Tourist Destinations in the Philippines

35 Tourist Destinations in the Philippines to Visit in 2024

Heading to the Philippines soon? Our list of the Top 35 Must-Visit Tourist Destinations in the Philippines highlights all the places you should visit in 2023.
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Heading to the Philippines soon? Our list of the Top 35 Must-Visit Tourist Destinations in the Philippines highlights all the places you should visit in 2023.

The Philippines is known for its crystal-clear white sand beaches and stunning islands. When you think of the Philippines, El Nido, Coron, Boracay, Cebu, and Siargao all come to mind first. However, the Philippines has a lot more to offer.

The Philippines is divided into three major island groups: Luzon (northern part), Visayas (central part), and Mindanao (southern part). When exploring, you will most likely land in Manila (in Luzon) and fly your way to various destinations across the country.

LUZON

1. El Nido (Palawan)

Located on the northernmost tip of mainland Palawan, El Nido has attracted global tourists for its picture-perfect views of towering karst cliffs and lagoons. Some popular tourist spots in El Nido are Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Simizu Island, Nacpan Beach, and Seven Commandos Beach.

Entalula Island El Nido Palawan - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
An aerial of Entalula Island beach lagoon in El Nido, Palawan

2. Coron (Palawan)

Farther north of El Nido is the town of Coron, another world-class island popular among travelers from around the world.  A few must-visit tourist spots in Coron are Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, Malcapuya Island, sunken Japanese wrecks dive sites, and Calauit Safari Park.

Coron Palawan - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
A view of Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan

3. Batanes

Situated remotely in the northernmost part of the Philippines, Batanes is known for its scenic rolling hills and ocean views. Despite that, Batanes remains less popular because airfare to get there can be quite costly.

Batanes - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
The rolling hills and ocean view of Batanes

4. Balabac Island (Palawan)

On the southernmost part of Palawan and only 50 kilometers away from Sabah, Malaysia is Balabac Island. Despite its crystal-clear water, white-sand beaches, and various sandbars, Balabac Island remains less popular because it’s so expensive to get there. Some popular tourist spots in Balabac Islands are Onok Island, Candaraman Island, Punta Sebaring Beach, and various sandbars.

Onok Island Balabac - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
An aerial view of Onok Island in Balabac, Palawan

5. Calaguas Islands (Camarines Norte)

Calaguas is a group of islands situated east of mainland Camarines Norte and part of Vinzons town. The islands are known for their long stretches of fine white sand beaches. Mahabang Buhangin Beach (which translates to “a long stretch of sand”) is the most popular tourist attraction.

Calaguas Islands - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
One of the most popular beaches in Calaguas Islands in Camarines Norte

6. Caramoan (Camarines Sur)

Caramoan is the famous location of the hit American reality TV series Survivor: Philippines and Survivor: Caramoan. This town in Camarines Sur is the gateway to white sand beaches like Gota Beach, Tayak Beach, and Lahos Beach as well as limestone cliffs and islands like Matukad Island, Bagieng Island, and Aguirangan Island.

Lahos Island Caramoan - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
An aerial view of Lahos Island in Caramoan, Camarines Sur

7. Cuyo Islands (Palawan)

Cuyo is a group of islands east of mainland Palawan and west of Panay Island. It is where Pamalican Island is located where the luxury island resort Amanpulo, visited by A-list Hollywood celebrities like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Mariah Carey, and Beyoncé can be found. Other must-visit places in Cuyo Islands include Manamoc Island, Agutaya Island, and Cuyo Island.

Amanpulo Pamilican Island Cuyo Palawan - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
An aerial of Amanpulo Island Resort in Pamilican Island, Cuyo, Palawan

8. Tubbataha Reef (Palawan)

The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a protected area situated in the middle of the Sulu Sea and administratively part of Cagayancillo, Palawan. This 97,030-hectare marine and bird sanctuary features two atolls with a 100-meter perpendicular wall, two coral islands, lagoons, and the smaller Jessie Beazley Reef. Despite its very high density of marine species and birds, Tubbataha Reef remains elusive and expensive as it’s only reachable by a liveaboard boat.

Tubbataha Reef Cagayancillo Palawan - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Migratory birds resting on North Islet in Tubbataha Reef in Cagayancillo, Palawan

9. Jomalig Island (Quezon Province)

Jomalig is a remote island town in Quezon Province situated in the easternmost part of the Polillo Islands. Famous for its golden sand beaches with shores that are filled with thick she-oak, Jomalig Island is popular among weekenders from Metro Manila.

