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15 Beautiful Places In The Philippines

The Philippines is one of those destinations that had been on my travel bucket list for forever.

Every time I opened social media there would be stunning pictures of someone I knew who was having the trip of a lifetime, exploring the beautiful natural landscapes of the Philippines.

When I finally travelled there last year, it lived up to the hype I had built. In the Philippines you will find incredible waterfalls, stunning beaches, unique viewpoints and generally beautiful natural settings.

With so many islands, it can be hard deciding where in the Philippines you want to go. In this article I have put together a compilation of all the most beautiful places in the Philippines.

I hope you find it useful in planning your own trip there!

Enjoying the beach in Naked Island, Siargao

Enjoying the beach in Naked Island, Siargao

15 breathtakingly beautiful places in the Philippines

El Nido

El Nido was my favourite place in the Philippines, and I couldn’t start this compilation of beautiful places in the Philippines with any other spot. El Nido is a municipality located in the northern part of Palawan Island.

It’s famous for its steep cliffs, white sand beaches, abundant coral reefs and clear emerald sea. It’s an island paradise for anyone searching for a beautiful place to just disconnect, relax and enjoy the island life.

There are lots of different island hopping tours in El Nido, which will take you to the main attractions. You can also explore El Nido by kayak.

Some of the most notable spots are the Small & Big Lagoons, Pinagbuyutan Island, Snake Island and Papaya Beach. Whatever tour you chose, you’re guaranteed to see some beautiful beach scenery in El Nido.

| READ MORE: ISLAND HOPPING IN EL NIDO |

Enjoying the untouched beaches of El Nido

Enjoying the untouched beaches of El Nido

Girl snorkelling in El Nido, Philippines - taken with a GoPro dome, 50/50 with corals under water and steep limestone cliffs over

Snorkelling in El Nido

Malcapuya Island

Located 1-hour boat journey away from Coron, Malcapuya Island is one of the most incredible places I have ever seen. This little island is blessed with crystal clear turquoise water, fine white sand and is lined with lush green palm trees.

I’ve seen my fair share of beautiful beaches around the world (just to name a few, Sardinia and the Surin Islands are some of my favourites) and Malcapuya Island is definitely up there in my top 10.

If you pair the stunning scenery to chill beach vibes, it becomes the ultimate island paradise.

Floating in the crystal clear water of Malcapuya Island

Floating in the crystal clear water of Malcapuya Island

The crystal clear water of Malcapuya Island, Palawan

The crystal clear water of Malcapuya Island, Palawan

Kayangan Lake

Kayangan Lake is one of the most popular stops in any Coron island hopping tour, and understandably so. Imagine a lagoon with clear emerald and turquoise water, surrounded by steep and lush green cliffs.

Now make that 10 times more beautiful and you will have Kayangan Lake.

Admittedly it’s a very touristy spot. There is one epic viewpoint over Kayangan Lake that you have to queue for if you want to take a picture, that’s how busy it gets!

When it comes to swimming in the lagoon you have to keep your life jacket on, or the lifeguards will shout at you.

However we were lucky enough that our tour set off late due to an issue with one of the boats, and we actually got to see Kayangan Lake without the crowds.

If you can organise a private tour and be there when there are less people around, I guarantee the beauty of this spot will amaze you.

Exploring Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan

Exploring Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan

Osmena Peak

After so many beaches and island spots, I wanted to add a hike and viewpoint to this beautiful places bucket list. Osmena Peak, on the island of Cebu, is one of the most rewarding and beautiful hikes I have ever done.

The hike is fairly easy; the trail is uphill but the terrain is easy to walk on, and it only lasts around 25 minutes. Relative to the effort you put into the hike, the views are insane and well worth it.

From the top of Osmena Peak you have 360 views over the surrounding countryside, and you can see as far as the sea and town of Moalboal.

The peak is characterised by a very rugged landscape, with rock formations poking out from the ground. It’s a unique view that you can’t miss.

Enjoying the view over Moalboal and the Cebu coastline from Osmena Peak

Enjoying the view over Moalboal and the Cebu coastline from Osmena Peak

Kawasan Falls

There are a lot of waterfalls in the Philippines, but Kawasan Falls in Cebu is one of the most famous. Characterised by the bold turquoise colour of its water, framed by the beautiful lush green vegetation, it creates a picture perfect scenario.

It’s especially popular also because you can go canyoneering in Kawasan Falls. If you’re into adventure activities, you can spend a fun half-day sliding down the river and diving into waterfalls.

It was one of the most fun activities we did during our 3-week Philippines trip.

Enjoying Kawasan Falls in Cebu Island, Philippines, before the crowds

Enjoying Kawasan Falls in Cebu Island, Philippines, before the crowds

Exploring Kawasan Falls in Cebu, Philippines

Exploring Kawasan Falls in Cebu, Philippines, with @solarpoweredblonde and @offgoesannie

Moalboal

The town of Moalboal is one of the cutest towns I’ve ever seen. Located on the coast of Cebu Island, Moalboal isn’t only a beautiful town in itself, but also offers loads of fun activities.

In Moalboal you can snorkel with turtles and sardines!

You don’t even have to go far, just walk along the main road in Moalboal, head down to the beach through the SeaQuest Dive Shop and you will find yourself in the prime turtle and sardine spot.

Just rent a mask and snorkel, dive in, and a few metres away from the shore you will find turtles and sardines waiting for you!

Snorkelling with turtles in Moalboal in Cebu Island

Snorkelling with turtles in Moalboal in Cebu Island

A shoal of sardines in Moalboal, Cebu Island, Philippines

A shoal of sardines in Moalboal, Cebu Island

Naked Island

If you’re looking for a unique island, Naked Island is just the place. Naked Island is a sand bank with absolutely nothing on it.

