The Philippines is an archipelago nation located in Southeast Asia. It has over 7,100 islands, making it the country with the most islands in the world. The Philippines has a rich history and culture that is reflected in its many tourist destinations. Some of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines include Boracay, Cebu City, Bohol, and Banaue Rice Terraces. Each of these destinations offers a unique experience that is sure to please visitors. Boracay is known for its white-sand beaches and clear waters, Cebu City for its lively nightlife and vibrant markets, Bohol for its lush rain forests and crystal-clear lakes, and Banaue Rice Terraces for its dramatic rice terraces.
In this article, we will provide you with the best tourist destinations in the Philippines with videos from foreign vloggers, various hotel accommodations tips, travel costs, and how to get there.
The best tourist destinations in the Philippines
El Nido, Palawan
El Nido is a beautiful island that offers breathtaking views of the ocean and is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines. It’s my favorite place in the Philippines for scenic sea views and it rivals popular destinations in Asia like Phi Phi/Krabi Islands (Thailand) and Ha Long Bay (Vietnam).
Spending a whole day on the islands of El Nido in Palawan is an unforgettable experience. Because Bacuit Bay is spread out across a broad region, the island hopping cruises should take at least two full days.
When visiting El Nido, there are four different island hopping tours to choose from. Tour A takes you to the Big Lagoon first and then the Small Lagoon. Tour B goes to the two lagoons on opposite sides of the island, while Tours C and D both go to different parts of the island. All tour boats follow a similar timetable, so make sure you pick one that fits your schedule best!
Puerto Princesa Underground River, Palawan
To explore the world’s famous Puerto Princesa Underground River, book a tour from its capital, Puerto Princesa. This gateway to Palawan’s last frontier is home to the world’s longest navigable underground river and a UNESCO World Heritage Site which makes it one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines.
The subterranean river excursions in Puerto Princesa sail among magnificent limestone cliffs as they make their way through the 1.5-kilometer underground river cave.
Crab-eating monkeys, monitor lizards, and bats are among the animals that call the park home. Excursions to the Crocodile Farm and island hopping in Honda Bay are highly recommended activities.
There are a number of other activities you can do in Puerto Princesa, such as cruising the underground river.
Sugba Lagoon, Siargao
Sugba Lagoon is a beautiful lagoon with clear blue waters and a stunning view. It’s one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines and perfect for relaxing, but there are plenty of activities to enjoy if you want to get your adrenaline pumping too.
The Sugba Lagoon is near Del Carmen or General Luna, and you may visit it on your own if you like. If you don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of organizing a tour or traveling on your own, day-trip packages from adjacent cities are also available. You can try cliff jumping from the approved place over the lagoon if you’re not frightened of heights. You may also hire a paddleboard or kayak and go on a self-guided tour of the area.
Cloud 9, Siargao
Siargao’s climb to prominence as a top tourist spot and one of the best destinations in the Philippines. Once a peaceful island in Surigao del Norte, it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations and playgrounds, owing to its numerous surf locations. Siargao is now well recognized as the Philippines’ surfing capital, and many consider it to be Asia’s top surfing destination.
Cloud 9, the Philippines’ most famous surfing area, attracts surfers throughout the fall and winter seasons because of its steady waves. Although Cloud 9 is not appropriate for novices, it is an excellent choice for experienced surfers seeking for a challenge.
There are plenty of other tourist destinations in Siargao besides surfing that you can enjoy, like rock pools and waterfalls. You can also swim with thousands of non-sting jellyfish at the nearby Sohoton Lagoon.
There are many different experiences and tour packages available to visit Siargao, so you can find one that is perfect for you.
Chocolate Hills, Bohol
The Chocolate Hills are a popular and one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines. These unusual geographical features, which resemble chocolate hills, are most visible during the dry season. The majority of Bohol is covered in a forested land with meandering rivers that make for great kayaking opportunities.
The Chocolate Hills are a geological wonder on the island of Bohol known for their unusual, chocolate-colored peaks. The hills are a protected area that features more than 1,200 small mountains that arose over several centuries.
The hills are located near the ocean and, as a result, have a slightly different color in each season. In the wet season, they are green; during the dry season (when there is less rain), they turn chocolate brown.
A well-marked path leads to the top of a lookout area, which provides an excellent view. The path is lined with delicate flowers that are only found in this location.
