So you’ve finally made the big decision and have started planning a vacation in the Philippines. That’s great; it’s an amazing place and a country which should be somewhere close to the top of every adventurous traveler’s must go to list. But because of its geographical make-up, it’s an archipelago of over seven thousand five hundred islands covering more than one hundred and twenty thousand square miles, pre-planning your must-sees in the Philippines is a good idea. So here are just some of the top places to see!
1. relax in Boracay
The island of Boracay in the Philippines has become famous around the world for its beautiful white beaches.
The island is only 7km in length and at its narrowest, just 500m wide but people flock here for the outstanding beauty that the island offers.
The main attraction is White Beach that has a 4km stretch of white sand that is surrounded by restaurants, hotels and diving shops.
There is always a party happening on the island with fire shows and live music giving revelers an evening of nonstop entertainment.
Over the years the development of the island has continued but there are still plenty of places to relax and thoroughly enjoy yourself.
2. Marvel At The Wonder Of San Agustin Church
San Agustin Church is located in Manila and is an incredible building that was built during the Spanish Colonial Period.
The church is the third building that has been erected in this space as the first and second churches were both made of wood and destroyed by fire.
The building is now made of stone and has withstood major earthquakes on seven occasions.
Many people come to visit this beautiful church to learn about its incredible history and see its breath-taking magnificence.
3. Capture the Active Mayon Volcano
On the island of Luzon is an active volcano called Mayon Volcano which is also known as Mount Mayon.
The volcano has picked up the nickname “Perfect Cone” due to its symmetrical cone shape.
There are frequent eruptions at the volcano which lead to large evacuations of the neighboring towns as the ash and mud rains down on the people below.
The most serious eruption recorded was in 1814, this led to over 1200 people losing their lives.
The volcano and surrounding areas are part of a national park that is certainly worth visiting whilst you are in the Philippines.
4. Spend Time At Historical Fort Santiago
Fort Santiago in Manila is a citadel that was built by the Spanish as a defense fortress within the cities walls.
The fort is incredibly popular with tourists and has a fascinating story. Jose Rizal was a Philippine national hero who was imprisoned within the fort up until his execution in 1896.
Whilst you are exploring the fort you can take a look at the bronze footprints that have been embedded into the ground to mark out the prisoner’s final steps before execution.
5. Take Some Time To Relax In Rizal Park
Named after Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. This 60-hectare park in Manila has many ponds, walking areas, and ornamental gardens.
The park, of course, has a monument to Jose Rizal, the monument has a 46-meter flagpole at its front and is guarded by sentries.
There is a lagoon in the center of the park that has the heads of many Filipino heroes on its bottom.
There is also open-air concerts that take place each Sunday evening, a fountain that bursts into color as darkness descends and each morning you can watch many locals practicing their t’ai chi.
6. Enjoy The Unusual Chocolate Hills
The Chocolate Hills are in the Bohol Province of the Philippines and they are a rare and fascinating site to see.
There are at least 1,260 hills spread out over an area covering approximately 20 square miles.
The small hills are covered in grass and as the dry season advances the grass turns from green to brown and starts to look like chocolate.
The hills vary from 30 to 50 meters high and really are an iconic landmark of the country. No trip around the country is complete without a trip to the hills.
7. Take A Trip To Volcano Island
Taal Volcano is located on the island of Luzon and is an active volcano that has erupted at least 33 times previously.
Due to the volcanoes location, previous eruptions have led to large losses of life. Now it is not possible to live on Volcano Island as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology have declared the entire island as a Permanent Danger Zone.
A trip here is well worthwhile especially as the Crater lake on the island is the largest island on a lake on an island in the world.
8. See The lakes At Coron Island
Just a short journey from Coron Town is Coron Island, an island that has become famous for its two lakes.
To access the first lake you need to be prepared for a ten-minute climb up steep terrain that is sure to leave you a little out of breath.
You will have arrived at Lake Kayangan which has crystal clear water and is nestled in the walls of the mountain.
You can go swimming in the lake and there is also a small wooden platform where you can leave your belongings.
The second lake is called Lake Barracuda, here the water can reach temperatures of 38 degrees centigrade and can be seen by climbing over some jagged rocks that will take you straight into the water.
9. Explore The Historical Island Of Corregidor
Corregidor Island is located at the entrance of Manila Bay and is maintained in honor of the Filipino and American’s that lost their lives defending the country from the Japanese during World War II.
The remains on the island tell a moving story of the battle and a guided tour will give you all the information you could need to learn about the great history of this special place.
For those that want to experience the island for longer, a hotel is available with excellent accommodation and very knowledgeable staff.
10. Take In The Spectacular View From Mines View Park
Mines View Park in Baguio is home to one of the best views in the Philippines.
There is an observation deck here that offers panoramic views of the gold and copper mines below you, and the mountains ahead of you.
To get to the viewing platform you will need to climb up some winding steps, these steps can, unfortunately, get quite slippery after it rains so it is always advisable to watch your step.
When you reach the top you can rent some binoculars or have your photo take by one of the many cameramen around.
The best time to go is early in the day to make sure there is no fog that could disrupt your view.
11. See The Effects Of Mount Pinatubo
Mount Pinatubo is situated on the island of Luzon and when it erupted in 1991 it became one of the most destructive eruptions that the 20th century saw.
When the volcano erupted it spewed out millions of tons of sulfur dioxide, the effects of which were felt across the world.
30,000 people lived on the slopes of the volcano before its eruption, luckily however scientists were able to predict when the volcano would erupt and so thousands of lives were saved.
Trekking up the side of the volcano has now become very popular and is a great way to experience the awesome power of nature.
12. See The Starfish At Honda Bay
If going for a complete dive is a step too far then maybe you could consider going snorkeling at Honda Bay.
Located on the eastern shore of Palawan the waters are often full of starfish (Starfish Island) and they make for a beautiful view as you gently snorkel through the calm waters.
You can also book tours from here or rent a boat and explore on your own.