The Philippines is a dream destination, with over 7000 islands surrounded by stunning beaches. Not to mention the alluring green rice fields and diverse history to discover. There are so many beautiful places in the Philippines!
So when I put the call out to my fellow travel bloggers to send me their favourite beautiful places and I was overwhelmed with stunning imagery and amazing descriptions!
If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines then you wouldn’t be disappointed if you start with this list!
Ready to start your beautiful places in the Philippines bucket list?
By Anastasia of Gallivant Girl
Bohol has an abundance of beautiful sights, but the island is perhaps most famous for it’s Chocolate Hills. The Bohol province has 1000+ hills are covered in grass which turn a rich brown colour (like chocolate!) during the dry season, which gives the hills their name.
Bohol is also well known for its population of tarsiers – tiny and terrifically cute fluffy tree-dwelling primates which you can see at the island’s Tarsier Sanctuary.
The island has activities and sights for everyone. The stunning area of Alona Beach is a popular hangout and makes a good base to explore the island.
The serene forest at the centre of the island is home to beautiful caves, rivers, waterfalls, and several adventure parks offering zip-lining, caving, river cruises, and many people choose to stay overnight in this area.
The island is easily explored by a cheap day tour which departs from most hostels and travel agencies. The tours take in most of the island’s main sights in one day for around $5, not including entrance fees and activities. You can also easily explore the island by renting a moped for ~$10 per day.
By Katherine from Tara Lets Anywhere
Sambawan Island is one of the many hidden gems and beautiful places in the Philippines. Located in Biliran province in the Visayan region, this paradise is made up of interconnected islets, featuring towering rocks and a white-sand beach.
Its main island is home to visitors, with a single resort and camping tents as well as cottages for day trips. Here you can become a beach bum or dive in the nearby coral gardens, have a seafood feast, or climb up to the viewing deck, which provides a good view of both ends of the island as well as a spectacular spot for watching sunrise or star gazing at night.
My boyfriend and I had been to a lot of unspoilt beautiful places in the Philippines, and we honestly think that Sambawan Island is one of the best among them.
Sambawan Island can be reached via a short boat ride from Kawayan Port or Maripipi Island in Biliran. From here, it’s possible to island hop to other islands in Biliran as well.
By Lotte from Phenomenal Globe
El Nido is one of those places on earth that is difficult to describe. It’s just too beautiful to find the right words to do it justice. The sharp limestone cliffs, the incredible blue, crystal-clear water, the dreamlike beaches, El Nido pretty much is paradise on earth.
Well, actually the area around El Nido is what you need to explore. While the village itself is nice too, I highly recommend going on a tour to explore this unbelievable place. El Nido is also a great place to get your PADI, the underwater world is just as beautiful as the world above the surface.
By Eloise from Ms Meeting Adventures
This small town in the Mountain Province is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines that I have been. It is the perfect “out of town” getaway if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Eight hours away from Manila, Sagada is where you can find challenging caves, magical waterfalls, and exotic dishes.
The culture also adds to its charming aura. For example, the locals in Sagada still practice their burial tradition of stacking coffins against a limestone wall when an ancient Igorot elder dies. Igorot is what you call the ethnic group living in the mountains of the Cordillera Administrative Region.
These stacked coffins or most commonly known as the “Hanging Coffins” can be found in the Echo Valley. It symbolizes the rich culture of the Igorots. The sea of clouds is also one of the highlights of this beautiful place. To witness this breathtaking phenomenon, head over to the Kiltepan Peak before the sun rises and watch the thick sea of clouds in front of you.
By Craig from Vagabond Disposition
Of all the beautiful places in all of my travels thus far, Siquijor Island in the Philippines definitely takes the cake!
From idyllic island roads bordering crystal-blue coastline to long stretches of gently sloping mountains dotted with palm trees, to incredibly gorgeous waterfalls and amazing underwater scenery, Siquijor’s beauty is certainly undeniable.
By motorbike, driving the Siquijor Circumferential Road will lead you to the sleepy beachside town of San Juan, where just off the shore features some truly impressive snorkeling to rival that of Panglao and El Nido. I really could not believe my eyes!
Going further will bring you to the township of Lazi, home to what is, in my opinion, the most beautiful waterfall in the Philippines: Cambugahay Falls. This 3-tier waterfall features some seriously unbelievable powder-blue colours, completely surrounded by rich green palms and fun vines to swing with. There is even a makeshift wooden tower, in which to relax and soak in the scene for yourself.
If you’re after the most beautiful place in the Philippines, then surely add Siquijor Island to the list!
By Bret Love & Mary Gabbett of Green Global Travel
Palawan has been recognized as the most beautiful island in the world multiple times by Travel + Leisure. But Coron is the gem in Palawan’s crown, and every Filipino we met in Manila cracked a big smile and said they were jealous when they found out we were spending a week there.