On Sangat Island in Coron, the sunken ships to explore are some of the top diving sites in the world. The wrecks are at various depths, making them excellent for both deep and shallow water scuba divers.
Shipwrecks from World War II have become habitats for diverse fish species. The clear water and easy viewing of the wrecks makes for a great environment for animals to live and thrive.
If you wish to go diving and explore shipwrecks, you should consider staying on Sangat Island. Divers will find lots of options to dive locations across many days at the resort, which is only a short boat trip away from some of the top areas. Coron Island is definitely one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines, especially for divers.
If you’re new to the island, arrange a diving or snorkeling tour to see some of the island’s most popular spots.
Boracay White Beach
White Beach in Boracay is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines (if not, the best). Boracay is a great place to go if you’re looking for an active beach atmosphere. It’s the most populated beach on the island, and there are plenty of opportunities for boating and other water activities. Additionally, it’s one of Asia’s most stunning beaches.
At White Beach, there are plenty of comfortable seats and hammocks where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful white sand beach. You may also arrange for a massage on the beach. Snorkeling is a popular sport at White Beach, but if you don’t want to get wet, you can opt for a banana boat ride or glass-bottom boat tour instead.
Boracay is a paradise for vacationers who are looking for a relaxing getaway. The white-sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, and stunning sunsets make it an ideal choice for anyone looking to escape the hustle of everyday life. However, because Boracay caters primarily to wealthier visitors, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available if you don’t want to spend your entire trip on the island shelling out money.
Boracay is a small island with a lot of attractions, including excellent dining, a wide variety of places to stay, souvenir shopping, and plenty of fun water activities. There’s also some nightlife here if you’re looking for it.
From my travels throughout the Philippines, Boracay’s White Beach is a class of its own when it comes to how fine and white the sand is. There is only one other beach in the country that has sand this pure and clean, and you can find it on one of the islands featured next on this list.
Intramuros and Fort Santiago, Manila
Manila is a bustling metropolis with a rich colonial heritage. It’s easy to explore the city on your own or join a guided sightseeing tour of its oldest section, the Intramuros or walled city, which contains many of Manila’s most notable tourist sites and landmarks.
At Rizal Park and Fort Santiago, you can visit the iconic San Agustin Church and monuments, which have had a significant impact on Manila. For a more in-depth understanding of these sites, consider taking a guided tour. Some excursions are conducted by bus, while others are given as walking or bicycle tours across the city.
After seeing Manila, have lunch at one of the local eateries. While watching the bright jeepneys whiz by on the streets, you may get a sense of modern-day Manila. Eating street food and local dishes is perhaps an amazing experience for tourists, making Manila as one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines.
Mayon Volcano, Albay
The Mayon Volcano is one of the most popular and best tourist destinations in the Philippines. It is an active stratovolcano with a height of more than 2,400 meters.
Most people choose to see the volcano from the ground, where it is surrounded by nature paths in the national park grounds. Here you may witness animals such as parakeets and other birds.
To climb Mount Pinatubo, extreme hikers must apply for a permit from the National Park Service. The trek is difficult through dense forest, and dangerous gases are emitted near the peak. Caution should be exercised whenever visiting in March-May, outside of the rainy season.
Whale sharks can be seen in Donsol, a sleepy fishing village in the province of Sorsogon, between November and June. The ocean’s gentle giants are most prevalent between February and May.
Tourists may also enjoy a boat ride down the Donsol River among mangrove and palm groves, where they can see millions of glittering fireflies light up the night. If that’s not enough, there’s also a traditional shrimp-catching adventure with bamboos and nets. Donsol is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines for nature lovers.
Banaue Rice Terraces
The Banaue Rice Terraces are a stunning sight to see, and a vacation to the Philippines would be incomplete without a visit. The Ifugao people cut the terraces out of the mountain ranges without the use of modern equipment roughly 2,000 years ago. Although younger Ifugaos choose to live in cities, locals still cultivate rice and vegetables on these terraces.
The terraces were created by hand and without much equipment, which is why they are still in use today. They create level steps in the sloping terrain so that people may grow rice.
The terraces are located at an elevation of 1,500 meters above sea level and cover 10,360 square kilometers. If they were stretched out end-to-end, each terrace would span around the world. This region is irrigated using an old system that draws water from the jungles above the terraces; because big machinery cannot travel up these slopes, traditional farming methods are still used here.
The natural beauty of the area is undeniable, with breathtaking vistas and varied terrain to explore. Additionally, there are some excellent hiking trails nearby for those looking for a more strenuous experience. The majority of the young people in this area volunteer their time as guides to show visitors around.
