Just like Palawan, Boracay has enjoyed the title “World’s Best Island” for its powdery white sand beaches and glorious sunset views. It has long attracted travellers from all over the world, and as such has taken some wear and tear through the years. Because of massive commercialization, the island is oversaturated with establishments and structures and is often crowded with more people than it can handle. Sewage and waste problems are also beginning to worsen.
Perched in the region of Mimaropa, the islands of Palawan are one of the best places in the Philippines to explore.
Whilst in Palawan, make sure to visit El Nido which is perched on the most easterly part of the main island. Once here, make sure to wander around El Nido town and hire your own boat (whilst making sure to barter) to visit the stunning Bacuit archipelago. Each island in the Bacuit archipelago features the most imposing karst cliffs and clear waters. There is also ample spots for snorkelling too.
The island of Bohol in the Philippines' central Visayas region runs at a slower pace, and it is a destination that showcases the country's natural beauty. One of the most unique natural wonders on the island is the Chocolate Hills in Carmen. This UNESCO-protected site is a collection of 1,200 geological formations that turn brown in the dry season, resembling a landscape of chocolate candy kisses. Bohol is home to a family-owned sanctuary for the tiny Tarsier primate, known for its large engaging eyes. For a small fee, you can take an intimate walk through the grounds and stand inches away from the small nocturnal mammal. The showcase of Bohol is the beach.
The historical city of Vigan in the northern Philippines is one of the most charming towns to visit in the Luzon region. Its culture is a fusion of Chinese and Spanish influences originating from settlers to the area. Take a ride in a horse-drawn kalesa through the streets and admire the colonial architecture, courtesy of the Spanish who colonized the area in the 18th century.
Vigan is a city with many nuances to explore. The best view of the area is from the Bantay Bell Tower, which is also a noted landmark in the area. The Calle Crisologo historic district is a walkable district, where you will encounter many local craftsman and see historical architecture. A visit to the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral is breathtaking and a perfect spot to sit and people-watch as you take in the local culture.
The "Queen City of the South" vies with Manila for recognition as the Philippines' Number One City. But in terms of ease of transport, access to the great outdoors, and more fun per square mile, Cebu has the capital beat.
The Spanish came here to Cebu first via Mexico, and remade the place and its people in their image. Their influence can still be felt in the Basilica Minore de Santo Niño, where a glass-covered niche holds a precious statue of the Christ Child that commands countless devotees throughout Cebu. This devotion reaches its peak during the Sinulog Festival that takes place in the middle of January every year.
Batanes, one of the dream places to visit in the Philippines for local travelers, is a surreal haven that promises to give you a slice of heaven of earth. Famed for its sheer natural beauty and distinct landscapes, this remote wonderland leaves its beholders in awe with its majestic lofty cliffs, rolling hills, boulder-lined shores and deep canyons. In addition, this paradisiacal place flaunts a myriad of sturdy and historic stone houses.