The 10 Best Tourist Destinations in the Philippines

top rated tourist spots in philippines

The Philippines boasts some of the most awe-inspiring tourist destinations in the world. This tropical paradise attracts millions of travelers annually with its pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant cultural heritage. In 2019 alone, the Philippines warmly received over 7 million international tourists, showcasing its popularity. Embark on an unparalleled adventure as we unveil the top 10 must-visit destinations, including the breathtaking Boracay Island and the majestic Mayon Volcano. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey through this enchanting country.

Key Takeaways

  • The Philippines offers a diverse range of tourist destinations, from pristine beaches and vibrant nightlife in Boracay Island to natural wonders like the Palawan Underground River and Chocolate Hills in Bohol.
  • The country is rich in cultural and historical heritage, with attractions like the Banaue Rice Terraces and Vigan City showcasing centuries-old traditions and well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture.
  • Marine biodiversity and diving enthusiasts will find paradise in the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and Coron Island, known for their crystal-clear waters and impressive array of marine species.
  • Adventure seekers can conquer the highest peak in the Philippines, Mount Apo in Davao, or explore the stunning tropical paradise of Siargao Island, known as the 'Surfing Capital of the Philippines'.

Boracay Island

Boracay Island, known for its pristine beaches and vibrant nightlife, is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a tropical paradise. The island offers an array of exciting activities, making it the perfect spot for those who crave adventure. One of the main attractions of Boracay is its electrifying nightlife. The island comes alive after dark with numerous bars, clubs, and beach parties. Visitors can dance the night away to pulsating beats and enjoy delicious cocktails while immersing themselves in the lively atmosphere. During the day, Boracay offers a wide range of water sports for thrill-seekers. From parasailing and jet skiing to scuba diving and paddleboarding, there is something for everyone. With crystal-clear waters and stunning marine life, Boracay is a haven for water sports enthusiasts.

Palawan Underground River

The Palawan Underground River, ranked as one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, offers visitors a unique and breathtaking experience. Exploring the wonders of Palawan Underground River is like stepping into a hidden realm. This magnificent underground river, located in the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you venture into the darkness, you'll witness stunning rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites that have formed over millions of years. The underground ecosystem of the river is also of great ecological significance, harboring numerous species of bats, reptiles, and marine creatures. It's crucial to preserve natural wonders like Palawan Underground River, not only to protect its delicate ecosystem but also to promote sustainable tourism. By appreciating and conserving these natural treasures, we can ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to experience their beauty and wonder.

Chocolate Hills, Bohol

One of the most captivating natural wonders in the Philippines, Bohol's Chocolate Hills amaze visitors with their unique geological formations.

  • Unusual Landscape: The Chocolate Hills consist of more than 1,200 cone-shaped hills spread over an area of 50 square kilometers. These hills, covered in green grass, turn brown during the dry season, resembling giant chocolate mounds, hence the name.
  • Spectacular Viewpoints: The Chocolate Hills offer breathtaking viewpoints where visitors can marvel at the vast expanse of hills as far as the eye can see. The most popular viewpoint is the Chocolate Hills Complex, where a viewing deck provides an unobstructed panoramic view.
  • Adventure Opportunities: Exploring the Chocolate Hills is an exciting adventure for nature enthusiasts. Visitors can hike or bike through the hills, discovering hidden trails and encountering unique wildlife along the way.

Bohol's Chocolate Hills provide an incredible opportunity for exploration and a thrilling adventure for those seeking an unforgettable experience in the Philippines.

Mayon Volcano, Albay

Continuing the exploration of the Philippines' top tourist destinations, travelers can venture to Albay to witness the majestic Mayon Volcano. Known as "Nature's Wonder," Mayon Volcano is one of the most iconic landmarks in the country. Its perfect cone shape, rising 2,462 meters above sea level, is a sight to behold. But the beauty of Mayon Volcano goes beyond its appearance. Adventure enthusiasts can hike up the volcano and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. The rich biodiversity of Albay is also worth exploring, with lush forests, stunning waterfalls, and pristine beaches waiting to be discovered. To showcase the allure of Albay and Mayon Volcano, here is a table highlighting some of the must-see attractions in the area:

Attractions Description Activities
Cagsawa Ruins Historic site of an old church buried by volcanic ash Sightseeing, photography
Ligñon Hill Nature Park Offers a panoramic view of Mayon Volcano and Legazpi City Hiking, ziplining, ATV rides
Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave A unique cave system with stunning rock formations Cave exploration, spelunking
Sumlang Lake A serene lake surrounded by lush greenery Boating, kayaking, picnicking

Exploring Albay promises adventure and beauty, and Mayon Volcano stands as a testament to the natural wonders that the Philippines has to offer.

