With 7,640 islands (at the time of this travel blog update) to choose from, trying to work out which places to visit in the Philippines can be a daunting task. The largest island is Luzon, home to the capital city, Manila. As well as Luzon, there are countless incredible islands to explore. Many are home to tropical paradise beaches, fascinating history, and incredible natural landscapes. In this article, we’ll introduce some of the best islands in the Philippines.
Best Islands to Visit in the Philippines Guide
Technically a small municipality on the larger island known as Palawan, El Nido is nevertheless one of the best places to visit in the Philippines. The white sand beach here has been consistently ranked as one of the best in the world. Fortunate tourists will enjoy fine sand, turquoise blue lagoons, and a rich natural landscape including biodiverse coral reefs. Whether you want to unwind on the soft sand and relax, or hire a kayak to head out and explore, the choice is yours. El Nido is also home to a selection of offshore caves, which are well worth exploring.
Though much of the Philippines’ natural scenery is creaking under development, much verdant scenery still exists. Cebu is renowned for its green and rugged hills, which roll onwards down the spine of the island from tip to tip. There are hiking opportunities aplenty on the island. You’ll also want to head to the coast, where stunning beaches offer an array of locations to snorkel. Heading inland, Cebu city is one of the best places to visit in the Philippines. Some of the highlights of the sprawling metropolis include; the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino and the Temple of Leah, which is a famous Taoist temple. Just outside the city, you’ll find the Kawasan Falls. The falls provide a beautiful cascade of azure water that visitors can swim underneath, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Siargao is a tear-drop-shaped island in the Philippines and is most famous as the country’s surfing capital. The geographical location of the island produces huge swells, which attract surfers from all over the world to try their luck at riding the waves. The island’s main town, General Luna, is also a great place to visit, with loads of delicious restaurants serving local delicacies. In addition, the Monkey Eagle Brewery produces the island’s main export – General Luna Ale. Other highlights of the island include stunning coconut forests. If surfing isn’t your kind of thing, there are plenty of beaches to relax on.
For something a bit different, fans of military history should head to Corregidor, located just an hour by boat away from Manila. Corregidor is one of the best islands to visit in the Philippines, with a rich history thanks to its strategic location. Being so close to the Filipino capital of Manila meant that it was a key hotspot for fighting during the Second World War. During this time Japan invaded the Philippines before the country was liberated with the help of American forces.
As might be expected, the island was heavily bombed during World War II. Many of the ruins have been left exactly as they were after the conflict finished. The ruins pay tribute and serve as a memory of the soldiers who died. There’s also a collection of memorials and the Filipino-American Friendship Park is a great place to visit. The best way to explore the island is by bicycle, which is available to rent. The island is extremely small, measuring only 6.5km by 2km. On bicycles, the island can easily be explored from top to tail in a day. All in all, a great day trip out from Manila!
Bohol is home to the famous Chocolate Islands. The unique topography is world-renowned as one of the best attractions in the Philippines. These UNESCO-listed, cone-shaped limestone hills are a lush green color during the wet season, before drying to a chocolate brown in the dry season. More than 1,200 hills protrude the landscape of the island, surrounded by verdant tropical forests in every direction. Fortunately, Bohol is another place where the natural environment has been protected. Visitors to the island can travel to the Bohol Habitat Conservation Conservancy to see some of the local plants and wildlife.
There are two main attractions on Camiguin. One is the active volcano Mount Hibok-Hibok, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Perhaps more inviting is the tropical scrap of sand known as White Island. This sand bar is reshaped every time the tide comes in and there is absolutely nothing here. In fact, not a single tree or bush. Visitors flock to the island to relax on the white sand and take in the novelty of their surroundings. Many local ferry operators shuttle visitors back and forth.
Las Islas Filipinas Summary
In conclusion, this list is by no means exhaustive. There are hundreds of fascinating islands waiting to be explored in the Philippines. This list is merely supposed to act as a guide to some of the main travel destination highlights in the country. From stunning natural landscapes and pristine beaches to fascinating historical and cultural sights, there are countless places to visit on this picturesque archipelago. Lastly, if your travels take you to the Best Islands to Visit in the Philippines, be sure and send us some photos. Ligtas na paglalakbay!