Calle Crisologo, Vigan
If you’re in the mood for a stroll through a picturesque Spanish colonial town, be sure to check out Vigan, Ilocos. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its 16th-century architecture and quaint street layout. Calle Crisologo in Vigan is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines.
The ancient quarter of the town noted for its Calle Crisologo tour has been successfully preserved, and calesas may still be found there (horse-drawn carriages). Among the numerous things to see and do in Vigan, sample the famed and tasty Ilocos empanada and stroll down cobblestone lanes dotted with souvenir stores offering ceramics and Abel Iloko weaves.
The best time to tour Calle Crisologo is during the first week of May, when Vigan hosts the Festival of the Arts.
Taal Volcano and Lake, Tagaytay
Tagaytay is a popular destination for locals and visitors from Manila because it offers a quick escape from the city heat and many tourist attractions. The town’s cool weather, scenic views, and numerous tourist spots make it an enjoyable place to visit.
Some of the best Tagaytay hotels sit overlooking Taal Volcano, an active volcano on an island within a lake within an island. You can even take hiking trips to the volcano crater if you’re interested!
The outrigger boat will carry you to Volcano Island, where you may ride the main crater for 15 minutes. You may also trek or ride your horse all the way there.
Tagaytay is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines and a great place to cool down on a hot trip with a delicious bowl of Bulalo, a clear broth with beef shanks, bone marrow, and corn swimming in all its savory glory.
Kawasan Falls, Cebu
Kawasan Falls in Cebu is a terrific alternative if you prefer diving into or swimming in chilly waterfalls. It’s a multi-layered waterfall in Badian, with blue waters that are very popular with tourists.
Kawasan Falls is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines and also the terminus of canyoneering, a popular adventure sport. This excursion begins in Kanlaob River in Alegria, where you will swim along streams and rappel down natural rock cliffs on your way to Kawasan Falls. At the end of the trip, you leap from mini-waterfalls.
Moalboal, a nearby town noted for its sardine run, is close by. In this renowned tourist attraction, you may swim with millions of sardines just offshore.
Corregidor Island is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines. It is a famous spot for travelers and bustling seaports in history. This island is located near the mouth of Manila Bay, in the southwestern section of Luzon Island. (How cool is that? An island in a bay on an island!) It was the last island in the Philippines to be conquered by the Japanese during WWII, making it a historically significant and emotive site not just for Filipinos and Japanese, but also for Americans who helped liberate it. The tunnels where Filipinos and Americans sheltered throughout the war, as well as the cannons they used to combat Japanese ships and planes, may still be seen as ruins and artifacts of those fights.
For history aficionados visiting the Philippines, a trip of Corregidor Island is a must. The island played a significant part in World Military II, and numerous war artifacts may still be seen today. Secret tunnels and bunkers, as well as weaponry, barracks, and historical items, were utilized as hideouts during the battle.
The Pacific War Memorial is located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The memorial has regular guided tours that depart from Manila. These tours require a full day to visit, but they are well worth it if you have an interest in WWII history.
Balabac Island, Palawan
If you’re looking for some of the best beaches and crystal-clear waters in the Philippines, look no further than Balabac. This is one spot that should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
Balabac is Palawan’s southernmost collection of islands and is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines. It is so far south that Sabah, Malaysia’s east coast, is closer to Balabac than Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s provincial capital.
Balabac’s biggest attraction is the fact that it has 31 islands that are virtually unexplored by tourists. The islands are flanked by turquoise seas and white sand beaches, some of which are blush pink in color. Onuk Island, where the crystal blue ocean reaches as far as the eye can see, Bugsuk Island, with its fluffy whitest sand beach, and Camiaran Island, with its pink sand beach, are the greatest spots to visit in Balabac.
Batanes is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines
Batanes, the Philippines’ northernmost province, is known for its craggy volcanic islands and severe typhoons. With rolling hills covered in vibrant green vegetation, grazing cows dotting the countryside, steep seaside cliffs overlooking crystal-clear waters, and traditional stone houses perched atop sandy beaches, the natural landscape here is strikingly different from that found in other parts of the country. Furthermore, prominent lighthouses may be located all around Batanes.
Many visitors characterize Batanes’ beauty as wild, overpowering, and breathtakingly beautiful, making it one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines. It’s clear to understand why it’s a favorite adventure location based on photos and videos.