Banaue Rice Terraces

Nestled in the mountainous region of Ifugao, the Banaue Rice Terraces captivate visitors with their breathtaking beauty and centuries-old agricultural ingenuity. These terraces, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are a testament to the cultural heritage of the Ifugao people. They showcase the sustainable farming practices passed down through generations, demonstrating a harmonious relationship between humans and nature.

  • The terraces offer a mesmerizing view, with their cascading steps carved into the mountainside.
  • Visitors can explore the terraces up close, walking along the narrow paths and witnessing the hard work and dedication of the Ifugao farmers.
  • The terraces are not only a tourist attraction but also a living testament to the rich cultural traditions and sustainable farming practices of the Ifugao people.

A visit to the Banaue Rice Terraces is not just an opportunity to admire its natural beauty but also a chance to learn and appreciate the centuries-old agricultural techniques that have sustained the local community for generations.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, located in the Philippines, showcases the country's rich marine biodiversity and serves as an extension of the previous subtopic's exploration of the harmonious relationship between humans and nature. This breathtaking sanctuary is a diving paradise, attracting avid divers from all over the world. The park is home to an impressive array of marine species, including over 600 species of fish, 360 species of corals, 11 species of sharks, and 13 species of dolphins and whales. Its crystal-clear waters offer incredible visibility, allowing divers to immerse themselves in the vibrant underwater world. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is not only a popular tourist destination, but also plays a vital role in marine biodiversity conservation. Its protected status ensures the preservation of this fragile ecosystem for future generations to enjoy.

Mount Apo, Davao

Located in the province of Davao, Mount Apo offers an awe-inspiring experience for adventurous travelers seeking a thrilling climb to the highest peak in the Philippines. With its majestic presence and breathtaking views, Mount Apo is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. Here are three reasons why Mount Apo should be on every traveler's bucket list:

  • Hiking trails: Mount Apo boasts a variety of well-maintained hiking trails, catering to both novice and experienced climbers. From the challenging boulder-strewn trails to the more leisurely forest paths, there is something for everyone.
  • Wildlife spotting: As you make your way up the mountain, keep your eyes peeled for the diverse wildlife that calls Mount Apo home. From colorful butterflies to rare bird species, the mountain is a haven for nature lovers and wildlife photographers.
  • Panoramic views: Reaching the summit of Mount Apo rewards climbers with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. The sight of lush forests, rolling hills, and distant islands is truly a sight to behold.

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure as you conquer Mount Apo's trails and immerse yourself in its natural beauty.

Coron Island, Palawan

Coron Island in Palawan captivates visitors with its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. This tropical paradise, known for its breathtaking beauty, offers a haven for those seeking a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its picture-perfect white sand beaches and turquoise waters, Coron Island is a dream come true for beach lovers and water enthusiasts. Snorkeling and diving are popular activities here, as the island boasts an abundance of marine life and stunning coral reefs. The famous Kayangan Lake is a must-visit, with its emerald-green waters surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. Whether you're seeking relaxation or adventure, Coron Island in Palawan is the ultimate destination for those craving freedom and a true tropical paradise experience.

Vigan City, Ilocos Sur

Vigan City in Ilocos Sur offers visitors a captivating glimpse into the rich history and cultural heritage of the Philippines. This beautifully preserved city takes you back in time with its cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and horse-drawn carriages. Here are three reasons why Vigan City should be on every traveler's list:

  • Cultural Heritage: Vigan City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture. Take a stroll along Calle Crisologo, the city's main street, and admire the ancestral houses and buildings that have stood the test of time.
  • Culinary Delights: Vigan City is famous for its mouthwatering delicacies. Indulge in the local specialty, Vigan longganisa, a flavorful sausage made from ground pork and spices. Don't miss out on trying the empanada, a savory pastry filled with meat and vegetables, and the sinanglaw, a delicious beef soup.
  • Vibrant Festivals: Experience the lively celebrations in Vigan City by timing your visit during the annual Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts, which showcases the city's cultural heritage through street dancing, parades, and art exhibits.