Coron itself is a bit confusing: It encompasses the town of Coron (located on Busuanga Island), nearby Coron Island, and over 50 minor islets in the Calamian archipelago. But all of it is beautiful, offering a diverse array of things to do in Coron, particularly for nature lovers.
If it’s action you crave, you can climb 723 steps to reach the stunning view from the top of Mount Tapyas, hike to Kayangan Lake (which is considered the cleanest in all of Asia), or snorkel Twin Lagoon (which is surrounded by dynamic karst landscapes).
If wildlife is your thing, you can Scuba dive (we saw 13 sea turtles in one dive!), snorkel with dugongs (a relative of the manatee), or visit the 14-square mile Calauit Safari Park.
But if all you want is some R&R, Coron is the perfect place. You can chill on remote private beaches, soak in the Maquinit Hot Spring, or savour the inexpensive massages available at nearly every resort in the area.
Whichever approach you choose, you’ll leave with a deeper understanding of why Coron is considered one of the world’s most wonderful islands.
By Megan from Red Around The World
Malapascua is a tiny island north of Cebu, just an hour flight from Manila and a few hours by bus, boat, and tricycle from Cebu City. It is most famous for it’s diving with thresher sharks. Most people go to this little piece of paradise for diving, even if they don’t plan to see the sharks.
However, even if you don’t dive, like me, there is still plenty to keep you busy on the island of Malapascua like walking around the island, finding the lighthouse, searching for your own private beach, joining a snorkeling trip, island hopping, or just laying around in a hammock, enjoying the sun and a book.
It’s the perfect place to spend two days or two weeks on your vacation while avoiding some of the crazier crowds in the Philippines.
By Darlene from Point and Shoot Wanderlust
Batanes, the northernmost province of the Philippines, is composed of ten islands, the biggest three of which are the only ones inhabited. It is one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines I’ve been to.
Flights to the province are pricier compared to other destinations in the country which sometimes deters a lot of travelers. Bad weather also affects transportation to the province. It is a good thing to help preserve the province’s untouched beauty.
When I think of Batanes, I remember its rolling hills, its verdant landscape, unspoiled beaches, the fresh air, the honest and hospitable people (zero crime rate!), turquoise blue waters, and breathtaking views of the horizon.
While you’re there, take the time to learn about the interesting culture of the Ivatans and try their local food as well. Allot more time on your trip so you can also visit Itbayat, the biggest inhabited island in the province and one of the country’s last frontiers. The boat ride there will be one of the most memorable you’ll take in your life!
By Slavi from Global Castaway
When thinking of The Philippines, most people imagine tropical beaches, desert islands, and coral reefs. And while places like Boracay, Bohol and El Nido are swarming with tourists, one of the most breathtaking places, not only in the Philippines but the whole world, remains relatively unnoticed.
Just a night-bus distance from Manila, situated in the mountain rainforests up north is the small town of Banaue – home of 2000 years old rice terraces. Often called the 8th wonder of the world, this UNESCO World Heritage site is located approximately 1500 meters above sea level and is still used for rice planting.
No matter how many beautiful places in the Philippines you have under your belt, nothing can prepare you for the first glimpse of the terraces. They are so massive; it’s said if all of them were put end to end, they would equal to half the circumference of the earth.
By Ron of Red Pill Rebellion
If you’re looking for one of the most beautiful places in the world, look no further than the island of Siargao in the Philippines. This remote location is most famous for surfing and yoga, but has so much more to offer.
The surfing spot, Cloud 9, is world famous and it attracts international and local travelers alike. It was even the inspiration for the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s song, “The Longest Wave.” It does get a bit crowded during the surfing season which is why locals sometimes call it “Crowd 9.”
In addition to surfing, there are many other activities to partake in that will quench your thirst for adventure. You can go to Sugba Lagoon that offers paddle boarding, kayaking or run and jump from the 10-foot diving board into the crystal blue water down below.
You can also enjoy island hopping, cave pools, Taktak Falls, as well as some local food, music, and culture. If you want to center yourself and make the most of this relaxing island, you can practically find a good spot to do yoga on every corner.
Siargao is one of my favorite places in the world! The laid-back attitude, amazing food and the sheer untainted beauty it has to offer will certainly draw you in. Most visitors limit themselves to the activities in just the General Luna area. However, it has so much to offer, I highly recommend exploring the whole island. Don’t miss this one!
By Mike of 197 Travel Stamps
Boracay is definitely not an off-the-beaten-path destination anymore. It has been named the best island in the Philippines for several years. And the fact that many tourists have traveled to the island before is what makes a visit so relaxing and stress-free.
