Top 10 Tourist Destinations in the Philippines

Updated on November 3, 2016

We all know travel is best when you have a few insider tips about what to see, do, and eat, as well as what to avoid. Because I am a Filipino and I have traveled all over the Philippines, I've had a lot of time and experience to test and refine my top 10 list of destinations. So if you're planning a trip to the Philippines, this article will help you make your trip even better!

#10: Tagaytay

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.

You can reach the beautiful Tagaytay with a short 2-3 hour car ride from the capital. This spot is known for its delicious food like bulalo, or bone marrow, and halayang ube, purple yam jam. The best place for eating these foods is at the Tagaytay Picnic Grove where you can breathe the fresh air and take in the famous sight of the Taal volcano, one of the most popular and active volcanoes in the Philippines. While there, if you want to see the lake, just ask a tricycle driver outside the Picnic Grove, and they will take you on a scenic ride. If you are planning to stay overnight, there are many resorts and hotels, as well.

Tagaytay: The volcano and the lake.
Tagaytay: The volcano and the lake.

#9: La Union

La Union, a province of the Philippines located in the Ilocos region on Luzon Island, is known for its beautiful beaches, so if you are seeking water adventures, this is the place to go.

If you just want to relax, swim, snorkel, or find some child-friendly waves, La Union offers many low-key pleasures, but if you want to do some surfing, La Union has that, too. The local people there are very friendly and there are many excellent cooks so don't forget to taste some local Ilocano food.

The beach at La Union.
The beach at La Union.

#8: Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera, located about 130 kilometers south of Manila at the southwestern end of the Isla Verde Passage, offers a mix of water adventure and camping fun. The island is surrounded by warm water and the beach is great: you'll find banana boats, jet skis, scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, and much more. Plus, when night comes, the beach is still happening so you can bar hop and meet new people. Then, because the island is overlooked by lush mountains, if you get tired of the beach, you can go visit the mountains and forests and maybe do some overnight camping: the best of both worlds.

Puerto Galera: The best of both worlds.
Puerto Galera: The best of both worlds.

#7: Corregidor Island

Let's now go to one of the most prominent places and active seaports in the history of the Philippines, Corregidor Island. This island is nestled in the southwestern part of Luzon Island, at the entrance of Manila Bay. (An island in a bay on an island! How cool is that?) It was the last island in the Philippines to be captured by the Japanese during WWII and is therefore a historic and sentimental place not only for the Filipinos and Japanese, but also for the US, who aided its liberation. You can still see remnants and relics of those battles, including the tunnels where Filipinos and Americans hid during the war and cannons they used to fight the Japanese ships and aircraft.

Some of the tourists that have been to the island have expressed feeling a lingering sense of those battles and say that they can feel the spirits of the soldiers who died during the war. In my experience, when I visited the island, I found myself thinking a lot about that history and imagining the pain and difficulty of life during WWII. So if you like vivid history, this is the place to go.

Corregidor Island: Vivid history.
Corregidor Island: Vivid history.

#6: Baguio City

Baguio City is one of the coolest places in the Philippines due to its high altitude. It is considered the summer capital of the Philippines because the best time to go there is summer, when the temperature in metro Manila reaches 37°C/98.6°F. Baguio City has many tourist spots: a botanical garden, Mines View Park, Wright Park where you can ride a horse, Burnham Park where you can ride a boat or a bike, and the mansion where the president of the Philippines stays when he visits. You can also try mountain climbing (Baguio is surrounded by beautiful mountains), and don't forget to buy some souvenirs because this city is known for its beautiful wooden crafts.

By the way, this is where you'll find the best halayang ube or purple yam jam in the entire world. And guess who makes it? Believe it or not, the nuns in Good Shepherd, a local convent, are the ones who make the best jam ever. They are also famous for their very delicious and sweet strawberry jam.

Baguio City: The coolest place.
Baguio City: The coolest place.

#5: Boracay

Boracay is famous for its white and glassy-smooth sand beaches. The island of Boracay, which is 315 km (196 mi) south of Manila, is very tourist-friendly: in fact, they have spent a lot of time, money, and effort on development and improvements for tourism. If you are seeking to relax and enjoy in one place that caters to tourism, Boracay is the place to be. There are excellent hotels around the beach, and if you're looking for water adventures, you just name it, and you get it. Some say that if you visit the Philippines and skip Boracay, you have missed the whole point.

Boracay: A tourist's dream.
Boracay: A tourist's dream.

#4: Banaue Rice Terraces

How have I gotten this far and not yet mentioned the 2000-year-old rice terraces carved into Mt. Ifugao? These amazing terraces were made and tended by the Ifugao people, a group of native Filipinos. It has been said that if you took every terrace made by the Ifugao and stacked them end to end, they would circle the moon two times. They also call these majestic terraces the eighth wonder of the world. If you visit, not only do you get to see the terraces but you also get to meet the people who made them.

Banaue Rice Terraces: Eighth wonder of the world.
Banaue Rice Terraces: Eighth wonder of the world.

