Every adventurous traveler should visit the Philippines at least once in their lifetime. And when you visit, you need a bucket list! This awe-inspiring destination has something for everyone but the Philippines is most famous for it’s 7,641 islands, breath-taking beaches and snorkeling (hello Apo Island). There are so many amazing things to do in the Philippines; from surfing, diving, and trekking to sunbathing and shopping. Here is what we consider to be the top things to do in the Philippines, worthy of being on your Southeast Asia Bucket List anyway.
Here’s our pick of the top things to do in the Philippines
In the Bohol region of the Philippines lie the chocolate hills which are a unique and mesmerizing site to see. In an area of around 20 square miles, there are 1260 hills. An expanse of grass covers the small hills which when dries giving them the appearance of being chocolate.
Hike Mountains and Rice Terraces
Most travelers visit the Philippines for the postcard beaches but don’t miss out on hiking in the magnificent mountains. One of the best adventures to pursue here is to venture north into the mountain region and hike Batad, Banaue and Sagada. You can find impressive rice terraces here which have been made by local tribesmen. If you’re up to it, climb one of the many mountains like Mt Apo, Mt Pulag, and Pico de Loro too.
Go Scuba Diving in Shipwrecks
Into watersports? Scuba diving in the Philippines is a must for you. Although the country has numerous excellent dive sites you must visit the WWII sunken shipwreck in Coron, Palawan. Some other diving destinations are Apo Reef, Malapascua in Cebu and Pescado Island which are well known for the thresher sharks. If you crave more adventure, opt for a Philippines live aboard diving trip that will take you to some of the best and unexplored sites.
Visit Mayon Volcano
Mayon, also known as Mayon Volcano or Mount Mayon is a sacred and active stratovolcano rising to 2462 m in the province of Albay in Bicol Region, on the large island of Luzon in the Philippines. Considered the world’s most perfect volcanic cone because of its shape, it has a base 130 km in circumference. The volcano erupts frequently and evacuations in the neighboring towns to save the people from the mud and lava are common.
In the Laguna region, Pagsanjan falls is the most famous waterfall in the Philippines. This three-tier waterfall is reached by going on a river trip, usually in a canoe. It is a 91 m high waterfall, and once you have reached the top, you can canoe down the fall with a skilled canoeist going past fourteen rapids. If you do not want to go for a rapid ride, you can also hike up the falls taking around 500 steps and two vertical ladders.
If you want to escape from the chaos of the cities and relax on a beach, then you must plan a trip to Mactan Island. The Island has several water sports activities for visitors, and its diving sites will give you a chance to admire the incredible marine life. As Mactan Island and Cebu share a connection, it is the perfect place to begin your island hopping once you’ve landed and explored Cebu.
Enjoy at the Lakes at Coron Island
Nearby Coron Town lies the Coron Islands which are famous for the two lakes here. You need to climb a steep terrain for around ten minutes to reach the first lake, Lake Kayangan which has crystal clear water and sits between mountains. The lake is perfect for a quick swim. The second lake is known as Lake Barracuda where the water reaches up to 38 degrees.
San Anguin Church
This church is in Manila and is a beautiful building that was constructed during the Spanish Colonial era. Originally made of wood and destroyed by fire twice, you will see the third version of this church. Now the building is made of stone and has survived major calamities. People visit this magnificent church to learn about its history and admire the beautiful architecture.
Relax at Rizal Park
Rizal park got its name after Jose Rizal, a Philippines National Hero in Manila. The park is vast and has several ponds, ornamental gardens and walking areas. It also has a monument of Jose Rizal which has a 46-meter flag post and is under strict patrolling. In the center of the park is a lagoon. Open air concerts, musical fountains and t’ai chi by locals make this park all the more attractive.
At the entrance of Manila Bay you’ll find the ancient Corregidor Island. This island honors the Americans and the Filipinos who sacrificed their lives saving the country from the Japanese at the time of WWII. Take a guided tour to learn the history of this symbolic island. If you’re interested in exploring the island for longer, there is a hotel with excellent services and great staff.
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Other than these top things to do in the Philippines, there is so much more to see and experience in this amazing country. Plan ahead so that you can take your time exploring and be prepared to be flexible because sometimes travelers you meet along the way will have the best suggestions for undiscovered gems and awesome things to to do in the Philippines.
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