Whatever you may feel like doing on your perfect beach vacation, you will find the right activity on Boracay. The north coast of the island is one of the best places in the world to learn kite surfing while White Beach on the southern side invites its visitors to relax, snorkel and dive.
What makes Boracay a very special place for me are the incredible sunsets that happen on most evenings. Once the sun starts to sink into the ocean, the sky lights up in the most beautiful color while the last boats make their way back to shore.
The range of evening activities is just as broad as during daytime. If you are looking for peace and quiet, you will find a wide range of exquisite restaurants and if you need something wilder, you can join one of the pub crawls.
Note: Boracay is closed for six months from April 2018 to allow the island to work on their infrastructure and environmental policies, to continue to allow future visitors to experience this beautiful place.
By Noel from Travel Photo Discovery
Vigan city, located in the northern district of Ilocos Sud in the Philippines, is a unique and intact colonial city of Spanish heritage. In fact, the entire city is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the well maintained and revitalized historic district that gives this city a complete colonial vibe and feel.
Historic homes have been converted to living museums, small inns, restaurants, and other tourism-related businesses that draw visitors mostly from around the country. If you are looking for something historic and different from the typical Philipino tourist experience, then check out all the amazing things to do in Vigan.
By Mike of Live Travel Teach
If you have a bucket list anything like mine then tropical islands in the Philippines are probably on your list! Although there are beautiful beaches, the truth is I’m a sucker for waterfalls and with Tumalog Falls, Kawasan Falls, and Cambais Falls, Cebu is the perfect spot for your beautiful getaway.
If you’re up for an adventure you can enjoy canyoning in some of these deluges while others are perfect for an afternoon swim or just a picnic with a view. You’ll also find some fun island hopping trips to Bohol and other tropical islands near Cebu but I preferred to spend my time relaxing on the Moalboal beaches and diving with whale sharks in Oslob.
However you decide to spend your time on Cebu I’m sure you’ll have a blast!
Pro Tip: Make sure you rent a motorbike to see Cebu like a local!
By Jessica from Longest Bus Rides
Maligcong lies a day’s bus ride north of Manila, in the Philippines. Rice paddies and mountains make up the landscape, and is a wonderful place for photography (drones are permitted). This village is known as a jumping off point for overnight mountain treks.
The village weaves along a single paved road on a mountain ridge, and there isn’t much to do apart from wandering rice paddies, visiting the local school, and enjoying the gorgeous landscape and peace and quiet. Quite simply, it’s the perfect place for rest and relaxation for the budget traveler who enjoys cultural immersion.
Accommodation is family run. I stayed at Suzette’s Homestay, which is clean, friendly, and has a great porch overlooking a mountainside of rice paddies. Look out for whatever fruit trees are in season—banana, papaya, mango, and lemon.
Getting there: A 25-minute drive up the mountain by jeepney from Bontoc. Stock up on any supplies in Bontoc. From Bontoc, you can also access Barlig for more trekking, or a day hike up Mt. Amoyao. Alternatively, take a jeepney to Sagada for the amazing cave and coffins hanging on cliffsides.
By Lindsay from I’ve Been Bit
This is one view will take your breath away along with the hike to get to it! While it’s quite the trek to get there, Mount Pinatubo’s crater is not to be missed when visiting The Philippines. Make sure you have some sturdy shoes and lots of water for this adventure!
Follow your guide as you take in the beauty around you while climbing through rocky terrain. You’ll know you’re getting close as the vegetation becomes more luscious and green, but nothing will prepare you for the view at the end. Take your time and enjoy one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines, the gorgeous vista of Crater Lake – you earned it!
By Kevin of The Outcast Journey
It’s difficult to choose among the islands of Caramoan as they all look like the same beaches of your dreams. The islands of Caramoan has already been used by the TV franchise ‘Survivor’ for several seasons! No wonder it’s one of the best beaches in the Philippines, you just want to keep coming back!
However, it’s quite a challenge to reach the place. It takes approximately 12 hours of land travel and most of its islands are only accessible using boats.
The heavenly waters of Matukad Island are backed up by the rolling hills of Guinahoan Island and be dazzled by the white sand of Manlawi, making it one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines for sure.
It’s also a good spot for snorkellers too! From the stunning coastline overlooking the Pacific Ocean, up into the mountains where you can meet the locals, there are so many beautiful Caramoan Islands that you should visit.
Are you convinced to plan your trip yet?!
Planning your trip to the Philippines
- Decided when you should go! Check out – Best Time to Visit the Philippines
- Thinking of making a move to the Philippines more permanent? Learn what moving to the Philippines is like
- Want some more inspiration for your next big trip? Decided where you and your backpack should head next!
- Needs some handy tips? 10 tips for travelling in Southeast Asia
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