One of the most important things that any traveler to the Philippines needs to know is where to go. So, we’ve compiled a list of 10 islands in the Philippines that we think are simply spectacular. They’re beautiful, interesting, and represent some of the best this country has to offer. The only question is: which one will you visit first?
El Nido is a coastal strip of what may well be the country’s most impressive group of islands. El Nido is an absolute jewel in Cebu province, and arguably the most developed of the islands in the Visayas. Its clear azure waters are home to thousands of turtles, hundreds of dolphins, and exceptional diving opportunities. The island’s fascinating mix of cultures also includes several indigenous tribes, as well as a few Spanish colonial buildings.
El Nido is not only a great getaway from Manila. It’s also a great place to travel with children. A beachside restaurant located inside the island makes for a great lunch spot, particularly if you’ve come out on a whale watching tour. Locally caught seafood is also plentiful here, and there’s even a small turtle hatchery that provides visitors with an insight into El Nido’s unique ecosystem.
If you’re in Cebu and want to do some island hopping, or just explore some beautiful Costa Pacifica scenery, then El Nido is well worth the visit.
The Visayan Islands are what people often think of when they think about the Philippines. They’re tropical, forested, and have a laid-back charm, not unlike that of the rest of the country. But whereas the country’s long coastline is perhaps better known for its rather touristy beach resorts, the islands offer a second option. One you can get to by boat—or even better, by motorcycle.
The Visayas are home to some of the best of Filipino culture, including festivals and paraw (a boat made from a single tree trunk). But most impressive is their natural beauty. The islands are mountainous in the center, and offer a stark contrast against the azure waters that surround them. These islands can make for excellent adventure destinations—provided you can keep out of trouble in these rural hotspots.
If you want to see what makes the Philippines so unique, then these islands might be just what you’re looking for.
Bohol is a bit of a hidden gem, although that may change soon. Located in central Mindanao, the island is home to both traditional Filipino culture and beautiful beaches. The city of Tagbilaran is full of great things to see, including a replica of the Hajar al-Aswad mosque. Located about 6 kilometers from the center of town, this mosque is one of the oldest in the country.
Bohol is also home to several Spanish Colonial buildings, and a few World War II era Japanese fortifications. While it’s not as popular as other destinations in the country, it’s still more than worth a visit. Not only does it offer some great scenery for sightseeing, but it’s also suitable as a base for diving and other outdoor activities. There are also several cobblestone-paved streets here that you can walk along. With a gentle climate and a relaxed culture, Bohol is definitely worth a couple of days. And if you’re in the area, why not visit nearby Leyte?
Boracay is one of the world’s best tropical beach destinations. If there were ever a place to go to escape from the rest of the world, then Boracay is it. This island manages to combine a laid-back lifestyle with the glitzy glamor of the palm-lined beaches and water sports that make it so popular. It’s clear why this is one of the most visited islands in the country.
But don’t go here if you’re looking for an authentic cultural experience. Boracay is your quintessential Philippine tourist trap. But if you’re just looking for a good time, then you could do worse than spending a week or two on this island and soaking up its warm summer rays.
Baclayon is an uninhabited island in the Philippines, about 35 kilometers from Cebu City. Accessible only by water, it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique ‘architecture of the sea’. What comprises this unique architecture is scavenged from fallen cockerels and serves as limestone foundations for the islands’ man-made islands and small ‘coral gardens’. The surrounding waters are also home to thousands of turtles. As there are only two ferry companies in the Philippines that provide access to Baclayon, and these don’t ply between Cebu and Bohol, it’s not surprising that the island is not well-known. But if you’re seeking a slightly offbeat spot, then this might be something to consider
Coron is a secluded island that’s home to some of the best diving and snorkeling opportunities in the country. It’s also a popular destination for those looking for a coral reef adventure, but you’ll have to pay a little extra if you want to dive or snorkel here. It’s also possible to take boat tours into the Tukang Besi archipelago, which is home to several small islands and an exceptional ecosystem of marine wildlife.
