Must-see attractions in Philippines

  • Casa Mariquit

    Iloilo

    A massive banyan tree looms atmospherically over the entrance to this grand home built in 1803 by Philippines VP Fernando Lopez (Mariquit was his wife's…

  • Museo Dabawenyo

    Davao

    An excellent museum with two floors of well-designed galleries exploring the complex patchwork of indigenous tribal groups, religions and ethnicities of…

  • Kublai's Gallery

    Davao

    An unconventional setting for a fine-art gallery, paintings by artist Kublai Millan fill the walls of this large space. Take an elevator to the 4th or 5th…

  • Nelly's Garden

    Iloilo

    Iloilo's most famous historic home resembles the White House. You'll need to give three days' notice of your visit.

  • Fort Pilar Museum

    Mindanao

    At the southeastern end of town near the waterfront is this solid and squat building, partially restored to maintain its historic character. Inside is a…

  • A woman floats on her back in the Big Lagoon on Miniloc Island.

    Miniloc Island

    Bacuit Archipelago

    Miniloc Island is perhaps the most interesting of the archipelago's islands. The main attractions are Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon and Secret Lagoon, three of…

  • View of green mountain and tropical beach, El Nido bay, Palawan island, Philippines
beach, boat, cadlao, el nido, island, palawan, philippines, sea, tropical

    Cadlao Island

    Bacuit Archipelago

    Cadlao Island is like a mini–Tahiti miraculously relocated to the Bacuit Archipelago. In addition to being a wonderful piece of eye candy for those…

  • Hidden beach in Matinloc Island, Philippines.

    Matinloc Island

    Bacuit Archipelago

    Like the back of a half-submerged stegosaurus, Matinloc Island snakes some 8km along the western edge of the Bacuit Archipelago. Along with neighbouring…

  • More than 100 wooden coffins stacked at the lichen-lined entrance hall of Lumiang Burial Cave.

    Lumiang Burial Cave

    Sagada

    Lumiang Burial Cave is a 10- to 15-minute walk south of the main village, towards Ambasing, well signposted along the left-hand fork in the road. Steep…

  • Casa Gorordo Museum along Eduardo Aboitiz Street.

    Casa Gorordo Museum

    Cebu City

    Downtown, in a quiet residential area, this museum was originally a private home (built in the 1850s). Later it was purchased by the Gorordos, one of Cebu…

  • Tabon Caves

    Palawan

    The most anthropologically significant site in the Philippines, this cave complex is where the remains of some of the earliest Philippine humans have been…

  • Sumaguing Cave in the Philippines.

    Sumaging Cave

    Sagada

    The exhilarating Sumaging Cave, or Big Cave, is the most popular of Sagada's caves. Its immense chambers are home to other-0worldly rock formations with…

  • Fort San Pedro, Cebu City, Philippines.

    Fort San Pedro

    Cebu City

    Established in 1565 under the command of Miguel López de Legazpi, conqueror of the Philippines, Fort San Pedro has served as an army garrison, a rebel…

  • Aerial view of People's Park in the Sky perched atop Mount Sungay overlooking Taal volcano and lake. A Doppler weather radar station is found within the complex.

    People’s Park in the Sky

    Around Manila

    Improbably perched on a towering mound of earth at Tagaytay’s eastern end, this is Ferdinand Marcos’ unfinished summer home. It's a derelict yet…

  • A cave at Lamonok Island, in Anda, Bohol, Philippines.

    Lamanok Island

    Bohol

    This island 7km north of Anda has several anthropologically important cave paintings – made with bare hands – that date back tens of thousands of years…

  • High-angle view of Kayangan Lake.

    Kayangan Lake

    Coron Town

    Accessible by a steep 10-minute climb, the crystal-clear waters of Lake Kayangan are nestled into the mountain walls; underwater is like a moonscape…

  • People watching the sunset on the Maremegmeg beach at El Nido, Palawan, Philippines.

    Maremegmeg Beach

    El Nido

    Often called Las Cabanas Beach after a local resort, this is the closest nice beach to El Nido and has a rockin' sunset bar scene centred around Beach…

  • Talipanan Falls at Mindoro island, Philippines.

