Off-the-beaten-path destinations in Philippines to visit this holiday season
Made up of over 7000 islands, there is no lack of new and interesting places to visit in the Philippines. For those who are tired of visiting the same old tourist attractions and are looking for a tranquil escapade with a different touch to it, we bring to you the top 9 places to visit to rediscover The Philippines like never before.
1. Caramoan Islands
Located in the Bicol region of the Philippine archipelago, Caramoan Islands is a destination that has not been widely explored by tourists. Covered by a limestone-forest that is home to flora and fauna, Caramoan Islands is a paradise for the adventurous. Hike through the deep caves and coves or take a dive and discover the rich marine life just beneath the crystal clear waters.
2. Hinatuan Enchanted Rivers. Mindanao
The enchantment of the Hinatuan Rivers stems from the mysterious blue river that seems to sprout from nowhere. The sapphire river gleams in the sunlight and flows into the Pacific Ocean. And while many tourists from overseas visit the River, it might be time that you visit as well! This natural wonder leaves many visitors marveling at where the waters actually come from. But one thing for sure, they all love taking a dive in it!
3. Gigantes Islands, Ilo Ilo
Alternatively known as the Islands of Giants, the Gigantes Islands is located 5 hours away from Ilo Ilo and is quite a trouble to get to. Those willing to take the effort to get there will be rewarded by endless pristine beaches and a super relaxed way of life onboard the islands. As it is rather undeveloped, you will truly get a rustic local experience that is not achievable in the big cities. So head on over before it gets flooded with tourists and developed to suit the foreigners!
While the tourism industry has been steadily booming in Baler, it is still rather new to the scene as compared to Boracay or Cebu. So while its olden charms still remain, visit this surfer’s paradise and its many waterfalls that surround the island. The unique Azbahaen Leisure Farm and Resort is also worth a stay especially with their bee farm, winery and rice fields that you can visit, among many others. Bring their signature Bignay Wine and local produce back home for we are sure you will miss this place the moment you leave!
5. Siquijor Island
If creepy travels are your kinda thing, then you will find Siquijor to be the perfect getaway spot for you – especially since it is located near to the popular Cebu and Bohol islands. Look out for the century-old Balete Tree to find some wondrous love potions and sinister voodoo souvenirs as the tree is believed to have magical powers. But don’t take our word for it! We’re still not that sure if the love potions actually work.
6. Osmeña Peak
Another location near to Cebu, Osmeña Peak is only a short 1-hour drive away from Algeria, Cebu. With guaranteed picturesque views and lush hills, the peacefulness at the summit is one beyond words. Do note that you will need to sign and pay 30 PHP at the Osmeña Peak Tourism Center. The short hike up is rewarding and relatively easy, so you will be able to do so yourself without a guide.
7. Guintacan Island
A charismatic island that offers a peaceful and relaxing environment, Guintacan Island is lined by rocky cliffs and pristine beaches. At only nine kilometers long and two kilometers wide, half a day will be more than sufficient to traverse the whole island. Soon to be developed into an ecologically friendly tourist site, this is a great place to visit for the environmentally-conscious tourist.
8. Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte
A gorgeous white beach backed by Boracay and Malcapuya, the Calaguas Island has unobstructed views of the horizon which makes it perfect for those seeking a sunset vacation. With unobstructed space for star-gazing and glistening waters to swim in, Calaguas Island is the perfect summer vacation.
9. Sibaltan, El Nido
An hour’s drive away from the town, Sibaltan offers a panoramic view of the sunrise – perfect for the early birds! With quite a handful of beaches to visit, Sibaltan is the ideal spot for those looking to get a tan or looking for a new diving spot. This makes for the ultimate lazy vacation as you are likely to be spending most of your time on the beach watching the day unfold. For those looking for a rich cultural experience, the local Cuyunon culture and heritage are also interesting to learn about.
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