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Sights and Attractions

There's a good reason why they say: It's more fun in the Philippines. Why not see and experience the best sights and attractions in the Philippines for yourself?

Philippines - Sights And Attractions Insider Tips

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With more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines is an absolute dream travel destination in Southeast Asia.  The hardest decision you make as a traveler is figuring out which island to visit first. The Philippines is divided into the three main island groups of  Luzon, Visayas, and  Mindanao, which represent different regions of the country.

The landscape in each region of the Philippine archipelago varies from mountainous and tropical to metropolitan. You can enjoy a day walking the historic colonial streets of the capital city of Manila in Luzon or catch a glimpse of the adorable tarsiers at a private sanctuary on the island of Bohol in the Visayas. The rugged and stunning mountains offer unforgettable hiking experiences, and since it is surrounded by the  Pacific Ocean, the country features world-class diving spots and some of the best islands and beaches in the world! And, not to mention, the population can boast of being one of the most welcoming on the whole continent.

If you are planning to visit the Philippines, you will be delighted to know that there is no shortage of destinations to satisfy your desire, be it for an adventure or a totally relaxing vacation getaway. 

What to do and see in the Philippines

The Philippines has many islands and transfers from one destination to another will cost you a lot of time. If you do not have much time, it is best to focus on two or three nearby main regions or islands to enjoy them as they deserve and not spend most of your time in transfers.

So, which destinations are not to miss during your trip to the Philippines? It is difficult, but here we will try to summarize the essential places to see in the country.

Rizal Park, Luneta
Underground River, Palawan
Tubbataha Park, Palawan
Mount Pinatubo
Manila Cathedral
Historic Street of Calle Crisologo, Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Hanging Coffins, Sagada


If you enter the Philippines through the Manila airport, you will arrive at the island of Luzon, the largest in the country and where the capital, Manila, is. Visiting it in its entirety includes taking night buses or domestic flights. During your stay in Manila, you can take a historic tour to the Intramuros neighborhood, Rizal Park, and visit, in addition to its cathedral, some of its many churches and basilicas.

Another must-do in Luzon is to go trekking in the thousand-year-old rice terraces of Banaue and Batad, the latter is famous for the Tappiya waterfalls. 

Another excellent option for hiking in the Philippines is the scenic town of Sagada well-known for its caves, waterfalls, and the hanging coffins of Echo Valley.

If you want to swim among whale sharks (from January to April), move to the city of Legazpi and from there to the town of Donsol. To enjoy the volcanic landscape, take an excursion to Mount Pinatubo. You can walk to its crater where a picturesque lake awaits you.

Vigan is another option to contemplate in Luzon. This city is popular for its well-preserved old Spanish colonial houses, cobblestone streets, and where you can experience riding in a kalesa.

One of the best beaches in the Philippines is in the town of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte called Saud Beach. This uncrowded beach destination boasts a long stretch of white sand beaches and turquoise waters bordered by striking multi-colored corals.

Palawan is one of the country’s most-visited places. Searching for this island on the Internet will result in numerous images of the spectacular waters of El Nido, an archipelago of islands that you can visit in a bangka. Here you can enjoy paradisiacal beaches in gram-worthy backgrounds.

Puerto Princesa, specifically the Tubbataha Reef,  will also give you the option to see whale sharks (from April to October). From this capital or from El Nido you can also visit Port Barton, a quiet town, which you wouldn’t want to miss if you want to enjoy gorgeous beaches and tranquil nature.

If you were wondering where you can enjoy spectacular diving in the Philippines, Coron is the answer. Diving into the waters of Coron will allow you to get a glimpse of the remains of sunken ships from World War II.

Chocolate Hills, Bohol
Malapascua Island
Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge, Bohol
Magellan's Cross in Cebu, Philippines
Tarsier Monkey The Worlds Smallest
Boracay Island


Many tourists also do not end their trip to the Philippines without visiting some of the islands that make up the Visayas region. Many of them will allow you to soak in the beauty of remarkable beaches and natural landscapes, as well as enjoy exhilarating water sports and trekking activities.

Some of the most visited islands in the Visayas include Bohol and Boracay. Bohol will treat you to its many places of interest: Chocolate Hills, colonial churches, the Loboc River, and the adorable tarsiers,  protected species endemic to the Philippines and the world’s second-smallest primate. Panglao in Bohol is also well-loved for its gorgeous beaches along with Balicasag Island, one of the country’s excellent diving spots. 

The island that needs no introduction, Boracay, has in addition to its world-class beaches with incredible sunsets, vibrant nightlife, and a myriad of water activities to keep you occupied during your trip.

Other islands where you can stop are Siquijor and Cebu, the second most important city in the Philippines and which serves as a connection to move to many destinations in the Visayas.

To snorkel or dive in the Philippines, explore the waters near Negros Island (Apo, Dauin, or Sipalay) or Balicasag, near Panglao, where you can enjoy sea ​​turtles and beautiful reefs. Diving on the tiny island of Malapascua in Cebu will allow you to encounter the elusive thresher shark. If you want to learn how to dive, Malapascua is also one of the best places to start.

Samal Island, Davao City
Surfing in Siargao
Sunken Cemetery, Camiguin
Siargao, Island in Surigao del Norte


Mindanao, the country’s second-largest main island, combines the mountains with the sea. Mount Apo is the highest peak in the Philippines, and at its feet is Davao, the third-largest city in the Philippines. For many tourists, Mindanao is the great unknown. The huge island is enigmatic and disconcerting for many travelers who decide to visit the country since in certain areas they coexist with political and religious conflicts, which makes it inadvisable to visit western regions, but the eastern and southern regions are quite safe for tourists. 

