It’s common knowledge that traveling is most enjoyable when one has some insider knowledge about what to do, see, and eat—as well as what not to. As a Filipino who has visited every corner of the country, I have a ton of experience and time to test and improve my top ten list of places to go. Thus, this post will assist you in making the most of your trip if you’re considering a vacation to the Philippines!
If you’re looking for a colder place near metro Manila (which is the capital of the Philippines), Tagaytay is the right place for you.
From the capital, it only takes two to three hours by car to get to the stunning Tagaytay. This place is well-known for its mouthwatering dishes, including halayang ube, purple yam jam, and bulalo, or bone marrow. The Tagaytay Picnic Grove, where you can enjoy the fresh air and the iconic view of the Taal volcano—one of the most well-known and active volcanoes in the Philippines—is the ideal location to eat these dishes. Ask a tricycle driver outside Picnic Grove if you want to see the lake while you’re there, and they’ll take you on a beautiful ride. There are plenty of resorts and hotels if you intend to stay the night.
9. La Union
If you’re looking for water activities, La Union, a province in the Philippines situated in the Ilocos region of Luzon Island, is the place to go. The province is renowned for its stunning beaches.
La Union has plenty of low-key activities to enjoy if you just want to unwind, swim, snorkel, or find some kid-friendly waves. However, La Union also offers surfing opportunities. Don’t forget to try some Ilocano cuisine; the locals are very welcoming and have great cooking skills.
8. Puerto Galera
At the southwest end of the Isla Verde Passage, approximately 130 kilometers south of Manila, Puerto Galera offers a combination of fun camping and water activities. The beach is fantastic and features a variety of activities like jet skis, banana boats, scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, and much more. The island is encircled by warm water. In addition, the beach is still active at night, so you can go bar hopping and make new friends. When you grow tired of the beach, you can visit the lush mountains that overlook the island or perhaps go camping for the night to experience the best of both worlds.
7. Corregidor Island
Now let’s visit Corregidor Island, one of the most well-known locations and bustling seaports in Philippine history. This island is tucked away at the mouth of Manila Bay in the southwest region of Luzon Island. (An island on an island in a bay! How amazing is that? As the last island in the Philippines to fall into Japanese hands during World War II, it holds special significance for the Japanese, Filipinos, and Americans who helped to liberate it. The tunnels where Americans and Filipinos hid during the war, as well as the cannons they used to combat Japanese ships and aircraft, are still visible as artifacts from those battles.
Some visitors to the island have claimed to sense the spirits of the soldiers who lost their lives in the conflict and to have a lingering sense of those battles. In my experience, thinking about that past and picturing the suffering and hardship of living during WWII was something I did a lot when I visited the island. This is the place to go if you enjoy vivid history.
6. Baguio City
Because of its high altitude, Baguio City is among the coolest places in the Philippines. As summertime in metro Manila is the best time to visit, with temperatures reaching 37°C/98.6°F, it is known as the summer capital of the Philippines. There are plenty of tourist attractions in Baguio City, including a botanical garden, Mines View Park, Wright Park, Burnham Park, where you can go boating or biking, and the mansion that the Philippine president stays in when he pays a visit. Baguio is surrounded by stunning mountains, so you could try mountain climbing there as well. Don’t forget to buy some souvenirs, as this city is well-known for its exquisite wooden crafts.
It’s worth noting that this place has the world’s best halayang ube or purple yam jam. Who makes it, guess what? The best jam ever is made by the nuns at the nearby convent of Good Shepherd, believe it or not. They are also well-known for their extremely sweet and delectable strawberry jam.
The white sand beaches of Boracay are well-known for their glassy smoothness. Situated 315 km (196 mi) south of Manila, the island of Boracay is highly conducive to tourism; in fact, a great deal of time, money, and effort has been put into its development and enhancement. Boracay is the place to go if you want to unwind and have fun in a tourist-oriented area. Great hotels can be found near the beach, and you can find any kind of water adventure you want to name. Some people argue that you have missed the whole point of visiting the Philippines if you don’t go to Boracay.
4. Banaue Rice Terraces
How have I come this far without mentioning the rice terraces etched into Mt. Ifugao, which date back 2000 years? A group of indigenous Filipinos known as the Ifugao people built and maintained these incredible terraces. There is a legend that states that if all of the Ifugao terraces were stacked end to end, they would make two full moon orbits. These magnificent terraces are referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. Not only can you see the terraces when you visit, but you can also interact with the people who created them.
Sagada is a hiking and nature lover’s dream come true. This paradise is one of the newest tourist destinations in the Philippines; it takes about 15 hours by car from the airport, but not many people come here because it’s so far from Manila. Activities include hiking, caving, waterfall visits, rock climbing, and nature excursions. It is customary in the area to bury the deceased in coffins nailed to cliff faces, high above the ground. Don’t miss the hanging coffins.
I was in awe when I first saw this beach. The happiness I felt upon seeing the white sand and crystal-clear water is beyond measure. I just wanted to dive into that water, strip off, and stay there forever.
In Pagudpud, there are a lot of additional sights to see, including waterfalls, lighthouses, and windmills. If I get the chance, I’d like to return there.
The Palawan is my top choice for travel in the Philippines. Palawan would be the name given to the location where all the tourist attractions listed above would be found. In my opinion, Palawan is the Philippines’ most breathtaking location.
The Palawan underground river was just recognized as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Before emptying into the West Philippine Sea, the Cabayugan River travels more than 15 miles (24 km) underground through stalactite and stalagmite-filled caverns. By boat, you can explore it.
You will understand why Palawan is my favorite place to visit in the Philippines if you visit there.
Since I want you to experience these locations’ beauty for yourself, I haven’t included too many photos here. I hope you see what I saw and experience what I did if you do.
Happy traveling, and thanks for reading!