10 Top Tourist Attractions in the Philippines

Located at the very eastern edge of Asia, the Philippines are home to more than 7,000 islands, which are inhabited by friendly locals and many indigenous tribes. From pristine beaches and marvelous natural wonders to interesting historic sites and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the Philippines pack many exciting things to see and do. Check out the following top tourist attractions in the Philippines.

10Tubbataha Reef
Tubbataha Reefflickr/ppborla

The Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea is a marine sanctuary protected as the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park. The reef is made up of two atolls, North Atoll and South Atoll, separated by a deep channel of approximately 5 miles (8 km) wide. It has become one of the most popular dive sites in the Philippines because of its coral walls where the shallow coral reef abruptly ends giving way to great depths. The marine park is open to live-aboard diving excursions between the months of April to June when the waves are most calm.

9San Agustin Church, Manila

Located in Manila, a visit to the San Agustin Church is a must see. Built in 1589, this beautiful church has survived seven earthquakes and two fires over the centuries and now remains as the oldest stone church in the Philippines. At the main entrance, there are exquisite carvings on the wooden doors. Inside the lovely, Mexican-influenced interior is designed in the shape of a Latin cross. The gorgeous ceiling was painted in the 1800s by Italian artists, Giovanni Dibella and Cesare Alberoni.

8Mayon Volcano

Rising more than 8,000 feet (2,400 meters) above sea level, Mayon Volcano is significant for its perfectly symmetrical cone shape. Visitors can enjoy a number of activities here such as camping, climbing, hiking, bird watching and photography. A picturesque spot in which to admire Mayon Volcano is from the nearby Cagsawa ruins. Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines, having erupted over 49 times in the past 400 years. The most destructive eruption of Mayon occurred on February 1, 1814 bombarding the nearby towns with volcanic rocks. The belfry and what is left of the baroque church that was destroyed by the 1814 eruption can still be seen.

7Malapascua Island
Malapascua Islandflickr/grooble

A small island made up of quiet fishing villages, Malapascua Island is popular for its ideal diving spots and for being the only place in the world to see thresher sharks on a regular basis as well as manta rays and hammerheads. The other hidden gems here are the beautiful, sandy white beaches, crystal clear waters bordered by coconut trees and colorful coral gardens.

6Puerto Galera

Just south of Manila is the charming coastal town of Puerto Galera, well-favored for its gorgeous beaches, excellent diving spots and wide diversity of marine species. The most popular beaches are White Beach and Sabang Beach, which also offer nearby shopping, dining, nightlife and hotel accommodation. Another popular attraction is the natural harbor of Muelle Bay with its rows of shops, restaurants and bars. Visitors can also go snorkeling to see some of Asia’s best coral reefs or dive among old shipwrecks and hundreds of fish species.

5Puerto Princesa Underground River

Located on the northern coast of the island of Palawa, Puerto Princesa is a nature lover’s paradise. Home to unspoiled landscapes rich in wildlife, this lovely town also lays claim to one of the world’s most unique natural phenomena, an underground river known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. Protected within a national park, this natural wonder is the world’s longest navigable underground river. Guided paddle boat tours show intriguing rock formations and fluttering bats.

4Donsol
Donsol

Located in the province of Sorsogon, a place of pristine beaches, stunning waterfalls and unexplored caves, the sleepy fishing village of Donsol is the place in the Philippines to see whale sharks. The ocean’s gentle giants can be seen between November and June, with the numbers peaking between February and May. Tourists can also take a boat cruise along the Donsol River through mangrove and palm trees, and watch the night light up with millions of sparkling fireflies. If that’s not enough, a traditional shrimp-catching expedition with bamboos and nets, followed by a tasty dinner of the cooked catch is also available.

3Chocolate Hills
Chocolate Hillsflickr/WisDoc

One of the top tourist attractions in the Philippines, The Chocolate Hills are unusual geological formations that consists of at least 1,268 individual mounds scattered throughout the interior of the island of Bohol. The almost symmetrical and same-sized formations range from 98 to 164 feet (30 to 50 meters) high and are covered in green grass. During the dry season the grass turns brow, hence the name. There is no consensus on how these giant mole hills were formed. One theory holds that the Chocolate Hills are the weathered rock formations of a kind of marine limestone on top of an impermeable layer of clay.

2Boracay

Boracay may be a small island, but it packs great features such as award-winning beaches, beautiful resorts and great adventures like cliff diving, parasailing, motorbiking, horse riding, snorkeling, kite surfing and scuba diving. If that is not enough, boat tours allow visitors to watch stunning sunsets, explore volcanic caves and remote coves of turquoise lagoons. When the sun sets, Boracay night-life pulsates with many bars and restaurants serving food, drinks and fun until dawn.

1Banaue Rice Terraces

No trip to the Philippines could be complete without seeing the spectacular Banaue Rice Terraces. Carved from the mountain ranges about 2,000 years ago without modern tools by the Ifugao tribes, these magnificent farm terraces resemble giant steps reaching up to the sky. Locals to this day still plant rice and vegetables on the terraces, although more and more younger Ifugaos do not find farming appealing and emigrate to the cities.