Jomalig Island - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
One of the beaches in Jomalig Island, Quezon Province

10. Banaue (Ifugao)

Banaue is home to the world’s oldest rice terraces in the world. There are many of them in Banaue, Ifugao with Banaue Rice Terraces as the world’s oldest rice terrace estimated to be 2,000 to 6,000 years old. Aside from Banaue Rice Terraces, there are four other similar rice terraces found in Batad, Bangaan, Hapao, Kiangan, and Mayoyao.

Banaue Rice Terraces - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Farmers at Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao

11. Sagada (Mountain Province)

Located 3 hours away from Banaue is Sagada, a small town in the Cordillera Mountains popular among weekenders from Metro Manila. Sagada’s most must-visit tourist spots include Sugong hanging coffins, Echo Valley, Lumiang Cave’s burial sites, Sumaguing Cave, Bomod-ok Falls, Mt. Ampacao, and various rice terraces surrounding the mountainsides.

Sagada hanging coffins - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
The hanging coffins of Sagada in Mountain Province

12. San Vicente (Palawan)

Tucked in between Puerto Princesa and El Nido, facing the West Philippine Sea, the town of San Vicente is one of Palawan’s next tourist destinations to watch out for. San Vicente is home to the longest white sand beach in the Philippines and one of the longest in the world, stretching for 14.7 kilometers. Other tourist spots in San Vicente include Port Barton, Starfish Island, and Inoladoan Island.

Long Beach in San Vicente Palawan - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Long Beach in San Vicente, Palawan

13. Batangas

Batangas is one of the most accessible provinces in Metro Manila. From beaches to dive sites to mountains, Batangas offers diverse attractions to cater to different tastes. Some tourist spots in Batangas include Taal Volcano and Lake, Verde Island, Fortune Island, and Masasa Beach. The town of Nasugbu is known for its beaches while Mabini is famous for its dive sites.

Taal Lake in Batangas - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Taal Lake in Batangas

14. Zambales

Zambales is another favorite weekend getaway among visitors from Metro Manila. Just a couple of hours from the city, Zambales is known for its coves (Anawangin Cove, Talisayen Cove, and Nagsasa Cove), surf towns (San Antonio, San Felipe, and San Narciso), and islands (Camara Island, Potipot Island, and Capones Island).

Anawangin Cove in Zambales - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Anawangin Cove in San Antonio, Zambales

15. Legazpi City (Albay)

In Albay, there’s one tourist attraction that people mainly visit—the Mayon Volcano, a 200-million-year-old active volcano known for its perfect cone shape. Legazpi City, dubbed the “City of Fun and Adventure,” is the gateway to one of the most imposing volcanoes in the world. Other tourist attractions in Legazpi City include Cagsawa Ruins, Kawa-Kawa Hill, Vera Falls, and Ligñon Hill Nature Park.

Mount Mayon in Legazpi Albay - Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Mount Mayon in Legazpi City, Albay

VISAYAS

16. Boracay Island

Boracay, a small island in Malay, Aklan, part of western Visayas, is one of the tourist destinations in the Philippines that draws tourists from around the world to the country. Ask many foreign travelers who fly to this country, and Boracay will be on their itinerary. Aside from its famous powdery, white sand beach, other top tourist spots in the island are Puka Shell Beach, Ariel’s Point, Mount Luho, Crystal Cove, and Bulabog Beach.

Boracay Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Station 1 in Boracay Island, Aklan

17. Cebu

Whether you are pertaining to the province or the city, Cebu lives up to its nickname, “the Queen City of the South.” If you are a history buff, you know very well that this particular province in central Visayas is where the first Spanish fleet landed to colonize the Philippines – specifically in Mactan. Cebu may be famous for its Magellan’s Cross, whale watching in Oslob, and Kawasan Falls Canyoneering in Badian, sardine run in Moalboal, but many travelers recommend that you don’t miss trying the lechon or roasted pig here. 

Kawasan Falls Cebu Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
An aerial view of Kawasan Falls in Badian, Cebu

18. Dumaguete

Just a few hours of travel time by road and ferry from Cebu City is the beautiful city of Dumaguete. This city is not part of Cebu province anymore but of Negros Island. While Rizal Boulevard is a well-known hub in the city proper, tourists choose to discover nearby attractions like the Twin Lakes, Apo Island, and the breathtaking Manjuyod Sandbar.

