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30 Philippine Tourist Spots to Check Off Your Bucket List

by Paulina Paras

When you think of going on a quick vacay, you probably think of heading to either Japan, Taiwan, or Korea. But why look elsewhere when there’s so much to see in our own backyard?

Go local on your next trip and check out these Philippine tourist spots!

BACOLOD

The Ruins

INSTAGRAM: crisofel

A trip to The City of Smiles wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Ruins, a mansion built in 1920 by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson in remembrance of his wife Maria Braga Lacson. The building features ten rooms, an ornate fountain across the main entrance, and two Ms (for “Mariano” and “Maria”) molded onto each post around its exterior.

Entrance fees:
Adult: ₱100
Senior Citizens: ₱60
Students: ₱50
Children: ₱20

The Ruins
Hacienda Santa Maria, Talisay
(0917) 832 6003
Open daily, 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM

BAGUIO

BenCab Museum

INSTAGRAM: deniseherediaaa

The BenCab Museum is a spot every artist and art lover must visit at least once. Aside from housing Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera’s permanent collection, the museum also holds art shows and features exhibits by other artists.

Entrance fees:
General Admission: ₱150
Senior Citizens: ₱80
Students: ₱120

BenCab Museum
6 Asin Rd., Tuba
(074) 442 7165
bencabartfoundation@foundation
Open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Laperal White House

INSTAGRAM: jasonlimcastro

If you like horror movies and scary stories, the Laperal White House in Baguio is worth a visit. A vacation home built by Roberto Laperal in the 1930s, the house is said to be the residence of the ghosts of a woman who looks out the window and a little girl who stands on the stairs. The house is, unfortunately, closed most days of the year, so you can only appreciate it from the outside.

Laperal White House
Leonard Wood Road

BATAAN

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

INSTAGRAM: dekedeguia

Get a glimpse of Old Manila at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. With restored Spanish-Filipino houses you can stay in and bask in its old-school charm. There's a number of tours to choose from, so the long drive will definitely be worthwhile.

The Heritage Tour starts at ₱1,850.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Bagac
Open daily, 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM

BATANES

Basco Lighthouse

INSTAGRAM: hazelleconstantino

Built in 2003 to guide local fishermen, Basco Lighthouse offers a 360-degree view of Basco Town and Baluarte Bay. It can get extremely windy, though, so avoid wearing hats, sunglasses, and other small items that can easily be flown away.

Basco Lighthouse
Naidi Hill

House of Dakay

INSTAGRAM: naranzaso

The 131-year-old House of Dakay is considered the oldest Ivatan home in Batanes. Made of lime and stone with a cogon grass roof (replaced every 30 years or so), the house has survived the wind, rain, and an extreme earthquake that left only it and four other houses in the area standing.

House of Dakay
Ivana

BOHOL

Cabagnow Cave Pool

INSTAGRAM: laagan007

Although Anda, Bohol, is more popular for its white-sand beaches, the Cabagnow Cave Pool is a spot you wouldn’t want to miss. To enter the deep blue (or sometimes emerald green!) pool, you can either jump off the cliff into the water or go down the stairs. DG Tip: Make sure to come early, at around 8 AM, to avoid the crowds.

Entrance fee: ₱50

Cabagnow Cave Pool
Sitio Fatima, Anda, Bohol
Open daily, 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Chocolate Hills

INSTAGRAM: vymonikaaa

When you think of Bohol, the Chocolate Hills definitely come to mind. There are at least 1,200—or exactly 1,268, as claimed by some—cone-shaped hills, which get their name from the way they turn brown during the dry season. Although tourists are not allowed to climb the hills, you can check out the view at the Chocolate Hills Complex in the municipality of Carmen or Sagbayan Peak in the municipality of Sagbayan.

Entrance fee: ₱100

Loboc River

INSTAGRAM: gladccstlls

Enjoy a banca ride or a cruise on a floating restaurant at Loboc River. Considered one of the cleanest in the country, the river offers a view of lush forests you can take in while digging into a feast.

A river cruise with food and entertainment is priced at ₱550.

