If you are looking to visit the Philippines for the first time, or need ideas or suggestions to visit new destinations in the Philippines, then definitely take a look below! This past year, I spent around 8 months traveling (or maybe skipping) in and around the Philippines. Although 8 months is quite a long time, it’s still not enough to visit the country’s 7,000 plus islands! But the 15 places below should spark some ideas for your next trip to or in the Philippines!
1. Mount Pinatubo
The second-largest volcanic eruption in this century that caused global temperature to drop of about 1 degree.
The stunning Mount Pinatubo is located about 91 km from Manila. It’s a relatively short distance, but the hike to get there is a nice challenge – but so worth it with the view of the crater.
Catch it on a sunny day to see the very turquoise crater lake !
One of the few places in the Philippines that preserved a Spanish colonial town.
Vigan is a photogenic little town dotted with rustic houses from the Spanish era, dotted along its charming cobblestone streets.
Check out these hotels in Vigan for a complete authentic experience!
The beaches in Pagudpud is what I imagine what Boracay would be like before tourism took over.
Super fine, white, powdery sand that stretches for miles on end. Pagudpud is an ideal destination for those looking to avoid the beach crowd!
4. La Union
La Union is known as the surfing capital of northern Philippines. But surfer or not, La Union is a perfect destination for those who are looking to escape the bustling city of Manila just to unwind and relax.
Baguio is one of the very few places in the Philippines where you’ll see people wearing jackets!
This city is nestled within the Cordillera mountain range, so be prepared to bring something to keep you warm, especially at night! There was a day when the temps dropped all the way down to 10 Celsius (50 fahrenheit!) – strange weather for a tropical island like the Philippines!
If you are a hiker, Sagada is your place to be.
Sagada is about a 6-hour bus ride from Baguio, and provides some of the most stunning landscapes the Philippines has to offer.
Manila is no longer the same city that I left it 22 years ago.
The city is rapidly expanding (and so is the traffic, be warned) with new neighborhoods and establishments popping up left, right, and center.
Check out some of these impressive developments in Bonifacio Global City, Makati for some great shopping and restaurants, and the walled city of Intramuros.
If you travel around Southeast Asia, there is no doubt you will come across a few rice terraces.But the rice terraces that you’ll find in Banaue, Philippines may be the grand daddy of them all.
Palawan is home to some of the stunning islands you’ll ever see in your lifetime.
Although tourism and its popularity have exponentially increased over the past few years, it’s still not quite to the same level as Thailand’s mass tourism.
So head over to Palawan before the crowds take over, ASAP!
Apart from Palawan, Cebu has some of the most beautiful islands and beaches in the country.
You can easily spend a whole month in Cebu and still not see everything. Check out stunning Bantayan Island, diving in Malapascua, Mactan Island, swimming with the sardines in Moalboal, canyoneering in Kawasan Falls, and so much more!
Whenever somebody asks me where they should visit in the Philippines, Siquijor is always one of my answers, without hesitation.
I stayed at one of my favorite accommodations during my travels in the Philippines, JJ’s Backpackers. I paid 300 Pesos (roughly $7) a night and woke up to this beach every morning.
The island of Bohol is wildly known for these: The Chocolate Hills, the insanely cute tarsiers, and arguably the best diving site in the Philippines.
Alona Beach also has great nightlife by the ocean that resembles the one of Boracay – a good selection of bars and restaurants offering fresh sea food with music and entertainment.
Though I didn’t get to go back to Boracay because of the island’s closure, I would still rank it here as a must visit when in the Philippines.
I know, Boracay is a cliché Philippine destination. But how can I not recommend an island that offers some of the finest, white sand beach you’ll ever see??
This pear-shaped island is just off the northern coast of Mindanao.
This island is known for its beautiful beaches, white sandbar, and marine life. Stay here for 3-days to fully enjoy everything this island has to offer.
It’s the current trendy destination in the Philippines, and for a good reason.
Siargao is known as THE surfing destination of the Philippines. The tourism is on the tiny island is currently booming, with international and Filipino travelers starting to discover what Siargao has to offer.
If you have any suggestions for the next destination, I would love to hear it! Please let me know in the comments section below!