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10 Best Travel Destinations in the Philippines – Top Choices from Filipino Travel Bloggers

best travel destination

There is no doubt that the Philippines is a beautiful country filled with a variety of destinations for everyone to enjoy. As an archipelago, the country is blessed with miles of beaches and lots of seas. Aside from the favorite destinations along the coastal areas, there are also plenty of great spots to enjoy further inland, including lakes, mountains, waterfalls, hot or cold springs, nature parks, and other tourist favorites.

Many Filipinos dream of going to other countries to visit the famous attractions that captured the world’s attention yet we don’t really have to go far (and spend a lot of money) to have a great time because the Philippines has plenty of exciting spots to offer as well.

Now, with so many places to explore in a country comprised of more than 7,100 islands, where do we start? Well, the best (and often the cheapest) way to do it is to start off with the attractions located within the place you are living in.

But if you’ve already explored those nearby attractions and wish to try out a new destination, you should check out the best travel destinations in the Philippines – straight from the people who have experienced a lot of places in the country: Filipino travel bloggers!

We asked 10 of the country’s travel bloggers to share their favorite destinations in the Philippines, based on the places they have visited. Their answers just might surprise you!

Check out the 10 best travel destinations in the Philippines according to Filipino travel bloggers:

1. Dennis Dolojan of The Chronicles of Love Mindanao

As I have wandered around the Philippines, Maligcong Rice Terraces was far the best destination I have across with. This thousand-year old heritage site is still not yet recognized by many but has been standing silently waiting for the Filipinos to discover.

Unlike the other rice terraces in the Philippines, Maligcong is still considered intact and pristine but facing destruction with the proposed mining in the nearby town, Mainit.

To appreciate the beauty of this hidden treasure, one must trek by dawn to the highest point of Ang Tong Faw, the Mt. Kofafey.

As the sun strikes on the cotton-like clouds, it unveils in a curtain-like manner the vast and magnificent rice terraces. Be sure to have a cup of coffee with you to keep you warm as the temperature here can drop up to 10 C°.

Camping at the peak of Kofafey is best recommended during the month of June to August to witness the green to golden fields of Favarey, Favayun and Fang-arao.

Maligcong rice terraces
Photo Credit : Dennis Dolojan/The Chronicles of Love Mindanao

2. Mai Flores of Budget Biyahera

Ilocos Norte would have to be one of my favorite provinces in the Philippines, especially Pagudpud, as it has the full package: gorgeous beaches (Saud and Blue Lagoon), beautiful landscapes, sumptuous local cuisines and more.

When visiting the fourth-class municipality, make sure to book the North Tour, where you’ll get to see the following attractions:

  1. Patapat Viaduct (the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines)
  2. Kabigan Falls
  3. Paraiso ni Anton (believed to have healing powers)
  4. Agua Grande Picnic Park
  5. Timmangtang Rock and Bantay Abot Cave (rocks that were believed to have been past lovers, but are now distant from each other)

You can also book the South Tour, so you can explore the other side of Ilocos Norte, particularly the areas of Bangui (Bangui Windmills) and Burgos (Cape Bojeador Lighthouse and Kapurpurawan Rock Formation).

ilocos norte
Photo Credit : Mai Flores/Budget Biyahera

3. Melo Villareal of Out of Town Blog

El Nido has many secret beaches, hidden coves, beautiful lagoons, enchanting caves, majestic falls and diving spots to explore.

When in El Nido, visit Nacpan Calitang Twin Beach. The place boasts of a slow descending white beach with turquoise waters that is best viewed if you hike a hill located nearby.

El_Nido,_Palawan,_Philippines
By Jerick Parrone (Flickr: El Nido, Palawan, Philippines) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
4. Chyng Reyes of No Spam, No Virus, No Kiddin’!

For me, it’s Coron. The lagoons, pristine beaches, rock formations, and corals always left me breathless.

Go island hopping, soak in the sun, swim with the underwater creatures, and most of all – slow down and take time to appreciate nature at its finest. 

Coron
Photo Credit : Chyng Reyes/No Spam, No Virus, No Kiddin’!

5. Chino Pantua of Juanderfulpinoy.com

The Philippines is undoubtedly one of the most exotic places in the world. It’s home to more natural wonders and it has stunning cities, extremely engaging history and obviously happy people. Are you up for a challenge? Then why not explore Babuyan’s Calayan Island.

