The Philippines… Where should I begin? I honestly don’t know. This country is full of fantastic places. Wherever you go a stunning scenery or a unique experience will be waiting for you. I could never decide what’s the best thing I saw. So in no order in particular, I share with you this list with the 5 places you cannot miss if you’re planning to visit this Asian wonderland.
A place taken out of dreams. Home of big lagoon and small lagoon (the two places that show up the most in a “Philippines” Google Images search).
Landscapes of giant rocks glazed with green, that float over a static and turquoise sea.
You’ll spend your day sailing from one wonderful site to another even better. You will lose your evenings immersed in colorful markets and close your days mesmerized at colorful sunsets like you’ve never seen before. An absolute paradise.
Chocolate Hills of Bohol
If you thought these were literally chocolate hills, well, I’m sorry to disappoint you… the Philippines are amazing but not THAT amazing.
The chocolate hills are a rock formation that can only be admired on the island of Bohol. In no other place in the world you will see a landscape as unique as this one.
The stone from which these hills are formed doesn’t allow trees to grow. The only vegetation that can grow here is grass. During the summer the grass dries and green colors fade into browns, giving the name to what look like giant (more rounded) Hershey’s kisses.
Are looking for a family vacation? Go to Boracay. Are you looking for fun and parties? Go to Boracay. Are you looking for a romantic getaway? Also go to Boracay.
The small island of Boracay in the center of the Philippines offers something for each and everyone.
Extensive beaches with activities for everybody and pubs looking into the sea, or hidden away beaches between the rocks for lovers who want to be left alone. Coasts to the East and to the West, so you can enjoy blue sunrises and red sunsets. Picturesque markets to shop from typical Philippino products to international brands. What you seek, in Boracay, you have it.
Banaue Rice Terraces
Banaue is a region (a 9 hours bus ride) north of Manila. It’s landscapes seamlessly merge natural and artificial into one.
These rice terraces were built by man about 2000 years ago. But they are in such symbiosis with this green and mountainous terrain, that they appear to be natural formations.
Many people argue that the Banaue terraces are way past their golden age and that the Batad terraces (about 40 minutes away from Banaue) are in a much better condition . Though this is true, the Batad terraces don’t have Banaue’s magnitude. If you visit both you’ll see that Batad’s are pristine conditions but they are not this huge environment you feel surrounded by like you do in Banaue. And, at least at the time when I was there (August), the Batad terraces had already been harvested, while the Banaue’s still looked like giant beautiful green carpets. A really spectacular view.
Puerto Princesa’s Underground River
This is the largest navigable underground river in the world, and one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen.
40 minutes away from the city of Puerto Princesa you will find this amazing place. One of the new 7 natural wonders of the world.
The tour will take you on a canoe ride through these gigantic caves filled with bats and darkness.
You will sail a kilometre into the depth of this black ecosystem. You will pass through ceilings just a few centimeters above your head, to then enter chambers the size of cathedrals. Rock formations that look purposely carved live in darkness and are only revealed guide’s flashlight.
You’ll hear nothing but the squeaking of bats flying above you, and the excellent audio guide provided for the tour, which explains the history and importance of these amazing caves. You really can’t miss this.