Exploring Paradise
Philippines Journey

Island-Hopping Adventures in the Philippines
A Traveler's Tale

Maria Santos, a true Filipino at heart, has dedicated her life to exploring and sharing the beauty of the Philippines with the world. 

With a deep passion for her homeland, Maria's blog, " is a treasure trove of must-see destinations, hidden gems, and cultural experiences across the archipelago. Her vibrant storytelling and stunning photography bring to life the enchanting beaches, lush jungles, and rich heritage of the Philippines. 

Whether it's savoring local delicacies, embarking on thrilling adventures, or immersing in the warmth of Filipino hospitality, Maria's blog is a testament to the enchanting diversity of her beloved country.

The Philippines is home to a wide range of stunning places and attractions.
Here are 10 must-see destinations and attractions in the Philippines:

Written by: Maria Santos

Palawan Paradise
A Must-Visit Gem in the Philippines

Nestled in the heart of the Philippines, Palawan is a tropical haven that every traveler should experience. 

This enchanting island province boasts some of the most breathtaking landscapes, including pristine white-sand beaches, dramatic limestone cliffs, and the awe-inspiring Underground River. 

As a travel blogger based in the Philippines, I can attest that Palawan offers a diverse range of experiences, from island hopping and snorkeling in crystal-clear waters to exploring the rich local culture.

To get to Palawan, start your journey by flying into the Puerto Princesa International Airport, the main gateway to the province. From there, you can choose to explore the capital city of Puerto Princesa or head north to El Nido for a more remote and stunning adventure. If you prefer a quiet getaway, you can also fly directly to Coron. No matter where you land, Palawan's natural beauty and warm hospitality will leave you in awe.

Boracay Bliss
A Must-Visit Philippine Paradise

Nestled in the heart of the Philippines, Boracay Island is a tropical wonderland that every traveler should experience. 

Known for its powdery white sands and vibrant nightlife, this island destination offers a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement. 

As a travel blogger living in the Philippines, I can vouch for Boracay's charm, with its crystal-clear waters and a wide range of water sports and activities.

Getting to Boracay is a breeze. Fly into Caticlan Airport or Kalibo International Airport, and from there, you can take a short boat ride to the island. Whether you're seeking beachside serenity or lively beach parties, Boracay has it all, making it a must-visit destination in the Philippines.

Banaue Rice Terraces
A Must-See Wonder in the Philippines

Nestled in the northern part of the Philippines, the Banaue Rice Terraces are an awe-inspiring masterpiece of human ingenuity and natural beauty. As a travel blogger residing in the Philippines, I'm constantly drawn to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which stands as a testament to ancient farming and engineering practices. 

The emerald-green terraces, sculpted into the rugged Cordillera Mountains, are a sight to behold.

To reach this hidden gem, you can take a bus from Manila to Banaue, which offers a scenic journey through the lush mountains. Once in Banaue, you can explore the terraces by hiking, guided tours, or even trekking to nearby villages, providing a unique and cultural experience.
Banaue Rice Terraces is a must-visit for travelers seeking both natural beauty and a glimpse into the rich history of the Philippines.

Bohol's Sweet Secret
The Must-See Chocolate Hills

Nestled on the captivating island of Bohol in the Philippines, the Chocolate Hills are a natural wonder that should be on every traveler's bucket list.
As a travel blogger living in the Philippines, I can't help but be enchanted by these mysterious geological formations. During the dry season, the more than 1,000 cone-shaped hills transform into a rich, chocolate-brown hue, creating a breathtaking spectacle.

To get to the Chocolate Hills, you can fly into Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol, and arrange transportation to Carmen, the town closest to the Chocolate Hills. From there, you can take a tour, rent a motorbike, or hike to the viewing points to marvel at this unique and picturesque landscape.
The Chocolate Hills are a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and anyone looking for a sweet surprise in the Philippines.

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Mayon Marvel
The Enchanting Perfection of Albay's Must-See Volcano

Nestled in the heart of Albay, the Mayon Volcano is a natural masterpiece that should be on every traveler's radar.
As a travel blogger residing in the Philippines, I'm continually captivated by this iconic landmark. Often referred to as the "World's Most Perfect Cone," Mayon Volcano boasts a perfectly symmetrical shape, making it a sight to behold.

Getting to Mayon Volcano is relatively straightforward. Fly into Legazpi City, the nearest major city to Albay, and from there, it's just a short drive to the volcano. Visitors can explore Mayon through various activities like trekking, ATV adventures, or simply appreciating its beauty from designated viewing areas.
Mayon Volcano is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a taste of the Philippines' breathtaking landscapes.

