There are many beautiful places in the Philippines that are popular among both domestic and international tourists. The fact that the country is made up of over 7,000 Islands widens your options even further. The view of idyllic undulating hills of Batanes, magnificent cascades of Lake Sebu, blinding-white sandy beaches of Palawan , among others should make it well qualified to add it to your bucket list of places to visit.
It does not matter whether you are adventurous or a little cautious, it is a given that the Philippines will satisfy your wanderlust for a while. Below is an attempt to list some of the beautiful places in the archipelago country.
Banaue is situated at a very high altitude and characterized by numerous rice terraces. For these reasons, it is often described as the merging point between heaven and earth and the terraces represent a stairway that leads to heaven. Such features make Banaue a place rich of cultural fascination and adventure. During the day tourists can engage in physical activities such trekking, strolling or biking. When the night falls they gather around campfires at a village and participate in chats perhaps to share their personal experiences. Alternatively, some could also just decide to hold their talks in their rooms within resorts, inns, and lodges. More reasons why Banaue is the leading tourist destination in the Philippines are: the terraces start at the foot of the Cordilleras and soar several thousand feet high.
Streams and mountain springs are the main sources of water for the rice paddles. Irrigation canals snake their way downhill channeling the water into the terraces. In the village of Batad, the terraces are more interesting because they are shaped like an amphitheater. Banaue can be accessed by road from Banaue Hotel or hiking through the chains of hills and mountains. The road is about 12 kilometers while hiking takes an average of 2 hours. After a day full of physical activities, you can take a cool refreshing retreat at the Tapiya Waterfall and the stream at Guihob both which provide sufficient space and clean water for swimming.
This next part is for those travelers who love shopping. While in Banaue you can shop at the local markets. Curio shops offer an array of souvenir goods but the most fulfilling way to do your shopping is by visiting the villages, where you get to meet and watch families demonstrate proficiency in their native craft. Unlike in the curio stores, you can get better prices for the finished products. Besides Banaue Hotel, here are other places that are in close proximity to Banaue of Painterly Dreams offering accommodation: Banaue Homestay, Randy's Brookside Inn, and Native Village Inn and Restaurant.
A series of 1,268 Haycock-shaped hills arranged perfectly in a symmetrical sequence stand 30 meters above the ground to form a beautiful attraction known as the chocolate hills. The hills remain a national geological monument for the Philippines and listed as one of the wonders of the world. The explanation given by geography on how this exceptional, rock formation came to be is that it was as a result of evolution over many years. They are spread over the towns of Batuan, Carmen, and Sagbayan.
You must be wondering why of all names chocolate was chosen. The hills are naturally and in most times covered with green grass but during summer seasons they dry up and turn to brown leaving the hills resembling chocolate bonbons hence the name "Chocolate Hills." In the recent past, developments have been carried out on the two of the hills. The developments include construction of facilities such as a restaurant, a youth hostel, and a view deck. Additional hills on which you are likely to get a commanding view of the adjacent islands are Ilihan in the town of Jagna, Elly and Banat-I in Tagbilaran's capital city, Sampoangan in the town of Calape and Himontagon in Loay.
There are different accommodation choices available but am sure you are most interested in the ones closest to the above –described glorious hills. Topping the list is 7P2 Bed and Breakfast. It is located in Carmen. With regards to transportation, it is most convenient because it will only take you 14 minutes to drive to chocolate hills. Villa der Carmen comes second and just like 7P2 it provides easy accessibility to the hills. Some of the most popular recreational activities that you may want to indulge in while spending time on hills are a boat ride up the stream of River Loboc while at it you will get to see the big palm trees also known as nippa" among other remarkable tropical flora. You can also visit the cute and amazing little Philippine Tarsier, challenge yourself on the rush bicycle zip line or Spiderman wall climbing.
The subject of white sand beaches is quite normal, right? To say the least they are found in almost all countries bordering an ocean. What about pink sand beaches? Quite unique huh! That is the reason why they make it to the list of most beautiful places in the Philippines. A pink beach sounds like a fantasy but after visiting the shores of Great Santa Cruz Island and Sila Island, you will not have a shred of doubt left.
Available leisure activities here include snorkeling and the breathtaking view of the pink beaches. At the Sila Island, you can rent a cottage for a day from the Pink Sand Resort. It is advisable that travelers carry their own personal effects such as toiletries and towels. Black sand beaches are another beauty of nature that I cannot leave out. Your eyebrow must have risen a little higher to register disbelief when you heard me mention this for the first time, but am here to confirm that black sand beaches exist in the Philippines. They are found in Santo Domingo, and Bacacay, Albay. The blackness is caused by black volcanic rocks and sand. How charming to look at the contrast of green trees, cool, blue, shimmering ocean waters and the black sand! An example is Barangay Sogod Beach located a few kilometers from Poblacion. I don't know about you, but I love the feeling of warm beach sand beneath my feet and a gentle sea-breeze caressing my skin.
Cebu city has, for over 200 years, been the most preferred destination of visitors in the Philippines. Talk of the pristine beaches characterized with blinding white sand, crystalline waters, balmy weather and luxurious resorts that suit the style of modern life. It is within Cebu that the cross of Christianity was planted by Ferdinand Magellan; a Portuguese navigator. Cebu holds a collection of ancient historical monuments like the Fort of San Pedro and Casa Gorordo.
The city has strong economy, values education and possesses a strong cultural heritage. Tourists can enjoy themselves in the casinos, entertainment hubs, and shopping malls. Not to forget the sandy beaches , crystal clear waters, and vibrant marine life. Cebu is among the best places for anybody who is interested in scuba diving. When you decide to visit the city make sure you get time to also visit Crown Regency's Sky Experience Adventure. It is a restaurant that is coming up with a promise to deliver quality services.
Manila can be described as the heart and soul of the Philippines but in simple terms, it is the country's capital city. It is the Pacesetter of life within the thousands of islands and its beaches are both relaxing and fun. Within the city, there is a blend of modern life style and a touch of ancient practices, a blend of occidental and oriental. The birth of the city dates back to 1571. Miguel Lopez established the city making it the headquarters of Spanish colonial rule in Asia. After building the city within walls, Miguel named it Intramuros. Manila is Philippines anchor tourist destination with lots of recreational facilities and activities. They include boat riding, clubbing, and shopping. The people are friendly too, so don't be afraid to interact. Through this, I believe you will be able to appreciate the cultural diversity and the pulsating Manila city life. Don’t forget to check out the beaches near Manila too .
Another beautiful place in the Philippines is Vigan; the country's oldest city. It stands as a constant reminder of the royal city that once was. It was named the World's Heritage City by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). If you are the type who likes adventure then I promise you, visiting Vigan will be worth your time. The city presents a glimpse into the fascinating culture and colonial history of the Philippines.
The Castilian architecture of the 18th Century such as the Augustinian cathedral among other stone buildings still stands steadfast in Mestizo district. Some have been converted into museums while others are being used as souvenir stores. It is amazing how a building can remain standing for centuries. Ancient building technology must have been at its own level. Indeed, the Philippines are a magical place worth visiting and exploring.