15 Must-Visit Destinations in the Philippines

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The Philippines is a breathtaking archipelago (a group of Islands) with volcanoes, limestone cliffs, crystal clear waters, and rice terraces on mountain slopes. If you want a vacation or an adventure, there are over 7000 islands with fascinating sights to choose from, including tourist spots in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. These 15 places are particularly noteworthy for their historical sites and local delicacies that will make your visit truly worthwhile.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

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This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a limestone karst landscape and an underground river stretching over 8 kilometers. The river flows directly into the sea, nourishing diverse plant species. It also houses bats and various bird species. As a tourist destination, this place allows visitors to explore its caverns and enjoy looking at its natural beauty.

Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao Province

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The Ifugao people built the Banaue Rice Terraces over 2,000 years ago, and they are now often called the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” The design of this UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases their creativity and skill. They are still actively used for farming, primarily rice and vegetables. Visitors can enjoy the breathtaking view of terraces on the mountainside and local delicacies like traditional smoked meat called “kinuday.”

Tagaytay, Cavite and Taal Volcano, Batangas


These two locations are well-known tourist destinations in the Philippines, famous for their breathtaking scenery and landscapes. Tagaytay, situated in Cavite, has a calm and pleasant climate along with stunning vistas of Taal Lake and the Taal Volcano. This volcano is one of the world’s smallest active volcanoes on an island within a lake.


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The Visayas region in the Philippines is the ideal place to visit if you want to attend a vibrant and colorful festival. These festivities showcase the culture and traditions of each province. You can attend the Sandugo Festival or the Dinagyang, Sinulog, and Ati-Atihan Festivals, which are held every January.

Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan


Tourists visit Boracay Island for its stunning white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. Many visitors worldwide come here to relax, enjoy water sports, and enjoy the lively atmosphere. It also has a bustling market where you can handpick fresh seafood from the stalls and have chefs cook it the way you like. Boracay is an excellent place if you are looking for a tropical paradise with plenty of activities and beautiful scenery.

Chocolate Hills Carmen, Bohol

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The location has around 1,200 cone-shaped hills spread over 50 square kilometers. These hills are named “Chocolate Hills” because their green grass becomes brown during the dry season, making them look like chocolate kisses. This unique landscape is a popular tourist attraction as a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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Mindanao is the second largest island in the Philippines and a beautiful region with many tourist attractions. Some popular places include Siargao Island, with world-class surfing spots and gorgeous landscapes; Bukidnon, with natural attractions like the Dahilayan Adventure Park; and Surigao del Sur, with the Enchanted River and Tinuy-an Falls.

Davao City, Davao del Sur


This beautiful city has Mount Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines, which attracts hikers and nature enthusiasts. Since Davao is the natural home of the critically endangered Philippine eagle, visitors can watch this majestic bridge up close at the Philippine Eagle Centre. Also, as they snack on durian, they can drop by to tour the Museum or enjoy the manicured gardens at the urban People’s Park.

Camiguin Island, Camiguin Province

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Besides hot springs, waterfalls, and coral reefs, this province is famous for its lanzones fruit, which locals celebrate annually during the Lanzones Festival. It has beaches with rich marine life and a laid-back atmosphere for tourists who want a relaxed atmosphere. They can also visit the La Dolce Vita, an Italian-styled restaurant that serves wood-cooked pizzas.

Calle Crisologo, Vigan


This place has well-preserved Spanish colonial-era architecture and streets lined with charming heritage houses and cobblestones. Surprisingly, they still have the traditional horse-drawn carriages known as “kalesas.” Visiting Calle Crisologo allows you to step back in time and experience the rich history and culture of the Philippines. You can browse through the local crafts shops for souvenirs. The best time to visit is the first week of May during the Vigan Festival of the Arts.

Nacpan Beach in El Nido, Palawan

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Considering its four-kilometer stretch of cream-colored sand with swaying coconut palm trees lining the shore, this place can easily accommodate hundreds of tourists. Visitors can spread across the expanse of land as they swim, sunbathe, or relax on the beach, enjoying the view of clear waters. Although it was once a secret getaway for a lucky few, many others have discovered its beauty, so it’s now a popular tourist destination.

Kawasan Falls, Cebu


The waters of the Kawasan Falls flow from the Kanlaob River, moving to the Kabukalan Spring and through the Kawasan Gorge before emptying into the Matutinao River and eventually the Tanon Strait. Its largest waterfall is roughly 40 meters high, and visitors can hike up the different tiers. They can also take refreshing dips in the pools, ride a bamboo raft along the river, or have a picnic lunch by the riverbank.

Cloud 9 in Siargao


In 2012, CNNGo ranked Cloud 9 8th out of 50 World’s Best Surfing Spots. It is also the site of the Siargao Cup, an international surfing competition held every September. Even if you’re not a surfer, Cloud 9 has a viewing deck at the top of a three-story structure where you can watch the surfers and marvel at the ocean. The area also has shops, restaurants, and bars where you can relax.



Besides being the largest and most populous island in the Philippines, Luzon is the economic and political center of the nation. Likewise, it is home to Quezon City and Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. This island is one of the places every visitor must see because of its stunning beauty, which includes mountain ranges, volcanoes, beaches, and coral reefs. You can find it north of the Philippine archipelago.

Intramuros and Fort Santiago, Manila

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The walled city of Intramuros, Spanish for “within the walls,” was the seat of Spanish colonial power in the Philippines for over 300 years. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi built it in the 16th century, and its rich history has made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Right beside it is Fort Santiago, the former military headquarters where the Spaniards imprisoned national hero Jose Rizal. They have several historical sites, including churches, museums, and early government buildings.

Written by Lucas M