As one of Southeast Asia’s gems, there’s no shortage of mesmerizing locations and buzzing tourist hotspots in the Philippines. From UNESCO-listed rice fields and gorgeous beaches to world-class cultural institutions and national parks, this country offers something for everyone. To help you build your itinerary, we’ve curated a list of destinations in the Philippines that you absolutely should not miss.
A trip to the Philippines wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Boracay. Nestled approximately 315 km south of Manila, this small island offers a wealth of natural wonders, which is why it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most visited destinations in the country.
You can get to Boracay by ferry, plane or both. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, we recommend taking the ferry, although the journey will take more or less 10 hours in total.
Banaue Rice Terraces
Perched 1500 meters above sea level in Ifugao, the irrigation system that runs through these rice fields is steeped in history, having been carved into place some 2000 years ago by the Batad indigenous people. This UNESCO World Heritage Site covers a whopping 10.360 km2 of land and are often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”.
Pristine, secluded and absolutely breathtaking, the white sand beaches of El Nido are located on Palawan Island and remain one of the Philippines’ best kept secrets. But this destination is more than just a pretty face, as El Nido also makes for the perfect diving spot and is inhabited by a wide variety of marine life including dolphins and whitetip reef sharks. With all of these marvels and more, it’s only fitting that this bucket list-worthy spot was named one the most beautiful beaches in the world.
For a dose of history, make sure you pay a visit to Rizal Park—also known as Luneta Park—in Manila. This lush attraction site was built to commemorate one of the country’s national heroes, Jose Rizal, and is one of the biggest parks in Asia.
Covering approximately 65 km2 of land and comprising a population of 430.000, Mactan Island is one of the most densely populated islands in the Philippines. The island, which is part of the Cebu Province, is renowned for its heavy production of musical instruments, including guitars, ukuleles and more.
Offering some of the most jaw-dropping panoramic views, Coron Island attracts a steady stream of tourists from all over the world. But the island’s underwater treasures are just as noteworthy, especially since it’s also home to the famous World War II-era Japanese shipwreck.
The quickest and easiest way to get to Coron Island from Manila is by plane—as it will only take you an hour—followed by a short scenic drive from the airport to the heart of the island.
Manila Ocean Park
Officially opened in 2008, this ocean park boats over 14.000 species and offers plenty of family-friendly features like a swimming pool and other water sports facilities. A single ticket—which includes entry to the Oceanarium as well as the Symphony Evening Show—will cost you 600 Peso.
National Museum of the Philippines
The National Museum of the Philippines houses a rich collection of historic works from the fields of archeology, anthropology, botany, zoology, as well as geology. One of the museum’s most notable exhibitions is the wreck site of San Diego, where you can view the stunning display of artefacts stored inside the Spanish battleship. As a government institution, the museum also offers a pick-up service to and from the airport.
While there’s still so much more to see in the Philippines, these 8 places are guaranteed to leave you breathless. If you’re heading to Manila and need a comfortable accommodation to stay that won’t break the bank, browse RedDoorz’s selection of affordable rooms at RedDoorz App or www.reddoorz.com/en-ph