No trees, no food shacks, no sunbeds, nothing at all. Just fine white sand and clear turquoise water. Definitely not the sort of thing you see every day!

You can visit Naked Island on an island hopping tour from Siargao. The tours will usually take you also to Daku and Guyam Islands. Two equally stunning islands, but with their palm trees they have a more common and less unique look.

Enjoying the beautiful water of Naked Island in Siargao

Enjoying the beautiful water of Naked Island in Siargao

Cloud 9

If you’re looking for a chill surfer haven, you’ve just found it. Cloud 9 in Siargao is one of those places where all your worries just fade away. The beach might not have the clearest water, but when the surf is so good, how can you say no?

Cloud 9 also has some lovely bars and restaurants dotted along the beach and main road. It’s a short 10-minute scooter or tuk-tuk ride away from General Luna, the main backpacker town on Siargao Island.

| READ MORE: PHILIPPINES PACKING LIST |

One of the surf stands at Cloud 9 in Siargao, Philippines

One of the surf stands at Cloud 9 in Siargao, Philippines

Magpupungko Rock Pools

Always on Siargao Island, the Magpupungko natural rock pools are one of those places of stunning natural beauty. These are natural rock pools that come out at low tide.

They have clear water that you can swim in, while enjoying the view over the Siargao coastline and waves crashing far off the reef break.

There is one main pool that is especially scenographic, with a big rock overlooking it from which you can dive in.

However this one can get quite busy, you should either aim to get there early to avoid the crowds or walk along and search for smaller pools.

Floating in the Magpupungko rock pools of Siargao

Floating in the Magpupungko rock pools of Siargao

Chocolate Hills of Bohol

Some say they’re over hyped, others absolutely love them, but however you feel about them, there’s no denying that the Chocolate Hills of Bohol are a pretty unique landscape.

There are 1,200 and 1,700 small hills spread over a 50 square kilometres area. The hills are covered in grass that turns brown in the dry season, hence the name.

There is one main viewpoint from where you can admire this unique and beautiful view.

The chocolate hills of Bohol - Photo by Jessica May on Scopio

The chocolate hills of Bohol – Photo by Jessica May on Scopio

Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano is the second most active volcano in the Philippines, and also one of the main tourist attractions.

The volcano is located in the middle of Taal Lake, within Taal Caldera. Taal Volcano is on the island of Luzon, and can be visited on a day trip from Manila.

Most of the day trip tours include the transfer from Manila, a cruise in Taal Lake, lunch and a guided hike. You will be able to admire beautiful views over the lake, volcano, and surrounding volcanic formations.

It’s a unique view and one of the most beautiful in the Philippines.

Boracay

The beaches in Boracay are so beautiful that loads of tourists visited the island, which lead to the government having to close Boracay for 6 months in 2018 due to over tourism.

The island has now somewhat recovered from the damages of over tourism, and is open again to visitors.

Boracay is famous for its pristine white sand beaches, clear turquoise sea and fancy resorts. It’s a beautiful island destination that caters to those searching for something a bit more luxurious or on the beaten track.

One of the beautiful beaches in Boracay - photo by Alex, author of Gourmand Trotter

Puka Beach in Boracay – photo by Gourmand Trotter

Mantigue Island

By now you probably realised I love beaches, and that there are a lot of beautiful beach destinations in the Philippines. Mantigue Island, a tiny island located 3.5 km off the coast of Camiguin Island, is a tiny island paradise.

When you can walk around an island in 20 minutes, you know you’ve found a little piece of heaven on earth.

On Mantigue Island you will find fine white sand, clear turquoise water, lush green palm trees, huts to shelter yourself from the sun, and even a beach volley net if you fancy a game.

Siquijor

Siquijor is an island in the Central Visayas region, close to Cebu and Bohol. It’s a fairly small island with a huge variety of things to do and places to explore.

Here you can find beautiful beaches, stunning waterfalls, marine sanctuaries and wild forests. Some of the most notable and beautiful spots are Paliton Beach and Cambugahay Falls.

Drone photo of Cambugahay Falls - photo by Daily Travel Pill

Drone photo of Cambugahay Falls – photo by Daily Travel Pill

Romblon Island

Romblon Island is an upcoming tourist destination in the Philippines, but is still far from the main tourist radar.

Romblon Island is blessed with epic natural attractions, from pristine beaches, dramatic canyons, wild forests and a quaint town centre.

One of the coolest spots in Romblon is Bonbon Beach. Besides fine white sand and clear turquoise water (as you may have guessed is a common trend in the Philippines) in Bomblon Beach you will also find a sandbar, which at low tide connects it to the nearby Bang-og island.

Final thoughts on beautiful places in the Philippines

There you have it, the ultimate compilation of all the most beautiful places in the Philippines. The Philippines are made up of over 7,600 islands, so it’s only normal to struggle when deciding which islands to visit or what to see.

I spent three weeks in the Philippines and am nowhere near visiting all the beautiful spots I always see pictures of. I’m hoping to travel again to the Philippines later this year!

In the meanwhile, I hope you find this compilation useful in deciding which beautiful destinations in the Philippines you should visit!

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Collage of Kayangan Lake, El Nido, Malcapuya Island and girl snorkelling with turtles in Cebu with text overlay saying "15 beautiful places in the Philippines"

Collage of a drone shot of a beach and Big Lagoon in El Nido with text overlay saying "15 beautiful places in the Philippines"

Ronnie Clayton

Saturday 10th of July 2021

I love the Philippines ❤️