Vigan City is a charming destination that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and gastronomic delights.

Siargao Island

Siargao Island offers visitors a stunning tropical paradise with its pristine beaches, world-class surfing spots, and vibrant island atmosphere. Known as the "Surfing Capital of the Philippines," Siargao is a haven for surfers from around the world. Its famous waves, such as Cloud 9, attract professionals and enthusiasts alike, making it a true surfing paradise. But Siargao has more to offer than just its waves. The island is home to hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Explore the beautiful natural pools of Magpupungko, where you can swim in crystal-clear waters surrounded by towering rock formations. Visit the enchanting Sugba Lagoon, with its emerald green waters and lush surroundings. And don't forget to immerse yourself in the vibrant island atmosphere, where you can enjoy fresh seafood, lively beach parties, and breathtaking sunsets. Siargao Island truly is a tropical paradise waiting to be explored.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Time of Year to Visit Boracay Island?

The best time to visit Boracay Island for ideal weather is from November to April. During this period, the island experiences dry and sunny weather, making it perfect for beach activities and water sports. The temperature ranges from 25 to 32 degrees Celsius, creating a pleasant and comfortable environment. However, it is important to note that Boracay Island can get crowded during peak seasons, so it is advisable to book accommodations and activities in advance.

How Long Does It Take to Explore the Palawan Underground River?

Exploring the Palawan Underground River is an unforgettable adventure. The duration of the tour depends on the itinerary chosen by the visitor. The underground river itself is about 8.2 kilometers long and takes approximately 45 minutes to navigate. However, the entire tour, including transportation to and from the river, usually takes around 8 hours. During this time, visitors can marvel at the stunning rock formations, observe unique wildlife, and learn about the rich history and ecology of the area.

What Activities Can I Do in Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Besides Sightseeing?

When exploring Chocolate Hills in Bohol, there's more to do than just sightseeing. Adventure activities like zip-lining, ATV rides, and hiking are popular among visitors seeking a thrill. For those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture, there are opportunities to try traditional Filipino cuisine and learn about the region's culinary traditions. Whether it's getting an adrenaline rush or indulging in delicious food, Chocolate Hills offers a variety of experiences for every kind of traveler.

Can I Hike to the Summit of Mayon Volcano?

Hiking challenges await those who dare to conquer the summit of Mayon Volcano. This majestic beauty in the Philippines offers a thrilling adventure to those seeking an adrenaline rush. However, safety precautions must be taken into account due to the volcano's unpredictable nature. It is essential to be well-prepared with proper gear and knowledge of the current conditions. With careful planning and guidance from experienced guides, a hike to the summit of Mayon Volcano can be an unforgettable and rewarding experience.

Are There Any Accommodations Available Near the Banaue Rice Terraces?

Accommodation options near the Banaue Rice Terraces are plentiful, offering a range of choices for every budget. From cozy guesthouses to luxury resorts, visitors can find a place to stay that suits their preferences. Transportation options are also readily available, with buses and vans offering convenient access to the area. Whether you want to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the terraces or explore the surrounding villages, there are accommodations and transportation options to make your trip seamless and enjoyable.


The Philippines offers a wide range of stunning tourist destinations that fulfill the desires of every traveler. From the mesmerizing beaches of Boracay Island to the captivating Palawan Underground River, there is an abundance of awe-inspiring natural wonders waiting to be discovered. With its famous Chocolate Hills and majestic Mayon Volcano, the country boasts landscapes that are truly captivating. Whether you're in search of thrilling adventures in the Banaue Rice Terraces or peaceful serenity in Vigan City, the Philippines has something to offer for everyone. As the famous saying goes, "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." So why not embark on your Philippine adventure today and explore the incredible beauty this country has to offer?


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