The Philippines is home to just over 7,000 islands, each of them offering visitors unique experiences, cultures, and landscapes. From white sand beaches to lofty volcanic peaks. The Philippines really does have it all. There are so many tourist spots in the Philippines that we’ve decided to put together this extensive list of the best places to visit.
Don’t leave home without your Lonely Planet Philippines (Travel Guide)
These days, if you see a beautiful picture of the Philippines, the chances are high that it may well be of Coron. This small group of islands north of Palawan are truly some of the most aesthetically pleasing in the country. There are hundreds of small islands, beaches, lagoons, and lakes to explore by boat and the water is always incredibly clear.
Related Article: Coron Palawan: The Only Guide You Need
Our top recommended tours of Coron:
- Coron Town Tour With Dinner
- Coron Ultimate Tour
- Coron Wreck and Beach Historical Tour
- Full-Day Coron Island Ecotours
A trip to Corregidor is one of the best day trips from Manila. A cruise out across the bay of Manila takes visitors to this important and historic island, which was used to defend the city for centuries.
You can walk around the ruins of forts and tunnels that played a pivotal role during World War II and have a significant place in Filipino history.
Our top recommended tours of Corregidor Island:
- WWII and Corregidor Island: Historical Sightseeing Tour from Manila
- Corregidor Day Trip from Manila
- Corregidor Island Historical Bike Tour from Manila
- Full-Day Corregidor Island Tour from Manila
El Nido, Palawan
Palawan is often cited as being one of the most beautiful islands in the entire world, and a large part of that recognition is found in spectacular El Nido. This small fishing village has fast grown into a tourist hot spot, as visitors travel here to see the white sand beaches, turquoise waters and limestone cliffs as they island hop their way around the spectacular surrounding area.
Our top recommended tours of El Nido:
- El Nido Island-Hopping Tour
- Palawan: Puerto Princesa and El Nido
- El Nido Island Hopping: Hidden Beaches and Shrine Tour
Iloilo City is centrally located in the Philippines and has gained a reputation for itself as the festival capital of the nation. People visit to experience the culture, arts, and music, as the locals are proud of their unique identity; a mixture of Hispanic and Filipino traditions.
Makati is one of the largest and most important areas within the sprawling Metro Manila area. It’s the country’s financial capital, it’s the most modern part of Manila and here you can find upscale restaurants, endless nightlife and sprawling shopping malls and entertainment centers.
Tagaytay is an area south of Metro Manila known for its cool climate and beautiful volcanic scenery. It’s a favorite for those looking to escape Manila’s monstrous humidity, and there are many countryside restaurants and cafes to visit as well as the incredible Lake Taal, a freshwater lake found within the crater of a huge volcano.
Our top recommended tours of Tagaytay:
- Manila Sightseeing plus Tagaytay Tour with Taal Volcano
- Tagaytay and Taal Volcano Day Trip from Manila
- Tagaytay Day Tour Sightseeing From Manila
- ZOORI (Zoo at Residence Inn Tagaytay)
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Puerto Princesa is the largest city on the island of Palawan, and just outside of this provincial capital is one of the Philippines’ most spectacular natural wonders, the underground river. Under the mountains, a river stretches for several kilometers and a large part of it is navigable by small boats. The underground river has become one of Palawan’s most exciting attractions.
Our top recommended tours of Puerto Princesa:
- Underground River Day Trip from Puerto Princesa City
- Puerto Princesa Fireflies Watching with Dinner
- Puerto Princesa – Underground River Tour
- Puerto Princesa Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour
Banaue Rice Terraces
The incredible Banaue Rice Terraces are a spectacular sight. Carved into the mountainside, for hundreds of years locals have been raising crops on these stepped terraces. The area is lush and green and the hiking options are immense.
Intramuros is the old, walled city of Manila that dates back to the days of the first Spanish colonizers in the Philippine islands. They built grand cathedrals and sturdy defenses that are today, still an integral part of the capital. The best way to experience Intramuros is to simply walk the old cobbled streets of this historic area.
Our top recommended tours of Intramuros:
- Manila Old and New: Sightseeing Tour Including Intramuros
- Manila Sightseeing plus Tagaytay Tour with Taal Volcano
- Private Old and New Manila City Tour
- Private Half-Day Manila with Rizal Park and Fort Santiago
Cagayan de Oro
Cagayan de Oro is the biggest city in Northern Mindanao. The city is becoming known as the whitewater rafting capital of the Philippines, as the nearby river is beautifully scenic and loaded with rapids suitable for all levels of rafters, from experts to those with absolutely zero experience.
Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Philippines (Travel Guide)
Boracay is an island that is both legendary and infamous amongst travelers. It’s one of the most visited islands in the Philippines, so much so that it has even had to be closed for several months to allow the environment to recover from over-tourism.
However, when it returns, there’s no doubt it will remain a place for party animals and white sand beach lovers to flock to for years to come.
