Boracay will be closed until October 2018 but there are still so many paradisiac destinations to discover in the Philippines.

Unexpectedly, the government of the Philippines announced that Boracay, one of the most sought-after destinations in Southeast Asia, will close to tourism for the next 6 months.

The main reason for this decision is the growing concern about pollution caused by the rising number of visitors and the rapid development of tourism.  The news of sewage being illegally dumped in the beaches of this once idyllic spot has spurted the decision to shut down the island access from 26 April onwards.
The decision seems to be an attempt to dimish the effects of the touristic development on the once immaculate sands and clear waters of Boracay. This closing will have serious implications for the local population which livelihood is directly connected to tourism and certainly will affect all travelers with bookings for Boracay.

If Boracay was in your travel plans for this year, don’t rush to erase the Philippines out of your travel bucket list. Boracay will be officially closed but the rest of this beautiful and vast archipelago is open and waiting for you. Here we give you a list of the top places you can still visit in the Philippines that are as good or better than Boracay. Get ready for your paradisiac getaway!

1. Cebu

Cebu in the Visayas is a great alternative travel destination to Boracay
Image credit: lianasmithbautista | Pixabay
Whale shark watching is possible to do in Cebu in the Philippines
Image credit: skeeze | Pixabay

Cebu in the Visayas is one of the many alternative destinations to Boracay. If marine life is what you seek for your holiday, we recommend a stay in the North of Cebu. If you are a mountain lover you will love the South. One of the special activities you can enjoy here is whale sharks watching. Don’t worry, these spotted sharks don’t come with razor sharp teeth so you can take a dip and watch them up close.

2. Bohol

Because of its people and surreal beaches, we call the capital of Bohol the "City of Friendship.
Image credit: vogliamo | Pixabay

Bohol is easily reachable from Cebu so consider adding these 2 destinations to your trip. Here locals are said to be so friendly that they call the capital of Bohol the “City of Friendship.”

After relaxing at Alona Beach, doing some snorkeling and watching dolphins, head inland to the famous Chocolate Hills in the countryside. You can also take the chance to see the Tarsier Conservation Center mingle with the cute wide-eyed primates. You can reach Bohol by taking a flight from Manila or taking a boat from Cebu.

3. Palawan

Head to Puerto Princesa for a unique experience at the Underground River.
Image credit: jahcordova | Pixabay

If you are looking for paradisiac stretches of white sand, you will find Palawan your dream come true. Ranked one of the most stunning islands in the entire world, this piece of idyllic land harbours 600 species of birds and diverse flora. Head to Puerto Princesa for a unique experience at the Instagram-famous Underground River. Are you more of a beach bum? Then, you can spend your time at Nagtabon and Talaudyong Beach to swim or kayak along the coast.

4. Romblon

Sibuyan is famed for being the "Galapagos of Asia" and it includes secluded islet of Crest De Gallo
Image credit:wimmer_petra | Pixabay

The marble capital of the Philippines is composed of three major islands which one with its own charms: Romblon Town, Tablas Island, and Sibuyan Island. Sibuyan is famed for being the “Galapagos of Asia” and it includes secluded islet of Crest De Gallo.

Also worth a visit is the Bon Bon Beach, a 2 km stretch of sand surrounded by turquoise waters connecting to the deserted Bang-ug island. Do you enjoy snorkeling or deep sea diving? Complete your visit by taking a raft trip to the Looc Bay Marine Sanctuary to spot the marine turtles.

5. Carabao Island

sunrise on carabao island in the philippines
Image credit: Chona Peñano | Flickr

Only a day trip away from Boracay, Carabao is one of the main beach destinations in the country.  Hambil beach is the popular location in Carabao. It is known to be a still unspoiled version of Boracay. This is where you will head if you want to have some fun and play water sports. Looking for somewhere quieter? Choose Puka Beach instead to spend the morning and head to Paraw for the sunset. 30 minutes away from Hambil Beach lies the Kuding-Kuding Cave and Cliff, a ideal spot to take a dip in the sea cave. You can easily reach this location by renting a motorcycle.

6. Camiguin

White Island, Camiguin
Image credit: Flickr

The image says it all: Camiguin is more than its White beach and its panoramic view of Mount Hibok-Hibok. Pay a visit to this haven to unveil its rich marine life, the refreshing waterfalls and its hot and cold springs. There’s more to Camiguin than meets the eye.

7. Fortune Island, Batangas

the acropolis in Fortune Island, Batangas, the philippines
Image credit: Oliver Mercader | Flickr

Just 2 hours away from Manila, Fortune Island is easily recognised by its Greek-inspired Acropolis. Yes, you read right, this island has its own ruins resembling the Greek attraction! This unique island is a good spot for beach camping. Come over and stay a couple of days to roam around the island, snorkel, and trek to its lighthouse.

#itsmorefuninthephilippines

What a vast and beautiful country we have! We hope you are inspired to keep supporting the local tourism and go visit a few of these islands very soon. Planning on booking your flight to any of these destinations in the Philippines? Don’t forget to check AirAsia, Airbnb, and Philippine Airlines to earn up to 0.50% Cashback when you book through Shopback. For budget accommodation options, Booking.com and Agoda will give plenty of hotels and guesthouses to choose from.

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