Mactan is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines
In the Philippines, Mactan Island is a famous luxury vacation location. It has several resorts, making it a great destination for a romantic getaway. There are also fantastic diving areas nearby, as well as retail malls in Cebu City. Island hopping trips are also provided, allowing guests to see different parts of the island.
Head to Mactan Island in Cebu if you’re searching for a tropical island getaway with all the amenities of a metropolis. Read this post to learn about the finest tourist attractions and things to do there.
Mactan Island is a small island in the Philippines’ Central Visayas region. Mactan, which is located next to Cebu Province’s main island, has become one of the country’s most popular tourist sites.
Mactan Island is home to world-class resorts, casino hotels, magnificent diving locations, beautiful beaches, and islands that house luxury resorts in the Philippines, as well as distinctive Filipino eating experiences. Mactan Island is surely one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines.
Moalboal is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines
Because it is located in Cebu province and offers several diving options, Moalboal is a fantastic backpacking location and is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines. The coral wall off Moalboal’s shore is particularly beautiful for snorkeling. There are various resorts and hostels to choose from, with something for everyone.
If you’re looking for a place to escape the bustle of Cebu City, Moalboal is worth considering. The village is located about four hours from the city by car and boasts beautiful turquoise seas and an abundance of marine life. There are also plenty of waterfall activities to be enjoyed here, making this a great spot and one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines for anyone interested in nature or relaxation.
Siquijor is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines
The Philippines’ Siquijor Island is a famous tourist destination recognized for its natural beauty and mysticism. The island’s forests are full of centuries-old mysteries, and the island is now famed for its gorgeous waterfalls, beaches, and coral reefs.
Siquijor is a small Philippine island province in the Central Visayas Region with several lovely tourist attractions. Swimming and snorkeling at the island’s beautiful sand beaches are just a few of the activities available. Dive into its marine sanctuary or cliff jump at its legendary falls. Visit the heritage sites or the century-old tree. All of these may be visited in a day or two.
Salagdoong Beach, Kagusuan Beach, Cambugahay Falls, Capilay Spring Park, and Tubod Marine Sanctuary are some of the breathtaking spots, making Siquijor one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines.
Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur
If you’re having trouble deciding what to do or where to go in the Philippines, an island-hopping vacation may be the answer. You’ll still have to narrow down your options, but an organized island-hopping tour will allow you to see a number of them.
You may go snorkeling, swimming, touring, and eating local food at numerous sites without having to organize anything yourself. Many of the island-hopping itineraries are multi-day excursions. The Caramoan Islands, which were made famous after being featured on the smash TV show Survivor, are one of the most popular island-hopping trips.
Rizal Park is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines
Many tourists skip Manila in favor of seeing the Philippines’ outlying islands, but a day or two in Manila will provide you with a great overview of the country. For families seeking wonderful spots to visit in the Philippines, a tour to Manila is highly suggested.
A variety of historical tourist attractions may be found in Manila. The Rizal Park, often known as Luneta, is one of these.
The Rizal Monument, which represents the execution site of Dr. Jose Rizal, is located in Manila’s 60-hectare Rizal Park. The Philippine flag waves from a 46-meter flagpole in front of his memorial, thanks to the winds in the park.
The park has a well-kept garden, ponds, and a dancing water fountain that turns on at dusk and plays Filipino music. There are other National Museums in the park area that you may visit as well.
BGC is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines
This city thrives on the arts, ideas, and crafts! Bonifacio Global City, or BGC for short, is recognized for its gorgeous buildings and vibrant surrounds, making it a popular location for picture shoots and Instagram feeds.
Taguiug’s economy and infrastructure have expanded dramatically in recent decades.
Taguig’s nightlife is second to none, with a commercial and leisure zone encompassing over 70 acres. There are several outdoor dining districts for tourists to enjoy, as well as numerous luxury restaurants for those with a more refined palette.
BGC has a diverse range of pubs, nightclubs, and shopping opportunities. Many travelers think Taguig reminds them of other Asian capital towns like Singapore and Dubai.
Conclusion: The best tourist destinations in the Philippines
The Philippines is a country with a rich cultural history and stunning natural beauty. Some of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines include Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Puerto Princesa, and Manila. Each destination has its own unique attractions that will appeal to different visitors. Whether you are looking for lush tropical scenery or interesting historical sites, there is something for everyone in the Philippines.