BUKIDNON

Sea of Clouds

INSTAGRAM: dmark.macni

You don’t need to hike up a high mountain to witness a sea of clouds! In Malaybalay, Bukidnon, all it takes is a quick hike on the trail at the Bukidnon Provincial Tree Park to witness the amazing view.

Sea of Clouds
Bukidnon Provincial Tree Park, Malaybalay City

CAMIGUIN

White Island

INSTAGRAM: becomingfilipino

If you’re looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, White Island should be at the top of your list. The uninhabited sandbar, located 1.4 km off the coast of Camiguin Island, has zero commercial establishments so you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.

White Island
Mambajao

CAVITE

Corregidor Island

INSTAGRAM: wndrrph

A reminder of how Filipino and American soldiers fought valiantly against the Japanese, Corregidor Island is home to historic sites like the Malinta Tunnel and numerous gunneries. You can also visit the Pacific War Memorial Museum, where you can find photos, letters, and more from World War II.

Taal Volcano

People usually head to Tagaytay to relax, eat, and enjoy a view of the Taal Volcano. Get all that and more at Qiwellness Living, where you can treat yourself to a massage, a degustation menu, and an unparalleled view of the volcano and lake.

Taal Volcano
Aguinaldo Highway
Brgy. Maharlika East, Tagaytay City

CEBU

Casa de Cacao

INSTAGRAM: poeticpicture

Casa de Cacao is like heaven on earth for chocolate lovers. Here, you can taste every possible variant of sikwate (chocolate drink) imaginable, make your own tablea, and enjoy other chocolate-based treats from Ralfe Gourmet.

The Chocolate Journey, Cacao Bean Evolution, Trails and Tales of Maria Cacao, and Tablea 101 experience starts at ₱1,500.

Casa de Cacao
3349, Topaz St., Casals’ Village, Mabolo
Open from Mondays to Saturdays, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

DAVAO

Bankerohan Public Market

INSTAGRAM: everydaydavaocity

Aside from being the one-stop shop for fresh produce, Bankerohan Public Market is known for serving Filipino favorites like bulalo, lechon kawali, balbacua, and more.

Bankerohan Public Market
Marfori St., Brgy. 5-A
Open 24 hours daily

Pearl Farm

INSTAGRAM: ninjarod

If you’re looking for a luxurious beach experience, check out Pearl Farm. Situated in Samal Island, the resort features rooms inspired by Mindanaoan ethnic groups, an infinity pool facing Mt. Apo, and other amenities worthy of its five-star rating.

Pearl Farm
Kaputian, Island Garden City of Samal

IFUGAO

Banaue Rice Terraces

Perhaps the most famous among the rice terraces of the Cordilleras, the Banaue Rice Terraces are believed to have been built mostly by hand over 2,000 years ago. You can enjoy the view of the intricately carved steps, just as Thanos did in Avengers: Infinity War.

ILOCOS SUR

Calle Crisologo

INSTAGRAM: kerramun

If you find yourself in Vigan, the two things you shouldn’t miss are the authentic Ilocos empanada and a stroll down Calle Crisologo. The picturesque street is surrounded by well-preserved Spanish-style homes, and the only way to go through it is to walk or ride a kalesa (horse-drawn carriage).

ILOILO

Miagao Church

INSTAGRAM: ford_dy

Built in 1797, Miagao Church is set apart by its Baroque architecture. The church’s facade features a bas-relief with images of a coconut tree held onto by St. Christopher and depictions of the daily lives of the people of Miagao.

Miagao Church
Zulueta Avenue

LA UNION

Ma-Cho Temple

INSTAGRAM: noelhilario

Built in 1975, the Ma-Cho Temple is a Taoist temple dedicated to Mazu, the Chinese goddess and patroness of the sea. Everything about the temple is IG-worthy, from its towering arch to the bamboo garden.

Ma-Cho Temple
Quezon Ave., San Fernando City, La Union
Open daily, 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM

MANILA

Baluarte de San Diego

INSTAGRAM: jilson.tiu

Intramuros City is proof that you don’t need to leave Manila to get a glimpse of our culture. Check out Baluarte de San Diego, a bastion built during the Spanish occupation to protect Manila. The grounds also feature manicured gardens that serve as a popular venue for wedding receptions.