Calayan Island is a destination less travelled (undeveloped and pristine). Getting there is an adventure itself. There’s no night life, no airport, no restaurant, no resort and no public market. Riding a Lampitaw is a moment you will certainly remember so prepare to be under the heat of the sun for hours. Experience a different kind of high by exploring unspoiled waterfalls, scenic beaches and other JAW-DROPPING landmarks.

For more information visit my blog at Juanderfulpinoy.com

calayan
Photo Credit : Chino Pantua/Juanderfulpinoy.com

6. Aleah Taboclaon of Solitary Wanderer

Of all the places I’d been to in the Philippines, there is one that I would go back to again and again: Batanes. The rolling hills, the long coastline, and the warmth of its people have hooked me in for good, and if I were not backpacking in South America, I would be back there now.

The province is composed of ten islands; three of which are frequented by tourists—Batan, Sabtang, and Itbayat. If you only have 4-5 days, explore North and South Batan and Sabtang. You will see lighthouses, rolling green hills (you would love the Marlboro Country!), white sand beaches, and gorgeous views from the cliffs. If you have more time to spend, visit Itbayat. Best of all, enjoy the Ivatan food; you can eat lobster there at a fraction of the price in the mainland!

batanes - solitarywanderer
Photo Credit : Aleah Taboclaon/Solitary Wanderer

7. Lisa Marie Mirasol of Pinay Travelista

Apo Island is a favorite. It’s one of the best and favorite travel destination for it’s beach, and marine life. The beaches may not have fine sand compared to some of the beaches in the country but I like that the whole island, and seascape is a protected area that there’s healthy marine life a few steps from the beach.

The best thing to do at Apo Island is go scuba diving and/or snorkeling. You can also trek, and explore the rest of the island, and best you go there for some underwater adventure.

Apo Island
Photo Credit : Lisa Marie Mirasol/Pinay Travelista

8. Vins Carlos of The Poor Traveller

Sagada has always been a favorite among many travelers, and it’s not hard at all to see why. Sagada’s rustic beauty appeals to almost any type of traveler. Whether you’re in search of adventure, culture or nature, you will have a fantastic time in Sagada. Heck, after Sagada is made even more popular by the film That Thing Called Tadhana, you can count those in search of love too.

Growing up in cities like Manila and Angeles, I have always dreamt of experiencing the highlands of Cordillera. Sagada gave me that chance for the first time, making it a trip to remember. The town sprawls on top of a network of 60 caves and is fringed with terraced mountainsides.

The best things to do? First is spelunking. Sumaguing Cave offers four wildly enjoyable and exhilarating hours that even beginners can appreciate. Another must-visit destination is Kiltepan, where you could witness what, to me, is the best sunrise ever.

Sagada_Sunrise
By Jungarcia888 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
9. Yoshke Dimen of The Poor Traveller

South Cotabato is one of those destinations that many Manila-dwellers won’t even consider simply because of its undeserved and inaccurate reputation. Every time we feature it on our social channels, we almost always get doubtful responses questioning security or simply expressing fear. But South Cotabato is safe. And absolutely wonderful, too!

South Cotabato is almost untouched, something that cannot be said about many of the country’s top destinations. A day of exhausting but extremely rewarding trek up Mt. Melibingoy led me to one of the cleanest and most stunning lakes I’ve seen, Lake Holon. An hour rafting through the lotus lilies of Lake Sebu while indigenous music played gave us a glimpse of the T’boli culture. A minute on the Seven Falls Zipline treated my eyes to the most majestic view as adrenaline rushed through my veins. South Cotabato is brimming with pure natural beauty.

The_picturesque_view_of_Lake_Sebu.
By GinaD (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
10. Angel Juarez of Lakwatsero

From the modern vibe of the city living to the quaint and laid back life of the countryside… Cebu definitely has it all! The vivid depths of its waters, the glorifying hues of its peaks and everything in between make this island province one of the best places, if not the best, in the country!

The possibilities are endless in Cebu! Experience the Sinulog Festival, party with the city crowd, feast with the island’s sumptuous delicacies, bask in the white sand beaches of Bantayan and Camotes, dive the waters of Moalboal and Malapascua, climb Osmeña Peak, go skydiving in the north or discover the hidden waterfalls of the south. It is a perfect synergy of adventure and nature, of history and culture, and of man made and natural wonders.

Cambais Falls, Alegria, Cebu
Photo Credit : Angel Juarez/Lakwatsero

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