Are you wondering what are the best places in the Philippines for your next vacation? Whether it’s your first time visiting or you have visited one of its many tourist destinations before, either way, you’re in for a treat.
That’s because the Philippines is a popular vacation destination for tourists all over the world. It has always been famous for its pristine, white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, long coastline, rich culture and history, and cheap living costs. It is why a vast number of foreign nationals choose to spend their retirement days in the country.
Do you love beaches? That’s another great reason you’re going to love the place. That’s because the Philippines is an archipelago, which means you’ll never run out of places to visit. Just imagine how you can travel to its 7,640 islands.
Unfortunately, some places in the country are infested with terrorists and lawlessness. That’s why you need to choose where you want to spend your vacation in the Philippines.
But let’s not dwell on the negative. On the brighter side, the Philippines is also known for its world-class hospitality. Yes, Filipinos have incredible values that are evident from their bright smiles and positive attitude. So, are you ready to learn more about the best places in the Philippines to spend your next vacation?
Let’s dive in. You’re going to love this country and what it has in store for you.
Boracay Island is one of the most famous islands globally, thanks to its powdery white-sand beaches, tranquil turquoise water, and fantastic nightlife. But the fun doesn’t stop there. That’s because the island offers almost everything you can enjoy, whether it’s day or night.
Boracay is an island paradise located in the Visayas Region in the province of Aklan. It’s about 7 kilometres long and 1 kilometre wide, with over 300 resorts and hotels to fit your budget. You can choose between budget-friendly and upscale and its wide variety of dining choices, bars, and almost every attraction for your vacation needs.
Furthermore, the island of Boracay has gone through a massive rehabilitation. as a result, it still remain as one of the best places in the Philippines for vacation.
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Puerto Princesa is famous not just for its luxurious beach resorts and hotels nor its dolphin-watching cruises. That’s because this hidden paradise is home to the UNESCO-listed Underground River. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is known as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Its underground river system portrays a fantastic array of rock formations that resembles religious figures like the cathedral. Furthermore, Puerto Princesa is also known as The City in a Forest. It only means one thing: it has many must-see tourist spots and exciting activities, making it a worthwhile vacation place in the Philippines.
Also known as “The Island of Fire”, the tiny island of Camiguin is one of the top tourist destinations in the southernmost part of the Philippines. This small and peaceful island sits on the northern coast of Mindanao. It’s home to seven active volcanoes that continue to shape and reshape the island.
Camiguin is also home to the famed Mount Hibok-Hibok, an ASEAN Heritage Park. It also includes several waterfalls, natural springs, pristine beaches, various diving spots, and the mysterious Sunken Cemetery. Beach lovers and adventure seekers will no doubt love what this small island paradise can offer.
Coron is special. This cluster of islands became famous for its handful of World War II shipwrecks interred in its shores. However, Coron is a majestic place where some of its most beautiful spots are also among the most photographed sites in the Philippines.
The town of Coron is a fishing village that’s becoming a popular tourist destination. It’s home to several small islands, lagoons, beaches, and diving spots. This tropical island paradise is like no other thanks to its charming crystal-clear waters, white-sand beaches, sunny hues, and island hopping escapades.
The smallest group of islands in the northernmost part of the Philippines offers a postcard-perfect view. Also known as The Home of the Winds, this unexplored island paradise will bring you back to the distant past. You’re going to love the basic lifestyle and the peaceful and quiet ambiance of island living.
Batanes is an excellent refuge for those who want to escape busy city life. The island offers a unique blend of mountains, sea, rolling hills, great food, and good people. Local and foreign tourists love Batanes, and it’s something you need to add to your bucket list.
Do you love history, watersports, and volcanoes? Then, you’re going to love spending your next vacation in Bicol. It’s home to the world-famous Mayon Volcano, Bulusan Volcano natural park, and a variety of impressive waterfalls. You can also visit many famous historical landmarks like the Legazpi City Museum, Naga City’s Penafrancia Basilica Minore, Daet’s Parroquia de San Juan Bautista, Rizal Monument, and Pineapple Fountain.
Do you love surfing? Bicol offers first-class watersports. You can do kite surfing, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, swimming with whale sharks and manta rays in Donsol, and the world-class Camsur Watersports Complex if you want something more extreme. It’s a haven for adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. You can also enjoy hiking, caving, and firefly watching.
Ilocos Norte offers a unique blend of natural beauty and rich history. You can visit the famous Spanish heritage in Paoay Church, and you can slide down on the dunes, peer into the picturesque row of windmills, or catch the perfect wave. This coastal province offers a rich blend of rocky coastlines, baroque architecture, and the incredible Cordillera Mountains.
Some of its most popular vacation places are Laoag and Pagudpud. Ilocano cuisine is also a must-try. However, if you want something more exciting, Ilocos Norte is an excellent place for your next vacation in the Philippines.
Do you want a quick getaway from the busy Manila life? Zambales is the most immediate beach getaway. That’s because it’s only a 3-4 hour drive from the Metro. In addition, Zambales offers many fun activities, making it a perfect quick beach getaway for couples, groups of friends, and families.