Despite this, Mindanao is arguably the best destination for both nature and adventure lovers.

800 km from Manila, in the vicinity of Mindanao, Siargao is an island that is very different from the other Philippine islands, especially for its "tourist" population: it is frequented mainly by surfers who come here all year round, thanks to the ideal conditions that always guarantee perfect surfing.  

Siargao has possibly the best beaches to practice this sport. What the alps are to skiers, Siargao is to surfers. In addition to the charm of surfing, the island offers other things, such as nature, where mangrove forests dominate an abundance of wildlife, secluded lagoons in which you can dive, white sandy beaches that invite you to stroll, and waters with pristine coral reefs.

Away from mass tourism, in the Mindanao region, Camiguin rises. Camiguin may be a small island in the Philippines, but this paradise has a lot to offer for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. This island province in northern Mindanao stands out among local tourist destinations due to its relatively intact natural environment and diverse ecosystem. Surely, the effort to get there is rewarded by the views that unfold before your eyes. 

This charming island consists of seven volcanoes: that's why it is called an "island that was born of fire." You can climb some of these volcanoes yourself during your visit. On hikes through the interior of the island, which is bordered by wooded valleys and mountains with lush vegetation, you can also stop at several hidden beautiful waterfalls - a welcome refreshment.

Numerous springs, both hot and cold, and beautiful beaches invite you to relax. The ruins of the Guiob Church in Catarman, Camiguin are also worth a visit. Meanwhile, snorkelers can have fun in the Giant Clam Sanctuary, the sanctuary of giant clams, as well as in the submerged cemetery, which was covered by water after a volcanic eruption and was pushed several meters towards the sea. Moreover, nearby, you can visit the White Island, which boasts incredibly white sand and pristine waters, as well as a great view of the tropical Camiguin archipelago.

best time to travel to the Philippines

When to travel to the Philippines?

The best time to travel to the Philippines is the one that includes the months of January and February, as it coincides with the warm and dry season. Of course, the absence of rains, typhoons, and suffocating heat make these months, along with Christmas and Easter, the peak season in the Philippines. Plan your trip well in advance to find advantageous prices on domestic flights and hotels.

The months of March, April, and May are also good for sightseeing in the Philippines, although temperatures will become progressively higher and the fields will become less green. However, it is a very good time to visit the mountain areas.

You should bear in mind that the seasons are reversed the further south, an area in which the rains are present between December and March. The Philippine islands are especially hit by typhoons, which, together with the rains, are usually present from June to the last quarter of the year, being strongest in August. They are more aggressive and constant in the north of the country than in the center and south, although these areas have also been hit by these phenomena.

If you have no choice but to go to the Philippines at this time, keep in mind that although typhoons appear and move rapidly, it is possible to anticipate their appearance and path. Check the forecasts on the PAGASA website daily to avoid rainy areas and typhoons, which are susceptible to causing great damage due to wind and floods. Bad weather will also likely cause cancellations of flights and boats. 

For all these reasons, the best recommendation to travel to the Philippines that we can give you is to stay informed and orient your trip according to the areas you plan to travel to and the time you wish to visit these places.

planning a vacation to the Philippines

Recommended duration for a trip to the Philippines

Our main advice if you are planning a vacation to the Philippines is to try to dedicate enough time to your trip. Expect for transfers to and from another destination to take up your time. In most cases, every time you change your destination within the country, it means that you have to spend one day of your trip. With which, the less time you have, the greater the feeling that you spend the day riding on an airplane, a bus, a ferry, a jeepney, or a tricycle.

Our advice is to spend no less than 15 full days (excluding international flights) on a trip to the  Philippines. A much more reasonable figure, in our opinion, would be 20 days. Still, the recommended duration of the trip is very relative and depends on many factors, such as the vacations available and the preferences of each person. That said, we do recommend that the more time you dedicate, the better.

There is actually more in this Asian country than its beautiful beaches, each island is different, and combining them offers you the possibility of getting a better idea of ​​the country and enjoying its sights and attractions, and savoring the experience better.

Safety in the Philippines

Safety in the Philippines

Is it safe to travel to the Philippines? Our answer is a resounding yes! The Philippines is a safe country in general. The people are especially friendly and hospitable. Although you do have to be careful and try to avoid certain areas. In the southwestern and western half of Mindanao there is the activity by Islamic terrorist groups demanding an independent state in Mindanao. The dangers of terrorist attacks and the kidnapping of foreigners loom in the area so try to avoid these places. 

But the rest of the country is safe. You will see when traveling around the country that the Filipinos themselves also advise against traveling in that area. In the capital, Manila, as in any large city, you have to use common sense to avoid theft.

Learn about everything you can do in the Philippines

Learn about everything you can do in the Philippines

Traveling to the Philippines is a great experience. It is a country that will easily steal your heart, with more than 7,000 islands to visit - each with its own unique charms and personality.

Our advice on your first trip, be more restrained, dedicate enough time to each destination, and consider that the transfers can be heavy. Here, the “less is more” motto is essential for a more memorable experience.

Making an itinerary to plan your trip is essential, since moving in the country doesn’t just involve short trips, some internal destinations can take you up to 24 hours of transfer. When it comes to what to see and do in the Philippines, you are really spoiled for choices. 

Your possible route depends on your personal preferences (mountains, water sports, cities, sandy beaches, etc.), your time, and the weather forecast for the individual regions you want to visit.

Finally, we recommend leaving room for flexibility when planning your trip! We hope our travel tips and information about the beautiful sights and attractions in the Philippines have helped you!