Tubbataha Reefs
A Diver's Paradise in the Heart of the Philippines

Nestled in the Sulu Sea, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a hidden gem that should top any diver's wish list. As a travel blogger fortunate to reside in the Philippines, I'm consistently in awe of the remarkable marine biodiversity found in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The park is a haven for divers and snorkelers, offering an opportunity to explore pristine coral reefs, swim alongside magnificent marine creatures, and experience the vibrant underwater world.

To reach Tubbataha Reefs, you can take a liveaboard dive cruise from Puerto Princesa in Palawan.
These cruises offer the chance to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the park and access the remote atolls and reefs. It's a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable underwater adventure in the Philippines.

Conquer the Heights
Mount Apo, Philippines' Pinnacle Adventure

Living in the Philippines offers me the privilege to explore its remarkable natural treasures, and one such gem is Mount Apo. As the highest peak in the country, Mount Apo beckons adventure enthusiasts with a challenging yet incredibly rewarding hiking experience.
The journey to its summit is nothing short of a thrilling odyssey through diverse ecosystems, from dense forests to captivating highland landscapes.

To embark on this adventure, start by flying into Davao City, the gateway to Mount Apo.
From there, arrange for local guides and permits, and then set out on your trek.
The climb to Mount Apo's summit is a true test of endurance, but the breathtaking vistas and the sense of accomplishment make it an absolute must-visit destination for avid hikers and nature lovers in the Philippines.

Intramuros, Manila
A Step Back in Time to Colonial Elegance

As a travel blogger residing in the Philippines, I'm constantly drawn to the timeless allure of Intramuros, Manila. This historic walled city is a must-visit destination for history buffs and culture enthusiasts. Encapsulating the rich legacy of Spanish colonial rule, Intramuros boasts a captivating blend of architectural grandeur and centuries-old stories.

Getting to Intramuros is a breeze. Simply fly into Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila and make your way to this well-preserved district, situated at the heart of the city. 

Once you're within Intramuros, explore the cobbled streets, ancient churches, and beautifully restored buildings, offering a glimpse into the Philippines' colonial past. Intramuros is a fascinating journey through history that no traveler should miss.

Swimming with Giants
Oslob's Unforgettable Whale Shark Encounter

As a travel blogger fortunate to call the Philippines home, I can't help but be captivated by the breathtaking experience that awaits in Oslob, Cebu. Here, you can embark on an extraordinary adventure and get up close and personal with the gentle giants of the ocean – whale sharks.

To reach Oslob, fly into Mactan-Cebu International Airport and take a scenic drive to the coastal town of Oslob. Once there, you can participate in a well-organized and responsible whale shark watching tour. Snorkel alongside these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, an awe-inspiring wildlife encounter that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. 

Oslob's whale shark watching is a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts and those seeking a truly unforgettable experience in the Philippines.

  Batanes Bliss
A Serene Escape to the Philippines' Northern Gem

Living in the Philippines offers me the privilege to explore its hidden treasures, and Batanes, the country's northernmost province, is a true gem that beckons adventurers and nature lovers. This rugged paradise boasts a unique charm with its rolling hills, dramatic cliffs, and serene landscapes.

To get to Batanes, you can fly from major cities like Manila or Cebu to Basco, the provincial capital. Once there, rent a bike or hire a local guide to explore the picturesque scenery, such as the famed Marlboro Hills, the stunning Mahatao Tayid Lighthouse, and the quaint villages that dot the landscape. Batanes is a must-visit destination for those seeking unspoiled natural beauty and a peaceful escape in the Philippines.

Time Travel in Vigan
A Must-Visit Colonial Gem in Ilocos Sur

Living in the Philippines, I have had the privilege of discovering the charming town of Vigan in Ilocos Sur.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a portal to the past, offering visitors a chance to step back in time to the Spanish colonial era. Vigan's cobblestone streets, well-preserved ancestral houses, and historical charm make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and cultural explorers.

To reach Vigan, you can fly into Laoag International Airport or take a bus from Manila. From Laoag, it's a scenic two-hour drive to Vigan. 
Once there, wander through the town's picturesque streets, visit the iconic Calle Crisologo, and explore the Spanish-influenced architecture.
Vigan is a captivating journey through history and a treasure trove of Philippine heritage.

Siargao Island
A Surfer's Paradise and Tropical Haven in the Philippines

As a travel blogger residing in the Philippines, I can't help but be captivated by the allure of Siargao Island. 

This enchanting paradise in the midst of the Pacific Ocean offers a perfect blend of laid-back island life, stunning beaches, and world-class surfing opportunities.

