Are you looking for the best places to visit in the Philippines? There are more than 7,000 islands to choose from, so as a first-time visitor, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose destinations for your trip, especially if you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path places to visit in the Philippines.
To make things a bit easier, I’ve made this list with 25 amazing places in the Philippines that should definitely be considered for your next trip!
1. Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano is located on the island of Luzon in the Bicol region. It’s an active stratovolcano with a perfect cone shape.
It’s one of the most spectacular places to photograph in the Philippines with the iconic reflection of the volcano in the nearby lake.
2. Coron Island
If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines, you’ve probably seen photos from the Palawan Islands, and most likely from the Twin lagoon in Coron.
It’s easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Philippines, and it should definitely be listed on your bucket list!
3. Banaue rice terraces
The Rice Terraces in the Philippines are quite unknown compared to the Tegallalang Rice terraces in Bali or the SaPa Valley in Vietnam. But the Banaue rice terraces are very impressive and offers a genuine experience that will surely become a memory for life.
They were carved into the mountains of Ifugao by the ancestors of the local people living there today. The rice terraces in Banaue are sometimes referred to as the eighth wonder of the world because they are built largely by hand with minimal use of tools.
If you’re looking for a more remote experience, the Siargao island is very beautiful but not as touristy yet. It’s a dream destination for the adventurer and those who love spending time in the water.
The waters surrounding Siargao is teeming with marine life, and the island is full of lovely beaches and crystal clear water. The atmosphere is quite relaxed, and it’s a great place to get to know some Filipino culture as well.
5. Chocolate Hills
Despite its name, there is no chocolate to be found at the chocolate hills in Bohol, but you’ll be met with scenic views and hundreds of hills that look like small chocolate mountains when they change in color.
You might have heard of Oslob and that you can swim with whale sharks there, but it’s much better to visit Donsol, which is ethical and don’t do the same bad behaviors as the tour operators of Oslob.
Donsol is located in the Sorsogon province and is one of the best off-the-beaten-path places to visit in the Philippines.
7. Cebu City
Cebu City is the main city of Cebu island, and it holds some important historical places from colonial times. It’s also the gateway to more than 150 smaller islands.
The street food of Cebu is particularly famous, so don’t forget to try some of the local dishes!
8. Taal Volcano
The Taal Volcano might be one the coolest places in the Philippines, located on the island of Luzon. If you feel adventurous, you can even go hiking here!
9. Tubbataha Reef
If snorkeling and diving is your thing, then you should visit the Tubbataha national park, which is located in the middle of the Sulu sea.
Tourists are only allowed to come here via a liveaboard boat, but it’s well worth it as the Tubbataha Reef is teeming with marine life.
Boracay is one of the most popular places to visit in the Philippines. The island is renowned for its white sandy beaches and turquoise water, and there are lots of development going on.
The island got so popular that it had to close down as it couldn’t coup with the number of tourists wanting to go here. But now, it’s opened up again, and you can once again enjoy the beautiful beaches of Boracay.
11. Mount Pulag
There are many impressive mountains in the Philippines and Mount Pulag is the highest peak of Luzon island with a peak height of 2,926 meters above the sea.
The views from the top are very striking and it takes about 4-6 hours to reach the summit.
Siquijor is another beautiful island in the Philippines that I think everyone should visit at least once.
In addition to natural beauty with beaches and waterfalls, the island is also famous for witchcraft and shamanism, which can be a cool cultural experience where you get the see the mystical side of Siquijor.
Vigan is one of the most well-preserved colonial cities in the Philippines, and it’s located in the northwestern part of Luzon island.
14. El Nido
El Nido is another beautiful place in the Palawan Islands that shouldn’t be missed. Fly to Puerto Princesa and from there it’s easy to reach El Nido, where some stunning scenery and various shades of blue water await.
15. Tarsier Sanctuary, Corella
On the island of Bohol, you can find this particular little creature, better known as the Philippine Tarsier. It’s one of the smallest primates in the world, and you can visit the Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella, which is the only ethical place to see them, except in the wild.
16. Camiguin Island
Camiguin Island is a small but lovely island which is located north of Davao. It’s famous for its white sand and mountainous backdrop. The island was shaped by volcanic eruptions and is also nicknamed the island born of fire.
Sagada is one of the most peculiar places to visit in the Philippines. It’s located in the mountain of Luzon island, and it’s known for the hanging coffins in the Echo Valley.
It’s quite a remote mountain region with lots of caves, rice terraces, and waterfalls to explore, but you’ll still find a selection of guesthouses and local restaurants.
18. Kalangaman Island
If you’ve ever dreamt of visiting a small island with a long strip of white sand, and crystal clear water in various shades of blue, then the Kalangaman Island is the place for you!
19. Kawasan Falls
Kawasan Falls is one of the major attractions on the island of Cebu, and it’s a beautiful waterfall with turquoise water in the middle of the jungle. It has 3 levels, and it’s quite popular to go canyoneering here as well.
Baguio city might be one of the most colorful places to visit in the Philippines, and it’s known for its many colorful houses.
It’s a mountain resort town nicknamed “the city of pines” and it’s a popular getaway during the hot summer mountains, due to cooler mountainous air.
Dumaguete is a beautiful coastal city on Negros island in the southern part of the country. It’s full of history and it makes a great base to explore the nearby mountains, waterfalls, and beaches.
All in all, you’ll get a very local feeling when you visit Dumaguete.
22. Mount Apo
Mount Apo is the highest point of the Philippines, and it’s an active stratovolcano located on the island of Davao. You can easily reach the area from Davao City, and you can even reach the summit, from where you get an amazing view.
23. Enchanted River, Surigao del Sur
The Enchanted River is one of the most beautiful natural places to visit in the Philippines, and it’s located in Surigao del Sur, on the east coast of Mindanao.
It’s also known as the Hinatuan Sacred River, and the water is crystal clear with an amazing emerald blue color.
24. Maria Cristina Falls
If you wanna go chasing waterfalls in the Philippines, you might as well write down the beautiful Maria Cristina Falls on your list.
It’s located just outside the Iligan City (Mindanao Island), which is known as the City of Majestic Waterfalls because of its proximity to more than 20 stunning waterfalls.
Last but not least, the capital of the Philippines, Manila, formerly ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Luckily, things have changed and Manila is generally safe to visit these days, and the city is massive!
The Manila Metro has a population of more than 13 million people and here you can experience Filipino history, food, and culture.
More Places to Visit in the Philippines
- Ilocos Norte (famous heritage destination)
- Batanes (Idyllic rolling hills)
- Lake Sebu (One of the most beautiful lakes)
- Manjuyod Sandbar (“Maldives of the Philippines”)
- Iloilo City (famous food destination)
Book Your Trip
So, now that you know about all these beautiful places to visit in the Philippines, it’s time to book your trip!
The Philippines is an incredible destination where you can spend weeks or even months. If you know some more beautiful places to visit in the Philippines, feel free to share in the comment section!