcano which stands at the height of 2462 m. While the central city can often be clogged with malls and traffic, there are parts of the town where you can find yourself observing greenery, tricycle drivers, pecking chicken and the view of the world’s perfect volcano.
Manila is the capital city of the Philippines and also a business, education, and transportation hub. There are other surrounding cities such as Muntinlupa, Makati, Quezon City, Pasay, and Taguig.
Manila despite facing all the natural and human disasters in the past stands like a real jewel of southeast Asian megacity. Even though the city is congested and often overlooked for a short stopover, it’s sprawling, growing and busy with colorful, varied nightlife and multi-cultural heritage.
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Snuggled well between Palawan and Luzon lies Mindoro, the hiker, diver, foodie, backpacker and beach bum’s dream island. Most of the traveler action is found in the northeastern part of the island which is famous for diving, beach bars, and laid back accommodation. For hikers, there are Mt.Baco and Mt. Halcon when you move inland. Famous for the production of rich coconuts, bananas, citrus, mangos, and veggies that contribute to the local cuisine.
The best way to define Palawan is through its water. Palawan offers some of the most beautiful Southeast Asian seascapes, aquatic wildlife, terrestrial views. The most thinly populated region of the Philippines also provides a long silver stretch of 650 km and is an excellent place for scuba diving, snorkeling, and trekking into the jungle. Travel to the Philippines and enjoy the aquatic and marine world of Palawan.
Once a mystery, Siquijor is an island which is known for its intensity of fireflies in the Visayas region. The coastline is famous for sandy white beaches, tropical marine life, and mountainous interiors. Travelers can enjoy hiking to Mount Bandila, water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, skydiving over beaches like Salagdoong Beach, Kagusuan, and Siquijor Beach.
Another most famous island of the Philippines is Vigan, which is divided by three rivers – the Mestizo, great Abra, and Govantes River. The island is the country’s only surviving and most extensive historical city that goes back to the 16th century colonial period of Spanish culture.
The city architecture is well preserved and reflects the mixed cultural elements of the Philippines, Europe, and China. If you are traveling to the Philippines and need a quick weekend getaway, Vigan will give you everything you expect on a trip. From quiet to crowded, building to scenic views, it has everything for all types of travelers. The famous UNESCO-declared World Heritage City will surely take you back in history.
Tagaytay lies almost 60 km from the capital hiding in the plains. Take advantage of the town’s unspoiled culture away from occasional crowd and traffic jams. The city is full of parks, shopping sites, and nature. The stunning scenes of rolling hills, bridges, and lakes will remind you why you like to travel and why Tagaytay is one such little town to secure that special place in your Philippines travel. One of the main attractions of Tagaytay city is its incredible Taal Volcano and lake.
The Philippines is a tiny country in the Southeast Asian region, but don’t get mistaken for its small size. The state offers a blend of the modern and historical culture of both Filipino and Spanish influence from food, language, architecture, and lifestyle.
With this Philippines travel guide, you can spare yourself some extra time in deciding where to go instead of researching the places to visit in the Philippines. So, get your bags ready and explore the unexplored raw beauty. Visit the Philippines!
Read more about Tagaytay:
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Founder of Pretty Wild World and one of the leading experts in Europe travel, the Nordics, and Scandinavia Destinations.
Evan Kristine has been mentioned in big publications such as The Huffington Post and the Thought Catalog has been sharing her useful travel tips and hacks to the world for more than five years now.
Nowadays, she is a full-time traveler exploring and documenting her journey around the world providing you the next best travel idea for your great next adventure.