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Must visit places in the Philippines

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Dreaming of a golden getaway, tropical paradise? Look no further than the Philippines, a country blessed with natural wonders, rich history and warm hospitality.

people playing volleyball in the beach
Photo credit: YayImages.

The Philippines has over 7000 islands of fun and adventure. There’s always something new and exciting to discover.

From Luzon’s breathtaking landscapes to Visayas’s pristine beaches and Mindanao’s cultural tapestry, there’s something for every traveler to discover. Join us on a journey through must-visit places in the Philippines, complete with insider tips on what to do and, of course, what to eat.


Luzon, the largest and most populous island in the Philippines, is a treasure trove of diverse landscapes, vibrant cities and cultural heritage sites.

Photo credit: YayImages.

North: Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao Province

Marvel at the ancient engineering marvels of the Banaue Rice Terraces, carved into the mountainsides over 2,000 years ago by the Ifugao people. Immerse yourself in the local culture by hiking through the terraces, visiting traditional villages and interacting with the indigenous communities. And if you have some extra time, you can drive for an hour or two to Whang Od.

rice terraces in the mountains philippines banaue
Photo credit: YayImages.

Start your day with hearty Filipino breakfast favorites like tapa or “longganisa,” a Filipino-style sausage served with garlic rice and eggs at Bana’s Café. Don’t miss the opportunity to try their traditional Ifugao coffee, too.

After exploring the breathtaking landscapes, head to Batad Pension and Restaurant, located in the picturesque village of Batad, known for its UNESCO-listed rice terraces, for a satisfying meal. Check out Nay Chon’s Lodge and Restaurant to feast on Ifugao’s specialties like “pinikpikan,” a chicken or duck dish, “kinuday,” or traditional smoked meat, and “binakol,” a healthy chicken soup.

South: Tagaytay, Cavite and Taal Volcano, Batangas

Take a boat ride across Taal Lake to explore the iconic Taal Volcano, one of the world’s smallest active volcanoes. Hike to the crater rim for panoramic views of the emerald-green lake within a volcano, a sight to behold. Afterward, head up to Tagaytay City to enjoy the cool climate and breathtaking vistas of Taal Volcano while savoring local delicacies.

Taal volcano
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Want to enjoy fine dining and a cool climate? Check out Antonio’s elegant ambiance, impeccable service and exquisite fine dining experience. Don’t miss their signature dishes like the U.S. angus beef tenderloin and their innovative takes on Filipino classics.

Cozy coffee dates and family breakfast reunions? Bag of Beans is your go-to spot. Indulge in organic salads, freshly baked bread, pasta dishes and grilled specialties, with ingredients sourced from the restaurant’s own garden at Sonya’s Garden.

La Union

Known as the “Surfing Capital of the North,” this is perfect for surf enthusiast. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, the waves of La Union offer a memorable experience for all skill level.

Aside from surfing, La Union boasts its wonderful beaches perfect for simply unwinding by the shore. Don’t forget to bring your cameras to catch the breathtaking sunset views.

Indulge yourself with the delicious delights of La Union, known for its fresh foods, feast on grilled seafoods and many more authentic Filipino dishes.


Visayas is renowned for its stunning beaches and vibrant marine life. It is also known for its colorful festivals.

Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan

Sink your toes into the powdery white sands of Boracay’s world-famous White Beach, where turquoise waters meet swaying palm trees. Indulge in thrilling water sports like kiteboarding, parasailing and helmet diving, or simply unwind with a soothing massage by the sea. As the sun sets, join the lively beach parties or enjoy a romantic dinner by the shore.

Boracay offers a wide array of dining options ranging from beachfront cafes to upscale restaurants. Sip delicious, refreshing milkshakes at Jonah’s Fruit Shake & Snack Bar after a long, hot day at the beach. Sample fresh seafood delights at D’Talipapa Seafood Market, located near Station 2.

