The Philippines, with its 7000 plus islands, has a LOT to offer foreigners and locals alike. Located on the Pacific Rim in Southeast Asia, the country is shaped by its geography, giving rise to diverse and unique wonders.
Needless to say, naming just the 10 best spots is almost an impossible task. ALMOST. The places below certainly demand commendation and are very well-deserved of special mention.
Ranked by several travel magazines as the best island in the world, Boracay is a right mix of leisure and excitement. While the white-sand beaches are considered ordinary in the Philippines, Boracay stepped it up with its powder-fine white sands, pristine waters, and serene view. Boracay is also known for its energetic nightlife with parties that last till dawn.
Imagine a lagoon with crystal-clear, blue water, white sand, colorful fishes, amazing rock formation, and green all around. That is El Nido, another highly acclaimed island in the Philippines that has starred on several international TV shows and movies.
Coron, another land-before-time paradise in the Philippines, is considered as one of the best scuba diving sites in the world. 10m to 40m below the waters of Coron reveals a dozen sunken Japanese warships and vibrant coral reefs.
Siargao is the surfing capital of the Philippines and is famous for its huge Pacific swells and thick, hollow tubes. There are also isolated beaches and unspoiled lagoons for a much-needed rest in between surfs.
One of the best representation of the Philippine culture is probably the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao. The 2000-year old hand-carved rice fields at the sides of several mountains were long declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Vigan is another UNESCO World Heritage Site that depicts the remnants of the Spanish settlement. From the cobblestone streets to the colonial mansions and the horse-drawn carriages, Vigan is a stunning throwback to the 16th-century Philippines.
Located at the northernmost part of the country, Batanes is known as the “Home of the Winds” and offers a completely different landscape with its rolling hills, jagged mountains, stone houses, green pastures, and rugged cliffs.
Wanna climb the highest peak in the Philippines? Mount Apo in Davao is also the home of 272 bird species including the monkey-eating eagles. Considered as one of the largest eagles in the world, standing over 1m tall, the monkey-eating eagle is also the country’s national bird.
Albay shows off the most active volcano in the Philippines, the Mayon Volcano, which is also widely lauded for its 8000-feet of a perfectly symmetrical cone. Adventure awaits in riding an ATV up its slopes and lava front to the Ruins, where you can see the bell tower of a buried 16th-century church.
Last, but not least, is surreal Bohol. Its awe-inspiring Chocolate Hills, composed of 1200 hills, turn especially brown during summer and look like a spread of giant chocolate mounds. You can also find the smallest living primate in Bohol, the shy tarsiers, which are equally a sight to behold.
These 10 spots in the Philippines are sure to satisfy your wanderlust and invigorate your spirit. They should be on your radar and your bucket list.
Offering refuge, tranquility, inspiration, and adventure, the country is definitely aptly described by its tagline, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines!”
David is a blogger at FlipFlopsandAppleSauce.com where he reviews a host of different products. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and relaxing in the sun.