To reach Siargao, fly into Siargao Airport from major Philippine cities or take a ferry from Surigao City. 

The island is home to the iconic Cloud 9 surf break, attracting surf enthusiasts from around the globe.
But Siargao isn't just for surfers; it also boasts serene lagoons, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable tropical escape in the Philippines.

Sagada Secrets
Must-Visit Mystical Gem in the Cordillera Mountains

Residing in the Philippines, I've been fortunate to explore the intriguing town of Sagada, nestled in the rugged Cordillera region. This mystical destination is a treasure trove of unique cultural traditions and natural beauty.

To reach Sagada, travelers can take a bus from Manila or Baguio to the nearby town of Bontoc, followed by a short jeepney ride. Once in Sagada, you can delve into the local culture, explore enchanting caves, and witness the awe-inspiring hanging coffins.
The stunning mountain landscapes and serene ambience make Sagada a must-visit destination for those seeking a deeper connection with Philippine history and nature.

Camiguin Island
The Philippines' Island of Fire and Paradise

Living in the Philippines offers endless opportunities for exploration, and Camiguin Island, often referred to as the "Island Born of Fire," is an extraordinary destination.

 Nestled in the southern part of the country, it is renowned for its unique geological features, boasting seven volcanoes and a landscape shaped by both fiery eruptions and serene beauty.

To reach Camiguin, fly into Cagayan de Oro and then take a short ferry ride to the island. 

Once there, you can explore its hot springs, pristine beaches, and lush jungles, creating a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. Camiguin Island is a must-visit paradise for nature enthusiasts and those seeking the magic of the Philippines' natural wonders.

A Diver's Delight in the Philippines

Living in the Philippines has afforded me the chance to uncover some of the country's most spectacular gems, and Coron is undoubtedly one of them. Located in Palawan, Coron is a must-visit destination for divers and nature enthusiasts alike.

To reach Coron, fly into Busuanga Airport, and from there, it's just a short boat ride to the main town. Coron's underwater world is nothing short of mesmerizing, with World War II shipwrecks resting beneath crystal-clear waters, making it a paradise for wreck diving. Additionally, don't miss the enchanting beauty of Kayangan Lake, a pristine natural wonder tucked away in this tropical paradise. Coron is a haven for adventure seekers and anyone yearning to explore the Philippines' breathtaking underwater world.

These additional destinations offer a diverse range of experiences, from cultural heritage to adventure and natural beauty, making the Philippines a truly captivating travel destination.

Insider's Guide
20 Local Tips for an Unforgettable Trip

Respect the culture: Learn a few basic Filipino phrases and customs to show respect for the local culture.

Weather check: The Philippines has a tropical climate, so be prepared for sudden rain showers. Always carry an umbrella or raincoat.

Island hopping: Don't limit yourself to one island; explore the diverse beauty of the archipelago by hopping from one to another.

Try local dishes: Sample authentic Filipino cuisine like adobo, sinigang, and lechon to savor the flavors of the country.

Street food: Don't miss out on street food vendors offering treats like balut (fertilized duck egg) and fish balls.

Bargain at markets: When shopping at local markets, haggling is a common practice to get the best deals.

Transportation: Use tricycles, jeepneys, and local buses to get around – it's an affordable and authentic way to travel.

Beach etiquette: Follow beach rules, and respect the environment by not leaving any trash behind.

Safety first: Be cautious with your belongings, especially in crowded areas, and avoid walking alone at night.

Learn to haggle: When shopping in markets or dealing with street vendors, haggling is expected and part of the local shopping experience.

Plan for typhoon season: If visiting during typhoon season, have a backup plan and be prepared for travel disruptions.

Explore off-the-beaten-path: Don't just visit tourist hotspots; ask locals for recommendations to discover hidden gems.

Pack light: The Philippines is a tropical destination, so pack light, breathable clothing and don't forget your swimsuit.

Use sunscreen: Protect yourself from the strong sun with sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat.

Dive and snorkel: The Philippines offers some of the world's best diving and snorkeling spots; don't miss them.

Respect the environment: Practice responsible tourism by not disturbing wildlife, coral reefs, or delicate ecosystems.

Try halo-halo: This popular Filipino dessert is a must-try – it's a delightful mix of sweet ingredients.

Immerse in local festivals: Join in on local fiestas and cultural celebrations to experience the vibrant Filipino spirit.

Cash is king: Many places in the Philippines still prefer cash over cards, so it's wise to carry some Philippine pesos.

Enjoy the hospitality: Filipinos are known for their warm and friendly nature. Embrace the local hospitality, make friends, and savor the experience.

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