But Coron is more than a dive site. It’s also very popular with backpackers looking for a few days of exploring. At night, it can be a little rowdy, but during the day it seems to retain some of its peaceful heritage. So, if you’re looking for an adventure, then chances are that you’ll find what you’re looking for in Coron.
Palawan is sometimes referred to as the Philippines’ last frontier. It’s the country’s largest island, but it also has a large number of unspoiled beaches that make it a great destination for those looking for some adventure. There are some excellent scuba diving opportunities here, including one of the world’s best wreck dives. But most people come here to snorkel the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. This is one of the best ways to explore a mangrove forest while keeping cool in an underground river.
There’s also the Underground River Cave and the Taytay Falls, which have several swimming holes that are perfect places to chill out after a day of sightseeing. And with over 2,000 endemic plant species, you’ll certainly be able to find something new to see here. There’s also the Basilan Strait, which is home to a number of small uninhabited islands and coral reefs that make for great scuba diving.
All in all, Palawan has some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the country, as well as some very interesting beach destinations. If you’re looking for a break from the crowds of Manila, then it’s certainly worth checking out.
Puerto Galera has a reputation as one of the most interesting places to visit in the Philippines. It’s the premier destination for those who want to enjoy tropical beaches and water sports, but it’s also home to some fascinating attractions, including the Puerto-Galera Mangrove Forest. This area is home to over a thousand different species of birds and wildlife, such as orangutans and wild pigs.
There are also several unique beaches here, including Las Cabanas Beach and the more secluded Sunset Beach. There’s a lot to see here, which makes it a great place to visit for at least a week. If you like to dive or snorkel, then you’ll certainly find plenty of opportunities here. There are a number of options for dinner cruises, including one that will take you through some of the best snorkeling and diving spots. You can also organize a sunset charter boat or private yacht to take you to some of the more remote bays and beaches. This is one of the best places to see the sun set over the water, which makes it perfect for relaxing after an exhausting day.
Other great places you can visit while you’re in Puerto Galera include the Butterfly Garden and the Manila Bay Sunset Cruise. Puerto Galera is certainly one of the more interesting tourist destinations in the country, so make sure that you consider a visit when you’re planning your trip to the Philippines.
If you’re looking for some adventure on your vacation, then Moalboal is an excellent destination. This region has been a popular holiday destination for surfers. Yet it’s also a great place to see nearby islands including Busuanga, Siargao, and Mactan Island. With little time and money to spare, you can visit all three islands in the region on the same day. This is one of the best options for first-time visitors or people who have been enjoying foreign travel a while but would really like to partake in some serious relaxation.
You’ll find that Moalboal town is just as laid back as it sounds. In fact, you’ll find the pace of life in the area very easy. The culture is friendly and welcoming, and the people will gladly show you all their best spots to see during your time there. If it’s some sights and sounds that you seek, then look no further than these options for your trip:
The Balicasag Island National Marine Sanctuary has been attracting tourists for many years. And its popularity is easy to understand. This island features a number of attractions that are sure to please any visitor. One of these is the sea caves, which are like a literal underground world. The canyons on Great Caves Island also attract tourists, who come for a view of the crystal clear water. And as for the trips to Goat Island and Camp Cove, these have become truly popular with tourists because of their beauty and spectacular views.
Puerto Princesa is very different from Puerto Galera. It’s a lot more laid back, but you’ll still be able to enjoy some great snorkeling, diving, and beaches. There are a number of interesting attractions here as well, including the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park. This is home to an incredibly beautiful river cave that includes several underground lakes and waterfalls. It’s such an amazing place that many people go back to visit it again and again.
This is also the home of the biggest turtle sanctuary in the Philippines. This is a great place to go to see some of the turtles come out of their nests, and it’s quite beautiful. You can also find a number of other animals here as well, including crocodiles, snakes, and monkeys. Be advised that this area is considered very unsafe for tourists. Many people have been attacked here, so it’s not recommended for anyone who isn’t very comfortable with the idea of exploring the jungle alone. However, if you’re feeling confident and are up for a challenge, this is an excellent place to visit. Don’t forget your mosquito repellent!