    Talipanan Falls

    Puerto Galera

    Much less touristy than the area's famous Tamaraw Falls, Talipanan Falls is a short walk from the village of Talipanan. Hire a Mangyan guide (P200) in the…

  • The Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Philippines

    Chocolate Hills Main Viewpoint

    Bohol

    Views from this perch are indeed magnificent, surrounded by Bohol's famous chocolate hills. However it's highly commercialised, with kiosks selling…

  • Paradise Beach (Sandira Beach) at the Bantayan Island in Cebu, Philippines.

    Paradise Beach

    Bantayan Island

    Around 5km east of Santa Fe this sublime cove beach has white sand, shade umbrellas and excellent swimming, and the surrounding area is attractively…

  • The zipline at Lignon Hill Nature Park.

    Ligñon Hill Nature Park

    Bicol

    For one of the best panoramic views of brooding Mt Mayon and the city, head up Ligñon Hill. It’s a steep, but paved, 20-minute walk up the hill; tricycles…

  • Daraga Church

    Daraga Church

    Bicol

    Set on a hill splendidly overlooking Mt Mayon is the baroque-style Nuestra Senora de la Porteria church in Daraga, constructed completely from volcanic…

  • Twin Lagoon in Coron, Philippines

    Twin Lagoon

    Coron Town

    There are two sides to this photogenic lagoon where salt and fresh water meet. Boats dock in one half and and the other half is accessed by swimming…

  • White Beach Moalboal

    White Beach

    Moalboal

    Glorious White Beach, where there's a broad stretch of sand and several midrange and luxury hotels, is 6km north of Panagsama. After bargaining, tricycles…

  • Bait Market

    Mindoro

    Mangyan tribespeople trek down from the hills for up to five hours to trade tubers, maize, rice and other vegetables for lowland products at this…

  • Sumilon Island Marine Sanctuary

    Cebu

    The marine sanctuary off Sumilon Island is a conservation success story in the Philippines. Resorts in Lilo-an run dive trips to the reserve, or you can…

  • Mangyan Heritage Center

    Mindoro

    This friendly research center and library is a treasure trove of books, archival photos and old news clippings about Mangyan culture. Its souvenir shop…

  • Balay Cuyonon

    El Nido

    You can take a guided tour of this complex of well-preserved traditional Cuyonon houses to learn about ordinary village life. Consider a night in a native…

  • Casiawan Falls

    Eastern Visayas

    A bit north of Cabucgayan, these falls can put on a good show depending on the amount of recent rainfall, and remain appealingly undeveloped. There's a…

  • San Pedro Island

    Leyte

    This gorgeous desert island is inhabited by only 500 people, mainly fishers and their families, and has a lovely white-sand beach and good snorkelling. It…

  • Battle of Bataan Museum

    Around Manila

    In a bunker beneath the main Battle of Bataan shrine, this absorbing and blissfully air-conditioned museum has an impressive range of weaponry, battles…

  • Danao Beach

    Panglao Island

    Far more mellow than its noisy neighbour Alona, Danao Beach consists of patches of fine white sand backed by coconut palms – it's an idyllic tropical…

  • Tulang Island

    Eastern Visayas

    Tulang Island, off the northern coast of Pacijan, has a stunning sandy beach where you can play Robinson Crusoe for an hour or so. Boaters in Tulang Daku…

  • Borromeo Beach

    Eastern Visayas

    Off the main road south of Esperanza is stunning Borromeo Beach, a blinding expanse of white powder.

  • Rizal Monument in Rizal Park.

    Rizal Park

    Manila

    Still widely known as 'Luneta' (its name until the 1950s), Manila’s iconic central park is spread out over some 60 hectares of open lawns, ornamental…

  • Sablayan Prison Farm & Rainforest

    Mindoro

    A wonderfully quirky experience, this penal colony 40 minutes out of town offers much more than a chance to meet and greet prisoners in their element…

  • 500px Photo ID: 130869553 - The National Theater at the CCP complex

    Cultural Center of the Philippines

    Manila

    The centrepiece of the CCP Complex is this bombastic building designed by noted Filipino architect Leandro Locsin. Inside attractions include the country…

  • Quiapo Church, Manila, Philippines

    Quiapo Church

    Manila

    Quiapo Church is a 1933 replacement of an older structure destroyed by fire. One of Manila’s best-known landmarks, Quiapo is the home of the Black…

  • Malacañang Palace

    Manila

    Perched overlooking the Pasig River, this sprawling palace complex dates to the mid-18th century, when it was built as the residence of a Spanish…

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