#3: Sagada

If you are a hiker or a nature lover, Sagada will be your paradise. It takes roughly 15 hours from the airport by car to reach this paradise, which is one of the newest tourist destinations in the Philippines, and because it is located so far from Manila, few people visit. Trekking, caving, visiting waterfalls, rock climbing, and nature tripping are all points of interest. Don't miss the hanging coffins—it is a local tradition to bury the dead in coffins nailed to cliff faces, high above the ground.

Sagada: Hanging coffins.
Sagada: Hanging coffins.

#2: Pagudpud

The first time I saw this beach, I was speechless. I can't measure the happiness I felt the when I saw that crystal clear water and white sand. All I wanted to do was take off my clothes, jump in that water, and never come out.

You can also enjoy many other sights in Pagudpud, like windmills, lighthouses, and waterfalls. I want to go back there, if given the chance.

Pagudpud: Epic beaches.
Pagudpud: Epic beaches.

#1: Palawan

My top destination in the Philippines is Palawan. If we took all the tourist spots that I mentioned above and put them in one place, we'd call it Palawan. I'd even say that Palawan is the most beautiful place in the Philippines.

Just recently, the underground river in Palawan was named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The Cabayugan River runs for more than 15 miles (24 km) underground, through caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites before it flows directly into the West Philippine Sea. You can explore it by boat.

If you go to Palawan, you will know why this is my top destination in the Philippines.

Palawan: The most beautiful place in the Philippines.
Palawan: The most beautiful place in the Philippines.

I didn't include too many pictures here because I want you to discover how beautiful these places are on your own. If you do, I hope you see what I saw and feel what I felt.

Thanks for reading and happy travels!

What do you think?

Which is your favorite spot in the Philippines?

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Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        mika 113 minutes ago

        taaaaaanay!!

      • profile image

        Jessie 9 months ago

        Batanes should be here.

      • profile image

        Andy 13 months ago

        Well, Cebu is not part and we have many places to offer as well here. Either you go north side or south side, Cebu has lot to offer. Come visit Visayas as well. Thanks

      • profile image

        jetrob 2 years ago

        thanks for this

      • profile image

        Tourist Spots Finder 3 years ago

        Palawan is amazing. Recognized as the best island in the world.

        http://touristspotsfinder.com/

      • profile image

        pogi 3 years ago

        mas magnda sa pasig

      • profile image

        Lester 3 years ago

        WAW!.. Philippines is really amazing. Especially Pescador Island. I have researched it and I found it amazing. I got a like here. Surely this island is the next top destination in the Philippines.

        http://phptourism.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-sardine...

      • profile image

        kim francis rodriguez 3 years ago

        ang ganda talaga ng ating kapaligian kaya dapat nating itong pangalagaan kasi binigay na sa atin ni God :) to GOD BE THE GLORY!!!!!

      • chateaudumer profile image

        David B Katague 3 years ago from Northern California and the Philippines

        Corrcct web site for Marinduque is: http://marinduquemyislandparadise.blogspot.com

      • chateaudumer profile image

        David B Katague 3 years ago from Northern California and the Philippines

        Do not forget Marinduque! http://myislandparadise.blogspot.com

      • profile image

        Healthyeatingfact 3 years ago

        U may also need to visite 18 most popular tourist attractions in bali – Video Compilation at http://youtu.be/UWPvuIGBEAQ

      • profile image

        mariter bordas 3 years ago

        Bucas grande Island at Surigao Del Norte is I think the best place of all particularly the famous Sohoton Cove.

      • profile image

        mc donald palma 3 years ago

        I LOVE PHILIPPINES! IT'S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES!!!!!!!!!!!

      • profile image

        jonah 3 years ago

        wow so beautiful...amazing place & nature...i love philippines

      • profile image

        belle angelie yumamoj josol 3 years ago

        why the bohol will not include

      • profile image

        benjie 3 years ago

        Boracay is nice and so beautiful island,there are so many prostitutes and so very low price,3 hours is 1500 only...nice place relaxed and enjoying beach,

      • profile image

        mariz palencia 3 years ago

        npuntahan q lng ayyyyy!! palawan

      • profile image

        kathchane 3 years ago

        sa cagayan valley . THE BEST

      • profile image

        kris jayson latap 4 years ago

        ang akng napupuntahan plng ay tagaytay at baguio city

      • profile image

        Brandon 4 years ago

        This is a brilliant website

      • profile image

        janrex 4 years ago

        Sa vigan d best dun lalo na sa vigan heritage

      • profile image

        rollie_spf06 4 years ago

        Philippines is the best place to live in!

      • profile image

        edwin gonzales 4 years ago

        Batanes!

      • profile image

        aisa tabangcora 4 years ago

        Proud to be palawena

      • profile image

        Sam 4 years ago

        Cagayan valley!

      • profile image

        jm 4 years ago

        pero marami naman sa mindanao magaganda .......try mo......

      • profile image

        destiny 4 years ago

        wow!what the.......

      • profile image

        arlene 4 years ago

        our country is the best

      • profile image

        anna dela cruz 5 years ago

        Philippines is the most beautiful place in the worlds?

      • profile image

        mab el 5 years ago

        this picture of windmills is not part of pagudpud but part of bangui, i just want only to correct because this our place. thanks.

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