Top 10 Places In Philippines – With more than 7,000 islands to choose from, finding the best places to visit in the Philippines can seem impossible! Well, here are my top 7 favorites…
The Philippines is fast becoming one of the world’s hottest destinations for backpackers and travelers, young and old alike.
Top 10 Places In Philippines
I’ve said a few times now how magnificent the waters are in the Philippines and this provides some of the best snorkeling and diving on the planet.
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But there are so many other things to do in the Philippines that make it such a great place to visit; including meeting friendly locals, eating good food, drinking cheap booze and discovering scenic waterfalls.
There’s a lot (A LOT) more too, but we’re not here to talk about how much I love the Philippines.
Instead, we’re here to talk about the best places to visit in the Philippines and which islands you should consider adding to your own Philippines itinerary.
Well, after 4 weeks spent discovering numerous islands, I’ve narrowed down my personal Philippines bucket list to these 7 places.
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I’ve left out a few stops that I don’t think stack up; and by visiting each of these 7 Philippine destinations, you will have ample chance to see all the country’s best sights and to uncover your own love for this nation of more than 7,000 islands.
So, in reverse order, here are what I believe are the 7 best places to visit in the Philippines this year….
Based on our experience backpacking the Philippines, it seems that even though Port Barton is on the way, it is still one of the most undiscovered beautiful places in the Philippines.
Despite being only a few hours south of El Nido, for years it has been a relatively unknown place.
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I’m not sure why it has suddenly started to become more popular, maybe new roads have been built recently that have made it accessible.
Either way, new resorts and homestays are popping up every month to cope with the sudden surge in tourists.
They also recently just got 24 hours of electricity at the end of 2018, although the WiFi is still far from stable (even by Philippine standards!)
Here you will discover a picturesque little town, mostly filled with small wooden houses and a splendid beach area; perfect for swimming, relaxing and enjoying sunsets.
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Port Barton is perfectly situated close to a number of sandbars, small islands and coral reefs, meaning it offers wonderful day trips.
What we loved about Port Barton compared to other places in Palawan is how relatively less busy it is and how much more pristine the reefs are.
Just be aware that as of May 2019 they still didn’t have ATMs in Port Barton and few places accept cards so you’ll need to bring plenty of cash with you.
As Port Barton is still very much on the rise, new homes are constantly being built and you will find plenty of new homestays and resorts to stay at every single month.
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Apart from this, Airbnb and Booking.com are good places to start your search for accommodation in Port Barton.
Although Badian is small, it is one of the best cities to visit in the Philippines and is well located close to a number of the best things to see and do in Cebu.
These are some of the most beautiful waterfalls anywhere in the Philippines and are truly Instagram worthy with their pure blue pool at the bottom.
But around the area you will find other lovely waterfalls and the most popular tours here are canyoneering tours where a guide takes you further and further down through a string of waterfalls and allows you to climb and jump in a number of them .
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The next best reason to visit Badian is to go to nearby Moalboal where you can join in
For some reason, it is here, just off the coast, that hundreds of thousands of sardines congregate in great shoals.
All you need is a snorkel and fins, and you can swim a dozen meters out and swim among this great school of sardines.
Most travelers seem to stay in Moalboal, which is much better developed than the Badian region and has more choices.
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But what makes Badian nice is that it’s far less crowded and you’re much closer to Kawasan Falls, which you should get to nice and early.
There is not much other choice for accommodation nearby and these guys had clean rooms, very good WiFi and good food!
Of course, if you’re looking for a livelier area and the chance to meet more people, then Moalboal would be a better call.
El Nido has been a popular place to visit in the Philippines for a long time, perhaps the MOST popular tourist spot in the Philippines.
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For this reason, you will discover a well-developed tourist industry, with the main attraction being a selection of day-long island hopping tours (
You have the chance to sail deep into the sea, discover snorkeling spots, wide canyons and truly breathtaking surroundings.
In the harbor there are literally dozens of boats leaving every day and trips are still relatively cheap.
There really are so many great things to do in El Nido, including visiting Nacpan Beach, considered by many to be the best beach in Asia.
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The only problem I had with El Nido is that there doesn’t seem to be much to take care of the corals, much less than in Port Barton or Coron.
They pointlessly drag their anchors along the coral and with dozens of ships doing this constantly every day, you can see that at many points the coral is almost dead near the shores.
We stayed in 2 places in El Nido and since we left it late to choose accommodation, we were very limited in choices.
They had fast WiFi (fast enough to stream the last season of Game of Thrones), really friendly staff and lovely rooms.
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If you book further in advance, you will be able to find a much wider selection of hotels and other accommodation on Booking.com.
El Nido has long been one of the Philippines’ most popular places to visit, so there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from.
Siquijor is the southernmost of these places to visit in the Philippines and a destination that you really cannot miss!
Which is perfect as it gives you plenty of time to slow down, relax and enjoy the amazing beaches.
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Many people who visit snorkel and dive off the coast, but by far the best attraction in Siquijor is Cambugahay Falls.
These are now my favorite waterfalls from anywhere in the world, and are a series of beautiful milky blue pools in succession.
Beautiful waterfalls flow into each of them, but what makes Cambugahay so unique is that the locals have built bungee rope swings into them!
In the main pool there are 2 large swings and I had hours of fun doing flips and tricks in them.
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It’s basically a massive playground and you’ll also see maybe a dozen local kids playing there every day.
On the island you will also find some other great waterfalls, but if you visit in the dry season (like we did) many of these will be dried up!
My other favorite thing to do in Siquijor is diving into the ocean from platforms built into the rocks at Lugnason Falls.
Once again we were very happy with where we stayed in Siquijor and AMK Traveler’s Hub ended up being well located, with good rooms and very friendly owners.
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We met an Italian guy when we were there who was staying for a few months looking for land to build his own hostel on.
Maybe it was because we stayed at Paolyn Houseboats (more on that below), but I really fell in love with Coron.
It is home to a number of beautiful snorkeling spots and lakes, with the nearby Kayangan Lake said to be the clearest and cleanest of any lake in the world.
In the middle of the day, a number of these places get very busy, so it’s good to go on a tour that leaves early and allows you to escape the hordes (again, more on this below).
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Once again you can enjoy a fresh BBQ lunch on a pristine beach and there are endless opportunities to swim and enjoy the beauty of Coron.
In short, nowhere else will ever compare as Paolyn Houseboats is completely unique and one of a kind.
They are the only place that has the legal right to offer overnight accommodation on the water so close to Coron Island, as the island and surrounding waters are owned by the indigenous tribes that occupy it.
Here you have the opportunity to completely escape the crowds and live in a secluded, paradise-like cove complete with your own private snorkeling, paddleboarding and kayaking.
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It’s also perfectly located next to many of the best things to do in Coron, so you get to all the busiest spots before the tourists do.
It also helps that they are able to offer tours that start at least 2 hours earlier than those from Coron town.
It is of course a bit expensive and not everyone can do it
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