The southeastern country called the Philippines is an archipelago made up of more than 7,000 islands. It's three main islands are Luzon (where the capital city is), Visayas, and Mindanao. The best places to visit in the country are mostly beaches, some tourist-friendly like Boracay, and some that a tourist would have to travel more for that slice of heaven on the white sand. If you are looking for beautiful beaches and breathtaking scenery, you will certainly find it here. But the Philippines is a favorite vacation spot of the most secretive, and richest personalities in the world. These are 10 places a tourist should try to visit when vacationing in the Philippine islands.
Although Manila is the capital city, it's crowded and there's really not much to enjoy there except for history and culture and some cool landmarks. Let's dive right into the good stuff and travel to the northernmost part of the country. The topmost islands of the Philippines have beaches that are beyond amazing.
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Take Batanes for example, it's one of the islands that's not thick with tourists, even local tourists because it's not easy to get there. One of the best beaches in Batanes is the Morong Beach on Sabtang Island, and watch out for that beautiful sunrise.... and sunset!
9 Mountain Province
The Mountain Province is a region in the northern part of Luzon Island. Hikers and backpackers are welcome here, and the locals will be sure to take care of you. Find the town of Sagada and check out the following places: Sumaguing Cave, Kankanaey Hanging Coffins (hanging off the side of a cliff!), take unlimited pictures with the clouds at the Kiltepan Peak, Bomod-Ok Falls, and the mystical Blue Soil Hills. Then travel south about 51 miles to get to the Ifugao Province to check out the amazing Banaue Rice Terraces and the UNESCO World Heritage site Hapao Rice Terraces.
From the Ifugao Province, we'll cross Manila and go south to the Bicol Region where a lot of tourist sites await. The best one is the volcano that people say has the most perfect cone shape, the Mayon Volcano. Located in the town of Albay, Mayon is the pride of the Bicolanos (locals of Bicol). For some water sports fun and hip accommodations, check out the CWC (CamSur Watersports Complex) in Camarines Sur. It's a resort and wakeboarding facility that caters to beginners and expert wakeboarders alike. Looking for beaches in Bicol, head to Caramoan (car-ra-mow-ann) and find the once-virgin Gota Beach, Matukad, and other breathtaking islands in the Caramoan peninsula.
7 Kalibo, Aklan
We proudly present the revitalized Boracay Beach. Once the pride and glory of the Kalibo province of Aklan in Western Visayas, Boracay was so perfect in the early nineties up to the early 2000s, but the small island town could contend with the fast-rising tourism and the government finally had to shut down the whole beach for environmental reasons for about six months. Boracay Island is famous for its long and wide shoreline, white sand, and calm, kid-friendly waters. The beach is divided into stations, where Station 1 has the most luxurious beach resorts and Station 3 is the station of choice of budget-conscious visitors.
6 Puerto Princesa
If there is a province or region that could claim the highest tourist count in all of the Philippines, it would be Palawan. Palawan is that island on the right side of the country that looks like a peg leg. This province has 1,780 islands and the capital city is Puerto Princesa. Tourists visit the city for the Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It's truly a marvel of nature. Speaking of nature, people also visit the Crocodile Farm, enjoy a walking tour of the facility and see other animals native to the Palawan Islands. For beach fun, go to Honda Bay and the Tubbataha Reef in Cagayancillo.
Historically, it was a toss-up between Manila and Cebu as to where the Philippines' capital city would be. This is why the local people of Cebu, the Cebuanos, speak either Bisaya (local dialect) or English, and never Tagalog (local dialect of Manila). It's also why Cebu International Airport is one of the biggest and best airports in the country. Here's a rundown of the best tourist spots in Cebu: Mactan, Magellan's Cross, Oslob Beach (go swim with whale sharks), Field of LED Roses (go here when it's dark), Malapascua Island, Sumilon Island, White Beach, Osmeña Peak and three beautiful waterfalls (Kawasan, Aguinid, Tumalog). Don't go without trying the city's famous delicacies, Cebu Lechon and sutokil.
Our last stop in the Visayas is the city of Bohol. The self-proclaimed safest city in the Philippines, the annual crime rate in this city is close to nil. The locals are peaceful, friendly and uber-accommodating. This city offers a diverse nature immersion, starting with its iconic tourist spot the Chocolate Hills. Aptly named as they look like gigantic chocolate Kisses lined up on a vast plain. Then, check out one of the smallest marsupials in the world, the tarsier. These cute, googly-eyed creatures can only be found in a few countries in Southeast Asia. Then, have a floating meal on a tour of the Loboc River, complete with live homegrown Bohol music.
3 Surigao del Norte
Surigao del Norte is located in Mindanao, the southernmost main island of the country. This province is divided into two primary islands, Bucas Grande and Siargao. Siargao is a surfer island, all traveling surfers out there, check out the waves of Siargao Island and the natural beauty of the region. South of the island is calmer waves fit for children. For a luxurious stay in Siargao, go to Nay Palad on Dedon Island. Take a trip to Sohoton Cove National Park for close encounters with hundreds of jellyfish, Sugba Lagoon, and chill out on a cute islet called Basul Island.
2 Davao City
The last stop in Mindanao is Davao City. This city houses the country's highest peak, Mount Apo, located south of Davao. The towering mountain is home to an endangered species of eagle, the monkey-eating eagle or the Philippine Eagle. This majestic animal is native to Davao and can be seen, and even touched by visitors at the Philippine Eagle Center.
Popular tourist attractions in the city are the Eden Nature Park and Resort where a guided tour is a must-do, plus a buffet meal at the end. The best beach resort in Davao is Pearl Farm, check into this world-class resort for a relaxing and pampered stay.
1 Palawan's Island Beach Resorts
The platinum islands and resorts in the Philippines are mostly located in Palawan. But in this article, we will only discuss four of them, Amanpulo, El Nido, Coron, and Busuanga. A stay on any of the islands would be worth the trip and the money as they are wondrous places; unbelievable white beaches, isolated and personalized resorts, all for your pleasure. Amanpulo is an exclusive resort in the Pamalican Islands, northeast of the Palawan main island. It's the go-to resort of famous celebrities and promises seclusion and total privacy. Busuanga and Coron are on the northernmost island of Palawan, Busuanga has a safari park with giraffes and Coron is just heavenly. The best way to experience El Nido is through El Nido Resorts.