Few weeks left and we’re done with 2017! What better way to get excited about the new year than by thinking of new places to discover, right? If you’re wondering what travel plans to put on your 2018 bucket list, I’ve listed 20 Philippine destinations that are sure to keep your itchy feet busy for the next year (or two).
1. Intramuros, Manila
If you’re looking for a place that will briefly introduce you to the country, make sure to visit Intramuros. While Intramuros is a relatively tiny piece of the whole Manila area, it screams of Philippine history and culture.
2. Corregidor Island
Just a quick 1.5 hours ferry trip from Manila will bring you straight away to Corregidor, a small historical island that’s perfect for a day trip.
Apart from an educational tour around the island, Corregidor also offers other experiences such as camping, star gazing, fishing, and even ghost hunting!
Ready to get your spook on? Check out Sun Cruises to schedule a trip.
3. Sagada, Mountain Province
Set 5 hours from Baguio City by bus, Sagada is a quiet, unassuming little town in the Cordillera Mountains. But don’t be quick to judge as deep down its modest vibe several activities to do, revealing stories to learn, and lovely places to discover.
Be mesmerized by towering stalactites and stalagmites as you go on a spelunking trip in Sumaguing Cave, bask in a sea of clouds at Kamanbaneng Peak, or trek down Echo Valley and get up close with Sagada’s famed hanging coffins.
4. El Nido, Palawan
If you want to experience life in a quaint coastal town, or see some of Palawan’s most gorgeous islands, head over to El Nido.
Enjoy the incredible sights of its lagoons and steep karst cliffs, swim in sparkling crystal clear waters or have a picnic lunch in one of its picturesque beaches.
5. Coron, Palawan
Fall in love with Coron’s unspoiled white-sand beaches, scenic backdrops of limestone cliffs, and rich marine life.
Also regarded as one of Forbes Traveler Magazine’s Top 10 Best Scuba Diving Site in the World, Coron Island is both a tropical paradise and a diver’s playground.
6. Calayan Island, Cagayan
Fancy a castaway kind of beach adventure? Try Calayan Island, one of the five small islands that make up Babuyan Group of Islands.
From breathtaking hills to untainted shores, Calayan Island is one of the most pristine destinations that should be on your bucket list.
7. Siquijor Island
Once rarely explored by the locals, more and more people are now discovering the mystical beauty of this small island.
Have a quick dip in its turquoise-blue clear waters, snorkel around to see its magnificent coral reefs, or sit down and be captivated by its panoramic sunset. Siquijor’s enchanting 102-kilometer coastline is what makes the 4-hour ferry ride from Dumaguete worth enduring.
8. Taguig City, Metro Manila
If you feel like taking a break from the countless tropical trips the country has to offer, and want to see buildings and streets for a change, Taguig City is a good place to go.
Visit museums, shop in landscaped malls, grab a good lunch at The Fort Strip, or have a drink in local pubs to cap off your day.
9. Masungi Georeserve, Rizal
Tucked in the rainforests of Rizal is Masungi Georeserve – a conservation area and sanctuary that offers a unique way to experience nature.
Whether you want to go trekking on karst terrains, take a rest inside the caves, or get an amazing view of nature, this place doesn’t seem to run out of things to offer.
Note: Reservation is required
10. Taal Heritage Village, Batangas
Get a glimpse of the Philippines’ rich and colorful past by roaming the streets of Taal Heritage Village, a historic little town just 2 hours south of Manila.
Visit well-preserved ancestral homes that have been passed on for generations, or go to museums that house priceless treasures from the olden days.
For a guided tour of the Taal Heritage Town, visit this page.
11. Inflatable Island, Subic Bay Waters, Olongapo City
Unlike the other islands mentioned so far, Inflatable Island isn’t really an island, but a floating playground that claims to be the biggest in Asia!
Think of a real-life WIPEOUT, except there’s no pressure to finish an entire obstacle course. Expect your muscles to be sore as you’ll be spending an entire day jumping around trampolines and falling into the water!
Book tickets here
12. Seven Falls of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
Now you can enjoy the scenic view of some of the Philippines’ most beautiful waterfalls while you fly over 180 meters above the ground.
If you’ve never experienced an adventure that’s both adrenaline-pumping and relaxing, try the Seven Falls Zipline Ride.
13. Osmeña Peak, Dalaguete, Cebu
This stunning range of jagged hills is a sight to behold. Standing 1,013 meters above sea level, Osmeña Peak is easily the highest mountain in Cebu.
Enjoy the cool climate at the summit as you take in the 360-view of the countryside, including the neighboring islands of Negros and Bohol.
14. Mayon Volcano, Albay
Dubbed as Mt. Fuji’s Twin Sister and listed by CNN as one of the most photogenic volcanoes, Mayon volcano is famous for its perfect conical shape. Towering over the city of Legaspi, there’s no way you would miss its grandeur.
15. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan
Be transported back to 18th Century Philippines by visiting Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, a themed hotel and leisure property that allows you to experience Filipino heritage and culture.
Roam around or stay the night at one of the casas and marvel at its collection of restored Spanish-Filipino houses.
16. Nagsasa Cove, Zambales
If you’re a happy camper and are looking for a quick and cheap adventure, take a road trip up to Nagsasa Cove, a not-so-secret shoreline in Zambales that reconnects you with nature.
The magnificent views of the mountains and the calm seas are all you need to refresh your soul. Pick a spot, build your tent, make some s’mores and enjoy life away from the rest of the world.
Heads up: No Wi-Fi.
17. Banaue Rice Terraces
Carved and built by the ancestors of the indigenous people of Ifugao, these 2,000-year old rice terraces are considered a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines.
If you’re looking for something that will take your breath away, it’s time to take that overnight bus to Banaue, Ifugao, and wake up to the majestic view of this man-made masterpiece.
18. Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley
A remote island located at the northeastern tip of the province of Cagayan, Palaui Island is home to beautiful coastlines, scenic terrains, and boasts of an abundant marine and wildlife.
Go on an extraordinary trip to this largely uninhabited paradise and experience its rugged yet one-of-a-kind charm.
Planning on island hopping? Inquire here.
Located in the northernmost tip of the Philippines, Batanes is a top dream destination for a lot of local travelers.
Experience life in slow motion as you bike around its coastline. Its surreal landscapes and seascapes will make you feel like you’re in a different time and place.
20. Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte
Three days may not be enough to explore the entirety of this unspoiled destination. Located in the Davao Gulf, about 700 meters south of Davao City, Samal Island offers pockets of hidden gems that are worth unearthing.
From rock formations and rolling hills to white-sand beaches and well-preserved coral reefs, you will never run out of reasons to be enchanted by this place.
If you’ve never been to the Philippines, aren’t you convinced to go yet?
Make sure to plan your travels ahead and if you want to compare prices for flights and accommodations or see a list of must-try restaurants for your next travel adventure, it is worth seeing what TripAdvisor says here.