Our top recommended tours of Boracay:
- Tirta Signature Massage in Boracay Island
- Boracay Island Hopping
- Discover Scuba Diving in Boracay
- Open Water PADI Diver Certification in Boracay
Siquijor is known as a mystical, strange island to Filipinos. The rugged island lies between Cebu and Mindanao and is famous for its traditional witch doctors and mystical local customs.
Our top recommended tours of Siquijor Island:
Sagada is a strange, yet intriguing place to visit in the mountains of Luzon. The area is famous for the way the locals bury their loved ones. They place them in coffins and hang them from the side of the cliffs.
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Cebu City might not have the best reputation amongst visitors, and most travelers will simply pass through to reach the beautiful, quieter beaches and islands of Cebu rather than spending time here.
But Cebu City has a huge amount of history that few people actually see, from Spanish colonial forts to Catholic churches, while the city is home to some of the best cuisines in the country; it’s worth visiting just to sample the Pork Lechon.
Our top recommended tours of Cebu City:
- Bohol Day Tour with Round-Trip Transfers from Cebu
- Oslob Whale Shark Watching, Kawasan Falls and Tumalog Falls
- Whale Shark Swimming Experience and Aguinid Falls from Cebu
- Cebu City and Mactan Coach Bus Tour
Oslob is famous for one thing, whale sharks. On the southern tip of Cebu Island, whale sharks congregate throughout the year and it’s possible to swim and dive with these beautiful, large fish in open water.
Our top recommended tours of Oslob:
- Oslob Whale Shark Watching, Kawasan Falls and Tumalog Falls
- Oslob Whale Shark and Kawasan Falls Day Tour
- Private Oslob Cebu Whale Shark Experience
- Budgeted from Bohol to Oslob Cebu Whale Shark Experience
Malapascua is a small yet visibly stunning island in northern Cebu where life is slow and the views are always beautiful. The real attraction though is the chance to see the many hundreds of thresher sharks which appear every day to feed on the local reefs.
Our top recommended tours of Malapascua:
- 4 Night Dive Package to Malapascua Island Cebu
- Thresher Shark Dive from Malapascua Island
- PADI Open Water Course and Thresher Shark Dive
Bohol is just a short boat ride away from Cebu City, and its one of the best places to experience adventure and adrenaline in the Philippines. The island is famous for the Chocolate Hills, a vast area of chocolate colored mounds that look spectacular. There are also many adventure parks with jungle zip lines, quad biking and much more.
Our top recommended tours of Bohol:
- Bohol Countryside Full-Day Tour
- Bohol Highlights Tour
- Private Bohol and Chocolate Hills with Loboc River Cruise
- Private Bohol Evening Firefly Watching Cruise
Panglao Island is found just off the coast of the Bohol, and this is the place to visit to experience beach life. There are many resorts along the white sands of the islands, while out to sea there are reefs and a diverse array of marine life.
Our top recommended tours of Panglao Island:
- Budgeted Panglao Island Tour
- Bohol’s Panglao Island with Island Hopping
- Panglao Tour
- Half-Day Panglao Island Tour
Davao is found in the south of Mindanao and is one of the largest cities in the Philippines. The locals are known for their love of Durian, the smelly fruit that people either love or hate.
The surrounding area is beautiful too, with the nearby Mount Apo being the highest mountain in the country and the spectacular Samal Island being one of the last unknown, resort style islands in the Philippines.
Our top recommended tours of Davao:
- Davao Eden Nature Park Tour
- Half-day Davao City Tour
- Full-day Davao City Tour
- Davao Malagos walking tour with Chocolate Museum
Dumaguete is one of the liveliest cities in Negros Oriental, as it’s a thriving University City. The city’s waterfront is the place to visit, with a bar and cafe culture like no other in the country. Further afield, the natural scenery of the coastline is stunning, with ample chances to snorkel or dive.
Our top recommended tours of Dumaguete:
- Dumaguete Countryside Tour
- Apo Island near Dumaguete City
- Dumaguete Day tour with Apo Island:Swimming with Sea Turtle
Many people breeze through Bacolod on their way through Negros, but the city has much to offer those who stay in the way of history, colonial ruins and nearby eco-parks.
Our top recommended tours of Bacolod:
Romblon is yet to appear on the mass travel radar, which is great because for now the beautiful islands of Romblon can be all yours. The area is known for its incredible, white sandbars and beautiful beaches. Get here before the rest of the world do.
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The Mayon Volcano is one of the most distinctive, conical volcanoes in the Philippines. Its sheer size is staggering, and favorite activities here include trekking and even quad biking around the base.
Our top recommended tour of Mayon Volcano:
Mindoro is located just off the south coast of Luzon and is one of the larger islands in the Philippines. The island is the Philippines in a microcosm, offering everything from beaches, waterfalls, and hiking to resorts and nightlife.