Zambales offers a lot of fun outdoor activities. You can enjoy playing at the Inflatable Island, hiking in Mt. Pinatubo, ride horses at the El Kabayo Stables, visit the Ramon Magsaysay Museum, watch the animals at the Botolan Wildlife Farm, visit Capones Island, unwind at the Nagsasa Cove, or camp at the Anawangin Cove.
Sagada Mountain Province
Sagada Mountain Province is home to a lot of famous historical landmarks. Some of the most notable are the mysterious hanging coffins, the rice terraces, limestone caves, several impressive waterfalls, and friendly Igorot culture. In addition, Sagada is rich in culture and tradition, which they successfully preserved over time.
Sagada is in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Northern Luzon. If you’re from Manila, you can reach Sagada in about 11-13 hours by car. You’ll enjoy its lush natural landscapes, the fresh-cool breeze, and the scenic sea of clouds. So, if you want something more relaxed and intimate, Sagada is a great vacation destination.
Talking about popularity, the Whale Shark Watching and Swimming in Oslob is getting worldwide recognition. Oslob is in the Southern Part of Cebu, but the actual whale shark watching site is in the remote part of Brgy. Tan-Awan. It’s 3-4 hours away from the city of Cebu and 4-5 hours from Mactan Airport.
Oslob’s whale sharks, also known as “butanding”, are one of the most exciting tourist attractions on the island. These gentle giants only eat krills or small shrimps, so it’s safe for humans to swim alongside them. However, when deciding to go to Oslob, please be reminded that whale sharks are endangered species, so every tourist should follow local guidelines.
Are you dreaming about the perfect island living? There’s nothing more captivating than the small, teardrop-shaped island known as Siargao. It sits on the northeastern coast of Mindanao, and it’s known as The Surfing Capital of the Philippines.
Speaking of the best island-living experience, Siargao was named the Best Island in the World by the Conde Nast Traveler readers in 2019. Cloud 9 is probably the most famous surfing spot on the island and is why it’s sought by international surfers and tourists worldwide.
The island is surrounded by turquoise-green waters, a perfect spot for non-surfers like divers and snorkelers. Still thinking about which is the best place in the Philippines for vacation?
Bohol Island is in the Central Visayas region. The island is famous for the Chocolate Hills, a UNESCO-protected site. What’s unique about this natural wonder is its collection of 1,200 geological formations that resembles a landscape of chocolate-like hills during the dry season.
It’s also the sanctuary of the Tarsier. These are small nocturnal mammals with large eyes and an intermediate between monkeys and lemurs. If you want a close encounter with these tiny primates, it’ll only take a small amount, and you can walk in their natural habitat and take pictures. But make sure you keep a safe distance.
Banaue is famous for its rice terraces. The Batad and Banaue rice terraces are the most popular and recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites. What’s impressive about these terraces is their vast expanse that covers almost the whole mountain range.
If you love history, you’ll be amazed at how much effort the generations of Ifugaos put into making this iconic landmark. Banaue is also a good weekend mountain getaway from the busy city life of Manila. You’ll surely appreciate the cool weather and quaint lifestyle where nature and humans effectively coexisted for generations.
Vigan is a historic city. It boasts of a combination of Chinese and Spanish influences. You can take a ride in a kalesa as you marvel into 18th-century Spanish architecture. In addition, Vigan houses a variety of places to explore which makes it a great choice for the best places in the Philippines for vacation.
The most notable places to visit are the Bantay Bell Tower, Calle Crisologo, and the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral. Vigan is a well-preserved 16th Century Spanish colonial town. If you love the old world, rich history, and culture, Vigan is a worthy visit.
Samal, the Island Garden City in Davao del Norte in Mindanao, is also the largest resort city in the country. It has over 30 resorts and more than 1,000 rooms. Samal island is only 2 kilometers away via ferry from the City of Davao.
The island sits on pristine beaches, which is perfect for a quick island getaway. It has good diving and snorkeling sites. Moreover, Samal celebrates many festivals like the Hugyaw Madayaw, Kabasan FEstival, and the Caracoles Festival.
Apo island offers many exciting things like diving, snorkeling, swimming with turtles, and trekking. It is located in Negros Oriental with a land area of approximately 70 hectares. But what’s impressive about this island is, they have more than 650 documented species of fish and 450 species of corals.
For this reason alone, Apo island is a famous diving paradise. In addition, this small volcanic island is one of the best ecotourism places in the Philippines. It means it’s one of the few places that value tourism and conservation.
Caramoan Island is an unexploited secret paradise. But it’s made famous thanks to the 26th season of the American Reality TV series, Survivor in 2012. The island includes limestone forests, a rich diversity of flora and fauna, perfect white sand beaches, serene lakes, unexplored caves, coves, and rich biodiversity.
Caramoan offers a fantastic ocean adventure for scuba divers, snorkelers, and kayakers. The whole peninsula is filled with stunning natural wonders where you can converse with nature on a different level. It’s one of the best places in the Philippines for an unforgettable vacation.
Thanks to its tropical weather, this Philippines has some of the best places for vacation in the world. However, there are some areas that are not yet safe for tourists. While these places are already famous, there are still those that are yet to be explored. With that said, we’ll keep you posted every time we get something on our radar.
For now, let’s just wait till everything is back to normal. Keep safe, and look forward to your next fantastic vacation in the Philippines. As they say, it’s more fun in the Philippines!