More Philippines tourist attractions can be found in the Explore the Philippines page.

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Map of Tourist Attractions In The Philippines

22 comments

  1. The Chocolate Hills are an example of karst topography. Over thousands of years, the limestone base was dissolved by carbonic acid that was formed by water (rainfall, surface water, underground water) mixed with carbon dioxide. This is also how other similarly awesome topography in the Philippines was formed, e.g., Hundred Islands in Lingayen Gulf, the limestone islets around El Nido, and the Underground River in Puerto Princesa.

    Cheers from Manila!

  2. Chris Pado

    I think the best of Philippines was missed here. I believe that Coron, Palawan is the best to visit in the Philippines. A lot of white sand beaches, lagoon, the Kayangan Lake – the cleanest lake and sunken Japanese warships are great for diving. Here are great places to go in Coron:

    Kayangan Lake , Barracuda Lake, Sunken Japanese Wrecks, Coral Garden, Banol Beach, Twin Lagoon, Mt Tapyas, Banana Island, Siete Pecados, Malcapuya Island, Skeleton Reef, Black Island, Caluit Island (Animal Sanctuary), North & South Cay Island.

    If you doubt, just google the place i mentioned and it will blow you away…

  3. Hi guys, Ive went to boracay. It was a blast. We went diving, Banana boat riding, ate fine seafoods and chilling in the bars at night. What makes it so nice is that filipinos and foreigners are so polite and happy being a part of such place. Day and night the place is so colorful and romantic as well. Hope you all can visit there.

  4. Rolly Valdez

    El Nido should be on the list.. It’s a paradise! I’ve seen the chocolate hills but I really didn’t appreciate it.

  5. Barry Hallett

    I went to the Philippines in Oct 2012.El nido was stunning i must say,Bohol i thought was well overated.Anopther must see place if you like history is a visit to Corregidor Island,Fantastic Island off Manila,Im going back to El nido in Oct 2013.Might take in Coron this time too and Taal volcano.

  6. john angelo rivera

    CORON is the best! i’ve been there so many times, and planning to go back again… hmmn.., i wonder why it is not here??

  7. dhyanne prenciona

    Absolutely right I’m so proud of our beautiful tourist spots at Philippines mostly Boracay u will be very enjoy the cool ambiance nd if ever u like some cold places u must visit the Bagio the Tagaytay nd others. You will love the veiws of Hundred Islands too! Try to visit also the Cebu, Davao, nd Palawan nd ofcourse the Manila where there’s a Museum ,MOA nd Cavite nd Laguna our historic places!!!!

  8. zhera mating

    would you believe that i am from ifugao and i never saw banaue rice terraces.. maybe someday somehow i’ll reach that place

  9. iAn

    Wow. Nice list. These are the popular ones but a lot out there are still hidden or unknown to many such a Isla de Gigantes, Palui Island, Calaguas Group of Islands, etc. El Nido and Coron in Palawan ar also worth a mention.

  10. Paul

    Im thinking about going to the philippines but would like to know if its an exspensive destination to visit? Im not looking for glamorous accommodation but something decent, does anyone know what pricing is like? Thanks.

  11. Kim

    Thank you for featuring our country, the Philippines. The places included in the list are indeed beautiful, I’ve personally been to 6 of the 10 listed in here, but touring the Philippines need not be limited to these places alone as in almost every province there’s something to see (I haven’t been to every province but given that the Philippines is made up of 7107 islands, there’s bound to be different things to see :D).

    As for Paul, the Philippines is not an expensive place to visit, especially if you want to visit the provinces (where most of the places listed are located). There are many decent accommodations that cost 10-15 usd or less (includes meals already). And if you want to slum it, the cost will definitely be cheaper. Most of these accommodations can be contacted via email or through their website, and you can also purchase via booking sites because sometimes they have promo prices. Hope this helps! Have fun!

  12. Jocelyn

    Aurora is also one of the best and cheapest place to visit in the Philippines. Province of Senator Angara.

  13. Carla

    One of the best tourist destination is El Nido and Coron, in Palawan. These 2 destinations are just a small town but what makes makes it unique and different from other places is its natural inviting crystal clear waters in diverse and full of marine life lagoons, caves, lakes and beaches. Priceless experience, tiring but worth it to be in these places.

  14. civiram

    U must visit also mindanao part.esp surigao del sur.the tinuy an falls.enchanted river.etc.

  15. Ninia

    For me?,boracay is the best, not just because it is a tourist destination, but also of white beach,and there are also many ita or negrito tribes.come on visit boracay and explore the beauty.

  16. Charisse

    Awesome!!!!!!! Philippines is really amazing and has many beautiful places that you can visit! One of the best country in the world :D You may also visit: EL Nido, Coron Palawan, Siargao, Boracay, Kawasan Falls !!!!!!!! And many more beaches and falls.You can have Island Hopping also! Awww THE BEST! :))

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