The Philippines is a country in Southeast Asia consisting of more than 7,000 islands. It has pristine beaches, majestic mountains, and one of the most hospitable people in the world. Conversing with the locals is easy, as majority of the population understand and speak English. Do you want to know what this country in the western Pacific Ocean has to offer? Read on to discover the top 10 tourist spots in the Philippines.

Top Tourist Spots in the Philippines

1. Boracay

Boracay

At four kilometers long, the White Beach in Boracay is famous for its very fine white sand and crystal clear blue waters. It is for this very reason why it was once voted as the best beach in the world. If you’re a beach lover, Boracay Island is the place to be.

Choose from a wide variety of water activities:

• Parasailing
• Paddleboarding
• Snorkeling
• Aquanaut helmet diving
• Riding an inflatable
• Paraw sailing

Just to be safe, remember to wear a life vest (even if you know how to swim).

The island underwent a massive cleanup drive, so there are a few changes that new tourists will notice about the beach. The water is clearer now and it’s not that crowded anymore. Structures that are very near the water’s edge were ordered demolished, so there’s more room for people to stroll and enjoy the beach.

Whether you’re with your family or with a special someone, you’ll surely enjoy your time on this lovely island. There are lots of hotels offering accommodations here. It’s recommended that you book in advance so you’ll get the best rates, rooms, and views.

2. Palawan

Palawan

If you’re a nature lover and want a more authentic island experience (rather than a touristy beach feel) Palawan is the best destination for you. One of the top tourist spots in the Philippines, you’ll be glad to know that there are many places to visit here.

Puerto Princesa, also known as the “City in a Forest,” is the island’s busiest gateway and is home to many remarkable attractions. The most notable is the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is considered as the longest navigable underground river in the world.

Meanwhile, El Nido boasts of white sand beaches, limestone cliffs, coral reefs, and secret lagoons. CNNGo dubbed it as the best beach and island destination in the Philippines.

Lastly, Coron is popular for its pristine lagoons and white sand beaches. The views underwater are just as beautiful. This place is also popular for shipwreck diving, sprawling coral gardens, and snorkeling.

3. Baguio

Baguio

Baguio is the Philippines’ summer capital. It is 5 hours away from Manila (if you’ll take a bus). This is the part of the Philippines with the coolest climate, mainly because of the altitude of this mountainous region. Despite its location, you can still enjoy comforts you would expect in a modern city. Tourism is a major industry here, so there are plenty of hotels, apartments, and transient houses offering accommodations for both local and international visitors. Have a taste of local cuisine and delicacies, including ube jam, strawberry jam, and peanut brittle.

The best things to do in Baguio include:

• A stroll at the Burnham Park
• Visiting the strawberry fields in La Trinidad
• Enjoying the view at Mines View Park
• Walking the streets of Session Road
• Riding horses at Wright Park

4. Cebu

Cebu

Cebu is located in the Visayas, in the central part of the Philippines. When in Cebu, visit the old Spanish colonial heritage sites, waterfalls, and beaches scattered throughout the province. Cebu-Mactan International Airport serves direct flights from major cities in the Philippines and international flights from Asia and North America.

The top tourist spots in Cebu include:

• White-sand beach and diving in Malapascua Island
• Luxury beach resorts in Mactan Island
• Centuries-old churches and heritage sites
• Waterfalls and hiking in Badian (Osmena Peak), Samboan, Ginatilan, Barili, Oslob, and Cebu City’s highlands
• Badian-Kawasan Canyoneering

5. Bohol

Chocolate Hills in Bohol

With over 1,260 hills rolling into the horizon, the Chocolate Hills in Bohol will leave you in awe, especially at sunrise and sunset. These geological formations are covered with lush greens except during the dry season when the grass turns brown (hence the name).

Bohol is also where you’ll find the smallest primate in the world, the tarsier. Other tourist attractions in Bohol include Hinagdanan caves and Alona Beach. If that is not enough, experience the beautiful beaches, diving sites, and dolphin encounters in Panglao Island.

6. Siargao Island

Siargao Island

Regarded as one of the best spots to catch waves, Siargao Island offers many adventure options including island hopping, rock pooling, caving in Tayangban, and beaches.

Dubbed the surfing capital of the Philippines, Siargao offers plenty of waves to catch, with uncrowded surf areas and optimal conditions to learn how to surf or perform your best tricks. Meanwhile, Sugba Lagoon features cobalt blue waters housing tiny mushroom islands plus a diving board platform for people looking to take a dip.

7. Bicol

Mayon Volcano

The Bicol region is composed of several provinces. In Legazpi City, Albay, you can enjoy majestic views of Mayon Volcano, considered as the world’s most perfect cone-shaped volcano. Meanwhile, if you want to see (or swim) with the world’s biggest fish, the whale shark, go to Donsol, Sorsogon anytime during the months of November to May. If island hopping is your kind of thing, Caramoan in Camarines Sur is a good option. Don’t forget to try the local cuisine, especially the spicy Bicol Express.

8. Ilocos

Ilocos

Ilocos Norte is one of the country’s best heritage destinations. Visit the Spanish-colonial churches of the province, especially the Paoay Church. You can also enjoy beautiful beaches, surfing, and coastal landscapes in the municipalities of Pagudpud and Burgos.

In Ilocos Sur, you can visit Vigan, one of the best preserved Spanish-colonial towns in Asia. If you are a lover of old cities, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see.

9. Subic Bay

Subic Bay

The Subic Bay in Zambales is a former US naval base now known for its themed attractions and nature sites. Subic’s top tourist spots include Pamulaklakin Nature Park, Zoobic Safari, Boardwalk Park, Ocean Adventure, Inflatable Island, and Duty-Free shopping malls.

10. Metro Manila

SM Mall of Asia

Photo: Mike Gonzalez (TheCoffee) / CC BY-SA 3.0

For tourists who want to do some shopping, dining, and movie watching, they can visit the Philippines’ biggest and one of the world’s largest malls, the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. It has everything – department store, clothing stores, electronics stores, movie houses, a skating rink, gaming arcade for kids, fast food chains, and restaurants. Other things to do include riding the Ferris wheel and trying the various rides at the amusement park at SM by the Bay. All these you can enjoy with the Manila Bay as a backdrop.

When it comes to hotels, there are plenty in Metro Manila, especially along Roxas Boulevard and the country’s business district in Makati. For those who want to try their luck at the casino, the Solaire Resort & Casino and the City of Dreams are both minutes away from the SM Mall of Asia.

Conclusion

The best time to visit the Philippines is from December to March. There’s no winter here; the climate can be categorized as dry and wet. December to March are relatively cool and dry. April to May are the hottest months, while June to September are the rainiest months. This country is known for its natural wonders and hospitable people. After we’ve enumerated the top tourist spots in the Philippines, hopefully, there’s at least one that will be included in your list of possible vacation destinations.

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