Philippine Holiday Destinations: Spend Your Time On The Best Beaches and Islands
Summer may not be coming yet nor your next holiday vacation, but it’s better to be prepared with your destinations and travel goals. The Philippines holiday destinations would help you guide through any holiday trip you would want to take.
And of course, you’ll never go wrong with the beaches and islands that Philippines has to offer. With more than 7,100 islands, most filled with powder white sands and turquoise clear waters.
So, allow the workload stress to come with you over the months and be prepared to throw them all away along with the waters on your next holiday destination.
Philippine Holiday Destinations: Luzon version
As you know, the Philippines has three main islands, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. I did the liberty of picking people’s most favorite beaches and islands from each main for an easier overview. (Note that people’s favorites varies and this is not in any particular order)
Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Starting from the north, the first destination is the place where the long hours of drive would make you feel sleepy upon reaching the warm and cozy beach. Pagudpud has winds that blow from the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean which makes the waves ideal for surfers, windsurfers and kiteboarders as well.
You can also experience a variety of the nature’s wonders here from its beaches, to the falls and its rock formation which is the Kapurpurawan Rock formation in Burgos. Be ready to be blown away as well by the consecutive windmills at the Bangui Wind Farm which actually generates power for electricity to 40% of Ilocos Norte.
HOW TO GET THERE: Once you’ve reached Manila, take a domestic flight or a bus ride to Laoag. Airport provides free shuttle service. While during the bus ride, you have to ask the conductor to drop you off at Pagudpud’s Baduang Market. Buses from Manila going to Pagudpud are also available although the travel time may take 10-12 hours.
Caramoan, Camarines Sur
This island is like a hidden and untouched gem, well not until now or until the “Survivor” show made it famous. But it is a place where islands, rock formations and a true nature calling place is at. Some activities you can do here includes island and beach hopping around the Caramoan Group of Islands: Sabitang Laya, Manlawig Sandbar, Covitas, Lahuy, Gota, Lahus, Matukad, Pitogo, Minalahos, Hunongan, Tinago, Haponan and Basod.
You can also try snorkeling here (be careful of the jellyfishes though), camping, visiting historical places, and hike up to Mt. Caglago
HOW TO GET THERE: From Manila, take a bus or a domestic flight to Naga City. Head to Sabang Port and then take a passenger boat to your chose island.
Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley
This island is like the symbolism of hard work. It’s not easy reaching the island, as it takes quite of a trek to get to and should be accompanied by a good weather condition and a helpful guide. Getting to this island requires going through thorny grass, muddy ground and a mangrove forest.
The reason that this island is a raw beauty, are its untouched sands with volcanic rocks that are lying beside the superb blue-green waters. This island is perfect for a week or two getaways, away from the toxic world. You can turn off the rest of the world and only use your phone for taking photo snaps of the surroundings. There are plenty of other side trips you can try once there.
HOW TO GET THERE: From Manila, fly to or take a bus ride to Santa Ana. If you choose to take a bus ride, take a bus to Tuguegarao City. From Tuguegarao, take a tricycle and get off at the van terminal bound for Santa Ana. Once you reach Santa Ana, make sure to buy the supplies you’ll need for the trip then take a tricycle to San Vicente Port and register at the visitor’s bureau.
El Nido, Palawan
What lies in El Nido is a magnificent view and a sun-kissed nature. There are limestone formations, empty lagoons, marble cliffs, prehistoric caves, and waterfalls waiting to be seen. El Nido Is also a famous place for divers as the waters surrounding the island still has corals. If you’re lucky, you can also witness whales, whale sharks, sea cows, manta rays, dolphins and turtles on your way down under.
Besides at the beaches, you can also try to swimming in the lagoons. Visit Snake Island, take a quick boat ride to Helicopter Island, hike to Taraw Peak, and other excursions that to you can do.
HOW TO GET THERE: There are direct flights from Manila to El Nido. Once you arrive at the airport, you can take the airport tricycles to get you into the town of El Nido. There are also domestic flights from Manila to Puerto Princesa. From Puerto Princesa you can grab a cab or ride a jeepney to San Jose Terminal, and from there, take a bus ride bound to El Nido.