Entrance fees:
Adults: ₱75
Students: ₱50

Baluarte de San Diego
Sta. Lucia St., Intramuros
Daily, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL

Hoyohoy Highland Stone Chapel Adventure Park

INSTAGRAM: alf_23

Home to the highest and longest zipline system in Asia, Hoyohoy Highland Stone Chapel Adventure Park is a must-visit site for adventure seekers. While there, you can also visit their stone chapel or buy potted herbs and organically grown produce.

Entrance fee: ₱50

Hoyohoy Highland Stone Chapel Adventure Park
Tangub City
(0917) 326 7878

PALAWAN

Barracuda Lake

INSTAGRAM: rooman.waheed

If you’ve always wanted to swim with a barracuda, now is your chance to do so! You might just get to see this creature while snorkeling or diving at Barracuda Lake, which is known for having both fresh and saltwater at different temperatures.

Entrance fee: ₱200

Maquinit Hot Springs

INSTAGRAM: ninamycin

One of the few saltwater springs in the world, the Maquinit Hot Springs are best experienced after climbing Mt. Tapyas. You can also enjoy the view of the ocean and mangroves as you take a dip in the ~40°C water.

Entrance fee: ₱200

Maquinit Hot Springs
Sitio Maquinit, Brgy. Tagumpay, Coron
Open daily, 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Gates close at 8:00 PM

Secret Lagoon

INSTAGRAM: terre.dumilieu

Entering the Secret Lagoon is an adventure in itself, as the only entry point is a small hole that fits just one person at a time. DG Tip: Opt for a private tour to avoid the crowds.

Secret Lagoon
Miniloc Island, El Nido

SURIGAO DEL NORTE

Sohoton Cove

INSTAGRAM: jay_jallorina

If you’ve always dreamt of swimming among the jellyfish, now’s your chance to do so at Sohoton Cove, a network of islets and lagoons. You can also go spelunking in the Magkokoob Cavern or watch the fruit bats fly while you’re there.

Sohoton Cove
Bucas Grande Island, Socorro
(0929) 125 0809
Open daily, 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Sugba Lagoon

INSTAGRAM: deepintotheelectricblue

Although regarded as a surfer’s paradise, Siargao is also home to Sugba Lagoon, a secluded spot where you can snorkel, paddleboard, and more. Compared to other lagoons surrounded by rock formations, this one features lush greenery as its backdrop.

Sugba Lagoon
Brgy. Caub, Del Carmen, Siargao
(0936) 540 5103
Open daily, 6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

SURIGAO DEL SUR

Enchanted River

INSTAGRAM: jiyon.the.soloist

The Enchanted River is a natural saltwater spring that flows out to the Philippine Sea and Pacific Ocean. Legend has it that fairies dropped sapphires and jade stones into the river, giving it the bright blue, gem-like color it’s known for.

Entrance fees:
Adult: ₱40
Senior Citizens: ₱34
Students: ₱15
Environmental fee: ₱10

Enchanted River
Brgy. Talisay, Hinatuan
Open daily, 6:00 AM - 5:00 PM

TAWI-TAWI

Panampangan Island

INSTAGRAM: vagabondpinas

Powder-like sand, crystal-clear waters—Panampangan Island is the stuff of tropical dreams. It may take around 30 minutes to get there via speedboat (the fastest and most expensive mode of transport), but it will all be worth it once you step onto the the pristine beach.

Panampangan Island
Basibuli Shoal, Sapi-Sapi

ZAMBOANGA

Great Santa Cruz Island

INSTAGRAM: mie_moi

Listed by NatGeo as one of the best in the world, the pink beach at Great Santa Cruz Island gets its color from crushed red coral scattered all over the sand. It’s very clean and peaceful, thanks to how well it’s being maintained by the government of Zamboanga.

Great Santa Cruz Island
Basilan Strait, Paseo del Mar, Zamboanga City
Open daily, 7:00 AM - 2:00 PM

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About Paulina
Paulina is a 24-year-old content specialist with an unparalleled love for beauty, food, cute animals, and iced coffee.

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