Twin Lake Dumaguete Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park in Sibulan, Negros Oriental

19. Bohol

What is it like to wake up in Bohol? Tarsiers, the Philippines’ very own tiny primates? The Chocolate Hills? Name it. Visiting Bohol is not just about beaches like Alona Beach and Panglao Island, but you also get to mingle with the locals and have them perform traditional songs and dances for you as you cruise the Loboc River.

Chocolate Hills Bohol Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Chocolate Hills in Carmen, Bohol

20. Siquijor

Many tourists who have previously been to Siquijor love the warmth and hospitality of its people, also noting how the beaches, sunsets, and sands here are among the Philippines’ best. The most recommended places to visit in this island province in central Visayas are the Cambugahay Falls, Paliton Beach, Salagdoong Cliff Jump, and some church-hopping. 

Cambugahay Falls Siquijor Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
An aerial view of Cambugahay Falls in Siquijor

21. Kalanggaman Island (Leyte)

Groups of friends love it at Kalanggaman Island! It is actually another sandbar located in the sea between Leyte and Cebu. This island is a vital breeding ground for the local ecosystem, aside from just being an important tourist attraction. Aside from exploring the sandbar, you must also make sure to try swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving here – even overnight camping and aqua biking!

Kalanggaman Island Leyte Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte

22. Carabao Island (Romblon)

You may be curious and wondering, what’s in the name? Well, there are two possible reasons why it is named such. Some believe the island has long been populated by carabaos, while others say it is actually shaped like a carabao when you arrive here from Boracay Island. Exploring Lanas Beach, cliff jumping at Cathedral Cave, and checking out Ngiriton Cave are some of the best activities to do in Carabao Island.

Carabao Island Romblon Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Carabao Island in San Jose, Romblon

23. Iloilo City

Thinking that the country’s beaches are becoming too monotonous for you? It’s time for some city tours but forget about the capital city, Manila, for a while. Iloilo City is a bustling urban destination in Panay Island. While it is best known for its Spanish colonial churches and old houses, you can also visit Jaro Cathedral, Nelly’s Garden, and the Iloilo Esplanade in this most loyal and gentle city.

Molo Church Iloilo Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Molo Church in Iloilo City

24. Bacolod City

Ah, “the City of Smiles.” Bacolod City becomes really hyped up every October as it celebrates MassKara Festival, a Philippine festival that’s closest to Brazil’s Carnival. See the performers don masks of various colors and designs. While you’re in Bacolod City, make it a point to try its local food offerings, particularly the chicken inasal and piaya. 

The Ruins Bacolod Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
The Ruins in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

25. Guimaras

Those who haven’t been to Guimaras will identify this island province in western Visayas with mangoes. And they are right. Guimaras mangoes are known as the “sweetest mangoes.” Some of the most popular attractions here are Guisi—where the ruins of a Spanish-era lighthouse are located—Alubihod Beach and the San Lorenzo wind farm.

Guimaras Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Sweet mangoes in Guimaras

MINDANAO

26. Siargao Island

If there’s a Philippine destination that is considered a star on social media, it has to be Siargao Island. Visiting local online travel groups, many would say Siargao Island is a must-visit. This tear-drop-shaped island is very popular among millennial travelers. Guyam Island, Daku Island, and Sugba Lagoon are the top destinations. Aside from having many of the best surf spots in the country, the boodle fights are also great here. 

Naked Island Siargao Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
An aerial view of Naked Island in Siargao

27. Socorro, Surigao del Norte

Surigao del Norte is magical and kind of transports you to a place with a personality that’s far from the usual, like the crowd-filled Manila, Cebu, or Davao. And in this province in Mindanao’s Caraga region, you can find a hidden gem that’s Socorro. One of the best attractions in Socorro is the Sohoton Cove National Park, which many travelers say is a must-visit. At Bucas Grande Island, you can visit the picturesque Blue Lagoon with its crystal clear waters, the mesmerizing Lake Tiktican (which is a small lake surrounded by towering limestone cliffs), and the Jellyfish Sanctuary, where you can swim with non-stinging jellyfish.

