Things To See in Philippines
- Like some other countries in the world, the Philippines can offer you the tropical island experience of a lifetime. The beautiful sandy beaches, warm climate, centuries-old churches, magnificent mountain ranges, dense rainforests, rich culture and smiling people are just some of the attractions you must see and experience in this archipelago consisting of 7,107 islands. You can experience the country’s rich and unique culture in a variety of ways, such as visiting ancient Spanish churches, participating in colourful fiestas (festivals) and enjoying our exotic and tasty cuisine. But perhaps the most beautiful way to experience Filipino culture is to take a ride on a jeepney.
Historical and cultural attractions
- Manila is the capital of the Philippines; it was founded during the Spanish colonial period. Although it is a city of modern skyscrapers, Manila still has its rich historical and cultural heritage. The old churches, colonial structures, neoclassical buildings and historical landmarks give this city its unique charm.
- Intramuros (Spanish for “within the walls”) would be the perfect place for anyone interested in history; it is the oldest district and historical core of Manila. Intramuros is known to house Manila’s most beautiful and oldest buildings, such as Manila Cathedral and Fort Santiago. Although Intramuros was heavily damaged during World War II, it still retains its Spanish colonial character.
- The historic town of Vigan, located in the Ilocos region, resembles a Spanish colonial town. The Spanish colonial influence in the architecture will make you feel like you are somewhere in colonial Spain or perhaps somewhere in Europe. Vigan’s unique colonial structures and cultural elements from Europe have combined to create this World Heritage Site, which you may not find anywhere else in the country or in Southeast Asia.
- Cebu City is known as the “Queen City of the South”. As the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines, it has some of the most iconic historical and cultural sites in the country. The Sinulog Festival in the city attracts thousands of tourists and is one of the most popular festivals in the country. As the city was a former Spanish colony for 300 years, you can find baroque churches all over the Philippines that look almost like the churches we see in Spain and Europe.
- Some of the most famous churches in the country are San Agustin Church in Manila, Miag-ao Church in Iloilo, Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte and Santa Maria Church in Ilocos Sur. These churches have been designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO under the collective title “Baroque Churches of the Philippines”.
Beaches and islands
- Beaches and diving are among the country’s best-known tourist attractions; with 7,107 islands, there is certainly plenty to choose from. Many beaches have brilliant white sand, but you can also find beige, grey, black or even pink sand. Diving is mainly on coral reefs; many are accessible only by walking into the water or on a day trip by boat from one of the resorts. A few, like Coron, offer wreck diving and some, like Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, involve longer trips by boat.
- Boracay is the country’s most famous beach resort, rated by several magazines as one of the best islands in the world and attracting thousands of international and local travellers every year. It has powder-white sandy beaches and azure waters and is a highly developed area offering a range of activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing, kite surfing, cliff diving and parasailing. After all these activities, you can pamper yourself with a relaxing massage right on the white sandy beach or in one of the spas
- If you want to avoid crowded beaches, go to Palawan. The beaches in the province are less developed, uncrowded and well maintained. The coastal town of El Nido is one of the best destinations Palawan and the Philippines have to offer. The pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, steep limestone cliffs, stunning islets and dive sites rival the best in the world.
- Coron Island boasts hundreds of limestone formations crowned by dense rainforests. It is also known for its exquisite beaches and World War II shipwrecks. Hire a kayak and paddle around the islands to see Coron’s beautiful and well-preserved seascape.
- Besides Palawan, you can also try Bohol, an island province that also has majestic sandy beaches to offer. One of Bohol’s top beach destinations is Panglao Island, which is promoted as an alternative destination to Boracay. The island offers a wide range of both world-class and affordable resorts.
- Mactan Island in Cebu; Santa Cruz Island in Zamboanga; Pagudpud in Ilocos; Laiya Beach in Batangas and White Island in Camiguin are other popular beach destinations in the Philippines that are really worth a visit.
- Enough of beaches? The Philippines has other breathtaking landscapes to offer; besides beautiful beaches, there are mountain ranges, dense jungles, majestic rice terraces, picturesque lakes, scenic waterfalls and hidden caves.
- When we think of the Philippines, the usual things that come to mind are just a group of islands with warm sunny days. The Cordillera region is not the usual Philippine destination we see on postcards and in travel magazines. If you visit this mountainous region, bring jackets and jumpers rather than just T-shirts because this region is in the cool highlands of the northern part of the country. Rice terraces are one of the most visited tourist attractions in the region, the world famous Banaue Rice Terraces and the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordillera are found here. These rice terraces were built almost 2000 years ago by the ancient Filipinos and have retained their beauty to this day. Nearby is the town of Sagada in the Mountain Province. Known for its hanging coffins and limestone caves, this town is an ideal destination for backpackers.
- Being a mountainous country, the Philippines offers countless mountains for hikers and adventure seekers. The best destination for mountain climbing in the country is the picturesque Mount Apo in the southern Philippines. Mount Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines and one of the most diverse areas; it is home to over 272 species of birds, 111 of which are endemic to the area. The mountain also has four large lakes, these lakes are famous mountaineering campsites and a stopover on the way to the summit. Another popular mountaineering destination is Mount Pinatubo in Tarlac. This mountain made headlines worldwide as the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. It made the headlines at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, it is one of the country’s top climbing destinations due to its canyons, 4×4 terrain and picturesque Lake Caldera.
- Head to Bohol Island to see the famous Chocolate Hills. No, they are not made of chocolate, but grass-covered limestone domes that turn brown in the dry season, hence the name. There are more than 1,268 hills scattered around the area. The Chocolate Hills are one of the most famous and popular tourist spots in the country. Another popular destination on Bohol is the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella, a 7.4-hectare forest reserve where over 100 tarsiers roam freely. Here you have the opportunity to observe the Philippine Tarsier, one of the smallest primates in the world, at close quarters.