Travel Destination Philippines – With over 7,000 islands to choose from, finding the best places to visit in the Philippines can seem impossible! Well, here are my top picks…
The Philippines is fast becoming one of the hottest destinations in the world for travelers and travelers young and old.
Travel Destination Philippines
I’ve mentioned many times now how amazing the water in the Philippines is, and it makes for some of the best snorkeling and diving opportunities on Earth.
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But there are so many other things to do in the Philippines that make it a great place to visit; Meeting friendly locals, eating great food, drinking cheap wine and discovering amazing waterfalls
There are (much) more, but we’re not here to talk about how much I love the Philippines
Here are the best places to visit in the Philippines and which islands you should consider adding to your Philippines itinerary.
Well, after spending 4 weeks exploring several islands, I narrowed down my personal Philippines bucket list to these 7 destinations.
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I left out a few stops that I didn’t think had been picked up. And by visiting these 7 Philippine destinations, you’ll have plenty of time to see all the best places in the country and show your love for this country 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….
Based on our backpacking experience in the Philippines, it seems that even though Port Barton has come a long way, it is still one of the most under-discovered beauty spots in the Philippines.
Despite being a few hours south of El Nido, it has been a relatively unknown place for years
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I’m not sure why it suddenly became so popular, maybe new roads have been built recently making it more accessible.
However, there are new resorts to cope with the sudden growth of tourists, and the number of homestays is increasing every month.
As of late 2018 they now also have 24 hour electricity, although the WiFi is far from stable (even by Philippine standards!).
Here, you will find a small town, mainly filled with small wooden houses and a beautiful beach area. Perfect for swimming, relaxing and enjoying the sunset
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Port Barton is perfectly located, close to many sandbars, small islands and coral reefs, meaning it offers fantastic day trips.
What we love about Port Barton compared to other places in Palawan is how relatively less busy it is and how pristine the reefs are.
Just be aware that as of May 2019, they don’t have ATMs in Port Barton and some places accept cards, so you’ll need to carry plenty of cash.
Since Port Barton is so up and coming, new accommodations are constantly being created and you’ll find plenty of new homes and resorts to stay at each month.
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Other than that, 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 located close to many of the best things to see and do in Cebu.
Anywhere in the Philippines, these are some of the most Instagram-worthy with their beautiful falls and pure blue pools at the base.
However, you will find other beautiful waterfalls around and the most popular tours here are the canyoning tours where a guide takes you down through a string of waterfalls and allows you to climb and jump over many of them.
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The second best reason to visit Badian is to go to nearby Molbol where you can participate
For some reason, hundreds of thousands of Sardars have gathered here in huge groves off the coast
All you need is a snorkel and fins and you can swim a dozen meters among these magnificent sardines.
Most tourists stay in Molbol, which is better than the Badian region and has more options
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However, what makes Badian beautiful is that it is very less crowded and you are very close to the Kawasan Falls, which you should reach nice and early.
There was no other choice to stay close and these guys had clean rooms, great wifi and great food!
However, if you are looking for a lively area and a chance to meet a lot of people, Molbol would be a good choice.
El Nido has long been a popular place to visit in the Philippines, perhaps the most popular tourist destination in the Philippines.
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Because of this, you will find a well-developed tourism industry, the main attraction of which is the selection of full-day island tours.
You have the opportunity to go deep into the sea, discover snorkel points, wide canyons and truly amazing surroundings.
There are literally dozens of boats in the port that leave every day and the trips are all relatively cheap
There are actually many great things to do in El Nido, including visiting Nakpan Beach, considered by many to be the best beach in Asia.
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The only problem I have with El Nido is that there doesn’t seem to be any more care for the coral than in Port Barton or Coron.
They unknowingly drag their anchors along the coral, and dozens of boats do this every day, you can see that at many points, the coral has died along the coast.
We stayed at 2 places in El Nido and since we left it late to choose accommodation, we were very limited in options.
They had fast wifi (fast enough to stream the latest season of Game of Thrones), really friendly staff and nice rooms.
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If you’re booking in advance, you can find a wide range of hotels and other accommodations on Booking.com.
El Nido has long been one of the most popular places to visit in the Philippines so there are plenty of accommodations to choose from.
Siquijor is the furthest south place to visit in the Philippines and a place you really cannot miss!
Which is perfect, because it gives you enough time to slow down, relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches
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Most people who visit go for snorkeling and diving from the beach, however, the top attraction in Siquijor is the Cumbogahay Falls.
These are now my favorite waterfalls from anywhere in the world, and the milky blue pools in the series.
Beautiful waterfalls flow through each one, but what makes Kambogahi so special is that the locals have built buggy rope swings between them!
The main pool has 2 large swings, and I spent hours flipping and kicking.
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It’s basically a big playground and you’ll probably see dozens of local kids playing there every day.
On the island, you will also find some other beautiful waterfalls, although if you visit in the dry season (like we did) most of them will be dry!
Another of my favorite things to do in Siquijor is to take a dip in the ocean from the rock platform at Loganasan Falls.
Once again, we were very happy with our stay in Siquijor and the AMK Travelers Center ended up with a great location, great rooms and very friendly owners.
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We met an Italian man who had been there for several months and was looking for land to build his home.
Maybe it’s because we stayed at Pauline Houseboat (more on that below), but I really loved Karan.
It is home to many beautiful snorkeling spots and lakes, nearby Kyangan Lake is the cleanest and cleanest of any lake in the world.
In the middle of the day, many of these places are very busy, so it’s best to go on a tour that leaves early and allows you to escape the hordes (again, more on that below).
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Again, you can enjoy a fresh BBQ dinner on a pristine beach and have endless opportunities to enjoy the beauty of Coron.
Simply put, there is no comparison anywhere else, because Pauline’s house shoes are completely unique and one of a kind.
These are the only places that have a legal right to live in the waters near Caron Island, as the island and its surrounding waters are under the control of the tribes that own it.
Here, you have the opportunity to completely escape the crowds and stay in a secluded, paradise-like home, complete with your own private snorkeling, paddle boarding and kayaking opportunities.
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Plus, it’s perfectly located near many of the best things to do in Coron, so you can get there before all the hustle and bustle of touristy things to do.
It also helps that they can offer tours at least 2 hours before Korntown.
However, it is a bit expensive and not everyone can afford it