Philippine Holiday Destinations: Visayas version
Siargao Islands, Surigao del Norte
Siargao is the surfing capital of the Philippines. Land of the “Cloud 9” of waves and beach lovers’ ultimate destination. But even if you do not adore the beach nor know how to ride the waves, this is still a place that would make you want to do more of these trips. Some places you might want to visit are Magpupungko Rock Pools, which has the rock pools exposed on low tides, a must-see view when you go here; Island hopping from Guyam, Daku and Naked Island, and Santa Monica Pier.
You can also try visiting its Secret Spot or Secret Place which has two sides: the Doot Beach and the mangrove forest. There are also plenty of falls and lagoons to experience.
HOW TO GET THERE: There are direct flights from Manila to Siargao Island. Siargao airport is about 45 minutes away from General Luna. Tricycle and motorbikes are also available.
Bantayan Island, Cebu
This place is so peaceful you wouldn’t want to leave. And if recreation and soul searching is your goal, this might be a good place to be at. Before it became a filming location, Bantayan Island is considered as the secret hideaway by travelers. You can instantly feel the untouched and raw grains of sand and the chills from the water.
You can also try to visit the following places in Bantayan Island: Paradise Beach, Ogtong Cave, Kota Park, Kota Beach and Sandbar, Obo-ob Mangrove Eco Park, Virgin Island, and Hilantagaan Island.
HOW TO GET THERE: Fly to Cebu pretty much from any major cities in the Philippines as Cebu is one of the major airport hub beside NAIA. Upon arriving at Cebu, take a taxi and go to the North Bus terminal, then take a bus or shuttle to Hagnaya where you’ll take a ferry ride to Bantayan Island. Take note, the last ferry ride of the day departs at 5:30 p.m., so be sure to arrive ample of time or you’ll have to wait until the very next morning to catch a ferry ride to the Island.
Panglao is one of the best spots for seeing coral reefs. That’s why besides enjoying the surrounding beaches, diving is one of the top excursion you can do here. More and more foreigners are flocking to this place as it grows popularity as one of the tourists spot to go. Things you can do includes dolphin watching, whale spotting, diving with barracudas, and jackfish fishing.
And while you’re in Bohol you might want to take a side trip to see the famous Chocolate Hills and encounter the “world’s smallest primate”, the Tarsier.
HOW TO GET THERE: From Manila, take a flight direct to Tagbilaran City. If coming from other countries, fly to Cebu City and get on the fast ferry to Tagbilaran. Upon arriving at Tagbilaran, take a cab to Panglao.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Boracay. The once closed island that needed rehabilitation is now and once again open for everyone to see and experience. This island is known for its white powder beaches and its the night life. There are also plenty calm and quiet resorts for those who opt for more relaxing getaway. This place should definitely on your must go to place and travel. The beaches here is something to experience that nowhere else in the world.
Other beaches such as Diniwid Beach which offers a spectacular views that ones can only imagine. For a little more adventure, Bulabog Beach which is known for its laid-back community vibe but is a place to go windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Philippine Holiday Destinations: Mindanao version
Aside from the wonders and comfort that a beach gives you, Samal can certainly introduce you
to Sanipaan Shoal, a tiny island that literally disappears from sight during high tide. You’ll see nothing but an elevated cottage in the middle of the vast sea. You can also try to visit the Coral Garden Marine Park which is a fish sanctuary.
You may also try the giant slide at Maxima Aqua Fun, see thousands of bats in a cave and try other water sports just around Samal.
HOW TO GET THERE: Take a flight directly to Davao City. Then take a cab ride to one of the entry points to Samal Island (Sta. Ana Wharf, SASA KM 11 Wharf or IGACOS Ferry Terminal) depending on where you’re headed.
Great Santa Cruz, Zamboanga
Have you seen or been on a pink-hued beach? This is what you’ll get in Great Santa Cruz, pulverized red corals combined with the sea floors produce the pink blush on the waters. Its sea is a combination of blue and green shades.
However only day trips are limited to its beach trips due to safety advisory of the island. And since you only have a day to go through the island, do everything you probably can to get the most out of it like a mangrove/lagoon boat tour or sail in a vinta.
HOW TO GET THERE: Take flight from Manila to Zamboanga City or from Cebu to Zamboanga City. Through the Regional Tourism Office, book a day trip to Great Santa Cruz.
And there you have it! Top Philippines holiday destinations at a glance. Whether a crowded down to the most serene places to go to are listed.
Who knows, you might want to go island hopping and visit all the islands that I mentioned through this guide.