This bustling market allows you to handpick your fresh seafood from the stalls and have it cooked to your liking. Craving sweet treats? Grab your sweet fix by tasting Coco Mama’s famous coconut ice cream. Up for sunrise watching? Grab a hearty meal at the Sunny Side Cafe with your gang.

Chocolate Hills Carmen, Bohol

Behold the otherworldly landscape of the Chocolate Hills, a geological formation of more than 1,200 cone-shaped hills scattered across the island of Bohol. Climb the viewing deck at Chocolate Hills Complex for panoramic vistas of these natural wonders, which turn brown during the dry season, resembling giant chocolate Kisses. Explore nearby attractions such as the Tarsier Conservation Area and the historic Baclayon Church.

Chocolate hills in the Philippines
Photo credit: YayImages.

Experience classic Filipino dining with a view aboard the Loboc River Cruise Floating Restaurant. Enjoy a buffet-style lunch or dinner as you glide along the picturesque Loboc River, surrounded by lush tropical scenery, while being serenaded by local musicians. For those wanting to experience a unique palate experience, Bohol Bee Farm offers unique farm-to-table dishes. Don’t miss their famous organic ice cream flavors made from local ingredients. And for a name loved by locals, Gerarda’s Family Restaurant is a favorite known for its hearty Filipino comfort food and cozy ambiance.

Cebu City

Cebu city is known as the “oldest city” in the Philippines. Perfect blend of tradition and modernity, this city is a treasure trove of history, culture and natural beauty.

Explore the historical landmarks of Cebu, including Magellan’s Cross which is a symbol of the Philippines colonial past.

Satisfy your cravings with the famous Cebu Lechon, a roasted pig known for its crispy skin and flavorful meat. Aside from the crispy and juicy “lechon baboy“, visit the popular barbeque market to feast on delicious meat skewers.


Mindanao, the southernmost major island in the Philippines, is a melting pot of diverse cultures, pristine landscapes and mouthwatering cuisine.

nipa hut houses on the water
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Davao City, Davao del Sur

Explore the vibrant city of Davao, known for its bustling markets, rich biodiversity and eco-adventure opportunities. Visit the iconic Philippine Eagle Center to see the majestic Philippine eagle up close, embark on a thrilling zipline adventure at Eden Nature Park or take a day trip to the pristine beaches of Samal Island. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in durian, the king of fruits, and other exotic treats at Davao’s fruit markets.

For local bites, Claude’s Le Café de Ville is a charming French-inspired restaurant tucked away in the heart of Davao City. This establishment offers classic French dishes with a local twist. Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings the Davaoeno way by sampling Lachi’s Sans Rival Atbp’s desserts and comfort food. Savor regional seafood specialties at Yellow Fin Seafood Restaurant. Before you head home, make sure to try flavorful local fruits like durian, mangosteen and pomelo.

Camiguin Island, Camiguin Province

Explore the Island Born of Fire, known for its natural wonders, including volcanoes, hot springs and pristine beaches. Hike up to the peak of Mount Hibok-Hibok for breathtaking views of the island and its surrounding waters, relax in the therapeutic waters of Ardent Hot Spring or snorkel among vibrant coral reefs at Mantigue Island. Don’t miss the chance to visit historical sites like the Old Catarman Church Ruins and the Sunken Cemetery.

Number one among Camiguin’s culinary delights is La Dolce Vita, a charming Italian-inspired restaurant that serves authentic wood-fired pizzas, handmade pasta dishes and flavorful antipasti. For an authentic seafood experience, visit J&A Fishpen Restaurant. This floating restaurant allows you to dine right on the water while enjoying fresh seafood caught from their fish pens.

The final words

The Philippines is a land of endless wonders, where each island offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage and culinary delights. Whether you’re exploring the terraced landscapes of Luzon, basking in the sun-kissed beaches of Visayas or immersing yourself in the vibrant culture of Mindanao, you’re sure to create memories that will last a lifetime. So, pack your bags, embark on an adventure and let the Philippines enchant you with its magic. Your tropical paradise awaits.

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