Situated in the middle of the Pacific, this huge archipelago with over 7,000 islands and rich history is home to probably the happiest, jolliest and most hospitable people in the world. From the beautiful white sand beaches in the south and Cetral Philippines to the high majestic mountains that are home to many indigenous tribes in the north, the Philippines is an ideal place for a long vacation or even a place to live. Here is my TOP 10 destinations in the Philippines:
10. Mountain Province (Banaue Rice Terraces and Sagada)
Built over 2000 years ago on over 1 million hectares of hill slopes, Banaue Rice Terraces are the symbol of the North and one of the famous touristic spots in whole Philippines. The construction of the terrace was started by members of the Batad people, residents of this area. Surprisingly, the terraces were also made on hills with a slope of up to 70%. There are also terraces that are only 2 meters long. Although more and more young people leave farming, older people still grow on rice and vegetables on the terraces.
One of the famous spots in Mountain province is Sagada and their hanging coffins. The tribe of Igorot from the northern Philippines have buried their dead in hanging chests, clinging to the cliffs. It is believed that successes of younger generations depend on successful burial. They buried their dead this way for over 2,000 years. People were placed in the coffin in the fetal position as Igorots believed that you should leave the world in the same way that you enter it.
9. The Ilocos Region
It is an administrative region that stretches from central Luzon to the far north of the Philippines. At over 400km long ride, we can find the oldest cities in the Philippines. One of them is Vigan, UNESCO World Heritage Site, town built in Spanish colonial era. In May 2015, Vigan City was officially choosen as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities together with Beirut, Doha, Durban, Havana, Kuala Lumpur and La Paz.
Aside of Vigan, another famous destination is Paoay sand dunes, real desert in the Philippines! For only $30 (1500 pesos), you can ride 4x4 vechile and have extraordinary desert experiance in the middle of Pacific.
If you riding Ilocos, I recommend you to stop in San Fernando and visit really beautiful Ma-Cho Taoist temple.
Read more about temple here:
The region comprises four provinces: Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Union and Pangasinan. A place where nature and history collide, Ilocos is really a great place to visit.
7 km long and in some places only 500 meters wide, this islet is the Philippine top destination. The top attraction on the island is a 4km long dreamy white sand beach filled with bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants.
Boracay was awarded as the 2012 best island in the world from the international travel magazine Travel + Leisure. In 2014, the resort island was at the top of the Best Islands in the World list published by the international magazine Condé Nast Traveler. In 2016, Boracay headed the magazine’s list of Top 10 destinations to watch.
Leisure activities available on or near Boracay include horseback riding, scuba diving, diving helmet, snorkeling, windsurfing, kiteboarding, cliff diving, parasailing.
7. Surigao del Sur
Surigao del Sur has 17 municipalities and two cities – Tandag and Bislig. Each municipality offers wonders of nature that can take your breath away and leave you in awe. The main tourist attraction is the Hinatuan Enchanted River. Hidden in the Philippine jungle is a short stretch of river that seems to pop up out the ground just to send its miraculously clear, blue water out to sea. The river’s unusual colors and unexplored depths has inspired various local legends. One story tell of fairies that added the colors of sapphire and jade to the river to make its unique shade. Local fisherfolk also report seeing fish in the river that cannot be caught through any means. According to locals, the river was called the Enchanted River because of the engkantos that dwell there. Their legends also say that the river is haunted by supernatural beings which act as its protectors. The Hinatuan Enchanted River in Mindanao, Philippines, is a flawless saltwater river that flows into the Pacific Ocean. It is around 80-feet deep, and just barely long enough to be considered a river, yet the flow attracts visitors from around the world who want to experience the beautiful waters that locals have long thought to be miraculous.
Bicol region have six provinces – Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate. The regional center and largest city is Legazpi City. The region is bounded by the Lamon Bay to the north, Philippine Sea to the east, and the Sibuyan Sea and Ragay Gulf to the west.
Bicol region is highly volcanic area. It is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. There us numerous of hot springs, crater lakes, and volcanoes.
The main tourist attraction is Mayon Volcano with probably the most perfect conical shape in the world.
Cebu province is archipelago for itself with main island and 167 surrounding islands and islets. Capital is Cebu City, the oldest city and first capital of the Philippines, which is politically independent from the provincial government. Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, with Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas. Perfect for istand hopping, scuba diving and even swimming with sharks, Cebu draws almost two million foreign tourists yearly. The prime attractions are white-sand beaches and spectacualar Malapascua island.
Batanes is an archipelago province in the Philippines situated in the Cagayan Valley region. It is the northernmost province in the country, and also the smallest, both in population and land area. Its capital is Basco located in the island of Batan. Batanes, a picturesque setting in the northernmost island province of the Philippines remains to be a dream travel destination for many. From green rolling hills under the blue skies to harmonious landscapes and seascapes to cobblestone-walled houses topped with cogon roof to the quaint way of living of the Ivatans (locals), the “home of the winds” continues to amaze visitors.
Bohol has 114 springs, 172 creeks, and four main rivers that run through Bohol with a radial drainage pattern. The largest river, the Inabanga River, runs in the northwestern part of the province; the Loboc River drains the center of the island to the mid-southern coast; the Abatan River runs in the southwest, and Ipil River in the north. Numerous waterfalls and caves are scattered across the island, including Mag-Aso Falls in Antequera. Mag-Aso means smoke in the native tongue. The water is cool and often creates a mist in humid mornings which can hide the falls. The Chocolate Hills are considered one of Philippine’s natural wonders and Bohol is often referred to as the Jewel of the Philippines. They are hills made of limestone left over from coral reefs during the Ice Age when the island was submerged. They turn brown during the summer. Personally, it is my favorite destination in the Philippines.
For the third year running, the Philippine archipelago of Palawan has been crowned the best island in the world by Daily Mail and Condé Nast Traveler. The main attractions is Puerto Princesa Underground River. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, and voted as a New7Wonders of Nature in 2012. El Nido as one of the best spots to scuba dive and island hopping in the world is very popular as well. Beautiful blue water mixes with emerald green, jungle-filled mountains that appear to rise up from the ocean, and small fishing villages dot the island. Together with its neighboring islands, it creates the Palawan province, aka paradise.
Coron is a tropical island in the province of Palawan, Philippines that is best known for world-class WWII-era wreck diving, though the area also offers limestone karst landscapes, crystal-clear freshwater lakes and shallow-water coral reefs. Coron also refers to nearby Coron town, a basic transit hub on neighboring Busuanga Island where the airport and most accommodation is located, as well as daytime boat trips that are the only way to visit the tribally-protected island itself.