Sohoton Cove Soccoro Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
An aerial view of Sohoton Cove National Park in Soccoro, Surigao del Norte

28. Dinagat Islands

Who says that the best beaches in the country are just in Boracay, Subic, La Union, or Palawan? The island of Mindanao also has several spectacular beaches in store for you, such as the Dinagat Islands. This is an island province situated on the south side of Leyte Gulf. Create the best memories at Bitaog Beach, Pangabangan Beach, and Hinabyan Beach, to name a few. It’s a beach lover’s paradise here. 

Dinagat Island Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
One of the islands in Dinagat

29. Camiguin

Camiguin is an island province that northern Mindanao is very proud of. Located on the Bohol Sea, off Mindanao’s northern coast, Camiguin is blessed with natural wonders. Experience its majestic volcanoes, hot springs, pristine waterfalls, diverse marine life, and white sandy beaches. Mount Hibok-Hibok, Mantigue Island, and Tuasan Falls are some of its best destinations.

White Island Camiguin Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
White Island with Mt. Hibok-hibok in the background in Camiguin

30. Bukidnon

Believe it or not, if heavy downpours of rain and strong winds make you sick, you might want to visit Bukidnon, regarded as a typhoon-free province. This landlocked province in Northern Mindanao is not only endowed with natural attractions, but its terrain consisting of deep ravines and dense forest mountains protects Bukidnon from storms. Be sure to include places like Malaybalay, Valencia, and Maramag on your itinerary. 

Bukidnon Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
A ridge in Bukidnon

31. Samal Island, Davao del Norte 

Just a few minutes’ boat ride from Davao City is the unspoiled white sand beaches of the Island Garden City of Samal, as it is officially called, in Davao del Norte. It may be a top destination for divers, but tourists of all kinds can enjoy many other activities here, from island hopping to off-road biking. Endless blue skies and sun-kissed moments await you in Samal Island.

White Beach Samal Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
An aerial view of White Beach in Samal

32. Dahican, Davao Oriental

You may or may not be familiar, and perhaps it may be the first time you’ve heard about a place called Dahican in Davao Oriental. It is actually only a neighborhood, but Dahican, home to a palm tree-shaded crescent beach, is a prime destination of choice among surfers and divers. Surfing tournaments are held here, and divers visit this place to meet with adorable dolphins and sea turtles.

Dahican Beach Mati Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao Oriental

33. Iligan City

Do you remember the famous Maria Cristina Falls? It considers this place its home. Iligan City is known for this wonder-filled waterfall, but being “the City of Majestic Waterfalls,” you may also visit Tinago Falls and Mimbalot Falls, which are equally charming. For those who want to trip down memory lane, head to the Ma. Cristina Ancestral House. For adventurers at heart, hiking at Mount Agad-Agad will satisfy your outdoor cravings. 

Maria Cristina Falls Iligan City Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte

34. South Cotabato

If there is one word to describe South Cotabato, that word would have to be “dramatic.” One reason is that it is where the mighty Lake Sebu is located, the lifeblood of the T’boli and Ubo tribes. Aside from that, you may also want to journey to General Santos City, Polomolok, and Tupi, among many others.

Lake Sebu South Cotabato Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
An aerial shot of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato

35. Tawi-Tawi

Tawi-Tawi may be crossed out, at times, on bucket lists because somehow, the place has become synonymous with the wars and conflicts in Mindanao. But take Tawi-Tawi differently today. This island province in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao strives its best to become a principal tourist destination in the Philippines. Panampangan Island, the Sibutu Natural Wildlife Sanctuary, the Sheik Makhdum Mosque, and the Bud Bongao Peak are some of the must-visit places in Tawi-Tawi.

Panampangan Island Tawi Tawi Tourist Destinations in the Philippines
An aerial shot of Panampangan Island in Tawi-Tawi

More Tourist Destinations in the Philippines

Whether you are a beach lover, a history geek who wants to discover its colonial past, or simply looking to relax, the Philippines, with its warm and welcoming people, delectable cuisine, and stunning landscapes, will make way for an unforgettable journey that you will cherish forever.

If you are looking for more destinations to visit in the Philippines or you need help planning your trip, let us know in the comments. We’ll get back to you!

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Mario Manlupig
Mario Manlupig

Mario is the Founder of CEBU INSIDER. In March 2018, he left his full-time job at the Philippines' biggest TV network and became a digital nomad, traveling all over the country until the pandemic happened. He now calls Cebu City his home.

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