Our top recommended tours of Mindoro:
- White Beach Puerto Galera Island Hopping
- Manila White Beach Island Hopping 2 Days 1 Night Tour
- Mindoro Puerto Galera White Beach Snorkelling Tour
After the more famous Oslob, Donsol in Bicol is the best place to see whale sharks. The tiny fishing village is a quiet, ramshackle place, but diving or snorkeling here with these huge whale sharks is one of the best experiences you could have anywhere.
Siargao is definitely becoming one of the most visited tourist spots in the Philippines. This far-off island was once relatively unknown, except to the surfers who traveled here to experience the huge waves.
Recently, that has changed completely, as word has finally escaped to the rest of the world of the beautiful beaches and spectacular islands.
Our top recommended tours of Siargao Island:
Tablas is actually the largest island within the Romblon Province, and it’s again one of the last really untouched places in this part of the central Philippines. It’s quiet, lazy and beautiful.
Mount Pinatubo has a notorious history of eruption, but this volcano in northern Luzon is one of the most impressive in the country. The huge lake at the summit formed during the last eruption and is beautiful to see.
Our top recommended tours of Mount Pinatubo:
Batanes is one of the last frontiers left to be hit by tourism in the Philippines. It’s far off, in the extreme north of the archipelago and closer to Taiwan than to Manila, but it’s also like nowhere else in the country. The scenery is rugged, more akin to Europe than the tropics, and the culture is completely unique.
Camiguin is as off the beaten track as it gets in the Philippines. Known as the island borne of fire, this volcanic rock is a beautiful place to visit, with untouched waterfalls and one of the whitest sand beaches in the Philippines.
Our top recommended tours of Camiguin:
Recommended Multi-Day Philippines Tours
- G Adventures Northern Philippines and Palawan Adventure– The colorful culture, pristine beaches, and colonial history of the Philippines aren’t easy to capture in just one trip but this 16-day tour is a pretty decent effort. Envelop yourself in colonial history within Manila’s former walled center and the charming town of Vigan, embark on a subterranean boat ride through an underground cave system, and visit a self-governing penal colony. The Philippines’ beaches are some of the world’s best, so we’ve left plenty of time for snorkeling or simply just lounging on the beaches of El Nido. This way, your knowledge of the country will only deepen alongside your tan.
- G Adventures Philippines Palawan Adventure– If you’ve only got time for just one of the Philippines’ tropical destinations, Palawan is it. This eight-day tour brings you to the best of the province from El Nido’s stunning karst stone formations to its turquoise waters and colorful marine life beyond the ocean’s surface. Snorkel above colorful coral reefs, hike the rain forest, and venture through a subterranean river network by boat. But if you prefer a more leisurely pace to your adventures, don’t worry. We’ve left plenty of time for beach bumming too, lounging on remote beach resorts, and cooling off in the waves.
- G Adventures Island Hopping the Philippines– Get a whole new appreciation for the night sky after camping on a beach under a blanket of stars free of light pollution. You’ll experience this and so much more on a 13-day island-hopping tour through the best of Philippines’ nature, beaches, and cultural life. Roam Bohol’s famous Chocolate Hills (not suitable for consumption), snorkel with massive whale sharks in the clearest of clear blue waters (if the season is right), roam through exotic Manila and historic Cebu, and take a boat ride through Palawan’s mesmerizing subterranean river. From interacting with local communities to lots of free time built in, this trip is both meaningful and liberating. So go on and feel free.
- G Adventures Islands of the Philippines on a Shoestring– For travelers looking for a strange and beautiful adventure, this island-hopping adventure will show you the best of the Philippines’ nature, beaches, and cultural life. Roam Bohol’s famous Chocolate Hills (not suitable for consumption), snorkel with massive whale sharks in the clearest of clear blue waters (if the season is right), roam through bustling Manila, chill out in laid-back Siquijor, and soak up the beach vibes of Moalboal. From interacting with local communities to lots of free time built in, this trip is both meaningful and liberating. So go on and feel free.
More on the Philippines:
- Coron Palawan: The Only Guide You Need
- 36 Philippines Photos To Inspire Your Next Vacation
- 25 Amazing Drone Photos of the Philippines
- Crowning Glory Reef: World Class Snorkeling off Culion Island, Philippines
- Glimpses of Culion Island in the Philippines- Photo Essay
- Travel Recap: 4 Weeks in the Philippines
- Philippines Trip of A Lifetime
- Exploring Busuanga and Getting Off the Beaten Track in the Philippines
- Mountain Biking Adventure Busuanga, Philippines
- Finding a Piece of Africa on Calauit Island, Philippines
- Scuba Diving in Puerto Galera, Philippines
- Philippines: How to Get From Manila to Puerto Galera
- 3 Adventures to Try in Ilocos Norte, Philippines
- Philippines: How To Have A Motorbike Adventure in Bohol