The Philippines: Top destinations to visit on your next vacation

  (photo credit: UNSPLASH)
(photo credit: UNSPLASH)

The Philippines is a country brimming with gorgeous destinations but they haven’t gotten their day in the sun due to poor marketing and infrastructure. However, when social media influencers discover just how many hidden gems are stashed away in the Philippines, it is bound to blow up, especially since it’s a budget-friendly destination, just check any Philippines hotel booking site and discover the low rates yourself. But without further ado, here are the top destinations that you should visit when planning a trip to the Philippines. 

Banaue - highlands of rice paddies

Carved into the mountains of Luzon, Philippines, Banaue boasts a two thousand year old history. In fact, the terraces were recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site, describing it as “a living cultural landscape of unparalleled beauty” before its subsequent destruction and failed restoration attempts, which had it removed as a world heritage site in 2012. However, renewed attempts at implementing sustainable tourism have reinstated its beauty, which is worth viewing with your own eyes. 

El Nido - blue lagoons

A municipality on Palawan island that is home to great stretches of crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches, as well as rich coral life. Being a coastal town, it is often compared to Cebu, but it is a cheaper destination, with less commercialization, which means that travelers will be able to experience the authenticity of the area. The only problem is, Cebu is much more accessible, being the capital of an Island. To get to El Nido, you’ll need to charter a 19 seater plane. So if you’re an adventurous soul, it’d be well worth it to forget Cebu and visit El Nido instead. 

Intramuros - little Spain

What once served as the heart of the Spanish occupation is now a part of Filipino history, showcasing a period of time from the colonial era when Spanish elites and mestizos lived a world away from the locals. The area is a little over 160 acres which is home to churches, hospitals, offices, and residentials, giving the colonizers a little slice of home, shut off from the rest of Filipina for over 400 years. Today, tourists and travelers can explore Fort Santiago with their intact dungeons dating back 400 years ago, and visit the Plaza de Roma, which was considered the very center of the city and where bullfights and other community events were held. It was a community hall before its garden conversion in the 1800s. 

Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park

What’s so special about a national park? For one, it’s home to one of the most “impressive cave systems” - according to UNESCO. It is a comprehensive network of underground caves that has spectacular limestone formations, ancient forests, and wildlife that is native to the area. 

If that hasn’t changed your mind about the Philippines, you need to start watching some Youtube videos about the country and the various destinations you can visit during your time in the bustling nation made up of hundreds of island, each with their own little special feature.  

This article was written in cooperation with Craig Lebrau